The epidemic has passed its peak


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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Link here. The author goes into great detail, with numerous graphs, illustrating that in nation after nation and state after state, the peak of the epidemic has passed, and we have done all the flattening of the curve we are ever going to do. Among a range of recommendations, he concludes that

In those countries and states that are past the peak, declare the emergency is over and open everything back up. Acknowledge that the chance to flatten the curve is gone, and revoke each and every emergency order. They are only valid for the duration of the emergency. [emphasis in original]

He notes, as I have repeatedly, that the lock downs have not worked. For example, he finds that the overall epidemic in Sweden, which did not lock down its society, trends smack dab in the middle when compared with all other countries. The lock downs made no difference.

If we need to do anything, he emphasizes again that you do not quarantine the healthy, you quarantine the sick.

He also notes that the economic crash, caused by those lock downs, has caused far more harm that the virus ever would have.

It’s like … it’s like … well, about the only example I can think of which has equivalent idiocy is if a mosquito were to land on your head and you grabbed a sledgehammer to get rid of it.

The lock downs must end, now. We need to accept the reality that the Wuhan virus is here to stay, and that it is really quite comparable to the range of similar viruses humans have lived with for eons.

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41 comments

  • Cotour

    ?????

    “Despite some contrary cases, it is interesting that the countries with highest death rates (Belgium, Spain, Italy, UK, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland and USA) had all vaccinated at least half of their elderly population against flu. Denmark and Germany, with lower use of the flu vaccine, have considerably lower Covid-19 mortality. These patterns override interventions to curtail Covid-19: Sweden and Ireland have similar mortality but the former remained open for business while the other imposed strict lockdown.”

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/05/niall-mccrae-david-kurten-eu-numbers-show-correlation-flu-vaccine-coronavirus-deaths/

  • Thomas Rapine

    Just Curious: How you (Cotour and Bob) would respond to the following links regarding both of your references.

    https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-gateway-pundit/

    https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/watts-up-with-that/

  • Thomas Rapine: My response: you aren’t interested in reading what was at the link I provided, only to find out a way to discredit the writer.

    The article provides a lot of data. It is data that is creditable and correct. If you don’t believe, compare it with other sources. You will find the facts jive.

    Just telling me these links are evil conservatives and therefore should always be dismissed is a way of avoiding the facts.

  • Cotour

    Thomas Rapine:

    Its best, to me anyway, to look at the information and see if it seems at least reasonable before you go to someone else to tell you whether it is reasonable or not.

    Seems reasonable to me, not you?

  • Cotour

    Follow up:

    A Liberal friend sent me this:

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-are-the-most-and-the-least-trusted-news-sources-in-the-us-2017-08-03

    And I will have to point out Fox here. If you were paying attention over the past 4 years, Fox was the most accurate of all of the other news sources related to what is being revealed in the last couple of days from the Mueller report (Failed deep state DNC anti Trump operation) and the unmasking (Direct fraudulent attack on general Flynn and attempt to cripple or take out Trump) and everything in between.

    It was not CNN, nor was it the NY Times (CIA psyops and creator of fraudulent news), nor NBC, nor CBS etc, and all of them are rated better sources of news. But by who?

    And I do not sit down and watch Fox, or any of the others, but I do find for myself what I determine to be accurate. Lets take the Hydroxychloroquine issue for instance. I looked very extensively into it and have found first hand testimony from doctors and people who were saved by it in combination with other drugs or therapies and its efficacy, but CNN and the rest went way out of their way to discredit it and anything else that Trump may have mentioned.

    Thomas R, did you notice any of this?

    So I ask you again, by who’s standards are these ratings arrived at?

    I have my own standards and do not need some media organization to shape for me what it is that I think.

  • F16 Guy

    Our very liberal (I hate Trump) governor here in NM just mandated that we all MUST wear masks when in public places. NM has less than 250 deaths.

    Liberal states will continue to find reasons to keep the economy in shambles . I’m sure everything will open up in all states right after the election in November!

  • Andrew_W

    . . . he finds that the overall epidemic in Sweden, which did not lock down its society, trends smack dab in the middle when compared with all other countries.

    No, what Willis finds is that if he carefully selects just countries that locked down late, long after they had substantial community spread, and limits himself to just the 14 most affected countries (excluding mini-states), he can give the impression that lock downs made no difference. Not on his graph are Denmark, Norway, Finland, China, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Greece, Croatia, Hong Kong, Poland, Hungary, Israel, Czechia, Serbia, B&H, and Croatia, all of which achieved dramatic reductions in the rate of spread with lock-downs.

