END THE AMERICAN LOCKDOWN!!

The economic damage from the current insane “shelter-in-place” regulations designed to thwart the coronavirus is going to be huge—lost jobs, shuttered businesses, economic downturn, stock market losses. This doesn’t count the personal cost in things like increased suicides and domestic and other violence. Think pissed off young men out of a job and drinking on the street because no place is open, even though of course it’s illegal to be on the street.

And on the positive side, as my graph below clearly shows, the South Koreans have managed to contain the virus. How did they manage that?

corona deaths 20200321.png

First, they test widely with fast tests, then they use confirmatory tests to avoid wasting time on false positives.

Then they trace all contacts of infected people and test them, and identify and house quarantine or hospital quarantine SICK people, not HEALTHY people. Plus everyone entering the country is tested and required to do a 14-day self-quarantine.

My oft-infuriating good friend Steven Mosher is living in Korea at the moment. He said that when one person in an apartment building gets ill, they test the whole floor plus a couple of floors above and below where the person lives.

When a guy in a call center got the virus, he said, they tested all 250 people working there. Heck, those jokers even have phone-booth style testing facilities to increase the number of tests per day … they are on it.

 

 

In this manner, using testing, tracing, and quarantining the ill rather than the healthy, they’ve been able to control the spread very well. As of today (2020-03-20) they have only 94 deaths in the whole country and leveling out (see below) and they’re NOT locking down the entire population and destroying their economy like we are.

Let’s emulate success, folks. I don’t mind learning from experience, but generally, I prefer to learn from other people’s experiences, and we have Europe and South Korea to learn from.

Here’s the crazy, bull goose looney part no one is talking about. The US government is about to spend a trillion dollars of your and my tax money to prop up the US economy, whose wheels have just been taken off by the insane shelter-in-place orders of that same US government. Sen. McConnell unveiled a roughly $1 trillion stimulus package on Thursday to help “mitigate the economic pain that tens of millions of Americans are already feeling”.

That trillion won’t put the wheels back on. It won’t get us rolling again. It just pays us for the losses already suffered.

Do you ever think how many ventilators and hospitals and test kits and testing personnel we could buy for A TRILLION DOLLARS OF YOUR AND MY GAD FARKING BOG SPAVINED TAX MONEY!!

Typical ventilator costs US$25,000, in normal times. Say you have to pay double in scarce times. Say we want a half million of them, big number, more than we’ll ever need, but why not? How much of our trillion pinche dollars of tax money remains?

Ninety-seven percent. We’ve bought a half-million ventilators and have hardly dented the pile.

My point is simple. If we’re going to spend a trillion, let’s put out wartime prices with war-time high-speed bidding processes. Say that the government will pay double the peacetime costs for ventilators and mobile field hospitals and beds and the like. Focus on American made. Phone-booth testing sites? Koreans can make them? Americans can make them. Buy all that the Koreans will sell, plus encourage US manufacturers can make them by putting tariffs on them.

Seriously … wouldn’t putting a trillion dollars into getting prepared be far, far better spent than doling it out in dribs and drabs, in grants and loans, a bit here, an overhead cost there, to the inhabitants of an economically blighted landscape?

Because here are two ugly truths.

Ugly Truth 1) Some good-sized proportion of the population worldwide is going to get the coronavirus. Only question is when.

Ugly truth 2) Remember that trillion dollars to pay for the losses occurred so far during the nationwide lockdown? You know how long the lockdown has been going on?

One week. One. Stinking. Week. And it’s ALREADY COST A TERABUCK OF OUR TAXPAYER MONEY. Now, the government is talking about it lasting a month?!? Madness of the highest order.

A trillion dollars to prop up one week? What say we suffer an attack of unexpected sanity and sudden clarity, we cancel next week’s lockdown, and put we the trillion we have saved in just one stinking week into ventilators and beds and field hospitals?

Because the virus will hit, and the only question is how prepared we’ll be when it hits. All this stick-your-head-in-the-sand is doing is delaying it. Why? Well, theoretically so that we can be medically prepared for it with enough beds and ventilators and the like. Which is a very good reason. Gotta have more beds and ventilators than you have sick people, or you end up like Italy. Medical preparation is what we want to achieve.

So … given that being medically prepared is the over-riding issue, how about we

a) stop this mad stay-at-home failed experiment immediately,

b) get America back to work,

c) continue with all the precautions we spent all this time learning—wash my hands, don’t touch my face, no sex with fruit bats, go back to disposable plastic grocery bags, social distancing, and most importantly, that we spend that trillion we just saved by coming off of lockdown on d) …

… you know … urgently, four-alarm urgently, wartime production urgently, getting medically prepared for the wave that we’re damn sure is going to break? Buy field hospitals. Pre-position them. Stockpile ventilators. Distribute them. How many field hospitals does the Army have? Put them all on standby to be rushed to an overloaded city. Buy test kits. Pretend it’s cholera in Haiti, we’ve done this drill before. Pay double pre-war prices for everything if some people can provide it in a crazy rush. GET READY FAST … and critically …

END THE AMERICAN LOCKDOWN!!! We simply cannot afford a dead economy costing us a trillion a week, not even in good times, and especially not at this time when we are preparing to fight a war against a most sneaky and dangerous virus. 13,000 dead worldwide already … let’s add as little as possible to that number.

Best to all,

w.

287 thoughts on “END THE AMERICAN LOCKDOWN!!

    • Steven Mosher
      March 28, 2020 at 3:01 am

      Thanks for this…a good interview even if the German subtitles are a bit annoying. Seems one of our biggest mistakes is getting old!

      Like

  1. In the UK Exceess Winter Deaths is a well known phenomenon. The 5 year average up to 2018/19 was 38,192, 11,458 were attributed to cold. The highest was 56,380 and the lowest 19,530.
    Apart from the shameful numbers attributed to cold these figures have barely made it to the front pages. But experts in pandemics have suddenly had a test case for their models drop into their laps, now they can rerun the failed Foot and Mouth policy sand put the UK economy on a huge bonfire.

    Like

  2. Trying to see the Big Picture of Covid-19 – difficult with a moving target and poor/limited data:

    Following is a simplified analysis,

    Excess Winter Deaths (EWD’s) total more than 2 million per year globally.
    EWD’s are measured in the Northern Hemisphere from 1DecYear(n) to 31 MarYear(n+1). EWD’s = Total Deaths (1Dec to 31Mar) – 0.5*Total Deaths {(1Aug to 31NovYear(n)) + (1Apr to 31JulYear(n+1))]

    In the USA , EWD’s average ~100,000 per year, and in Canada from ~5000 to ~10,000 per year. To date (29Mar2020), Covid-19 deaths total 2363 in the USA and 63 in Canada. Global deaths attributed to Covid-19 total 33,519 to 29Mar2020. There are more than 2 million global Excess Winter Deaths per year.

    Data:
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

    Click to access cold-weather-kills-macrae-daleo-4sept2015-final.pdf

    Examining global EXCESS Winter Deaths from 1Dec2019 to 31Mar2020:
    33519 global deaths attributed to Covid-19 to 29Mar2020
    + (2*2662) new global Covid-19 deaths/day
    = 38843 global deaths attributed to Covid-19 to 31Mar2020
    / approx. 2 million global EXCESS Winter Deaths per year
    =1.9%
    Covid-19 Winter Deaths to date = ~1.9% of global Excess Winter Deaths

    Examining USA EXCESS Winter Deaths from 1Dec2019 to 31Mar2020:
    2363 USA deaths attributed to Covid-19 to 29Mar2020
    + (143*2) new USA Covid-19 deaths/day
    = 2649 USA deaths attributed to Covid-19 to 31Mar2020
    / approx. 100,000 USA EXCESS Winter Deaths per year
    = 2.6%
    Covid-19 Winter Deaths to date = ~2.6% of USA Excess Winter Deaths

    Examining USA TOTAL Winter Deaths from 1Dec2019 to 31Mar2020:
    https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2017/10/aging-boomers-deaths.html
    2649 USA deaths attributed to Covid-19 to 31Mar2020
    / ~950,000 USA Total Winter Deaths 1Dec19 to 31Mar2020
    = 0.3%
    Covid-19 Winter Deaths to date = ~0.3% of Total USA Winter Deaths

    Whether one considers Covid-19 deaths as ~2% of Excess Winter Deaths or ~0.3% of Total Winter Deaths, Covid-19 is not that significant as a cause of death to date.

    If Covid-19 extinguishes in the Spring like most seasonal flu’s, it will have had a minor or negligible impact on Total Winter Deaths – negligible if these people were already mortally ill and would have died this winter anyway from other causes.

    If Covid-19 deaths continue to accelerate after 31Mar, then it could qualify as a serious pandemic.

    Fasten your seatbelts. Faites vos jeux.

    Like

    • This article provides a more detailed timeline of Covid-19 events, and lays bare the incredible corruption/incompetence of the Trudeau Liberals in failing to properly manage this situation.

      It still does not explain why these Ottawa scoundrels/imbeciles shipped 16 tonnes of our reserve protective medical supplies to China, such that our own hospitals are running out.

      I suggest that nobody could be that stupid, not even Trudeau – he is deliberately sabotaging Canada.

      THE ROAD TO CANADA’S COVID-19 OUTBREAK: TIMELINE OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FAILURE AT BORDER TO SLOW THE VIRUS
      https://edmontonjournal.com/news/national/the-road-to-canadas-covid-19-outbreak-timeline-of-federal-government-failure-at-border-to-slow-the-virus

      Part 1, January: “It’s going to be rare,” predicts Dr. Theresa Tam

      THE ROAD TO CANADA’S COVID-19 OUTBREAK, PT. 2: TIMELINE OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FAILURE AT BORDER TO SLOW THE VIRUS
      https://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/the-road-to-canadas-covid-19-outbreak-pt-2-timeline-of-federal-government-failure-at-border-to-slow-the-virus-2/

      Part 2, February: Trudeau and federal officials argue border controls might stigmatize some Canadians and upset China

      THE ROAD TO CANADA’S COVID-19 OUTBREAK, PT. 3: TIMELINE OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FAILURE AT BORDER TO SLOW THE VIRUS
      https://edmontonjournal.com/news/national/the-road-to-canadas-covid-19-outbreak-pt-3-timeline-of-federal-government-failure-at-border-to-slow-the-virus/

      Part 3, March: Trudeau attacks calls to close borders: “There is a lot of knee-jerk reaction that isn’t keeping people safe”

      See also: https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/chinas-devastating-lies/

      Like

    • BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS THE FOCUS OF CHINA’S MILITARY RESEARCH IN THE LAST 20 YEARS
      Monika Chansoria March 25, 2020 5:47 am
      https://japan-forward.com/biological-weapons-the-focus-of-chinas-military-research-in-the-last-20-years/
      [excerpt]

      Independent Chinese media outlet Caixin Global revealed that Chinese laboratories had in fact identified a mystery virus — later identified as COVID-19 — to be a highly infectious new pathogen by late December 2019. But they were ordered to stop further testing, destroy samples, and suppress the news to the fullest extent possible.

