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Gordo

Just curious, anyone have a plan, or preps for global pandemic?

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19 minutes ago, Sibiriak said:

... Primarily because both countries failed miserably....

Of course hindsight will expose errors from which we could learn.  But one needs an open discussion to do so, not publicly slandering and calling for the firing of experts who questioned the crazy predictions which led to the lockdowns, or taking their interviews off FB.

And let's not equate the consequences:  The UK has a much higher death toll than Sweden, despite destroying its economy and locking down, with much more hurt to come. 

Sweden, on the other hand might have 5000 deaths from Covid-19, compared to 2000-4000 deaths from the flu, and to its overall death rate of 90000+ in an average year.  Sweden does apparently have much larger nursing home centers than the other Scandinavian countries, which made it harder to isolate the vulnerable elderly. 

Weigh the cost and tell me which was the better way?

BTW, here is what Dr. Fauci said in March, a couple of days before that faithful call by WHO's Tedros for Chinese style lockdowns, because Covid-19 is NOT as contagious as the flu and can be stopped, unlike the flu:

Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted
If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.2
 

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3 hours ago, Ron Put said:

Of course hindsight..

No, it was predictable.   No comprehensive protection plans were put in place even LONG AFTER it was perfectly known who  the vulnerable were and who were dying.

Quote

BTW, here is what Dr. Fauci said in March

And, btw,  you've already posted already numerous times.  It's a favorite talking point of yours (and many other like-minded ideologues).  

Quote

[Fauci]...the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.2

Has anyone claimed that Covid -19 has a fatality rate closer to SARS/MERS rates of  9%, 10%, 36% than to the rates of a severe seasonal influenza?   

Having a mortality  rate CLOSER  to a severe flu  than to SARS/MERS rates does does not make COVID 19 the SAME as a severe flu,   let alone akin to a "mild flu" as you continue to claim.  (+ viral diseases are not characterized by their mortality rates alone.)

In that same article, Fauci  goes on to  put emphasis on the increased contagiousness of Covid-19 ( so much for your Tedros -influence theory),   and the need for extraordinary mitigation strategies:

Quote

...given the efficiency of transmission  as indicated in the current report, we should be prepared for Covid-19 to gain a foothold throughout the world, including in the United States.

Community spread in the United States could require a shift from containment to mitigation strategies such as social distancing in order to reduce transmission. Such strategies could include isolating ill persons (including voluntary isolation at home), school closures, and telecommuting where possible.9

Fauci makes it  perfectly clear that in his view (rightly or  wrongly)  Covid-19 is not at all akin to a regular flu outbreak.

 

Quote

[Ron Put:]  ...call by WHO's Tedros for Chinese style lockdowns, because Covid-19 is NOT as contagious as the flu

Ron, who  puts any stock whatsoever into those early March 3rd statements of Tedros ?  Who believes that Covid -19 is " not nearly as contagious as the flu "?    

You've  presented ZERO evidence that any country has based their policies on that Tedros statement which you've repeated talking-point style  in at least a half  dozen posts.  

Can you name a single figure anywhere  involved in setting government COVID-19 policy that claims Covid-19 is NOT as contagious as the flu?

Can you?   I asked you that before and you couldn't come up with a single name.

Oh,  but  there is one guy at least who claims Covid-19 is NOT more contagious than any seasonal flu.    Yep, the guy you've been promoting--  so-called "Professor" Knut Wittkowski.

From his video which you posted,:

 
Quote

[18:55.08]  [ Interviewer]:      This morning all the TV doctors were on, saying that, because, obviously, they’re starting to read some of these pieces about the statistics being off, etc., and so there you had Doctor Jennifer Ashton on ABC, and I forget the others, saying, “This is more contagious than any seasonal flu or the H1N1, and this is why we have to take it so seriously because it’s so much more contagious.” Is that just ridiculous?

   
[19:22.03]  [Wittkowski] :    I don’t know where that opinion comes from. We have no—the data that we have speaks against it.

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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3 hours ago, Sibiriak said:

Ron, who  puts any stock whatsoever into those early March 3rd statements of Tedros ?  Who believes that Covid -19 is " not nearly as contagious as the flu "?    

You've  presented ZERO evidence that any country has based their policies on that Tedros statement

This seems to really bother you and I wonder why? The same way I wonder why you often post grotesque depictions of the West, yet all we get from you about Russia is cute gymnasts, especially as many may be much more curious about of a first hand account of the mood among the mujiks nowadays. 

Are you having trouble comprehending that WHO's push for containment by praising China's methods and urging Western governments to follow was instrumental in giving the media and opposition parties the tools to pressure Western leaders to follow suit?  I doubt it, but had to ask. 

