Apr 212020
 


Gordon Parks Muhammad Ali in training 1966

 

There are times when you think: now things must be easy to comprehend, but as it turns out, they are still not. Let me try once more. See, I was thinking it must have become much easier to gauge the impact in the US of COVID19 when I published the graph below from TheNewAtlantis.com a few days ago. That the stories about seasonal flu etc. at least should be dead and buried, because, well, just look at the graph.

No such “luck”. That warped comparison keeps on rearing its head. The graph is plenty clear about it, however. In a period of about 3 weeks, COVID19 obliterated all other causes of death far behind.

 


click to enlarge in new tab

 

 

I have followed the progress of the virus since early January, so plenty of graphs are available. Below are those from Worldometer and SCMP, starting February 20.

On February 2, the US had 5 cases and zero deaths. Then we get to the graphs.

On February 20, there were 75,750 global cases, 74,500 of which were in China. There were 2,130 deaths, of which just maybe 10 were outside China.

The US had fewer than 15 cases and zero deaths.

 


 

 

One month later, things had changed quite dramatically, or so it seemed.

On March 20, there were 250,000 global cases and over 10,000 deaths. Cases had tripled, deaths had almost quintupled. Italy had overtaken China in most fatalities, from zero a month earlier.

The US had emerged “on the forefront”. It now had 10,400 cases and 150 deaths. Yes, that is just one month ago, 32 days to be exact.

 


 

 

Today, on April 21 2020, you would hardly recognize the situation as it was on February 20 or March 20.

There are now over 2,500,000 cases and over 172,000 deaths.

The US has become the frontrunner, and by a very large margin. It has over 800,000 cases and over 43,000 deaths.

From those 10,400 cases and 150 deaths 32 days ago.

Moreover, of those 43,000 deaths, almost half, 20,000, died in just the past 7 days.

And it’s at this point that people want to call the peak.

 


 

Investor John Hussman developed a model from early February which he’s been updating ever since. His model followed (or actually, predicted) actual numbers quite well:

Apr 15 (637,716 cases, 30,826 deaths): Assuming sustained containment efforts, the “optimistic” projection (my adaptive model) suggests that U.S. daily new cases may have peaked. This does NOT mean these efforts can now be abandoned. Most U.S. fatalities are still ahead, and we still lack capacity to test/track/trace.

 

 

But 5 days ago, John started getting worried:

Apr 16 (667,801, 32,917): This isn’t good. U.S. fatalities just jumped off book. We shouldn’t see 31,000 yet.

Apr 18 (735,076, 38,903): So much for the optimistic scenario. We’re way off book. I had hoped this was just a one-time adjustment. Understand this:

PEAK daily new cases in a containment scenario is also PEAK infectivity if containment is abandoned at that moment.

 

 

 

I’ve long said that people are social animals, and you cannot -and shouldn’t- keep them apart for too long. But at the same time, containment measures in case of epidemics go back a very long way in history. And it’s very well for people to develop models that appear to show that the virus will do whatever it can until it no longer does, and it will soon disappear even if we didn’t do anything to prevent it from spreading.

But those are still just models, just like the one John Hussman developed. And until they are proven, which takes time, the actual numbers we have now speak loudly. Globally, we went from 250,000 to 2,500,000 cases in one month, and from 10,000 fatalities to 172.000. In the US in that same month we went from 10,400 cases to over 800,000 and from 150 deaths to 43,000.

“PEAK daily new cases in a containment scenario is also PEAK infectivity if containment is abandoned at that moment”, says Hussman. Of course everybody wants their freedom back. But at what price? If you don’t, because you can’t, know what the price will be, are you still willing to pay that price?

What I mean is, everyone’s trying to call a peak, but for most that’s merely because they want there to be a peak. The numbers don’t really say that; they may seem to do, but that’s just over 1,2 or 3 days at best. While half of all US fatalities have been over the past 7 days.

If the peak has really already occurred, we will not know it until about 10-14 days from now. So the only thing we can do is to wait that long. Perhaps it would be a good idea to listen to what those have to say who are so enthusiastically labeled “heroes” all over the globe, the doctors, nurses and other frontline caretakers.

