CV-19 update

Via Instapundit. Not to deny that it can kill you, but there are positive signs that you are unlikely to hear from Daniel Andrews.

GOOD NEWS: UPMC doctor sees too much focus on rising COVID-19 cases, too little on declining severity and hospitalizations.

Related: Hospital patients four times less likely to die now than they were in April, Oxford study finds.

Related: Heather Mac Donald: Where Are The Deaths? “In May, Georgia was the main target of expert contempt for its allegedly premature reopening. Since then, the media have gone silent, due to the state’s truly discouraging downward daily death toll from a high of 119 on April 7, long before the reopenings, to 10 on June 24. . . . There are no crises in hospital capacity anywhere in the country. Nursing homes, meat-packing plants, and prisons remain the main sources of new infections.”

Also: Getting Realistic About The Coronavirus Death Rate.

Nearly all the studies find between 10 and 100 times the number of total infections as reported infections, with the average somewhere around 20 to 25 times.

In other words, while the CDC reports 2.34 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus, the actual number of infected and recovered people may be closer to 50 million. (CDC Director Robert Redfield told journalists Thursday that the number of cases may be 10 times higher than the earlier 2.34 million.)

Thus, the death rate, which would be 5.2 percent based on that 2.34 million figure, is actually more like one-20th as high — or 0.26 percent.

It can be awful in some people, but overall it’s turning out to be nowhere near as bad as we feared a few months ago. And that’s good!

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Plus this.

WELL, THE PRESS WON’T SAY IT, SO YOU KIND OF HAVE TO: Seen on Facebook: “So there’s a COVID spike 3-4 weeks after the mass protests. Just saying.”

Related: Did Austin’s protests produce coronavirus spike? (Yes.)

Melbourne too, it seems.

Led by donkeys

I did the same analysis confined to just Victoria. Here is the same, this time for the whole of Australia.

There are 25.0 million people living in Australia.

If 10% of the population had the CV-19, that would be 2.5 million people.

If 1% of the population had the CV-19, that would be 250,000 people.

If 0.1% of the population had the CV-19, that would be 25,000 people. That is one person in 1000.

If 0.01% of the population had the CV-19, that would be 2500 people. That is one person in 10,000.

The actual number of people in Australia who now have the CV-19 is 538. That is 0.002% of the population, one person in 50,000.

The number of Covid-19 deaths in Australia in the year to June, 2020: 102.

Number of road deaths in Australia in the 12 months to April 2020: 1135 which for the last four months comes to around 378.

The largest crisis we have in Australia is a crisis of political leadership.

The Corona Virus Syndrome Q&A

What is the Corona Virus Syndrome
Feelings of trust or affection felt in many cases by those who have been forced into a lockdown by these victim towards those who have enforced the lockdown

Corona Virus syndrome is a psychological response which occurs when individuals who are forced into lockdown situations bond with those who have enforced self-isolation and quarantine. This psychological connection develops over the course of the days, weeks, months, or even years of being locked down and being deprived of freedom and rights.

Corona Virus Syndrome is a coping strategy which individuals who are put into lockdown may develop. Fear or terror of developing some disease that is empirically almost certain not to harm them might be most common in these situations, but some individuals begin to develop positive feelings toward those have introduced and have been enforcing the lockdown.

Is the Corona Virus Syndrome a form of brainwashing?
The idea of brainwashing not being a new concept does have many similarities. The reactions of those in lockdown may be described as the result of being brainwashed by their captors.

Is ‘political trauma bonding’ the same as the Corona Virus Syndrome?
The term ‘political trauma bond’ is one of the major forms of the Corona Virus Syndrome. It describes a deep bond which forms between the victims of a lockdown and their political abusers. Victims of such abuse often develop a strong sense of loyalty towards their political abuser, despite the fact that the bond is damaging to themselves emotionally and economically.

