Note: New March 30th 2020 Update at the end.
More than ten days since I wrote my first article on the issue (a shorter read for those interested). Perhaps unsurprisingly, not only do we now have more data supporting my findings, but the hysteria has only grown by leaps and bounds previously unimaginable, saying something about the state of modern society. The entire world, the western world in particular, finds itself paralyzed, in the business of creating massive self-imposed economic disruptions, for no reason at all.
Not only is the COVID-19 virus not nearly dangerous enough to warrant such measures, but dizzyingly more stupefying, the containment effort has been a complete failure and sham for a long time. The virus is extremely widespread, the official cases a fraction of the true infections. The virus has already spread wildly across the world, and is either nearing or has reached its peak in many countries and will be diminishing ever more rapidly, as has happened in China and South Korea already.
We often are told we are fighting an invisible enemy. It is more true than people realize, we are a mad dog chasing its tail. The “enemy” is so invisible and materially irrelevant that it is already everywhere, and we are fighting our own fake numbers, measures and countermeasures with more fake numbers, measures and countermeasures.
Likewise we hear talk of great sacrifice and fortitude, such as was on display among the mighty generations of WWII. This is tragic lunacy. A runny nose, and the second world war?! Gd help us all.
Allow me to Explain
Ok first to the facts at hand. Intuitively knowing that there was much left to be desired in any of the early numbers being reported when it comes to the mortality of the virus (or anything else about it), I turned to the cleanest set of numbers we had, those for the Diamond Princess cruise ship. To quote my earlier findings in part:
Due to the focus and world media attention given to the ship, and its subsequent quarantine, we have a rare case of almost full and perfect or near perfect numbers. And here they are:
A total of 4,061 were tested. But to be conservative and gracious to the weak coronavirus, we will only use the numbers that the Japanese Ministry if Health has given as those having been in the ship as of February 3 2019. This total number is 3,711 (of which 3,618 were tested).
Of those, 702 tested positive for the COVID-19.
That is approximately 558 passengers and 144 crew members.
Of the 558 passengers who tested positive, 329 (59%) were asymptomatic. They would not have known they were sick if you did not tell them. That is a majority of cases, even in this relatively older group.
A similar story with the crew. The crew was infected at a much higher rate since they continued to work to feed and take care of the quarantined population and had more frequent contact with more passengers and each other. Still, out of 144 who tested positive, 81 (56%) had no symptoms at all.
How many among the crew, who were mostly Philippino and younger die of the disease? None at all.
And how many died of the disease or complications (often after they were evacuated to their home country) among the passengers? As of writing our March 5 numbers are at 6 total. All of them elderly, 5 of them over 80 years of age and one of them, an Australian man 78 of age. The one death among the 150 Australians quarantined on the ship.
I go on to conclude:
Six dead from a conservative 702 cases aboard a cruise of 3,711 people all stuck together in a ship for many weeks. A death rate of of .85%. In reality, it is much lower among younger people (basically zero) and significantly higher among older people. Since the cruise was an elderly population in general, we get a slightly raised number.
As stated above, the 2009 flu was estimated at about .03% mortality rate. Since it infected a much younger population in general, and elderly people tended to be far more immune to the virus than younger people, the comparative mortality rate for younger people of the 2009 flu was many times greater than this current coronavirus. Additionally, this coronavirus, thankfully does not affect the very young and infants at all (or very mildly). As is the case every year, this coronaviurs, along with the others and influenza is potentially dangerous for older people, and they should, every year, take some precautions. The death rate among older people is still far from catastrophic, and the vast majority who would be infected with coronavirus would easily survive it, but it is significant and care should be taken to avoid if possible.
So firstly, let us compare these findings with some newly available data (newly available to me that is). We have the general age profile of the cruise’s passenger and crew population. Let us start with the six unfortunately deceased passengers cited above:
- 1 Japanese man in his 80’s
- 1 Japanese woman in her 80’s
- 1 Japanese man in his 80’s
- 1 Japanese man in his 80’s
- 1 UK man in his 70’s
- 1 Australia man age 78
Among other things that will be discussed the data also tentatively suggests mortality among men may be much higher than women, although that may be simply correlated to overall health at those more advanced ages.
Note that there has been a seventh (and by now final since no future deaths can be reasonably attributed to the virus) fatality among the passengers. However, this is because the infection toll also continued to rise. We cannot go by the 702 number of cases and keep it static while we increase to the total final death toll (not that it would make any significant difference to my findings). This is the mistake countries and the popular press are making on a grand scale, and we don’t want to repeat it here. We can certainly use the total death figure of 7 (again, being generous to the virus’ potency and crediting all 7 deaths to it alone which is likely not the case) and compare it to the total population of 3,711 (not counting many people that came aboard later such as medical staff). This means a 0.188% mortality rate for a very elderly population in general, considering infection rate and then mortality rate of the infected.
But, sticking with our 702 infected cases (infection rate of about 20%), as an approximate of cases on or about Feb 26, this number in reality kept growing as passengers and crew would continue to test positive after disembarkation, and since we are counting all the deaths that happened after disembarkation, we ought to count the total cases that in reality occurred (further diminishing the death rate), as long as the infections were contracted during the person’s stay on the cruise ship. But since we cannot know that, we will again err on the side of caution and keep the lower number of cases. Our passenger and crew population is as follows:
(*Note: the symptomatic and asymptomatic cases are projected from the reported numbers as of Feb 20, which included 619 positive cases total, to the total cases reported on March 5 of 702 cases. That number in all likelihood continued to climb while the total death toll did not as it is at a maximum of seven persons, or an estimate of 6 by this March 5th date).
|Persons aboard (Feb 5)
This ridiculously useless virus is what is supposedly responsible for the collective self-imposed destruction of the western world’s economy, and the self composure of its society. It would be a difficult task indeed to find a weaker infectious viral disease. You might be able to but it would require a fair amount of work, as a quick look at the known human viruses show a far nastier and more lethal set of profiles, from Influenza to Ebola, Yellow Fever and Rabies, and without need to mention HIV and the host of oncoviruses (cancer causing viruses) around. You’d be hard pressed to find such benign a specimen as COVID-19, though I trust a thorough researcher could give it the old college try and come up with a few.
Looking at those numbers makes the Vaccine talk stupefying. For large numbers of the population, this weak asymptomatic virus is safer, cheaper, and has a greater immunological efficacy than than any vaccine. Not only that, it doesn’t even need FDA approval! And nothing would be better for older folks and those at risk than a large “herd immunity” factor. I believe smart people at private companies have a good chance of coming up with a vaccine relatively quickly, most likely an mRNA vaccine, and a smaller but fair chance of getting it approved by the socialist forces that be not as relatively quickly, but this excellent vaccine with little side-effects for most is already in vast circulation.