      The regional health official in Wuhan City, the epicenter of the pandemic, demanded the destruction of the lab samples, which established the cause of an unexplained viral pneumonia since January 1, 2020. China didn’t acknowledge that there was human-to-human transmission until more than three weeks later.

      Caixin Global provides the clearest evidence yet of the scale of this fatal cover-up in the very crucial early weeks, when the opportunity was lost to control the outbreak — a contagion that spread throughout the world thereafter, and has caused a global shutdown, literally.

      WARFARE BEYOND RULES

      It is only apposite to go back and trace the many notable military research writings that have advocated for more than two decades that China should prepare itself to wage warfare beyond rules put in place by the Western powers.

      In 1996, two Chinese military officers (colonels in the People’s Liberation Air Force (PLAAF), Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, took part in military exercises conducted by China for the purpose of coercing the island nation of Taiwan. This was the period when Taipei was getting ready for its presidential elections. Soon enough, East Asia witnessed the return of great power rivalry to the region when the United States dispatched two aircraft carrier groups to the area.

      This became the backdrop in which these two colonels met in a small town in southeastern China’s Fujian province and began their research. The end product was a co-authored book, Chao Xian Zhan: Dui Quanqiu Hua Shidai Zhanzheng yu Zhanfa de Xiangding (Warfare Beyond Rules: Judgment of War and Methods of War in the Era of Globalization), published by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Art Press.

      The central premise of Warfare Beyond Rules is that China should be prepared to conduct “warfare beyond all boundaries and limitations to defend itself.”

      In the book, Qiao and Wang argue that the existing rules of war, international laws, and agreements were developed by the Western powers, and that the United States leads the race in new-age military technologies and weapon platforms. Writing more than two decades ago, Qiao and Wang stated that, because of higher costs, cutting-edge weapons’ platforms could trigger a national economic collapse.

      (continued)

      Like

  3. Hi Willis
    Do you intend to update your chart?
    On 21st March, you wrote “IF (big if) the US follows China / Korea that will be 670 deaths”.
    Just one week later, there have been almost 2,400 deaths in the US, with 1,000 in New York alone.

    Like

  4. Willis, have been enjoying your thoughts and writings for many years. I have a question on the Coronovirus data you post daily on WUWT.com. Why does the Chinese data look so smooth and textbookish? If you have a moment I’d appreciate your thoughts. Jake

    Like

  5. If you go to Worldometer and plot logarithmic plots of cumulative deaths for Spain, Italy, and France (probably others) you find a very smooth trend (fits arc of circle) and you SEE ABSOLUTELY NO evidence in change of curve after lockdowns!!!! Am I missing something?

    Like

  6. Pingback: The Italian Connection | US Issues

  7. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/30/covid-19-deaths-in-europe-excess-mortality-is-down/#comment-2951760

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2020/03/covid-19-deaths-in-europe-excess-mortality-is-down/
    Roy Spencer wrote:
    [excerpt]
    “Given the global hysteria over the spread COVID-19, you might be excused if you are very surprised to learn that the most recent week of mortality data in the EU shows an actual decline from what is expected for this time of year.”

    Mortality monitoring in Europe
    https://www.euromomo.eu/index.html

    Not only has this year’s winter mortality declined substantially for all ages as Roy Spencer stated, it has even declined substantially for those over 65! This data only extends to the end of Week 12, whereas the end of week 13 corresponds to March 31, the end-date for the calculation of Winter Mortality and Excess Winter Mortality. We should also recognize that the Covid-19 flu is not over yet, and mortality figures are continuing to increase.
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

    Roy’s above analysis is consistent with my proposed methodology published on 29Mar2020 at:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/28/us-states-ditching-misguided-reusable-plastic-bag-incentives-to-reduce-covid-19-contamination-risk/#comment-2949993
    [excerpt]
    “One objective measure would simply be to count total deaths from all causes and compare that the past years, country-by-country – if the total death rate in Winter 2019-2020 (1Dec2019 to 31Mar2020) is no greater that other years, then we can start to understand the big picture. Right now, we are tilting at windmills – some people think this flu is the “end-of-the-world”, and others say it is “nothing special” compared to other seasonal flus.

    I only had access to limited data but came to this conclusion, also on 29Mar2020:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/28/us-states-ditching-misguided-reusable-plastic-bag-incentives-to-reduce-covid-19-contamination-risk/#comment-2950298

    Trying to see the Big Picture of Covid-19 – difficult with a moving target and poor/limited data:

    Covid-19 Winter Deaths to date = ~2.6% of USA average Excess Winter Deaths

    Covid-19 Winter Deaths to date = ~0.3% of Total USA Winter Deaths

    Whether one considers Covid-19 deaths as ~2% of average Excess Winter Deaths or ~0.3% of Total Winter Deaths, Covid-19 is not that significant as a cause of death to date.

    If Covid-19 extinguishes in the Spring like most seasonal flu’s, it will have had a minor or negligible impact on Total Winter Deaths – negligible if these people were already mortally ill and would have died this winter anyway from other causes.

    If Covid-19 deaths continue to accelerate after 31Mar, then it could qualify as a serious pandemic.

    Fasten your seatbelts. Faites vos jeux.

    Regards, Allan
    __________________________________

    The EU’s Mortality stats for all ages to Week 12 is here:

    Like

  8. Hi Willis,
    Fear is a funny thing. No amount of reasoned argument eliminates it, or even reduces it. Your suggestion of ending extreme social distancing may be perfectly rational, but politicians are not going to do that, not even politicians who understand the economic damage the current policies are doing. After all, the first imperative is “get reelected”. The best I think we can hope for is a moderation of the worst corona virus policies, which until now are mainly wasteful and foolish.

    Like

    • from what I see the US is not practicing social distancing very well

      HERE is what you get when you practice social distancing

      See those Chinese cities?

      See them all follow the same shape curve? ( there are some exceptions)

      Note: Wuhan was TOTALLY isolated
      Note: Note, door to door checks of everyone.
      Note in all other cities, Stay inside orders were given and enforced.

      Now you will note a few places, like Beijing and shanghai ( also Korea and HK and Taiwan)
      that had a “logistic” type curve followed by a slight linear ramp.

      See that? Korea, Beijing… Plateaus and then a slow roughly linear rise?
      whats that? Imported cases and small clusters Slammed to zero by tracking.
      So r0 is basically 1.

      So lets say on one extreme we have a social distancing effect where r0 is driven to zero because
      you quite literally can’t have contact with anyone else. In china if you got diagnosed you were
      separated from your family. You could leave your apartment once or twice a week.
      to go to the curbside and pick up deliveries of groceries.
      All work was close. Wearing a mask is the law.
      Isolation works because, Virus.

      And at the other extreme you have a case like the Korean Church. 1 lady, 1000 infected.
      Turns out in Korea, Singapore and the USA, going to a large public gathering and singing
      was a bad idea ( yep in the air)

      so between those two extremes of meeting zero people a day and meeting over 1000,
      you have quite a range of numbers, options and measures, with no real data to guide you on
      how much isolation you need or what the marginal effect of school closing is, or restaurant closing,
      etc.

      In the middle somewhere is Korea: large gatherings banned. wear masks at work
      Super attention to cleaning public surfaces, test, track and separate. was this enough?
      not to bring about permanent zero. Look at HK, same pattern. flat followed by shallow linear growth.

      The USA, as far as I can see, did voluntary isolation lite. guidelines.
      Just NOW they closed nursing homes to visitors. JUST NOW.
      in Korea they proactively went out and tested nursing homes, churches, hospital patients,
      where there were groups of many people. test. test test.
      To control imports? Nose swabs at the airport.
      And they had a public that followed the rules.
      mask wearing went from 10% (approx) to 90% +
      social distancing rules, followed by about 90% of the public.
      Elevators? all equipped with hand sanitizer.
      is it enough?
      Nope. cluster here, cluster there. wack a mole, linear growth.
      So strict distancing will bring you to zero, because virus. But then, as you relax. bam.
      cluster here, cluster there, if you dont get on top of it. BAM. Mr exponential
      So HK, find a few cases in beauty shops. BAM. close them.
      lets call this adaptive distancing. spreads in a church? BAM. close them. You get the idea

      However,westerners are an unruly lot and would put up for isolation lite.
      give me liberty or give me death.

      The case data show that the lockdown lite, had some small measurable effect. but its in the state data.
      varies from state to state. compliance issues
      There is some cool cell phone tracking data that will let future researchers break it down better.
      will it decrease deaths? too early to tell, since they are on vents waiting to die, as 80% will.
      probably saved a few lives.

      4 alarms today in Seoul. mediocre distancing continues, as long as this stays at 100 cases a day
      it’s livable.

      oh Interesting paper

      https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/03/25/science.abb4218

      So In one sense I agree with Willis.
      Lockdowns dont work.
      they dont work when you take half measures or quarter measures
      if you take half measures you get the worst of both worlds
      a ruined economy and more sick people than should have been.

      Like

      • Mosh, that’s the longest most thoughtfully worked out comment I’ve ever seen from you and I’ve been reading almost all comments at WUWT for >10 years!

        Bottom line, if the type of enforced social distancing is what’s required to meaningfully slow the spread of COVID-19, then that’s even more reason I oppose US (Federal and State) government REQUIREMENTS restricting movement/ economic activity. It’s a bad idea despite the health consequences because of (1) economic impacts, and (2) giving more legitimacy and skills to government to regulate citizen activity; a creeping authoritarian state. No thank you!

        I’m 72 with a history of asthma and pneumonia, so I’m “high risk” and have skin in this opinion. If someone (or a nursing home/ hospital, etc.) wants to self-isolate, they should. Otherwise, we ought to let this virus do its thing, while docs quickly get treatment (HCLQ+zinc) to people as early as possible and the FDA gets off its bureaucratic ass to get immunization in place (which I believe it is doing). The approach should be aggressive outreach to anyone with symptoms rather than the current wait for people to show up at the hospital approach.

        Thanks for the detailed explanation.

        Like

        • “I’m 72 with a history of asthma and pneumonia, so I’m “high risk” and have skin in this opinion.”

          unfortunately your choice drives my risk
          The risk is personal, but your behavior is social.