What does political trauma bonding mean?
A simple and more encompassing definition is that political traumatic bonding is: “a strong emotional attachment between an abused person in a lockdown situation and his or her political abuser.”

What does political trauma bonding feel like?
‘Political trauma bonding’ refers to a state of being emotionally attached not to a kind friend or family member, but to a political leader who puts individuals into lockdown by asserting that such a lockdown will provide longer-term benefits in spite of the short-term harm to their lives.

Can Corona Virus Syndrome be cured?
Since a person may have experienced mental, emotional and physical abuse during the period of a lockdown, it may take years for the victim to see improvement.

How do you break the cycle of political trauma bonding?

     10 Ways to break ‘political traumatic bonding’:

  1. Recognise that political leaders have agendas of their own that have nothing to do with your welfare.
  2. Stop being terrified about politicised issues whose dangers seem highly exaggerated.
  3. Start reality training both about such politicised issues and about the political leaders who promote them.
  4. Ask good questions and make certain the answers are consistent with the actions being taken. Remember the first priority for political leaders is personal power not your welfare.
  5. Do some personal research, and especially among those authorities who take a different position from the positions being taken by political leaders.
  6. Do everything you can to end lockdowns as soon as possible.
  7. Get out of the house, discuss what is being done with others and start socialising.
  8. Put your focus on common sense.
  9. Learn to read and interpret statistics.
  10. Identify political hypocrisy wherever you find it.

Are there any other similar syndromes?
There are a number of other such syndromes. These include the Global Warming Syndrome and the Socialist Central Planning Syndrome.

Sweden has “got quite a long way to the same effect”

Epidemiologist Who Triggered Worldwide Lockdowns Admits: Without Instituting Full Lockdown, Sweden Essentially Getting Same Effect

People enjoy the sunny weather in Tantolunden park in Stockholm on May 30, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, whose bleak projections of future deaths from COVID-19 influenced governments around the world to institute massive lockdowns, admitted of Sweden, which did not institute harsh lockdowns, “It is interesting that adopting a policy which is short of a full lockdown – they have closed secondary schools and universities and there is a significant amount of social distancing, but it’s not a full lockdown – they have got quite a long way to the same effect.”

From here. What really happened in Sweden we may never know. But as CL points out, they have a new toy to play with so who cares?

The Chinese flu has flown

Callling it the Chinese flu is, of course, no more racist than worrying about the German measles. And while there may be gratitude from some to our hysterical political class, none of it will come from me. This is from Rage and Recriminations in the Wake of COVID-19 by Roger Kimball.

Back in March, we were told ad nauseam that we needed to close up the country for “15 days to slow the spread.” The major concern, we were told, was to “flatten the curve” in order not to overwhelm the healthcare system. But the healthcare system never came close to being overwhelmed, not even in New York, notwithstanding Andrew Cuomo’s impersonation of the Angel of Death when it came to nursing homes.

How long ago that seems. As it turns out, the 15 days were merely a softening up period. It was only after the nation got hooked on President Trump’s near daily press conferences that the Svengali-like Anthony Fauci, accompanied by his comely, Vanna White-like assistant Dr. Deborah Birx, dispensed ever-more alarming scenarios of the countless deaths that awaited us—the models said so!—unless we closed our eyes and hid under our desks until Saturday next.

To date, there are nearly 100,000 deaths attributed to the Wuhan flu. Half of those are in nursing homes. Half are over 80. According to the CDC, in 2017-2018, 45 million people in the United States were sick with influenza, 21 million went to the doctor, 810,000 were hospitalized, and there were 61,000 deaths. Last year, flu deaths topped 80,000. Unlike this Chinese virus, which affects mostly the elderly and infirm, the flu is deadly for young and old alike.