Apparently the leadership of Italy, the first major Western country to quarantine a large portion of its population, paid heed to just those WHO statements that you so badly want us to believe nobody "puts any stock whatsoever":

"The Italian government has signed two decrees that will quarantine more than 15 million people, or a quarter of the population, for nearly a month, to try to stop the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus....

The unprecedented measures come after the World Health Organization (WHO) urged Italy on Friday to keep "a strong focus on containment measures".

http://www.rfi.fr/en/europe/20200308-italy-quarantines-quarter-its-population-france-hold-defense-meeting

The Italian announcement came out on the same day as that Tedros interview which seems to annoy you so much.  I hope this will helps you "put a sock in it."


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3 hours ago, Sibiriak said:

Having a mortality  rate CLOSER  to a severe flu  than to SARS/MERS rates does does not make COVID 19 the SAME as a severe flu

No, it doesn't make it the same as a severe flu.  The Covid-19 mortality is actually 8-9 times lower that a "severe flu" pandemic like the 1957 or 1969 seasons, and it's still less than a third worldwide than the 1 million estimated to have died during the 2017-2018 season.  So what's your point?

 

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3 hours ago, Sibiriak said:

And, btw,  you've already posted that multiple times

I don't recall posting or seeing the Fauci NEJM article I cited above.  Fauci has always been a political animal, so I found it interesting.

It's possible I have forgotten, but please point to me where did I post it "multiple times."

 

-----

And while you were busy obfuscating and claiming "you already said that," you may have missed my main point and the question specifically addressed to you:

"And let's not equate the consequences:  The UK has a much higher death toll than Sweden, despite destroying its economy and locking down, with much more hurt to come. 

Sweden, on the other hand might have 5000 deaths from Covid-19, compared to 2000-4000 deaths from the flu, and to its overall death rate of 90000+ in an average year.  Sweden does apparently have much larger nursing home centers than the other Scandinavian countries, which made it harder to isolate the vulnerable elderly. 

Weigh the cost and tell me which was the better way?"

 

------

Edited by Ron Put

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Quote

Sibiriak;  You've  presented ZERO evidence that any country has based their policies on that Tedros statement

Ron Put: This seems to really bother you,

No, just pointing out the complete lack of evidence on that point.    You just had another chance to provide it,  but once again, nothing.  I'm talking specifically about evidence that indicates that any country has based their policies on  Tedros' statement made on March 3 that Covid-19 is NOT as contagious as the flu and therefore can be stopped, unlike the flu.   Your comments above do not address that specific point at all.

Quote

Are you having trouble comprehending that WHO's push for containment by praising China's methods and urging Western governments to follow was instrumental in giving the media and opposition parties the tools to pressure Western leaders to follow suit

Straw man.  I never disputed that.  To repeat: the issue I raised  was specifically and only about Tedros' March 3rd statement suggesting that Covid-19 was not as contagious as the flu. 

Can you name a single figure anywhere  involved in setting government COVID-19 policy that claims Covid-19 is NOT as contagious as the flu?  Apparently you can't.  Case closed.

Quote

I don't recall posting or seeing the Fauci NEJM article I cited above.  It's possible I have forgotten,

Here's one example: (emphasis yours)

On 3/28/2020 at 6:22 AM, Ron Put said:

  [quoting:]   "[...] The New England Journal of Medicine has published an editorial by Dr. Anthony Fauci, an immunologist and authority on the outbreak who is considered to be apolitical. Based on the downward trend in the mortality rate in China, he and his colleagues wrote that, “If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively” (Fauci et al., 2020)." [...] 

Edited by Sibiriak

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4 hours ago, Ron Put said:

"And let's not equate the consequences:  The UK has a much higher death toll than Sweden, despite destroying its economy and locking down, with much more hurt to come.

Ron,  how many times do I have to repeat that I do not  support  protracted draconian lockdowns, whether  in the UK, the US or wherever? 

Sweden is much closer to the "middle ground' that I have advocated (there can be reasonable debate about what constitutes the most desirable balance, of course).   Sweden rejected both the extreme of "Professor"  Wittkowski’s  unscientific nonsense and the other extreme of  protracted draconian lockdowns.  

Anders Tegnell,  the architect of Sweden's strategy, stated explicitly:

Quote

As in many other countries, we aim to flatten the curve, slowing down the spread as much as possible — otherwise the health-care system and society are at risk of collapse.  

The Swedish government promoted many voluntary social distancing measures;  nevertheless universities and upper secondary schools were closed, events with more than 50 people were banned,  etc.  "Statistics show roughly half the Swedish workforce is now working from home, public transport usage has fallen by 50% in Stockholm and the capital’s streets are about 70% less busy than usual".

On the other hand,  restaurants, cafes,  schools remained open.  Tegnell argued that "because in Sweden there are almost no stay-at-home parents, closing schools would have knocked out at least a quarter of doctors and nurses, crippling the health service. By pushing children out into society, it might even have increased the threat to the elderly, particularly if they were called upon to babysit."

