Overall U.S. death rate is at a multi-year LOW


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Despite the panic over the Wuhan virus, it now appears that the overall U.S. death rate this winter season is at a multi-year low, no worse than 2014, 2016, and 2019, and far better than 2015, 2017, and 2018 (when we were hit with one of the worst flu seasons in years).

The article at the link for one example cites the totals for the first week in April:

On April 5th, the U.S. saw 1,344 COVID-19 deaths, as the number of cases in the U.S. accelerated. The overall number of deaths in the U.S., or the crude death rate did not show a correlated rise.

At the very least, this data shows we need to analyze COVID-19 deaths in the context of the broader U.S. mortality rate from all causes. It appears normal deaths are being attributed to COVID-19 if the patient is COVID-19+, even if another underlying chronic cause is responsible.

It then includes a graph showing the total deaths since 2014, plotted weekly. This year is remarkably ho-hum. The last two years were far worse. Go to the link and look at the graph for yourself if you have doubts.

Nor should anyone have ever been surprised by these numbers, even three months ago. All the evidence on the ground about COVID-19, once it had escaped from China and reliable data could begin to be gathered, suggested strongly that its general attack on humans was similar to the flu. Younger people were hardly bothered by it. Instead, it killed the old and sick. Since those people can’t die twice, it is manifestly obvious that we should have expected the overall numbers to not go up much.

Which is exactly what has happened.

Moreover, the panic over the Wuhan flu caused people to social distance themselves, which certainly acted to cause a drop in all infectious diseases. This might explain this year’s lower numbers, but it must also be noted that the drop in 2020 is not really that significant, illustrating again the pointlessness of all these preventative measures. You really can’t run from infectious diseases. They are going to spread through the population regardless. Only if it appears the disease is attacking the young should extreme measures be taken.

To put it bluntly, our elected leaders in Washington and in statehouses across the country, working in tandem with the incompetent (but well-paid) bureaucrats in Washington and with a overly emotional and partisan press willing to say any lie in order to attack Donald Trump, have caused what might turn out to be another great depression, for absolutely no reason at all.

In the process they have also acted to nullify the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, working as hard as they could to destroy the freest nation in the history of the world, and the most successful because of that freedom.

Are you enraged yet? And are you going to do something about it in November?

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83 comments

  • Andrew_W

    Overall U.S. death rate is at a multi-year LOW
    The measures in place to stop the spread of the virus are there to stop what usually happens with harmful contagious diseases – stop them doing more harm in the future, stop them killing and disabling more people in the future.

    The measures in place are not actually intended to stop Covid-19 from killing people that it has already killed.

    This seems to be a very basic fact that you appear to struggle to understand, given the focus you place on what it has done rather than what it is expected that it would do were measures not taken to combat its spread.

  • john hare

    Andrew W,
    If you get annoyed with this site, just be glad it’s not one of those that moderate comments that disagree with the opinion of the management. NASA Watch-Kieth Cowing doesn’t like disagreement.

  • Andrew_W

    john hare, I certainly appreciate Mr. Zimmerman’s adherence to his principles on free speech, I might disagree with him on several things, but I never doubt or question him on his commitment to his principles.
    Where I usually disagree with him is not in those principles but in whether they’re applicable in the same way he sees them as being so. He and I would agree that theory has to bend to reality, we have different standards on measuring reality.

  • Andrew_W

    we have different standards on measuring reality.

    If I can I’ll rephrase that as we have a different basis from which we judge reality.

  • MadKangaroo

    “…stop them doing more harm in the future, stop them killing and disabling more people in the future.”

    Andrew, I don’t agree. The measures put in place are not to stop illness and death from occurring, they can’t do so. The fact is, in an unvaccinated population a virus is going to spread until most of the population has either been infected and developed resistance, or died. Social distancing and similar measures can, at best, slow the rate at which these happen, *but will not stop them from happening.*

    Unless a vaccine is developed, and soon, the die is cast, “measures” not withstanding. By all means we should protect the most vulnerable, but since the vast majority of infected people show no, or relatively mild, symptoms, shutting down the country is an exercise in futility.

  • Andrew_W

    MadKangaroo, if you quote me please keep the context:
    “The measures in place to stop the spread of the virus are there to stop . . ”

    We can argue about whether or not such measures are effective but the intent is to reduce the number of deaths through “flattening the curve” until “a vaccine is available” and through “keeping the peak low enough so that our health systems are not overwhelmed”, in some countries the “elimination” of the disease is still an intended goal, obviously if successful in that goal such countries would always have to take measures to ensure the disease is not re-introduced until a vaccine is available.

  • gmmay70

    Andrew_W

    “This seems to be a very basic fact that you appear to struggle to understand, given the focus you place on what it has done rather than what it is expected that it would do were measures not taken to combat its spread.”

    The very basic fact is that public policy – the one under criticism in the post – was developed based on models which factored in maximum social distancing. The predictions were wrong, people sounded the alarm that these predictions were wrong, and that data show that these predictions were wrong – dramatically wrong. Considering that maximum social distancing is something that no area of the US has managed to implement, and that several other countries decided not to, observation vs. prediction doesn’t even seem to be in the same solar system. This is the empirical reality you are failing to consider.

  • Andrew_W says “the intent is to reduce the number of deaths through ‘flattening the curve’ until ‘a vaccine is available’ ”

    Really? Developing a vaccine could take years! I don’t believe anyone is advocating for these lockdowns to stay in place for that long. And that’s because none of this is about vaccines.

    Then you go on to say that the intent is also “keeping the peak low enough so that our health systems are not overwhelmed”.

    Yes that’s exactly the idea. Our health system can handle people catching this new disease, as long as they don’t all get it at once!