  • Phill O

    Now that we have 20/20 hindsight, what protocols would you put in place to manage the SYSTEM?

    I am interested to see what strategies others would invoke! Now, or also, indicate the protocols you would put in place if this was smallpox.

    Governments have been trying to manage the disease, not the system!

  • R7 Rocket

    Communist apologist, Andrew_W, demands more communist terror-famines…

  • Thomas Rapine

    Cotour

    Thanks for the feedback. Yes it (the link you posted) did seem somewhat reasonable to me. And I did read it first. But not recognizing the website, I looked it up and found what I posted….which I will admit surprised me.

    Regarding the Hydroxychloroquine issue, I agree with you in the sense that it could have some benefit to some situations. But I don’t think our president has a clue about that and should not be playing doctor. But that’s another issue. Yes CNN, NBC, etc. is trying to take Trump out…and full disclosure, I hope they succeed.

    I find most of the political posts in this blog to be interesting, but disagree with many (actually most) of the opinions….but then I only know just enough about a lot of issues to be ineffective in a debate here.

    I’ve followed this blog for a while now, mostly out of curiosity and the hope I would learn something about what makes people tick who are different from me….as it seems we can’t continue the partisan divide without some serious consequences.

    Some of the stuff you and Bob post resonate with me. Yes most does not resonate but I’d rather focus on what does. So thanks for your response.

    Bob

    I admit I could have set that post up better. I didn’t intend to just drop a turd in your punchbowl and I apologize. And I did read your link….I didn’t find it compelling…THEN I looked it up. The characterization of my intentions by you is inaccurate.

  • Thomas Rapine: You know exactly why I might be a bit short-tempered at this moment. I have become very tired of friends and acquaintances looking for ways to dismiss what I write and say. Very tired.

  • Andrew_W

    I have become very tired of friends and acquaintances looking for ways to dismiss what I write and say.

    For me the stress and tiredness occurs when people find good reasons to dismiss what I write and say, them looking for ways not so much.

  • Andrew_W

    The graphs Willis offer for various countries show the trend in deaths using CEEMD all show the changes in the number of daily deaths up to abut a month after the peak.
    Just eyeballing the graphs:
    Country…..peak deaths/day……..deaths/day ~30 after peak……% decline in deaths from peak.

    Netherlands……….150…………………..50…………………………………………..67
    Sweden………………100…………………..70…………………………………………..30
    Belgium………………320………………….80…………………………………………..75
    Spain…………………..830………………..160………………………………………….80
    Italy…………………….800………………..200………………………………………….75
    France…………………150………………….40………………………………………….73
    Germany……………….28………………….12………………………………………….57
    Switzerland……………56………………….10………………………………………….82
    UK……………………….950………………..500…………………………………………47
    US……………………..2200………………1700…………………………………………22

    Willis is offering his post as evidence that lock-downs are ineffective at reducing the spread of Covid, with Sweden as his non-lockdown control.
    But apart from the US, Sweden has achieved a lower rate of decline since the peak than all of the other countries.

    If we go on to look at other Western countries, not included in his evaluation, that have used lock-downs, I can find even greater declines in the number of weekly deaths since the peak, Norway down 85%, Austria down 86%, Australia down 90%.

    How are the graphs Willis offers supposed to be evidence of the ineffectiveness of lock-downs?

  • Rose

    Andrew, I don’t have time to look now, but I suspect that if you do that for individual state data, it would look somewhat better. The timeline of different states varied quite a bit, so even as NY was declining, other states were still climbing, muddying the picture for the US. I’ve got an couple ideas why it’s worked that way that I’ll try to post tonight.

  • Cotour

    Thomas R:

    “Yes CNN, NBC, etc. is trying to take Trump out…and full disclosure, I hope they succeed.”

    From your point of view, who and what agenda do you see as being more effective than Trumps regarding America and its interests? Who do you see as being more genuinely concerned with American citizens issues and preserving our American Constitution and Bill Of Rights? Either party, person, group of people? Who? Name them.

    Your personal dislike for Trump is understandable, he annoys me here and there, his compulsion to speak becomes a liability, but I understand him and how his unusual personality and “Genius Brain” skill set reveals itself. If you ask me who I believe genuinely has Americas interests as the first thing in their mind, I confidently answer Trump. And a couple of others in Washington, but not many.

