More good news on the Wuhan flu front


Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

 
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"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs." --San Antonio Express-News

Two stories today suggest again that there is no reason to fear COVID-19, especially if you are healthy and young.

The first story suggests that social distancing, masks, and the incessant cleaning of surfaces are ridiculous over-reactions and likely unnecessary. Nor am I surprised. We have always had similar expectations from all other flu-like illnesses, and have never required these paranoid requirements in the past. It is time for them to stop.

The second story provides more evidence that the epidemic is dying, as predicted and like all similar flu-like epidemics.

The team has recruited 10,000 people to test the vaccine, some of whom will be given the vaccine and others a placebo. But as it is unethical to purposely infect people in the trial with COVID-19, participants will be asked to go about their normal routine in the expectation that some will be exposed to it naturally. However, that is unlikely to happen if the virus is not spreading, meaning that no conclusions can be drawn one way or the other about the vaccine’s efficacy.

Hill expects that fewer than 50 people in the test population will catch the virus, but if less than 20 test positive the results may be useless “It is a race, yes. But it’s not a race against the other guys,” he said. “It’s a race against the virus disappearing – and against time. We said earlier in the year that there was an 80% chance of developing an effective vaccine by September. But at the moment, there’s a 50% chance that we get no result at all.

Let me repeat this: They have 10,000 volunteers, and expect fewer than 50 of those to get infected with the Wuhan flu. In other words, this seasonal epidemic is going away, as such things do. It might return in the fall, but expect that return to be smaller, and hopefully if some government officials get their brains out of their behinds and focus on protecting the sick elderly, it will have little impact.

In any case, the evidence continues to point to the end of the epidemic, and in the process the discovery that the virus is relatively harmless to almost everyone. People have got to relax and stop being so afraid. It is not the bogey-man the press and the politicians have claimed it to be.

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16 comments

  • Edward

    Governments are supposed to protect us from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Hertz auto rental company has filed chapter 11, along with many other companies. With all the bankruptcies, caused by government actions, government has become the problem, not the solution — an enemy we need protection from.

    Medical facilities were forbidden by governments to provide non-emergency healthcare, and in the panic generated by the news media, people have become afraid to go to hospitals for emergency care, too. Shutdown means we lost access to health clubs such as gyms, and lockdown resulted in the opposite of social distancing from our refrigerators and our natural tendency for comfort food in times of stress. Forget the freshman 15, we are gaining 15 pounds from the Great Oppression?

    They told us how important it is to increase testing, but now that we have more testing and are finding more positive results, they are telling us how much worse the virus is than it was yesterday. Deaths and hospitalizations are going down, and testing is telling us what we needed to know months ago, but they are still trying to keep up the panic.

    They tell us that there will be a second wave in the fall in the countries that oppressed their people, but they aren’t saying the same thing about Sweden, which didn’t oppress her people.

    The news media is supposed to keep us informed so that we can make informed decisions, but it has become another enemy, feeding us biased and bogus information and leaving out important information. How long did it take for the largest news sources to inform us that governments were sending Wuhan ailing patient into nursing homes, where the most vulnerable of us are concentrated?

    These enemies have caused more collateral damage than the worst predicted damage from the Wuhan virus. The World Trade Organization fears tens of millions of children will starve worldwide due to the shutdowns and the resulting disruptions in food distribution.

    My county is finishing up ten weeks of Great Oppression lockdown, shutdown, smackdown. This is where the first U.S. Wuhan flu case was found, but this county was barely affected by it, even as they imposed the Great Oppression upon us. In the final week (unless it is again extended), how many more businesses will be lost and lives will be forever damaged or lost due to enemy action against us?

    Here is another analysis on lockdowns. Although lockdowns should be proved to work before they are imposed nationally or worldwide, Lyman Stone shows data to show that other solutions work and that lockdowns did not work.
    https://www.aei.org/articles/lockdowns-dont-work/

    We don’t need to have a national debate about whether the economic costs of lockdowns outweigh their public health benefits, because lockdowns do not provide public health benefits.

    .

  • Andrew_W

    CDC: Coronavirus ‘does not spread easily’ except for close contact with infected patients

    This is news to whom? I thought it was well known that transmission was primarily through water droplets passed from person to person when they were within a meter or so.

    UK COVID-19 vaccine trial may fail due to low transmission in population

    A dilemma that could be solved by conducting the trials in Sweden, which now has the highest Covid-19 deaths in Europe per capita based on a rolling seven-day average.

  • LocalFluff

    Death rate only relates to how the virus spreads among the vulnerable population. In Sweden 75% of deaths have occurred in nursing homes. They make up 4% of the total population, so that’s a 72 times over-representation! (75/25)/(4/96) So, for every 72 corona-deaths over 65 years of age, one in working age has died from corona. How does that motivate criminalizing all work? Especially since there isn’t any significant overall bump in the total mortality from all causes.