So how does this compare to what the WHO was saying at that time (and presumably has not yet changed as far as I know at the time of writing)? A quote for my previous piece on March 5 is in order:
For younger people, this coronavirus is nothing but a strong case of the common cold. That’s what it is for a minority that is, for the majority it is so weak it goes unnoticed.
How does this compare to the mortality rate official bodies are giving? Pretty good. The mortality in China is reported at 3.8% because of under-reporting and a poor health system (they end up treating only the very worse cases). Mortality in areas other than China are reported as of March 5th at .7%, in line (and in fact a bit lower) than what I quote occurred conservatively in the ship.
As for the death rate by age group and gender, data released by the WHO on Feb 29 gives us the following:
I suspect the above chart significantly overstates the mortality rate, due to many factors most important is the under-reporting of the disease in mild or asymptomatic cases, but is still not very far from what I have explained here.
Underlined emphasis added in the above quote, the prediction stood correct. At the time, the exact age group makeup of of the ship’s population was unknown to me, and so it was possible that a pretty stark 15-21 percent of 80 year olds (and older), not to mention 8% of 70-79 year olds who caught the disease were dying of it. On the Princess Diamond, nothing of the sort occurred, and I posit, that nothing of the sort is occurring in any western country either.
Not to mention the WHO’s clearly arbitrary mortality rates for the younger age groups are all most likely vastly exaggerated (even at those relatively low numbers that are apparently enough to put the world at its knees). The mortality on the ship for all age groups up to 69 years old was 0 (and in fact, there was no deaths of anyone under 77 in this number set). Certainly, it is possible and in fact most likely that in larger numbers across larger populations we would see the coronavirus be able to significantly contribute to the mortality of people in these age groups in certain and very rare circumstances, making the death rate something higher than zero. But considering that there were 2,769 people in these groups on the boat, a large majority in fact, and 375 confirmed cases of covid virus among them, it is very likely that if the mortality rates the WHO’s chart indicates for these younger age groups were anywhere close to accurate, we would have seen deaths among these groups. For example, there were nearly a thousand people on board in the age group of 60-69, and 201 with the viral infection. The WHO’s death rate would dictate over 7 deaths from this group alone, based on the 201 cases, and yet we have none. What we have instead among this senior group is that 57% of the cases were asymptomatic, and that these good folks did not know they were sick with the plague of the century until told so. Take a good look at both charts again.
Not knowing the ship’s population’s age breakup at the time of writing my previous piece, I contended that though I suspected the WHO’s numbers to be too high, they did not warrant the world reaction. Now with the missing data, the world’s reaction merits a place among the best surrealist works of Latin America, and no part of sober leadership’s action while at the helm.
For all intents and purposes, the mortality rate for young (and even not so young) people of any reasonable health is zero. The mortality rate for those that are well above the life expectancy age of most countries is apparently at 6.78% (although interestingly seems to drop off at even older ages, more on that later). One cannot imagine that the common flu is any less dangerous at this age and with those underlying conditions. One would be hard pressed to find a virus or even bacterial infection that could demonstrably be less dangerous. We rarely have such clean numbers for any infectious disease because we are not all on a boat and tested individually, so it is most often difficult to tell but this particular pandemic certainly does not quite paint like the end of the world as it is being portrayed.
The unbelievable bottom line is as follows. My previous article estimated, based on what happened on-board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, mortality rate for the coronavirus is at about .85% of that presumably older population (since it was a cruise ship). I pointed out that it is likely that it is much lower for younger people and much higher for older people. The ship’s population turned out to be so old, that in fact the death rate for people 70 to 79 was not higher than .85% but lower at .75%!!
This only climbs to above 5% for the age group of 80 to 89.
So What? you say…
Now, one can say that regardless, a death rate of above 5%, for even those of 80 to 89 is potentially catastrophic and that all measures should be taken to safeguard those thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of lives.
Firstly, even if you were so inclined then certainly a self quarantine of the elderly and those at risk would have sufficed; you could add to this a quarantine of any known infected individual (though I would disagree). To quarantine or suggest quarantine to the mostly already retired is quite different than shutting down the world’s economy.
But more to the point, my first piece touched on the fake concept of safe at all costs as well as the “all measures” concept which is a nice platitude but impossible to achieve as it is conceived, both in practicality and ethically. We are safest when we are not Safe at All Costs. I will not repeat here, but to put a finer point on this mortality rate for the older age groups, there seems to be a strange denial of life’s fundamental and infinitely tragic realities.
At the risk of sounding crass, and with only a little humor as an intention, as it is explained best in pre-gluten-free Old School:
This is an infinitely sad fact, one that does not need to be explained to anyone, but apparently forgotten in this hysteria. Old people die, and in general people die… and people of all ages die. With or without an economy and with or without closing down the world. In fact, an economy is what makes less people dying a possibility as we develop prosperity, medicine, healthcare and civilization itself.
By the way, for the reader, anyone who knows me personally knows there is no greater fan of our elders, the elder the better, whom I hold not only in the highest regards but consider in every respect far greater as a generation or generations than our younger ones. Because of that, my posts are often filled with the great sorrow of seeing some of the better known members among our elders pass, always I am left with the the same bottomless ache that comes from wondering why we keep seeing the old champions die but can’t seem to find that any new ones are being made. I state this here for any that still found my humor, humorless. My point here is merely that people unfortunately die, they do so by the thousands and thousands every single day and we as a society still go about our business.
According to the CDC, in the US in 2006 the death rate for those 75-84 years of age was 5.12%. The world averages are of course much much higher, but this is in the USA. It has been dropping thankfully slowly as life expectancy increases, as for example, it was at 5.7% in 1999.
This means that over 5% of 75-84 year olds would die in any given year. Obviously, the real number is likely much higher for the 84 year olds in the group than the 75 year olds in the group. For some more recent numbers, according to the CDC, for people ages 80-84 in 2017, the mortality for men was 6.9% and 5.1% for women. If people at older ages (and all ages for that matter) did not have some chance of dying each year, then they would live forever! There is a reason many fewer are left at 90 and much fewer still at 100 years old. I know the Lighthouse Keeper has to shed light on many facts to its readership but I am certain this is not one of them… we, much to the great lamentation of writers throughout the generations, are not immortal. But we don’t have to be hysterical.
Now, this does not work such as that one would line up all 80 year olds and randomly select 5 of them to die this year. Obviously, as people’s health deteriorates, typically accompanied by an increasing amount of conditions and/or diseases, they are more likely to die. This is true at any age and tends to happen ever increasingly as people age. Given this fact, if a person is much closer to death health-wise than another, a viral infection or bacterial infection of any kind will be much more likely to contribute significantly to his or her death. To be the straw that broke the camel’s back if you will. But the straw is still a straw and that person unfortunately was not going to live forever, nor likely for very much longer.