    Then finally you say “…in some countries the ‘elimination’ of the disease is still an intended goal…”

    What countries are those? What experts are advocating that? This new disease will never be eliminated. But we humans adapt, and we will learn to manage it.

    Soon, state by state, country by country, these draconian stay-at-home orders will be relaxed. Politicians will congratulate themselves. People will continue to die, from this disease and all the others. And life will go on.

  • Andrew_W

    gmmay70, there are several things in your comment that don’t match up with what I’ve seen:
    maximum social distancing”, I’ve not seen the word maximum used and I’m not sure what it would mean.
    “. . . models which factored in maximum social distancing. The predictions were wrong,” I’ve not seen such models that were wrong, perhaps you could supply a link.
    “Considering that maximum social distancing is something that no area of the US has managed to implement,”
    Where was this “maximum” social distancing attempted to be implemented in the US?

  • Andrew_W

    Really? Developing a vaccine could take years!
    Or it could take until September, and as you point out, no one is talking about maintaining the initial lock-down for years, the strategy I’ve seen voiced is one of getting the number of cases down with the lock-down followed by other strategies to reduce the rates of transmission to levels that will reduce the rate of deaths until it can be better controlled or eliminated.
    What countries are those? New Zealand, others, like Australia are in a position to give it a shot, Greenland appears to have succeeded.
    Can the disease be controlled at low levels without an economic lock-down? It’s being done in Taiwan and South Korea.

  • Cotour

    I agree with Madkangaroo:

    We are not talking about a hands down body bag deadly agent like plutonium in the environment here, that must be avoided at all costs. We live in the environment and the virus exists in the environment via its host, human beings (Without even going into pointing any fingers as to who, how and from where). And the only real long term solution is immunity or an effective vaccine. In the interim taking some prudent measures is suggested.

    The question is: To what degree are these measures and controls by government required so as not to result in the further burning out of our medical system and attempting to prevent some of the deaths of those with the compromised systems that can not withstand it? And of course balancing the individuals freedoms in that calculation. And different governments have different responses and solutions. Now you see what it is that you bought in the last election.

    Because this virus is unique and has some unusual effects we are caught short and the established drugs and therapies are not reliably known in how to deal with it and so there is chaos and there is fear and there can be death. These not well understood therapies and effects are burning out our system, and that is primarily why this extreme government action has been taken. But this too must end.

    I have looked into this a bit, specifically into the Hydroxychloroquine issue, that has of course become a hot button issue because Trump the intuitive pushed past the professionally cautious professional doctors and suggested it be tried. Based I am sure on reliable anecdotal evidence that he was given, which IMO is reasonable. And of course Trump suggested it solely because he is friends with and golfs with the man that owns the company that produces the drug. And of course Trump has a share in that company. (Someone really pushed back with this reasoning and Trump motivation for suggesting its use in my discussing Hydroxychloroquine with them. They heard it on CNN I believe. A woman is dying from Covid 19, hours away from death, they have tried everything to save her, except the Hydroxychloroquine: “No, doctor, don’t give me the Hydroxychloroquine, I heard it did not work on CNN)

    Hydroxychloroquine can be effective for some people, very effective in fact. The studies must be done and will be shortly I am sure. Also it is recommended that zinc may also help. Both of these apparently screw with the viruses ability to enter cells and or replicate successfully. Vitamin D3 is also indicated for immune system health in general. Smoking and not generally being healthy is not recommended here. (Disclaimer: Please remember, I am not a doctor)

    I have compiled several interviews on the subject, here is one case example and a doctor comments towards the end. I have heard several stories where it worked well and others where it was not effective. Also there may be an indication that people with Lupus that are taking Hydroxychloroquine for their condition may not be getting the virus and it may have a protective effect (?). But again the studies have to be done. All anecdotal at the moment.

    1. Man, mid 50’s, not intubated, after being sick for two weeks he takes Hydroxychloroquine and survives: https://youtu.be/3DVathrs218

    How the mortality numbers shake out is more in the future as we deal with the chaos and uncertainty that is today.

  • pzatchok

    I have heard several experts and politicians in the US talk about the lock down going into next year. Social distancing efforts going on forever.

    All until the protests started and then Trump said its up to the state governors to let the people free. Now every politician is trying to come up with a way to lift the lock down without taking responsibility for the inevitable next death. They all want to go as slow as possible until a vaccine is found.

  • rupright

    As to social distancing, it is impossible to simply assume that it has done anything. You can’t prove that something didn’t happen because of something you did do. There are no lions in Kansan but if someone was pounding drums in Kansas to keep lions away and claimed to be the reason for no lions, few if any person would accept that. Social distancing and wearing useless masks cannot be claimed to have lessened the viral impact. Perhaps if you compared a country or a state that forced social distancing to a similar one who didn’t, then you might show a relationship.

    As many have claimed since Day One, the latest study released at Stanford shows that the death rate for this virus is about the same or even less than our annual flu numbers. This seems to show more proof that this is a scamdemic and has been exaggerated beyond belief and it is not a super deadly disease for the general public. People who pushed this scheme and bureaucrats and politicians who have criminalized much of our behavior MUST be shamed and have their careers ruined and have them lose their jobs to stop such insanity from happening again soon. All such “experts” in the future should be required to show some skepticism to their overblown models.

