"From an alleged media research and review organization: Trust, but verify. COVID-19 – what we now know today Overview According to the latest immunological and serological studies, the overall lethality of Covid-19 (IFR) is about 0.1% and thus in the range of a strong seasonal influenza (flu). In countries like the US, the UK, and also Sweden (without a lockdown), overall mortality since the beginning of the year is in the range of a strong influenza season; in countries like Germany, Austria and Switzerland, overall mortality is in the range of a mild influenza season. Even in global “hotspots”, the risk of death for the general population of school and working age is typically in the range of a daily car ride to work. The risk was initially overestimated because many people with only mild or no symptoms were not taken into account. Up to 80% of all test-positive persons remain symptom-free. Even among 70-79 year olds, about 60% remain symptom-free. Over 95% of all persons develop at most moderate symptoms. Up to 60% of all persons may already have a certain cellular background immunity to Covid19 due to contact with previous coronaviruses (i.e. common cold viruses). The median or average age of the deceased in most countries (including Italy) is over 80 years and only about 4% of the deceased had no serious preconditions. The age and risk profile of deaths thus essentially corresponds to normal mortality. In many countries, up to two thirds of all extra deaths occurred in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown. Moreover, in many cases it is not clear whether these people really died from Covid19 or from weeks of extreme stress and isolation. Up to 30% of all additional deaths may have been caused not by Covid19, but by the effects of the lockdown, panic and fear. For example, the treatment of heart attacks and strokes decreased by up to 60% because many patients no longer dared to go to hospital. Even in so-called “Covid19 deaths” it is often not clear whether they died from or with coronavirus (i.e. from underlying diseases) or if they were counted as “presumed cases” and not tested at all. However, official figures usually do not reflect this distinction. Many media reports of young and healthy people dying from Covid19 turned out to be false: many of these young people either did not die from Covid19, they had already been seriously ill (e.g. from undiagnosed leukaemia), or they were in fact 109 instead of 9 years old. The claimed increase in Kawasaki disease in children also turned out to be false. Strong increases in regional mortality can occur if there is a collapse in the care of the elderly and sick as a result of infection or panic, or if there are additional risk factors such as severe air pollution. Questionable regulations for dealing with the deceased sometimes led to additional bottlenecks in funeral or cremation services. In countries such as Italy and Spain, and to some extent the UK and the US, hospital overloads due to strong flu waves are not unusual. Moreover, this year up to 15% of health care workers were put into quarantine, even if they developed no symptoms. The often shown exponential curves of “corona cases” are misleading, as the number of tests also increased exponentially. In most countries, the ratio of positive tests to tests overall (i.e. the positive rate) remained constant at 5% to 25% or increased only slightly. In many countries, the peak of the spread was already reached well before the lockdown. Countries without curfews and contact bans, such as Japan, South Korea, Belarus or Sweden, have not experienced a more negative course of events than other countries. Sweden was even praised by the WHO and now benefits from higher immunity compared to lockdown countries. The fear of a shortage of ventilators was unjustified. According to lung specialists, the invasive ventilation (intubation) of Covid19 patients, which is partly done out of fear of spreading the virus, is in fact often counterproductive and damaging to the lungs. Contrary to original assumptions, various studies have shown that there is no evidence of the virus spreading through aerosols (i.e. tiny particles floating in the air) or through smear infections (e.g. on door handles or smartphones). The main modes of transmission are direct contact and droplets produced when coughing or sneezing. There is also no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of face masks in healthy or asymptomatic individuals. On the contrary, experts warn that such masks interfere with normal breathing and may become “germ carriers”. Leading doctors called them a “media hype” and “ridiculous”. Many clinics in Europe and the US remained strongly underutilized or almost empty during the Covid19 peak and in some cases had to send staff home. Millions of surgeries and therapies were cancelled, including many cancer screenings and organ transplants. Several media were caught trying to dramatize the situation in hospitals, sometimes even with manipulative images and videos. In general, the unprofessional reporting of many media maximized fear and panic in the population. The virus test kits used internationally are prone to errors and can produce false positive and false negative results. Moreover, the official virus test was not clinically validated due to time pressure and may sometimes react positive to other coronaviruses. Numerous internationally renowned experts in the fields of virology, immunology and epidemiology consider the measures taken to be counterproductive and recommend rapid natural immunisation of the general population and protection of risk groups. At no time was there a medical reason for the closure of schools, as the risk of disease and transmission in children is extremely low. There is also no medical reason for small classes, masks or ‘social distancing’ rules in schools. The claim that only (severe) Covid-19 but not influenza may cause venous thrombosis and pulmonary (lung) embolism is not true, as it has been known for 50 years that severe influenza greatly increases the risk of thrombosis and embolism, too. Several medical experts described express coronavirus vaccines as unnecessary or even dangerous. Indeed, the vaccine against the so-called swine flu of 2009, for example, led to sometimes severe neurological damage and lawsuits in the millions. In the testing of new coronavirus vaccines, too, serious complications and failures have already occurred. A global influenza or corona pandemic can indeed extend over several seasons, but many studies of a “second wave” are based on very unrealistic assumptions, such as a constant risk of illness and death across all age groups. Several nurses, e.g. in New York City, described an oftentimes fatal medical mismanagement of Covid patients due to questionable financial incentives or inappropriate medical protocols. The number of people suffering from unemployment, depressions and domestic violence as a result of the measures has reached historic record values. Several experts predict that the measures will claim far more lives than the virus itself. According to the UN 1.6 billion people around the world are at immediate risk of losing their livelihood. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned that the “corona crisis” will be used for the permanent expansion of global surveillance. Renowned virologist Pablo Goldschmidt spoke of a “global media terror” and “totalitarian measures”. Leading British virologist Professor John Oxford spoke of a “media epidemic”. More than 600 scientists have warned of an “unprecedented surveillance of society” through problematic apps for “contact tracing”. In some countries, such “contact tracing” is already carried out directly by the secret service. In several parts of the world, the population is already being monitored by drones and facing serious police overreach. A 2019 WHO study on public health measures against pandemic influenza found that from a medical perspective, “contact tracing” is “not recommended in any circumstances”. Nevertheless, contact tracing
