March 26, 2020

Why is Germany's death rate from coronavirus so low — 0.5%?

NPR explains:
"I believe that we are just testing much more than in other countries, and we are detecting our outbreak early," said Christian Drosten, director of the institute of virology at Berlin's Charité hospital....

"We have a culture here in Germany that is actually not supporting a centralized diagnostic system," said Drosten, "so Germany does not have a public health laboratory that would restrict other labs from doing the tests. So we had an open market from the beginning."...
Only by testing everyone can you know the true death rate, so the more testing you do, the lower the death rate looks compared to other places that are not detecting the milder cases. The death rate in France is said to be 5% and in Italy, it's 10%. But what is it really?

198 comments:

Bill Crawford said...

Germany and US have same Total Deaths / Million: 3

RMc said...

"Ve zee no viruss, Colonel Hogan! Ve zee nussing....!!"

Michael K said...

Obvious point about testing. How the CDC screwed up with the enthusiastic assistance of the FDA.

Woodrow Wilson's rule by "experts."

YoungHegelian said...

The death rate in France is said to be 5% and in Italy, it's 10%. But what is it really?

We have a respiratory virus that is easily spread, and the victims are contagious for several days before they show symptoms. There is no medical cure or vaccine.

Europe is a crowded urban place, with immigrant populations now scattered throughout western Europe.

How is it possible for there to be such different death rates except by differing reporting standards? Maybe the Germans really are Ubermenschen...

Shouting Thomas said...

NPR in Seattle has announced that it will no longer carry Prez Trump's daily COVID-19 press conference... because?

NPR is wildly partisan. And totally unreliable.

I can no longer think of a hard news outlet that is reliable.

Skookum John said...

Putting the CDC in primary charge of developing tests for new epidemic infections, and empowering the FDA to delay any other alternatives with bureaucratic red tape, appears now to have been a catastrophic mistake. We’d have had a test a month earlier if not for the CDC’s bungled reagents fiasco in January, about which they supposedly lied to the President. The news media scum have already swept it under the rug as highly inconvenient to their prime mandate of damaging Trump, but perhaps the inevitable Congressional hearings will help us get rid of this single point of failure.

R C Belaire said...

A larger denominator with a more/less fixed numerator yields a lower fraction. Who could have guessed?

chickelit said...

Why focus n Germany? Why not a little attention for the countries which openly flout social distancing and appear to be unscathed? I'm looking at Mexico and Brazil. Where is the vaunted Gleen Greenwald when reporting matters?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Germany does not have a public health laboratory that would restrict other labs from doing the tests. So we had an open market from the beginning.

Thank you FDA and CDC. They have been more deadly than the virus.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

"an open market from the beginning"

NO - we can't have that. We need Pelosi.GOV smother! + Putin's cheat-to-win forever vote scheme, for democrats.

Calypso Facto said...

"We have a culture here in Germany that is actually not supporting a centralized diagnostic system," said Drosten, "so Germany does not have a public health laboratory that would restrict other labs from doing the tests. So we had an open market from the beginning."

i.e., Federalism. I've read the US used to believe in something like that too, once.

Jake said...

Probably less than 1%. F*cking Trump.

Sebastian said...

"But what is it really?"

Really much lower than first reported. How much lower, we'll see.

Germany's .5% is encouraging of course: the more you test, the better you look, the closer to flu Wuhan appears.

Provided you act on the tests. What are old Germans doing?

Christy said...

I'm curious why you said more testing makes the death rate "look" lower than in less tested regions. Such a loaded word in this context! Do you think the rate is really higher? Why not point out that more testing yields a more precise and more correct death rate? Are we fighting the hysteria of an innumerate people?

narciso said...

inexpectedly

Oso Negro said...

There is much to dislike about Germans and their culture, but they are careful with numbers and data. I am inclined to believe them above China, Italy, or Spain.

Ficta said...

Came here to say what Christy said. What do you mean "look" lower. The more testing you do, the better you know the denominator in the death rate. Are you implying that somehow the death rate can be higher than it looks? How would that work? Maybe I'm not thinking of something...?

JPS said...

YoungHegelian,

My understanding is that the Germans are being very, very careful about attributing deaths to Coronavirus versus co-morbidities. In Italy, if a patient was stable with cancer, then came down with “viral pneumonia,” tested positive and died, that’s a COVID-19 fatality. In Germany they say, wait a minute, how sure are we that it wasn’t the cancer?

Not saying the Germans are lowballing on purpose (any more than I buy that the Italians are over-counting out a national flair for the dramatic - a flair little evident in the north), just that their definitions seem to be different.

I will point out, as I have elsewhere, that Germany’s rate is currently about one fatality per 200 diagnosed cases. It was running around 1 in 1000 for awhile and has been gradually rising. Like the RoK, which was holding at 1 in 200 and is now around 1 in 70, Germany was one of the few countries whose denominator wasn’t a ridiculous underestimate from the beginning. Both have seen their fatality rates trend up, rather than down.

jnseward said...

The fatality rate of coronavirus is unknowable because we will never know the number of infected. All we will ever know is the number who died. Deaths per capita is the only meaningful statistic. How many of the infected have no symptoms? Nobody knows. How many of the infected have mild symptoms and never go to the doctor? Nobody knows.

Here in Rutherford County Tennessee, population roughly 350,000, there are eight confirmed cases of coronavirus. There are no deaths. What is the fatality rate? Zero. What is the infection rate? Nobody knows.

Big Mike said...

This is exactly the point I made to Inga on the jaltcoh thread and a again in the cafe thread. Because the CDC insisted on developing its own test instead of using the WHO test (the “not invented here” syndrome), then insisted on monopolizing development of the test kits (empire building), then botched the job (typical, for the US federal bureaucracy), we are at least three weeks behind in testing. Right now we mostly just test people who display suspicious symptoms. Consequently we don’t know how to model the spread of the disease — are new cases new, or are some of them representing old cases that just now got caught? Also we don’t know the mortality rate because we don’t know how many people are asymptomatic (and therefore not tested) or so mild that it occurred to no one to test them. We cannot divide total deaths by total cases if we don’t know total cases — if we use total cases diagnosed then we will divide by a number much smaller than the total cases and the mortality rate will appear higher than the true rate.

Frankly, this is not college math. It’s mostly just common sense.

Martin said...

If Germany has done more reliable testing the denominator to the case fatality rate will be larger and more realistically approach the actual number infected.

We have a pretty good count on the number dead, but even for that there are issues of co-morbidity and whether to call it a coronavirus death when that is one of several things going on.

We all desperately need more testing, including some controlled sample surveys of the entire population, to get a handle on how many are infected, how many were infected and may be recovered, and have usable numbers for things like rates of hospitalization, need for ICU, and mortality.

Both swabs and blood tests.

Until we do that, we really don't have a clue.

Wince said...

Is the anti-Trump, "leave it to the experts" crowd criticizing Trump for leaving testing policy up to the CDC and FDA?

Sebastian said...

"Deaths per capita is the only meaningful statistic."

No: excess deaths.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Big Mike said...

Because the CDC insisted on developing its own test instead of using the WHO test (the “not invented here” syndrome), then insisted on monopolizing development of the test kits (empire building), then botched the job (typical, for the US federal bureaucracy), we are at least three weeks behind in testing.

wanted to emphasize that.


**all Bureaucrats are perfect! wonderful! Holier than thou! It's Trump who is to blame.

JPS said...

Wince,

I have a couple of Trump-hating friends on Facebook who blame “the Trump Administration” for our woefully insufficient testing during the crucial early weeks.

And hey, sure, as far as that goes: The chief executive is in charge of those agencies. Buck stops there, and all that. He gets credit when they respond well.