    Do you have to personally love the doctor that specializes in the surgery that you desperately need? I don’t, just do the job that I hired you to do and you are a specialist in, and I will be eternally grateful.

    And so because you seem to be a reasonable person I seriously ask you these questions and ask that you seriously attempt to answer them. Thank you for your comments.

  • Cotour

    Thomas R:

    “Regarding the Hydroxychloroquine issue, I agree with you in the sense that it could have some benefit to some situations. But I don’t think our president has a clue about that and should not be playing doctor. ”

    There needs to be made a distinction between being or “playing” a doctor, and the function of leadership. The media has run with this meme and pushes it in the publics face, and it is not so.

    Trump is, as is his way, attempting to create hope and optimism based on what I have to assume was good information in regards to Hydroxychloroquine, he got that information before anyone else and was pushing it because he understood that it represented some progress in dealing with this particular virus issue.

    Was Trump “Playing doctor”? No, he was just creating hope and optimism and a future as is the function of a leader. A doctor, take Fauci for example, can not make such prognostications or optimistic statements because in his roll as a medical professional he must be very conservative and his opinions must be based in clinical data and not primarily in anecdotal information. And Fauci may have some conflicts of interest here, that remains to be proven or disproved.

    And Hydroxychloroquine by the way as determined by myself is very reliable in many cases in dealing with this virus. And I can provide you with many real world real front line doctors who have used it in combination with other drugs and supplements on their patients and some on themselves. And they are here today because of it.

    So this knee jerk “If Trump said it” fill in the blank. Its just not how the real world works, its how the media leverages a meme against their enemy, but its not real. The media is not your friend, in fact they are your enemy.

    Journalism is dead, you must do your own due diligence, and by your comments you appear ready, willing and able to do so.

  • Andrew_W

    Rose, Willis does look at a few states, typically in a month they’ve halved their peak in deaths (NY doing better than that), some haven’t so far but for most of those it’s less than a month since their peak, so too soon to judge progress.

  • Cotour

    As an example:

    The president announced today some optimistic information about a “Possible” vaccine.

    Will Dr. Fauci be on board? Who cares?

    The future is about leadership, bureaucracy is about control and what was.

    Make the distinction, even if in the end it takes longer, at least there is progress of some sort being made and we move hopefully into the future. If not that, then what? Find your favorite and highest bridge?

  • Andrew_W

    And Hydroxychloroquine by the way as determined by myself is very reliable in many cases in dealing with this virus.
    Dr. John Campbell looked at a study in the NEJM that disagrees with your determination.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XCP1WzOY6M&t=

  • Cotour

    Andrew W:

    In the video, Dr. Campbell speaks of Hyrodroxychloroquine being used alone.

    What I have been able to determine is:

    ” Lets take the Hydroxychloroquine issue for instance. I looked very extensively into it and have found first hand testimony from doctors and people who were saved by it in combination with other drugs or therapies and its efficacy, but CNN and the rest went way out of their way to discredit it and anything else that Trump may have mentioned.”

    “who were saved by it in combination with other drugs or therapies”.

    And those other drugs and supplements / therapies are both zinc and Azithromycin or a “Z-pack”. I should have been more specific, and Dr. Campbell and the studies that he sights appears to be talking ONLY about the use of Hydroxy C.

    Also, Dr. Campbell is sitting in his living room reading other peoples studies, here real world doctors are using it and it is working for many of them. Who would you choose to invest your fate in?

    https://youtu.be/eVs_EWVCVPc 1:37min

    Andrew W, on your Covid death bed, would you refuse it because you heard on CNN the Hydroxy C did not work?

  • Tom R

    Cotour,

    Appreciate you taking the time.

    “From your point of view, who and what agenda do you see as being more effective than Trumps regarding America and its interests? Who do you see as being more genuinely concerned with American citizens issues and preserving our American Constitution and Bill Of Rights? Either party, person, group of people? Who? Name them.”

    Sanders. Biden will be a windsock but better than Trump and he could be influenced by Bernie to move a little further left which would IMO be good for the country.

    “Do you have to personally love the doctor that specializes in the surgery that you desperately need?” Love? No….need to believe they are competent and behave in a competent manner? Yes. Show consistency in what they say and do? Yes. Be honest? Yes.

    “Trump is, as is his way, attempting to create hope and optimism”.