apps have already become partially mandatory in several countries." Deap
Browse by category
- May 2023
- April 2023
- March 2023
- February 2023
- January 2023
- December 2022
- November 2022
- October 2022
- September 2022
- August 2022
- July 2022
- June 2022
- May 2022
- April 2022
- March 2022
- February 2022
- January 2022
- December 2021
- November 2021
- October 2021
- September 2021
- August 2021
- July 2021
- June 2021
- May 2021
- April 2021
- March 2021
- February 2021
- January 2021
- December 2020
- November 2020
- October 2020
- September 2020
- August 2020
- July 2020
- June 2020
- May 2020
- April 2020
- March 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
- December 2019
- November 2019
- October 2019
- September 2019
- August 2019
- July 2019
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- March 2008
- February 2008
- January 2008
- December 2007
- November 2007
- October 2007
- September 2007
- August 2007
- July 2007
- June 2007
- May 2007
- April 2007
- March 2007
- February 2007
- January 2007
- December 2006
- November 2006
- October 2006
- September 2006
- August 2006
- July 2006
- June 2006
- May 2006
- April 2006
- March 2006
- February 2006
- January 2006
- December 2005
- November 2005
- October 2005
- September 2005
- August 2005
- July 2005
- Trent Telenko on Ukrainian Drones
- The U.S. Congress as professional wrestling puts on a show about the federal government’s public debt limit
- “Russia hits base in Ukraine in new wave of strikes, Zelenskiy praises Patriots”
- “Dear Hearts Across the Seas: A Memorial Day Prayer” by W. Patrick Lang
- “Atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale”
- 2023 Memorial Day Weekend Luminaria at the Fredericksburg National Cemetery
- “China prioritizing Turkmenistan over Russia in next big pipeline project”
- The Solitude of Combat Veterans – Alan Farrell
- Trump’s White House lawyer predicts ex-president will end up in jail.
- Russia invaded… by Russians
“an alleged media research and review organization” Who? I have been doing fatality % for Virginia and Alexandria on a daily basis, the number is consistently .02% on a developing cumulative basis. Hey, folks, suck it up! Move on!
If this is “alleged” then why should I trust it? Anybody can write anything on the Internet and make it sound official.
This item sounds suspect, for example:
“Several medical experts described express coronavirus vaccines as unnecessary or even dangerous. Indeed, the vaccine against the so-called swine flu of 2009, for example, led to sometimes severe neurological damage and lawsuits in the millions. In the testing of new coronavirus vaccines, too, serious complications and failures have already occurred.”
I thought we were eagerly awaiting a good vaccine. Just because developing and using a vaccine is not without risk and disappointment is no reason to jump to the conclusion that we should stop attempting to get an effective vaccine. If the swine flu vaccine of 2009 had been that prolematic the damage suits would have amounted in the multi-billions, not the millions.
Professor John Oxford, whom you quote about a “media epidemic” certainly doesn’t agree with your position.
As for your post, it completely misses the main point, even if you are correct about the mildness of the infection; that is the logistical consequences of millions of sick people : (a) not turning up for work, and (b) swamping and breaking the medical infrastructure.
You need to understand that we have only 8.5 million cases and 400,000 deaths according to WHO. World population is over 5 billion. You fail to understand the potential scale of this thing.
To put it another way; we are dealing with a small grassfire at present. The forest is as yet unbutton and unprotected.
contains links to the claims
There is a lot wrong with this article. A lot of vague, unsupported, and false statements, no links or anything. “Experts”, “Leading doctors”, etc., again, who are the people saying these things and what are their credentials? I won’t go into all of it since that would be too long, but I’ll address one thing.
Regarding mortality rate, the statement “latest immunological and serological studies, the overall lethality of Covid-19 (IFR) is about 0.1%” is utter nonsense. Immunological and serological studies are not used to determine lethality, they look at antibody formation and corresponding viral load.
0.1% number is just made up, current US death rate is 0.035% vs. overall population (so 120,000 deaths over 340 million people), Europe is slightly higher at 0.045%. For comparison, typical flu season is much less severe, it’s 0.01% vs. overall population, bad flu season is 0.02%. So, this is already twice as bad as the worst flu seasons, and it still has ways to go.
And yes, there is a discussion to be had on how deaths are attributed (COVID-caused vs. COVID-incidental), but that cuts both ways. Many people likely died before they were tested, especially amongst the older population.
There is considerable information presented, much of which I have not seen before. Key statements should have footnotes directing us to source material. Without references this is mostly hearsay.
The content of this article is a cut and paste from a disreputable “swiss policy research institute” that has no credentials. While the original article has links, they lead to more hearsay.
Article is a total load of crap, unfounded statements. I read some good stuff on SST but also some garbage which this article is, pure garbage.
What is different now: cause of death as COVID-19 are affixed to death certificates when there is no actual medical confirmation.
The CDC sent out a letter to the “medical community” months ago, to record deaths with COVID-19 when it might be, or could be, or someone feels it was, etc., along with when it is actually verified as the primary cause, and of course when it was present but not necessarily a cause of the cause of death.
It will take a while to sort this out, if it ever is sorted out. Until then, death rates are inaccurate for this disease, period.
The CDC’s action/recommendation was and is very controversial, yet media hyenas rarely discuss it as their agenda is what it is.
ALL phones (android and apple) have contact tracing software embedded in the phone’s core software tied to the bluetooth.
For those wo are interested, the IFR (the mortality rate for those who have antibodies) has been measured or calculated in 60+ papers. They are listed here below with links to the original papers
a mortality of 0.3% is a very strong flu, like 1957 or 1968. However, we will never know the “true” mortality since so many states forced nursing homes to take in covid patients, creating artificially high mortality compared to other years.