If they are indeed your heroes, and that’s not just some empty phrase, listen to what they have to say about the pressure on them, on the system they work in, on the numbers of cases and deaths they see themselves confronted with.

But also listen when they say things you may not like to hear. If anybody deserves a relaxation of a lockdown, and of pressure overall, surely it must be them, before you.

Guess it’s too much to ask that perhaps you may have learned some lessons lately, about things that you don’t need to do but that you always did. Or to ask you if you heard the birds singing louder in the bluer skies this morning.

Just out of curiosity: Did you know that Anne Frank spent 2 whole years locked down behind a wall?

 

 

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Thanks everyone for your generosity to date.

 

 

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Home Forums The Peak

This topic contains 21 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Dr. D 5 months ago.

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #57656

    Gordon Parks Muhammad Ali in training 1966   There are times when you think: now things must be easy to comprehend, but as it turns out, they are
    [See the full post at: The Peak]

    #57660

    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    New York City is apparently “ahead of the curve.”
    The cases, hospitalizations, and deaths all seem to have peaked more than a week ago.

    (see the Daily Counts graph, linked below)
    https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data.page

    #57661

    Doc Robinson
    Participant
    #57662

    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    This graph for New York State :

    #57663

    WES
    Participant

    I guess Sweden’s model is kill off the old folks quickly so they are no longer a burden to the social system.

    Then the death rate will peak and fall.

    Ironically the coronavirus has the same model.

    #57664

    WES
    Participant

    Folks may be shorting stocks and oil, but how about shorting old folks nursing homes?

    After all the coronavirus seems to kill half their present customers not to mention many of their future customers.

    #57665

    Kimo
    Participant

    Death Demand
    When car sales slump, producers drop prices. Those anticipating a car purchase, run down to the dealer to buy. A deeper slump follows, having sold cars to all those that had anticipated buying.
    The CCP Virus hits, and those not far from end of life, are taken early. Yes there are others. It seems YOY starts to measure the effect, but it will take months after serious cases go to noise, before we know death demand by numbers. Ultimately, impact should be measured in life-years, rather than a simple death count. And we don’t need testing to find that number, just patience.
    Oh, I understand the appeal of perfect testing. As if you could put on googles, and see this virus wafting around specific people on the street. But I fear we head towards citizen tracking. Where does it lead? Sorry, your social distancing credits are a bit low this month, maybe you witnessed your neighbor doing something suspicious?
    Calculate your risk/reward, and act accordingly. For example, if you demand certainty, commit to total isolation. Testing is not needed for society as a whole, given hospital admissions is a reliable indicator of herd immunity.
    Let’s take consequence like adults, please don’t demand that politicians “do something”.

    #57668

    D Benton Smith
    Participant

    If ever an epitaph is carved for the species Homo Sapiens Sapiens it will read:

    ” Didn’t take the lessons of arithmetic seriously when they had the chance.”

    #57669

    D Benton Smith
    Participant

    Let’s call it the WHOhan virus, and the disease it causes can be Catch 19 (can’t win for losing)

    #57670

    Huskynut
    Participant

    Aggregated data is useful for assessing trends, but it’s a poor basis for decision making.

    Resurrecting my (mouldering) speed limit analogy, we can usefully assess accident and death trends from annual statistics, but it’d be foolish to assert the optimal speed limit for all roads across the country is 46.8 mp/h.

    In the early stages of the epidemic there’s a good case that can be made for adopting a precautionary principle. At this point we don’t have nearly as much data as we’d like, but we have enough to start assessing correlation in spread and death rates with external factors such as population density, air quality, specific underlying morbitities etc.

    At this point, it is in fact negligent for health officials *not* to do that. We have enough data on localised conditions to begin setting appropriate speed limits on a regional or local basis, rather than mandated a blanket approach.