This ties back to the previously mentioned difficulties with assigning cause of death. As stated in my previous piece on the subject:
This lack of knowledge extends to mortality rates. We do not know them very well because most people that get these respiratory tract conditions yearly, don’t report it or get hospitalized. And of those that do, very few have actual accurate PCR tests to diagnose exactly what virus or viruses is infecting them. Therefore, if you have untold thousands or millions with a disease, and only find about a few of the ones who have a very severe case or those that end up dying from it or its complications, you cannot calculate a correct mortality rate. If that were not enough, it is not as straightforward as one might think to assign a cause to deaths. Often, people die from complications relating to other pre-existing causes and the most direct cause of death may not be the most scientifically meaningful (if chemotherapy has virtually eliminated a person’s immune system, it may not be as informative to know that the flu killed him (also itself indirectly, as it in fact caused some other complication) as much as it would to know cancer did).
This in turn leads us to the frantic reporting, “busting” the myth that younger people are immune to the coronavirus. The news gleefully reports any younger person who is in critical condition or worse yet, and who has tested positive for the virus. The absurdity peak was reached when they intimidatingly boasted that a record-breaking 21 year old young man has died of the coronaviurs. This very unfortunate lad it turns out, had leukemia. Again, there ought to be a limit no?
As you can see from the Diamond Princess cruise chart above, this covid-19 virus is basically irrelevant or at least nearly irrelevant. If you are healthy you will not die from it, and if you are dying, you may die with it (or without it). This is the cold hard truth. The world is currently at war with nothing more than its own statistics and reporting.
But the World Picture is Different?!
The skeptic could now point out that, sure that may all be true for the cruise ship numbers, but what is happening in different countries around the world paints another picture altogether.
Fair enough. And the surprising fact of the matter is that the more accurate the country’s data is, the closer it will look to the cruise ship data. A 3,711 person test of an elderly population is not only not statistically insignificant but is focused on the populations most in danger. Countries tend to have far younger populations than a typical cruise ship and so the overall mortality rates can only be smaller.
Most importantly, keep in mind that certain variations aside, some of which we will discuss, the country with the lower mortality rate will tend to be the more accurate one and not vice versa. That is because the data in two respects tends to erroneously skew in one direction and not the other.
While you can always have more true infection cases than you believe you have, since you have not tested everyone, you never have less cases than those you confirmed positive. Your positive test number is basically your maximum possible number of cases, not the minimum. Similarly while you can always attribute more deaths to specific cause either by assuming that all people that died with a COVID-19 infections died because of it, or worse yet, assuming that anyone who died in certain areas, age groups and with certain symptoms died because of the COVID-19 virus without even testing for it’s presence, you typically will not assume less people died because of it than really did so. Especially not in this hysteric climate. In other words, if you are testing, then the 100% cause of death attribution again is your maximum and not your minimum, and if you are not testing but assuming, you are likely to assume more and not less in the current climate.
Let us look for some evidence of the aforementioned claim.
First, circa March 15th (old news by now), I looked at some data by country based on different measures.
Firstly, let us take the crude overall death rate by calculating total cases reported and deaths reported. The overall at that time world wide put the death rate at 3.85% – as has been widely reported.
|Sum of Total Deaths
|Sum of Total Cases
|Sum of Total Recovered
|Crude Death Rate
If we removed China, Iran and Italy due to the obvious problems in data from those countries, this number drops to 1.50%. Very significant.
|Sum of Total Deaths
|Sum of Total Cases
|Sum of Total Recovered
|Crude Death Rate
Now for a moment, let us try to see if we can get data where the pandemic may be already waning or is closer to have ended. Let us look for countries, the minority at this point on March 15, where the recovered numbers are the highest compared to the number of cases. Either the wave of infection has ended or is ending there, even if the true case numbers were much higher, or containment efforts were effective and further testing is showing no larger numbers of newer cases. Either way the idea is that since further testing is showing proportionally less new cases, even if the true numbers were much higher, the otherwise continuously growing wave of true new cases is not providing new deaths which when compared to the lower number of known cases, results in artificially high death rates (if that makes sense).
So if we remove the same 3 countries, Iran, Italy and China from our dataset, and include only countries whose Recovered Rate (recoveries / Total Cases) was above 40% already, we have:
|Sum of Total Deaths
|Sum of Total Cases
|Sum of Total Recovered
|Crude Death Rate
Trending lower, much lower. And to this we can add the fact that the ratio of Deaths to Recovered was 1.62% instead of 7.37% and 7.77% for everyone but China and Iran, and everyone respectively.
Another way to attempt this was to look at results from countries whose “New Cases” were less than 1 for that day. Similarly, excluding China we get:
|Sum of Total Deaths
|Sum of Total Cases
|Sum of Total Recovered
|Crude Death Rate
So that was indicative, but time constraints being what they are the post could not get finished that day and so for our new more solid set of facts let us look at the data circa March 18 2020 as well.
Socialism to the Rescue
At this time, it has become very apparent that the true number of cases was very much higher than the reported number of cases. This fact has been tremendously helped in that as always socialism is here to ruin the day, and gets in the way of testing in various countries to various shocking degrees. In the USA, to present date, testing is nearly impossible for your average Joe. Doctors are either simply telling you that you have the corona virus if you display flu-like symptoms or at best testing for Influenza and other viruses to rule them out and then assuming you have the coronavirus. For people not in the elite, it is not a realistic option. In many other countries it is completely in the hands of the government and tests exist only at their discretion if at all.
This is in large part fodder for the media created hysteria. Ignorance is required. The small numbers of known cases help raise the reported death rates. And while known cases of symptomatic or asymptomatic cases of a weak respiratory infection are easy to hide, deaths are not.
Trying to get accurate testing data for most countries at this point was very difficult but just to put some data to the theory, looking at Testing numbers also up to date for about up to March 15th, for countries who have done the most wide-spread testing show us something quite interesting.
|Number of Tests
|Tests / 1 M People
|Positive Test Rate
|Crude Death Rate
From these reports, below is a table released at this date by South Korea with further details:
A bit higher in terms of death rate as expected but in line with what this piece is trying to convey. Additionally, as the Princess Diamond data shows us, mortality among men is significantly higher than for women.
Very interestingly, these countries who earlier on were doing much more testing per capita show us the following. With the exception of Italy, they also are showing a death rate far below what is being reported in general. Secondly, the Italian number is far higher than the others indicating that the level of infection in the country in reality must be very widespread. Interestingly, Austria had a lower, but still very high positive test rate along with a low death rate. It could be an indicator of choosing potential testees better, and better being able to test them (unlike in Italy).
What was most useful in this data, is that for countries that had done any widespread testing at all, infection rates were quite high, and in the same ballpark. It looks like if you test any 1000 people, in most of the northern hemisphere, you will get 2 to 4 percent or thereabouts of them testing positive for COVID-19. If that is the case, even if you allow for a ten times reduction in this number because of a bias in testing people with symptoms (even though we have seen most cases are asymptomatic), and apply it only to the population of the northern hemisphere, you end up with 16.5 million cases!
