Coronavirus 2020


Pretty impressive effort thus far from the Vietnamese. Still no deaths despite the first case having been recorded in February.

Clearly, robust border/entry controls are integral to any succesful approach


The epidemic started in China sometime in November or December. The first confirmed U.S. cases included a person who traveled from Wuhan on Jan. 15, and it is likely that the virus entered before that: Tens of thousands of people traveled from Wuhan to the U.S. in December. Existing evidence suggests that the virus is highly transmissible and that the number of infections doubles roughly every three days. An epidemic seed on Jan. 1 implies that by March 9 about six million people in the U.S. would have been infected. As of March 23, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 499 Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. If our surmise of six million cases is accurate, that’s a mortality rate of 0.01%, assuming a two week lag between infection and death. This is one-tenth of the flu mortality rate of 0.1%. Such a low death rate would be cause for optimism.


I’m also not too sure if we need to be too worried about a “second wave” of infections when this current set of country lockdowns is eventually reduced. I can even see air travel picking up again, even without a vaccine.

The key would be fast tests:

Even at the hospital I work, they have already figured out a 6 hour turnaround time, already, with just the kit on hand.

So, basically, a traveler would take a test within 12 to 24 hours of travel - test again within 12-24 hours of arrival. Perhaps even with a strip test, do the test right there at the point of departure.

For the population at large, access to quick and accessible tests would be a confidence booster, and enable people to return to work.

The difference between this pandemic, and previous ones, is the ability to produce testing at a unprecedented scale - along with the analytical tools for mass disease surveillance, monitoring, and tracing.


There’s going to be some fascinating studies of psychological responses to this outbreak. It reminds me of the Taleb book where he talked about Russian Bond specialists convincing themselves that ‘the fundamentals were good’ even though Russia hadn’t paid public sector workers in months.

There is a wave of infection going east to west in France now. Northern Italy and Madrid swamped. Spain asking for NATO help. Nursing homes leaving people uncared for. But the money changers want us to believe all is well. Believe your eyes.




Of Harvey Norman fame…

Money is everything to some people


Let’s see if Japan’s numbers shoot up now that the Olympics has been postponed until next year.


On weather related spread:

A bit of a mixed bag in the outcomes (it’s a good article that covers a lot of theories and shows the variability in evidence for them); answer: maybe, but it won’t get warm enough in Ireland to be considered hot, so we’d better hope it is sunlight/vitamin D levels etc.


Obviously its deadly for some and while Im not a doctor, it would appear to be the case that the absence of any level of ‘herd immunity’ means that health services can be overwhelmed by a concentrated outbreak in any given location.

However, there does appear to be cause for optimism to the effect that it may not be as bad as first feared.


The article linked to by Poacher with regards America would give some hope however I’m struggling to reconcile this with what is happening in Italy this year.
Why are the Italian hospitals not swamped every flu season if this is the case?, is it that they have a very high uptake of the annual flu vaccine every year and this protected them until the “big one” came along with no vaccine? Struggling to understand what’s different this year in Italy or Wuhan for that matter, if this is the true infection rate?
To my mind there has to be some more virulent strains circulating that have worse effects than the strain in other places which seem to be having no worse than a regular flu season.


That question has been posed a nunber of times on this thread thus far and we’re still absent an answer.

Possibilities that I could think of would be perhaps that the infection rate in Italy is astronomical and most people simply havent been tested ie for most its not that serious. Or perhaps Italian social etiquette, excessive touching etc contributed? Climate? Race/genetics? Percentage of elderly in the population? Smoking rates? Absence of initial response when it wasnt taken seriously? Intergenerational apartment living? Or of course as you suggest different strains of the virus which would clearly be the least desirable outcome.

Remember the Diamond Princess example is the closest to a ‘petri dish’ scenario that we have and the the overall infection rates on the ship were not that high which would contradict the suggestion that its incredibly infectious.

Still a lot of questions about this thing with much of the data seemingly contradictory. But some of it is encouraging with Ireland thus far falling within this category.


Icelandic scientists claim to have found 40 different strains circulating in Iceland alone, someone was infected with two strains at once.


Spain is following, and so are several US states. Italy isn’t turning out to be some kind of outlier.


I’m hoping this is the case, if a vaccine is a long way off then a 15 minute test (Immunoglobin test) at all borders (air, sea and land) might be in our futures - of course that won’t sit well with the current architects of the ‘Le Grand Projet’ or globalism. The civil liberties types will also complain about DNA retention, which isn’t a factor but they’ll moan about it anyway.


Good point owenm, I read that South Korea passed laws after SAR’s to allow normal privacy laws to be temporarily suspended for the greater good during a pandemic which seems to have greatly helped them keep this under control.
On the flip side there will always be others that take advantage of it, can of worms.


It looks like the HSE have given up on “Test, Test, Test”. The new guidelines are very restrictive on who can be tested. They don’t have the capacity to do what they know is correct. If you have a cough and a fever, you should be tested or are refered by a doctor, end of.

If they are giving up on testing for active virus they need to start testing everybody for antibodies once the surge is over so that we know how deeply the infection spread and whether we have herd immunity.


Prince Charles testing positive now. That would be an indicator to me that there are a lot more than 8000 cases in the UK. Who knows the true number.


I know a lot of people waiting for tests, nothing wrong with them, but they want to be sure. I’m pretty sure it is annoying the HSE as these people are wasting effort, money and kits for little gain.


Yeah, had the impression there was a lot of hypochondria around this in the last two weeks. And twitter experts second guessing the Chief Medical Officer’s calls.

Didn’t Varadkar say he expects 60% plus of us will get this.