Coronavirus Pandemic

This is from the article:

https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/24/12-experts-questioning-the-coronavirus-panic
"In Hubei, in the province of Hubei, where there has been the most cases and deaths by far, the actual number of cases reported is 1 per 1000 people and the actual rate of deaths reported is 1 per 20,000. So maybe that would help to put things into perspective. "​

Supposing a population of 20,000 ,
1 death per 20,000 = 1 death in a population of 20,000
1 case per 1000 in a population of 20,000 = 20 cases

1 death / 20 cases = .05 death per case or a case fatality rate of 5%

That is a case fatality rate of 5%

The author says it would help to put things into perspective. I think it does.
What happens when I use the case fatality rate from the article vortex posted....

The Chinese took extensive precautions to stop the out break.

The population of the US is 330,000,000 we had 39,000,000 cases of flu this year, one case of flu per 8.5 people, we didn't take extensive precautions to stop the flu so we had many more cases of flu (1 in 8.5 people) than Hubei had cases of covid-19 (1 in 20,000) .

Covid-19 is more infectious than flu so it is an underestimate to say 39,000,000 cases of flu this year * case faltality rate of .05 = 1,950,000 potential deaths from covid-19 if we don't take extraordinary precautions to stop the spread and it spreads like the flu.

I am not saying we will have 1,950,000 deaths from covid-19. I am saying the numbers in the article vortex posted justify extensive precautions because there is a potentila for 2 million deaths from covid-19

I don't know if the numbers in the article are right.
 
It is morally abominable to ask the bulk of the population - including kids - to shoulder an enormous burden just to keep some old and sick people alive a little longer.
Anyone in a developed economy has been subsidizing older folks in exactly this way. Healthcare expenses, whether paid through public or private systems, spend a disproportionate amount of their revenues (whether taxes or premiums) on older patients. Sure, there is some tilting of premiums in a private pay system so that those more likely to need healthcare pay a bit more, buts its far from equitable.

Also, its worth noting that what the quote/unquote "young people" are being asked to shoulder is a burden that is in part self serving just as paying health insurance premiums: they may need medical care due for whatever reason. Young 25 year old is out riding a motorcycle, gets in an accident, needs emergency surgery, but the medical facilities are overflowing with COVID-19 cases. Self interest can be a motivator here.

So, the hyperbole here is a bit overblown even withstanding the more visible efforts being taken today.
 
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/a...kdowns-look-smart-under-cost-benefit-scrutiny
(not a quote...)
By examining questions such as how much money a workers demand to take on hazardous jobs, researchers can determine the value, we as a society, consider a life to be worth.

The value is about $10 million.

The government uses this number in doing cost benefit analyses to determine if reducing fatalities is worth the cost.

Researchers have tried to estimate the costs of precautions against covid-19 and find that in some cases it is worth the expense based on the lives saved.

The research is dependent on a lot of assumptions and early data on covid-19, so I don't know how useful it is right now (you can follow the links in the above url if you want to read about it), but I think it is interesting that as the outbreak progresses the assumptions and the data will be tested and better estimates will be produced so we will have some rational basis for deciding what to do. Or there will be a rational basis for criticizing what the government is doing.
 
For your reading pleasure:
(I am not posting these to support my point of view. I don't agree with everything in them. I am only sharing them because they may be of interest to other members.)

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/im...-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf
Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand​
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615370/coronavirus-pandemic-social-distancing-18-months/
We’re not going back to normal​
Social distancing is here to stay for much more than a few weeks. It will upend our way of life, in some ways forever.​
 
I think that if this goes on for too long the public will decide they are willing to take the risk in order to get back to normal and the government will have to give in. That's the way I feel. Personally I'm willing to take the risk. But I am willing to put up with the restrictions for the sake of other people who might not want to take the risk.
 
I think that if this goes on for too long the public will decide they are willing to take the risk in order to get back to normal and the government will have to give in. That's the way I feel. Personally I'm willing to take the risk. But I am willing to put up with the restrictions for the sake of other people who might not want to take the risk.
That's taking the High Road which, IMO, is the best choice for anyone to make.
 
