Covid – 19

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/leading-german-virologist-covid-19-less-deadly-we-thought
German scientist, Professor Hendrik Streeck has been studying groups of subjects in his country and has reached a number of compelling provisional findings regarding the viral behaviour of the new Coronavirus.Streeck also explains why he thinks that draconian ‘lockdown’ measures were decided in haste, and may ultimately be deemed to have been completely unnecessary.

He also presented data which gives an indication of an “Infected Fatality Rate” (IFR), eg. the percentage of people infected who will end up dying. New findings show a COVID-19 infection fatality rate of between 0.24 – 0.36% (as opposed to Neil Ferguson who claims the IFR to be just under 1%, perhaps 0.8-0.9%). Previous interviews with UnHerd, with experts like Johan Giesecke who believes the IFR is closer to 0.1%, or one in a thousand.

The difference between IFR is important, not least of all because this statistic will be used by governments to determine he relative severity of the threat in question. After UK ‘experts’ like Prof. Ferguson had massively overestimated the IFR, Boris Johnson’s government then switched course – away from a more common sense, science-based approach like Sweden, and instead implemented an experimental Medieval-style quarantine, or “lockdown” method, to try and contain the coronavirus. In the end, the UK policy turned out to be a disaster, leading to an unprecedented economic catastrophe as well as the highest COVID death totals in Europe.

Meanwhile here are the charts ( as near as we can guess given reports of vastly inflated numbers of deaths –  ie. Internet sarcasm that Covid 19 has cured the USA of flu, pneumonia, cancer and many other ailments because no one is reported as dying from those causes any more)

Noteworthy

The  no lockdown countries Sweden and Japan

Contrast with UK and USA

My comment on this is the USA is still not out of the woods, but the plateau is arriving.

HOWEVER, if lockdowns work, why are the USA and UK still climbing in numbers?

Consider this, if 80% of the population is in lockdown, for well over 45 days now, and the time frame from infection to symptomatic and diagnosis ranges from 7 to 14 days.

Why; after 45 days, are some countries still getting many new infection numbers? 

Especially if the new infection numbers are not from the 20% of critical service folks, especially like medical staff and first responders?

Are the numbers True? Or Not?

 Or is lockdown completely ineffective at containing this type of pandemic?

However; 

Some countries are still ramping up aggressively also.

Notable observation:

Worldwide, NO nation state has seen COVID deaths even get to 0.1% of the population over the entire 5 months since the outbreak began.

(Tiny city state with in Italy, San Marino, total population less than 50k has a 0.12% fatality rate) 

Important anecdotal, but highly  relevant tangenthttps://www.zerohedge.com/health/elvis-was-king-ike-was-president-116000-americans-died-pandemic
In 1957 when the USA population was about 1/2 of today’s population, at least 116,000 people, just in the USA , died in a similar pandemic that also killed 1.1 million people worldwide.
Key quote:

In February 1957, a new influenza A (H2N2) virus emerged in East Asia, triggering a pandemic (“Asian Flu”). This H2N2 virus was comprised of three different genes from an H2N2 virus that originated from an avian influenza A virus, including the H2 hemagglutinin and the N2 neuraminidase genes. It was first reported in Singapore in February 1957, Hong Kong in April 1957, and in coastal cities in the United States in summer 1957. The estimated number of deaths was 1.1 million worldwide and 116,000 in the United States.

Like the current pandemic, there was a demographic pattern to the deaths. It hit the elderly population with heart and lung disease. In a frightening twist, the virus could also be fatal for pregnant women. The infection rate was probably even higher than the Spanish flu of 1918 (675,000 Americans died from this), but this lowered the overall case fatality rate to 0.67%. A vaccine became available in late 1957 but was not widely distributed. 

The population of the U.S. at the time was 172 million, which is a little more than half of the current population. Life expectancy was 69 as versus 78 today. Even with shorter lives, it was a healthier population with lower rates of obesity. To extrapolate the data to a counterfactual, we can conclude that this virus was more wicked than COVID-19 thus far. 

What’s remarkable when we look back at this year, nothing was shut down. Restaurants, schools, theaters, sporting events, travel – everything continued without interruption. Without a 24-hour news cycle with thousands of news agencies and a billion websites hungry for traffic, mostly people paid no attention other than to keep basic hygiene. It was covered in the press as a medical problem. The notion that there was a political solution never occurred to anyone. 

One of the commentors below the article makes the point that the generation whose fathers fought WWI and survived the Spanish Flu pandemic, who themselves lived through The Great Depression, The Polio Epidemic, World War II and just recently the Korean War, were not to be scared shitless over another flu like epidemic.

1957 in America is remembered for many things.

But its not even a blip on the footnotes of history books that an epidemic killed, on a per capita basis, 4x of Americans than what Covid 19 has done.

Editorial comment:

This pandemic seems to be running out of steam in many developed countries, and may be doing so in countries without lock down emergency measures.

The vast majority of  persons for whom this virus is fatal or debilitating are those who either have other serious heath issues, such as morbid obesity, and  chronic respiratory illness, and especially those who are well into senior citizen  years. 

(and those folks ages are actually well above the expected life spans of people in developed countries for all of recorded history until the post WWII era, and above current life expectancy in the 3rd world)

Shutting down the economies of many nations for a disease which is not debilitating or fatal to  neither children nor to the productive age groups under 55 seems to have been an unwise decision by those entrusted with leadership.

IMHO, if the current trend continues, and if there are any laws on the books for penalties of  government officials exceeding their constitution authority, then the past few months should be enough to indict and convict hundreds if not thousands of  government officials.

Finally, Very little in news media spoken about Japan, and what is, tends to be derogatory toward their policy of only testing the highly suspected or those during a cluster trace.

However We would note Japan is one of the cleanest countries in the world, (Switzerland was notable for this as well) and Japan has a Long standing cultural tradition of wearing masks in public, espeically on mass transit

 And let the results speak for themselves

(note Japan’s population is about 128 million, just over 1/3 the USA, and more than double the population of  either the UK or Germany)

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