    Well….you really believe that?…if he really does that for you then I guess you’ve found your man. Unfortunately, I think, and it looks like the majority of people in this country and around the world thinks he does the opposite. The dilemma is neither the left or the right can afford to discount the beliefs of each other…which is a big reason for us to engage in a way that both sides can accept. I that is what I struggle with.

    “A doctor, take Fauci for example, can not make such prognostications or optimistic statements because in his roll as a medical professional he must be very conservative and his opinions must be based in clinical data and not primarily in anecdotal information. And Fauci may have some conflicts of interest here, that remains to be proven or disproved.”

    Agreed. But at a level other than clinical data or anecdotal information, the idea of under-promising and over-delivering works much better than the other way around in almost any circumstance that I practiced myself or can imagine. And….what conflict of interest?

    “So this knee jerk “If Trump said it” fill in the blank. Its just not how the real world works, its how the media leverages a meme against their enemy, but its not real. The media is not your friend, in fact they are your enemy.”

    Now you have me confused. Are you saying that media in general is not my friend? OK I get that non-discriminate immersion in one side only would not promote a well-informed citizenry. What about journalist or reporters just laying out the facts? Are not they part of media? Is where you get your information not media in any sense? You would agree that there are journalist who find important information that benefits everyone?

    I have watched Trump do his thing…at the debates, at rallies, those daily corona briefings, the impromptu briefings he does on the way to the helicopter. I watch them live, and they are mostly without commentary from any media until after he’s done. What I see is a man interested only in himself. He lies constantly….you only have to watch him from one day to the next to listen to him reverse his positions with dizzying affect….he divides us….he sides with despots and dictators and insults our allies. He is a bully.

    If he brings you something you want as a result of his methods then isn’t that saying the end justifies the means? I my life I have not found that to be effective leadership. I’m no huge success story in the scope of all things, but I have a career of successfully bringing multiple organizations near the brink of cultural and financial bankruptcy into sustained health. When I come in to one of those dysfunctional situations, it is usually because the person before promoted division within the organization (whether they knew it or not), was not honest with their clients and employees, over-promised and under-delivered, and sometimes had secret agendas. I never followed anyone who had the total package as Trump, but they did have some of the negative character flaws that Trump possesses. I don’t need media, someone’s else’s opinion, websites. or any kind of data to recognize what I see in Trump. It comes from a lifetime of working with people from all walks of life in all parts of the country and the world. I’m not trying to brag….I just feel I have hard won experience that backs up how I feel about this president. Respectfully.

    My question is, what do you or anyone want from Trump? What’s the most important thing you or anyone want for this country to be?

    I want an end to old rich white men and rich mega corporations controlling everything at the expense of the rest of us. I want to pay taxes and I want everyone to pay their fair share because I want my roads and bridges fixed. I want our wilderness to stay that way. I want less vehicles, with better milage, and eliminating fossil fuels as much as possible. I want more public transportation, more and better trains. I want hungry and homeless people given a path to improve their lot. I want other cultures and races mixed in with us through sensible immigration policy. I want our own farmed animals (our wet markets) to evolve into something that would not turn my head in disgust. I want women to have control over their own bodies and to play a larger role in the government. I want people to practice any religion they want so long as they leave me out of it, they pay their taxes, and are prohibited from lobbying for special laws exempting them from interaction with those with whom they disagree. I want capitalism for some things and socialism for those things best not rewarded by profit alone (like healthcare, national infrastructure, preserved environment). I would like for everyone and especially school children to stop being shot. It would be nice if we could stop with the culture wars…Christmas/Holidays, fear of losing guns, and oh my god are we really going to have an all-out war over wearing a mask?

    Maybe too much for one post. In trying to remedy problems, tackling too many at once is like trying to unravel a giant bowl of dried spaghetti.

  • Andrew_W

    Andrew W, on your Covid death bed, would you refuse it because you heard on CNN the Hydroxy C did not work?

    Yep, because there are 10,000 other drugs that I expect also do not work as a treatment for Covid – but perhaps one of them does . . . so by your logic I should take them all . . . maybe 2 or 3 of them in combination will work . . . yep, best to take them all . . .

    There are 3,500 Gods . . . one of them might be the right God . . . yep, best to worship them all . . .
    (Your logic is that which Pascal’s Wager is based on – and has the same problem – which, if any, is the right one, short of any solid evidence we don’t know. But you take hydroxy C if you believe, maybe you’ll get a placebo effect.)