I've also pointed out that  you must take into  consideration important societal differences when attempting to evaluate policies.  Sweden is not the same as other countries in many respects:

Quote
 In truth, we [in Sweden] were practicing the coronavirus lifestyle long before the virus hit.

Geographically, Sweden is the third-largest country in the EU, but its population stands at just over 10 million; the main boulevards of our largest cities are always almost empty.

[...]In fact, according to figures from 2018-19, the majority of Swedish households are single-person households without children. A dramatically different society from Italy’s, for instance, where different generations live under the same roof, not only for financial reasons.

Swedes also like to keep a remarkably wide so-called interpersonal distance. You know the “my space, your space” scene in "Dirty Dancing?" Now, place Baby and Johnny in opposite corners of the room. That’s better. Not so awkward, see? This rule has long applied to all aspects of everyday Swedish life, from navigating the supermarket aisles to waiting at the bus stop [...]

In justifying Sweden's policies,  Tegnell pointed out   that "Sweden has almost no households where the over-70s live with younger adults and children."   That's not true of many other localities,  certainly not true of the small towns in Italy, for example,  and, btw,  is probably not true  in the more dense immigrant communities in Stockholm.   The point is:  policies must be adapted to the characteristics of the society affected.

Quote

Some experts have speculated that Sweden’s approach to managing the spread of the virus may also be influenced by its demographic profile – more than 50% of households are single-person – and relatively low population density of about 25 people per square kilometre, compared with, for example, 205 in Italy and 259 in the UK.

Most importantly, what I pointed out was that Sweden, like the UK and the US,  has failed to  design and implement a comprehensive and effective policy to educate and protect those at high risk--- including those with diseases like  hypertension, diabetes, obesity etc-- and especially those in nursing homes.   

In the US, one third or more of all Covid-19 deaths were nursing home residents or workers;  in Sweden the figure is 50% or more.

Covid-19: nursing homes account for 'staggering' share of US deaths, data show

Yale professor describes as ‘staggering’ research that reveals more than half of all deaths in 14 US states from elderly care facilities

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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4 hours ago, Ron Put said:

The Covid-19 mortality rate is actually 8-9 times lower that a "severe flu" pandemic like the 1957 or 1969 seasons, and it's still less than a third worldwide than the 1 million estimated to have died during the 2017-2018 season.

Ron,  you 've repeated that same exact talking point at least TEN TIMES  in this thread (eg. here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here and in who knows in how many more posts that my limited search did not turn up.)   

And it's been pointed out multiple times that making direct, unqualified comparisons between reported Covid-19 deaths  and  estimated dead from the 2017-18 flu season is "comparing apples and oranges" .   This is true because of the simple fact that radically disparate methodologies are used to produce the CDC's  historical statistics  vs the current tallies posted at the Worldometer etc.  ""Directly comparing data for 2 different diseases when mortality statistics are obtained by different methods provides inaccurate information. "

Moreover, the direct comparison you repeatedly make does NOT take into consideration, one way or another,  any of the effects of the virtually unprecedented policies put in place by governments and voluntary actions taking by individuals in response to the current outbreak.  That alone, even apart from the fatal methodological issue, makes your comparison completely unreliable.

But this has all been discussed before. Let's get to the main point.  You write:

Quote

  the point is not whether Covid-19's mortality is like the flu's (it's actually lower), but whether the hysteria and the lockdowns which destroyed the Western economies and will have impact for years to come were justified.

That's obviously the point that most interests you,  but what you don't seem to understand is: 

If  I reject your claim that Covid-19 is hardly worse than a mild flu,  and I disagree with the validity of  your endlessly repeated comparison  of mortality statistics obtained by different methods,    that does NOT mean I must support protracted draconian lockdowns. 

 Put another way,  If (A)  Covid-19 is  indeed substantially worse than the 2017-18 flu,  it  does NOT folllow that  (B) the wrecking of Western economies is  justified. The mere fact that various governments  make that argument does not make it valid. (A) does not entail (B).

Who in this forum do you  think supports the fomenting of hysteria and protracted draconian lockdowns?  Who here thinks the Covid-19 mortality rate, whatever it is,  justifies “destroying Western economies?”  If you can identify someone here who holds those views,  please, direct your talking points to them,  not me.

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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14 hours ago, Ron Put said:

I was actually being restrained and cited only "flu" deaths.  But, if you count the way Covid-19 deaths are counted, which includes influenza-like illness (ILI), but without the added "probables", you get this:

"During the 2016/17 season, the number of ILI-attributable excess deaths was 43,336, 57.9% more than the previous season."