More evidence that China was lying about stats:

“Urns in Wuhan far exceed death toll, raising more questions about China’s tally. A single mortuary has had 5,000 urns delivered over the past two days, double the city's reported coronavirus death toll.”
https://shanghaiist.com/2020/03/27/...ll-raising-more-questions-about-chinas-tally/

“Despite claims made by mainland authorities that there have been no new local infections of the coronavirus in Wuhan in the last few days, people there have told RTHK this is simply not the case. They say patients are being turned away from hospitals without testing to back the official data, which one person described as a "not medical, but political treatment".” https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1516240-20200323.htm

Also looks like the lockdown is getting into more of a lockdown in some areas. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/28/tru...e-in-new-york-new-jersey-and-connecticut.html
 
https://swprs.org/corona-media-propaganda/

On Corona, the Media, and Propaganda

Published: 19 March 2020; Languages: DE, EN, HU, RU

In the current situation, the old and proven propaganda rule applies again: the less is known, the more is speculated. For attentive readers, however, this offers an opportunity to assess the standards and focus of different media outlets and authors.

One may ask, for example:
  • Who merely counts test-positive case and death figures without asking what these people actually fall ill with or die of?
  • Who brings headlines such as „21-year-old football coach dies of coronavirus“ and only mentions in the last sentence that he had undiagnosed leukaemia?
  • Who addresses the issue of so-called excess mortality, which is still within or even below the normal range in all countries and age groups?
  • Who asks how many additional, unexpected pneumonia patients there are in intensive care units, and what their age and health profile is?
  • Who prefers frightening pictures of viruses, protective suits and coffins rather than actual data, facts and background information?
  • Who discusses the well-known problems with virus test kits in general, and the missing clinical validation of the currently used virus test kit in particular?
  • Who highlights the problematic role played by the WHO in previous cases, and in this one?
  • Who is trying to add a political or geopolitical spin to the current situation?
  • Who is still talking about „biological weapons“, even though this scenario has long been ruled out by hardly spectacular death rates and death profiles?
The bioweapons rumor, which has been launched on every occasion for almost forty years, primarily serves a geopolitical and psychological purpose. (See also: History of Biological Warfare)

Medical and military experts asked by SPR recommend keeping three possible scenarios in mind when analyzing current developments („the three P’s“):
  1. A pandemic of a dangerous virus
  2. A media-induced mass psychosis
  3. A potential psychological operation
As an example of recent psychological operations, they mention the repeatedly staged chemical weapons attacks in the Syria war, which have been uncovered since 2019 by whistleblowers of the OPCW and other experts, but have been largely ignored by the mass media.
 
https://swprs.org/corona-media-propaganda/

On Corona, the Media, and Propaganda

Published: 19 March 2020; Languages: DE, EN, HU, RU

In the current situation, the old and proven propaganda rule applies again: the less is known, the more is speculated. For attentive readers, however, this offers an opportunity to assess the standards and focus of different media outlets and authors.

One may ask, for example:
  • Who merely counts test-positive case and death figures without asking what these people actually fall ill with or die of?
  • Who brings headlines such as „21-year-old football coach dies of coronavirus“ and only mentions in the last sentence that he had undiagnosed leukaemia?
  • Who addresses the issue of so-called excess mortality, which is still within or even below the normal range in all countries and age groups?
  • Who asks how many additional, unexpected pneumonia patients there are in intensive care units, and what their age and health profile is?
  • Who prefers frightening pictures of viruses, protective suits and coffins rather than actual data, facts and background information?
  • Who discusses the well-known problems with virus test kits in general, and the missing clinical validation of the currently used virus test kit in particular?
  • Who highlights the problematic role played by the WHO in previous cases, and in this one?
  • Who is trying to add a political or geopolitical spin to the current situation?
  • Who is still talking about „biological weapons“, even though this scenario has long been ruled out by hardly spectacular death rates and death profiles?
The bioweapons rumor, which has been launched on every occasion for almost forty years, primarily serves a geopolitical and psychological purpose. (See also: History of Biological Warfare)

Medical and military experts asked by SPR recommend keeping three possible scenarios in mind when analyzing current developments („the three P’s“):
  1. A pandemic of a dangerous virus
  2. A media-induced mass psychosis
  3. A potential psychological operation
As an example of recent psychological operations, they mention the repeatedly staged chemical weapons attacks in the Syria war, which have been uncovered since 2019 by whistleblowers of the OPCW and other experts, but have been largely ignored by the mass media.