Also please see Ref. 25 in the following link, a letter sent to Merkel by two german doctors. No one with good vitamin D dies.
Ioannidis, who has long been the most skeptical of Covid-19’s seriousness, just published an analysis of IFR from a large number of countries.
However, it’s already killed .16% of all the residents of New York State. So the IFR there is at least .16% and that would require all of NY had been infected. Serologic studies show less than 20% have been infected. Most in the City with much fewer in outlying areas.
IFR varies considerably between countries and regions. For instance it’s lower in Calif (0.2% ish). than New York (> .6% ish). Ioannidis lists the median (not mean which is higher) IFR as .26%.
This is indeed evidence that something, aside from the well known age and co-morbidities, strongly affects the lethality of Covid-19. It may be vitamin D deficiency, or partial cross-immunity from corona virus that cause a portion of common colds. And that likely means places like NY have higher IFRs than most other places.
On the other hand lots of places like Fla. are opening up. Young people are crowding the bars and the positive test numbers are spiking to record levels. Since they are young they are very unlikely to die or even get seriously ill. And deaths are not increasing. At least for now. And I don’t expect deaths in Fla. to be anywhere near NY.
And yet.. and yet.. and yet..
I keep having this nagging thought at the back of my mind, and it is elegent in its simplicity: those nations which insisted in taking this seriously from the very beginning have done very well, with few deaths, and are now resuming “normal services” while keeping the rest of the world at arms length.
While those countries that essentially shrugged their shoulders and took half-measures are still struggling with no end in sight.
How odd, hey?
Yet I read this article and it reads for all the world like Deap has concluded that the latter group erred by being too harsh, not in being too slack.
I live in a country with roughly 1/10th of the USA’s population, and it has had less than 1/100th the number of deaths. And it is coming out of lockdown with nary an uptick in new infections.
There would be very, very few people here who would conclude that Deap has the faintest idea what he is talking about.
“The Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is the ratio between confirmed deaths and confirmed cases.
During an outbreak of a pandemic the CFR is a poor measure of the mortality risk of the disease. We explain this in detail at OurWorldInData.org/Coronavirus.” *
Link to Chart: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/coronavirus-cfr?country=ITA~KOR~OWID_WRL~DEU~ISL~USA
CFR for the US on June 22nd was 5.26%. The global CFR on June 22nd was 5.25%
*Case fatality rate of COVID-19 (%) (Only observations with ≥100 cases)
Variable time span Jan 19, 2020 – Jun 22, 2020
Data published by European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
Raw data on confirmed cases and deaths for all countries is sourced from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Our complete COVID-19 dataset is a collection of the COVID-19 data maintained by Our World in Data. It is updated daily and includes data on confirmed cases, deaths, and testing.
We have created a new description of all our data sources. You find it at our GitHub repository here. There you can download all of our data.
just following random links
Some of the information seems to be well sourced to me. Whether or not I can make heads or tails of it is a different story
The Mercury News: NB: non-peer reviewed study at time of publication
“…..The risk study by Dr. Rajiv Bhatia, clinical assistant professor of primary care and population health at Stanford, and Dr. Jeffrey Klauser, adjunct professor of epidemiology at UCLA, looked at publicly available case incidence data for the week ending May 30 in the 100 largest U.S. counties as states began to reopen.
“The thing we are looking for is to start a discussion of risk,” Bhatia said. “We’re bombarded with data on death and cases.”
The study found a person in a typical medium to large U.S. county who has a single random contact with another person has, on average, a 1 in 3,836 chance of being infected without social distancing, hand-washing or mask-wearing.
If that sounds like a tolerable risk, consider the odds of being hospitalized. The study found a 50-to-64-year-old person who has a single random contact has, on average, a 1 in 852,000 chance of being hospitalized or a 1 in 19.1 million chance of dying based on rates as of the last week of May.
“We were surprised how low the relative risk was,” Klausner said…..”
There is an old saying I heard many years ago – I think it was from Bob Frodle, my first boss. Don’t recall the actual context of the conversation. Here it is: “Figures don’t lie but liars can figure”. It is even more relevant today.
I was curious about the origin of this quotation. It’s been around since at least 1854. I particularly enjoyed this one from a little later in an 1888 article on free trade from a Sacramento newspaper:
“It was a highly protective measure. The cry of free trade was a false one, and was maliciously put forth by “the uncrowned king” and other Republican leaders. Figures would not lie, but liars will figure, and were doing so in this campaign. She said that not a mill would shut down or a hammer stop from the passage of the Mills bill. Too much money was being made by them.”
The Mills bill never became law, BTW.
Mercola has been called a charlatan.
Wikipedia (I know it’s easily manipulated) but you can verify this for yourself:
“Mercola’s medical claims have been criticized by the medical, scientific, regulatory and business communities. A 2006 BusinessWeek editorial stated his marketing practices relied on “slick promotion, clever use of information, and scare tactics.” In 2005, 2006, and 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Mercola and his company that they were making illegal claims of their products’ ability to detect, prevent, and treat disease. The medical watchdog site Quackwatch has criticized Mercola for making “unsubstantiated claims [that] clash with those of leading medical and public health organizations and many unsubstantiated recommendations for dietary supplements.” Of Mercola’s marketing techniques, oncology surgeon David Gorski says it “mixes the boring, sensible health advice with pseudoscientific advice in such a way that it’s hard for someone without a medical background to figure out which is which.”
The article appears to be designed to get things back to normal so the stock market doesn’t crash and portfolios of debt assets don’t need to be written down from coming defaults.
I think it should be considered that we won’t get the economy back unless people feel safe.
For anyone who says it’s not real and you don’t need to wear a mask, I say; “you go first, I’ll hold your beer”!
I agree with a lot of what the article says.
Regarding the increases in new cases in some states;
1. Primarily due to more testing. Most of the new cases are asymptomatic and are in people under 40 years old. Very little threat.