    #57671

    Huskynut
    Participant

    btw – nice article by Ron Unz up toda for them that’s interested:
    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-our-coronavirus-catastrophe-as-biowarfare-blowback/

    #57672

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    a) “I’ve long said that people are social animals, and you cannot -and shouldn’t- keep them apart for too long. ”

    b) “For example, if you demand certainty, commit to total isolation.”

    c) If you want total freedom void of citizen tracking and other such products of modern hyper-mediated hive life, commit to total isolation. Me, if I want to drive myself crazy, read the comments thread on TAE.

    I read them because wise prudent people post useful info and shrewd applicable concepts. However, I pay a heavy price even skimming through remarks.

    Oh, and by all means, let’s not measure events as they unfold in real time and affect (infect) people in real-time, but let’s measure them in neat tidy metric increments like “life-years, rather than a simple death count”. Them’s just the kind of statistics your typical Stalinesque police state uses to ruin lives in the name of autoritarian state utopia.

    After all, a single death is a tragedy, but 171,333 deaths is just a statistic, and statistics don’t cry, or shit as they cough their last bloody breath, or stink up our nice clean cellar morgue.

    Forgive me if I counter a disguised emotional appeal camouflaged as rational logic, but, to repeat the quote leading this post: “people are social animals”… not algorithms. Algorithms are the things surveillance governments use to track citizen contact and so forth.

    Does This Statistic Make My Ass Look as Fat as My Head? (Asking for an enemy.)

    God ha’ mercy. When pandemic reality sinks its fangs deep enough into the social organism called society, all this putatively rational absurdity (as in ‘things that don’t add up’) is going to evaporate.

    #57673

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    If they are indeed your heroes, and that’s not just some empty phrase, listen to what they have to say about the pressure on them, on the system they work in, on the numbers of cases and deaths they see themselves confronted with.

    But also listen when they say things you may not like to hear. If anybody deserves a relaxation of a lockdown, and of pressure overall, surely it must be them, before you.

    A very sobering read. It strikes me that Usian’s mental health is at historic lows; breaking under the stress brought on by the CV-19 virus; with its subsequent effects on the roots of its society and belief system…
    Too spoiled for too long?
    As usual, the under classes are ignored and their lot only deteriorates further…
    So many problems, so few, to no, solutions…
    How can a nation so divided continue to stand? I fear the answer…

    #57674

    Huskynut
    Participant

    And here’s another great article comparing the responses of various countries to analyse the most effective responses:
    https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-learning-how-to-dance-b8420170203e

    #57675

    Huskynut
    Participant

    There’s some really excellent discussion emerging on ways to approach the future. A great example:
    https://www.zerohedge.com/health/squirrels-and-viruses-why-economy-shattering-decisions-require-ultimate-confidence

    #57676

    VietnamVet
    Participant

    “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

    The intentional release of a bioweapon would have resulted in an immediate retaliation and lockdown by Beijing; not a month’s delay. Nor the complete ineptitude of the Western Elite bringing the virus home from overseas to the totally unprepared Hamptons, NY City and Washington DC. Killing the economy.

    The John Hussman’s graph has the identical projected causality level of 60,000 deaths, similar to the Vietnam War, as Dr. Anthony Fauci’s estimate last week. My take is that the lockdown is leaking; people are desperate; no income, cabin fever and anxiety. They are getting out and getting infected. Also, essential workers are not being provided with the necessary PPE to prevent infection. US Deaths due to COVID-19 and collapse of regional healthcare systems will be in the hundreds of thousands. If society splinters apart, millions will die.

    The shocking discovery is that the US federal government is totally incompetent. It is not even trying to test, track or isolate the infected. It is completely in the dark. It does not have the data to make sound decisions. PR cannot hide the number of deaths, the collapse of regional healthcare systems or the loss of income. If there is a conspiracy, it is ingrained stupid arrogance of the Establishment. Make the oligarchs whole again and ignore the rest of humanity and global pollution. That simply will not work any longer.

    #57677

    Boogaloo
    Participant

    Yesterday there was a story on Zerohedge with an interview with the epidemiologist advising the Swedish government. I think Dr D may have seen it because he mentioned this guy by name in the other thread. It is well worth watching for anyone who thinks that Sweden is following the best model. Some highlights:

    He is convinced that the case fatality rate will be very low — about 0.1% (though I am not sure where he got that figure because he did not say).

