Official COVID-19 Numbers Represent Just 6% of Total Infections, a New Analysis Suggests

"The true number of infected people worldwide may already have reached several tens of millions," two University of Gottingen researchers say.


The gap between confirmed COVID-19 cases and the actual number of infections, which is crucial in estimating the prevalence and lethality of the virus that causes the disease, may be far larger than most epidemiologists have assumed. According to a recent analysis by two German researchers, the official numbers published by 40 national governments at the end of March represented just 6 percent of infections on average, meaning that "the true number of infected people worldwide may already have reached several tens of millions," as opposed to the current global tally of fewer than 2 million.

"Case fatality rates may only be a very poor proxy for the true infection fatality rate if a high number of infections remain undetected," observe University of Gottingen economist Sebastian Vollmer and research associate Christian Bommer. That is especially true when most carriers experience no symptoms or have symptoms so mild that they never seek treatment or testing, as appears to be the case with the COVID-19 virus. The crude case fatality rate for COVID-19—reported deaths as a percentage of confirmed cases—varies widely by country, which suggests "vast differences in the quality of countries' case records," Vollmer and Bommer note. "Despite such uncertainties, policy makers rely heavily on the extrapolation of past trends when planning responses to the pandemic."

To figure out how many infections might be missing from the official numbers, Vollmer and Bommer applied estimates from a Lancet Infectious Diseases study published on March 30. That study, based on 24 COVID-19 deaths in China and 165 recoveries among citizens of other countries who returned from Wuhan after the outbreak there, estimated that the fatality rate was 1.4 percent among people who developed symptoms and 0.66 percent among everyone infected by the virus in China. Both of those rates rose with age, and the average time from symptom onset to death was 18 days.

"As returning Wuhan expats have been subject to extensive testing, substantial underdiagnosing is unlikely, providing confidence in these numbers," Vollmer and Bommer write. "We therefore treat the reported infection fatality rates as benchmark[s] for other countries and calculate infection fatality rates for the 40 most affected countries using UN population data to correct for differences in age distributions."

As of March 31, Vollmer and Bommer calculate, confirmed cases represented just 3.5 percent of infections in Italy, 2.6 percent in France, 1.7 percent in Spain, 1.6 percent in the United States, and 1.2 percent in the U.K. In other words, the true number of infections was between 29 and 83 times as high as the official tallies in those countries. The countries with the highest estimated detection rates were South Korea (nearly 50 percent), Norway (38 percent), Japan (25 percent), and Germany (16 percent). With the exception of Japan, all of those countries have tested a relatively large percentage of their populations. The estimated prevalence of infection ranged from 0.1 percent in India and Japan to more than 13 percent in Turkey; it was 3.6 percent in the United States. [For the newly revised estimates, see the update at the end of this post.]

"The average detection rate is around six percent, making the number of cases that is reported in the news on a daily basis rather meaningless," Vollmer and Bommer conclude. Vollmer adds: "These results mean that governments and policy makers need to exercise extreme caution when interpreting case numbers for planning purposes. Such extreme differences in the amount and quality of testing carried out in different countries mean that official case records are largely uninformative and do not provide helpful information." Bommer notes that "major improvements in the ability of countries to detect new infections and contain the virus are urgently needed."

The country-specific infection fatality rates (IFRs) calculated by Vollmer and Bommer cover a wide range, from just 0.2 percent in Iraq to 1.6 percent in Japan. Their estimate for Germany is 1.3 percent, which is more than three times as high as the IFR calculated in a recent study based on antibody testing in Germany's Gangelt municipality. Those tests, which covered 80 percent of the local population, found that 15 percent of residents had been infected and put the IFR at 0.4 percent.

Vollmer and Bommer's estimated IFR for the United States is close to 1 percent, which is the high end of the range that federal public health officials consider reasonable and would make COVID-19 about 10 times as deadly as the seasonal flu. That IFR implies a U.S. death toll much higher than has been reported so far. Vollmer and Bommer estimated that nearly 12 million Americans were already infected by March 31. If the IFR is in fact about 1 percent, we would expect to see something like 100,000 deaths by now, nearly two weeks later, as opposed to the official tally of 22,000 or so. It seems unlikely that so many COVID-19 deaths have been overlooked.

Since Vollmer and Bommer are relying on the IFR estimates from the Lancet Infectious Diseases study, the accuracy of their numbers depends on the accuracy of that model. Furthermore, they adjusted only for age when they estimated the IFR for each country.