          So ya you have a freedom to assemble guaranteed by the constitution. unfortunately it endangers
          others in ways they cannot easily avoid.

          tough question.

          Like

      • Thanks, Steve. As I mentioned on the WUWT post, the problem is that this is some kind of half-shutdown, with lots of folks still traveling, lots still working, lots and lots of transmission going on. No bueno. As you say, we’ve gotten the worst of both worlds.

        w.

        Like

        • Two issues.

          1. Half shutdown
          2. Poor compliance.

          The half shutdown measures I would lay at the system. The governmental response has been weak
          Every time I saw Pence hold up that little sign.. 15 days to stop the spread I laughed. it reminded me
          of nancy reagans, “just say no” You dont fundamentally alter peoples behavior with a sign or slogan or hash tag. You actually have to do something enforceable.

          Poor compliance. We’ll naturally Americans will take a “fend for yourself” attitude. you isolate, I’m going to church!. Let me give you an example from Korea. the civil defense heads brief twice daily. we all recognize their faces. 3 main ones. One is an older dude. on 3 occasions he coughed in public and covered his cough
          with his hand. FFS. Well, the nightly news ran a series of stories on him. showing these three occasions
          when he failed to use his sleeve ( elbow) to cover his cough. And then a bunch of PSA on covering your
          cough properly.!!! I think he had to do a public apology. He did not jump off the bridge which would have been the honorable Korean thing to do. They watch each other like hawks. In fact a lot of the ‘reality tv’ in
          Korea is just watching other people for lapses in manners. Remember this is a country where I need to know your age before I can speak to you properly. I need to know that so I can use the right verb forms.
          Absent endorsement in the USA and absent any sense of civic duty you’ll end up with a weak lockdown.
          easy to predict this, but hard to say it was irresponsible to try a lockdown.

          what makes it worse is two things: 1) an ongoing political war. 2) people who create doubt around
          the seriousness of this disease. Its the flu! etc, Why should I lock down when there is a “cure”? the excessive hype over chloroquine is just one example. Doubt, speculation, wishful thinking, all have consequences. not just for yourself but for others. because virus.

          Like

  9. Hi Willis,

    Thank you for your continuing good work.

    When my above post clears moderation, it will demonstrate that European Total Winter Deaths from all causes TO DATE are far lower than in previous years, as I hypothesized several days ago.

    Data for Europe is here: https://www.euromomo.eu/index.html

    I have been searching in vain for up-to-date total mortality data for the USA – where did you find it?

    Regards, Allan

    Like

  10. With Sweden testing the herd immunity approach, I’d love to see them included in the daily coronavirus chart. Would make for a very interesting comparison.

    Like

  11. What a terrible post you put up over at WUWT.

    For example, you attribute the success of Japan to the wearing of masks. Yet Korea had a significant outbreak and so did China. Guess what, they use masks there also

    You treat all the public health interventions as if they have the same impact, and thus you can evaluate a country’s efforts simply by adding the total interventions rather than evaluating the efficacy of the different interventions.

    Perhaps worst if all, the people advocating for the interventions expect that you wouldn’t see their effect yet, but in your excitement to confirm your bias you just ignore that aspect of the policies.

    Of course better contact tracing and more testing would have had a huge impact. But the relevant question is what to go given our failures in those areas.

    Like

    • Joshua, you have totally ignored my main point—the lockdowns in the western world have done very little, and are causing economic damage.

      Next, you say:

      You treat all the public health interventions as if they have the same impact, and thus you can evaluate a country’s efforts simply by adding the total interventions rather than evaluating the efficacy of the different interventions.

      Since there is no visible effect considering all of the interventions, how on earth do you fantasize that looking at smaller samples would show something?

      Finally, you say:

      For example, you attribute the success of Japan to the wearing of masks. Yet Korea had a significant outbreak and so did China. Guess what, they use masks there also

      “Guess what”? You are seriously going to pretend that I don’t know that? In any case, here you go.

      I know we’re under lockdown, but don’t you have anything better to do?

      w.

      Like

  12. So here’s my point.

    You could have a situation where you see no signal, differentially, across countries w/r/t spread of growth even if they integrate a different battery of interventions.

    For example, say that one particular intervention is very effective and all the countries put it in place, and other interventions are not effective and those interventions aren’t put into place uniformly.

    Or, another example could be that one particular intervention is very effective and all the countreis put it in place, and other interventions put into place in different countries are variably effective and not effective and the effects in different countries balance out.

    Or, another example could be that various interventions put into place are effective in one place but not in another – but again, the effects balance out if you only look in aggregate.

    And yes, I assumed that you know that masks are used in Korea and China also. That was my point! You knew that, but blew right past it in your post in your discussion of the impact of using masks in Japan without discussing the other countries.

    The bottom line as I see it, Willis, is that governmentally reinforced interventions as in “lockdowns,” obviously, can have a strong potential to impact the spread of disease. That action needs to be considered in light of a variety of conditions – among which are:

    Doing it later is obviously less effective – in part because the later you do it the more you run the risk of locking down infected people with non-infected people with whom they might not have had close contact with otherwise.

    It is more and less effective depending on the extent to which other complimentary measures are implemented.

    To some extent it’s possible that the “lockdowns” might have a limited impact on the total number of people who get sick, but more have the effect of slowing down the rate of spread. That, in turn, could have to highly positive benefits. The first is that it could help medical systems from being overwhelmed by dealing with a higher rate of infections in a shorter period of time. The second is that it could allow more time for the development of medical counter-measures (which could lessen the severity of suffering or ultimately result in fewer infections).

    And of course, the economic impact of the interventions should be evaluated. There is clearly the potential of a cost benefit. But it’s silly to treat that issue simplistically – and with an inflated sense of confidence. Estimating the differential impact of reducing disease or slowing it’s spread is tricky. Counterfactual arguments are hard, and require a high bar of evidence, IMO.

    You’re arguments about the economic impact of shutdowns fail counterfactual evidence test. Badly.

    Like

  13. > Modeling an exponential process necessarily produces a wide range of outcomes. In the case of COVID-19, that’s because the spread of the disease depends on exactly when you stop cases from doubling. Even a few days can make an enormous difference. In Italy, two similar regions, Lombardy and Veneto, took different approaches to the community spread of the epidemic. Both mandated social distancing, but only Veneto undertook massive contact tracing and testing early on. Despite starting from very similar points, Lombardy is now tragically overrun with the disease, having experienced roughly 7,000 deaths and counting, while Veneto has managed to mostly contain the epidemic to a few hundred fatalities. Similarly, South Korea and the United States had their first case diagnosed on the same day, but South Korea undertook massive tracing and testing, and the United States did not. Now South Korea has only 162 deaths, and an outbreak that seems to have leveled off, while the U.S. is approaching 4,000 deaths as the virus’s spread accelerates.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/04/coronavirus-models-arent-supposed-be-right/609271/

    Do the results in Italy mean that mean that “lockdowns” don’t work, but contact tracing does work?

    Or do they mean that it would have been worse in both regions if there were no lock down?

    How would you know?

    Like

  14. The WHO position on masks ( and the cdc) is nothing short of malpractice.

    guidance is changing
    https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/coronavirus-govt-will-no-longer-discourage-wearing-of-masks-to-give-reusable-masks
    how you do things
    https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/covid-19-all-spore-households-receive-reusable-masks-april-5-govt-rethinks-advice-mask-use

    masks in Korea.
    RATIONED. the civil defense people were honest.
    1. Everyone needs a mask
    2. Doctors and health workers get served first
    3. The public may buy 2 masks per week.

    Nobody freaked out. No officials said stupid shit like “the science says, masks dont work”
    they were honest. Masks may help. Doctors come first. Evryone else get in a line.
    6 feet apart. 1 mask per customer. twice a day.

    In china? mask vending machine. two maks a day limit, tied to your national ID

    Bonus question, how many liberals would accept a national ID.

    Liked by 1 person

      • The mask thing is unbelieveable. Some things I have read/heard from the cdc/who.

        1. masks make you touch your face more ( zero published evidence of this)
        2. If you dont know how to put one on, it will be more dangerous ( zero evidence)
        3. they only work on sick people ( ignores asymptomatic transfer)

        Now you want something that will really frost you?
        In Korea we are doing clinical trials of remdesivir.
        study is slated to be done,,,,,,,, in …. 2023.

        Liked by 1 person

        • FWIW – my guess is that there is some validity to the concerns about increases in face touching with masks, and false confidence reslulting from wearing them wihr an improper fit….

          That said, wearing masks may inhibit unconscious face-touching and undoubtedly will reduce infections if the concerns about the potential of aerosolized transmission are realized.

          The lack of n95-quality masks for medical workers, in this country….

          I have no words.

          Like

          • a lot of the initial limitation was due to FDA regulations (N95 masks for medical purposes are different from N95 masks for industrial uses, but only to the FDA, so the large supply of the latter can’t be used for the former)

            since then, it’s been that the masks are used for a very short time and then thrown away. Trump talked about hospitals that went from 20k masks in a time period to 300k masks in that same period (and screaming for more)

            how many companies do you know that can scale their production by 60x in a matter of days?

            even if Obama had re-stocked the national reserves, how many hospitals using an extra 280k masks in a short time would it have taken to deplete that?

            Like

          • In such a rich country, it’s inexcusable. These issues were foreseeable, and were foreseen by many. The problem is a basic one – with our healthcare funding. as discussed in the article I linked.

            The origin of the problem is bigger than the current administration, but it seems to me that a federal policy to mandate manufacture once it became clear how much a shortage was a problem for this specific epidemic (which was well-identified by many people, many weeks ago), would have lead us to a better outcome than the current state.

            Like

          • why ‘mandate manufacture’ when companies are coming out of the woodwork and doing it voluntarily?

            could you have predicted that this still wasn’t enough?

            what company would you have ordered to start manufacturing masks? (keep in mind that there were stories a few weeks ago about companies setting up production lines for masks, but noting that they didn’t expect to get FDA approval for the lines for 30-45 days)

            Like

          • > why ‘mandate manufacture’ when companies are coming out of the woodwork and doing it voluntarily?

            Because the supply is woefully insufficient, people said it was insufficient weeks ago, and have been predicting for weeks that the shortfall would persist.

            Do you remember the promises about millions and millions of tests weeks ago, with the dog and pony show about how the private sector through Walmart and cvs and Walgreen, etc. were going to enable everyone who wants a test to get a test if they go to a local parking lot to get a test?

            Our system has failed in testing, and supplies (not yo mention contact tracing which largely is contingent of adequate performance on those areas). Failed. Not only were these shortfalls predicted by many, they have been ongoing for weeks and weeks despite denials. They are likely to continue and the problems can’t be solved if geure denied and no in accepts accountability.