How can you tell which side is right? How do you know this web site is not a psychological operation?
 
While we're all grasping at straws here since we don't have expert epidemiologists or economists here, it seems that each side may be minimizing the other's expressed risks. You seem to see material, long lasting harm coming from the measures being taken by many governments. While there is no doubt there are economic impacts being felt, I would ask for your reference point as to the long lasting or even permanent impairment to which you seem to be alluding.

While I'm not an economist, I am in the investment industry. What I'm reading from many economists from some of the world's largest asset management firms is that they see this contraction of the economy differently than most (all?) others in recent memory. Unlike, say, the financial crisis of 2008 there are no visible underlying weaknesses or bubbles (e.g., subprime mortgages). Should we be able to get the economy gradually functioning again within a reasonable time frame (granted, I can't define that), these economists expect a pretty strong "snap back" as the underlying health of the global (let alone U.S.) economy is generally strong.

Now, should we be in this type of extreme economic lockdown for an extended period of time (again, hard for me to define), then all bets are off and we likely are facing more widespread, permanent impairment of economic health for many. But as many seem to see death as a normal part of life and are questioning extreme measures to curtail it, so to is economic decay for businesses and people. Bankruptcies occur every day; unemployment claims are made every day.

In closing, I think as much as folks are pushing back against the weakness in good data on COVID-19, I would ask you reflect on the same weakness in good data on many of the assertions being made regarding the impact of the containment measures that been rather casually tossed around in this thread. Seems only intellectually honest, no?
The problem is that when we talk of a contraction of the economy, we are talking about a smooth overview of what will happen. However there are already reports of a plague of rats in some cities such as New Orleans. Rats bring diseases all of their own - some far more deadly than even the worst predictions for COVID-19. There will be inumerable other problems, and the system will fail in a non-linear, discontinuous way.

The economy cannot be easily divided into essential services and the rest. In reality it is a complex web of interdependencies. Some companies make parts for gadgets that are used in other processes and so on down the chain. It would seem, for example that a ventilator manufacturer in Italy was stalled for lack of a 50c part from China. Goodness knows how many little components may be needed to keep the electricity flowing, the water and sewage flowing (hopefully in opposite directions), the internet running, or the cell phone system working. If we follow down the lockdown concept too far, the whole system may simply be irreparably broken.

David
 
How can you tell which side is right? How do you know this web site is not a psychological operation?

This is THE QUESTION... and my answer to that is that it is up to each individual to decide for themselves and to be as flexible with the assumption(s) one makes with as little bias as possible. In other words, as new, more solid information arrives, adjust accordingly.

I already stated to err on the safer side for the sake of others (the high road).

Having said this, what I am absolutely convinced about is that what really matters in matters such as this is not the truth, but what the masses perceive, because regardless of what is true, the actions and reactions of the masses are all based on their perceptions in combination with their vulnerability to fear. And because I so firmly believe this, I feel personally responsible to share my calm, my relative fearless inner sentiment while behaving in as responsible a manner I can to protect others, my family and finally, myself. Juts because I don't fear this virus, doesn't mean I don't take all the recommended precautions... but I do this because of the example I make to others, not of any personal fear.

Having said that last part, what I am quite concerned about is the potential irreparable damage we could be causing to the global economic structures which, I am most certain, could reach a state such that far more people die due to poverty, far more people are left with miserable lives and some resort to suicide and so to not take measured actions, such as has been recommended in the Swiss website, prtect the elderly, protect the vulnerable and otherwise function as normal with an adjustment towards better hygiene habits as perhaps we always should have in a world with influenza that kills 500,000 or more globally, annually.
 
For your reading pleasure:
(I am not posting these to support my point of view. I don't agree with everything in them. I am only sharing them because they may be of interest to other members.)

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/im...-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf
Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand​
...
This is a publication explaining the reasoning the UK used when they went from mitigation (herd immunity) to suppression (lockdown).

They say the change happened because the latest refinements to their models doubled estimates of ICU demand under mitigation and that the emergency surge capacity of the healthcare systems would be exceeded many times over. The analysis was based on data from Italy and the UK.

