Coronavirus 2020


Some of Hubei has been reopened over the last few days. Wuhan is still on lock-down to mid April.
Also whilst Hubei is releasing lock-downs in the province, travel from province to province is still severely restricted.
My wife’s uncle (from Hubei) , currently living in Guangzhou (Guangdong Province) was asked by his boss to travel to another province to go to another branch office, he took one of the high speed trains to there only to be told by the station police to return to Guangzhou as his Hukou book was from Hubei.
China is getting back to work, but slowly and nothing like before.


The problem with herd immunity as was going to be applied by the Tories was that it was a big bang approach. Let it rip through the population whilst trying to isolate the vulnerable. It was madness. There was no way to isolate all the vulnerable, no way to identify them all. What were they to do whilst it ripped through the population to make a living. If everyone was getting sick the health care system would’ve been overloaded and a lot of non-Covid hospital admissions would die due to lack of resources and cross infections. The working population would’ve been laid low and you’d probably have a lot of vital services failing e.g Electricity, Telecoms, bin collection.

One last thing is, how long does immunity last. No one knows yet. It could be a month it could be for the rest of your life. If it was only temporary immunity we’d be facing this in autumn again.


That’s foremost on my mind, or else we are waiting for theraputics (Autumn) or a vaccine (18 months) and the global economy continues to burn.


My hunch is that the weather component is big. Australia has as many links to China as Italy but still many of their cases are imported. Makes no sense. So many cases are linked to skiing.

When you’re skiing you’re at high altitude that you’re not used to and you’re more fatigued than you’re used to. I bet that heightens the R0 somehow and makes you vulnerable.

My theory doesn’t explain Madrid or London Though. But being old is like being at high altitude I suppose.


QUOTE "#### Once you become infected with the virus, can you get it again?

There are a few anecdotes from China about re-infection but, if you look at those reports carefully, they’re not well-documented. It could be that folks just continued to shed virus from the initial infection. Only one study was formally done and it is not a human study. It’s a macaque study. They infected macaques with this virus, then waited until the monkeys recovered and tried to re-infect them. They could not. This just came out in the past few days. That bodes well for human immunity.

We have now looked at a lot of serum from convalescent individuals and those serum samples have antibodies against the so-called spike protein of the virus. That’s the protein that sits on the surface of the virus particle. By tightly binding, the antibody could neutralize the virus. Once an infected person develops antibodies, there should be protective immunity for quite some time. That’s why we need to buy time for immunity to develop in the population."

Above was shared further up the thread…nothing definitive but optimistic…


Eight deaths so far in Poland - out of a population of 38 million! All of them had serious underlying conditions…in other words not one “healthy” person has died so far. Can this be right? (A Polish friend tells me that they took action from the start.)


Yep that’s a very good article but it’s not definitive on the immunity question. It does look like you definitely get temporary immunity given the macaque study and the nature of the antibody response. But long term immunity is the one we need.


Interventions to mitigate early spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Singapore: a modelling study:

Implementing the combined intervention of quarantining infected individuals and their family
members, workplace distancing, and school closure once community transmission has been detected could
substantially reduce the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections. We therefore recommend immediate deployment of this
strategy if local secondary transmission is confirmed within Singapore. However, quarantine and workplace
distancing should be prioritised over school closure because at this early stage, symptomatic children have higher
withdrawal rates from school than do symptomatic adults from work. At higher asymptomatic proportions,
intervention effectiveness might be substantially reduced requiring the need for effective case management and
treatments, and preventive measures such as vaccines.


Schools are closed since 11th of March here in Poland. They are still not testing a lot, but they ask people to self quarantine. This is being checked via interview daily by police and something like national guard volunteer based army units. Apparently there is around 100k people in such quarantine atm as reported by PM today around noon. There is another 1000 in hospitals being watched, not what this means as they are not officially confirmed cases.

I see them checking few people on my estate and across the street daily:

I am afraid there will be a big spike at some stage. They’ve went into next stage today, just like Germany 2 people max gatherings. Health minister was mentioning already few days ago that he expects we can get even 10k cases within week, but he hopes its worst case scenario and it will rise to it and then flat so we can cope with it.

I’ve read just now, that few nurses and patient was diagnosed at local pneumonia ward in my city… Does not sound good, my friends father was at same place for few months prior to passing away. It’s full of people with breathing difficulties, so I am expecting sad news from infections there.


Or Florida.
My guess is the virus is heat insensitive, though sunlight sensitive (UV). And that winter - indoor, moist activities with crowds - or close contact outdoors, particularly in humid environments (see Malaysia, Florida, Indonesia).


Well you have to consider that being admitted to hospital is serious. The numbers don’t look so good then, what happens when you run out of beds?


Jesus can we do without Niall Collins and the people crying out for repatriation? FFS surely staying put is the best personal and population strategy as this thing goes global. Our friend the Kildare lad in Wuhan was reluctant to leave if he made the problem worse (in the end he left I guess as there was a system in place). Other BS of 46 medical staff resigning posts in Oz looking to come home and fight the virus. Surely basic logic says tackle the problem at your doorstep. As a parent I appreciate wanting your children home but this is not your common or garden crisis.


Are we on track for Leo’s predication of 15K confirmed case by end March or significantly lower?