And this just in from the CDC: the mortality rate of the Wuhan flu is remarkably low: right in line, in fact (and as I suggested at the time), with the projection made by the Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis in February. While he acknowledged that there was much we did not know about the virus, he nonetheless said that “reasonable estimates for the case fatality ratio in the general U.S. population vary from 0.05 percent to 1 percent.” But with every passing day—and this was back in February—the evidence suggests that we will wind up on the lower end of that spectrum….

Indeed, the most recent CDC guidance, though hedged with technicalities and alternative scenarios, basically confirms Ioannidis’s prediction. As Daniel Horowitz noted, the report should be “earth-shattering to the narrative of the political class.” But the guardians of The Narrative are strong. More likely, it will wind up in “the thick pile of vital data and information about the virus that is not getting out to the public.”

What does it say? Among other things—and for the first time—it offers an overall death rate for the virus. And what is it? The horrifying 3.5 percent that the now-thoroughly discredited Imperial College model predicted? (Now “thoroughly discredited” but deeply influential on the projections of important people like Anthony Fauci.) Not hardly. Under the report’s most likely scenario, the number is 0.26 percent—almost exactly what Ioannidis said in February.

We have a population of 25 million and around a 100 deaths. I wish we had been more like Sweden, or Taiwan, or a few others where heads were kept level. The question now is what would we do if there really were a pandemic?

 

“More people will die from the measures than from the virus”

An interview with Yoram Lass, “the former director of Israel’s Health Ministry, on the hysteria around Covid-19”: ‘Nothing can justify this destruction of people’s lives’ at Spiked. Read it all, but this is how it opens – I have left out the questions that these are the answers to:

Yoram Lass: It is the first epidemic in history which is accompanied by another epidemic – the virus of the social networks. These new media have brainwashed entire populations. What you get is fear and anxiety, and an inability to look at real data. And therefore you have all the ingredients for monstrous hysteria.

It is what is known in science as positive feedback or a snowball effect. The government is afraid of its constituents. Therefore, it implements draconian measures. The constituents look at the draconian measures and become even more hysterical. They feed each other and the snowball becomes larger and larger until you reach irrational territory. This is nothing more than a flu epidemic if you care to look at the numbers and the data, but people who are in a state of anxiety are blind. If I were making the decisions, I would try to give people the real numbers. And I would never destroy my country.

Mortality due to coronavirus is a fake number. Most people are not dying from coronavirus. Those recording deaths simply change the label. If patients died from leukaemia, from metastatic cancer, from cardiovascular disease or from dementia, they put coronavirus. Also, the number of infected people is fake, because it depends on the number of tests. The more tests you do the more infected people you get.

The only real number is the total number of deaths – all causes of death, not just coronavirus. If you look at those numbers, you will see that every winter we get what is called an excess death rate. That is, during the winter more people die compared to the average, due to regular, seasonal flu epidemics, which nobody cares about. If you look at the coronavirus wave on a graph, you will see that it looks like a spike. Coronavirus comes very fast, but it also goes away very fast. The influenza wave is shallow as it takes three months to pass, but coronavirus takes one month. If you count the number of people who die in terms of excess mortality – which is the area under the curve – you will see that during the coronavirus season, we have had an excess mortality which is about 15 per cent larger than the epidemic of regular flu in 2017.

Compared to that rise, the draconian measures are of biblical proportions. Hundreds of millions of people are suffering. In developing countries many will die from starvation. In developed countries many will die from unemployment. Unemployment is mortality. More people will die from the measures than from the virus. And the people who die from the measures are the breadwinners. They are younger. Among the people who die from coronavirus, the median age is often higher than the life expectancy of the population. What has been done is not proportionate. But people are afraid. People are brainwashed. They do not listen to the data. And that includes governments.

Much more at the link. And speaking of outcomes of Biblical proportions, there is also this to think about.

Two weeks ago, when looking at the recent flurry of chapter 11 filings and a striking correlation between the unemployment rate and loan delinquencies, we said that a “biblical” wave of bankruptcies is about to flood the US economy.