I know people are critical of the data from Italy. I am not vouching for this research just sharing what I have read in case anyone is interested in analyzing the decision they made in the UK. However I don't think it is fair to disregard this research unless you understand how they used the data from Italy because it is possible they understood its limitations and used it appropriately. I haven't gotten that deep into the paper yet.

Perhaps our most significant conclusion is that mitigation is unlikely to be feasible without emergency surge capacity limits of the UK and US healthcare systems being exceeded many times over. In the most effective mitigation strategy examined, which leads to a single, relatively short epidemic (case isolation, household quarantine and social distancing of the elderly), the surge limits for both general ward and ICU beds would be exceeded by at least 8-fold under the more optimistic scenario for critical care requirements that we examined. In addition, even if all patients were able to be treated, we predict there would still be in the order of 250,000 deaths in GB, and 1.1-1.2 million in the US.

In the UK, this conclusion has only been reached in the last few days, with the refinement of estimates of likely ICU demand due to COVID-19 based on experience in Italy and the UK (previous planning estimates assumed half the demand now estimated) and with the NHS providing increasing certainty around the limits of hospital surge capacity.
These are the assumption about covid-19 they used. I am not implying this is right or wrong just providing it for those who may be interested.

We assumed an incubation period of 5.1 days9,10. Infectiousness is assumed to occur from 12 hours
prior to the onset of symptoms for those that are symptomatic and from 4.6 days after infection in
those that are asymptomatic with an infectiousness profile over time that results in a 6.5-day mean
generation time. Based on fits to the early growth-rate of the epidemic in Wuhan10,11, we make a
baseline assumption that R0=2.4 but examine values between 2.0 and 2.6. We assume that
symptomatic individuals are 50% more infectious than asymptomatic individuals. Individual
infectiousness is assumed to be variable, described by a gamma distribution with mean 1 and shape
parameter =0.25. On recovery from infection, individuals are assumed to be immune to re-infection
in the short term. Evidence from the Flu Watch cohort study suggests that re-infection with the same
strain of seasonal circulating coronavirus is highly unlikely in the same or following season (Prof
Andrew Hayward, personal communication).

Infection was assumed to be seeded in each country at an exponentially growing rate (with a doubling
time of 5 days) from early January 2020, with the rate of seeding being calibrated to give local
epidemics which reproduced the observed cumulative number of deaths in GB or the US seen by 14th
March 2020.

...
Analyses of data from China as well as data from those returning on repatriation flights suggest that
40-50% of infections were not identified as cases12. This may include asymptomatic infections, mild
disease and a level of under-ascertainment. We therefore assume that two-thirds of cases are
sufficiently symptomatic to self-isolate (if required by policy) within 1 day of symptom onset, and a
mean delay from onset of symptoms to hospitalisation of 5 days.

I hope they will continue to refine their models as the data from the UK develops and that they will be willing to change their conclusions if new data warrant it.

I am also hoping that in the next few weeks the data from hospitalizations and deaths will provide an unmistakable indication of whether we are dealing with flu or something much worse.
 
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The problem is that when we talk of a contraction of the economy, we are talking about a smooth overview of what will happen. However there are already reports of a plague of rats in some cities such as New Orleans. Rats bring diseases all of their own - some far more deadly than even the worst predictions for COVID-19. There will be inumerable other problems, and the system will fail in a non-linear, discontinuous way.

The economy cannot be easily divided into essential services and the rest. In reality it is a complex web of interdependencies. Some companies make parts for gadgets that are used in other processes and so on down the chain. It would seem, for example that a ventilator manufacturer in Italy was stalled for lack of a 50c part from China. Goodness knows how many little components may be needed to keep the electricity flowing, the water and sewage flowing (hopefully in opposite directions), the internet running, or the cell phone system working. If we follow down the lockdown concept too far, the whole system may simply be irreparably broken.

David
These are all your layman's interpretation of events. There's no science nor evidence to support any of it. Plagues?