  • Andrew_W

    I want . . . I want . . . I want . . . I want . . . I want . . . I want . . . I want . . . I want . . . I want . . . I want . . . I want . . . I want . . . I would like . . .

    Great, have you considered moving to Cuba?

  • Cotour

    Andrew W:

    They Tried everything else on you and all were ineffective.

    Andrew W: “No, no, don’t give me the Hydroxy C with the zinc and the z-pack, CNN and doctor Campbell said he read a paper from China that said it alone did not work”. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  • Andrew_W

    The NEJM study was done in “New York–Presbyterian Hospital (NYP)–Columbia University Irving Medical Center” not China.

    Cotour: “Hemorrhoid cream? Yeah, hit me with it, cos it might help.”

  • Cotour

    Thomas R:

    I have exactly TWO criteria now for any politician that I would consider supporting: I no longer confuse myself with minutia and irrelevant details.

    * Do they understand the fundamentals related to the intent of the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights, and do their actions match what they say they support*

    Very simple and uncomplicated.

    And you identify Bernie as your best choice over Trump. Bernie wants “Fundamental change” in America, and he is a “Progressive” / philosophical Communist and in fact a Leftist. Not a Liberal Democrat, but a Leftist.

    Is that what you identify with? Would you consider yourself a Liberal Democrat that is very unhappy with your party? Or are you identifying as a “Progressive” / Leftist?

    (I understand a “Progressive” to be just a designation owned by the Left in an attempt to usurp the votes of the unhappy meat and potatoes American Democrats and Liberal Democrats in order to rise to power. The “Progressive” designation in my estimation is a psyops dodge of the Left, a bait and switch, a “feel good” strategy)

    So on one level Bernie does not support the Constitution and Bill Of Rights as it was intended, because he is a philosophical Communist / Leftist. And second he again espouses Communistic views to solve Americas problems. Both are non starters for me.

    And to be honest, a Bernie / Trump presidential contest is exactly what I want to happen and I hope with Biden in his confusion will be forced to retire and we have exactly that contest. Its what America needs, and by extension the world.

    And that will never happen, and why is that? Because Bernie is as I said a philosophical Communist. The Democrat party can never overtly get behind a Bernie presidential campaign, it would be paradoxical to America and its founding. But that is exactly what the Democrat party has become.

    As for what you “wish” America was. All not unreasonable aspirations. I just do not exactly know what to tell you, America is what it is, it is a function of the documents that formulates everything that issues forth from them. Could it be better? Sure. But not at the cost of surrendering everything that is fundamental that formulates it.

    I look forward to investigating your “Progressive” (?) attitudes and proposed solutions to those problems that you identify and how you square that with what America is, and should never be.

    (PS: How you “feel” about Trump to me and my criteria is not relevant, that is just how you subjectively react to a personality. What has Trump done in relation to my 2 listed criteria of support? IMO he has fulfilled and continues to fulfill them)

  • pzatchok

    Tom R,

    “I want an end to old rich white men and rich mega corporations controlling everything at the expense of the rest of us. I want to pay taxes and I want everyone to pay their fair share because I want my roads and bridges fixed. I want our wilderness to stay that way. I want less vehicles, with better milage, and eliminating fossil fuels as much as possible. I want more public transportation, more and better trains. I want hungry and homeless people given a path to improve their lot. I want other cultures and races mixed in with us through sensible immigration policy. I want our own farmed animals (our wet markets) to evolve into something that would not turn my head in disgust. I want women to have control over their own bodies and to play a larger role in the government. I want people to practice any religion they want so long as they leave me out of it, they pay their taxes, and are prohibited from lobbying for special laws exempting them from interaction with those with whom they disagree. I want capitalism for some things and socialism for those things best not rewarded by profit alone (like healthcare, national infrastructure, preserved environment). I would like for everyone and especially school children to stop being shot. It would be nice if we could stop with the culture wars…Christmas/Holidays, fear of losing guns, and oh my god are we really going to have an all-out war over wearing a mask?”

    A leftist dictators dream citizen.

    You and yours had better take over quick while you have all the answers.

  • mkent

    He notes, as I have repeatedly, that the lock downs have not worked. For example, he finds that the overall epidemic in Sweden, which did not lock down its society, trends smack dab in the middle when compared with all other countries. The lock downs made no difference.

    He must be looking at old data. As of 15 May 2020, Sweden has the 8th worst Covid-19 death rate in the world, out of 215 countries, at 361 per million. Only San Marino, Belgium, Andorra, Spain, Italy, UK, and France are worse. I don’t think being ranked 8th out of 215 in death rate is either “in the middle” or something to aspire to.