"Countries also differ in other important characteristics such as prevalence of pre-existing conditions, quality and capacity of the health system and phase of the epidemic they are in," they note. "The true infection fatality rates could therefore differ from our estimates. For instance, it is possible that countries with very good health systems are more successful in treating patients than China." But if the IFRs for some countries (such as Germany and the United States) are lower than Vollmer and Bommer assume, that would imply an even larger number of undetected infections.

Update, April 14: Vollmer and Bommer have revised their estimates based on more recent data. According to the new calculations, the detection rate in the United States as of March 30 was 6.6 percent, up from 3.6 percent in the earlier analysis. The new estimates are also higher for other countries, including Italy (6.9 percent vs. 3.5 percent), France (3.6 percent vs. 2.6 percent), Spain (6 percent vs. 1.7 percent), and the U.K. (2.2 percent vs. 1.2 percent).

"The calculation for the number of infected people was done under the hypothetical assumption that detection rates had stayed constant between March 17th and 31st," Vollmer writes in an email. "We mentioned that in some countries, including the United States, the detection will likely improve. It turns out that it did improve, and therefore the estimated number of infections is much lower than under the assumption of a constant detection rate. The share of undetected cases is still quite sizeable, above 90 percent across these countries."

The new estimate for the number of infections in the United States at the end of March is 2.5 million, which is much lower than the original estimate of 11.9 million, although still 15 times the number of confirmed cases at the time and four times the current tally. Based on the "expected infection fatality rate" of 0.96 percent, that implies roughly the same number of deaths that have been reported so far. Since the calculation of the detection rate is based on the expected IFR combined with the death toll and the estimated time to death, that is what you would expect. Whether that IFR estimate will prove to be in the right ballpark is another question.

NEXT: The New York Times Is Extremely Skeptical of Tara Reade's Sexual Assault Accusation Against Joe Biden. Imagine That.

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  1. So by guessing at new wrong numbers, and guessing at the effect of the earlier wrong numbers, they have reached a conclusion?
    All we know for sure about this madness is that we know nothing.
    Oh, yes; and we know the government has trampled our rights and we did nothing.
    Welcome to the revolution; we lost.

    1. As far I can tell, the early insane projections were based on absolutely nothing whatsoever. I know how or why anyone could pull shit like out of their ass.

      Now, we at least have SOME real information. Whether we have enough for them to make this claim I don’t know, but we have something.

      1. The untold truth is that high expectations from infection models always are high at the beginning of pandemics. This time however the media latched onto it and hyped up the insanity. That is the difference between now and the 2017 flu season.

        1. Yup. Tens of millions or hundreds of millions of humans likely were exposed to Wuhanvirus over the last 6 months. Most humans never were infected or were asymptomatic.

          The media saw an opportunity to nuke our economy (which we all kept saying was the only was only way to stop Trump) and turned a cough due to cold with death for only 115,000 around the World into hysteria.

          1. Sure looks that way from where I’m sitting.

          2. If it’s no biggie like you’re suggesting, why were there 5,000 more overall deaths in New York in a month than the average monthly death toll? In a densely populated area, the overall death rate doubled over the course of a month. If you are being conservative let’s say the overall number of monthly deaths shot up only 25 percent directly from COVID deaths (that’s ultra-conservative). There’s mass uncertainty in the fatality rate, I agree — but those numbers regarding to the total number of OVERALL deaths eliminate most of the confounding variables. The flu has not caused 9,000 to die in one month in New York …. a bad cold hasn’t. This virus did. I think the government stay-at-home orders are overboard when they involve criminal penalties/fines … But there’s a difference between wanting to preserve constitutional rights and pretending this thing is just a regular cold. You can respect the danger of the virus and still want people’s civil liberties kept in tact

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      2. Yup. Politicians and the media ran with obviously bad data and models. They panicked.

    2. The globalist ruling caste, the technocrats, which had been seeing a reversal in their circumstances the last few years, are responsible for this.
      Responsible for tanking the economy, putting 20 million + people out of work (conveniently flipping a seller’s market for labor to a buyer’s market now), devaluing our money through the addition of 10s of millions of dollars out of thin air, and locking us all in our homes.
      Bill Gates better invest in even more security, because his head belongs on a pike.
      There must be blood

      1. I’m not sure about that. Around me, the proles are clamoring for more and more restrictions. Stasi-like phoning the cops if people are out changing a tire, or kids are playing hoops.