            If there weren’t so many failures it’s likely that mandated social distancing would have been more limited.

            Like

          • David –

            Do you see this situation as being different than the war effort to support soldiers on the front lines in WW II? If so, why? Given our insufficiency of necessary supplies to support the soldiers on this war, why not invoke the DPA weeks ago to manufacture needed, life-saving supplies?

            Like

          • The DPA is not a magic wand, it can direct companies to make something, but those companies still need to convert their production to the new thing, so you don’t get that new thing immediately.

            the companies that you would have ordered to change their production lines would still be getting those lines up to speed, just like the companies that are converting voluntarily.

            as I noted earlier, initially there was also the problem that any new production lines would need FDA certification, something that companies not already in the business are not in a position to comply with rapidly.

            there’s also the question of how many you need, before usage ramps up drastically, everyone was underestimating how many would be needed.

            yes, there have been mistakes made, but I see very few cases where the government interfering more in businesses (with the DPA or by nationalizing them) would have helped. I see far more cases where the government policies got in the way of businesses, slowing or preventing them from contributing.

            Like

          • By the way, in WWII the Government did not take over companies or issue the equivalent of the DPA, instead it put out requests for bids and companies competed to supply the needed goods.

            It looks like GM and 3M both got greedy and got slapped by the DPA, it sounds like GM has shaped up, 3M is still fighting the order (and while GM was arguing over terms of new production, from what I hear, 3M was accepting orders and payments from US entities and then selling the goods to foreign entities for cash so that the US entities were not getting their scheduled shipments. To me that is unacceptable. The further push to get goods 3M produces abroad shipped to the US and not sold abroad is a bit less significant to me)

            Like

          • “FWIW – my guess is that there is some validity to the concerns about increases in face touching with masks, and false confidence reslulting from wearing them wihr an improper fit….

            That said, wearing masks may inhibit unconscious face-touching and undoubtedly will reduce infections if the concerns about the potential of aerosolized transmission are realized.”

            There is zero empirical evidence that wearing a mask increases face touching. Zero.
            There is empirical evidence that we touch our faces around 20 time per hour, 60% of these touches
            are in the 3 danger zones: mouth, nose, eyes. A mask prevents touching in 2 of the 3 danger zones.
            not sure I want to wait for double blinded long term studies on masks and face touching. the time
            for science on that passed. In fact, if people wanted to they could go get CCTV footage of crowds
            in places like HK and actually count the number of times people in public touched their face with
            and without a mask. Pretty easy image recognition. I would think this would have been basic research
            long ago.

            false confidence? from improper use? 80% of people wash their hands improperly, does the cdc
            argue that improper hand washing leads to false confidence? Nope. The answer to improper use
            is …instruction. Same with hand washing ( soap will deconstruct the virus lipid covering but it takes
            20 seconds. not 5, not 10. at least 20. ) you can find instructions on how to don a mask. not rocket science.
            1. wash your hands
            2. Place the mask over your face, chin first.
            3. Secure the mask straps
            4. wash your hands
            5. test the fit for air seal.
            6. Wash your hands.

            Aerosolized transmission. Precaution Principle says assume aerosolized transmission until proved
            otherwise. The EARLY case studies out of china ( the Wuhan bus cluster, the Guangzhou restaurant
            cluster) should have been a wake up call. Heck China walling of a city of 11m should have woke people up.

            Like

          • Dave –

            > The DPA is not a magic wand, it can direct companies to make something, but those companies still need to convert their production to the new thing, so you don’t get that new thing immediately.

            Of course that’s obvious to some extent. But some companies were already making thus stuff and mandating control over where the supplies went, how they were priced, marketed, and distributed, could have advanced the country-wide distribution so as to address the “hot spots” to save lives, prevent redundancies, reduce price-gouging, tons distribution appropriately, etc.

            > the companies that you would have ordered to change their production lines would still be getting those lines up to speed, just like the companies that are converting voluntarily.

            In some cases yes. In many cases companies would be closer to the point of distribution than they are now. The point isn’t to eliminate any shortfalls. The point is to reduce the scale of the problem.

            There was time wasted hemming and hawing. The point is that if there is evidence the act will need to be invoked, you to it sooner rather than later, as you will save lives by doing it sooner. It’d like social distancing mandates in that regard. The need was obvious weeks ago. Invoking the act two days ago will save lives going forward. The need has been obvious for weeks. Deaths (have) will result(ed) from not having done it sooner.

            Like

          • Steven –

            > not sure I want to wait for double blinded long term studies on masks and face touching. the time
            for science on that passed.

            I agree. Didn’t mean to suggest otherwise. Merely speculating, without solid evidence, that there could be mitigating components Not suggesting that people shouldn’t wear masks. I am now doing so and encouraging others to do the same.

            Like

          • > Of course that’s obvious to some extent. But some companies were already making thus stuff and mandating control over where the supplies went, how they were priced, marketed, and distributed, could have advanced the country-wide distribution so as to address the “hot spots” to save lives, prevent redundancies, reduce price-gouging, tons distribution appropriately, etc.

            you have a lot more faith in the government than I do. forcing everything to run through the government is a recipe for things being stuck in warehouses waiting for the right paperwork.

            We are seeing cases today where hospital workers are complaining to the press about shortages, where they haven’t sent their requirements up to the state level, let alone to the feds. the government is not all-knowing (the opposite in fact), and so forcing everything to go through the feds would have caused more grief.

            As the 3M issue is showing, some companies/distributers will ignore their contracts and sell out of the warehouse to a waiting truck for cash instead

            > There was time wasted hemming and hawing. The point is that if there is evidence the act will need to be invoked, you to it sooner rather than later, as you will save lives by doing it sooner. It’d like social distancing
            mandates in that regard. The need was obvious weeks ago. Invoking the act two days ago will save lives going forward. The need has been obvious for weeks. Deaths (have) will result(ed) from not having done it sooner.

            cite specific cases where it was clear the act needed to be invoked weeks ago.

            And by specific cases, I mean, what order to what company should clearly have been issued weeks ago. a general order to all companies in the US to stop whatever they are making and make masks/respirators is not a reasonable order to give.

            Most price gouging has been at the resale level, not from the manufacturers (GM started going down that path and got hit with the DPA)

            I heard a story this week of some hospital reaching out to their congrescritter/senator for help in getting a rush order of 250 respirators fulfilled, and the reply was that there wasn’t a Wu Flu case within 8 counties of the hospital, why did they need so many so fast, the answer was “just in case”. If some central bureaucracy is allocating everything, it goes to whoever has the best people to fill out the paperwork, not necessarily the people who need it the most.

            prices going up for scarce goods at least causes people to think before they buy mass quantities. not having the prices go up does not ensure fair distribution. Case in point, look at the TP shortage, stores are not increasing the prices (although they are now no longer accepting returns) and the result is that the stores get supplies in every night, and the same people show up first thing in the morning and clean them out.

            Like

          • BTW – I have no particular “faith” in government. If you think I so, you are misreading me. And I also don’t think that the DPA is a “magic wand.”

            Like

          • you have faith that if the government only had control of everything that it would make the right decisions.

            I don’t have that faith because I don’t believe that the people who would need to make the decisions would have the information they need to make good decisions.

            so yes, overall I believe that the free market is more likely to make good decisions in most cases[1] because the people making the decisions are closer to the problem and not trying to gather a huge amount of information before making their decisions.

            [1] the free market is not as good at avoiding short-to-medium term optimums that have long term problems, and especially, the market cannot take into account the long term problems of depending on a supplier that has bad intent.

            Like

        • > Most price gouging has been at the resale level, not from the manufacturers (GM started going down that path and got hit with the DPA)

          An example that highlights my point point. You eliminate the resale step for exactly that reason. There are similar aspects at each level

          I doubt we’re going to get any further with this. Imo, you are fetishizing the “free market” concurrent with the loss of lives. The simple fact that they invoked the act proves the need. The simple fact that they hemmed and hawed with no apparent explicit strategy suggests an incoherent approach. Once again, the point is that if you are going to invoke the act, doing so sooner saves lives. People have been pointing to extreme shortages for weeks. The need to invoke the act was anticipated by many. Of course we can find claims that there weren’t actual shortages, or that they concerns were over-hyped. Seems to me that the evidence of significant shortages is solid and abundant.

          I think that the process of invoking the act so was weak, late, and scattered. You’re certainly entitled to believe otherwise. I think that given the scale of the problem, taking tho same action sojner rather than later (and to a larger degree) would likely have led to better outcomes. You’re certainly entitled to differ.

          Like

          • Josh, most companies did not need any prodding on producing medical equipment. GM did, now they are on the trolley. 3M let themselves get in this mess by not instructing their out-of-company suppliers to concentrate on sales to US entities, now they are being vilified. Some politicians are screeching that an order MUST be hammered down on people, they are the ones who always want to use the armed force of government to push their agenda, from both sides. DPA was not really needed, Americans looked at the situation and said “snap! better get busy on this shit!” and we did.

            I, and many, many people who work in construction/remodeling etc, have masks. Not enough to make any difference to a hospital, enough for family use. Then there are the ever present bandanas, better than nothing. And so on and so forth. People need to look to their own resources, then look to government if needed.

            Like

          • Hotel –

            > People need to look to their own resources, then look to government if needed.

            I see no reason whatsoever to consider those two options even remotely mutually exclusive, or sequentially ordered.

            Like

  15. > Bonus question, how many liberals would accept a national ID.

    ??

    Bonus bonus question, how many libertarians would accept a national ID?

    Bonus bonus bonus question, how many conservatives would have accepted a national ID under Obama or under a Hilary Clinton?

    Lib-punching , or conservative-punching, or libertarian- punching is never productive. In a pandemic it’s downright dangerous.

    Like

    • Why is my driver’s license not accepted as a “national ID”? Have never gotten a satisfactory answer to that. Had to provide 3 separate forms of ID to get a DL. Any state issued Driver’s License or Photo ID should be all you need. Look at who opposes that, look at who in Congress has been fighting tooth&nail to stop DL/PhotoID from being accepted nationwide for all ID purposes. They are America’s enemies.

      Like

      • most of the time the reason that state drivers licenses are not acceptable as national IDs is that the feds require that if the state issues drivers licenses to non-citizens (note, foreigners here on a legal visa count, not just the illegals), that these licenses must be significantly different so that they can be identified as such at a glance.

        California instead opted to put text in a very thin red font that says ‘not a federal ID’ and Obama let them get away with this for years by issuing a waiver. Tump opted to not renew that waiver, and so all Californian’s need to get a new drivers license in the new format.