Investigating the impact of influenza on excess mortality in all ages in Italy during recent seasons (2013/14–2016/17 seasons)
 

And again, the point is not whether Covid-19's mortality is like the flu's (it's actually lower), but whether the hysteria and the lockdowns which destroyed the Western economies and will have impact for years to come were justified.

I read the article and actually it estimates 25000 deaths in Italy in 2017 due to ILI , not direct influence (that's an estimate with several limitations).

But hypothesizing that the estimate is close to the truth and that flue has been so deadly in 2017, in all Europe, the all cause data published by Euromomo (whose flu model has been used in the Italian study) still underline an overwhelming peak associated to the Covid19 inception, it overwhelms all flue peaks in previous years.

image.png.e0482306281dd9b58110a4179d084ace.png

 

besides: Istat has published an official study (I posted the graphs previously, but I doubt you have seen it at this point) proving that most probably Covid19 deaths in the serious outbreak areas (not in area mildly affected) have been underestimated, not overestimated.

Moreover: I don't remember hospitals at the collapse point and packed morgues during 2017. The ILI deaths are distributed across the whole territory, not concentrated in parts of it.

Lastly, if the point is the economic impact of the lockdown, then you might as well cease producing numbers and emphasizing only on the aspects which seemingly are of interest to you!

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I learned quite a bit from this video from the head of UMinn CIDRAP group (Osterholm) on the almost total lack of evidence that cloth face coverings can effectively reduce virus transmission.

He says that the gaps around the edges and the poor filtration mean that cloth masks (and to a somewhat lesser extent, surgical masks) will only (partially) stop respiratory droplets and will have little effect on aerosolized particles. Since asymptomatic transmission is likely driven more by the latter than the former (since droplets are generated mostly by coughing and sneezing when you are sick, at which time you should stay home), cloth masks won't help (much) and may hurt by giving the wearer or those they interact with a false sense of security, encouraging them to take more risks like ignoring physical distancing guidelines. He also discusses the unfortunate politicalizing of the mask issue and how politics and peer pressure  has clouded decisions making on this topics, including at the CDC.

--Dean

 

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7 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

I learned quite a bit from this video from the head of UMinn CIDRAP group (Osterholm) on the almost total lack of evidence that cloth face coverings can effectively reduce virus transmission.

These researchers seem to have "put it to the test":

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0946-9

Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks

Nature Medicine volume 26pages676680(2020)

They had people breathe into a contraption like this, with and without surgical masks:

breathe.jpg.f409fa618701af74ac6c4e79b3de6d9f.jpg

Results:

results.jpg.ea34b8a680848376c36382632829a64a.jpg

Surgical masks seem to do a great job of blocking both aerosol and droplet particles when it came to coronavirus (they weren't using SARS-CoV-2 in these experiments). 

Video review of the paper

 

Edited by Gordo

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2 hours ago, Gordo said:

These researchers seem to have "put it to the test":

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0946-9

Thanks Gordo!

Those results are somewhat encouraging. But I say only somewhat because of some of the limitations of the study. For example:

  1. These were tests of surgical masks, which aren't the cloth masks the CDC is recommending, although some of us are lucky enough to have access to surgical masks making the study more relevant.
  2. As you point out, the "coronavirus" patients in the study didn't have SARS-cov2, but one of the seasonal coronaviruses that we refer to as part of the "common cold" family.
  3. All the participants in the study were symptomatic and what we're mostly worried about is preventing asymptomatic / pre-symptomatic spread via mask wearing.
  4. Building on #2, most of the people tested were coughing quite a bit during the data collection sessions. For example, the coronavirus patients coughed a median of 17 times during the 30 minute collection session. Again frequently coughing people aren't what we're really worried most about.
  5. In the few sessions where the patients didn't cough, there was no virus detected in either the droplets or aerosols collected in the coronavirus patients:
A subset of participants (72 of 246, 29%) did not cough at all during at least one exhaled breath collection, including 37 of 147 (25%) during the without-mask and 42 of 148 (28%) during the with-mask breath collection. In the subset for coronavirus [who did not cough] (n = 4), we did not detect any virus in respiratory droplets or aerosols from any participants. In the subset for influenza virus (n = 9), we detected virus in aerosols but not respiratory droplets from one participant. In the subset for rhinovirus (n = 17), we detected virus in respiratory droplets from three participants, and we detected virus in aerosols in five participants.

This last point makes me question somewhat the relevance of these results for prevention of the spread of the SARS-cov2 virus, since it is thought that this virus is unusual in its ability to proliferate in large quantity in the throats of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals and then spread through respiratory droplets and aerosols generated while talking or simply breathing. If other viruses, including other coronaviruses don't seem to spread in the same way, it may be that surgical masks or especially cloth masks, won't be effective at preventing SARS-cov2 spread.