        The actions of my neighbors are the most terrifying thing about all of this. Jordan Peterson has long argued that anybody could have been a concentration camp guard, given the correct circumstance.

        I now see this to be true, perhaps not for everyone, but a much larger percentage than I ever knew.

        1. I agree 100%, the number of people in America who seem to embrace totalitarianism (and even think we’re not iron fisting hard enough) is the saddest part of the whole fiasco.

          Even this so-called “libertarian” rag barely even seems to care about what happened to the country practically in the brink eye. Though I have no doubt that if it was actually Trump who mandated martial law be implemented, Welchie Boy and all the rest of them would be raging and foaming at the mouth about every minute of every day (and they would be right to do).

          But because it was their liberal friends in research academia, the media, the deep state, and the state governorships who created this awfui new Soviet America we’re now living in, they’re reluctant to even talk about it much.

        2. Perhaps we should not be surprised that most people are closet totalitarians, or at least eager to Just Follow Orders.

          Too bad our country was not founded as a republic with limited democratic participation.

        3. I fear you are correct. Don’t see any way back at this point. It’s gonna be very ugly. The only question is who wins the political war on the other side. I’m not hopeful.

          1. I too believe the current trend is irreversible and has been for decades. Ronald Reagan is mythologized as the great anti-government President, yet he tripled the national debt and banned guns as Governor.

            But I am a long term optimist who also believes the decentralization trend since Gutenberg is irreversible. I reconcile those two opposing trends in two ways.

            One, the US is not the world; China is vastly less authoritarian than it was under Mao, even if Xi has reversed a little of that. The world seems to me less authoritarian, even if the US threatens to backslide.

            Two, just as Gutenberg’s technology ushered in the decentralization trend, modern tech has that same capability, although I don’t know how it could manifest. My one vague idea is that daily life will gradually move into the dark web and leave the government to control an ever less important meat world. I don’t mean in some science fiction sense. I know more people now than ten or 20 years ago who barter for their income, and not just chickens for yard work. I think the shadow economy is much bigger than anyone expects, that this will increase, and that government is simply too slow to catch on.

            I have no proof of any kind, just personal anecdotes and a belief that what what Gutenberg started cannot be easily stopped. 3D printers may be the best indication. They can print useful guns, and will soon (10-20 years?) print almost anything needed, such as car parts. John Deere is hell-bent on making their tractors unrepairable by farmers and other end users; 3D printers will wreck that idea.

            1. Could you please elaborate on the 3d printers? I am so sick of spending every last dime on parts. Do there ectually exist printers that will print out john deere parts? I am fed up with cheap Chinese parts and the equipment seems deliberately designed so you can’t get to stuff.

        4. That’s the saddest part about all this. You can be hopeful in democracy when you feel like the majority is being held down by a minority. You hope that the majority will assert themselves and do the right thing over that wrongthinking minority. But what do you do when you find out that the majority is a bunch of idiots and assholes? There’s no recourse in democracy for those who are outvoted. The Bill of Rights? It’s nothing more than a velvet rope in front of a bullet train. Perhaps you don’t believe that is how it is or how it should be, but for every one of you there are twenty people who disagree. Maybe a hundred.

          They can’t be bargained with. They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not leave you alone, ever, until you are dead.

      2. “The globalist ruling caste, the technocrats…”

        This is the ruling caste which prevents us medically ignorant savages from injuring ourselves with ignorant and uneducated, uninformed use of DANGEROUS medical implements of mass destruction such as the much-to-be-feared cheap plastic “lung flute”! How DARE ye insult Our Precious Protectors?!?!?

        In these days of impending DOOM, I urge ye ALL to stay SAFE from the Flute Police!

        To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

      3. Fuck yes dude. Nailed it. Gates is the one behind all this. Smug fuck needs his wig split.

    3. The numbers in this article do not add up. They remind me of the numbers Brian Williams reported regarding Bloomberg’s ability to give every American a million dollars. I do not believe the study authors screwed up that badly. I suspect the author or copy editors are to blame.

      The author claims the current number of confirmed US coronavirus cases, 560433, is only 1.6% of the real number of Coronavirus cases. That would make the real number of cases 35,027,062. That is a whole lot but OK I guess.

      They then say the real fatality rate is 1%. So 350,270 of those people are dead or dying. I think we would notice if our official death count of 22000 or so was that far off. The huge pile of 328,270 bodies might be hard to miss. I suppose we could give the author the benefit of the doubt and say some of those people just haven’t died yet, but the rate of deaths per day has been holding steady around 2000 for the last week and actually dropped for the last two days. I see no way to get that many extra deaths.