        Like

        • This issue pre-dates states and cities giving ID to illegal aliens. If you are required to produce 3 different forms of ID to get that license it should be all you need. Illegal aliens can’t produce those 3 different docs so any ID they have is fake, therefore a crime, therefore yet one more reason to bounce their a$$es so hard they draw a spark and to ban them permanently from entering US. Period. Full stop.

          When I separated from service, US Army, I got my Mississippi DL, it was perfectly good for use throughout the US for all purposes. Now we have this push for Real ID here in PA. Just renewed my license and now they want me to pay nearly $40 dollars and bring them a folder full of crap to get Real ID.

          Two questions. Who created this pile of sh*t? Why are they still allowed to be in our Congress?

          Liked by 1 person

          • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_ID_Act
            passed in 2005 (and yes, a lot of the people who passed it are still in congress) in part in response to states like california giving drivers licenses to illegals. Prior to this act, the feds didn’t dictate what ID you had to provide to get a drivers license (and technically they still don’t, it’s just that if your state doesn’t meet the requirements, the ID is not going to be acceptable for things like flying)

            now, how the US turned into the land of ‘papers please’ for internal travel is a different discussion. But the current hassle with needing to get new IDs boils down to states not wanting to comply with the federal laws and getting away with it for a decade.

            Like

          • When all this sanctuary state and city crap started the elected officials doing it should have been arrested, instead half our political system embraced it as a way to push their open borders/amnesty for illegal aliens agenda, and here we are.

            Like

      • 1. because DL is not universal.
        2. because DL is not secure
        3. because DL is not necessarily current
        4. because some states give DL to non citizens.
        5. because some people cant get a DL

        why is a passport not a national ID?

        who knows what is on the other end of this pandemic? when will china open up to travel from other countries? ( no foreigners may visit ). will other countries follow suit and ban foreign travellers after they get their counts to zero? Will your complete travel history be
        required to board a plane? will you have to prove immunity to go to work? Will you be able to
        prove to other people you are immune?

        who knows what’s on the other end of this?

        Like

        • Yes, they come in a sequential order, first you help yourself then you go to government. Parts of America have gotten sucked away from that and we are seeing the results today, as we have been for quite some time.

          Like

          • You believe they should be in sequential order. There is no inherent reason thy have to be. I’d venture to guess that there are many circumstances under which you’d view it differently and see them as not sequentially ordered or even in the opposite order – for example a threat from a foreign invader.

            Like

          • OK, sit down in the mud and do nothing to help yourself, wait for the government to do it for you. I, and many other Americans, help myself and my family first, then help others. When the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling you put YOURS on first, then help others. As for foreign invasion, you can bet your a$$ I ain’t waiting for an order from government, me and thousands of other Americans will not wait for government, we will fight. Government can catch up when they manage to pull their heads’ out of their a$$s.

            Like

          • > OK, sit down in the mud and do nothing to help yourself,

            Yeah. Good point, ’cause that’s exactly what I said.

            Jesus.

            Like

          • Going through your comments in this thread that is exactly what you are saying. You are all onboard with collapsing economies over the flu. This season’s regular flu has killed far more people, just in US, than Chinese Disease has kill worldwide. Have a good time down there on your knees, I’ll stay on my feet moving forward, ya know, like a man does.

            Like

        • All your points are valid, and 3 of them were brought to us by the Democrat Party as part of their open borders/amnesty for illegal aliens agenda. As for not being current or not being able to get DL, those are both on the individual. Again, you have to provide a minimum of 3 separate identifying documents for Driver’s License here in PA. How is that not secure? Of course anyone can falsify anything if they work hard enough at it, find them and punishing the f^%k out of them is how you secure ID, not by punishing the citizens who actually obey the law.

          Like

    • there are big problems with using mobility data

      1. it doesn’t tell you if people are going directly to a store and then going home, just that they are moving
      2. the same distance will mean very different things in different areas

      in New York City, moving 2 miles a a very big deal
      in the suburban west, that may just be getting to the nearest store
      In in the rural west, that may not even be leaving your property

      Like

      • “1. it doesn’t tell you if people are going directly to a store and then going home, just that they are moving
        2. the same distance will mean very different things in different areas

        Wrong. The mobility data shows you the buildings they visit, the trains they boarded. what time,
        where they got off, etc. And when you use a mobile payment system yes it does tell you
        what you need to know. In Singapore for example, they will garb all your receipts.
        Did you take a taxi? yup. test the driver. test his family. test other customers who took ride from
        him. etc.
        Commentary: most skeptics don’t think about solutions, they just raise doubts. They don’t think pragmatically about what is good enough, they think about what is perfect and they let the perfect be the enemy of the good
        call this the engineers disease. That’s why we shoot the engineers when we need to ship a product as they
        love to polish bowling balls to make them smoother. They also think they know more than people actually
        doing the job.

        2. The same distance will mean different things? ya, no shit. Seoul is more dense than NYC.
        Singapore? dense, so of course you dont just look at distance travelled. You look at the
        density as well.

        So mobility data comes in 2 varieties.
        course grain
        fine grain

        course grain

        since you will object to NYT

        there is this

        https://www.unacast.com/covid19

        Like

        • that map/report you are pushing rates Wyoming as a F because more people there move more than 2 miles than in other places, it’s completely ignoring the fact that distances mean different things in different places.

          the data provided is not granular enough to know what individual stopped where (let alone correlating it with payments), that level of spying on people would not be allowed. It is anonymized data for the area on just the number of people who moved given distances, no details on who went where

          Like

        • My phone is constantly asking me to write reviews for various businesses that I simply drove near, not that I went into, and it often shows my routes and is off by hundreds of meters. Some times as much as 2-3 thousand meters. Rather iffy, at best. Not a cheap phone, a Motorola. Electronic tracking is a bit of a leaky bucket to be so dependent on for important data, sorry.

          Like

        • Steve I drove over 200 miles last Sunday. On stop distance to nearest person at leas 500 yards , last time someone had been there unknown. known full afternoon sun shine in Arizona. Probability of are fairly sterile near 99.99 virus load probability 0%. Travel tells you little it the contacts that count. I plan a trip tomorrow about 400 miles starting point and ending point the same, stops, in the middle of nowhere population density of less that one person per square mile. Somehow such travel will add up do zero exposure. One mile on public transportation probability of exposure 100%. All travel is not equal.

          Like

  16. Willis
    In your continuing series on the progress of COVID-19 on WUWT, you remark about the differences in the different countries, to whit, ” As you can see, Belgium, Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy have continued to fall away from the straight line growth that characterizes the exploding exponential growth of the first part of the spread of infection. On the other hand, the UK, France, and the Us are still growing fast.”

    I think some insight on that would come from looking at the percentage of the at-risk population that has become infected. That is, is the virus running out of potential hosts in the countries that are showing a downturn, while the US and UK still have a large reservoir?

    Like

  17. Willis, I appreciate your efforts to bring sanity to the world, and I am glad that WUWT is finally allowing pandemic contrarian comments as illustrated by the many critics of Christopher Monckton latest piece.

    Japan’s response is a sensible response to this issue, and that country is proving that the established science and statistics of herd immunity/viral load is still valid.

    Like

  18. You linked to the IMHE_UW model on WUWT commenting “There’s an excellent website with what seems to me to be a good model here … it currently says that deaths in the first wave will be as follows:”

    For my home state, Arkansas, the model is saying we should have had 454 deaths by now (May 4) with the confidence interval being 282 to 687. Actual deaths so far? 14.

    In a discussion of the IMHE_UW model over at Instapundit, others are reporting wild overprojections like this as well. When the actual results are several sigmas outside the stated range of confidence, the model shoul be summarily abandoned.

    The model is simply curve-fitting with conflicting reports about what data is used to parameterize the model. No epidemiological inputs that I can tell, though it assumes full social distancing with four factors of social distancing. In AR, we have only implemented one of those four. The model should be underestimating deaths in our state, not overestimating them.

    If you torture the data long enough it will confess, even to crimes it did not commit.

    You are a great empiricist. The IMHE_UW model seems very unworthy of your blessing.

    Basil

    Like

  19. wanna know what is frustrating

    my trader has a factory in China. 2M N95 per week.
    1 NYC is demanding like 10 pages of compliance docs, all supplied in English
    2. they want to talk to the factory in English, WTF?

    These guys have zero clue how business happens in China.
    A) Compliance docs are worth the paper they are written on.
    B) TRUST is more important than the paperwork.
    C) you need translators.

    basically, any and all paperwork can be faked. whether its CE, FCC, FDA, whatever.
    so you need to find trustworthy suppliers and that takes boots on the ground and
    connections and a nose for who is real.

    Same trader has medical gowns. State of Washington wants them.
    BUT, the state wants to pay upon delivery. FFS

    Zero clue how business is done.

    Like

  20. Of there many things wrong with your latest post at WUWT, here’s just one:

    > Be clear, however, that this is just a delaying tactic. Flattening the curve does not reduce the total number of cases or deaths. It just spreads out the same amount over a longer time period.

    No – it isn’t just a “delaying” tactic. Once resources are exhausted, death rates will increase. People who might otherwise be saved, if resources weren’t exhausted, might die.

    Simple logic. Curious that it is completely lost on you.

    Like

    • it also gives time for new treatments to be developed and tested.

      far more people who get Wu Flu now are going to live than would have if they had gotten it in January because there is now recognition of medications that help fight it.

      Completely independently of the overload problem that Joshua mentions.

      Like

    • And btw, if you want to pull out “the number of deaths would be the same regardless” out of your ass as you’ve done, it isn’t just the simple fact of those deaths.

      The same number of deaths in a shorter period of time would have a whole series of carry-on effects. The exhausting of resources passes down the line. Fewer regular hospital rooms for those who don’t need ICU beds. Fewer resources available for those who don’t need regular hospital rooms. More people more ill in a shorter period of time has a great deal of differential carry-on impact than the same amount of people being ill over a longer period of time. Simple logic. Just needs the addition of a touch of imagination and a willingness to not simply set out to confirm a bias.

      Like

      • More exhaustion of healthcare workforce. Meaning fewer people caring for more sick people, with obviously poorer outcomes.

        Less needed PPE available to prevent infections, at a rate which exhausts the resupply rate, which leads to an increased number of people sick through infections. where hospitals and healthcare workers are the vector.

        More people unavailable at any given time for maintaining a critical mass needed to maintain “essential” services.

        The carry-on effects are myriad.