Having said this, it seems intuitive to me that both cloth masks and more so surgical masks should provide some level of protection against the spread of SARS-cov2 and this study provides some evidence to support this intutition.

So it seems to me wearing a mask should reduce the risk of transmission at least by a bit, so long as one doesn't engage in more risky behavior as a result of believing masks will dramatically lower your risk on contracting and/or spreading the virus, i.e. the well known phenomenon of "risk compensation".

--Dean

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2 hours ago, TomBAvoider said:

Meanwhile, they're back to speculating about blood types and susceptability to severe CV-19 - this time, it looks a little bit more real:

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200603/Blood-group-type-may-affect-susceptibility-to-COVID-19-respiratory-failure.aspx

Thanks Tom. This result appears to confirm the earlier finding that A-type blood increases risk of a bad outcome while O-type blood decreases risk. From the article:

A lead SNP was also identified on chromosome 9 at the ABO blood group locus, and further analysis showed that A-positive participants were at a 45% increased for respiratory failure, while individuals with blood group O were at a 35% decreased risk for respiratory failure.

The authors say that early clinical reports have suggested the ABO blood group system is involved in determining susceptibility to COVID-19 and has also been implicated in susceptibility to SARS-CoV-1.

Meanwhile the big hydroxychloroquine for covid-19 treatment study in the Lancet was retracted today over questions about the data. The medical research community has made some unfortunate missteps during this crisis, undermining its credibility. Hopefully it won't spill over into the vaccine development effort. 

--Dean

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15 hours ago, Sibiriak said:

Ron,  how many times do I have to repeat that I do not  support  protracted draconian lockdowns, whether  in the UK, the US or wherever? 

Sweden is much closer to the "middle ground' that I have advocated (there can be reasonable debate about what constitutes the most desirable balance, of course).   Sweden rejected both the extreme of "Professor"  Wittkowski’s  unscientific nonsense and the other extreme of  protracted draconian lockdowns.  

OK, so we are in agreement then.  I'd guess that Sweden and other places will implement different rules for nursing homes (and that NY and CA will not force them to accept active Covid-19 patients).

As to Wittkowski, whom you keep attacking for some reason, he is actually generally correct in his responce. Here is a good discussion on R0:

"Flu may spread rapidly because it has a very short generation time, even if it has a low R0. One study assumed human viral reproduction, or transmissibility rate (RO) [the "reproductive number"], ranging from about 1.0 to 2.0, and set the generation time (Tg), meaning the average interval between infection of an individual and infection of contacts, at 2.6 days. This Tg factor was arrived at on the basis of analysis of past estimates of transmissibility of respiratory diseases and is less than the approximately 4 days assumed in most past modeling studies, say the authors. A predicted attack rate of 50% to 60% derived from these factors was consistent with the first two waves of past flu pandemics.

English boarding school has been used to estimate model parameters by trajectory matching. The most commonly used framework for epidemiological systems, the SIR (susceptible - infectious - recovered) model, yields an R0 of 4.38, whereas for the SEIR (susceptible - exposed - infectious - recovered) model yields an R0 of 16.9. A maximum bound for R0 can be obtained by analyzing the case data from an outbreak of the 1978 H1N1 flu in a boys boarding school, yielding an upper bound of R0 < 21.

If the basic reproductive number (R0) was below 1.60, some simulations show that a prepared response with targeted antivirals would have a high probability of containing the disease. The higher the R0, however, the lower the likelihood of containing the virus. When the R0 is set at 2.4, for example, the outbreak quickly grows uncontrollably large in most cases of some simulations."

Note the last sentence.  It means that Covid-19's spread in uncontrollable, especially if the higher estimates, like 4 are used.  Hence, contrary to WHO's claims, the lockdowns did little to stem the spread, which jives with the preliminary study I cited earlier, which claims that by the end of March 2 million in NY were infected.

For comparison, here is a recent article on Covid-19's R0 estimate:

"SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that has caused the covid-19 pandemic, has an estimated R0 of around 2.63, says the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 Evidence Service Team. However, estimates vary between 0.4 and 4.6."

----

11 hours ago, mccoy said:

I read the article and actually it estimates 25000 deaths in Italy in 2017 due to ILI , not direct influence (that's an estimate with several limitations).

But hypothesizing that the estimate is close to the truth and that flue has been so deadly in 2017, in all Europe, the all cause data published by Euromomo (whose flu model has been used in the Italian study) still underline an overwhelming peak associated to the Covid19 inception, it overwhelms all flue peaks in previous years.

Hi, mccoy.  A couple of points:

1. Please read a little further in the study I posted and take a look at this paragraph:

“During the study period, 136,686 ILI-attributable excess deaths were estimated using the full model (IA + ET effect). The average annual mortality excess rate (MR) ranged from 40.6 to 70.2 per 100,000. The total number of excess ILI-attributable deaths during the 2014/15 season was 41,066, 65.6% higher compared to the previous season. During the 2016/17 season, the number of ILI-attributable excess deaths was 43,336, 57.9% more than the previous season.”