2. The increase in hospitalizations in some states is a small number and is due to people who are in the hospital for elective surgeries (big backlog after three months of no elective surgeries permitted) and for labor and delivery. They are tested now upon being admitted. Yes, they are in the hospital and, yes, they tested positive, but they are in the hospital for reasons unrelated to C-19 and are asymptomatic.
The people pushing this latter statistic as evidence of a “second wave” are real scum. IMO, they want to have the people too scared to go to the ballots so there can be vote tampering with mail-in ballots. I have no evidence for this particular claim. It’s just my sense. Points 1 and 2 are from data.
“Dear” should = “DEAP”.
I always forget that this computer has a hyperactive autocorrect
I dunno man.i dunno.this whole thing is off.what if a second new virus,not covid 19,but uses covid 19 antibodies as a pathway to do serious damage.a 1-2 knockout blow
Weigh that up against over population.Yes,I do believe we are all living it right now.It has been spoken about and now 2020 it has started.
Just imagine.Todays teens living in a future world where all the whales are dead.Just bones left in a museum.Too many people.
The Chinese and Indians went hand to hand.That will become future combat.MAD is bad.unsustainable.Bring all the troops home,scrap the weapons.Change the rules of engagement.knives and hand to hand combat only
Deap – I also am disappointed in the way the pandemic’s been handled by most Western countries. Walrus tells us that by late last year virologists knew something nasty was brewing. Yet as late as mid-February of this year the responsible authority in Europe was assuring us that there was “low risk” to the general population. I assume the Health Authorities were asleep at the wheel in the US as well, because apart from Trump’s limited ban on China travel – and that decision, I believe, taken in defiance of the then general consensus – the US also seems to have been late responding.
The stats tell us little when it comes to national comparisons. Sweden’s sometimes compared to other Scandinavian countries with lower death rates and this is instanced as showing failure of the Swedish approach. But this ignores the fact that Swedish care homes are larger than in the neighbouring countries and poorly run, so they were due for higher death rates in any case.
In the UK there seems to be a policy of reporting cause of death as Covid when, say, that patient was due to die of an unrelated comorbidity. I think this is correct reporting because if I were due to die of cancer in a couple of years it’d still be Covid that killed me today, but it means that countries that don’t report deaths in the same way seem to be doing better when they’re not.
Also in the UK we worsened the death rate by sending infected patients back to care homes. So UK comparisons don’t help much in that respect either when it comes to looking at what the best policy is.
For what they’re worth the stats so far show the US not doing too badly when it comes to deaths per million. You ought to be doing a lot worse, given the high level of international travel and given that the conditions in the inner cities are ideal conditions for transmission. Perhaps, therefore, there’s worse to come. My uninformed guess is that there probably is. In any case the US national stats tell us very little when it comes to making comparisons between this or that national policy. One cannot lump an entire continent together like that.
But the stats are going to be argued about for ever. Away from all that there are two aspects I think are not sufficiently considered.
1. I don’t accept the “let it rip because they’re due to die anyway” approach. That goes against normal principles of public health, particularly so in this case because we still know little about the virus.
2. I don’t think we’ve got our heads around the economic effects if no vaccine or effective treatment turns up.
Whatever governments do the vulnerable are going to isolate anyway. I met a young woman recently who has a condition that means if she gets Covid she dies, no question. Of course she’s going to take what precautions she can, and does.
Millions of the vulnerable are in the same boat. The UK Prime Minister is in his fifties and nearly died of Covid. You can be quite sure that there are now plenty of the economically active of that age and older who saw that and who will now tend to keep away from gatherings where they might catch the disease too. The resultant changes in our patterns of consumption and our patterns of work will be profoundly disruptive to the already tottering economies of many Western countries.
For those two reasons I believe there’s a strong argument for going all out to eradicate the disease or to severely limit its spread. I think your view is that the crude national or State-wide lockdowns aren’t the best way to tackle the problem and that I agree with wholeheartedly. But we should still be looking to be doing much more than we are to tackle it and, if possible, to prevent the disease entirely
A feature of Sweden is that the politicians have very little to say in how a pandemic is handled.
According to Swedish constitutional tradition since ca 1632 political leaders cannot interfere with the decisions of government agencies.
So no matter what urges/fears a Swedish politician may have (in order to curry favour with the voters). It’s a technocratic decision by experts on how the situation is to be handled.
Such a practice could very well lead to better decisions than what we have seen in many other European countries.
The 122,000 deaths in the US so far is conclusive evidence that COVID-19 is no ordinary flu, which kills about 40,000 a year. And the toll will be much higher, since cases in many states are spiking.
Event 201 The pandemic exercise just prior to the pandemic had a discussion about communication, misinformation, and disinformation
I read Deap’s post before there were any comments but there was so much wrong with it I decided to see if anyone would take issue with it. Previously I have tried to engage here on Covid but those of Deap’s mind set dominated. I am delighted to see most of the posts have pushed back.
I will add that Kawasaki like syndrome is not gone more cases are being found mainly in the young but fortunately there is a treatment that works, in most cases, and it is fairly rare.
The serology tests results vary enormously and none have been large enough to say anything definitive about the number of people who have gone on to produce detectable antibodies. Some people who have tested PCR positive and been hospitalised do not have detectable antibodies post infection. Again there is not enough data to be definitive but could be 15 to 20%, we also do not know if the antibodies are neutralising (block reinfection preventing disease) and if not what level of protection they will offer. Also unknown is how quickly immunity wanes. Corona viruses do not generally produce very long lasting immunity (6 months to a couple of years) nor do they provide protection against even closely related strains.
I expect one, or more, of the vaccines candidates to work but not provide the same level of protection as a full infection.
Deap holds up S Korea as an example but it is important to remember that after their SARS-1 experience the enacted emergency powers, which COVID triggered, allowing them to track any cases phone and map where they had been and who had been in their vicinity. The can also pull your bank account and find out where you made purchases and who else was there. This makes contact tracing far easier and they pushed test capacity early. These two interventions mean a lot of those potentially exposed are found isolated and tested. We never did any of that here in the UK and it shows.