  • Andrew_W

    I’ve always like the from The Mote In God’s Eye:
    “One of your most ancient writers, a historian named Herodotus, tells of a thief who was to be executed. As he was taken away he made a bargain with the king: in one year he would teach the king’s favorite horse to sing hymns. The other prisoners watched the thief singing to the horse and laughed. “You will not succeed,” they told him. “No one can.” To which the thief replied, “I have a year, and who knows what might happen in that time. The king might die. The horse might die. I might die. And perhaps the horse will learn to sing.”
    ― Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle

  • Andrew_W

    Perhaps if you compared a country or a state that forced social distancing to a similar one who didn’t, then you might show a relationship.
    How about Norway and Sweden?
    https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/comment/sweden-covid-19-measures/
    Most notable are the rate of new cases and deaths in the two countries, given that early on the rates were higher in Norway, yesterday for Sweden: 606 (new cases) and 111(deaths), Norway: 99 and 3.

    latest study released at Stanford
    The conclusions of that study are not consistent with other evidence, the reasons for that are likely to be due to the false positive rates for antibody tests being at similar rates to the positive test rate results in the study.

  • rupright

    Regarding the Stanford study – what other evidence show an inconsistency in the study’s conclusions as there seems to be almost no evidence about this panic. And what little evidence there is shows that well over 90% of all fatalities were for elderly people with serious health problems.

    And if there are false positives, I am sure that the range shown in the study – 50 to 85 times more people show antibodies with little or no sickness – would cover these possible false results. With lots of false positives, then 50 times more; with few or none, 85 times. Seems clear.

  • R7 Rocket

    I highly suspect that Andrew_W is one of those highly paid incompetent DC bureaucrats who have no idea where their food comes from. Their paychecks need to be cut until every American who lost their job and business get their jobs and businesses back.

    The models, death percentages and graphs are all fake due to asymptomatic carriers.

  • R7 Rocket: Andrew_W lives in New Zealand, but what he does for a living (other than provide nice fodder on the comments here at BtB) is unknown.

  • Andrew_W

    In early April, Stanford University researchers conducted an antibody test of 3,300 residents in the county that were recruited through targeted Facebook ads. . . Again, the results are preliminary and the study has not been peer-reviewed, but researchers found a raw, unadjusted antibody prevalence of 1.5 percent, which was scaled up to 2.5-4.2 percent when adjusting for population and test performance characteristics.
    https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Santa-Clara-antibody-test-coronavirus-results-case-15208216.php

    Here’s the first problem, if 3,300 people were tested and 1.5% were positive that means there were just 50 positive results, if the test gives false positives – which has been happening in antibody tests, that rate would only need to be at 1.5% false positives get these results even if there were zero genuine cases in the study.
    This issue with false positives when actual positives are at very low rates in a sample is a common problem in sampling.

    Rupright, evidence that counters it:
    At these rates just about everyone in NY would be infected all ready and there should be very few new cases showing up there, there should now be herd immunity in NY.
    Everyone on the Diamond Princess was tested, there should not have been more than about a dozen cases of symptomatic illness if the study was correct.
    Countries that have been able to track and trace cases should not have been able to do so if asymptomatic cases were as common as this, and when there have been clusters tested thoroughly, with all known associated people tested, the asymptomatic rates just are not that high.

  • Andrew_W

    . . other than provide nice fodder on the comments here . . .
    Why thank you Mr. Zimmerman. I spent 30 years dairy farming, from worker at the start to ownership later, now I potter about doing various types of handyman work and have some rental properties.

  • DeVan

    Lot of people placing lots of hope on a vaccine. But we have a vaccine for the flu and still a heck of a lot of people die. And we done go ape scat crazy and shut the economy down. Trump did it in this case because the Democrat-Media complex were gearing up to Katrina him like the did W.

  • R7 Rocket

    I highly doubt that you’re involved with any type of agriculture, Andrew_W.

  • Andrew_W

    R7 Rocket, that just demonstrates your inability to look at issues without falling into the trap of some form of confirmation bias.

  • Edward

    Andrew_W wrote: “The measures in place to stop the spread of the virus are there to stop what usually happens with harmful contagious diseases – stop them doing more harm in the future, stop them killing and disabling more people in the future.

    This is incorrect. These measures are still being advertised as slowing the spread, not stopping it. The slowing was not intended to give time to find a vaccine but was explicitly stated to be in place in order to prevent the medical system from becoming overwhelmed. Those who say otherwise are victims of mission creep. The slowing was not intended to save any lives from the virus, as those who are now vulnerable will still be vulnerable later, when they are finally infected.

    This mission creep now includes the thought that we slow the spread until a vaccine is developed, which was an unreasonable goal before the shutdown and is even more obviously unreasonable now that we are seeing the visible effects of the lockdown. There are other effects that will not become visible until after we open back up and observe how much fails to reopen, how many jobs do not come back, and how much prosperity has been lost. Other difficult to observe effects include the number of people who wind up with untreatable, terminal, or maiming problems that would have been prevented had we not shut down the economy and the routine medical care.

    I’ve not seen such models that were wrong, perhaps you could supply a link.

    Hardly a surprise, since Andrew_W does not accept any of Robert’s posts or links that disagree with his prejudiced opinions.

    Indeed, all models are wrong. Some are useful. So far, the models that the U.S. has relied upon have been wrong and useless.

    On the other hand, gmmay70 had said that the predictions were wrong, and the numbers showed that to be true. The models gave us deaths on certain dates, but those numbers did not were different in the real world.

    Here’s the first problem, if 3,300 people were tested and 1.5% were positive that means there were just 50 positive results, if the test gives false positives – which has been happening in antibody tests, that rate would only need to be at 1.5% false positives get these results even if there were zero genuine cases in the study.

    Here’s the first problem with that statement: false positives are only a problem if there are no false positives in the regular testing that is now being performed. Either way, we are still comparing apples to apples, it is just that the study looks at a population that includes unsuspected infected people.

    There is a second problem with that statement: there would have to have been a whole lot of false positives for the conclusion to be incorrect.