And that is reducing the known test rate by about a factor of 10! At the very least, the real case numbers are several times larger than reported due to asymptomatic cases that are the majority plus simply untested cases, and much more likely they are many and many times larger than the reported numbers. It is possible that the bug has completely ran its course throughout the world for weeks and months already while we play containment and panic with our own fake numbers.
We panic at the rate of government allowed testing as we wait for a government allowed vaccine or cure.
Anecdotal Evidence of Numbers
It is hard to believe, but huge numbers of cases doctors are diagnosing are not in any official numbers. Personally I know several people in California alone that have been diagnosed but not officially tested because this is simply not an option. Some were tested deductively by getting back negative tests on influenza and bacterial infections (by the way, nothing says you can’t have multiple infections at a time, as is actually common and cited in my first article on the subject).
Your humble author himself suffered from light cold-like symptoms for a couple of days after visiting the local socialist hospital. Was it covid19 or an equally weak virus? Hard to say. I too, could not get tested. But it makes no difference.
On a darker note, an impressive gentleman who is very well respected in his community, as by me, was recently increasingly ill and weak for days on end if not weeks. The obvious diagnosis from the hype-induced doctors in California for this healthy and fit relatively young man was of course the corona virus, but one cannot test. His symptoms worsened and knowing what I know, I encouraged friends to advise him to check other more serious possibilities.
Eventually, since he is a community leader he was able to get tested for covid19 and after more days of waiting… the result came back negative. A surprise for many, but not for me, since he was clearly suffering from something more serious, than this impotent virus. Knowing him, I hope it was no more than exhaustion from working so hard and a good rest will restore him, but in any case, hope, with Gd’s blessings he is well again soon. The point is that under normal circumstances, with his serious symptoms, the CA doctors would not normally have suggested to this man that he was suffering from the common cold. And yet now they did, wasting many critical days for proper diagnosis and care, as well as difficult days for the patient.
As I said, “several people in California” who are being diagnosed, if not actually tested…
Think about that, several people among the few I know in California. California is reporting no more than 1,000 cases or so in total, and yet I know a few of them?! California has 40 million people! That is why celebrities such as Tom Hanks (and his wife Rita Wilson) have covid19, and congressmen (remember the 1 to 3 percent I mentioned earlier? the same seems to be holding true for legislative bodies) and Prime Ministers and Ayatollahs and Mr. Idris Elba (who told us he had no symptoms), and Bon Jovi’s keyboardist David Bryan who just posted that he tested positive along with:
Please don’t be afraid!!! It’s the flu not the plague. I’ve have been quarantined for a week and will for another week.
(to his great credit and the frustration of the media which reported it and added that they “did not agree with that!”) and apparently every NBA player… not to mention Prince Albert II of Monaco and none other than Archduke Karl Von Hapsburg, who obviously (as a fellow Hapsburg Archduke to the one who insisted on visiting casualties after a failed assassination attempt on his life which in turn led to his assassination (and incidentally to World War I) as well as fellow Hapsburg to Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico who in imminent danger refused to flee back to France, though sent his wife there for her safety, and then after being captured and cruelly sentenced to death by Benito Jaurez’ government refused an escape plan because it required him shaving his beard, an indignity he could not bare if recaptured) stated:
It’s annoying, but I’m fine. It’s not the Black Plague. I thought it was the usual flu. When a friend called me that he had a positive test at a congress in Switzerland, I was also tested.
Tom Hanks, while in Australia filming, announced that he and his wife tested positive for the COVID19 virus on March 12th, when Australia was reporting 156 cases in total! 156 cases out of a 25 million population plus tourists, but two of them were Tom Hanks and his wife by chance right? To put it in perspective on the 20th a few days later Australia is claiming 756 cases. It is not so much a growth from 156 real cases to 756 real cases, which is astronomical in a few days, but a growth in their incoming test results. The point is the real numbers for infections are and have always been much higher, and are and have been much lower for death rates. In many places, the only people that can be tested are the elites.
This would explain why despite this massive “containment” effort, cases have been reported in nearly all countries for weeks already and as soon as testing became available in them, especially and virtually all across the board in the Northern Hemisphere, since it was the summer months in the south which hampers similar respiratory infection causing viruses.
Back to the important Findings
With this in mind, and still using the circa March 15 data, let us chart the following, for our Smoking Gun evidence.
The individual data points represent the crude death rates reported so far by individual countries.
So this means simply taking the total cases that they think they have or have reported they have, and the total death toll to get the death rate. In this chart we have plotted this (the y axis) in relation to the cases per 1 Million national population. That way you can compare countries in an apple to apple basis. This is truly important to get a clear picture of what is happening, and not get overwhelmed by such differing total case numbers in different countries.
What is clearly evident is that as the cases per 1M population increase, the death rate diminishes… and diminishes hard and fast towards zero. We have two noticeable exceptions around the 160 cases per 1M mark, and also a very high death rate at around 33%. So let’s point them out:
How can a country, Ukraine, have a death rate at 33%? Easy… it reports (ie admits) 3 cases, and 1 of them was fatal. Period.
The other two are not surprising either. Iran’s numbers can be completely dismissed, since what actually is going on there is hard to know. It is evident that the infection is extremely widespread, many in the senior leadership have it (and are in danger due to their age). Ayatollah Hashem Bathayi Golpayegani, a member of the 88 member assembly of experts (who appoints the supreme leader) who was reported to be 78 has died two days after testing positive for the infection.
Iran, already in very precarious social and economic straits, is being hit by Saudi Arabia’s power moves in lowering oil prices.
And Spain is quickly following in Italy’s footsteps. It also probably has huge numbers of infected, and shares a similar terrible and socialist health care system. Remember, mortality rates can only be the smaller ones reported, and not the higher ones.
Yes, health care quality, demographics, lifestyle, and even genetic variations (different racial disease susceptibilities) can vary a virus’ mortality rate from region to region and country to country, but within reason. European states share a great deal of common demographics and genetics. The health care systems vary significantly, but also within a ballpark range, it is not Zimbabwe to Sweden. Italy has an old population but Germany does so too if not even more so and has among the lowest death rates in the world. The wild differences in reported death rates are due to wild differences in the statistical accuracy and reporting protocols rather than such sharp differences in the actual viral infection death rate among the populations.
What we see outside of these two is a clear trend towards lower (and more normal) death rates as the cases per 1M increase. Precisely the opposite of what you are being told… basically that if it is not contained mass death and pandemonium will occur. The pandemonium in fact, can only be sustained while the weak virus is either contained or better yet, declared to be contained while in fact it is not (that way it produces more deaths).
Now, with updated March 18th data in hand, let’s look at the same chart.