Excess deaths data for over the course of a wave in an area gives an indication that something is going on. In the UK we have about 50% more dead than usual for New York city that was 300% with 8000 deaths in the worst week when 1000 would be normal. If that is what is happening even with lock-downs and unprecedented physical distancing this disease is not trivial and should not be treated as such.
I disagree with your excess death figures. Where did you get them?
Also, excess death assessment will have to wait until the year is over. Many of those who died due to covid were going to die this year due to age and underlying conditions. They may have lost a month or two or three, but that’s it.
Also, some proportion of excess deaths are due to people not being able to access healthcare for non-covid acute and chronic conditions + suicides + drug ODs/alcohol (increased stress from being isolated and financial problems from job/business loss).
How far shall we go to prevent the “40,000 ordinary flu deaths” next year?
BTW: I originally posted this “Swiss Research” on the Open Thread, and not as this separate thread. Creating this separate thread was an editorial decision that was out of my hands and also snas paragraph indentations.
I started my original post with the caveats: “alleged media review”, as well as the always appropriate warning “trust, but verify”. Which also appear at the head of this thread.
I very much appreciate the vigorous discussion this generated, but hope one is reminded this report was simply thrown out for open thread discussion only in our current Covid milieu of little science, poor data, distorting fiscal incentives, and way too much partisan political exploitation.
Having also been in health care for several decades, the emerging information reported in this thread did not trigger to automatic dismissal; having witnessed other epidemic threats in the past.
Trust but verify – which does mean track the footnotes – is my own watch word too. Problem with anything Covid related today is the dearth of any reliable “science”: yet fundamental policy decisions are being issued “in the abundance of caution”.
The personal insults directed at me were silly – no offense taken.
However, the ensuing discussion begs the additional question, are we in fact ready for “Medicare or All” blank check, when we still cannot define what “health care” is. Nor defining who exactly will be making these important decisions for us. And then sending us the bill.
Also a very mature-aged observer today, I remain far more intrigued with the underly psychology (better term is perhaps Weltanshaung) that is also in the mix on both the local and global level. A boomer confrontation with mortality; a generational shift passing the torch to a those born into the global internet world; the harvesting of US public K-12 indoctrination in to a new world order?
Cutting my own midlife adult teeth on the Dawn of the Information Age (circa 1990’s). We are now witnessing the Dawn of the Disinformation Age. What hath God wrought?
“Kawasaki like syndrome is not gone”… ……. “it is fairly rare.” As in less than 20,000 cases out of a population of 330,000,000. It is a microscopic risk that most people never heard of and need not worry about but will get mentioned numerous times to keep the fear up.
“S Korea as an example but it is important to remember that after their SARS-1 experience the enacted emergency powers“…
State and local governments did that here, commandeering rights in violation of the constitution. They won’t be releasing that power and will use it as pleased to keep everyone in line. Masks on people , antifa has a harder time destroying the cultural history of the Republic if they stick out. Meanwhile rejoice, no cancer or heart disease related deaths are reported in the press and after three months of governmental decelerations of screenngs being “non-essential” – like the 40,000,000 jobs lost by government ordered shutdowns, there will be fewer cases reported, unlike for the Wuhan flu, which has plenty of testing ramped up now, which sure accounts for discovering all those cases.
Nothing like 2 flu seasons in one to kill off 100,000 more people than projected, especially when governments order infected patients back to nursing homes. Thanks China, the democratic party, and media in general.
Mike46, I don’t see how mercola matters. perhaps I should have posted the original in German? that is all I could find for an english version. Please note the authors of that document are glauner and borscht. and they, too, do not matter either. all that matters is the data in the figure are right, or they are not. At least six papers have been published on vit. D and covid, and you can find at your leisure whether they support the figure in the letter, or not.
A lot of people seem to have a great deal invested in acceptance that this is some sort of plague that is cutting us down in windrows, reaping us like wheat. I realize the WHO is a largely-discredited organization now, fat as it is with Big-Pharma execs and connections, although you would kind of expect a health organization to have some sort of relationship with the pharmaceutical industry; that notwithstanding, the Assistant Director of the WHO, himself a noted epidemiologist, was in China for much of its experience with the outbreak. He said at the time that outside Wuhan – exempted because of the small dataset and some remaining unknowns at the time – the mortality of the coronavirus was less than 1%. He did caution that that figure should not be broadly extrapolated to the rest of the world, because the Chinese medical care was both excellent and aggressive.
People keep citing the overall death figure as if it means something, that we must believe because it kills this many thousand compared to this many thousand. The mortality figures as reported to the WHO are massively skewed toward a high fatality rate because that suits certain political agendas. We have seen evidence from a variety of sources, including actual written direction from a US government statistical department , to count the cause of death as COVID-19 if it is even suspected. Ditto in the UK, a lot of deaths which were not due to COVID-19, but which was merely present at the time of death. The state of New York admitted to have counted 3,700 deaths as due to COVID when the victims had not even been tested.
Likewise the wave of terror that ‘cases are spiking’; does that mean many more people are dying, or does it mean testing is revealing that many more people have it? It is, after all, quite a contagious virus.
I guess in the end, people are going to believe what they want to believe, and there is no doubt there is a social element that is grooving on the virus, on facing the challenge of a lifetime and keeping a stiff upper lip, old chap – banging on the cookware at 7:00 pm and singing paeans to the frontline workers. Those people are never going to accept that it was not really a very dangerous disease at all, one that required sensible precautions, certainly, but never one which required the total cessation of global commerce. Forcing restaurants to pay rental costs by the square foot but limiting them to half the normal clientele for ‘social distancing’ is idiotic and a death sentence for such businesses; if you feel nervous about being in close proximity to other people, by all means stay home. Have your groceries delivered and left on the doorstep for as long as you like, nobody is ordering you to go to a restaurant. It should surprise nobody that when you let the Health Department make national policy, they will skew the rules toward there being no risk of disease whatsoever, because they have jobs and are probably pulling down some sweet overtime into the bargain.