But he did overrule those agencies on the regulations that were strangling testing. If the haters cared to be honest, they could give him that. The other thing I loved was that their graph of our testing versus date stopped at March 17, several days before the post. It really takes off starting on that date.

D.D. Driver said...

"The fatality rate of coronavirus is unknowable because we will never know the number of infected."

It's absolutely knowable and we will some day know it. Some one will do a large sample and screen for antibodies.

Pettifogger said...

Christy: re death rate "looking lower."

Hypothesize two countries. Kakistan tests 10% of the population (those most at risk) and shows a death rate of 15%. Ostistan tests 45% of the population with no focus on any particular population segment and shows a death rate of 1%.

Neither country is cheating, and both their results may be accurate, but they are testing different things.

madAsHell said...

So we had an open market from the beginning."...

Well, that doesn't fit the NPR narrative!!

Ficta said...

"Hypothesize two countries. Kakistan tests 10% of the population (those most at risk) and shows a death rate of 15%. Ostistan tests 45% of the population with no focus on any particular population segment and shows a death rate of 1%.

Neither country is cheating, and both their results may be accurate, but they are testing different things."

Yes, Ostistan is testing the actual "death rate" from the disease as a normal citizen understands it. They are also testing the number you would most like to know for modeling and for policy decisions. To say that Ostistan's rate merely looks lower (it doesn't look lower in any normal usage of English, it's closer to the truth) is to insinuate that Ostistan is creating a false impression. Which is wrong.

I Callahan said...

If like in 2009-2010, 160 million people contract the virus, and 0.5% die from it, it’s still 800,000 people. That’s way worse than a typical flu season.

Unknown said...

My dad had Kung Flu

and was run over by a truck

He was counted...

Ficta said...

"If like in 2009-2010, 160 million people contract the virus" Citation? The CDC says 60.8 million

bleh said...

Right. So it’s actually not that deadly. Certainly not deadly enough to plunge economies around the world into recession.

Ken B said...

Big Mike
I agree: we are behind in testing. We also lack a serum test. So our numbers have a huge uncertainty.
That is why the guy who said there was only one meaningful statistic is dead wrong. We are piecing together a blurry picture. All pieces matter.
How you count depends on what question you want to ask. Italy want to ask, what is the threat of covid to the lives of Italians. In answer to *that* question including comorbidity deaths makes a lot of sense. If a diabetic dies 15 years early because the assault on their system by the virus triggers an insulin reaction it seems reasonable to count that death as part of this epidemic. (Excess deaths is a measure that does this, and is widely used.) For other questions you might count that diabetes death differently. When we do retrospective studies on the dangers of diabetes it will make sense to count that death.

Combining data from different sources is hard. We have experts who do it. It takes expertise. I cannot do it. I expect you cannot do it. I know Drago and crew cannot do it. The difference is, they claim they can.

Sebastian said...

So, what is y'all's estimate for total flu + pneumonia + Wuhan deaths, worldwide, assuming accurate measurement for the sake of argument and attributing all deaths with Wuhan to Wuhan, for 2020, over and above flu + pneumonia/respiratory disease deaths in 2019?

lgv said...

The three biggest factors is the debacle:

1) Complete lying and obfuscation by China. Remember they jailed doctors and press who reported the truth.

2) Failure of CDC to provide and decentralize the testing system

3) False claim that masks do nothing. They do indeed help, but a not 100%. Studies have show an 86% reduction if viral load vs. no protection. They didn't want the public to consume them and not have any for health care workers, which means they wanted health care workers to have them even though they didn't work. US production should have been tooled up as soon as China hit the skids.

Without a controlled testing sampling (not possible with rationed test kits), rates mean nothing. Heck, if you only tested post-mortem, the morality rate is 100%. So, if you only test the really sick, then you get inflated mortality rates.

I was tested on Monday in Dallas. I received a call back from number labeled "Test Results". I didn't get to phone on time. Calling the number back resulted in a message saying it was not an inbound number. I called city of Dallas and Dallas County Health Department. They had no info on how to get results. So, I'm in limbo. I'm in their stats, but the test is of no use to me so far

rcocean said...

Talk about lying with figures. "Figures never lie, but liars figure".

Percentages are useless comparisons unless the demonstrator and numerator are comparable. Which they aren't. Plus, it should be noted that the vaunted German Discipline results in people following the precautions.

rcocean said...

The to-do about testing is absurd. If you don't have symptoms or had contact with a known sick person, there's no reason to test. And Tests are only good for that moment, you can get the disease the day after the test.

hombre said...

“"We have a culture here in Germany that is actually not supporting a centralized diagnostic system," said Drosten, "so Germany does not have a public health laboratory that would restrict other labs from doing the tests. So we had an open market from the beginning."

We have had the opposite which Trump has struggled against the Deep State to overcome. The turnaround times reported for public labs are pathetic when compared to private labs.

Let’s see now, in the USA which party advocates for centralized everything including healthcare?

Jupiter said...

"It's absolutely knowable and we will some day know it. Some one will do a large sample and screen for antibodies."

Assuming the test is any good. Which is not a very good assumption. How do you test a test for a disease that is often asymptomatic?

Ken B said...

Big Mike
Which answer is better? Mine or “The to-do about testing is absurd.”
You see my point about covidiots who blithely ignore complicated issues to get the result they want.

Ken B said...

Jupiter
Antibodies. That's how.

Francisco D said...

"The fatality rate of coronavirus is unknowable because we will never know the number of infected."

It's absolutely knowable and we will some day know it. Some one will do a large sample and screen for antibodies."


I would emphasize the word "sample". We can never know how many people were infected, but we can make a pretty good estimate based on statistical inferences from population sampling.

In other words, after this is all over, we will be able to figure out the actual death rate.

Original Mike said...

"Putting the CDC in primary charge of developing tests for new epidemic infections, and empowering the FDA to delay any other alternatives with bureaucratic red tape, appears now to have been a catastrophic mistake."

The prog faith in big government, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, is stupefying. It bears the hallmarks of a religion.

Big Mike said...

The prog faith in big government, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, is stupefying. It bears the hallmarks of a religion.

To them it is a religion of sorts. Along with global warming by any whatever name.

Ken B said...

"Putting the CDC in primary charge of developing tests for new epidemic infections, and empowering the FDA to delay any other alternatives with bureaucratic red tape, appears now to have been a catastrophic mistake."

Amen.

Peter said...

“What is it really?”
Read this https://thebattleoftours.blogspot.com/2020/03/stanford-medical-school-professors.html

Tom T. said...

France has slightly fewer people than Germany but more than five times as many dead. The amount of testing each country is doing is irrelevant to the absolute number of deaths.

Big Mike said...

Combining data from different sources is hard. We have experts who do it. It takes expertise. I cannot do it. I expect you cannot do it. I know Drago and crew cannot do it. The difference is, they claim they can.

Actually, my bachelor's degree is in mathematics and my masters in computer science. I had passed my Ph.D. orals and was ABD when a company made me an offer for quite a bit more than what a full professor made in those days. I also hold a patent in artificial intelligence applied to healthcare delivery. My area of expertise before I retired was big data. I suspect I could do it.

Ken B said...

Big Mike
Our backgrounds match almost exactly. But I doubt either of us is actually an epidemiologist, or is up to speed on European conditions.

Bay Area Guy said...

"Why is Germany's death rate from coronavirus so low — 0.5%?"

Because the overall global death rate of the virus, is low.

Earth Population: 8 Billion
Corona deaths: 22,000

Death per Million: 2.75

That means for every Million people a little less than 3 folks pass away from this virus. Probably, this number is too high. Few autopsies are done on these deahts, and many death certificates get it wrong.