  • Edward

    mkent,

    This link is for another analysis, which gives a better description of the parameters of his analysis:
    https://wmbriggs.com/post/30833/

    For instance, Briggs did not include countries with populations fewer than one million, so Iceland, for example, was not included. Notice that there are a lot of countries in the first two plots. I counted well over 100 countries included in his analysis.

    If lockdowns worked as advertised, then we would not expect to see such enormous variability in the reported death rates.

    His conclusions:

    What can we conclude. Only one thing: we cannot conclude that lockdowns worked.

    And:

    Chances are we can do little to prevent pandemics like this. It’s the expectation that we can that inspired the panic. If we don’t remove that expectation, we’re going to have to go through this again.

    My conclusion: we thought could defeat nature, as with a century ago when we were so sure that the Titanic was unsinkable. This time, we believed we could stop a virus that was already out of control. It may have worked with Ebola, when we got on top of it early, but we got a late start with Wuhan.

  • Andrew_W

    “Briggs”

    “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” [attribution uncertain]

    Briggs ignores the importance of the time since the virus became established in a country, he ignores that lock-downs are usually a response to higher rates of infection. He uses many countries that, with later establishment of transmission, have not gone into lock-down but currently have high R0 values – still small numbers but accelerating spread.

    His claims are based on not yet locked-down countries like: (tests/million population, date reached 100 diagnosed cases dd/mm), Ethiopia (428, 17/04), Myanmar (239, 19/04) Tanzania (11, 17/04), Kenya (689, 02/04), Benin (2100, 07/05), Guinea-Bissau (765, 29/04), all of which are now experiencing diagnosed rapid increases in the numbers of infected people, despite most having little testing) and on Burundi, Malawi and Comoros all of which have such low numbers (less than 100) that community spread probably isn’t yet established (and few countries that did lock-down went into lock-down at such low numbers anyway).

    Basically he’s reversed cause and effect: In reality increased spread causes countries to respond with lock-downs, not lock-downs cause increased spread, as his reasoning implies (despite the obvious idiocy in such reasoning).

  • Rose

    Andrew_W I want . . . I want . . . … Cuba?”

    Ha! I now eagerly await our low-reading-comprehension, serial-drive-by-insulter Ракета Р7 calling you a Castro sympathizer!

    Though I am a bit disappointed with you in that you came up one “I want” shy. You are usually one of the more honest voices around here when it comes to numbers!

    More seriously, I had wanted to point you to the Nic Lewis piece at Judith Curry’s blog Gary linked above. I’d been holding off as I’ve only had a chance to skim it so far.

    I had earlier been thinking about the effects of R_0 varying among different groups within one population due to their varied social behavior and how that could lead to continued growth in lesser infected US states even as the more highly infected ones turned the curve, because even with the same measures in place, a lesser infected state would be still burning though their high R_0 populations.

    But I had not though of how such a variation would effect the herd immunity threshold, which is what Lewis discusses. Ultimately, little to nothing is known about they actual range of variation, so no numbers can be concluded from this, but it does suggest that total infections will be less than would be predicted from the initial observed population-wide R_0.

    Something else I had wanted to look into more before sharing, but now don’t know now when I will get the time, is this interview of a German virologist who investigated a couple of superspreading events
    * https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrL9QKGQrWk
    “German virologist: Covid-19 is less deadly than we thought”

    I started with the expectation that the interviewer was a bit biased, but perhaps his couple misstatements were accidental. Overall, the interview seemed quite fair and very well conducted. Hendrik Streeck, from the Institute of virology and HIV Research at the University Bonn, had a lot to discuss and didn’t come across as pushing any agenda. I think you’d find it interesting. (Note that the channel’s name “UnHerd”, long predates the pandemic.)

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    I’m not a Doctor.
    That being said— show me a drug (hydroxychloroquine) that has been taken by hundreds of millions of people over 50+ years, and I have zero problem with it being prescribed off-label.
    My gosh— Tylenol (acetaminophen, or paracetamol for our European friends) has killed more people than hydroxychloroquine.
    Our alleged ‘news media,’ doesn’t know that, and what’s worse, they don’t care one micron. ‘Orange Man = Bad. Must be destroyed, at any cost.’

  • wayne

    Tom R–
    read your post, but substituted the word obama for trump.
    Now, it all makes sense.