      Somebody flunked math.

      1. In 2017-18, Influenza infected 45 million Americans and killed 79,000.

        This number does not account for the tens of millions of Americans who never go to the doctor when they get sick and just get better at home or die from some other underlying cause (i.e.heart disease).

      2. The author of the article agrees with you
        “ That IFR implies a U.S. death toll much higher than has been reported so far. Vollmer and Bommer estimated that nearly 12 million Americans were already infected by March 31. If the IFR is in fact about 1 percent, we would expect to see something like 100,000 deaths by now, nearly two weeks later, as opposed to the official tally of 22,000 or so. It seems unlikely that so many COVID-19 deaths have been overlooked.”

    4. These numbers are based on serological testing, not models. They’re early and similar tests are needed elsewhere, but results are extremely promising.

    5. You expected action? From whom? Whenever I suggest doing anything about the progs here, I am ignored, or excoriated. So who did you expect to do your heavy lifting for you, when none of you will say shit when you have a mouthful of it? Hand wringing and pants shitting doesn’t get anything done.

      I fully expect the same response to this comment.

    6. Reminds my of the DEA declaring how much illegal drugs they intercepted as a % of the whole amount shipped. I’ve got 10K for anyone here that can tell me what 23.4% of the number I have in my head is?!

    7. My sentiments exactly.

  2. They’re clearly overstating the number of infections. If the supposed percentage of known cases is 1.6% in the USA, then extrapolate the 552,000 confirmed cases and it says there’s already 34 million cases in the USA. There’s simply no way that it’s already infected 10% of the population with current social distancing and quarantine measures.

    That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of actual infected is in the millions in the USA, maybe over 10 million.

    Though if you take their estimate of 34 million plus Americans who have caught this, and look at current confirmed deaths, the CFR for the USA is .065%, or just over half as deadly as influenza.

    1. There’s simply no way that it’s already infected 10% of the population with current social distancing and quarantine measures.

      Why is that? Couldn’t it be that the lockdowns are just completely ineffective?

      1. I think it’s flawed. I think there’s also some mixed approaches like what happened in NYC, where they made noise about social distancing even while keeping public schools open (basically germ-factories) and encouraging people to continue riding public transit.

        Outside of areas like that, places where schools closed before there were any reported cases in an area and everyone uses their own vehicle to get around, the spread should be greatly slowed. As it is, we’re still looking at ~19% of all cases in the USA are just in New York City, which is before you bring in the surrounding areas of Long Island, Newark, and Yonkers.

        1. Well, I live in NYC. Even now, it’s impossible to avoid bumping into strangers at the local corner store to get essentials.

          1. That’s true enough. When the population density is high enough there’s no real way to truly avoid people.

            1. The nightmare of urban living?

              1. “The nightmare of urban living?”

                The nightmare of rural living sounds far worse to me.

                1. Depends on the area and where it is located adjacent to urban areas. Where I am we have 40 people per square mile in the mountains, yet I am only a 30 minute drive to Red Rocks for shows and Denver is just 10 more minutes. Get the best of both worlds and not be like Manhattan with what over 300,000 people per square mile and everyone packs into tubes inside tunnels. Yeah, no thank you! I’ve done big city living and I am done with big city living.

      2. Of course the lockdowns are ineffective because they’re not really lockdowns. Everyone eventually has to go to the grocery store. So, basically everyone is just being funneled to common locations. Millions upon millions have been exposed. Couple this with the fact that the disease has likely been around, probably more on the west coast since the fall and this analysis starts to make good sense.

        It’s a selective abuse of government power (which they do not have either statutorily or constitutionally) to shutter businesses they don’t deem essential.

        1. Agreed

        2. A lot of this would have happened anyway, regardless of government intervention. For example, long before my own state issued a “shelter-in-place” order, every restaurant in the area had shut down their dining rooms. No hair dresses or nail salons were operating. They closed down movie theaters, bowling alleys, and all spectator sports without government orders to do so.

          I honestly don’t know exactly what changed after the “Shelter In Place” order was issued. Maybe it affected some areas here, but it mostly an order to tell people to do what they had already been doing.

          Of course, the negative effect is going to come on the back end, when they’ll wait too long to repeal that order.

          1. They’ve already waited too long. We’re headed for a long and depression and hyperinflation.

            1. I fear you are correct. Don’t see any way back at this point. It’s gonna be very ugly. The only question is who wins the political war on the other side. I’m not hopeful.