Also, of course, Germans are probably more fastidious in personal habits, but that doesn't drastically change the numbers or trajectory.

Ken B said...

Weather prediction the BAG way:
It’s 37 today. It will be 37 in mid July.

Ficta said...

"France has slightly fewer people than Germany but more than five times as many dead. The amount of testing each country is doing is irrelevant to the absolute number of deaths."

Let's do a simple back of the envelope calculation (although we probably shouldn't). The first day with more than 10 deaths:

France - March 9
Germany - March 19

So subtract 10 days from France. Total Deaths

France - March 14 - 91
Germany - March 24 - 206

Okay, so it's a lot more complicated than back of the envelope numbers.

But I'm not sure what your point is. Deaths per capita is the only really known statistic we have at this point. (And even that depends on what you're counting as a COVID-19 death.) Yes. But, unfortunately, it doesn't tell us much of anything yet about how the disease progresses. For instance, the US only has around 1,000 deaths in a country of 300,000,000 so far. That's a pretty small number. But I don't know what that fact means in terms of how dangerous the disease is.

Birkel said...

My understanding is that 8 million Germans are already dead from the WuFlu.
Winnie Xi Flu is a mass murderer.

And Angela Merkel has cared more about the economy than people.
Something, something.

narciso said...

Obamacare mandated all tests go through the cdc specialized ones, only could in thr last week

Big Mike said...

@Ken B., I said I could do it. I didn't say it was worth my while to track down the data and determine its fourth 'V' -- veracity.

Big Mike said...

@Skookum John, narcisco just identified your single point of failure.

narciso said...

Maybe two weeks, but at every point, from testing to diagnosis to countermeasures the system had bottlenecks.

gerry said...

We probably won't know accurate COVID-19 stats for two years, which I think is typical for pandemic data.

Freeman Hunt said...

My guess all along has been that the death rate is relatively low (Though much higher than flu!) until hospitals are overwhelmed. Then you can't treat people, and the death rate climbs.

rehajm said...

Althousians have been discussing this for a week to 10 days and it's just now seepingin to the thinking of the bureacracy (if you can call a bureaucracy 'thinking'). The problem is by next Monday the most important test will be who's had it and has antibodies while we're still ramping up the who's infected program. Way to keep a few weeks behind...

Leland said...

What Ficta said. To expand, just look at today's numbers. Number of new deaths in the US is 10, France 0, Germany 30. What does that tell you?

Ken B said...

“My guess all along has been that the death rate is relatively low (Though much higher than flu!) until hospitals are overwhelmed. Then you can't treat people, and the death rate climbs.”

Yes. Exactly the risk the covidiots scoff at and dismiss. It’s already happening in some places.

rehajm said...

Exactly the risk the covidiots scoff at and dismiss

I see a lot of people trying to making sense of the data and pointing out some obvious flaws in the interpretation of data, but not see anyone 'dismissing' that scenario. Certainly not here...

...and 'covidiots', that's not helping.

narciso said...

Basing a model on 2 million dead had yielded more than three million unemploymemt this week, dr. Ferguson doesnt have the decency to self detonate like the fictional sky dragon worshiper in kingsman.

Patrick Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...

Germany needs to ask itself a question before publishing such data: are they helping?

I am Laslo.

Patrick Henry said...

I've posted this previously - a contained experiment: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/16/diamond-princess-mysteries/.

Money Quote: 83% of the people on the ship didn’t get it, despite perfect conditions for transmission. If you get it, you have about a 50/50 chance of showing no symptoms at all. And the fatality rate is lower than the earlier estimates of 2% or above.

We are destroying lives with decisions made on incomplete, inaccurate, unverifiable data.

Tommy Duncan said...

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

"One of the first Wisconsin residents to die after contracting coronavirus was not tested until after his death, according a family member.

Haly Besaw knew her 91-year-old father, Robert Blackbird, was going to die soon.

Blackbird had been a hospice resident at Village Pointe Commons in Grafton for three years when Besaw got the call Tuesday to come give her final goodbyes."

Bay Area Guy said...

"Weather prediction the BAG way:
It’s 37 today. It will be 37 in mid July."


Don't feel compelled to comment on my comments, KenB. As an aside, analogies are great, but they have to fit the facts -- sadly yours is kinda stupid. Are we talking about the weather? July tends to be hotter than March.....

I take it you don't disagree with the numbers, or you would have said something intelligible, right?

Suggestion -- for all subsequent comments, you could start by saying, "BAG's numbers are correct, however............."

That would be pleasant!

It's real sunny in California today, which is nice and puts me in a good mood!

Bay Area Guy said...

@Patrick Henry,

We are destroying lives with decisions made on incomplete, inaccurate, unverifiable data.

Bingo! You are the man.

And I would give you that liberty to prevent the mortality.

exhelodrvr1 said...

How do you say covidiot in German? Because obviously they don't understand what is going on

DavidUW said...

Because the true death rate, as I've been saying all along is more like 0.3%.

Yancey Ward said...

When the history is written on this, the fatality rate will be under 0.5%. It was always idiotic to believe that you can identify even 1/10th of the actual infected with a test that can only capture the infection inside a 2 week window or less. I am guessing less than 1/100th of the people who are or have been infected are in the total confirmed cases number.

You establish the denominator by doing randomized immunoassays that detect IgG antibodies specific to COVID-19-this way you capture the data of people who have recovered from the illness. You can do this starting right now if you have the tests to do so, and we do have them.

Bay Area Guy said...

@DavidUW,

"Because the true death rate, as I've been saying all along is more like 0.3%"

Is that globally or for Germany? If the former, Bingo!

Here's the idiotic Headline from Newsweek -- 91-YEAR-OLD RABBI WHO SAVED FAMILIES FROM THE HOLOCAUST DIES OF CORONAVIRUS TWO MONTHS AFTER LEADING OPENING PRAYER IN HOUSE

Umm, if you reach the age 91 and die from anything other than a car accident, well, that's called " death from natural causes" in any sane world.

But God rest his soul. He was a good man.

Temujin said...

They use an open free market to develop the tests (and soon- vaccines) that they needed. We funnel everything through a monstrous bureaucracy- FDA, CDC and others. Only over the past 2 weeks did we lift some of our obstacles.

The private sector, left unchained by government, is the answer to creating quick, efficient responses. Asking Government to move quickly is like asking an aircraft carrier to do a 360.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ficta said...

"You establish the denominator by doing randomized immunoassays that detect IgG antibodies specific to COVID-19-this way you capture the data of people who have recovered from the illness. You can do this starting right now if you have the tests to do so, and we do have them."

We do? I was under the impression that we didn't have this capability yet, but that's just from casually reading articles in the Wall Street Journal, so I'd love to hear that I'm wrong.

BUMBLE BEE said...

More tests - bigger denominator, changes the death rate? or is it due to Arian blood? Science is sooooo tough! That is why Journalists are English majors.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Blogger Dust Bunny Queen said...

IF we are going to alter and destroy the lives of millions of people based on selected data....lets use the data below.

So far, as of yesterday, the stats for the County where I live

Population 190,000...yes...the whole damned county.

Confirmed cases 3
that is 0.0016666666666666668 %

Deaths 0 zero nada zip

Ray - SoCal said...

Italy may be playing games with their deaths number, figuring if you have higher #, somehow they will get something for it from the EU.

Attribution, what actually caused the death, may be another reason for the difference.

US is ramping up the testing, which is exciting.

The problem with most Coronavirus results, is they don't include the number of tests done.