Modern industry is flexible; more flexible than its ever been. You talk of fear mongering regarding the virus, yet you conjure a system at risk of being "irreparably broken"? You may end up right; its possible of course. Its also possible you have no idea what you are talking about and neither a plague of rats nor a collapse of core services will come to pass. Again, it seems to be all about bias.
 
https://www.foxnews.com/world/cat-in-belgium-first-to-test-positive-for-coronavirus-report
Everything I can find suggests that, each year, 20-60,000 die from the flu each year. This shows a year by year breakdown of the estimates, which show this range.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html
On that page they give the range of deaths 12,000 - 61,000 average = 36,500 deaths
the range of cases: 9,300,000 - 45,000,000, average = 27,150,000 cases

36,500/27,150,000 = .0013 or .13%

The case fatality rate for flu is .13%

(Update I fixed typo / math error (I hope!) sorry if you saw the wrong version.)
 
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Anyone in a developed economy has been subsidizing older folks in exactly this way. Healthcare expenses, whether paid through public or private systems, spend a disproportionate amount of their revenues (whether taxes or premiums) on older patients. Sure, there is some tilting of premiums in a private pay system so that those more likely to need healthcare pay a bit more, buts its far from equitable.

Also, its worth noting that what the quote/unquote "young people" are being asked to shoulder is a burden that is in part self serving just as paying health insurance premiums: they may need medical care due for whatever reason. Young 25 year old is out riding a motorcycle, gets in an accident, needs emergency surgery, but the medical facilities are overflowing with COVID-19 cases. Self interest can be a motivator here.

So, the hyperbole here is a bit overblown even withstanding the more visible efforts being taken today.
The majority in the US also support a small, but very costly minority, that are not assuming responsibility for their own health, regardless of age. The obese alcoholic diabetic with all kinds of associated illnesses, from cardiac issues to renal failure causes every member of an insurance risk pool to have increased premiums. Avoidable healthcare conditions are responsible for 30% to 40% of all healthcare expenditures in the US - obesity is the biggest of these conditions.
 
The majority in the US also support a small, but very costly minority, that are not assuming responsibility for their own health, regardless of age. The obese alcoholic diabetic with all kinds of associated illnesses, from cardiac issues to renal failure causes every member of an insurance risk pool to have increased premiums. Avoidable healthcare conditions are responsible for 30% to 40% of all healthcare expenditures in the US - obesity is the biggest of these conditions.
YES - An absolute, true fact... and note, from the information I have received from friends who have been to both the UK and the US, they claim it has become the same in the UK... It all seemed to blow up to this in just the last 30 years or so...
 
There appears to be some good data suggesting that the death rates for Covid-19 are similar to that of the flu. Of course we need more data, but this is the direction I’m currently leaning. I’ll explain and then post a CDC link below this as reference. This would be good news. Of course the media won’t explain this.

The death rates as have been reported by different countries vary wildly. Italy has reported something along the lines of 9 percent, while Switzerland has reported something along the lines of 1 percent. The reason for these discrepancies are a matter of testing. Most people who are getting tested are those who are sick enough to seek care in the hospital. There are many more who do not known that they have it, or have very minor symptoms and are not seeking care as they do not feel that they are sick enough. Even in Switzerland (where the 1 percent was reported) the vast majority of people getting tested are those who are sick enough to be hospitalized. In Italy, the same is true, with the average age of the person being tested being 81 years old. So, essentially, generally, only the older population is being tested. And even then, it’s the older critically sick population.

If we use the same methodology that’s been widely used for Covid-19 to determine a death rate for the flu, it comes out to 10 percent. This is obviously way too high. We know that 10 percent of the people who get the flu do not die. Yet if we interpret the numbers the same way that most people are interpreting the Covid-19 numbers, we get a death rate of 10 percent for the flu.

Using confirmed cases for the flu, like government officials and media love using for COVID-19, this year's flu has a death rate of 10%

CDC Numbers:
Flu Deaths - 22,000
Flu Confirmed Cases - 222,552
Death Rate per Confirmed Cases - 10%

Source for confirmed cases of the seasonal flu in the US:


https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weeklyarchives2019-2020/Week10.htm

There’s an issue also that is currently more anecdotal in nature. It has been reported by various health practitioners that lots of cases of deaths are being called “covid deaths” without proper authentication. In a sense, the claim which I’ve heard from a few people (and I do want to stress that I don’t know the total veracity of this) is that in the panic and chaos and confusion, a lot of covid deaths are being assumed. A friend who has been doing research told me that it’s become widespread in Italy to automatically classify respiratory deaths as covid deaths. Again, I don’t know the veracity I’d this but figure it’s worth noting.
 

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