              1. I’ll tell ya who won’t be winning on the other side, we the people like always. Doesn’t seem to matter which side gets elected they both fuck you one just insists on missionary style being the only distinction.

            2. Well that was destined when Congress unanimously signed a $2 trillion handout.

          2. The shelter in place order was what really did in the economy, because tons of non-public-facing businesses were also closed. Construction projects and production, stuff like that. Before then, it was still limping along and wouldn’t do enough damage to make a difference in the election……

    2. Yes it is massively flawed. They are economists not epidemiologists – and it shows with the first assertion they make. From the first paragraph of their report
      On March 31st, 2020, reported case fatality rates in the countries currently most affected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) ranged from 11.7% in Italy to 1.1% in Germany (a factor of 10.6), suggesting vast differences in the quality of countries’ case records.

      There can certainly be comparative problems with quality of case records. But they don’t seem to have the slightest notion that fatality rates differ wildly because in one place medical capacity is exceeded by the current case load. Infection fatality rates are not going to converge on some identical number everywhere merely because it’s the same virus.

      I’m sure there could have been a good study looking at the testing gap based on the Lancet’s ‘progression of seriousness’ stuff. And that would be especially important for the Third World – which is the academic focus of these economists. But this study ain’t it.

      1. “But they don’t seem to have the slightest notion that fatality rates differ wildly because in one place medical capacity is exceeded by the current case load.”

        You repeat this constantly, as if it is fact. Where is your evidence? Severe cases have an extremely poor prognosis everywhere. There is no therapeutic. Keeping the numbers in the ICU down helps prevent the doctors and nurses from feeling overwhelmed. But I have seen no evidence that it changes the percentage of fatal outcomes. Show me evidence to the contrary.

        1. There isn’t any. It just sounds good.

        2. JFree has been screaming from any street corner he can find, waving his PANIC!!! flag, pushing for the government to imprison the lot of us, and now that the numbers are coming in, refuses to accept he’s a lying, cowardly piece of shit.
          He has no evidence, just one (wrong) guess after the other.

        3. Severe cases have an extremely poor prognosis everywhere. There is no therapeutic. Keeping the numbers in the ICU down helps prevent the doctors and nurses from feeling overwhelmed

          Keeping the numbers who need hospitalization and/or ICU below the amount available is not about the feelz of the doctors and nurses.

          If your case is serious enough to need hospitalization for this disease, what that usually means is that you are taken to the ER because you need oxygen. The oxygen doesn’t magically appear if the ER is full. Rather – you just die. Regardless of age as well. Same w ICU except there it is full ventilation and possibly full blood transfusion to oxygenate blood.

          When hospital facilities are no longer available, then many of those cases that were improved by hospitalization – that turned into recoveries – instead turn into fatalities. It is the difference between an epidemic in the Third World and one in the developed world

      2. “They are economists not epidemiologists”

        And what profession are you to be so enlightened as to recognize what is wrong about this? What exactly do you think economists do, actually?

        1. The irony is both sets if “experts” are notorious for models that are simply wrong.

      3. “…But they don’t seem to have the slightest notion that fatality rates differ wildly because in one place medical capacity is exceeded by the current case load…”

        Given your history of lying, inventing numbers, making wild assertions, it’s not a long reach to guess you have no data whatsoever to back that claim, you lying cowardly piece of shit.

    3. what if infections started earlier then everyone thought, and were confused with something else because no one knew what to look for?

      1. Ding ding ding. We wouldn’t really notice old and sick people dying during flu season because that’s what happens every flu season.

    4. There’s simply no way that it’s already infected 10% of the population with current social distancing and quarantine measures.

      I don’t know. It was around for weeks if not months before the quarantine stuff really started. And plenty of people are still out and about.

    5. Symptom onset takes 5-14 days, and most people don’t get diagnosed the day their symptoms onset. You can be contagious even before symptoms show, and there’s a large number of asymptomatic cases (over 50% based on teh Diamond Princess data) who are still infectious.

      First confirmed US case was in *January*, with community spread confirmed by early february (which means there was community spread probably around the same time the first US case was diagnosed). Pretty much no measures were taken anywhere until late February. Exponential spread with an R of 3. 10% of the population being infected is quite possible, and social distancing was way too late to make any difference whatsoever. (That most of those infections are mild or asymptomatic is a good thing – it means the infection fatality rate is tiny).