Deap and Mark,
I agree that the psychology is extremely interesting. There indeed seems to be a heavy investment in establishing and maintaining the idea that this virus is of apocalyptic proportions.
That investment mostly – not completely – runs on along party lines from what I can see. Conservatives tend to dismiss the virus and progressives tend to take it very seriously. Maybe that is just the lack of trust in government that conservatives tend to hold and the trust of and seeking of protection via government that characterizes progressives. I sense there is more to it beyond tangible objectives like diminishing the economy and hence Trump’s chance at victory (or even mail in ballot fraud). I just can’t put my finger on it, yet.
” for labor and delivery. They are tested now upon being admitted. Yes, they are in the hospital and, yes, they tested positive, but they are in the hospital for reasons unrelated to C-19 and are asymptomatic.”
Nope. If they test positive they have their elective surgery delayed as there is literature suggesting that Covid positive pts have worse outcomes. Labor floors have either tested all along or stopped as they are the one group where testing wont delay their procedure.
I sense there is more to it beyond tangible objectives like diminishing the economy and hence Trump’s chance at victory (or even mail in ballot fraud). I just can’t put my finger on it, yet.
Posted by: Eric Newhill | 23 June 2020 at 06:44 PM
To what extent did the ‘psychology’ or bad economy leave traces in your business: health care insurance? You’ve got access to up to date numbers? Increases in health care insurances or decreases based on jobs lost? Higher demand in premiums?
Any numbers available on customers that may have or in fact died, as you suggest, not of covid, premium customers too, since the hospitals sent them home in heavily life-endangering states due to the corona panic. I find that hard to believe. But may no better, maybe even have access to numbers.
concerning intangibles: A conspiracy of the larger Resistance with China?
What exactly? …
Excess death data from Financial Times
Also BBC had the same data.
Eric we do not know how many cases of Kawasaki like syndrome there are or will be. As you point out people are not keen to take their children into hospital so with out the publicity they did not associate the symptoms with COVID. The same is true for clotting complications. This is not a severe pandemic it is moderate but more severe than anything since 1918. It is a good dry run to test our resilience, or lack thereof.
How has humanity done – 3 out of 10?
Here’s the information from which I believe the figures are sourced. Studies are quoted where applicable, looks like mostly good data to me. Particularly effective is the graph displaying the Imperial College predictions for Sweden, without a lockdown, and the actual cases and deaths. Not even close.
Looking at infection and mortality rates on ships should be instructive.
If we take the most biased source that is Wikipedia, out of around 40601 passengers and crew, so, far, by end June 2020 we have 22975 infections and 76 dead.
This, after we allowed the authorities to count people that died weeks and months after the fact and whose death has been attributed to Covid19 merely by virtue of the fact that they had been on one of the ships in question.
76 / 40601 gives us an overall mortality rate of 0.0037%
76 / 22975 gives us an IFR of 0.33%
Let’s double that so we have a margin of safety.
On a cruise ship, where passengers and crew live at close quarters, where all cabins share the same ventilation system, where people shake hands, dance and eat together, speak loudly at close proximity to one another, where they share sunbeds, chairs and common spaces.
Cruise ships where the average age of passengers is exactly the cohort that is most susceptible to succumb to this bug.
Cruise ships that, at the best of time, are a petri dish of viruses and bacteria.
If we take Wikipedia data at face value and if we double the mortality rate reported so as to have a margin of safety.
Overall mortality: 0.008%
Infection Mortality rate would be: 0.66%
Let us also remember the “saga” of The Zaandam.
Here is the hit piece that was peddled by The Guardian complete with an emotional music score and a theatrically sensational narrative designed to instil fear and dread into the reader. For good measure, they even start the piece with BOJO’s hospitalisation, just to point out that nobody is safe; not even political leaders.
At time stamp 3′:00 they even mention the “terrible” situation that was the Diamond Princess.
This virus is scaaaaary…. and nasty! This virus is the new Black Death.
The narrative, tells us:
March 7th, 1200 passengers board the Zaandam
March 14th, the Zaandam docks in Chile but no one is allowed to disembark
March 22nd, flu-like symptoms are reported amongst passengers and crew.
Here is the problem.
Between boarding on March 7th and the influenza-like symptoms becoming manifest on March 22nd, we have an interval of 14 days.
This tells us that whomever carried the virus onboard the Zaandam, had a leisurely 14 days to spread it around and spread it good! So, for 14 days, passengers and crew mingled, cooked, ate, drank, danced, spoke to each other, drooled and sprayed over each other, touched surfaces, touched food, used bathrooms, rolled around laundry, walked around, swam in the pool, shared sun beds and dripped sweat on all manner of surfaces for other passengers to smear themselves in.
Those 14 days should have been the infectionpalooza of the whole sorry Covid19 boondoggle culminating into a mortality fest of biblical proportions.
March 22nd, when confinement was ordered, only 13 guests and 29 crew exhibited flu-like symptoms.
March 27th, 138 passengers and crew are affected by flu-like symptoms and 4 are dead
April 3rd, “There have been nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the 1,243 passengers and 586 crew members onboard the ship and RTÉ reports that up to ten Irish passengers are among the passengers. However, there are nearly 200 sick passengers and crew members who have yet to be tested for the virus. ”
At time stamp 19:10 of the hit piece, The Guardian informs us that 1100 passengers left the ship in Florida to travel home.
Zaandam cruise ship
March 7th to April 3rd
Total of 24 days stranded at sea without setting foot on land
In this confined space that is a cruise ship where the median age of passengers is well above 60 years of age (the most susceptible cohort to respiratory diseases), where isolation is impossible, where passengers and crew live at very close quarters…
In 24 days, this terribly contagious and lethal virus infected AT MOST 209 passengers and crew.
Of the 4 fatalities reported, only 2 tested positive for Covid19.