The sole reason given for instituting  the lockdown was to “contain” the virus and prevent deaths, which is why the lockdown and its economic impact must be evaluated against the results.  Thus, the question stands, do the results justify the means?  Irrespective if we use the 43k or the 25k 2017flu season deaths estimate to compare to the 33k Covid-19 estimate (which will be adjusted), I do not believe that that there is a reasonable justification for the damage done. 

2. I am familiar with the Euromomo data you posted, but I am also noting that a number of epidemiologists, including Ternell, caution against jumping to conclusions based on preliminary data and narrow timeframes.  We need to wait until the data is corrected and then processed to separate excess deaths from the flu, from Covid-19 and from other conditions, including deaths due to deferred treatment for heart attacks, strokes, cancer, diabetes, or suicides, etc..  Until then, it's all suspect data.  It is unclear that excess deaths for the year will be significantly higher than other years with significant death ILI death toll, such as 2017-2018 (the reason that season was so deadly was mostly because it was so long, which can be clearly seen in the graph you posted).

As to hospitals being overwhelmed, yes, they were.  And they were overwhelmed in places like NY during the 2017-2018 flu season, to the point that there was a call to Governor Cuomo for urgent hospital funding, which he did not provide at the time, despite his posturing today.  And here is what a quick search about the Milan area :

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&amp;sl=auto&amp;tl=en&amp;u=https%3A%2F%2Fmilano.corriere.it%2Fnotizie%2Fcronaca%2F18_gennaio_10%2Fmilano-terapie-intensive-collasso-l-influenza-gia-48-malati-gravi-molte-operazioni-rinviate-c9dc43a6-f5d1-11e7-9b06-fe054c3be5b2.shtml

Edited by Ron Put

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4 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

 

  1. These were tests of surgical masks, which aren't the cloth masks the CDC is recommending, although some of us are lucky enough to have access to surgical masks making the study more relevant

Hi Dean!

My wife is an NP specialized in gastroenterology.  She supplied me with a surgical mask.  I also bought a large supply of a high quality Chinese mask (really chap).  Having used both, I find them similar.  My wife is happy with a different mask as well.

The important thing is that it should cover most of the nose; and one pinches it at the top of the nose.

I have the strong impression that masks that meet these criteria are protective -- and certainly protect others from you.

  --  Sau

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3 hours ago, TomBAvoider said:

Meanwhile, they're back to speculating about blood types and susceptability to severe CV-19 - this time, it looks a little bit more real:

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200603/Blood-group-type-may-affect-susceptibility-to-COVID-19-respiratory-failure.aspx

Yeah, this jives with what Dean posted earlier.  I've also seen a reference to it as "proof" that China engineered the virus to target Caucasians, who have the largest proportion of A-type, while the Chinese are predominantly O-type.  Although I just did a search and it appears the the residents of Beijing are a quarter A-type, while the Italians around Milan are predominantly O-type :).  

I am leery of such arguments, as these have been advanced before in various contexts such as longevity, cancer susceptibility, CVD, etc., and generally have not been replicated well.  There are hundreds of additional antigens circulating among most humans, so they may have something to do with it.  Also, a single gene is rarely the single cause of a trait, so I'd take this with a large grain of salt.

P.S.  For example, here is an example of a longevity study discussing ABO:

https://academic.oup.com/ajcp/article/135/1/96/1766172

Edited by Ron Put

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3 hours ago, TomBAvoider said:

Meanwhile, they're back to speculating about blood types and susceptability to severe CV-19 - this time, it looks a little bit more real:

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200603/Blood-group-type-may-affect-susceptibility-to-COVID-19-respiratory-failure.aspx

According to my wife, type O blood is the most protective; type A the worst.  I'm O posititve, my wife is type A.  Interestingly, my (deceased) father-in-law is (was) O positive.

"Like father-in-law like son-in-law"

  😀

  --  Saul

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17 minutes ago, Ron Put said:

[...]For example, here is an example of a longevity study discussing ABO:

https://academic.oup.com/ajcp/article/135/1/96/1766172

Interesting, although the small numbers studied are disappointing. I'm puzzled, because it would seem this should not be a hard study to conduct, tons of people are dying and their blood type is known. It would've been great if they had numbers in the hundreds of thousands or more. Maybe one day.

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1 minute ago, TomBAvoider said:

Interesting, although the small numbers studied are disappointing. I'm puzzled, because it would seem this should not be a hard study to conduct, tons of people are dying and their blood type is known. It would've been great if they had numbers in the hundreds of thousands or more. Maybe one day.