For the US data, this site is good.
https://covidtracking.com/

US has done 432,665 tests, March 25. What a huge increase from 20 days ago, where we were at only 866 tests done. And the US testing capacity is accelerating. A new 45 minute test goes into use on Monday, that can use standard machines (5,000 of them in the US). The US is now at 65,000 tests per day, and seems to be increasing about 5,000 a day in the amount of tests done.

The US is about 2 months behind on testing, which I firmly blame on the CDC and FDA, as others have noted above. Think were we would be if the CDC and FDA has gotten out of the way earlier.


Ken B said...

Yancey Ward
Good to hear.
What infection rate? If it's 80% that’s still 1.3 million Americans dead.
You estimated 7500 deaths tops in the USA. You revising that?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
Population 190,000


I agree that in low density places the threat is low, not zero, but low. I don't know what state you live in but I would think people could safely ignore any and all guidelines in your area if you want to, who is going to enforce?

Yancey Ward said...

The disease isn't going to infect and make ill 80% of the population- it is unlikely that more than 20% would even get symptoms with the virus actually infecting their cells. The normal human isn't that vulnerable to viruses, even new strains of one or another.

At this moment, I see no reason to change my prediction of 7500 total dead in the US by the end of the year, but even if I did change it, I wouldn't more than double the number. Worldwide, I don't think even 2 million will die from this. 4000 people/week in the US were dying in 2017-2018 from that year's influenza strain. The difference with COVID-19 is the panic and the fact that medical personnel can't be vaccinated. New York and Italy have already made the biggest mistake- hospitalizing the infected along with every other patient. I warned against this 3 weeks ago.

I also strongly suspect that once the panic sets in, the hospitals start trying to err on the wrong side and hospitalize people who would do just as well at home. Germany's numbers also demonstrate this difference with Italy- sheer hospitalizations. The Germans haven't panicked yet. It could still happen, sure, but I think it won't.

Yancey Ward said...

But, Ken, you can just call me an innumerate covidiot if it makes you feel better.

Curious George said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bay Area Guy said...

It bears repeating that Italy has a separate widespread health problem. They had 4 bad flu seasons in a row -- before Covid-19 ever entered the social consciousness. 68,000 excess deaths, mostly elderly folks.

In essence, the numbers in Italy for Coronavirus deaths (technically, SARS-CoV-2) have been superimposed onto pre-existing flu deaths.

Source: Investigating the impact of influenza on excess mortality in all ages in Italy during recent seasons (2013/14–2016/17 seasons)

Maybe, Italians don't get their flu shots and smoke too many cigarettes.

Yancey Ward said...

Ficta, a number of bio-companies have developed the necessary assays. They are in the process of scaling them, but it is already possible to start doing random screenings.

Bay Area Guy said...

I have an analogy:

1. KenB discussing important things with Yancey Ward.

2. Washington Generals fighting hard for a lay-up against Harlem Globetrotters.

Missing March Madness:)

rehajm said...

We do?

It's a good question and I'm not sure where the definitive answer is but Immunoglobulin testing is routine everywhere so we shouldn't have to be waiting for development and a ramping up of production and a distribution of 'kits'- a blood draw and dropping the sample in to the machine ought to do it....

Ken B said...

Yancey Ward
You are not innumerate. That is what makes your stand so sad. You have fallen in love with an idea, and don’t objectively question if it fits the facts. You are smart enough to know better but choose not to. I do give you more credit than the others though. If, as I think likely, you are proven drastically wrong you will reassess and repent. Some of the others here never will.

Achilles said...

Tom T. said...
France has slightly fewer people than Germany but more than five times as many dead. The amount of testing each country is doing is irrelevant to the absolute number of deaths.

Temperature and humidity in France 30 days ago were in the COVID-19 range. Germany was too cold.

That changed recently.

Expect Germany's numbers to go up but not like the others in 15-20 days. They will do a better job diagnosing deaths and they will be more precise with their numbers.

Anthony said...

Sebastian said...
"Deaths per capita is the only meaningful statistic."

No: excess deaths.


This, because some number of those most at-risk and dying of CV-19 could very well have died anyway from the normal set of virii floating around. They're all hitting the same population hardest. And see Bay Area Guy's post above.

Ray - SoCal said...

Thanks Bay Area Guy for the info on Italy!

More info on Italy:
https://thelawdogfiles.blogspot.com/2020/03/italy.html?m=1

And the ages:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/24/the-italian-connection/

Interesting symptom is loss of smell.

Italy has one of the lowest vaccination rates for Pneumonia.

And the flu may have some cause/effect with the Chinese Wuhan Flu.

Seems health are providers got infected in Italy, then spread it to those going to the hospitals all the time.

Curious George said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bay Area Guy said...

Epidemiologist Behind Highly-Cited Coronavirus Model Admits He Was Wrong, Drastically Revises Model

Money Quote:

Ferguson’s model projected 2.2 million dead people in the United States and 500,000 in the U.K. from COVID-19 if no action were taken to slow the virus and blunt its curve.

However, after just one day of ordered lockdowns in the U.K., Ferguson has changed his tune, revealing that far more people likely have the virus than his team figured. Now, the epidemiologist predicts, hospitals will be just fine taking on COVID-19 patients and estimates 20,000 or far fewer people will die from the virus itself or from its agitation of other ailments.

Ferguson thus dropped his prediction from 500,000 dead to 20,000.


What a surprise?

Achilles said...

Ken B said...
Yancey Ward
You are not innumerate. That is what makes your stand so sad. You have fallen in love with an idea, and don’t objectively question if it fits the facts. You are smart enough to know better but choose not to. I do give you more credit than the others though. If, as I think likely, you are proven drastically wrong you will reassess and repent. Some of the others here never will.


Make your predictions Ken. Put the numbers up there of what you think will happen and why.

It is clear you are really just kinda limited. You cannot honestly discuss topics like this intelligently so you lash out.

That would be OK but you lie and misrepresent what other people say.

Nobody has been more of an asshole about this than you. ARM doesn't lie about what we are saying like you do.

Yancey Ward said...

Talk about being wedded to an idea, Ken, is the pot calling the kettle black.

I have pointed out before that if the Swine Flu pandemic cases had been counted the same way in 2009, testing those with flu/cold symptoms, and counting the deaths the same way we are doing with COVID-19, you would have ended up with similar percentages of dead from confirmed cases at this point in time, and it would have probably been even worse looking since there was no panic to get tested in the first place. It is simply the fact that the numerator is more accurately determined than the denominator using RT-PCR testing for the actual virus in the body- do you deny this is almost certainly true? We won't know a more accurate denominator until later this year.

Achilles said...

Ken B said...
Yancey Ward
Good to hear.
What infection rate? If it's 80% that’s still 1.3 million Americans dead.
You estimated 7500 deaths tops in the USA. You revising that?


How do you get 1.3 million dead?

This is a really stupid analysis.

Yancey Ward said...

And the CDC didn't panic in 2009 because they knew this caveat about calculating a case fatality rate on RT-PCR testing of the presently infected. It is also why they didn't panic in 2017-2018 when 4000 people a week were dying in February of 2018 from that year's strain- they knew that the flu virus was or had been in millions of people by the point in time, and just in the course of a handful months.

So, let me ask you since you seem to believe COVID-19 is actually more infectious than the flu- what makes you think this more infectious virus hasn't spread to millions of people in the last 3 months, just like influenza would have done? I find this illogical, especially coming from someone who claims to be numerate.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Ray-SoCal,

Thanks Bay Area Guy for the info on Italy!

Well, thank you, my friend! Your Italy observations are great, too. Hey, at least somebody here likes my numbers!

I'm very well acquainted too with matters mathematical, I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical; about binomial theorem, I'm teeming with a lot of news, with many cheerful facts about the square of a hypotenuse!