    6. Wrong. I had it. The issue is that everyone is waiting for a “deadly” virus and suspect nothing when they get an odd hybrid cold in two parts with a lull in between. Because that’s what it is for most of us. I had it March 4th

    7. Back at the beginning of this an early study estimated that for every confirmed case there were between 5 and 8 cases that never rose to the level of the infected people paying much attention to them.

      This makes sense.

      Most people who get this ‘deadly’ disease have no symptoms whatsoever–even among the tested.

      The second largest group of people who get this have a mild cold. Again, even among the infected.

      Because the thing it acts like is a cold.

      And what that means is that the eventual infection rate for C19 with be everyone.

      Which will put the CFR into territory that’s called ‘statistically zero’.

  3. It’s quite clear this is not as deadly as once described. That the Chinese lied about what they knew. That modeling of this disease is worthless. And that state governors abused their citizens to avoid controversy.

    I want to see the perpetrators hang for this. They won’t because they are all well connected and protected by men with guns. But they are guilty of crimes against humanity.

    1. I won’t say for SURE they LIED, because Wuhan has such bad air that even young people were getting sick there. That drastically skews the numbers going forward. (Overestimating resource usage by like 80%)

      Once they had enough data, the Chinese realized it was not a major threat and allowed it to run through the country, after kicking out reporters and whatnot. Some places with bad air needed additional capacity, but generally the virus came and went largely unnoticed. (Now that I type it out I guess you could call this lying by not sharing the information)

      That caused the bad modeling and everything else, I’m 100% with you. Hopefully the blowback remains political, but with every passing day the data gets more clear yet the politicians keep doubling down.

      1. “Hopefully the blowback remains political”

        FUCK that.
        People’s lives are ruined. Small businesses destroyed. Job prospects from a seller’s market to millions more competing for the same positions. What money people had is now worth less than before. Government has seized power, more power than ever, back for the technocratic class and reversed populist gains worldwide.
        I want blood.

        1. Me too. But it won’t happen.

          1. Could get it if we pass laws after this restricting manufacturing in China; Hit their economy again so soon after Corona, and they could be the ones with a destroyed economy. See how many chinese citizens are happy to support Winnie the Pooh after that.

      2. “We found that an increase of only 1 g/m3
        in PM2.5 is associated with a 15% increase
        in the COVID-19 death rate, 95% confidence interval (CI) (5%, 25%).”

        This is a really, really big deal when you consider that places with bad air quality are looking at 160+ g/m3!

        1. Also, That figure of 160 g/m3 doesn’t pass my smell test, pardon the pun. That’s a hell of a lot of solid to be suspended in just one cubic meter of air. I’ll bet you meant microgram.

          1. Ditto:
            “For example, at 20 degrees C (68 degrees F), a cubic meter of air can hold a maximum of 18 grams of water. At 25 degrees C (77 degrees F), it can hold 22 grams of water. If the temperature is 25 degrees C and a cubic meter of air contains 22 grams of water, then the relative humidity is 100 percent.”

          2. Yes, it’s microgram.

    2. Remember, the Chicoms allowed people to fly out of the country knowing there was an outbreak.

      1. They’re pure scum, and hopefully western business responds by pulling out of that shithole completely. There are other third world countries with big supplies of cheap labor.

      2. Hell, if I were them I would immediately send sick people into other major hubs to try to obfuscate the origin of the virus.

        1. If it wasn’t a bioweapon, it’s worked better than any could hope a bioweapon would

          1. Bioweapons are usually designed to much more effective at killing.

            If the goal was for Commies to give the treasonous MSM in America an excuse to nuke our economy, then yes its a very effective bioweapon.

            1. “Imagine a virus – the most terrifying virus you can, and then imagine that you and you alone have the cure. But if your ultimate goal is power, how best to use such a weapon? … But the true genius of the plan was the fear. … Fear became the ultimate tool of this government.” – V for Vendetta

              An effective bioweapon isn’t necessarily highly lethal. It’s the fear that makes it effective. I mean, you want to talk up it’s lethality (enhances the fear), but you don’t actually want to kill that many people – the goal is control, not death.

              1. I’m not saying it is a bioweapon, just that it would have made a very effective one. (It’s what makes it so effective now for political elites to hijack more and more power).

      3. They wanted to bless us with free hugs you racist!

  4. How about an article about the CDC now assuming anybody who has covid symptoms is a covid patient? We’ve been testing only people with symptoms for a while, and roughly 90% of the people with covid symptoms had SOMETHING ELSE. Don’t you think that now assuming 100% of people with covid symptoms have covid will wildly inflate the numbers?