I see admissions for orthopedic surgery with a secondary diagnosis of covid. maybe those are joints/bones damaged in accidents – or maybe there are exceptions for severe cases. Pregnant women in labor/delivery are also having secondary diagnoses of covid. There are various ways that could happen. maybe your hospital is different policies. maybe the women asked to be tested.
Mostly I can’t talk about the answers to your questions. It’s company info.
I can tell you that since medical claims volume was so low Feb – current, that our medical loss ratios have fallen below 80% and due to restrictions set by Obama, we would be penalized as a result. So we are paying claims for members who incurred claims after their benefits were cancelled due to lack of payment on premiums and we are delaying disenrollment of members for failure to pay premium in some products.
This should not impact premiums for next year as we realize that Q1 & Q2 2020 were a one off situation.
I don’t work on Medicare Advantage and the impact on covid hospitalizations on the <65 membership was very minimal. So no hits to us from expensive ICU/Vent utilization. Like it just wasn't there.
ACA impacts are yet to be determined. Enrollment up or down due to covid related economic issues is hard to tell so far. A lot of confounds. However, same medical loss ratios as commercial and same extremely minimal impact due to covid ICU/Vents. Just not there either. We were watching for it and studying it, but it never materialized. Covid is a potential problem for the 65+ group only.
All of that said, we are very concerned about members who were unable to receive treatment for non-covid conditions due to restrictions and are watching to see if the is an uptick in preventable hospitalizations for conditions ranging from diabetes to cardiovascular issues. There had been significant drops in hospitalizations for a wide variety of chronic and acute conditions as well as meaningful decreases in screenings, imaging (MRIs, CAT, PET scans, mammograms, skin cancer, etc).
How it all shakes out is TBD
It is instructive. It shows that isolation and testing works.
In defense of cruise ships and their misrepresentation as “floating petri dishes”, there is a very high awareness of noro-virus ( G-I, tourista) prevention on all cruise ship. And has been for years. This means there already is a high degree of onboard sanitation protocol on board and awareness among long time cruise passengers.
Good habits are drummed into cruise passengers almost daily – washing hands reminders, in every language. Using knuckles on elevator buttons, covering coughs and sneezes, not shaking hands, never touching mouth, nose or eyes with anything other than immediately cleaned fingertips, hand sanitizers stationed around the ships and at every food service and embarkation point, and constant disinfection of common high touch areas and equipment, including the cabin TV remote.
Additionally if noro infection is a guide, cruise ships require very strict isolation in one’s cabins if a patient becomes symptomatic. This can be monitored by electronic key cards. The picture of cruise ships being high contact party centrals applies to a few lines, but certainly not ships like the Zaandam – lots of quiet spaces, nice cabins and excellent sanitation protocol to the best of anyone’s ability.
I should know, I was on this ship in February this year. I did get a negative covid anti-body test (Quest Labs) after following the lurid media saga of its very unfortunate reprise one month later as the Flying Dutchman ghost ship, wandering the seas endlessly and forever.
One is far more concerned they might pick something up on the plane flight to get to the cruise ship embarkation port, rather than from the cruise ship itself. Hence the introduction of unwanted infections on the ships themselves.
And yes, often one gets “cruise crud”, transient but mild upper respiratory infections probably due again to airline exposures and in and out of A/C and less than compliant fellow passengers. But this has been the case long before covid. Were these the “flu like symptoms” that got classified as “covid”?
But no one ignores sanitation within the cruise ship industry – for noro, if not now for covid. For more information visit the CDC “Vessel Sanitation Program” (VSP) – routine and spot checks are a 24/7 awareness for the staff and crew – and published ratings mean no one wants to be branded with low scores. In fact, many of the “fun events” like crowded outdoor buffets had to be eliminated because of insufficient access to hand washing stations for the food handlers.
CDC’s VSP puts everything under a sanitation microscope these days, for the benefit of the passengers, as well as the industry. Bad publicity on one ship damages them all.
One point cruise lines do need to consider is the ADA demands they accommodate high degrees of passenger disabilities which can concentrate high numbers of co-morbid factors within this industry; including C-PAP users, the morbidly obese who do love shipboard buffets, as well as very advanced age and often very compromised mobilities to the point of even accommodating a very occasional wheeled gurney in the dining room.
So when all other more routine travel is no longer possible for these severely medically compromised persons, it did fall of cruise ships to offer required ADA accommodations that concentrated their numbers in this particular travel industry. I am very sorry to see what happened to this industry, because by its nature it has been responsive to a unique passenger demographic for ever.
A ship’s Hotel Director once candidly observed, look around this room – 50% of the passengers should not even be on a cruise ship. Yet ADA demands said accommodate them.
Three people died in the first week on my very first global cruise in 1977 – elderly and had made arrangements ahead of time leaving notes for a “burial at sea” if the time came while on board. In the 1970’s – well before covid. I personally thought at the time, that is how I want to go too. Doing what I love.
I think you should take a look at the CDC data in this link
You can refresh the graph to show different cuts of the data. Hit the button for “Total number above average by cause” – this is the number of deaths above average for the period Q1 – Q2 2020 (during the covid scare).
You don’t have to believe me about what was killing people. Look at the cause of excess deaths. It ain’t covid or covid like symptoms. And it sure looks to me like it implies that covid was basically just this year’s flu. I’m busy right now and maybe I didn’t read what I’m looking at closely enough, but you tell me what you see.
How to interpret this hospitalization chart?
Chris Martinson addresses many points in this post, at a fairly technical level. His most alarming point is the virus has become far more virulent.
Confinement is an arithmetically doomed strategy that, at best, can buy you a handful of days of respite.
Confinement is not meant to eradicate the virus. Confinement is merely meant to slow down the progression of the infection; to “flatten” the curve.
Once you have an infection rate of, say, 2.5 and you know it takes 2 days for an infected individual to infect others, you can work out a progression that gives you 83 million infected in 31 days.
If we assume that we have ordered the population to confine the day we realised we had 1000 individuals infected with a new virus, this means that we sheltered in place around day 12 of the spread of the infection.