(Sorry, I'm in a good mood, the sun is shining brightly in NorCal -- the better half of California)

Ken B said...

Yancey
Read my comments on testing here and other threads.

My prediction? I don’t have a prediction. I see a range of possible scenarios. Some I’d like to prevent. I am not concerned with *a* prediction but with risk management considering the plausible possibilities we face. Your rosy scenario is one we need to consider. So are less favorable ones.

Yancey Ward said...

330,000,000 x 0.005 x 0.80=1.32 million Achilles.

Yancey Ward said...

"Some I’d like to prevent. I am not concerned with *a* prediction but with risk management considering the plausible possibilities we face. Your rosy scenario is one we need to consider. So are less favorable ones."

Well, then prepare to do this every year from now on, Ken.

Ken B said...

Achilles

Alright, I’ll do the multiplication for you. We assume .5% of those infected die, which is Yancey's number.

330,000,000 x .8 x .005 = 1,320,000

narciso said...

so you won't take responsibility for the trillions lost, the millions empoverished, neither will neil ferguson, but that's little surprise,

JPS said...

Ray - SoCal:

Thanks for the links - but everything the law dog says after "What that means" is his speculation, and it's crap. It is simply not true. It is his mistaken interpretation of what the health minister's advisor said and meant.

I quite agree with him on preventable illnesses. Gee whiz, so would the Italian ICU doc from whom I'm getting most details on how it's going here, she is an energetic foe of the anti-vaxxers. They're not ascribing measles deaths to COVID-19, nor are they writing up bacterial pneumonia deaths as viral pneumonia.

I'm wondering if some of these people making casually broad statements about Italians have spent any time in the north, or know any northern Italians. Italian stereotypes hold least where the disease has hit hardest. These are generally chilly, distant people, they bring in most of Italy's GDP, and they're not interested in shutting down the country any further or any longer than they have to.

Bay Area Guy, re Ferguson's change:

Reminds me of a good shortcut that could be called [Judith] Curry's Razor: When you read a projection, look for the error bars. If you don't see any, be suspicious. (She didn't actually say that, I think, but it's her practice and a good one.)

Ken B said...

Yancey
Well, yes we do have to assess risk every year. Or do you mean the lockdown? Well that will depend on many factors. Does immunity last from year to year, will we get a vaccine, will we get more ventilators, will we find effective treatments. So, we probably won’t have to take the same measures every year. But the chance we might have to do it again next time is not a good argument against doing it this time. Do you apply that logic to voting against Democrats?

Bay Area Guy said...

Guys, guys, guys....

If your hypothetical calculations end up with 1.32 Million US dead , when the current actual facts show 1,080 US dead at the end of the tail of the winter season (no vaccines, no treatment, no advance notice of the spread), well, you gotta tweak those a priori assumptions.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
Population 190,000

I agree that in low density places the threat is low, not zero, but low. I don't know what state you live in but I would think people could safely ignore any and all guidelines in your area if you want to, who is going to enforce?

While we are actually cooperating (mostly) out of self preservation, abundance of caution, and just trying to be NOT a part of the problem.... but....you are right. We can safely ignore pretty much anything that the Bozo's in Sacramento and Washington decide to command us to do.

We can...and do. What are they going to do about it. We have 2 sheriffs on duty at any given time to "police" about 200 square miles and have better things to do than to bust you for going out of your house or meeting with some other people. Put us in jail? They are emptying the jails as we speak and sending all the criminals back home. THANKS A LOT!! We comply just enough to keep our heads below the foxhole.

My point is that just because SF, LA, NYC etc are having problems...and they are...it doesn't mean that everyone everywhere should be subjected to the same draconian dictates by people who have no idea how others actually live...or even where they live.

Have some COMMON SENSE and not just shut down everything across the whole damned State when there is not the same risk.

Winter sunrise from my deck Not a lot of crowds to worry about.

Ken B said...

Yancey

If I am wrong we will know it in three weeks.
If you are wrong slightly fewer of us will know it in three weeks.

If you are wrong and we had taken your advice still fewer of us would know it. Which is the point.

See you in three weeks.

exhelodrvr1 said...

It's not as contagious as advertised, not as deadly as advertised, or both. If it was as contagious and deadly as these predictions assume, China would not be able to hide all the deaths.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Excuse me...that is about 2500 square miles. 50 miles by 50 miles square. True...mostly uninhabited. No local substation.

Definitely not NYC.

Yancey Ward said...

"Well, yes we do have to assess risk every year. Or do you mean the lockdown?"

I mean the lockdown. Like I wrote, you wouldn't be able to tell which is more fatal between the Swine Flu and COVID-19 at this same moment in time given the data in hand. You would have identified fewer infected Swine Flu sufferers because few people feel the need to be tested for the flu in a normal year, but the deaths from Swine Flu would have been the same or higher across the US in 2009 when the virus was first identified. If we had been calculating fatality rates the same way in 2009, the rate would have been at least as bad looking, but the CDC wasn't panicked and knew the virus already widespread in millions by the time it was identified.

What has changed is the threshold for panic, now. Some think that when the fatality rate comes in between 0.1-0.5%, people will then calm down from now on, but I don't think it really works that way. Every year from here on, there will be stories about the newest version of COVID or influenza that might kill 200,000-1,000,000 people- the data will crunched with confirmed cases and confirmed deaths, the rates will be 3-10% based on those calculations, and the calls for social distancing, work from home, closures of non-essential businesses will be issued. The world will have changed for the worse.

Yancey Ward said...

In other words, we are now going to repeat this for next many years before it all wears off.

Achilles said...

Ken B said...
Achilles

Alright, I’ll do the multiplication for you. We assume .5% of those infected die, which is Yancey's number.

330,000,000 x .8 x .005 = 1,320,000


This is exactly what I mean.

I suppose you think that was hard. Like calculus or something.

But it was really just dumb repetition devoid of critical thought.

Those aren't Yancey's numbers by the way. You are lying again and misrepresenting what other people say.

Darkisland said...

5S is a well known tool for organizing the work place. It's sometimes called 6S with the extra s for safety.

My daughter suggested that it could be a useful tool for slowing covid spread and the 6th s should be social distancing.

So I wrote an article on how to use 6S in the time of covid.

It's a packaging magazine so talks about packaging lines. It applies to any industrial, commercial, hospital, office or any other workplace.

Pleases share widely, I think it can do a lot of good.

https://www.packagingdigest.com/optimization/how-packaging-operations-can-use-6s-in-this-time-of-covid-19-2020-03-26

John Henry

Achilles said...

Yancey Ward said...
330,000,000 x 0.005 x 0.80=1.32 million Achilles.

Do you think this in any way reflects reality or something that could possibly happen?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
Winter sunrise from my deck Not a lot of crowds to worry about.


I could live out there quite happily. It would drive my wife crazy. I am looking forward to getting my boat in the water. Being out on large bodies of water is, in some ways, like trekking through a vast desert. Only time you really feel alone where I live.

Birkel said...

Well done, Yancey Ward.
You got another commenter to promise to leave for three weeks.

Now do ARM.

Francisco D said...

Ken B said: Alright, I’ll do the multiplication for you. We assume .5% of those infected die, which is Yancey's number.

330,000,000 x .8 x .005 = 1,320,000


Do you think that every single person in the US will get infected? Any evidence to support that assumption?

Maybe something from a Petri dish situation like a cruise ship?

Any consideration of those who may have general or specific immunities?

Birkel said...

Achilles,
Calm down. Yancey Wars was only demonstrating Ken B's foolish "math".

JPS said...