Deaths per 1m (ignoring countries <1m pop -where San Marino has 619 deaths per 1m)

Italy 113
Spain 60
Iran 23
France 17
Holland 16
Switzerland 14
Belgium 11
UK 6
Denmark 6
Sweden 4
Austria 3
Portugal 3

China 2
Ireland 1


They’ve only tested 18K so far


Agreed yes. Deaths per million are a lagging indicator. Numbers in ICU is worth looking at. But a bed may not always be available there. So numbers in hospital is really important - if you’re sick enough to be admitted to hospital with the Flu you’re very sick. But I’ve read some Italians are going or staying home to die. The flow of people admitted and discharged from hospital is worth knowing.


Peter Hitchins: A contrarian viewpoint

And so here I am, asking bluntly – is the closedown of the country the right answer to the coronavirus? I’ll be accused of undermining the NHS and threatening public health and all kinds of other conformist rubbish. But I ask you to join me, because if we have this wrong we have a great deal to lose.
I don’t just address this plea to my readers. I think my fellow journalists should ask the same questions. I think MPs of all parties should ask them when they are urged tomorrow to pass into law a frightening series of restrictions on ancient liberties and vast increases in police and state powers.
Did you know that the Government and Opposition had originally agreed that there would not even be a vote on these measures? Even Vladimir Putin might hesitate before doing anything so blatant. If there is no serious rebellion against this plan in the Commons, then I think we can commemorate tomorrow, March 23, 2020, as the day Parliament died.

Avoidable deaths are tragic, but each year there are already many deaths, especially among the old, from complications of flu leading to pneumonia.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) tells me that the number of flu cases and deaths due to flu-related complications in England alone averages 17,000 a year. This varies greatly each winter, ranging from 1,692 deaths last season (2018/19) to 28,330 deaths in 2014/15.
The DHSC notes that many of those who die from these diseases have underlying health conditions, as do almost all the victims of coronavirus so far, here and elsewhere. As the experienced and knowledgeable doctor who writes under the pseudonym ‘MD’ in the Left-wing magazine Private Eye wrote at the start of the panic: ‘In the winter of 2017-18, more than 50,000 excess deaths occurred in England and Wales, largely unnoticed.’

We are warned of supposedly devastating death rates. But at least one expert, John Ioannidis, is not so sure. He is Professor of Medicine, of epidemiology and population health, of biomedical data science, and of statistics at Stanford University in California. He says the data are utterly unreliable because so many cases are going unrecorded.
He warns here

‘This evidence fiasco creates tremendous uncertainty about the risk of dying from Covid-19. Reported case fatality rates, like the official 3.4 per cent rate from the World Health Organisation, cause horror and are meaningless.’ In only one place – aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess – has an entire closed community been available for study. And the death rate there – just one per cent – is distorted because so many of those aboard were elderly. The real rate, adjusted for a wide age range, could be as low as 0.05 per cent and as high as one per cent.
> As Prof Ioannidis says: ‘That huge range markedly affects how severe the pandemic is and what should be done. A population-wide case fatality rate of 0.05 per cent is lower than seasonal influenza. If that is the true rate, locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational. It’s like an elephant being attacked by a house cat. Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies.’

PETER HITCHENS: Is shutting down Britain – with unprecedented curbs on ancient liberties – REALLY the best answer?

Worth remembering that tonight at the news conference to announce the ‘lockdown that isn’t a lockdown’ we had a Minister for Social Protection who could not even get elected as a member of the Dail last month.


Interesting character

If I recall correctly his article just completely ignores Italy. As if it didn’t suit his argument. Italy changes everything. Believe your own eyes. The virus swamps hospitals


Heard that Hitchens interview earlier…found it difficult to argue with much of what he said.

Anyway…here’s two segments from RTE reports today - one expert saying he expects the number of cases to increase and another saying he expects the numbers to come down…

Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime, Professor Anthony Staines said he estimates that we will have 600 to 1,000 cases a day by the end of next week, but said we can cope with that.

Professor Sam McConkey said “we are still failing to control” the pandemic here, however he said it is still “too early to know if the interventions have worked yet.” Speaking on RTE’s Claire Byrne Live programme last night, he said he hopes to see the number of new cases coming down by the end of the week.


There seems to be two broad trends on how the virus propagates in a country.

First are countries who were either totally surprised by the progression of the virus (China) or initially complacent (Italy, Spain).

And countries who either were already prepared at a government and population level (South Korea post SARS) or those that have the capacity and ability to flex quickly (Germany).

And it does seem to come down to testing and tracing. (South Korea is a great example). If you track and test fast enough, you can stay on top of, and ahead, the leading edge of the infection wave - especially as asymptomatic people are found and isolated.

Without widespread testing, you have no data, no idea where new hotspots will break out. And even then, such as Patient 31 in South Korea, you can have these little devastating outliers, but still within a framework that can adjust and cope. You don’t have to do these severe lockdowns at the border and internally.

Extensive and early testing, contact tracing, isolation and surveillance are the scalpel to contain the outbreak - if that fails or was never going to work though poor planning and preparation, then all you have left is the hammer of population and border lockdowns. I.E a failure of policy and planning.

As per deaths per million in the US, I think it would be more more useful to compare on a State by State basis, considering the differing population pyramids, climate, health care cover, and State gov responses.