It now appears that the wave is starting to coming because according to Fitch, the monthly tally of defaults in the U.S. leveraged loan market has hit a six-year high, as companies are either missing payments or filing for bankruptcy because of the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking biblically again, there is no doubt that governments around the world have sown the wind. You know what comes next.

There is a lot more going on than we so far know

Two consecutive stories at Instapundit.

AUSTRALIAN RESEARCHERS SEE VIRUS DESIGN MANIPULATION: “A forthcoming Australian scientific study concludes that the coronavirus causing the global pandemic contains unique properties suggesting it was manipulated in a Chinese laboratory and was not the result of a natural occurrence.“

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GRANDMA-KILLER CUOMO: AP count: Over 4,300 virus patients sent to NY nursing homes. “More than 4,300 recovering coronavirus patients were sent to New York’s already vulnerable nursing homes under a controversial state directive that was ultimately scrapped amid criticisms it was accelerating the nation’s deadliest outbreaks, according to a count by The Associated Press. AP compiled its own tally to find out how many COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals to nursing homes under the March 25 directive after New York’s Health Department declined to release its internal survey conducted two weeks ago.”“That’s right — people who were still contagious with a disease that is especially deadly to the old and sick were placed in facilities that were full of the old and sick.”

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“I foresee the worst depression since the Great Depression right around the corner”

I am grateful again for the moderator at the Societies for the History of Economics discussion thread for putting up another review of The Price of Peace, the book subtitled, “Money, Democracy and the Life of John Maynard Keynes. This review is from The New York Times. More of the usual mythology.

Carter’s explications of macroeconomic theory are so seamlessly woven into his narrative that they’re almost imperceptible; you only notice how substantive they are once you get to his chapter on Keynes’s notoriously dense 1936 book, “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money,” and realize that you’re riveted by a passage on fluctuations in liquidity preference because you somehow know exactly what it is that Carter is talking about.

“The General Theory” aside, the rough outline of the Keynes story is that nobody with any power listened to his visionary proposals before the crisis of the Depression hit; after that, almost everyone did. Keynes’s ideas were radical, Carter writes, but he was staunchly anti-revolutionary: Having been traumatized by World War I, Keynes was at pains to persuade some of his Marxist students at Cambridge that a more just and equitable society didn’t have to come at the point of a gun. An activist government and deficit spending could alleviate suffering and spur growth, he reasoned, and the world eventually obliged. As much as Franklin Roosevelt didn’t like running a deficit, his New Deal offered one version of how Keynesianism worked; World War II offered another.

Of course, Harry Truman offered a third version. At the end of World War II, Truman immediately sacked all of the millions who had been in the armed forces and closed virtually the entire armaments industry, thus creating the largest mass of unemployed people in history. At the same time, and immediately the war was over, he balanced the budget, eliminating the largest deficit as a proportion of GDP in history. And the result: the largest and most sustained period of growth in history. I might contrast The Price of Peace and its review with this: The Politics of Fear, whose sub-title is, “For economist Robert Higgs, Covid-19 is just the latest emergency justifying expanded government power”. Lots there to ponder, and it should all be read, but will merely quote this:

“I foresee the worst depression since the Great Depression right around the corner. That alone would be enough to bring forth a host of bad government policies with long-lasting consequences. Many such policies have already been adopted. But much more awaits us along these lines.”

And there is no doubt that the reviewer sees “The Price of Peace” as relevant to bringing our economies out of the present lockdown. This is from her opening para:

Zachary D. Carter’s outstanding new intellectual biography of John Maynard Keynes, offers a resonant guide to our current moment, even if he finished writing it in the time before Covid-19.

There have been so many breakages in our structure of production in the past few months there is nothing that might not yet happen, and there is no telling how bad it might get. We are so far beyond anything that Keynes ever wrote about or dealt with that calling up his name is a total irrelevance. Does it no longer ever occur to most economists to leave things to the market to sort themselves out?