We removed Italy and San Marino (same thing basically for these intents purposes) and that is all. The trend is all the more clear. As testing has increased, most of the absurd death rates above 20% have vanished (but not all), and the dots are closer together. Still, we see a clear bunching of the high death rate data points near the low end of the X-axis. The more cases a country reports compared to its population (and so it tested more), the lower the death rate it tends to report as well. This is a smoking gun, and as accuracy increases it simply approaches what happened in the fully tested environment of the cruise line.
Importantly, the five highest points along the X Axis (the most cases per 1M people), are still at this point reporting 0 deaths. Due to their small populations, and high income levels, they have been able to test and find a larger number of cases proportionally to their population. Of course, as many of their cases may still be in the early stages, they may suffer mortalities in the future, but the point here is clear. These 5 were:
- Vatican City
- Faeroe Islands
Directly below them are Luxembourg (also a small and wealthy country) and Switzerland reporting .99 and .98 percent death rates thus far. Switzerland is a wealthy but “normal sized” country and has conducted more ample testing. Let us zoom in a little for a better look.
The two high points on either side of the 200 million cases per 1 Million people X-Axis line and either side of the 5.00% Y-Axis line are Iran and Spain of course, with clearly, as faulty numbers as some countries with far less cases per 1 million people. But the trend, is logarithmic and clearly downwards. Now, some countries, many in fact, have low numbers of cases per million and low death rates, in fact typically “0” if they are low.
This can be because they actually had few cases in the country, where it never truly broke out, and so they may be accurate or close to accurate numbers (hence the low death rate), or because they may still be early in the testing and/or infection curve. Less likely but certainly possible, is that they missed both the infection cases and the correlated deaths. As I have been saying, this isn’t much of a virus and that could easily be done without the media. But that is most likely not the case often, as the case numbers per million people get closer and closer to zero, most data points shoot up into very high death rates rather then the opposite. It is between 25 and 100 cases per million that you get a bigger proportion of low mortality or zero mortality country cases. As you progress from there, the death rate gets convincingly lower as the number of confirmed cases goes up. That is how you arrive at Norwegian, Danish, German and Austrian type numbers… significant total cases, relatively high cases per 1 million people, and very low death rates.
As far as total case numbers, Germany, where Rapid testing was available early on and there exists a more decentralized health care system than in more socialist European countries, is still reporting only a .28% crude death rate with an incredible 9,414 cases!
Some more insightful commentators have noticed this Germanic phenomena, and one particularly good observer noticed the differences in how easily people may get themselves tested in Germany compared to other European countries. However, he concluded that this is why Germany’s death rate must be so low (meaning testing is saving lives), without noticing that the very act of testing, and finding out positive live cases, decreases your conceived mortality rate.
Sure, Germany’s health system is less socialist than most in Western Europe and they consider their system a hybrid between a completely government regulated system such as the UK’s and a lesser one such as in the USA (without probably realizing to what an extent the American system is regulated and not a free market system… a topic for another day). Undoubtedly, higher quality care in Germany compared to a France, Spain or Italy will lower death rates for all sorts of conditions, especially when the system is under stress, but the massive death rate figure differences are foremost a feature of the accuracy of the statistics, with the lower figures tending to be more accurate than the higher ones.
So if this is so, what is happening in Italy (and Spain)?
There is no doubt that while Italy’s and Spain’s super socialist models of health care are hurting people (as they always do), the infection rates in those countries are far higher than reported.
In Italy specifically, approximately 1800 people die each day under normal circumstances as a yearly average (and this figure increases as the avg population ages). Most of these are older people, and the distribution of these fatalities is higher during the flu season than at other times. When an infection is so widespread as is the case in Italy, it easy to see how simply attributing an ever increasing number of those 1800 or so daily deaths to it (in this case, the corona virus) could fuel this hysteria. I am not suggesting that covid virus cannot have and has not had an effect in the mortality rates of older and at-risk people, but this effect has certainly been blown out of proportion.
In order for this virus to be of any magnitude remotely correlating to this panic it would have to be showing at the least double if not triple, 10 times and 20 times the normal deaths that occur on any given average day. Plagues and deadly epidemics throughout our history did that very thing and much worse. Italian hospitals are simply concentrating the mildly sick (due to panic) and the very sick, who often are at hospitals in any event, and spreading the virus (along with many other infectious agents for sure) thoroughly among them.
Many of these fatalities were of people who simply died with the virus rather than because of it.
At least one Italian official has already stated that their “cause of death” recording protocols are problematic and exaggerating the mortality figures and have also declared that the average fatality is male and over 81 years of age. The male life expectancy in Italy according to the WHO in 2018 is 80.5. Again, when the average age of fatalities is older than the average life expectancy you have to start to look at things more critically. Let’s take a deeper look.
The countries with the best testing numbers, and lower death rates in Europe are the “freer” systems without a doubt, and as usual only with the arguable exceptions of Scandinavia (whose economy in general is a topic for another time). Let us break down some examples.
The countries having mass system failures (which is actually the regular state for such systems for those who may be familiar with them), and some of the worse culprits of under-testing and over-reporting death rates are of course among those with the most socialist systems. In the European group with Universal, government funded health care systems we have:
|Universal government-funded health system
|Cases / 1M
|Crude Death Rate
Among the more free systems, with universal public insurance systems we find some much better numbers including:
|Universal public insurance health system
|Cases / 1M
|Crude Death Rate
High testing rates, far higher than the UK for example, and only significantly lower than Italy and San Marino who are facing the world’s worst epidemics. Incredible. As for the death rates, many times lower. Outside of Europe this group includes Singapore, with a remarkable death rate of 0, despite the large number of cases and proximity to China, geographically and in terms of contact. Likewise you will find South Korea, who despite being an early victim of widespread pandemic along with China, has surpassed it, with very high total testing numbers and positive case numbers, and a crude death rate at the data-set-moment of 1.00%.
On the other hand, in this still relatively communist system (which obviously can vary a lot within the group) you will find terrible results in the case of Iran and France. Singapore is one of the most free economies in the world, while France and Iran are some of the most socialist, so there is wide differences within the group.
We now move upwards and onward to greater freedom among health care systems. These countries have universal public-private hybrid insurance health care systems and some of the most impressive numbers thus far.
|Universal public-private insurance health system
|Cases / 1M
|Crude Death Rate
Chile of course is in the southern hemisphere and has had few cases, but in tribute to Pinochet, I point out their 1 cases per 1M and 0% death rate compared to their much more communist neighbor Argentina reporting only 2 cases per million and a 2.53% death rate (southern Hemisphere or not, the Argentineans apparently fall).
Austria and Germany we have discussed and their very low death rates speak for themselves.