    Countries that have been able to track and trace cases should not have been able to do so if asymptomatic cases were as common as this, and when there have been clusters tested thoroughly, with all known associated people tested, the asymptomatic rates just are not that high.

    Tracking and tracing cases is not any harder where there are asymptomatic cases, we were doing it very successfully in the early days here in California.

    I love how Andrew_W thinks of himself as an expert, even to the point that he created his own models. However, he has not reported on how his own models have been correct. Ii is easy to believe that he is an expert, because the “trusted” experts have been wrong just as much as Andrew_W has been.

  • gmmay70

    Andrew_W

    “I’ve not seen the word maximum used and I’m not sure what it would mean.”

    Not that parsing is particularly helpful in a discussion, but here are a couple of links to fill in your gap:

    https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/don-t-jinx-it-but-canada-s-virus-curve-may-be-flattening-1.1419666
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-brazil-minister/brazils-health-minister-urges-maximum-social-distancing-idUKKBN21H3EV

    “I’ve not seen such models that were wrong, perhaps you could supply a link.”

    I have already gone farther than I normally would in providing information that is readily obtainable, but I will provide even more:

    https://www.academia.edu/42242357/Review_of_Ferguson_et_al_Impact_of_non-pharmaceutical_interventions…_

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/16/us-coronavirus-projections-miss-mark-country-ducks/

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/30/health/coronavirus-us-ihme-model-us/index.html

    “Where was this “maximum” social distancing attempted to be implemented in the US?”

    A more attentive reading of my comment would have saved you from this obviously irrelevant question.

  • gmmay70

    Andrew_W

    Lest you think I’m ignoring your request for information, the links I provided you kicked my comment into moderation. In the meantime, you might avail yourself of existing and commonly used consumer technology to unearth some of the information you require.

  • Andrew_W

    The very basic fact is that public policy – the one under criticism in the post – was developed based on models which factored in maximum social distancing.
    The use of the term “maximum social distancing” by the Brazilian President has nothing to do with what models are based on.

    The models, in terms of infection rates and death rates, have not been proven wrong, the evidence you offer does not prove otherwise.

    “A more attentive reading of my comment would have saved you from this obviously irrelevant question.”
    Considering that maximum social distancing is something that no area of the US has managed to implement,
    You appear to not understand the meaning of your own words, for a failure to have “managed to implement” to occur there must first be an attempt.

  • philip l horner

    We were social distancing to keep the hospitals functioning…now we can loosen up as long as capacity is maintained in hospital.

    Understand that absent a vaccine…which may or may not ever happen… we’re all going to catch this virus unless very fortunate or good at hiding from it.

  • A virus gonna do what a virus do.
    There is no guarantee of a vaccine or cure, so, social distance or not, flattening the curve or not, the virus is going to run it’s course, Period.
    You can either do what Sweden is doing, i.e. get it over with, or the insanity that we are pursuing.
    Now that the virus is in the world, chances are pretty good that it will resurface this fall. My money is on Sweden being in a better place when that happens.
    If the author is correct and fewer people will have died this year than last year, somebody got some splain’in to do.
    I am just a Carpenter/Home inspector, but I subscribe to the theory from the (other) Robert Zimmerman that ” You don’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows”

  • Mike Borgelt

    Measures taken by politicians and bureaucrats are NEVER for the benefit of the public. They are backside covering for the politicians and bureaucrats so that they don’t lose their jobs.

  • Andrew_W

    Measures taken by politicians and bureaucrats are NEVER for the benefit of the public.
    Fair enough, just as measures taken by businesses are NEVER for the benefit of their customers. They are just covering their backsides in a way so to stay in business and make money, also perfectly true and reasonable and sensible.

  • drewtho

    the death rate has gone down because people are staying away from doctors and hospitals

  • wayne

    Andrew_W–
    ahh, dairy-farmer, with some rental properties.
    Serious question—Does your country have price-supports and/or marketing-orders for dairy products?
    You do realize—when the marxist revolution comes knocking at your door, the first people up against the wall (after the ruling-elite have been liquidated and the peons change the color of their uniforms), are the landlords.

    pivoting—

    “Keeping My Distance” (Cake Parody)
    Trenton Quarantine O
    https://youtu.be/Mgv_VUABsZ0
    1:22

  • wayne

    The Classicist: The Coming COVID-19 Inflection Point
    Victor Davis Hanson
    April 16, 2020
    https://www.hoover.org/research/classicist-coming-covid-19-inflection-point
    19:32
    (embedded player or download)

    “Hanson responds to a media outcry over one of his recent columns, looks at Chinese culpability for the spread of COVID-19, and describes the factors that will be necessary for America to get back on its feet.”

  • Andrew_W

    Does your country have price-supports and/or marketing-orders for dairy products?
    No.
    when the marxist revolution comes knocking at your door, the first people up against the wall . . . are the landlords.
    We’ve decided not to have a Marxist revolution but if you guys are so inclined go right ahead.

  • Rose

    @DeVan: Trump did it in this case because the Democrat-Media complex were gearing up to Katrina him like the did W.

    If that was his motivation, then he is not fit for his job.

  • Rose

    @Cotour: Hydroxychloroquine can be effective for some people, very effective in fact. The studies must be done and will be shortly I am sure.

    That “can” is an expression of faith. I’ll accept a “may“.

    1. Man, mid 50’s, not intubated, after being sick for two weeks he takes Hydroxychloroquine and survives: https://youtu.be/3DVathrs218

    And if I present you with a case of a similar individual who survives without taking Hydroxychloroquine? Neither anecdote is meaningful.