        Like

        • All that depends where you are, somehow overrunning the health care system is not an issues for a good part of the country, just to much naturally spacing between people. East coast yes. Wyoming not so much. Packing plant in South Dakota yes(no shutdown) Packing plant in Minnesota same problem( with shutdown) demographics is the overriding factor, people that work in packing plants tend to live in high density housing.

          Like

  21. Good god, your posts on this topic are flat out terrible. I can’t really evaluate many of your posts on climate science, but if we assume the level of logical reasoning that you display in these posts is similar to that you display in your climate-related posts… well, not a pretty picture.

    Like

    • It is absolutely essential, in such an analysis, to account for the economic impact of no lockdown. I would argue that there would be significant economic costs, in addition to the potential of lives lost (which in itself can represent economic “cost” in a variety of ways). And then, there is the aspect that some losses from no shut down could be more or less permanent where costs from shutdowns may be mitigated over time. This is not a binary scenario of shut down to save lives vs. economic cost. This issue is waaaaaaay too complicated for such an approach.

      Simply adding up theoretical calculations of the “cost” of the shutdown without considering the “cost” of a no-shut down state, to reach absolute certain conclusions about the net effect, is just foolish.

      That said, I don’t dismiss in any way the importance of not making assumptions in the other direction about a net benefit of a shut down. Addressing the uncertainties is key. And anyone who ignores uncertainties (particularly when the reach “certainly” which could be easily predicted by looking at the likely impact of political ideology on the analyst), is just fooling themselves. Please remember that you are the easiest person for you to fool.

      Like

    • Imagine NYC right now with no “lockdown.”
      Any more people getting infected in a given period of time. Everyone walking the streets wondering if rhyree about to get infected. Everyone shopping imagining they’re about to get infected. Everyone at every workplace wondering if they’re about to get infected. Wondering if their work colleagues are infected but asymptomatic.

      How many restaurants would have been able to remain open? How many retail stores? How many non-essential business’s would have stayed open?

      How many employees would have stayed home? How many would have been fired becsusw they stayed home out of fear and couldn’t prove they had symptoms? Would employers require their employees to come to work under such conditions?

      Imagine how many seniors would be infected by people going to work and them coming back home. Imagine ho many more Healthcare workers would get sick in a fixed period of time. Imagine how much a worse the shortages of needed equipment would be.

      You act as if there is some magical scenario where a lack of “lockdown” is a binary state – no “lockdown and there is no economic pain as compared to a “lockdown” causes enormous economic pain that is all attributable to the “lockdown” itself and not the existence of a pandemic which would be there regardless.

      Nkmw of that is to question that with a more effective government approach (more medical capacity, more needed resources, more testing, more effective contact tracing, fever clinics, better screening of travelers, etc.) “lockdowns” could be shortened and their negative impact mitigated.

      But stop substituting magical thinking for clear analysis.

      Like

      • nobody is suggesting that NYC (with 1/3 to 1/2 of the cases in the country) shouldn’t have a quarantine.

        the argument is about the rest of the country, especially those areas outside the big cities throughout the country.

        Like

        • I just used NY as an example against an overly broad argument being put forward.

          I’m critiquing the arguments that (1) “lockdowns” (as a general class) aren’t working (a net positive in terms of deaths and other medical outcomes) where they are occurring and, (2) are definitively a net negative, economically.

          Arguments that “lockdowns” should be enacted based on conditions in specific areas seem entirely reasonable to me, as long as they aren’t based on ignoring uncertainties. But for the most part, the uncertainties are huge, at this point in time.

          Anyone who doesn’t lead with that reality of uncertainties is fooling the easiest person for them to fool.

          BTW, Sweden is an interesting case to look at.

          Like

        • Dave –

          Where do you say, with confidence such as that we see in this post, that a “lockdown” was enacted which shouldn’t have been enacted?

          One of the complicating factors here is that the earlier and more forcefully you enact a “lockdown,” likely the stronger its positive effect in terms of saving lives and protecting against the economic damage resulting from a higher level of death and illness – and likely the earlier the “lockdown” might be lifted and shorter the period of “lockdown” necessitated overall (thus limiting the negative economic impact).

          And further complicating is that to a large degree, the greater the beneficial impact of a lockdown the more those so inclined, will find reasons to say that the “lockdown” was alarmist. That’s part of the nature. People in public health say that they can never win because people will argue either that they didn’t act forcefully enough or that they acted too forcefully.

          Like

        • Dave –

          Here’s a good article in the uncertainty

          https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/04/best-case-scenario-for-coronavirus.html

          Keep in mind:

          If you are looking to find something that happens 1 case in 1000, Assume you always find it when it is there. Assume that your false negative rate is 1%. Then in 1000 cases you find 1 true positive and 10 false positives, so the probability that you have a true positive given a positive test is <10 %

          And then there's developing a reliable test, and then getting it out (who would have predicted such crap with the testing so far?), then verifying someone's results.

          Like

  22. It’s been interesting seeing the various comments here. One thing we need to remember is that a lot of the base data is suspect. AFAIK the current tests for either presence of Covid-19 virus in the body and the presence of antibodies against it are both less than reliable. Though we can’t mistake when someone has died, we can’t be precise about the cause of that death. The Chinese figures for deaths may be seriously under-reported, given the air-pollution measured over their crematoria, and also given the severity of their lock-down (and the size of the pop-up hospitals) which would not be warranted for the number of deaths reported.

    The shut-downs and lock-ins in Europe and the USA are obviously not working that well, since they are not being implemented with the tracing/testing that South Korea has done. Thanks to Steve Mosher for that perspective. May flatten the curve enough to avoid too serious an overload of the medical facilities, though.

    There is evidence that Hydroxy-chloroquinone (HCQ), together with some Zinc supplement can act as a prophylactic and can also cure people if applied early enough – best not to wait until the patient is on ventilation. See Jo Nova’s article today as regards Vitamin D3 supplements, too, as a way of flattening the curve and maybe reducing the total number of people dying from the corona virus. Could be a lot cheaper to apply these two fixes than shutting down a large amount of the economy. Put a package in the post to everyone with pills and recommended dosage, and information about the personal circumstances that would indicate that taking the HCQ would be not recommended, and what side-effects to watch out for. Give people the information and the pills, and let them make their own minds up about whether to take them. Also it would be useful to tell people the truth about masks and why they reduce transmission even for non-medical folks.

    Judging by symptoms, my daughter in Edinburgh, UK, caught Covid-19 back in February and spent a very miserable 10 days or so getting over it. There’s a lot more people who have had it than the official figures state. As I said, official figures are likely misleading. It’s also pretty obvious that there are a lot of people who are asymptomatic, but can still spread the disease. The shutdown of the economy is thus shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. The lockdown will of course have some effects, and slow the curve because fewer people interact, but those asymptomatic spreaders will mean that you’ll need to reach 80% or so of the population infected (and either recovered or died) before the R0 goes below 1 and the virus dies out. There may be places where it lingers, though, and re-emerges with enough mutation to be infectious again, and we’ll be going through this whole thing again next year. Would we do another lock-down? Could we afford to do that again, next year, and the year after that…?

    It takes time to develop tests for a new disease. They will improve. It takes time to work out how best to cure it, and this too will improve. Hopefully, by the time the next pandemic comes around (and it’s only a matter of when, not if) we’ll have worked out a better way to deal with it than shutting down the economy. My daughter’s job (and thus income) disappeared overnight, along with around 1/3 the other workers in the UK. Wealth-producing manufacturers are largely shut down (except farming) so not much wealth is being produced. Not eating kills people faster than the virus…. The debts incurred this time will take many years to pay back, and of course it always costs more to live on borrowed money.

    When we look back on this pandemic, maybe we’ll see that mistakes were made and learn from them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good assessment Simon – I read it after I posted my note below, now in moderation.

      This European Total Mortality (from all causes) data is interesting. Sweden is not doing the lockdown.
      https://www.euromomo.eu/index.html

      It is clear that Canada’s strategy was “too late, too much”. Our Liberal government was, as usual, asleep during the early weeks of this mess, and then over-reacted to it – “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

      Like

  23. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/10/but-is-the-growth-of-the-pandemic-really-exponential/#comment-2964810

    BAD CALL – END THE LOCKDOWNS ASAP.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51674743
    “The UK government’s scientific advisers believe that the chances of dying from a coronavirus infection are between 0.5% and 1%.”

    I believe this Covid-19 estimated mortality range “between 0.5% and 1%” (deaths/infections) is ~correct for a typical country’s population distribution , and my hunch is “closer to 0.5%” – that is not very scary except if you are in the “high risk” group – over 65 years of age or otherwise high-risk (with other medical problems) – Covid-19 deaths are heavily concentrated in the high-risk group.

    I still think my ~mid-March assessment of this situation was the correct one:
    “Isolate people over sixty-five and those with poor immune systems and return to business-as-usual for people under sixty-five.
    This will allow “herd immunity” to develop much sooner and older people will thus be more protected AND THE ECONOMY WON’T CRASH.
    If tests prove positive, use chloroquine and remdesivir or other cheap available drugs ASAP as appropriate.”

    With rare exceptions, we have not seen the “tsunami of cases overwhelm our medical systems”, and we have trashed our economies and severely harmed hundreds of millions worldwide who live from paycheck to paycheck. Considering the pro’s and con’s, the full lockdown was a bad call.

    Regards, Allan

    https://rosebyanyothernameblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/end-the-american-lockdown/comment-page-1/#comment-12253

    Hi Willis,

    I posted the following yesterday on wattsup – similar ideas.

    This full-lockdown scenario is especially hurting service sector businesses and their minimum-wage employees – young people are telling me they are “financially under the bus”. The young are being destroyed to protect us over-65’s. A far better solution is to get them back to work and let us oldies keep our distance, and get “herd immunity” established ASAP – in months not years. Then we will all be safe again.

    Regards, Allan

    ALLAN MACRAE March 21, 2020 at 10:22 pm
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/21/to-save-our-economy-roll-out-antibody-testing-alongside-the-active-virus-testing/#comment-2943724

    This brief data analysis is far from comprehensive, but here are my preliminary conclusions:
    CORONAVIRUS – STRONG CONTAINMENT (3% INFECTED IN S. KOREA) VS POOR CONTAINMENT (21% INFECTED ON THE CRUISE SHIP).
    1% FATALITIES OF THOSE INFECTED IN BOTH CASES.
    ON THE CRUISE SHIP, ALL DEATHS WERE PEOPLE OVER 70 YEARS OF AGE.
    REPORTEDLY DEATHS TYPICALLY OCCURRED TO PATIENTS WITH POOR HEALTH AND POOR IMMUNE SYSTEMS.
    REPORTEDLY YOUNGER INFECTED PEOPLE OFTEN HAVE MILD OR NO SYMPTOMS.