    For the life of me I just can’t see why the “experts” are collecting paychecks.

    1. roughly 90% of the people with covid symptoms had SOMETHING ELSE

      Where did you get that information? I’d like it to be true, but you will pardon me if I don’t just take the word of a random commenter.

      1. Just look at the percentage of positive tests. The number moves around a little, but generally we find about 10% of tested people are positive. That’s 90% of people WITH COVID SYMPTOMS that have something else.

        Now they assume that 100% of the people with symptoms have covid. Obviously that changes the numbers.

        1. Not anymore. That number in the US is about 20-25% since the US caught up with the backlog and since flu season has pretty much ended. The JHU tracker is now tracking tests in the US – 559,000 confirmed cases/2,821,150 tests = 19.8% positive. Actually higher than that since all hospitalized positives are tested at least three times before they are deemed ‘recovered’ and can be released – once going in, once when they symptomatically are OK, and once two/three days later to confirm/release.

          1. So, 2.8 million tests, but positives have had up to 3 tests. (Up to, because not all of them are recovered yet). Let’s guess that the average is 1.5 tests per case (since cases are shifted towards the present currently, which means many of them are still symptomatic), which would be ~840k tests for the confirmed cases. So ~2 million negatives, or ~30% of those tested have covid-19. Call it 33% to be conservative.

            If you assume everyone who gets tested has Covid-19 in your model, you’re overstating the number of cases by a factor of 3.

            (And of course, you’re still missing all the asymptomatic and sufficiently mild they don’t get tested infections).

            1. But even if you assume the number is 20% positives or 30% positives, it doesn’t change the underlying premise: most people with covid symptoms who are tested do not have it. Therefore, when you assume everybody with the symptoms has it, that DRASTICALLY skews the numbers.

            2. HOSPITALIZED positives who recover have up to three tests. One of the reasons we have so few ‘recovered’ here in the US is because if they tested positive (ie symptomatic – or traced – at some point) but didn’t require hospitalization, then we don’t follow up in the US.

              You can make inferences re testing – or attempt to extrapolate out to an estimated total number of infected including asymptomatic – in particular buckets of cases, but only in those sub-buckets – not overall.

              I’ve made my own guess re the total infected (including asymptomatic) based on what appears to be very consistent data across countries:
              50% of infected are asymptomatic – this is also very heavily skewed young (under 20)
              30% of infected are ‘mild’ which by this disease ranges from ‘not enough to see the doctor’ (not tested in most places) to ‘worst flu of my life’ (tested most places) – this also likely skews younger
              15% of infected are ‘serious’ (enough to require hospitalization for oxygen) – skews older but not like ICU or current fatalities – 4% for 20/30; 10-15% for 40/50; 25-35% for over 60’s.
              5% of infected are critical (requires ICU/ventilation) – most under 70 seem to survive this, most over 70 seem to still die.

              There is NO data re lung damage re the infected but not tested. Even though the data re those who were hospitalized early indicates abut 20-30% lung damage. Does this repair? Who knows. There is increasing evidence that those who test antibody-positive (still skewed to those who were hospitalized at this point) may not be as immune as we hope. SKorea has some of the best data – and they just today announced that 116 ‘recovered’ are now either ‘reactivated’ (their classification) or ‘reinfected’. That 116 is up from 51 last week.

              You can keep looking for evidence to confirm your bias that ‘this is just the fucking flu’ forever. It ain’t fucking so.

              1. If they’re reinfected, it’s definitely NOT the flu.

                It’s a cold.

              2. Those numbers don’t make any sense.

                Only 5% of *confirmed diagnoses* are critical cases. Which means it’s a lot less than 5% when you factor in asymptomatic and sufficiently mild they don’t get diagnosed.

                Bucket Breakdown:
                Asymptomatic – *at least* 50%, probably 60%, maybe higher.
                Mild and undiagnosed – 20%-35%, likely 25%. This is probably inverse with asymptomatic (ie, higher Mild and Undiagnosed = lower asymptomatic).

                (Note, this conforms with early data estimating 84% of infections were never diagnosed).

                For diagnosed patients, data suggests the following breakdown: 80% mild, 15% severe, 5% critical. That suggests the real percentages end up being:
                Mild and diagnosed – 12%
                Severe – 2.25%
                Critical – 0.75%

                Half of critical patients die = 0.375% fatality rate… wait, isn’t that what a study recently estimated the true fatality rate was, based on a population study in Germany?