Dust Bunny Queen:

That winter sunrise picture is beautiful. Thanks for that.

"We have 2 sheriffs on duty at any given time to "police" about [2500] square miles"

You're reminding me of a scene from Longmire:

"And when he comes for you – I'm just a phone call, and a twenty-minute drive away.

"I'll come as fast as I can."

Bob said...

Yancey Ward said, "In other words, we are now going to repeat this for next many years before it all wears off."

A vaccination (that actually works) will impact this to some extent.

"What has changed is the threshold for panic..."

Part of the panic is that there seems to be no defense against the new threat. For most things, we just take it for granted that doctors and the government "protect" us. That's what's missing today. Eventually, we'll feel "protected" again, and life will go on until the next menace rolls in.

Bay Area Guy said...

The brainy guys at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute offer the following chart and analysis: The US's COVID-19 Death Rate Is Far Below the Rates in Italy and Spain.

Hmm. Sound familiar? Anyone? Bueller?

Who the fuck was Ludwig Von Mises, the young millenial might ask.....

Bob said...

By the way, one Worldometer statistic I find encouraging is that US recovered cases have now greatly exceeded US deaths.

Be nice if they broke out mild vs serious cases in the recovered statistic, but it is still nice to see the trend.

Stephen said...

It's not just how much you test, it's whether the hospital system is able to provide optimal care or is overloaded. Germany's rate probably reflects both more testing and less overload. Also perhaps early stage--that is, they haven't started losing the folks on respirators yet. Recall that S. Korea was at 0.7--wouldn't be surprising to see Germany move toward that. Still 5-7 times worse than seasonal flu, and much more infections.

Ken B said...

I said that IF the infection rate is 80% AND Ward's .5% mortality is right THEN you get 1.3 million dead.

Achilles asked how you get 1.3 million dead from those assumptions. He didn’t see how you get the result from those numbers.

Think about that.

narciso said...

well the us has more people, 3 1/2 to one, over germany, and the us health system, does prioriritize treating everyone, unlike others,

Achilles said...

Ken B said...
I said that IF the infection rate is 80% AND Ward's .5% mortality is right THEN you get 1.3 million dead.

Achilles asked how you get 1.3 million dead from those assumptions. He didn’t see how you get the result from those numbers.

Think about that.



Yancey clearly does not think those numbers are in any way reality. My question for him was just to elicit clarification because you are again misrepresenting his words.

The best thing for you to do at this point would be to accept your limitations.

narciso said...

when you're in a hole, you stop digging, dr. neil ferguson of imperial college, has done that, but he hasn't refilled the hole,

Francisco D said...

Ken B responded: I said that IF the infection rate is 80% AND Ward's .5% mortality is right THEN you get 1.3 million dead.

Why in the world you you suggest an 80% infection rate?

Is there any evidence that it could be even half that number under Petri dish conditions such as a cruise ship?

I am wondering if hysteria has taken over your thought processes.

Drago said...

Ken B: "Combining data from different sources is hard. We have experts who do it. It takes expertise. I cannot do it. I expect you cannot do it. I know Drago and crew cannot do it. The difference is, they claim they can."

Unbelievable.

YOU literally ruled out statistics just yesterday as a "morally serious" way to look at this issue.

Just. Yesterday.

You and Inga.

Together.

Because of course.

Right after you praised the biggest conspiracy lunatic on these boards who was pushing the "Trump Said The Virus Was A Hoax" Hoax as the most "reasonable".

It was just yesterday, so I guess history reset for you this morning too.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You're reminding me of a scene from Longmire:
"And when he comes for you – I'm just a phone call, and a twenty-minute drive away.

"I'll come as fast as I can."


Yup. Very similar. At least a 20 yo 30 minute minimum response time sometimes much longer. Not always their fault. The area is big.

Quite some years ago we had a friend who owned the local grocery store and was being robbed, yet again, by the same guy DB (dirt bag). Our friend F, called the sheriffs and told them he had nabbed the guy. F knew that they were in the area general area, which means about 20 minutes away. F monitors the police/band or whatever on the radio. The Sheriffs said that they couldn't make it for a couple of hours because...reasons. A lie.

Told them well, that's too bad because I've got DB (dirt bag) locked in the freezer so you'd better hurry. They believed F...because...experience with him. They were there in 15 minutes. He wasn't actually in the freezer just tied up and handcuffed in the office. (Don't ask about where F got handcuffs)

I love it here!!!

Drago said...

narciso: "when you're in a hole, you stop digging, dr. neil ferguson of imperial college, has done that, but he hasn't refilled the hole,"

Ferguson was in Full Ken B mode....right up until the moment today that he wasn't.

Ken B said...

Francisco D
We were discussing Ward's death estimate. He gave a mortality rate but not an infection rate. Perhaps you can see the problem. I illustrated that he needs to have an infection rate before he can get a death rate from a mortality rate. I used one estimate and did the multiplication.

Achilles couldn’t do the multiplication, you can’t do the conditional. What is Ward's infection rate? To get only 7500 deaths from a .5% mortality rate you need 1.5 million infected, for an infection rate of about 4.5%.

(Achilles: divide by 330,000,000 and convert to percentage)

(Achilles: multiply by 100 to convert to percentage.)

4.5% is a really low infection rate.

Tomcc said...

One of the reasons that I visit this site is to get perspectives that are different than my own. I appreciate all who comment here. Admittedly, there are some comments that I scroll-by.
There is a decided lack of information about this disease; we're essentially looking at the landscape through a colander. As an optimist, I'm hopeful that the rate of infection, and ultimately, the rate of mortality turn out to be low.
RaySoCal- thanks for the information on testing; I've been hoping to see some numbers on that. It may be several weeks until we have a better view of the situation. In the meantime I'm being cautious and avoiding crowds. But I'm not washing my shoes.

Birkel said...

State your number, Concern Troll.

How many trillions of people will die from Winnie Xi Flu's WuFlu Pandemic?

Birkel said...

Tomcc,
The way to hope is for a very high rate of infection and a very low EXCESS death rate.

Bay Area Guy said...

Y'all see "A Fish Called Wanda" in the 1980s, with John Cleese and Jaime Lee Curtis?

K-k-k-Ken is c-c-c-o-m-m-m-ming to c-c-c-orrect us.......

Ficta said...

FWIW, South Korea, whose daily new cases are currently around 100 and falling, has had 9,000 cases in a country of 51,000,000 for an infection rate of around than 0.02%. 0.02% is waaay less than 4.5%. If they keep on having 100 new cases every day for the next year, they'd still only have an infection rate of 0.08%. Maybe they'll have a sudden surge and the new case rate will go up again. Seems unlikely to me, but I'm basing that on, well, nothing really.

Italy's new daily cases rate hasn't really fallen enough to say anything useful, but it has leveled off for now, and again, FWIW, their infection rate right now stands at 0.1%.

The Diamond Princess, with 3700 people locked in a box with the disease had an infection rate of 18%.

Mashing early measured case fatality rates and wild guesses at final infection percentages into a calculator isn't modelling. It isn't science. It's fear mongering. The model Althouse linked to earlier today at the NYT proves you can get almost any answer you want if you choose your parameters right. Even if you restrict yourself to numbers that sound reasonable. I.e. these sort of calculations mean almost nothing.

Drago said...

Tomcc: "There is a decided lack of information about this disease; we're essentially looking at the landscape through a colander."

Correct.

What many of us have been pushing back on are these astonishing claims of millions dead, bodies littering the streets, Near-"The Stand" scenarios coughed up by the Ken B's who insist that we must assume those estimates, based on what we do not know and are not told and are told not to ask about, are all correct and therefore society must come to halt.