    LET’S CONSIDER AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH, SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION OF THE ABOVE CONCLUSIONS:
    Isolate people over sixty-five and those with poor immune systems and return to business-as-usual for people under sixty-five.
    This will allow “herd immunity” to develop much sooner and older people will thus be more protected AND THE ECONOMY WON’T CRASH.
    If tests prove positive, use chloroquine and remdesivir or other cheap available drugs ASAP as appropriate.

    Best, Allan

    Like

  24. Here in Alberta, the Covid-19 lock-down has resulted a debacle.

    Most of our deaths are in nursing homes – our policy seems to be “Lockdown the low-risk majority but fail to adequately protect the most vulnerable.”

    Doctors are apparently reluctant to prescribe Chloroquine because of inadequate formal clinical tests, but actual clinical experience elsewhere suggests a high degree of success. “Let’s wait until we get formal studies!”

    The global data for Covid-19 suggests that deaths/infections will total 0.5% or less – not that scary – but much higher and clearly dangerous for the high-risk group – those over-65 or with serious existing health problems.

    “Elective” surgeries were cancelled about mid-March, in order to make space available for the “tsunami” of Covid-19 cases that never happened. Operating rooms are empty and medical facilities and medical teams are severely underutilized. The backlog of surgeries will only be cleared with extraordinary effort by medical teams, and the cooperation of patients who die awaiting surgery – patients who were too impatient.

    This may look like 20:20 hindsight, but I called it this way in ~mid-March.

    Regards, Allan

    https://rosebyanyothernameblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/end-the-american-lockdown/comment-page-2/#comment-12626
    [excerpt]

    BAD CALL – END THE LOCKDOWNS ASAP.

    Like

    • My Boss’s wife works for a large hospital system in the Phoenix Az area

      they just got a letter warning them that hours are going to be cut or layoffs were going to start happening because the hospital utilization is so low

      Like

      • Hi David,

        Hospital layoffs in the Phoenix area, where there are lots of elderly people – so where is the tsunami of cases?

        I understand that Pres. Trump will announce today that the governors to make the all-clear call for each state. I suggest that about half your states should reopen now – maybe they all should.

        It would be prudent for high-risk people to still take simple precautions, but the sooner there is “herd immunity” among the low-risk majority the safer it will be for everyone.

        I believe that a competent analysis of this Covid-19 lockdown will conclude that it was a huge over-reaction, that the harm done to the low-risk majority, small businesses and the economy vastly outweighed the benefits to the high-risk elderly, etc – and I am in that group.

        Regards, Allan

        Like

  25. > Meanwhile, out of modelworld and back in the real world, Sweden is doing quite well, thank you very much. I’ve highlighted Sweden’s trail in red/black. Note that Sweden is on the same path as Switzerland, which has had lots of interventions & quarantine regs.

    Dude. Are you serious?

    Compare population density in Switzerland and Sweden.

    Like

    • Joshua April 14, 2020 at 6:07 pm

      Meanwhile, out of modelworld and back in the real world, Sweden is doing quite well, thank you very much. I’ve highlighted Sweden’s trail in red/black. Note that Sweden is on the same path as Switzerland, which has had lots of interventions & quarantine regs.

      Dude. Are you serious?

      Compare population density in Switzerland and Sweden.

      There’s no reason to be unpleasant, Joshua.

      And yes, I have looked closely at Swedish population density. Sweden is a maritime nation with a very rugged, snowy, cold mountainous spine. All of the big cities are port cities. As a result, the overwhelming majority of the population lives packed into a narrow band along the coast.

      So the density difference in practice is much smaller than the density difference in theory.

      w.

      Like

      • It’s not only population density Willis {567 vs. 64}, there are other environmental and behavioral differences which (for example, rate of people per household) make your comparison as facile as it gets.

        Nothing personal Willis. I’m not saying you’re dumb – just your simplistic comparison to draw conclusions about the effects of interventions by comparng two unlike phenomena. You need to control for key variables when you make such comparisons, and you must know that but failed to do so.

        Like

      • Hmmm. Sweden now around 300 deaths per million, Switzerland close to 200. And the gap is widening.

        I say comparisons across countries mostly just serves to confirm biases. Top many uncontrolled variables to be of much value.

        Like

        • question isn’t ‘ho many deaths now’ it’s ‘how many deaths over time’, if the new predictions are correct (which I doubt), the US is going to get close to 500 deaths per million in a few months.

          If the deaths in Sweden level off while the rest of the world continues to climb to the same level over several more months, then it’s a good argument for their approach

          Personally, I think the initial couple of weeks was justified, there wasn’t enough info to know that the Italy/NYC examples didn’t apply everywhere, but we are long past the point where we know that the health care system is not going to be overwhelmed so there is FAR less benefit to any continued lockdowns

          Like

          • People die every day, always have and always will. Allowing liars embedded in our government to use a flu strain to destroy our economy is stupid, no matter what statistical fantasies they throw out. Those who are at high risk need to be protected, everyone else needs to get this flu and move on with their lives. Locking people in their homes is destroying their immune systems. Mark my words, there WILL be a wave of infectious disease illnesses and the liars in government and media will screech that they are ALL Chinese Disease. Bet your a$$ on it. The lies are just starting to fly!

            Like

          • Dave –

            I agree that even if cross county comparisons were meaningful eventually, it’s definitely too early to make meaningful comparisons at this point.

            As for the rest of your comment – you were saying before that those types of evaluations should be made based on details of context – but now you’re making a broad generalization.

            I would go with the context-specific evaluations.

            Along those lines, in which specific contexts do you think the CDC’s guidelines were too stringent, and which aspect of the guidelines? They seemed pretty reasonable to me, and I suspect that the regions that are effectively ignoring those guidelines may well be making a mistake. (of course, they could be making a mistake if they abide by them as well).

            Mostly, I think that there should be high standards for robust testing, contact tracing, and isolation infrastructure as criteria. If that’s in place then I think it gives a lot more leeway for opening up. Lots of places opening now don’t seem to have such infrastructure.

            I see an inverse relationship between need for social distancing guidelines and quality of testing/tracing/isolation infrastructure – within certain bounds.

            Like

  26. Hi Willis
    Some questions if I may, having looked at your latest charts on WUWT:

    Is it possible to enlarge the charts so differences in gradient stand out? For instance, the UK’s current curve is steeper than Italy’s, but that is hard to see on the charts.

    You have focussed on the number of interventions, but should you also look at the timing of interventions? Given that many countries have closed borders, the timing of any intervention is highly likely to influence the fatality rates. It seems very possible the reason UK’s current curve is so steep is that the interventions happened too late.

    Is death per 10 million really a useful metric? When discussing this question, I have seen the virus compared to a forest fire. When there is a local outbreak, the size of the whole forest is irrelevant. In the same way, the size of the US is irrelevant when looking at outbreaks in NY and other places. The US fatality rate per 10 million is therefore misleading (as Steve Mosher has argued for a long time).

    Combining my last two question, the US is just too big to average out. it seems possible the lockdown was too late for NY but early enough for other parts of the country.

    Like

    • Of course some kind of sensitivity analysis is crucial. Timing of interventions should be considered. And the potential of different degrees of relative influence among different interventions should be analyzed. Just assuming they should all be equally is incredibly silly and just bad analysis.

      Like

      • The amount of testing and level of contact tracing should also be factored in.

        Obviously, the relative impact of the various interventions doesn’t exist independently of the public health measures that don’t come under Willis’ definition of interventions. Their impact is interrelated. Other interventions can have a mediating or moderating effect.

        Like

        • unfortunately all this analysis is based on known bad data

          we know that we don’t know how many people had the virus at any point in time (including now)
          we know that we don’t know the number of people who have died from the virus at any point in time.

          when the dust settles, we are going to be able to look at total deaths from all causes and see if there are different trends in areas that were hard hit, not so hard hit, had lockdowns, and didn’t have lockdowns.

          but given that we can’t trust any of the causes of death, we are going to be mixing increased deaths due to the virus with decreased deaths due to traffic accidents because people are stuck at home.

          as someone said, dieing from a bullet to he heart will be classified as a Wu Flu death if you have the virus. Since then, you don’t even need to be tested and shown to have the virus, if you just have symptoms that could be the virus you now count as a Wu Flu death

          Like

          • > unfortunately all this analysis is based on known bad data

            Agreed.

            > as someone said, dieing from a bullet to he heart will be classified as a Wu Flu death if you have the virus. Since then, you don’t even need to be tested and shown to have the virus, if you just have symptoms that could be the virus you now count as a Wu Flu death

            Sure, data aren’t perfect now and never will be. There are also many people who are dying now for whom CV-19 was likely a proximal cause, and who have not and never will be tested and so will not be classified as dying from CV-19.

            Of course, real epidemiologists have ways of accounting for such possibilities statistically (just as they do for the explanatory power of the various interventions, their time of onset, etc.). Armchair epidemiologists, on the other hand…

            Like

  27. Hello Mr. Eschenbach
    Since Canada is very close to the USA physically and socially, it would seem logical to include the Canadian curve on one of your graphs. At the end of this saga, I believe that countries and their leaderships will be evaluated based on these comparisons. Like you, I feel that governments must adjust their very crude and destructive mitigation strategies now. We cannot afford to wait.
    Stephen R, near Montreal, Quebec, CANADA

    Like

  28. Can you show a U.S. curve minus the data from New York? Since it’s responsible for almost half of the outbreak it may very well be skewing that data for the country.

    Like

  29. Hey Willis,

    You and I may experience similar state brutality in the People’s Socialist Republics of California and Canada.

    The USA Dems and the Canadian Liberals, NDP and Greens are really turned on by this story – Nancy and Justin are so excited they are sliding off their seats…

    Stay safe, Allan

    GERMAN LAWYER WHO CRITICIZED LOCKDOWN ARRESTED, TAKEN TO PSYCH WARD
    Thu, 04/16/2020 – 02:00
    Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/german-lawyer-who-criticized-lockdown-arrested-taken-psych-ward

    A German medical lawyer who criticized the coronavirus lockdown law was arrested and taken to a psychiatric ward, where she says she was violently abused by authorities.

    Beate Bahner published a press release on April 3rd decrying the German lockdown laws as “flagrantly unconstitutional, infringing to an unprecedented extent many of the fundamental rights of citizens.”

    “These measures are not justified by the Infection Prevention Act, hurriedly amended just a few days ago,” she asserted.