    Population immunity tests in Sweden, released the other day, were conducted on 1,100 individuals during May 6 to May 12. In the three largest cities 7.3%, 3.7% and 4.3% tested positive. 2.7% among those above 65 years of age, 6.7% among those younger. (There are problems with how what this new test type actually measures chemically correlates with true immunity).

    In neighboring Denmark, with a hard lock down since March 17, only 1% have tested positive for immunity. So it seems to me that lock down countries have about 7 times the problem ahead of them compared to Sweden. But the final death rate will almost only depend on the quality of the nursing homes.

    Sweden has huge quality problems with nursing homes! 28 years ago all responsibilities for public nursing homes was delegated to the counties (Sweden has 290 counties with an average of 1/3 the population of a US county). They don’t have any other or any history of responsibility for health care. They simply store the elderly in nursing home. The staff is very low paid and medically completely untrained. Now half of them are immigrants from the Middle East, many of whom do not understand Swedish. County politicians have officially said that it is a problem that they cannot instruct their staff how to handle this situation, because the staff does not understand instructions. Also, a majority of the staff is hired by the hour, so each elderly meets unknown new staff every other day. Of course this contributes to spreading diseases in nursing homes! And thus the (early) high death rate.

  • Andrew_W

    So, for every 72 corona-deaths over 65 years of age, one in working age has died from corona.

    Seems improbable when for every 21 corona deaths over 60 years of age, one 59 or younger has died from corona in Sweden.
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/1107913/number-of-coronavirus-deaths-in-sweden-by-age-groups/

  • LocalFluff

    @Andrew_W
    What do you mean???
    Your link shows that 3,746 over the age of 60 have died of corona. While 179 under the age of 60 have died of it. That’s 95.4% of all deaths! Seems quite in line with what I referred to.

    I don’t know off the top of my head what proportion of the population in Sweden is over 60, but 4% live in nursing homes. And there 75% of all corona deaths have occurred, thus the 72 fold risk level for them compared to everyone else. And according to your link, almost all of the other 25% are over 60 years of age, but not in nursing homes. Seems to fit nicely with the 0.01% death rate among those 30-39 years of age in Italy who have died from (or WITH) corona the virus. What’s the argument for criminalizing all of them from working???

  • wayne

    LocalFluff-
    Good stuff!

    ref– “Sweden has 290 counties.”
    Are those political sub-divisions and/or based on historic geography? That is, does each county have an elected political body, or what?

  • Cotour

    Related, simple on Memorial Day, Freedom:

    And I post this for all of the wishy washy and self confused Liberal Democrat / Socialist leaning and even Leftist among the BTB audience.

    Brazil’s president Bolsonaro’s rant about the virus and how it is being used to further oppress the people of Brazil. What does he propose? Arm everyone. Why? Because the Communists can not take over a people that are armed. And that is something that can go both ways, but sometimes its better to be able to at least choose if you want to be enslaved and “Taken care of” by your government or not.

    https://youtu.be/JUogMbSwlB8

    Oh, and its labeled “foul mouthed” although he is speaking in his native tongue and their are subtitles. The more important thing about his little speech / rant is that it is about the freedom of the people and not about a president using foul language. Sometimes a leader is pushed to use such language. I know one leader who would like to use it every day, but he has had to adjust his communication methods to suit his rank. I miss that guy.

  • LocalFluff

    @wayne Off topic here, but yes, each Swedish county is a mini versions of the national parliament. They have much greater responsibilities than US counties: nursing homes, schools, local infrastructure, social welfare, “culture” which means political libraries and theaters that no one visit, civil society (which is all tax funded in Sweden) such as sports clubs, and decides where housing is allowed to be built and if a citizen is allowed ti build a garage on his own lawn. They also own monopoly utility companies for water, electricity, garbage. All of that has to be managed according to national laws and regulations from corresponding national inspection authorities, so it isn’t really a partition of power. However no one knows or cares what the counties do so they do what they want with abundant corruption and incompetence (which is a horrible thing for the elderly in their “care”). They set part of the income tax which varies between 14% and 18%. The lower the county tax rate the more they have to pay to counties with higher tax rate, so they get a bonus if they raise their tax more than other counties. The poorest county in Sweden is the third largest city, Malmoe where I live now (which also is the most violent city in Europe and the most islamic and antisemitic), which gets 25% of its budget from other counties because we have the highest tax rate.