We now come to the freest of the bunch, and lest anyone misunderstand me I mean free as in freedom to choose, to contract and freedom from coercive government power… knowing people this day and age, they may think I mean the most free as in free of charge! These have universal private insurance health systems (at least in theory).
|Universal private insurance health system
|Cases / 1M
|Crude Death Rate
Seeing Israel’s system, which I am so familiar with, among the freest in the European area by category gives me terrifying chills when trying to fathom what others might be like. Israel’s system is a massive socialist bureaucracy, but it is true, the private insurance payers can and do compete among themselves, and the government subsidies the premiums for those who can’t pay. It unfortunately regulates much of everything else about health care (and everything else) and the facilities themselves such as hospitals are often public, but at this minimal level it does preserve more free market incentives than many other systems (reducing costs for one thing). The plans are private and certain plans allow and deny certain procedures under different circumstances, and there are private doctors and additional premium insurance packages above the basics. It makes for some level of control on spend, and some ability to get more by paying more.
In any event, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, much more free than Israel, have high test rates and low death rates. Israel thankfully, though slow to test under the socialist burden (up until writing time), has managed to maintain a zero death rate despite hundreds of more cases until today, when the first was reported, Mr. Aryeh Even, z”l, of 88 years and a Holocaust survivor from Hungry. Happy to know of his many grandchildren and good life that he rebuilt in Israel after the war.
The correlations between reported death rates, cases per million and testing rates, with levels of socialism are very clear. If I am right, the socialism is causing mostly the inability to report accurate numbers of positive cases (especially those that are mild or asymptomatic), the near impossibility for average people or even patients to test for the infection, incompetence in statistical reporting and recording accurate causes of death.
If my leftist opponents are correct, then it is actually causing the deaths of thousands of mostly elderly patients, with an oppressive and inefficient system that can provide adequate health care no better than it can provide anything else. And let us be clear, I am not saying that the socialist sub-par health care in an Italy compared to a Germany is having no effect on death rates, of course it is, it does so every day, but I contend that it is not all the difference, nor even the larger part of it when it comes to the official death rate numbers of this particular weak virus.
This leads us to the remaining point of health care system capacity.
Some may argue that much if not all of what is explained here and in my previous piece may be correct, but that folks are worrying not about the individual power of the virus but the ability of the health care system to absorb so many patients at once.
I will not explore this aspect in detail here since the article is lengthy enough at the moment, but as the aforementioned data will tend to show, that is simply a question of positive economic incentives, and social values. They both diminish under socialist systems. And collapse completely under hysteria, with or without a good reason.
In a free system or even near-free system, health care is another good provided by the market to customers. It is an important, and even sacred good, but a good nonetheless. Farmers provide us all with sustenance, critical to our every day survival, and yet their produce is a market commodity. The fact that it is so makes us be able to eat. The more we buy, the more they produce.
There is most certainly a scarcity of Free food in the world but not of food as you are told endlessly. To use an overly cliche example, only because of its familiarity, the people starving in Africa are not starving because there is not enough food in the world, but rather because they do not have enough money to buy it. This overlooked distinction leads to very different realizations of how to eradicate or at least ease this problem. Leftist tend to think the man needs a white hippy kid from the western suburbs to come and teach him organic aquaponics to feed himself and his family before he flies off back home in a jumbo jet and to Costco for his daily needs, never to farm again. The man actually needs income of any kind, for example from a job, so he can take his paycheck and buy himself a steak, and the job can be anything, including one at what those same hippie kids would call a sweat shop. But I digress…
where hospitals, clinics, doctors, technicians and nurses are richer after a patient leaves then before he came, it is very difficult to run out of health care. No one is doing you a favor, there is simply high demand, and a lot of money to be made in supplying it. This allows for all the investment needed, be it transporting patients around to other areas, importing more beds and equipment, or bringing in more trained staff from elsewhere. The more free the system from regulation, the better that can be done.
Of course, people don’t typically pay for this healthcare out of pocket in a free system. Just like people have insurance for their homes and cars, they will have it foremost for their health. And it is the insurance companies who will provide the funds needed to balance any surge in demand for health care.
A socialist system, which exists daily at the brink… where everyone is doing the disdained patient a favor, and overworked and underpaid staff (or so they will always feel) who cannot get fired for any reason feel any additional stress, the already brittle system falls apart. No one will profit from bringing in more beds nor doctors, and so no one will. And in the cases where one potentially could, the government regulations would not allow it. Budgets quickly dry up, tempers flare, and the “healthcare rationing” that Americans have been warned about since the days of the first Obamacare debate activates full swing.
So as we discussed, older people with various health conditions are at risk already, with or without any number of weak viral or bacterial infections that circulate, and if a country’s socialist health care system cannot or will not take care of those people at adequate levels, they will tend to die more often then if properly attended to.
Socialist countries are constantly experiencing and talking about scarcities… something most Americans are not aware of. In Israel, we have an endless chain of scarcities… there is no chicken for days, then no margarine for weeks, then no butter for months, and then we see our native cheese products on shelves in Europe at cheaper prices than at home. The Israeli public in its naivete will blame everyone and everything but the culprit, the socialist regulations and price controls.
When the government demands butter at prices below production costs, then there is no butter. The extreme end to this pathetic endeavor is the endless lines and empty shelves of soviet stores. I recall a time when we all remembered either having seen or heard about those… I fear, not so much now. Not sure American millennials know who the Soviets were much less fathom shelves without butter. But the policies they support lead to both.
The hysteria and hype we have discussed only exasperate this situation in a socialist system where there is no personal cost of use whatsoever to health care. People who feel very weak symptoms or none at all, flood the already weak system. So while these systems get by flu seasons without the media circus, they cannot do so with it.
Hysteria has no need for Logic
As if all this wasn’t enough… the measures taken around the world are as arbitrary as they are cowardly. Everyone can hang out at grocery stores and supermarkets and mega stores because those sell staples (and truth be told, everyone deep down knows this virus is not important enough to go without buying food!). The handling of products and huge crowds and lines, offer plenty of chances for contagion. Then though this virus is clearly insignificant for children and young people we close down schools and colleges. Children could go on learning, not least of which a lesson on how cooler heads ought to prevail, and get immune in the process. The more herd immunity the better.
In fact, of course that is the best answer. Our frantic quest for vaccine is absurd since the best and free vaccine exists already; getting the sorry virus. Again, older people and those at risk could and ought to take precautions, quarantine/stay at home, etc. But a population largely immune from 75 or even 65 years downwards would be the best protection from the disease for the older folks. Ironically, the many people in their 50’s, 60, and even 70’s who could safely get the disease now and become immune for 5, 10, 20 and 30 years or more down the line when it or a similar strain comes back around, are not being given the chance to. Hopefully, innovative companies are successful with an mRNA (my bet) or other vaccine, and hopefully the actual real life spread of the disease was large enough that this herd immunity has in many parts taken some effect.