    “Long-term restrictions on leaving home and meeting others, based on high-death-rate modelled scenarios, which fail to take account of actual critical expert opinions, and the complete shutdown of businesses and shops with no proof that they pose any risk of infection, are thoroughly unlawful.”

    Bahner called for a nationwide protest on Easter Sunday to “end the tyranny at once,” before Heidelberg Police announced that they would seek to prosecute her for inciting Germans to break the law.

    On April 13th, Bahner called her sister from Heidelberg’s Klinik fur Allgemeine Psychiatrie describing what happened to her.

    After claiming she was “suspiciously” followed by a car, Bahner says she asked another motorist to call the police only for the police to show up, handcuff her and push her to the ground “with massive force.”

    After being driven to the psychiatric facility, Bahner says she was treated like a terrorist.

    “I asked to be allowed to sit down and was shown to a bench. Then I asked to have the handcuffs taken off, since it was actually I who had requested police protection,” she recounted.

    “But instead, I was thrown to the floor again, having my head hurled onto the stone floor from a meter height, which nobody reacted to. Then I was forced to spend the night lying on the floor in some high-security Guantanamo psychiatric clinic…there was no toilet, no sink, though they did allow me water, and there was a bell I could ring, though they ignored it after the third time I pressed it.”

    The lawyer was charged for incitement yesterday, with her attorney sounding the alarm bell over her treatment. “I shouldn’t have to add Bahner’s claims of very grave abuse have untoward connotations of the darkest chapters of German history,” he said.

    “The mere fact she claimed to have been so badly abused was what prompted me to write to you. Bahner is in the company of over 50 well-known experts in criticising the nationwide lockdown; I would be glad to furnish you with a list of their names. If it really is the case lawyers critical of government measures can now be intimidated using the state legal apparatus or psychiatry, and can be professionally and socially destroyed, then it is five minutes to midnight in this country.”

    Bahner has won three cases in the Federal Constitutional Court and written five books on German medical law.

    Like

  30. Willis, I just want to thank you for your generosity with your time, wit and best-in-its-class analysis of the covid pandemic. It is a comfort to follow the course of this thing and see how we are doing (worldwide) knowing that we can trust it is the straight goods (within the limits of data quality, of course) with no subplots. It is unfolding as it should. One of my daughters and family in London has contracted it. Fortunately they appear to be recovering.

    I stole your idea (the first place I saw it) that the lockdown is a huge mistake (as I hope millions more are coming around to). I’m in my 82nd year and suppose, despite excellent health so far, I’m in the most vulnerable group. But, it would have been possible without too much fuss for we old folk to distance ourselves and have groceries dropped off by family or neighbors for a number of weeks.

    Ive also seen suggestions for selecting dedicated hospitals for those infected, plus a rigid protocol for admitting patients in other hospitals to safeguard patients from the virus. Yes, it would be a hassel, but to shutdown economies will kill people in bigger numbers and cost trillions, probably eclipsing the foolish costs of Anthropo Global Warming. Good wishes to you and your gorgeous ex-fiance and family.
    Cheers Gary Pearse, Ottawa, Canada.

    Like

  31. Wilis regards your comment on your latest WUWT post, to quote
    “I suspect that this has to do with the CDC instruction that if the powers that be SUSPECT that COVID just MIGHT have in some way CONTRIBUTED to a death, the CDC says to call it a COVID-19 death … madness”

    I have to disgree, it’s not madness. I would respectfully suggest it’s purposeful. Thank you for your common sense.

    Like

  32. US coronavirus deaths hits record one-day total of 4,591 from the what is this, the rate of increase was flat for at least six day now the last two it sky rocketed, I think this is bogus, what your thoughts. I know New York is cooking the books who else?

    Like

  33. HI Willis,

    I still think we both called this one correctly – my pre-coffee meanderings follow – am I right or not?

    Regards, Allan

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/20/un-climate-change-fund-calls-coronavirus-an-opportunity-to-re-shape-the-world/#comment-2973043

    Pre-coffee calculations are always suspect, but:

    I say that in Iceland THE DEATH RATE [Total Deaths/Estimated Total Infections] IS LESS THAN 0.1%, SIMILAR TO OTHER SEASONAL FLUS.

    AM I WRONG IN MY CALCULATIONS, OR IS COVID-19 JUST ANOTHER SEASONAL FLU?

    Covid-19 appears relatively mild, often showing no symptoms among younger people, but is dangerous to the elderly and the infirm.

    As I wrote in March:
    https://rosebyanyothernameblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/end-the-american-lockdown/comment-page-1/#comment-12253
    [excerpt- posted 21Mar2020]
    “This full-lockdown scenario is especially hurting service sector businesses and their minimum-wage employees – young people are telling me they are “financially under the bus”. The young are being destroyed to protect us over-65’s. A far better solution is to get them back to work and let us oldies keep our distance, and get “herd immunity” established ASAP – in months not years. Then we will all be safe again.”

    Have we wasted many trillions, harmed billions of young people and trashed our economies for nothing? Seems so. We should end this unnecessary lockdown now!

    Next time, listen to your Uncle Allan, who tries his best to take good care of all of you. 🙂

    – Allan MacRae
    ___________________________________

    WHAT’S THE STATUS OF COVID-19 IN ICELAND? Last updated April 21, 2020
    https://www.icelandreview.com/ask-ir/whats-the-status-of-covid-19-in-iceland/

    Iceland has the best Covid-19 data, having ~randomly tested >43,000 cases, ~13% of their country’s population.

    Active cases peaked on 5April2020. On 4May2020 the Icelandic government will begin relaxing COVID-19 restrictions in Iceland in general. Icelandic preschools and elementary schools will return to regular operation; salons, massage parlours, and museums will reopen; and gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed. Swimming pools, gyms, bars, and slot machines will remain closed for the time being.

    Iceland Total Tests to 21Apr2020 ~43,143
    Confirmed infections 1773
    Population of Iceland 341,250
    Total Tests/Population 12.6%
    Infections/Tests = 4.1%

    Extrapolating to Iceland’s population = (341,250/43,143) * 1773 = 14,023 estimated total infections in Iceland

    Ten deaths have been recorded to date.
    10 deaths/1773 confirmed infections = 0.56%
    10 deaths/14023 estimated total infections in Iceland = 0.07% = LESS THAN 0.1% MORTALITY RATE IN THE GENERAL POPULATION
    10 deaths/341,250 population = 2.9*10^5 = 0.003%

    Like

  34. More support to END THE LOCKDOWN ASAP.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/25/uk-german-governments-plan-to-turn-covid-19-into-a-climate-action-opportunity/#comment-2978344

    END THE COVID-19 LOCK-DOWN ON MAY 1, 2020!

    Told you so ~5 weeks ago – at the beginning of the Covid-19 lock-down I said it was a mistake.
    “Like swatting a fly on a glass table – with a sledgehammer!”

    THE BEARER OF GOOD CORONAVIRUS NEWS
    Stanford scientist John Ioannidis finds himself under attack for questioning the prevailing wisdom about lockdowns.
    By Allysia Finley, Wall Street Journal
    Updated April 24, 2020 5:14 pm ET
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-bearer-of-good-coronavirus-news-11587746176

    Stanford scientist John Ioannidis finds himself under attack for questioning the prevailing wisdom about lockdowns.

    Defenders of coronavirus lockdown mandates keep talking about science. “We are going to do the right thing, not judge by politics, not judge by protests, but by science,” California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom said this week. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defended an order that, among other things, banned the sale of paint and vegetable seeds but not liquor or lottery tickets. “Each action has been informed by the best science and epidemiology counsel there is,” she wrote in an op-ed.

    But scientists are almost never unanimous, and many appeals to “science” are transparently political or ideological. Consider the story of John Ioannidis, a professor at Stanford’s School of Medicine. His expertise is wide-ranging—he juggles appointments in statistics, biomedical data, prevention research and health research and policy.

    Google Scholar ranks him among the world’s 100 most-cited scientists. He has published more than 1,000 papers, many of them meta-analyses—reviews of other studies. Yet he’s now found himself pilloried because he dissents from the theories behind the lockdowns—because he’s looked at the data and found good news.

    In a March article for Stat News, Dr. Ioannidis argued that Covid-19 is far less deadly than modelers were assuming. He considered the experience of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined Feb. 4 in Japan. Nine of 700 infected passengers and crew died. Based on the demographics of the ship’s population, Dr. Ioannidis estimated that the U.S. fatality rate could be as low as 0.025% to 0.625% and put the upper bound at 0.05% to 1%—comparable to that of seasonal flu.

    Full article at https://www.ruthfullyyours.com/2020/04/25/the-bearer-of-good-coronavirus-news-by-allysia-finley/

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  35. and some news showing that Wu Flu deaths may be getting underreported in some areas
    analyzing deaths from all causes compared to the last several years.

    I think more analysis like this is needed. I’ll bet that while is shows spikes in densely populated areas, it will show lower than expected results in less densely populated areas.

    Most world capitals are much more like New York than Los Angeles (or other American cities)

    https://www.ft.com/content/6bd88b7d-3386-4543-b2e9-0d5c6fac846c

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    • Thank you David.

      Re the Financial Times article at: https://www.ft.com/content/6bd88b7d-3386-4543-b2e9-0d5c6fac846c

      The input data appears to be here:
      Mortality monitoring in Europe (1Jan2016 to present)
      https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps/

      The winter flu season in 2019-2020 was the mildest in many years, with far fewer than average winter deaths. Sadly, elderly and unwell people die. Then along came Covid-19 and it killed a large number of elderly and unwell people who survived the winter flu season. Total ~winter deaths from all causes are depicted by the area under the curve in these plots, and are still (approximately) no greater than the 2017-2018 flu season – these deaths just happened later than usual.

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  36. Why is it that you are not tracking Japan? On the one hand, the number of Covid-19 deaths per million population is now below that of South Korea. Furthermore, the daily deaths are have been going down instead of up recently and are comparable to the number of daily deaths around three weeks ago. Aren’t you curious as to why? You are tracking Sweden as a counter example to most of the rest of Europe. Japan was not locked down until relatively recently and even then the current lockdown is not being strictly followed. Yet, their numbers are much lower than Sweden’s. Aren’t you curious to follow this country as well as Sweden. Just asking.
    By the way, I really enjoy your posts on Watts Up With That, including the wonderful stories from your life.

    By the way, if you are interested, I could tell you how I am using a disinfectant inside my body, even ingesting it to make me at least a little more resistant to Covid-19. Curious?

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  37. UK excess deaths are now over 40,000, and the figures only go as far as two weeks ago. Excess deaths are running at double the official Covid death rate. The official rate only counts deaths in hospitals where Covid 19 confirmed.

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