    He is convinced that the vast majority of people have no symptoms at all and do not even realize that they caught the disease (though I am not sure where he got that from because he did not say).

    He is convinced that 50% of the population or more has been exposed to the virus (though I am not sure where he got that from because he did not say).

    He pointed out, correctly in my view, that many early models were flawed because they did not account for the fact that hospital capacity would increase, and he mentioned that capacity of ICUs had increased by 3x in Sweden.

    But he brushed aside, foolishly in my view, the benefits of slowing the spread. He is probably correct that a vaccine is a long way off. But those catching this thing early are the guinea pigs for developing effective ways to treat the symptoms. Hopefully in a few weeks or months we will understand the pathology better and will have more effective responses. But he seemed to brush this off.

    Though at the beginning he criticized the responses of many governments as not being grounded in science or data, towards the end of the interview he tipped his cards several times. He said he does not believe that it is possible in a democracy to keep people confined for more than a few weeks. I am not sure whether that statement is supported by any science or data, but he left me with the impression that was the reason behind his recommendations.

    Worth watching IMO. Not because I agree with him, but because it was fascinating to see how he framed the issue.

    #57678

    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    Huskynut: “And here’s another great article comparing the responses of various countries to analyse the most effective responses:”
    https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-learning-how-to-dance-b8420170203e

    That’s an impressive article. As the author Tomas Pueyo puts it, we need to “relax the harsh social distancing measures in a careful way to avoid a second outbreak.

    I mention this here because “a second outbreak” could give another peak, potentially higher than the first one (whenever that happens to be reached). It seems fairly obvious that the actual peak is not independent of the interventions, since more interventions can result in an earlier peak, and removal of all interventions could result in a new peak, higher than what was previously thought to be the peak.

    #57679

    Boogaloo
    Participant

    since more interventions can result in an earlier peak, and removal of all interventions could result in a new peak.

    As we see happening in Singapore, where the situation was once fully under control, but where new cases have jumped, especially in the dormitories for foreign workers.

    By the way, here is the interview I referred to above, and the name of the epidemiologist is Johan Giesecke:

    Swedish expert: why lockdowns are the wrong policy

    #57680

    WES
    Participant

    One thing I expect the coronavirus to do is bring deaths forward (earlier than expected), such that later the average levels of deaths may temporarily fall for a few years in the future.

    Here in Ontario, I think they have simply given up on increasing their testing capabilities from about 3,000 per day. Nobody even mentions testing rates in the news anymore!

    #57682

    WES
    Participant

    Doc Robinson:

    There will be a second peak as the economy opens up again.

    But by now people are more used to the increased numbers of deaths, so it won’t be such a shock.

    People also realize life must go on too.

    #57700

    Dr. D
    Participant

    “I guess Sweden’s model is kill off the old folks quickly so they are no longer a burden”

    Since the same thing happens with or without a lockdown, what’s the difference? Sweden isn’t choosing anything because they’re not in control. Nature is. You’re just buying the illusion of control. I know we all think government has infinite powers of God almighty, but they can’t even inventory a basement of masks or stop a stock drop, much less cure the common cold. They CAN steal everything and kill everyone, though, and they’re doing a great job of that right now. NOT stopping any deaths, as seen in non-lockdown states, but ARE killing 10x more with the economy. And possibly causing a Third World War, so that’s a win.

    “The intentional release of a bioweapon would have resulted in an immediate retaliation”

    Said this at the time. Or even if China THOUGHT something happened and didn’t know. Which means they DID know, or thought they did, with very high confidence. And that means they didn’t think Japan, France, Singapore, or the U.S. did it, or they’d have been on us in hours. That means they thought THEY did it. Only later did they either a) divert annoying blame or b) second guess themselves. I mean, when’s the last time we weren’t blamed for something?

    So would they retaliate against themselves? They did in a way, with an incredible outsized reaction compared to their still official story. They essentially shut down the Chinese economy and purged Wuhan for the deaths of an afternoon. Supposedly natural. No. None of that makes any sense.