I have a hunch, looking at all this data, but not enough data to prove it, that older folks may already have a certain immunity to this corona virus. The bulk of the deaths tend to be of people from 78 to early 80’s. The number of reported deaths of those in their very late eighties or 90’s is quite small. Now of course, the number of people at those ages is much smaller, which is why I cannot state this with any certainty at this time but this is a hunch. The diamond princess, where this journey started (the article’s journey that is!) included 11 people in their 90’s. Two tested positive for the virus and none died. Of those in their 80’s most the deaths were among those in their earlier eighties as opposed to later.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are definitely reported cases of deaths among those 90 and older but I suspect they are proportionally less. Less in their infection rates and less in their death rates. This may have something to do with the type of people and their physiology proportionally who are left around in their 90’s, compared to those right around 80…. but it may also have to do with leftover immunity from previous rounds.
We are too quick to think everything is new, when in fact nothing is new under the sun as the wise know. And many of these new strains are often recycled strains that have been around before, diminishing as immunities peaked. There is clear statistical evidence of this phenomena for the 2009 influenza season, which was quite deadly, but largely spared the old, quite unusually. The wiser among us tended to have resistance to this strain, claimed to be similar to the infamous 1918 Spanish Flu, while the younger did not. Note that this same generation of people who were more resistant to the 1918 Spanish flu strains in 2009 are more or less the people I am now saying might be more resistant to this weak-sauce virus as well. Just a hunch, and I hope we eventually get enough sober data to test that theory but quite interesting nonetheless.
Could just be the people who grew up and survived before antibiotics are just much stronger.. in general and for this type of thing. Who knows.
Digression at bay, back to the lack of logic.
International trade is being hampered. According to all expert opinion, the virus cannot stay viable in goods in containers shipped for weeks across the world. It can only jump from one person to another in very close proximity of time and place. In time of economic distress and lack of goods, the thing we need most is free trade of goods, not a restriction of it.
It provides revenue for producers who can produce and needed goods for those who need them.
But hey, the commis hate free trade anyways. They are only willing to put up with it as a compromise if you subjugate your national sovereignty along with it (ie EU/BREXIT issue. ask if you don’t get it). If a weak virus can end it all the better.
Besides all this the consumer world is now living on deliveries. The crew in in the diamond princess cruise ship had by far the highest infection rate (with zero death rate because they were neither 80 years old nor had leukemia) and probably were a big factor in its further transmission. As good lads that they are, they kept serving the passenger population, bringing them food to their rooms and the like. Since they mingled the most with the passengers, they got the virus, gave it to each other and gave it to more passengers. The large delivery staff around the world, along with cooks and dishwaters are serving the same purpose.
And whatever infections can’t be achieved at the supermarket or by deliveries, the clinics, emergency rooms and hospitals will take care of.
There is something more. Discussed in the previous article but now, clearer than ever. This excuse for an infectious disease does not affect the young. It does not affect the middle aged. It affects only the quite old, and men at that much more than women. Not children, not women, not the young, just older men. Where is this panic coming from then? I know that 80 year old men are not the ones panicking, when they were born they hadn’t started making men out of that mush yet.
Back to this Hysteria – Economic Effects?
Well it really depends on how much long this charade goes on. It’s starting to get very dangerous. It’s not the focus this article but it is definitely approaching red lines. People very easily get into a negative routine of not doing positive things. Not getting up in the morning, not working, and not paying their bills.
Unlike the danger this virus poses and the fake foundations for this ludicrous hysterical fear the media hype has fostered around it, there are real things in this world; and real dangers at that. It is not evident to today’s pampered generations but we live on the edge. Every day and in every way.
The edge is blunted, or the precipice’s steepness tamed and hidden by economic progress. A primitive society knows, much like many animals, that it either gathers food today or it begins to starve. It also knows that it’s at the complete mercy of the seemingly arbitrary acts of their precocious gods. If slightly more advanced, the worse perhaps that it gets in its precariousness. Storm and floods, scorching heat and hails of ice.. from aphids and locusts to ravaging barbarians, their crops, homes and lives are always in peril. That has never stopped, we have only smoothed out the curves by using our brains and courage. The earth cannot support more than 8 billion people, nothing remotely close to it, if a great many of us don’t work, each and every day. Our work, our trade, our innovation and our daring… our saving and investing for the future, our manning the ramparts so that the barbarians won’t cross on our watch is what maintains the lives of our nations and everyone in them.
In this article we have explored quite deeply the insignificant danger this so called novel SARS-CoV-2 strain of coronavirus poses to humans in general, and we have done so with considerable nuance. But it is not within reach but to the mightiest of wordsmiths to elucidate how infinitely more dangerous our containment “measures” are than this feeble respiratory infection. We still live on the edge… our resource reserves finite and often small, our food stocks smaller still, the majority of our livelihoods dependent on a healthy economy who demands our niche services which are far removed from basic food production; the barbarians who will always run out of food or space, or patience before us if not simply have no more tolerance for their disdain for us are still at the gates and only our warriors as ever, hopefully paid, fed and equipped, man the gates to stop them. This would be such a revelation to the hapless young masses of today who are endlessly told that the world (when it is working just fine) is a horrible place because either one individual has more than another or because plants used to have less CO2 to consume or that none of that really matters because the only thing that matters is that they find what “makes them happy” (even if it’s carbon footprint enlarging apparently) and they most tragically have not, and in any event not to worry about all of that because there are people who present new devices and apps that “make the world a better place”, which they can pretend evens all of that out which of course it doesn’t.
In reality, the world itself is very dangerous, and through the heroic and ingenious work of certain individuals, plus the more regular hard work of many more of us, we make it less so. For us and most importantly for our posterity, but we may not have realized our posterity would forget what is happening altogether. All of that progress, comfort, security and prosperity which allows some to pay shrinks hundreds of dollars an hour to complain about their “happiness” can vanish in a moment… as it has for many great and once mighty people throughout history, and what is truly mind-boggling to me is that we, as the Western World, are dancing on that edge at the prompting of some clowns on the TV who care only about their ratings and Trump’s electoral defeat, due to some insignificant and puny novel strain respiratory infection causing virus. I exaggerate? Perhaps and I hope so, but nowhere near as much as the opposing side is exaggerating. Many Oscars are deserved.
The hysteria and government actions are fostering a feeling that people are not responsible for themselves nor for their bills anymore. And as we know all too well, if vast numbers of people do not pay their rents and mortgages in the USA, we are all in big trouble. The government rules do not allow for things to gracefully slide under the radar. Mark-to-market rules, and all sorts of crazy financial institution regulations can start a chain reaction of negative effects that help drive down an economy as occurred in 2008. The regulators will have to be very careful with how they handle one or two months of large numbers of non payments. As an example, one or two month missed payments hopefully are not considered a default by anyone while at the same time everyone understands that they will be so if they continue into the third month or so.