I actually did a bit of reading on the subject a while back and there are some strong claims floating around, sometimes with seemingly convincing evidence, but nothing has been replicated well.  Similarly with height claims and longevity.  We are complex machines and are just learning how we are made, so I expect a lot of tempting dead end turns on the road to discovery.

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On 4/10/2020 at 1:49 AM, Gordo said:

Alex Berenson has been analyzing the data on the crisis on a daily basis for weeks and has come to the conclusion that the strategy of shutting down entire sectors of the economy is based on modeling that doesn't line up with the realities of the virus.

 

Amazon refused to carry  Berenson's  new book, "Unreported Truths about Covid-19 and Lockdowns Part 1: Introduction and Death Counts and Estimates",  but apparently was shamed into reversing that decision after a torrent of criticism. 

Amazon Backtracks, Agrees to Carry Alex Berenson’s Book Questioning Predominant Coronavirus Narrative (June 4)

Quote

Editor’s Note: Amazon informed Berenson on Thursday afternoon that it would carry his book on the coronavirus pandemic. Berenson had attempted to publish the manuscript via Kindle Direct Publishing. This article has been updated accordingly. An Amazon spokesperson told National Review, “This book was removed in error and is being reinstated.”

Amazon backtracked after initially refusing to distribute former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson’s book on the coronavirus pandemic. Berenson, who covered the pharmaceutical industry for the Times from 1999 to 2010, has been an outspoken critic of models used by epidemiologists to predict the course of coronavirus outbreaks in the U.S. He has also criticized the resulting lockdowns that were imposed across much of the country to prevent the pathogen’s spread.

 

 

Elon Musk calls for Amazon breakup after Covid-19 skeptic claims it censored his book

Quote

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Thursday tweeted that he thinks it’s time to break up Amazon.  His tweet came after writer Alex Berenson tweeted a screenshot shwing that his upcoming book about Covid-19 doesn’t meet Amazon guidelines for sale. Berenson has been a critic of the coronavirus lockdown and has suggested that the risks of serious illness or death are much lower than reported, especially for younger people.

“This is insane @JeffBezos,” Musk said, tagging the Amazon CEO. “Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!”  Amazon said later that the book was removed in error, is being reinstated and that it has contacted Berenson.

 

Berenson posted this screenshot of the original Amazon notice:

image.thumb.png.af51e7a70db24205726c3adbb3c6f7c2.png

 

Seems a bit Orwellian:  "We are referring customers to official sources for health information about  the virus.  Please consider removing references to Covid-19 for this  book."

But these days support for censorship--of views one disagrees with--is growing by leaps and bounds.  In the end, however, it  will be the PTB that  control the censorship apparatus,  not the public now clamoring for it.

See also: Planet of the Censoring Humans     by Matt Taibbi.  It deals with YouTube's censorship of Moore's film  but also discusses censorship of  Covid-19 sceptics and the general trend among US  liberals/progressives to abandon traditional free speech protections.

Edited by Sibiriak

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10 hours ago, Ron Put said:

. I am familiar with the Euromomo data you posted, but I am also noting that a number of epidemiologists, including Ternell, caution against jumping to conclusions based on preliminary data and narrow timeframes.  We need to wait until the data is corrected and then processed to separate excess deaths from the flu, from Covid-19 and from other conditions, including deaths due to deferred treatment for heart attacks, strokes, cancer, diabetes, or suicides, etc..  Until then, it's all suspect data.  It is unclear that excess deaths for the year will be significantly higher than other years with significant death ILI death toll, such as 2017-2018 (the reason that season was so deadly was mostly because it was so long, which can be clearly seen in the graph you posted).

As to hospitals being overwhelmed, yes, they were.  And they were overwhelmed in places like NY during the 2017-2018 flu season, to the point that there was a call to Governor Cuomo for urgent hospital funding, which he did not provide at the time, despite his posturing today.  And here is what a quick search about the Milan area :

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&amp;sl=auto&amp;tl=en&amp;u=https%3A%2F%2Fmilano.corriere.it%2Fnotizie%2Fcronaca%2F18_gennaio_10%2Fmilano-terapie-intensive-collasso-l-influenza-gia-48-malati-gravi-molte-operazioni-rinviate-c9dc43a6-f5d1-11e7-9b06-fe054c3be5b2.shtml

48 ICU patients in 15 days, but for how long? It is well known that Covid-19 takes serious patients a very long time in ICU.

The numbers provided, are they distributed in all Italy and in all flue season, 5 months? Probably yes. The Covid data are concentrated in 2 months in 2-3 regions of Italy. The numbers are not comparable. Again, since I like fruit, they are apples and oranges.

All cause excess mortality: they correct automatically for all kinds of deaths, so a peak is a peak regardless of how Covid19 death data are collected. 