    Here’s to hoping that it really will make a difference. But I’ve seen of reports of tests on the most ill patients in Isreal, Brazil, France, and Sweden which have been cut short because it did not appear to improve their condition and was inducing arrhythmias in many of the weakest — though they are still looking to test its administration at earlier stages. (Plenty of drugs don’t work when given too late.)

    I’m ready to volunteer for a double blind test protocol where subjects are intentionally inoculated with the virus then started on the drug/placebo at a set point in the illness — on one condition. Respect my DNR and keep me off ventilators and life support machines. I want none of that! Recovery rates of ventilated COVID-19 patients are pretty low. If I’m likely to die, then being sedated with a tube down my throat is the last way I want to go! I’d rather struggle for my last breath alone in my cabin in the woods.

    Cotour, are you ready to join me? (In the study — not necessarily in my cabin.)

  • wayne

    Andrew_W–
    ahh, going the progressive route, eh?!
    (It took about 100 years, to drag us under.)

    Eddie Murphy as Tyrone Green reading…
    “Cill My Landlord”
    SNL early 1980’s
    https://youtu.be/MEnmjDD_fTE
    0:50

    But in all seriousness:
    Q:
    How much is a gallon of milk at your local store?
    [ west coast of Michigan = 1.99/gallon at Walmart, 2.99-4.99 ‘everywhere else.’]
    How much is gasoline?
    [1.179 the US gallon, which includes 26.3 cents/gallon State tax + 18.4 cents/gallon Federal Tax.
    Hasn’t been this low, here, since 1995-ish]

  • wayne

    “Crowder on Michigan Governor’s Insane Laws”
    Louder With Crowder
    April 17, 2020
    https://youtu.be/CaxTpeOjzGU
    11:28

  • Andrew_W

    Milk $US3.60/US gallon (as an exporting country unless there’s a tax domestic prices for such products are tied to international prices), petrol $US3.40/US gallon, $US1.93 of which is tax, competition in this market between the main distributors (Mobil, BP etc) is not quite what it should be.

  • wayne

    Andrew_W–
    Thank you.

  • Chris

    On the “flattening the curve”….
    Flatten the curve to not overwhelm the medical system, but the area under the curve will remain the same… ie the population infected until herd immunity. As someone said above: a virus gonna do what a virus gonna do. And as Edward (you write well) writes above the steps taken to slow the spread do not keep people from dying, it delays them getting the virus and entering the medical system and overwhelming it. An over-whelmed system then kills more people by not being able to treat them regardless of their medical need -virus or other malady.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity

    For Covid-19 herd immunity threshold (HIT) is 29%- 74% per Wikipedia. The wide range I believe is due to the currently widely estimated r-naught (did that for you Brits. – or r-zero) – the basic reproduction rate.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_reproduction_number

    The key here is that you cannot stop the spread – only the rate of spread. A virus gonna do, and the area under the curve remains the same (we don’t know the area under curve yet – wide range in HIT above). I believe the only way to stop the spread is vaccine or total isolation (Space station!). The virus will eventually spread.

    So if the virus gonna do, then after we have flattened the curve – which in most places(US) it looks like we have – then we need to let the virus do. Restrictions to shield the most vulnerable should stay in place to do as much as possible to keep the virus away but with the knowledge that here too the virus will get through – as does the flu and the common cold (4 of the 7 Corona viruses that affect man are Common Colds -Dr Henry Miller via John Batchelor).

    As I have noted in many other threads – we need to test for anti-bodies. This is key. We still need to know the true infections.

    So the draconian steps need to be removed. (Some basic anti-spread steps were required.) And we need to look hard at who put them in place and why. Then we need to deal with them – Impeachment or recall come to mind in Michigan.

    And then we need to deal with China…

  • Cotour

    Rose:

    I will accept either “Can” or “May”, its a sideways argument. A distinction without a difference to me.

    Hydroxychloroquine can, may or might be effective in facilitating any random human being having trouble getting through a Covid 19 event. There are also other drugs that can, may or might be effective for them if the Hydroxy is not. I will assume that there are a wide variety of reasons that any one of them might or might not be effective.

    The reason that the medical systems are crashing or are being stressed to the max is because the formal clinical investigations still need to be completed and the variations and differences between any one person or another and the effects of any particular drug is at this moment unknown. Too much fear and chaos.

    But the data that is being gathered now in real time will help nail this down. I would think it is out there, it just has not been sifted through and properly understood for the medical community to properly prescribe. And that is why the president being able to put forward any particular drug and there by making it “Legal” is important, even if it is only based in what you would have to agree is at least “good” anecdotal evidence.

    As for going ahead and purposefully infecting my self with the virus, I think not. You can go ahead with your project and report back to the world as to there results. I wish you the best. I would not be surprised if I already had the anti bodies. Although I am perfectly healthy I do remember a day or two I think back in the beginning of January when I had a low grade fever, and it did not make sense to me. If I have an opportunity to take a test anonymously I will take it and see what is what.

    “Not necessarily in my cabin”. I will interpret that as a veiled invitation, as long as we are parsing word meanings. And you did say that you were an eye brow rubber if I remember correctly. I suppose if you or I were to voluntarily infect ourselves with a potentially deadly virus and are willing to do it in a remote cabin without any medical assistance of consequence, I suppose there are worse ways to go. Although, convulsing and gasping for air, I have seen it first hand. It ain’t pretty, but it is final.

    (A warning, keep an eye out for Sasquatch while in your cabin, I hear they have large eye brows and they love, love, love to have them rubbed. And hopefully they are not prone to the virus :)

  • Cotour wrote: “The reason that the medical systems are crashing or are being stressed to the max…”

    Except they are not. Not even close. The main cause of stress to these systems has been the forced closure of all elective procedures, which has caused them severe economic pain that for some required the laying off of employees and the reduction in hours.

