Speaking of the coronavirus

Selected comments from the I stand with Gigi thread

In Australia, influenza on average causes 1,500 to 3,000 deaths, about 18,000 hospitalisations and 300,000 GP consultations each year. Ro is around 0.1 to 0.2. Ro for Wuhan flu anywhere from 0.5 to 0.1 not a lot of difference.

Some more numbers. Italy has over 360,000 nurses and 240,000 doctors . As of end of March, 61 healthcare workers have died from Covid-19.

Let me give you a factual account, which is a definite marker on Gigi’s other side of the ledger: A few weeks ago, my brother in law passed very suddenly at the age of 63. Turns out it was a form of preventable heart failure. In the days leading up to this, he attempted to go to a local medical clinic who REFUSED him as they had closed their doors to new patients (he had only recently moved to the area). He was so concerned by media reports about the hospitals that he didn’t go to emergency where he WOULD have been treated successfully. Instead he died. Not of COVID, but of a preventable and treatable illness – which was denied him. He was the price that these politicians are prepared to pay for their handiwork. He is the cost on the other side of their ledger. He will be but one more name on the epitaph of this lunacy.

In Sweden, Will Voluntary Self-Isolation Work Better Than State-Enforced Lockdowns in the Long Run? Those who want to show how great Sweden is doing have produced charts comparing us to countries like Britain, Belgium, France, Spain, and Italy. Those who want to prove the opposite replace those countries with Norway, Denmark, and Finland, all of which have fewer deaths. If you want Sweden to look bad, compare it to the U.S. as a whole—120 deaths per million in Sweden vs. 94 in the U.S. according to Our World in Data’s April 16 numbers. If you want Sweden to look good, compare it to New York state, which is at a more similar stage to us in the virus’s spread—120 vs. 580. The truth is that Sweden is somewhere in the European middle when it comes to deaths per capita, which in itself is interesting. We are outliers in terms of policy, but not in terms of outcomes. There are also reasons to think that Sweden is doing better than these comparisons suggest. Many countries don’t count COVID-19 deaths outside of hospitals. When people die at home, in nursing homes, or in prisons, they don’t show up in the coronavirus death count. In the Stockholm region of Sweden, 42 percent of deaths took place in nursing homes for the elderly. In many countries, and some U.S. states, those deaths would not show up in the data. This has a major effect on where you are compared to other countries. According to Johns Hopkins University, Belgium has twice as many COVID-19 deaths per capita as the Netherlands. But in Belgium, almost half of those deaths are from nursing homes, while testing is more rare in Dutch nursing homes so fewer deaths there are attributed to the disease.

Health care workers have been stood down and people are not getting life saving surgery now. My mother is one of them. People are dying now and will be in future precisely because health care workers have been told to walk off the job. Bloody women and their core belief in government combined with hysteria, is a big part of the mess we are in. Judith, I ask you, why are you so happy for the other deaths to occur, in their thousands (and destroy the western world, knowing what will take it’s place), due to the draconian totalitarian jackboot of government, as long as they don’t die of Corona virus? You are proof an education is not a guarantee of intelligence, but in your case, what caused the lack of morality, if it isn’t hysteria?

Pretty soon there will no economy for economists to study Judith. This is already traversing back through supply chains. A recession on the scale of 1930 to 1935 will indeed lead to many deaths and ruined lives. As a respected economist, perhaps you would do some estimates and scenarios. Then we could compare the relative damage over 5 years say. We seem to already know that the infection and death rates are not as high as proposed by Imperial College. It looks like Italy and Spain are one end of the spectrum, Hong Kong and Taiwan the other. Sweden would be a control case precisely because there had been no lock down other than for at risk groups. Then select a few ‘average’ cases such as Germany and the UK, Mexico, and others. It’s likely that the weather has played a part, as someone said above. You’d also need to control for numbers of returning Chinese students and business people, certainly in Italy and Switzerland. That done, show the average infection and death rates grouped by weather, age profile, returning Chinese and date of lockdown. Thanks to Sweden we shall know the same figures where there is no lockdown. Similarly, there will be the second peak to take into account. We end up with average rates of infection and deaths by the filters set out above. Compare with deaths by economic slump.

Again, Judith is a classic example of the sex that never designed or fought for a civilisation, making decisions without understanding the true costs her idiotic hysteria will cause.

10% unemployment is a distressing turn of events. 15% is a bit terrifying. I think the lockdown has been too extensive for Australia and the National Cabinet and the media have terrorised people in their own homes and they don’t feel safe going out anymore. I think the real reason is that PM Morrison and the premiers can go to their respective next elections and say, without me 20,000 of you lot would have died so vote for me. Whether the 10% unemployment and misery with that makes people vote the other way, who knows right now.

Unfortunately our governments have delegated decision making to the chief medical officers and given them fall rein to wreak havoc. They went in without an exit plan and there is still isn’t one. Interestingly the slogans have morphed from “flattening the curve” to “no more lives lost”.

Judith, as an economist, I would have thought you of all people would know of the long-term damage a lockdown could do to the economy. Not to mention, the number of suicides now and into the future as a result could vastly outnumber Covid19 deaths.

I guess Judith must have missed the bit about hospitals being half empty and major CBD hospitals with Max 3 virus cases in their ICU. It is a hard balancing act I know but 6 new cases in Qld does not justify what is going on. I heard a caller to 2GB mention there had been 8 virus related suicides in Melbourne. I did read about one who had returned from overseas and was self isolating in hospital but did not say why suicided. No idea where he got the figure from but would guess the average age is much lower than virus deaths. I doubt Melbourne has even had 8 virus deaths. I heard on radio saying job keeper payments would go for 6 months. A week ago I heard Michaelia Cash, almost proudly, saying 800,000 businesses had applied for job seeker. Today I heard a figure of 500,000 mentioned. If they are businesses then there are obviously applying for more than one person. Where are the economists calculating the daily, weekly, monthly, 6 months of job seeker etc costs of what is happening to the economy. Whilst the Govt probably knew how many would be affected by the closure of the hospitality industry did they factor in what would happen when their actions scared off the visitors to retail shops. Look in an almost deserted Westfield shopping centre to see the impact of lost GST. Then how about an economist let us know how much of a budget hit the low petrol price and cars not on the road has caused. I guess it is easy who Gigi is but she is on the right track. If I recall Sally McManus was early on suggesting workers be paid 80% of their normal salaries whilst stood down. Unfortunately she was referring to private business and not civil servants many of whom are being fully paid not to work. How about Judith look into areas where the Government could make some savings in these times when they are being so generous with other people’s money.

As a boomer (tail end), I’m widowed, self-employed (so if I don’t work I don’t eat much), have a small amount of capital behind me, but nothing you’d get excited about, own my own very modest house and owe nobody anything (because we both had to access our superannuation early to pay for my husband’s care and costs and made sure we had no debts.) I’ve worked in private businesses; gave enough years of my life to the Army; gave a further bunch to high risk border patrol work; then the last decade of my working life to 12-hour day and night shifts in front-line state operations that actually facilitated the export of royalty-earning product. If you think I’m somehow spongeing off the rest of the economy, or stealing from younger generations, or withholding my “wealth” from the next generation or whatever your envious little soul thinks I’m doing, then F..k You! If you think you’re joking, then still F..k You! You’re a long way from funny.

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