Just yesterday morning, Ken B and Inga were breathlessly reporting that there was a "3%" of some population that were in NY ICU's.

I had a simple request: "Tell me more about this 3%".

And then all hell broke loose because, in the end, Ken B and Inga couldn't tell us very much about that number and it clearly flummoxed them. It was just a number, floating in the ether, which, according to Ken B and Inga, we were supposed to use as the basis for a complete mind and body freakout.

So, naturally, some of us ask basic risk/reward health/economic questions.

But that kind of thinking gets one labeled "morally unserious" (Ken B) and categorized as "don't care for the sanctity of human life" (Inga)

rightguy said...

This data tells me that covid-19 will prove to be a bit of a dud in the US, more like a real bad flu epidemic than Black Plague, or some such.

President Trump's idea of going back to work by Easter is well founded as far as I am concerned. This is real leadership : having both good instincts and sound problem-solving thinking, as well as the courage to make tough decisions and take necessary action. Look for a lot of "Trump killed my grandma" stories after Easter

Ficta said...

Pascal's Wager sure is popular this season.

rehajm said...

If I can join in the fun with numbers:

Today the United States has 72,702 active cases.

...it has 2,096 serious or critical cases.

2.88 percent of all active cases in the United States are serious or critical.

New York State has 33,033 active cases.

...it would have 952 serious or critical cases if 2.88 percent of active cases in New York State were serious or critical.

Over 150 hospitals in New York State have ICU beds.

New York City has roughly 3,000 ICU beds.

Ken B said...

Rehajm
And what do you conclude?
Let’s assume the 3000 beds started empty. They didn’t, but let’s assume it. Now we have 1000 patients who need one. 1000 full.
Will we have new cases tomorrow? I think so. The new cases are growing exponentially. In a week we will have another 1000 say. Could be more, could be less, but we are just spit balling. So 2000 full. Patients need weeks in the bed.then next week 2000 new patients. Oops.

Plus you didn’t have 3000 to start with.

Forget New York. Look at Detroit. They are full already.

I conclude that we don’t have enough beds and we need to try to reduce new cases.

Ken B said...

Sorry. It's Atlanta that is full already. It’s Detroit that is almost full.

JPS said...

Dust Bunny Queen, 1:37:

That is just heartwarming. Good for your quick-witted friend!

Bay Area Guy:

Okay. You have the guts. Good.

rehajm said...

I'm sticking to the facts, not speculating...

I Callahan said...

"If like in 2009-2010, 160 million people contract the virus" Citation? The CDC says 60.8 million

My bad, Ficta, I had a bad number. The 1 before it certainly changes things...

Tomcc said...

Now here's a quandry. Someone (Daskol?) provided this man's twitter feed a few days ago.
He's a physician in NY and he's treating patients with the Hydoxychloroquine combo. If you scroll down, he's highlighting a study from China that supports the earlier French study.
https://twitter.com/BioBreakout

Unknown said...

Keep in mind when comparing to the flu that we have never tested large numbers for flu. Usually you only get on the flu list by going to the doctor. I've had flu and did not go to doc. Not counted. We have only recently had a flu diagnostic test too.

I Callahan said...

It’s Detroit that is almost full.

NO, Detroit is NOT almost full. When you say stuff like this, you're going to get the reactions you've been getting by the regulars.

One hospital system - Beaumont - said they were getting full. Other hospitals and systems were not getting anywhere near those numbers.

walter said...

So UK's Neil Ferguson doing a slight revision.

Tomcc said...

Say! Another slight glimmer of hope:
The rate of hospitalizations in New York has slowed in recent days, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, with numbers he called "almost too good to be true." (Reuters)

Original Mike said...

"If you scroll down, he's highlighting a study from China that supports the earlier French study."

Huh. ARM was touting a Chinese study that says it does not work. Different Chinese study?

Bob Loblaw said...

Only by testing everyone can you know the true death rate...

It's actually more complicated, because different countries don't use a single standard to record cause of death. For instance, if a German baby dies within a day of being born, they record that as a stillborn. In the US that's a death, which is why infant mortality is so much higher in the US than in Germany.

A patient with advanced COPD who dies in a German hospital after being infected with the coronavirus will most likely get recorded as a COPD death, whereas in Italy that's a coronavirus death.

Achilles said...

Unknown said...
Keep in mind when comparing to the flu that we have never tested large numbers for flu. Usually you only get on the flu list by going to the doctor. I've had flu and did not go to doc. Not counted. We have only recently had a flu diagnostic test too.


The only way to have useful numbers in this situation is random sampling.

I wouldn't expect someone like Trump to know. He is not a specialist. But I would expect Fauci or any of the other doctors there to understand that.

The positive rates of people being tested seem to hover right around 10% no matter how many tests are administered. This infers that the virus is widespread and 10% of the people who thought they had the flu actually had COVID-19.

The problem I think is that they have been working for the government so long. That is why they focused on empire building and feather bedding before Trump got involved.

Tomcc said...

And now for something completely different:
13 Deaths in a Day: An 'Apocalyptic' Coronavirus Surge at an NYC Hospital (NYT)
And nothing in the article tells us the usual number of deaths in a day.
Are they helping?

Ken B said...

I Callahan
It seems you are correct, but there were reports where
Henry Ford had said they were almost full in places too, but later clarified. https://www.wxyz.com/news/coronavirus/henry-ford-health-reaches-capacity-at-2-hospitals-treated-covid-19-patients

Ken B said...

Walter
Not quite. He earlier predicted that if there was no quarantine that hospitals would fill up and lots would die from lack of care. Now he predicts that *with the current quarantine based plan* they won’t. So his estimate of the difference between two different plans is a large number of deaths. He did not disavow the earlier number.
In short he says that according to his models the quarantining will help save half a million lives.

Sebastian said...

"At all of Atlanta's four major hospitals, every ICU bed is taken."

Presumably, the city of Atlanta, which is a small part of the metro area. Google shows Wellstar with more than 10, Emory with 4, and Northside with 5 regional hospitals. Are ICUs full everywhere?

Ken B said...

Achilles said
“ The only way to have useful numbers in this situation is random sampling. ”

Finally we agree on something. We have suffered mightily from the lack of tests.

bagoh20 said...

Sweden which closely resembles Michigan in population, climate, number of cases, and number of deaths from Covid-19 is trying a different approach and is "the one European country that did not want to shut its borders, did not close schools, and has not banned gatherings of fewer than 500 people—so far seems to be containing the spread better than other countries have."

~ https://reason.com/2020/03/25/despite-coronavirus-sweden-refuses-to-shutter-businesses-and-limit-gatherings/?utm_medium=email

So we do have a competing experiment. We'll see how it works out and how that influences future strategies. Oh, who am I kidding. It won't affect any future decision making during a scary crisis, regardless of what is learned. We just saw how the politicians simply used it as a way to spend money they never could without a good crisis. It should tell you everything you need to know about why they tout climate change as the" biggest threat to national defense". Remember that?

bagoh20 said...

I agree that random sampling would be valuable, so why don't we do it? It's not hard. Even with relatively small sample sizes we can get some answers. We should be able to get hundreds of random people in each state tested pretty quickly.

narciso said...

fwiw

Michael K said...

We assume .5% of those infected die, which is Yancey's number.

I believe the number is actually those hospitalized but I avoid your comments usually.

walter said...

Imperial College scientist who predicted 500K coronavirus deaths in UK revises to 20K or fewer

Milwaukie guy said...

@DBQ I always tell my ex and daughter who are Chicago Sanderistas that they should just give up their dream of gun grabbing. Rural people, for starters, Will. Never. Comply.