  • Andrew_W

    Rose, Streeck’s Gangelt study is certainly in the ballpark but I think there are a few issues with it:
    i. Streeck stated prior to conducting the study that he thought the fatality rates were low – about the same as the flu.
    ii. The asymptomatic rate was found to be 22.2%, that’s far lower than other studies have shown, which leads to concerns about selection.
    iii. Of the 600 selected for the study only 400 showed up – so significant self selection.
    iv. I’m not convinced that infirmed people unable to get to the testing were accurately represented in the sampling.
    v. The conclusions on fatality are based on just 7 deaths (pool population 12,500, 400 tested, 15% of those, ie 60 positive, so 12500 x 15% = 1875 infected of which 7 fatal = 0.36% (with 1 later apparent Covid death not included).
    vi. I haven’t seen evidence that the demographics of the district were a good representation of the wider population, something like 42% of deaths are typically in retirement/elder care homes, if this group of people were underrepresented amongst those infected (were there even any such places in the district?), this could result in substantially less deaths than would occur in the wider population.

  • Edward

    If we look at the charts in Robert’s link, we can see interesting patterns. First, the top chart demonstrates the purpose of the Great Oppression: to put in place protective measures that prevent the number of hospitalizations from overwhelming the hospital system. It shows that without the Great Oppression, we would have a daily new-case curve that resembles a bell curve, with a slightly extended trailing side. With the Oppression, we are supposed to lower the peak but greatly extend the trailing side of the curve.

    Eschenbach, the author of the article, provides us with a variety of charts from various countries and U.S. states. In many of them, we can see that the trailing side of the curves are extended, suggesting that the Oppressions around the world and across the United States worked. But upon closer inspection, I have a different conclusion.

    Some of the countries and states that participated in the Great Oppression had curves that resemble a bell more that an extended trailing off, and some that did not oppress their people have curves that resemble the expected curve for a region that did oppress its people.

    Cases in point: Belgium was an oppressor, but it has a bell-shaped curve. Same with Spain, Italy, and France. Connecticut is especially bell-shaped.

    Sweden’s curve looks like it applied oppression, but it did not. Unfortunately, a chart for South Dakota is not included, nor are there charts from other countries that did not participate in the Great Oppression.

    For most of America, and probably for most countries, the Great Oppression was an unnecessary reaction to a panic situation. For most, the peaks never got close to the healthcare system capacity.

    This is important enough to repeat. The Oppression was unnecessary for most places.

    On the other hand, mission creep changed the goalposts, and we extended the Great Oppression from the three-week curve-flattening goal, the only goal to which the U.S. population agreed. The new goal was to save lives, but that is difficult to do when the curve is extended. By this time, disagreement with government meant punishment.

    Extending the curve lengthens the amount of time it takes to attain herd immunity, the purpose of having a vaccine. Each day, week, or month that herd immunity is delayed allows more opportunity for the virus to find its way to those who are most vulnerable, and the virus has taken advantage of this extra time. A vaccine is intended to shorten this period of time in order to greatly reduce the number of the vulnerable who contract a disease. This reduced time frame is valuable. Lengthening this time is counterproductive.

    Fauci told us the goal and how it would work. Without the Great Oppression, the U.S. would have 100 thousand deaths, but only 60 thousand with Oppression. But that was for a three week Oppression. By extending the Oppression, moving the goalposts, at the end of April we surpassed the 60 thousand milestone and are now well on our way to the non-Oppression 100 thousand. To me, that looks like the Oppression ultimately made no difference.

    In most places, the Great Oppression was unnecessary. Add the delayed healthcare and associated deaths due to shutting down non-emergency healthcare, add the other ill effects of the panic, and we see that the Great Oppression was a complete failure on all fronts. Far, far more damage was done — and continues to be done — than was prevented by the Great Oppression. Come to think of it, that is a large difference.

    Had we ended the Great Oppression after the initial three weeks then our leaders would have been heroes. Instead they changed the goalposts; brought us mission creep; destroyed the economies of states, countries, and the world; and created devastation all around. The heroes turned themselves into goats. They could have been somebodies. They could have been contenders. Now they are farm animals, thinking that their actions make them more equal than the rest of us.

    Our fearful leaders have managed to snatch total defeat and devastation from the jaws of complete victory.