    It also doesn’t mean it wasn’t an attack, just that the releas-ors scammed the Chinese government into thinking it wasn’t, which is pretty standard spycraft. Because who benefits here? A major adversary was taken down without a nuclear exchange, and the U.S. took only collateral damage. The Silk Road was stopped. China was discredited. Who else? The banks and insiders, who were about to have their system collapse, be discredited, unseated, and their neofeudal system ended. They already tried to start a different WWIII 4-5 times since 2016. Now Corona will be blamed for all their failures, they get unlimited cash, and their criminal system limps on. Could it be China, on accident? Of course. They had serial complaints about that very lab going back years, but not very specific. The U.S. funded that lab, so we’re funding the bioweapons research of a competing state? Anyone want to explain that? Yahoo news had a story back 2015 about the DOZEN times Chinese couriers were caught transporting exactly SARS & Corona on public airliners illegally from biolabs research in throughout the U.S., over and over and OVER again. You know, like arrested in Harvard and Chapel Hill and Canada? Apparently Obama loved it, because he didn’t seem very alarmed that they kept putting vials of SARS/’Covid’ in closed pressurized cabins all decade. Whisky Tango? But that shows China trafficked and had a great interest + criminally careless behavior. So it’s not like they’re a greater or lesser suspect here.

    It’s nice to know, but that part doesn’t matter. We KNOW, as a published FACT, they – the world – was bioengineering exactly this sort of thing worldwide, with criminally poor containment. We KNOW, as a fact, they anticipated and planned and favored and war-gamed such an epidemic someday. Or even October, with Gates, with Corona + Italy. We KNOW, exactly following their papers, that they are making exactly the socio-political and monetary power grab they promised they would. So what’s the difference? Make it happen, let it happen, wait for it to happen, the real damage is always their criminal response.

    “The shocking discovery is that the US federal government is totally incompetent.”

    That’s the least shocking thing since Adam Smith in 1775. There’s never been a day of anyone’s lives that hasn’t been true. Since Christ was a Corporal. Or King Saul, Or Adam, take your pick. However, I don’t believe for a minute the government doesn’t KNOW. They’re just L Y I N G to you, like every other day of our lives. They called down to the criminally careless labs that were working on this for 20 years and said “Hey Melvin, I know this thing is 99% just like your little monster experiments down there, can you tell me how this all works?” And he says, “Yes boss, don’t arrest me.” They get the tests they won’t admit, the behavior, the R0 they won’t admit, and do it all while the idiot press chases their tails like morans. Look! A Squirrel! So don’t think for a second they, the U.S. Army, Ft. Dietrick don’t know. They’re lying, covering up, and letting you DIE by thousands in order to get their political agendas through, like every other day of the year.

    Ever heard of the Tuskegee Airmen? Agent Orange? The Gulf War Syndrome? Die by the thousands. “Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns.” –Kissinger. They’re not incompetent, THEY’RE YOUR ENEMY. Make them small, remove their power. But that would require YOU to take that power or responsibility instead.

    Singapore is my perfect case for your lockdown: it failed.

    There may be a second peak at any level, but it will still kill less people than the entire economy can kill at 60% increase of death from unemployment. In seconds the economy can kill more people than that, while Corona only barely exceeded average flu deaths now.

    In where Sweden got that, there’s a report, Tim Pool covering a White House hot mic that has them talking about how the death is only 0.1%, but he includes the U.S. science that is identical to Swedish advisor’s numbers, and may be the root of his citations.

    Giesecke’s a PhD with an authoritative position, unlike me, he can’t just SAY things, so if you doubt him, you should probably just google “Giesecke” and trace the scientific papers he is citing. It won’t be hard. Certainly the WHO and CNN don’t cite anything related to science. You have to hear what the other side says, indeed moreso than your own side. That’s easy for me since 100% of the U.S. news is further left than Chairman Mao, and half the entertaining internet are from left/farleft people like Pool and Dore. Not even looking into what he’s saying, but then implying Giesecke’s just making things up isn’t very salutary. At least try to see why the other guy does what he does. That’s how we support diversity, and work through the marketplace of ideas. The only alternative is oppressive totalitarianism and mindless groupthink. Not a fan.

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