    There are also 21 regions with their own elected parliaments. But they are only responsible for health care (except nursing homes) and public transports. They take 8%-9% of everyone’s income as tax. The national government takes another 25% income tax on top of that, plus 16% of all above median incomes, and all corporate and consumer taxes.

    We can never vote for a politician in Sweden. One can only vote for a party, the unelected board of which lists the politicians who will take place in any parliament. Places are allocated proportionally, so a party with 5% of the votes gets 5% of the seats. Because of this 95% of all Swedes (i.e. everyone who is not themselves a politician or a media person) only know the names of the national party leaders and a couple of ministers, and perhaps of one county politician, but has never heard of any other politician. It is only the political party that counts, all politicians are without exception loyal to the national party line and always refuse to give any comments to media or speak to the public to let their national party leader and spokespersons talk for them. So elected politicians have no influence over Swedish politics, they are only in it for the money-for-doing-nothing. Politics is 100% dictated by the unelected national party boards (the names of whose members is not secret but no one cares to know anything about them). The system builds upon the true assumption than all Swedes are completely uninterested in what happens to their society and on everyone’s thoughtless blind life long party name loyalty at the voting booth every 4th year.

  • Cotour

    No chaos? No contention? No real adversaries? No scandals? No accountability?

    How vanilla, how boring, how European.

  • gmmay70

    Local Fluff,

    Your dismantling of the local troll was quite thorough and effective, but since he doesn’t tend to fully read responses or source citations, I’d bet math is equally beyond his attention span

    Not to mention the fact that his opening blurt was incorrect in that Belgium, which did institute a rather harsh lockdown, holds the inglorious distinction he misattributes to Sweden.

  • Andi

    wayne:

    This may help a bit:

    “Sweden is a unitary state divided into 21 county councils (landsting) and 290 municipalities (kommuner). Every county council corresponds to a county (län) with a number of municipalities per county….

    Municipal and county council government in Sweden is similar to city commission and cabinet-style council government. Both levels have legislative assemblies (municipal councils and county council assemblies of between 31 and 101 members (always an uneven number) that are elected from party-list proportional representation at the general election which are held every four years in conjunction with the national parliamentary elections. ”

    So it seems they are elected.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden#Politics

  • Andi

    Sorry, didn’t realize that LocalFluff had already posted.

  • jbspry

    “Two stories today suggest again that there is no reason to fear COVID-19”

    Now, COVID-20 on the other hand…

  • Andrew_W

    Localfluff
    What do you mean???

    I mean you’re wrong, it’s impossible “for every 72 corona-deaths over 65 years of age, one in working age has died from corona” when “for every 21 corona deaths over 60 years of age, one 59[yo] or younger has died from corona in Sweden.” Not “quite in line” at all, it’s actually contradictory.

  • Andrew_W

    gmmay70
    Belgium, which did institute a rather harsh lockdown, holds the inglorious distinction he misattributes to Sweden.
    Wrong.
    I said . . Sweden, which now has the highest Covid-19 deaths in Europe per capita based on a rolling seven-day average.
    Over the last 7 days Belgian deaths have been 19.69/million, Swedish deaths 31.61/million.

  • LocalFluff

    @Andrew_W
    Yeah, I formulated it in the wrong way when I tried to repeat myself, I see now that I wrongly switched from living in a nursing home and being over 65 yo. Correct is:
    *Living IN A NURSING HOME (in Sweden) has to date meant 72 times higher frequence of death per capita there, than per capita for people not living in a nursing home.*

    The reason is of course that those most at risk to this particular virus are concentrated to the 4% of the population who live in nursing homes. Those 4% have taken a whopping 75% of total deaths! In combination of course with the poor medical quality of Swedish nursing homes. I predict that the differences between countries of final death rate will depend almost entirely on the differences in medical quality of the nursing homes in different countries, and that lock downs for the rest of the population will make very little difference. (I also predict that the lock down will kill more than 100 times more than this virus, as will be seen in the global increase in mortality rate during the next few years of economic depression.)

    The background is that since the early 1990s, nursing homes in Sweden have been delegated to the local level (counties or municipalities or city councils or however one wants to try translate it), while health care responsibility is on the regional level (in this respect somewhat like state level). The local level has routines for taking care of housing and feeding and assisting disabled in their everyday life, but they have no know how or organization for dealing with medical conditions. And as with all governments per definition, there exists no ability to plan for anything, no ability to adapt timely to any changes, and different departments in a government cannot communicate with each other. Especially not when they are ruled by separately elected assembles with separate budgets and revenue sources. Thus there exists no possible solution to this problem and mass death will continue in Swedish nursing homes until this virus has taken everyone it selects for its mysterious microbiological reasons.

    **Understanding the administrative laws and organization of different countries will be a very much better predictor of the death rate, than any epidemiological knowledge.**

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