Let us now assume that confinement reduces the infection rate from 2.5 to 1.4.
So now, we order the population to shelter in place around day 12 of the spread of the infection. By day 31 therefore, in terms of infections, we will find ourselves where we would have been on day 26 if we did not order the population to confine.
The rationale for confinement was to mitigate the potential medical surge this virus could occasion. As you know, other than in Bergamo, hospital capacity was never strained anywhere in the West. Even in New York where the governor was clamoring for more ventilators and where a military field hospital and a hospital ship were sent to boost bed capacity, the effort went wasted. Ventilators were eventually shipped to other states and the field and ship hospitals were withdrawn.
The fact that surge capacity went unused however, cannot be attributed to confinement.
There are a number of empirical and scientific data that show that confinement was not useful in slowing the contagion.
In a first instance.
As a virus, Covid19 would have been spreading in the population months before anyone noticed we had a new virus on our hands. Thus, the idea that we were able to confine the population on day 12 of the spread is highly improbable.
In a second instance.
Isaac Ben Israel, military scientist, general and ex-politician. He currently serves as the chairman of the Israeli Space Agency and the National Council for Research and Development under the auspices of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space of Israel – Michael Levitt, biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University (Nobel) – John Ioannidis, physician-scientist and writer who has made contributions to evidence-based medicine, epidemiology, and clinical research. Ioannidis studies scientific research itself, meta-research primarily in clinical medicine and the social sciences.
These scientists and others, have cast doubt on the purported infectiousness and mortality rates thus on the usefulness of blanket quarantines.
Also, recent studies in France and Norway lead scientists, researchers and politicians to question the benefit of blanket quarantines.
Then we have Sweden of course, where fatalities per 10 million population puts it in 4th or 5th place behind a bunch of other developed countries.
In a third instance.
The progression of the infection and the mortality rate aboard the cruise ships and the war ships, buttress the notion that this virus is not as infectious as previously thought.
There are other things to consider. For example. The vast majority of deaths occurred in nursing homes. Incidentally, this would be a much more worthy debate to be had. Specifically:
1 – Knowing what we know of Corona viruses and knowing what we knew from the experience in China, on what grounds did some politicians take the decision to park Covid19 patients in nursing homes?
2 – Why till today, knowing what we know, there are no official guidelines to quarantine nursing homes and the staff working there?
Covid19 is a real virus.
Take the political context out of it however, and the reality is not as dramatic as it is purported to be.
Blanket quarantines were never a rational response, neither at the medical level nor at the economic level.
Just a note about vaccines.
We have been working on Corona virus vaccines for the best part of 30 years. To date, we have nothing to show for it. Not even at the veterinary level.
For some people to claim that they are 18 months away from producing a vaccine should be treated with great suspicion.
Similarly, for someone to claim that life cannot return to normal till a cure or a vaccine is found, should elicit the same degree of scepticism.
Eric try looking at “Excess deaths with and without COVID-19” then select NY City and you will see the data. As most of the US has yet to have a serious local wave the country graph does not show a big uptick. The problem lies in the tight geographical and temporal clustering of cases which cause havoc in while area while others have few cases. Once ICU capacity is exceeded the case fatality rate will get a lot higher in that area until cases can returned below that level. If the cases were evenly distributed across the country the numbers would be manageable, sadly there is no way to achieve that so the only option at present is reduce person to person contacts.
I watched about half your link. Most of what he said seems right but he has rather more faith in face masks than I think they merit, they are better than nothing assuming you do not change your behaviour because you are wearing one. On the virology he is obviously out of his depth. S D614G is an ancestral single point mutation that occurred in China right at the start of the outbreak. Neither the D or G form has out performed the other or shown any detectable difference in virulence. The G form happened to spark the European outbreak which then spread to the US east coast. It is our less effective containment strategies that have caused these areas to increase its prevalence. The Scripps data is misinterpreted as it is a cell culture experiment and gives information on viral form, e.g. more Spikes, but lack of Spikes was never likely to be a limiting factor for this virus.
Yes, I am aware that NYC is an outlier.
Some points from my perspective. First NYC is not the country, despite what the newsies and govt seem to think. Why should a policy appropriate for NYC be inflicted on the rest of the country? Second, we know that the criminal (IMO) policy of placing C-19 infected people in nursing homes contributed greatly to the number of deaths there. Third, NYC involves some unique situations, like subways and overcrowded living in small apartments, that enhance the spread of the virus and the viral load. Fourth, NYC facilities have been the most liberal in determining cause of death = C-19 (to the extend of being fraudulent, IMO. C-19 increases the reimbursement rate and can result in other financial relief). Fifth, I can already hear ‘Steve’ howling, but NYC had a lot of incompetent/insufficiently trained people administering vents. They literally killed people (just more of the medical errors that kill 330,000 Americans every year).
So, even though NYC is an outlier, it didn’t need to be as nearly as much of an outlier. In fact, had NYC handled the situation properly, I may have been more in line with other big cities.
Is it fair to assume that you agree that the CDC data confirms what I have been saying about a significant proportion of “excess deaths” being due to chronic and acute conditions other than C-19?
Eric I have not looked at the US cause of death categories so can not comment. NY was the first US city, as London was for us, and for the same reason – major point of entry for foreign travelers. Any city where public transport is commonly used to get to work is going to be a problem. Where I would caution is thinking New York is the only city to reach hospital saturation point I think it is merely the first. With only about 1% infected in the US this virus still has a very long way to go before it slows down. While it may not seem like it this outbreak has not really started yet. The US data show of the resolved case 89% survived and 11% died.
Well, you should look at it. It show the component causes of the excess deaths. It’s one of the radio buttons you can push on the graph I linked to that you have already taken the time to look at. It refreshes the graph in about 2 seconds. IMO, you cannot speak intelligently about C-19 mortality until you have thought about the excess deaths and how a large proportion are not due to viral causes.