  • commodude

    The “data” is useless, as it’s being purposefully shifted to make the situation seem worse than it is. Once the numbers are corrupted (and they are) the information gleaned from the information is functionally useless.

    “The new count includes 6,589 deaths of people who had tested positive for COVID-19, along with 3,778 individuals whose death certificates listed the virus as their cause of death even though there was no known test for them — making a total of 10,367 deaths as of Monday.”

    https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-coronavirus-new-york-city-death-count-20200414-fanr6mhybrb73ezaleo2rja2ie-story.html

  • commodude

    As to the “stressed” medical systems:

    https://nypost.com/2020/04/01/cbs-admits-to-using-footage-from-italy-in-report-about-nyc/

    CBS News has admitted that alarming footage of an overflowing ward used during a report on the coronavirus crisis in Big Apple hospitals was actually shot in Italy.

    The lies are purposeful, and the Media should be bankrupted with lawsuits for economic harm caused by lies in reporting.

  • Cotour

    That may be so in other parts of the country but I was primarily concerned with the more intense hot spots like NYC and the surrounding areas. The medical people in my area are still maxed out. These hot spots are dictating what is being planned for in other parts of the country.

    I suppose that in the other less concentrated parts of the country if they have chosen to suspend their other medical procedures its because of the fear of infecting patients in the hospital or operating room if the virus has an opportunity to sweep through their area. (?)

    Get a handle on testing and sort out the most effective drug therapy combination for the particular individual and circumstance and we will be on a much better footing to move forward.

    Time and experience (Data), anecdotal or other wise = Less fear and chaos, and more confidence.

    This will have to begin to end in the next week / weeks. Its just not sustainable.

  • Cotour

    To be clear: The word “Crashing” may not be the best word in this instance. I think 2 weeks ago both the mayor and the governor of NYC and NYS were transmitting their fear of this kind of scenario playing out where the system indeed might crash. And then what?

    But I believe that the general situation is now under control at this point in time.

    So “crashing” was the potential that was not reached and therefore the fear has dialed down. But the potential for the virus to roll through these other smaller communities remains. I suppose they are all 2 to 3 weeks behind NYC?

  • commodude

    Cotour, again, the DATA has been corrupted for political opportunism, rendering it useless.

    You can’t base actions on purposefully corrupted data sets, just like the other darling of the statists, global warming.

    Cuomo and DeBlasio are tyrants, and their actions SHOULD be called out, however, due to single party rule in NY, nothing will happen.

  • Cotour

    I do not disagree with you. But there are two issues here that you may be conflating.

    1. The fact that the data and statistics will be perverted for the obvious reason$ by these two NYS tyrants. And 2. The fact that the system, specifically in my area has been stressed to the max.

    5 minutes ago, a friend came in and his wife is a nurse and works for New York-Presbyterian Hospital, a major NYC hospital. I asked for a report from the real world.

    His wife is still stressed at work, but things are more under control.

  • commodude

    If the NYC Hospital system was truly under duress, then Dictator Cuomo would have had patients shifted elsewhere in the state, as he has stated he has the authority to do.

    To date, this hasn’t happened.

    He would have acted on his executive order seizing private property (and suspending Constitutional rights), which, by all accounts, he hasn’t.

    This is a media created frenzy, and they should be held to account for it, but they won’t be. It’s not a public health crisis, it’s a POLITICAL crisis created using what in reality is a business as usual disease outbreak.

  • Cotour

    Again, you create conflate two things.

    1. The governor did order a confiscation of private ventilators and PPE.

    https://news.wbfo.org/post/governors-ventilator-order-not-sitting-well-wny-lawmakers-hospital-leaders

    That is how scared he became related to his peoples projections and the remaining supply of equipment. If the situation did not calm down he would have had to act more aggressively and do what you proposed. remember, NYC alone has 8.2 Million people in it. If the virus gets out of control with that many potential people becoming sick, Cuomo does not want to be the one having to make the call to say who lives and who dies. That does not good on his presidential CV.

    2. The media is without doubt spinning as hard as they can to create an anti Trump sentiment in the country.

    Please make the distinction.

  • commodude

    Cotour, I’m not conflating anything.

    They are threads of the same tapestry, and cannot be separated. The political reaction has been created by the media frenzy and spin, and fed by “data” corrupted by the politics of the researchers.

    They are not separate events, nor are they separate actions.

  • Cotour

    Political spin and strategic media ramblings, perversion and manipulations, are not real world real medical situations. In NYC this is real. You are seeing everything in one box.

    Do you think that the front line people that I know are not being truthful with me? They are a part of some conspiracy fostered by the governor and the mayor? The governor and the mayor I would not trust as far as I could kick them. But these workers are real people doing real work and they are as a rule scared and concerned for their real patients and themselves.

    But it appears that things are more under control as evidenced by the governor NOT having to take the more draconian steps that he thought he might have had to take.

    Two very different but connected boxes.

  • Andrew_W

    Well said, Cotour, too often people as individuals are ignored by those wishing to use the convenience of stereotyping or lumping points that don’t suit them together as wrong, untruths etc.

  • commodude

    Scared and concerned are easily triggered emotional states, not facts.

    Once the hindbrain kicks in, logic is lost. The Media and the politicians KNOW this, hence “never let a crisis go to waste.”

    I deal constantly with things people “know” in dealing with this disease as part of my job. Most of the time what they “know” is something either from anecdotal evidence (I know a nurse…) or social media.

  • Andrew_W

    Scared and concerned are easily triggered emotional states, not facts.
    You’re confusing “facts vs fiction” with “tangible vs intangible”.

    Once the hindbrain kicks in, logic is lost.
    Yes, I’ve just been reading an example of that.

  • Ian C.