AR-15s are good for sport shooting, hunting, controlling large varmints and being able to shoot the occasional meth-head criminal. When seconds count....

walter said...

Folks are fine with outlawing AR14s.

Ken B said...

No Michael K, that was Yancey's estimated mortality rate. That was why his multiplication for Achilles was the same as mine.

MaxedOutMama said...

But when you test a lot, you also find a bunch of early cases, and they (sadly) take time to die if they are fatal cases.

Germany is where South Korea was weeks ago, but inevitably SK's death rate crept higher, and it is now about 1.4%. While that doesn't sound intimidating, I supposed, it is about ten times worse than a very severe flu, with the additional problem that currently there is not any way to prevent far more of the population from contracting SARS-2, because we just don't have and herd immunity.

Further, the death rate is not independent of the conditions under which people catch the disease. If a bunch of people come down with it at once and new people are now exposed to much higher amounts of virus, the new cases will, on average, be far more severe than the earlier rounds.

This is why you see the "explosive" phenomenon in all these different places. The virus smolders on for a while, with most people getting low exposures (but often wandering around in a contagious state for weeks), and then suddenly enough people are expelling virus in a particular area so people who haven't encountered it start getting high doses of the virus when infected, and the ER starts filling up.

Holding Germany's death rate down to an eventual 1.2-1.5% will require mostly controlling the spread of the virus so not that many sick people are out and about at the same time.

bagoh20 said...

"Imperial College scientist who predicted 500K coronavirus deaths in UK revises to 20K or fewer"

Have you noticed that experts almost always wildly over-predict things. Hell, I can do that, but I wouldn't do that. There are few sources of information in my lifetime that have been as unreliable as "experts". I think that Crazy Over-Speculation 101 is a course you must take and pass to become an "expert".

Ken B said...

“FWIW”

It’s worth a lot actually, to see that the distancing and lockdowns are working.

rehajm said...

^^logic fallacy alert^^

bagoh20 said...

"It’s worth a lot actually, to see that the distancing and lockdowns are working."

I predicted this claim on day one. It's impossible to know how much effect they had, but that's not going to stop anyone from claiming it. In fact, it's psychologically impossible to resist saying that the sacrifices we forced on people made a huge difference, because if you don't convince people of that, you are left being a huge asshole, and then Amazon sells out of tar and feather kits.

Big Mike said...

@walter, lots of sportsmen are fans of the .243 Winchester cartridge.

Narr said...

Are we dead yet?

Narr
AFAF

bagoh20 said...

In states with low infection rates, there is no significant difference between those locked down and those not.

Tennessee, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona, and others have similar number of cases and deaths (relatively low) Some have near total lock downs and some haven't even closed restaurants and bars, others are somewhere in the middle.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Milwaukie guy said...

@DBQ I always tell my ex and daughter who are Chicago Sanderistas that they should just give up their dream of gun grabbing. Rural people, for starters, Will. Never. Comply.

AR-15s are good for sport shooting, hunting, controlling large varmints and being able to shoot the occasional meth-head criminal. When seconds count....


This x10000. Rural people know that they are basically on their own for safety and protection and 'almost' every other Gubmnit service. (I will heap praise on the Forest Service and Fish and Game). It just is a fact of distance and demographics.....and history.

Plus, as you said many uses for guns that are not violent or human on human related. AR-15. Shotguns. Rifles of many different calibers. Hand guns, ditto on the calibers and types. Anyone who thinks that they are going to get voluntary surrender is fooling themselves. Anyone who thinks they are going to go house to house and confiscate guns, unless they have the US Army and some tanks behind them, has a suicide wish.

Good way to start the next Civil War.

rehajm said...

and then Amazon sells out of tar and feather kits.

Fortunately I got in early on hoarding tar and feather kits.

Achilles said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Anyone who thinks they are going to go house to house and confiscate guns, unless they have the US Army and some tanks behind them, has a suicide wish.

And anyone who thinks the US Army would aid in such an endeavor is very silly.

Milwaukie guy said...

Good way to start the next Civil War. Yup, that's what I tell them next and give them a strong clue about who's winning that one.

Nichevo said...

Combining data from different sources is hard. We have experts who do it. It takes expertise. I cannot do it. I expect you cannot do it. I know Drago and crew cannot do it. The difference is, they claim they can.

3/26/20, 9:51 AM




Speaking of experts, have I missed your reaction to the Imperial College's oopsie?


ImageWashington Examiner › news
Web results
Imperial College scientist who predicted 500K coronavirus deaths in UK revises to 20K or fewer
9 hours ago · The Imperial College had previously warned of modeling that suggested over 500,000 would die from the virus. “This is a remarkable ...

Mark said...

"I predicted this claim on day one. It's impossible to know how much effect they had, but that's not going to stop anyone from claiming it."

I would think looking at how Florida, whose governor still has not put out a stau at home order, will be an interesting comparison with other states that did.

How about a month from today we see how that worked for Florida?

Nichevo said...

Also, Ken, you said that swine flu was different because vaccine (you never replied my queries about that, did you?). What may be different, and bend the curve, about coronavirus, is that we seem to be developing new treatments for it. Surely a disease is less lethal if you have a cure?!

Gk1 said...

"It's impossible to know how much effect they had, but that's not going to stop anyone from claiming it." Don't worry those that screamed "RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA," for 3 years or more have no shame and will soon move on to the "Boy that asshole Trump sure over reacted. Look, he tanked the economy! What a moron!"

FullMoon said...

Ken B said...

“FWIW”

It’s worth a lot actually, to see that the distancing and lockdowns are working.
3/26/20, 6:12 PM


Hilarious. Got any proof?

Kirk Parker said...

DBQ @ 11:36am,

I agree with your point, but given how sparsely populated your county is, how many weeks is it going to be before the sheriff gets around to rolling by your place and see if you're conforming to the shelter-at-home edict? ;-)

Kirk Parker said...

Sebastian @ 9:52am,

Such a simplistic comparison would be fairly meaningless, as the flu itself has shown a 5:1 variance in deaths-per-year over the last decade. (That's for the US, not sure if we're high, low, or average compared to the world total.)

Kirk Parker said...

Sebastian @ 9:52am,

Such a simplistic comparison would be fairly meaningless, as the flu itself has shown a 5:1 variance in deaths-per-year over the last decade. (That's for the US--not sure if we're high, low, or average compared to the world overall.)

Kirk Parker said...


" Are we fighting the hysteria of an innumerate people?"

Ahhhh, the beginnings of insight...

Kirk Parker said...

Achilles,

"And anyone who thinks the US Army would aid in such an endeavor is very silly."

Yes, but it's also silly to think the Army as a whole would live up to its oath and protect us against our domestic enemies. The most likely result is that the Army would fracture.

bagoh20 said...

"I would think looking at how Florida, whose governor still has not put out a stau at home order, will be an interesting comparison with other states that did."

The point is that the situation (the facts) are not the same for all states. Florida is now being infected by New Yorkers coming from a state with lock downs, and many of them probably left for just that reason. When you force people to do things against human nature, the unintended consequences should not be a surprise.

bagoh20 said...

With a voluntary military, you get people more from one persuasion than the other.

Ray - SoCal said...

Seems this site:
https://covidactnow.org/

Is panicking Gov. Types...

Per this article:
https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/25/inaccurate-virus-models-are-panicking-officials-into-ill-advised-lockdowns/

Kirk Parker said...

bago,

Yes, But there has been some serious leadership culling of the wrong kind in the last decade.

Sam L. said...

"The death rate in France is said to be 5% and in Italy, it's 10%. But what is it really?" The SHADOW knowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwssssssssss, ha ha ha ha ah ha hahhhhhh.