  • Cotour

    I have a general question, although it is more a rhetorical question in truth:

    Q: Is there are there any dedicated full blood Democrats, Liberals, “Progressives”, Leftists even, who could actually engage in a conversation and competently express what it is that they believe as it relates to America, its Constitution, the Bill Of Rights and the politics of power that we see before us and competently defend it?

    To the point that I might even reconsider my own fundamental conclusions about such?

    Anyone? ANYONE?

    Now in my now fairly broad experience in personally speaking and communicating with these people using the various modes of communication that are available I have NEVER found any one of them that could rationally and successfully explain how their view of the world and the politics that accompany it are the way to go. NEVER, NONE, EVER.

    And that is from the man and woman in the street up to PHD’s and politicians. NEVER, NONE, EVER. Why is that?

    All they can state are their wishes about their feelings related to what they personally do not like about what ever subject, and then they are done. They make their statement, are unable to flesh it out, give a rational other than their feelings, or sight historical precedence, and then go home and take their intellectual marble arguments with them. How can one live so incompletely in their own mind? How do you stand yourself living that selfishly and myopically? Who respects you? Do you really respect yourself?

    To what end are these half baked Democrat, Liberal, “Progressive”, even Leftist professors of how life SHOULD be lived to be seriously listened to? Why would anyone choose or be persuaded to follow such incomplete and by definition dangerous thinking?

    So when the Zman writes something like this to a recent commenter:

    “You know exactly why I might be a bit short-tempered at this moment. I have become very tired of friends and acquaintances looking for ways to dismiss what I write and say. Very tired.”

    I understand the frustration, I deal with it every day, but I am never left to question myself or become so tired that I will not have the discussion with whom ever is in need of the confrontation and redirect in their thinking. And to be honest most times it remains frustrating, but once in a while their is progress.

    Anyone?

  • Rose

    Andrew, thanks for breaking down Streeck’s Gangelt study. (And thanks for the link. I still hope to look at the paper later, but I’m really overloaded right now, and every moment I spend in front of a screen is a moment I should be doing something else.) During the interview he mentioned the self selection, but only suggested that it might mean the true IFR was actually lower, since confirmed positive (antigen) cases were underrepresented among participants. I’m still bugged by a couple of errors made by the interviewer, such as where took a 0.37 – 0.24% rate (or something like that — I’d have to look up the exact quote), and then later asked about the implications of a 0.3 – 0.2% IFR. That’s the sort of distortion I see from a lot of people trying to push their own desired results, but I’m still willing to believe that they were just honest mistakes here.

    In more pessimistic IFR estimation news:
    * https://www.vox.com/2020/5/16/21259492/covid-antibodies-spain-serology-study-coronavirus-immunity
    I’ve not looked at the source material here either, but the news story says they are estimating only 5% of Spain has been exposed. Extrapolating from that and the currently reported 591 deaths per million would suggest an IFR of 1.18%. Humph!

  • Rose

    … but in more optimistic IFR estimation news:
    * https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/global-covid-19-case-fatality-rates/

    “Global Covid-19 Case Fatality Rates” from The Center for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford

    Taking account of historical experience, trends in the data, increased number of infections in the population at largest, and potential impact of misclassification of deaths gives a presumed estimate for the COVID-19 IFR somewhere between 0.1% and 0.41%.

    I hope to read the full page later (it’s pretty short). I was somewhat put aback that it starts out saying they scrape their data from worldometers — I’d have thought they would have access to even better sources.

  • Andrew_W

    Obviously if Covid can be kept away from the most vulnerable it can drop your IFR considerably. 11 of NZ’s 21 deaths are from 1 rest home, this has given us a CFR of 1.4%, without that one disaster our CFR would be about 0.7%.
    Possibly when examples like Iceland and Gangelt are offered they’re also examples of where mistakes have not happened that have led to the most vulnerable being infected. I suspect there’s a tendency to look at the situations with the lowest CFR and assume that that’s the closest to typical IFRs in Western countries, but arguably they could be lower death rates than typical IFRs if in those specific cases the most vulnerable were not infected.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12328956

    In NZ we’ve gotten to 4.7% of the population tested with positive test rates of 0.5%, from tests done over the last week the positive test rate is about 0.02% (6 positives in 38,000 tests), testing has become wide coverage with the only positive results being from known clusters, the most recent positive being a weak positive from someone who was almost certainly infected over a month ago (it was a back-filling test program of people associated with a known cluster).

    Given efforts to look for Covid cases under almost every rock I think it unlikely that we’ve missed many infections, my pick is that we’ve detected something like 90% of them.

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