    In my role as drama queen, let me tell that we have several cases (China, Japan, South Korea, Italy etc.) that became either reinfected (no immunity) or where the virus reactivated (didn’t leave the host). And if people build up immunity (how many of them?), it’s unclear how long they’d stay immune (it might be between 6–18 months, but nobody knows). A proven vaccine or treatment (cure) for other coronaviruses doesn’t exist so far, so we’ve to see whether we’ll get one for C19. We also find that survivors might stay with long-term damages to the lungs, heart, kidneys, nervous system etc. and some assume that reinfections will hit the affected, weakened body even harder. The strategy to let C19 run through the population to develop herd immunity (which might never occur) could not work out and even backfire.
    But what do I know. Sources: the blue sky.

    (As promised I’ll compare my simple late-March predictions made for early/mid-April next week with the empirical data.)

    To lighten up the mood a bit, have this:

    “How they must gaze in wonder in Beijing to watch us downplay their culpability for a global health crime because educated Westerners cannot bring themselves to condemn any culture bar their own. How much happier we would all be if this virus had started at a gun show in Arkansas.”
    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/china-must-pay-a-diplomatic-price-for-its-cover-up

  • Cotour

    As a great man sometimes says right here on BTB…….Bah!

  • eddie willers

    It appears normal deaths are being attributed to COVID-19 if the patient is COVID-19+, even if another underlying chronic cause is responsible.

    As I heard a doctor say, “More men die with prostate cancer than die from prostate cancer”.

  • Billybob 9

    Real quick, the biggest demographic determinant is the flow of the Baby Boom generation through all the stages of life. Just now the last of them born in 1964 turned 56 this year.

    WOW ~ you can retire!

    And, meet the cold hard facts of being close to OLD and DECREPIT and declining.

    The death rate for people this age is far greater than the death rate for younger people. And since there are so many Baby Boomers and they’ve been dying off so fast, they boosted the aggregate total population death rate above what it would have been had they never existed.

    Now, as they disappear as a group, that aggregate total population death rate is DROPPING.

  • gmmay70

    Andrew_W,

    “The use of the term “maximum social distancing” by the Brazilian President has nothing to do with what models are based on.”

    This sort of gambit might work for you in verbal sparring, but in written communication, you appear foolish. It was a pedantic concern of yours and I provided you with simply two citations by two (not one) heads of state. Next time, you could simply say to yourself “Huh, I didn’t know that” and move on to the substance.

    “The models, in terms of infection rates and death rates, have not been proven wrong, the evidence you offer does not prove otherwise.”

    Then you either A) didn’t read the evidence I provided, or B) don’t understand that evidence. Neither case is my problem.

    “You appear to not understand the meaning of your own words, for a failure to have “managed to implement” to occur there must first be an attempt.”

    When your entire argument, such as it is, relies upon pedantry, you’re better served getting it right. Allow me to help you. The clear point is not whether or not any locality managed to implement full social distancing, and your fixation upon that suggests that you’re not responding in good faith.

  • Andrew_W

    No gmmay70, you made claims connecting models and “maximum social distancing”, there is no connection, the term “maximum social distancing” is nonsense you made up in that regard – and then hunted it out on google to enable you to furnish a (pathetic) excuse.

    the evidence I provided
    The evidence you provided was that you’re incapable of understanding your own links.

    When your entire argument, such as it is, relies upon pedantry,
    No, the point is that what you claim was incorrect. Employing an accusation of pedantry is just combining an admission you were wrong with an appeal that it didn’t really matter that you were wrong.

  • Edward

    Andrew_W wrote: “Fair enough, just as measures taken by businesses are NEVER for the benefit of their customers.

    Business is in business for the benefit of their owners. Pleasing the customer is only the means to that end. If the customer finds too little benefit to buying from that business, he goes elsewhere, so enlightened self interest makes sure that each business provides enough benefit for its customers to keep them and others as customers.

    Competition requires that each business find ways to provide the same benefit for a lower price or better benefits for the same price. Profit is the reward for finding this efficiency.

    Government has little competition, so it can shut down businesses, as we see this month, without much fear of retribution. There is not much pressure on governments to benefit their populations. So far, there has been too little pushback on these devastating shutdowns and lockdowns, but I’m sure that large portions of populations will soon be moving from states that have devestateded their businesses to states that have kept them alive and well.

  • Andrew_W

    Government has little competition, so it can shut down businesses, as we see this month, without much fear of retribution.
    You have to be joking, the competition between Republican and Democrat politicians for public approval has gone off the scale.

  • commodude

    Andrew, the only competition (with a few exceptions, I wonder if SoDak needs any managers in my field) has been to see which autocrat can act in a more tyrannical manner.

  • gbear

    Iatrogenic deaths down?

  • wayne

    Billybob 9–
    What pray tell, are you talking about?

  • The government bureaucrats are immune to the competition between Democrats and Republicans, and as we have seen, often take the part of Democrats against the elected Republican president.

  • GWB

    incompetent (but still well-paid) bureaucrats
    FIFY. The folks telling us all to cower are all still getting their twice-monthly paychecks.

    overly emotional and partisan press willing to say any lie in order to attack Donald Trump
    While attacking Trump is certainly part of it, an even bigger factor is quite simply that panic gets eyeballs. It gets clicks. It even manages to sell a few real newspapers. Panic, fear, destruction, cats and dogs living together – those things SELL. So, every pronouncement of doom gets “front page” treatment, while every bit of “don’t worry” gets relegated to as far back from “page one” as possible – unless, of course, it can be turned into an attack on the “idiots” proclaiming such.

    wayne
    April 20, 2020 at 5:31 am
    Billybob 9–
    What pray tell, are you talking about?