Quote

“During the study period, 136,686 ILI-attributable excess deaths were estimated using the full model (IA + ET effect). The average annual mortality excess rate (MR) ranged from 40.6 to 70.2 per 100,000. The total number of excess ILI-attributable deaths during the 2014/15 season was 41,066, 65.6% higher compared to the previous season. During the 2016/17 season, the number of ILI-attributable excess deaths was 43,336, 57.9% more than the previous season.”

That's a mathematical model, mathematical models are known to be potentially very wrong (see that case in recent epidemiological models on SARS-COV2). The authors themselves underline that the study has several limitations, in other words, they are dealing with estimates. And the Covid19 deaths are estimates themselves. So, sorry if I'm more interested with certain data (all cause excess deaths) than rough, overlapping estimates.

 
 
 
 
 
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This study has several limitations. The influenza surveillance system in Italy is based on voluntary general practitioners reporting ILI cases, and the participating general practitioners are not selected with random criteria. Another important limitation in the surveillance system is related to virological surveillance because sampling of influenza testing may be biased towards more samples taken at hospitals, and therefore may overestimate the proportion of positive samples in the population. These limitations may introduce a potential bias due to the selection of subjects under surveillance.

Moreover, the study is based on census mortality data, while previous published studies (Nielsen et al., 2019) were based on sample data and limited to regional data. However, the proposed model uses all-cause weekly mortality data, usually available quite in real time in many countries, and can therefore be a valuable tool for monitoring the seasonal impact of influenza.

The study should be validated using cause specific mortality data, which, however, was not available for the entire study period. Furthermore, it would be valuable to investigate also regional patterns, but such details on mortality were not available in the study period considered.

 

All-cause excess deaths published by the Italian Istat deal with officially dead persons. When someone is dead, unfortunately he or she is dead regardless of covid19, flue, or whatever else. You are maybe ignoring this aspect subconsciously, since it seems such a very simple and evident point.

 

Edited by mccoy

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9 hours ago, mccoy said:

... All-cause excess deaths published by the Italian Istat deal with officially dead persons. When someone is dead, unfortunately he or she is dead regardless of covid19, flue, or whatever else. You are maybe ignoring this aspect subconsciously, since it seems such a very simple and evident point.

 

mccoy, I guess fear blinds and makes some perceive threats and data irrationally.  Just as some were obsessed with the most absurd Covid-19 death predictions, now some fail to understand that the excess death data is still preliminary and subject to adjustment, but more importantly, that ER visits for heart attack, strokes and cancer treatments are down close to 50%.  Normally, during stressful times, like earthquakes or 9/11, heart attacks and strokes increase significantly.  During the Covid-19 period, those are dramatically down, while deaths at home are significantly increased.  It will take a while to sort it out and publish real numbers (and I assume there will be politically driven pressure as to how they are presented).  But it seems likely that the virus hysteria has resulted in a significant number of deaths from other causes, although it is unclear if it will affect the total excess death for the year.  To put it in perspective, over 100,000 Italians die from heart attacks each year, a much higher percentage of the population than in France, for example.

Here are some examples from the US:


Heart Attack Cases at ERs Fall by Half – Are COVID Fears to Blame?

U.S. emergency rooms are seeing about half as many heart attack patients as usual -- and researchers suspect the new coronavirus is the reason why.

It's not that fewer people are having heart attacks, doctors say. Rather, it's fear of getting COVID-19 keeping people from hospitals.

And the consequences can be deadly.

"I'm certainly not convinced that the true rate of heart attacks going down explains even a large part of this finding," said lead researcher Dr. Matthew Solomon, a cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif.

"We definitely think it has something to do with the public's response and fear about coming to the hospital and getting infected," he said.

Solomon noted that after other major events, such as 9/11 and earthquakes, the rate of heart attacks went up. ...

"There have been a number of recent reports suggesting that during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant decrease in the number of patients presenting to the hospital with acute cardiovascular conditions, including heart attacks and stroke," said Fonarow, who wasn't part of the study.

The findings further raise concerns that people with serious cardiovascular conditions are not seeking necessary care, and this may be contributing to the increase in cardiac arrest and deaths at home, he said.

It appears some people are delaying calling 911 and suffering fatal consequences in their home, Fonarow said.

Anyway, this is getting about as pointless as arguing about "intelligent" design or the simulation nonsense.

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Halleluja! It's over! Unemployment is massively down, the economy is recovering like a rocket... or at least we can hope so:

US unemployment sees surprise improvement in May

"The news cheered investors, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 up more than 2%, continuing a recovery in share prices from their March lows.

The job gains were not limited to the US.

In Canada, employers added 290,000 jobs - far more than expected. However, the unemployment rate shot to 13.7% - the highest level on record in data back to 1976."

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