For the moment the government has been dousing the economy with liquidity. This is all fine and good but in economic terms it is pushing on a shoestring. You need creditworthy borrowers whose businesses are open, or jobs paying, for banks to lend to.. The banks are not at this point in any danger of runs or liquidity shortages as they are using the discount window and are awash in capital and liquidity. Just like in 2008, their capital ratios are sky rocketing, not falling.
What will be important is to see if they can continue to lend once restrictions ease. If small businesses cannot reopen soon and keep their employees, the spiral of loans being paid off, and/or defaulting, without new loan generation, leads to a massive contraction of the money supply due to our terrible system (a topic for another day). Credit is already drying up, wealth was lost in the massive stock market crash, and liquidity providers, like in ’08 are withdrawing. It is still not a certainty, a quick end to this madness that is sharp and strong can boost the economy back to life and roaring on all 4 cylinders. The ensuing boom in the stock market can be as contagious as its decline. Wealth will be recreated and liquidity offered once again.
But again if this goes on much longer, if it has not already done so, and a general malaise… takes over where large portions of the population don’t work and don’t pay their bills, while the rest of society thinks that it is warranted, because we all just survived the equivalent of the black plague, we are all in for a lot of trouble, the older among us foremost.
My digressions in this paper are wide ranging, with the intention of penning one broad update on the issue instead of many smaller ones, and certainly also of using the opportunity to educate some readers on wider issues. And the more digressions made, the more you are likely to find some that you don’t agree with or even hate, especially on political or social matters. This paper is not meant for an academic medical journal, it is written in a completely different style, and includes the author’s opinions whenever he wished to insert them. However, especially in this case, I urge readers not to diminish the crux of the article due to any one or more unappreciated details presented, the facts are the facts, and clearly enough presented that experts and laymen alike may make heads or tails of them.
So how can the government-directed charade end? Well, I see only three possibilities of course.
- The measures continue until the daily deaths and daily new cases noticeably drop, despite increased testing, as was the case in China, Singapore and South Korea (who are already well into summer weather). For the West, this can still be a ways away, from 1 week to 3 weeks for Europe and perhaps from 1 month to 2 months for the USA.
- The powers that be realize the economic precipice we are looking down upon and gradually start easing restrictions while maintaining lip-service to the containment efforts. Eventually, cases also end.
- A strong leader or leaders, such as Mr. Trump, gets tired of this madness and simply ends it. He explains that the virus has been over-hyped. That America has all the health care wherewithal needed to take care of any serious cases and that it’s open for business, while urging the elderly and people at risk to remain at home. After a few days of this (and the obvious criticism that would follow), when the world doesn’t end, things would get back to normal rather quickly. The left doesn’t like talking about an issue if it’s not in its favor. Iraq dominated the news from 2003 until 2007. As soon as the politically heroic Bush surge succeeded, it disappeared from the news to be replaced by Katrina and then the economy as the ’08 collapse slowly began. Politicians are terrified of this 3rd option because the media, and their rival parties, will blast every attributable death, be it one person, 100 or ten thousand, accurately or not, including how much their great grandchildren loved them, to every voter on earth and demonize the politician for not caring about them.
A brief note on the progression thus far. China, Singapore and South Korea are on the other side of this clearly, but their warmer climates brought summer on much earlier than in Europe. And they were far ahead to begin with in the curve as far as infections. Europe… perhaps roughly a month behind China, and the USA another month behind that. So in China it has passed (though it can potentiality be re-imported from abroad if there is not enough immunity).
Few new cases per day and then no new cases per day for several days. The Feb 12 number is a day the Chinese chose to reset their stats, to lower their death rates, when they noticed keeping the known cases down makes the death rate higher (the focus of this paper!). So those are not really new cases that all occurred on the 12th.
Likewise in new deaths per day:
Still happening as of the 16th, but obviously on its way down. And the total active cases (as people recover) is also obviously waning fast:
The problem is that for much of the West, or specifically the USA, the curve looks like it’s just getting started.
Most of this article’s data goes up to the 18th of March, but as I am readying for publication, for this graph, I have updated the graph to current levels to get a better feel of where it is going. So here we have data up to March 20th for the US:
As expected, the March 20 bar makes the previously great big March 16 bar look like nothing. Much if not all of this has to do with increased testing as has been explained throughout my articles, but the US is still far from the peak (of infection and/or of positive tests of infections) unless summer whether and/or massive rapid testing ends this.
Regarding our three endgames listed above, I believe to date, Mr. Trump is not taking or yet means to take number three. At first, his good instincts may have told him this was all hogwash, as it was. Later, when confronted with the magnitude of the media panic and “expert opinions” he took a different path. I believe being the pragmatist that he is, and keen manipulator of the means of communication, he said to himself something like… “OK you guys want a fake Hollywood movie viral global pandemic (there’s a movie right?), no problem, and we will give you Fake Cure and Victory to go along with it!” So, fake virus, fake cure, fake victory, no problem. And in so to deflect criticism for inaction and garner credit for the victory.
I am not sure that this strategy, though intelligent, will work. The numbers are too slow with this virus, and the economic danger too powerful. A cure with such a weak virus, real or fake, is too hard and too slow to prove to any degree. Ironically, it’s weakness will be used by the left against any proposed cure. An average person with this virus has no symptoms at all. The bulk of the rest have cold-like or flu-like symptoms and then get better. They do so with or without a “cure”. And statistics with “curing” the people in very precarious health that this virus is actually a threat for would be extremely complex indeed, statistically involved and require very controlled studies for a very long time. The situation does not warrant or allow any of that. Fast pushing a vaccine through to FDA approval may be better but that also would take too long, in that there is no way to formulate trials that could be less than many weeks, and even then no guarantee a particular vaccine would work though I assume ultimately it should not be difficult to achieve for this particular coronavirus.
So in short, when the media is not with you these measures in my opinion may not work, though they certainly could. And so if number 3 on my list is not taken up pretty fast, we are running into massive economic risks. The kind of economic risks that leave us without healthcare and more, like Italy, no Iran, no worse, so that when a truly dangerous situation comes our way, we are so decrepit of resources, capabilities and will that we are at its mercy, even without the media’s help.
Update published on March 30th. Interesting new Data
A word about the comment section.
The most negative comments, namely no more than personal insults, are expected in an argument like this which goes against the grain, and show once again no more than the typical leftist emotional vitriol and their “open mindedness” which they love to brag about. They are very open minded as long as you agree with them. Please consider that these comments will never make a reasoned argument, or take into account the piece as a whole, but simply attack hysterically, as this document is surely an enemy of hysteria, that is no surprise. At most, they will attack one short phrase taken out of context. Most ironically, these commentators themselves will often brag about not reading the piece. Reasoned arguments and critiques, especially from those who actually read the piece, are most welcome… nothing I enjoy more than correcting an incorrect position.