    QFT

  • wayne

    “Quantum Field Theory?”

  • Dave

    “Are you enraged yet? And are you going to do something about it in November?”

    Hell yeah, I’m going to march into that booth and vote for the guy who can’t remember what state he’s in or which office he’s running for!

  • GWB wrote, “Panic gets eyeballs. It gets clicks.”

    Well, I am not panicking, nor am I selling panic, to put it mildly, and BtB’s hits have been soaring the past two months. Maybe common sense and rationality appeals just as much.

  • Ian C.

    Bob,

    BtB’s hits have been soaring the past two months.

    That reminds me to mention that half of the time I cannot reach your site (have to wait around ten seconds to try again, then it works) and the other half it loads rather slowly. Since late March. Today it dawned to me that you might be under a DOS attack, but if the growth is organic, then congrats, it’s well earned.

  • Ian C.

    Adding to my earlier drama queen post, perhaps the first(?) American reinfection case turns “Bah!” into “Bah.” What does it take to arrive at “Bah?” And when will you “B-bah…” at me?

    The Livingston County Department of Health reports (…) the reclassification of a case reported as new earlier this week that is now considered a re-infection. (…) The county Department of Health is now reporting this as a single case, rather than two, Rodriguez said. All future positive cases that involve reinfection will be reported in the same manner, Rodriguez said. (…) This first case of reinfection had been reported as a positive and then a recovered before the individual tested positive a second time. There was two weeks between the time the person was deemed recovered and then tested positive, (…) A person is considered recovered when they have gone seven days without symptoms of COVID-19 and be free of symptoms without the aid of a fever reducer, Rodriguez said.

    https://www.thelcn.com/news/local/livingston-county-reports-2-new-covid-19-cases-1-reinfection/article_f4255ff3-71df-572a-af8a-23785a8eeffb.html

    Of course, the test kit (that said negative) could have been dysfunctional. Wouldn’t surprise me, many such occurrences. But then I’ll reference you the hundreds of reinfection cases from China, Japan, Italy etc. (Reminds me of the math joke: “And thus x is true.” “I’ve found a contradiction.” “Doesn’t matter, I have three more proofs.”)

  • Edward

    Andrew_W,
    You wrote: “You have to be joking, the competition between Republican and Democrat politicians for public approval has gone off the scale.

    Did you even read my comment? Are you incapable of understanding context? Political parties are not governments.

    You say the most amazing things, and I don’t mean that in a complimentary way.

  • Rose

    Provisional data in, garbage out.

    “TradeGuru Evan”, author of the linked article, is mistaken to believe that “100% complete” means the recent data isn’t still provisional. As described by CDC:
    Number of deaths reported in this table are the total number of deaths received and coded as of the date of analysis and do not represent all deaths that occurred in that period.

    Data during this period are incomplete because of the lag in time between when the death occurred and when the death certificate is completed, submitted to NCHS and processed for reporting purposes. This delay can range from 1 week to 8 weeks or more, depending on the jurisdiction, age, and cause of death.

    CDC hasn’t yet updated their figures for weeks 13 and 14, but those for earlier weeks have been revised upward. Here are the changes since the article posted:
    Week 12: 48,488 -> 51,602 (+3,114)
    Week 11: 50,785 -> 52,198 (+1,413)
    Week 10: 53,463 -> 54,157 (+694)
    Week 09: 54,268 -> 54,834 (+566)

    Expect the end of March figures — the basis of article’s claims — to be revised upward over the next few weeks. It won’t be for another month or so until we can use their data to consider the claims put forward here.

  • Andrew_W

    Edward: Government has little competition, so it can shut down businesses, as we see this month, without much fear of retribution.
    Me: “You have to be joking, the competition between Republican and Democrat politicians for public approval has gone off the scale.”
    Edward: Did you even read my comment? Are you incapable of understanding context? Political parties are not governments.

    Your context is the initiatives taken by politicians, those initiatives were imposed using the powers of government but those actions were at the behest of politicians.

    I’m the first person who’ll talk about the problems that government monopoly causes in terms of poor efficiency and the staff being in control. but that is not the case with the response to covid-19, these actions are orchestrated and directed by politicians, those politicians are in competition with other politicians, and in the US that level of competition is amongst the most intense in the world.

    So yes, you’re right, your context is important, and it’s you that wants to change that context half way through the discussion.

  • gmmay70

    Andrew_W

    “No gmmay70, you made claims connecting models and “maximum social distancing”,

    The information I provided you proves this simple gainsaying demonstrably false. Again, you either didn’t read it or don’t understand plain language English.

    “there is no connection, the term “maximum social distancing” is nonsense you made up in that regard – and then hunted it out on google to enable you to furnish a (pathetic) excuse.

    Yes, I’m in league with two different heads of state to set up some internet pedant in a gotcha pattern. Good work, Sport.

    “The evidence you provided was that you’re incapable of understanding your own links.”

    Speaking of “pathetic”, this is simply more evidence of your complete lack of intellectual curiosity, or capacity.

    “No, the point is that what you claim was incorrect. Employing an accusation of pedantry is just combining an admission you were wrong with an appeal that it didn’t really matter that you were wrong.”

    The old Monty Python Argument sketch wasn’t an instruction manual, Champ. It was my first time here, so thanks for revealing who the local troll is.

  • gmmay70: I do hope you stick around.

  • Edward

    gmmay70,
    You wrote: :”Again, you either didn’t read it or don’t understand plain language English.

    Although I cannot prove it, I am convinced that it is the latter case. Andrew_W is a New Zealander, so it may only be that he has trouble with American English.

  • wayne

    Mapping How Americans Talk
    https://youtu.be/4HLYe31MBrg
    4:04

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