  5. The tests are so flawed there’s no point to any of the data based on the results. But keep guessing, I’m sure THIS one is correct.

  6. Tens of millions?

    So the lockdowns are ineffective? If we’re at tens of millions, what’s the point then of a lockdown?

    Know what I know? That everyone in charge doesn’t know jack shit but are still taking draconian decisions and that China is at fault for the WOO-HAN.

    1. Just an exercise to see how far government power could be extended without blowback. So far it’s working out pretty well for them, although it IS starting to crack. They especially trashed both retail and manufacturing (the Governors, not the President) and who knows what’s going to come back.

      As I stated above, not really a lockdown when everyone just funnels into Walmart, Target and whatever your regional grocery store is. Millions upon millions have been exposed – and have been likely since fall.

      1. ^This!

      2. A tipping point is near.

        Here in KY the governor sent his gestapo to write down license plate numbers of everyone attending Easter Church services, to be followed by health department notice of quarantine for 14 days.

        That was the tipping point here. Especially since abortion clinics are A-Okay.

        There is a rather large and growing voice of people ready to defy. Whether it’s large enough is anyone’s guess, but a tipping point is coming, and it will happen soon as people start running out of money. That’s coming very soon for about 20 million people out of work.

        1. This week or next, I guess we’ll see….

        2. ooh yeah, not trying to bash Christians but anyone who’s religious enough that they’re willing to risk infection for their beliefs is also probably not gonna stand for what they’ll see as religious discrimination.

        3. >>A tipping point is near.

          I keep hearing that but I’m also told I am irresponsible and may cause the deaths of thousands if I golf

    2. Personally, I believe the totalitarian lockdowns have accomplished almost nothing at all.

      I say this because of Sweden, which makes an almost perfect test case because they were the only advanced modern country in the world that refused to go along with totalitarianism.

      So if the lockdowns were really helping so much and saving so many lives, then Sweden should be at the top or at least pretty close to the top of the list for worst case rates and death rates. They’re not at all, not even close to the top.

      Almost everything we were told about this virus, especially early on, was complete and total unadulterated horseshit.

      1. There is a huge difference between Sweden (fairly homogenous population of ~10MM) and the US (330MM+). Sweden is the size of CA. Also, that lack of restrictions seems to have changed. It is no socialist paradise right now.

        1. You seem to have problems with backing your claims; your cite fell off for the “right now” claim.

          1. Sevo…try worldometer. You’ll see just over 10K cases for Sweden and just over 1K deaths. I mean, you can see for yourself if the population of Sweden is ~10MM, and whether the number of square miles is close to CA (it is).

        2. What does a homogenous population have to do with anything? What does the total population, compared to the US, have to do with anything? What makes you think that anyone other than Bernie thinks it is a socialist paradise like Cuba?

          What are these huge differences you allude to without mentioning?

          1. Pretty sure we have an adolescent *PANICKED* that the sky is falling.
            Perhaps he might grow up, or remain as cowardly as JFree. Regardless, he’s pretty much full of shit.

          2. Lol, he just had a little reflexive “race realism” there, I think. I suppose to be fair, the coronavirus is disproportionately affecting blacks in the US, but that’s probably because they tend to live in sense urban centers disproportionately.

          3. ahf…Do you think maybe there is a genetic component here, how the Wuhan coronavirus afflicts different people? Just stop and think about it for a moment. Not being alarmist.

            Sweden tried the herd approach. Their death rate is 10%.
            The USA tried social distancing. Our death rate is 1/3rd of Swedens.

            I don’t see a lot of horseshit being spread about the virus. What I do see is a lot of unknowns.

            1. And how many people has Sweden actually tested? (This seems to be unknowable, as Sweden isn’t reporting that). That’s a rather crucial variable here.

              Death rate is independent of number of infections, because you literally divide by number of infections. It’s not going to be magically more lethal in Sweden. If you see significantly different death rates, it implies differential failure to identify the true number of infections (or possibly some comorbidity difference between the countries, but i doubt Sweden is worse than the US for comorbidities).

              1. Squirrelloid wrote: ” i doubt Sweden is worse than the US for comorbidities).”

                You’re absolutely right about that. A post just today by the Commonwealth Fund, comparing 17 peer nations on coronavirus co-morbidity risks, found the US to be average in terms of age breakdown but #1 (by far) in diabetes rates, #1 (by far) in hypertension rates, #1 in chronic lung disease rates, and a close #3 in heart disease prevalence.

                Details here

      2. I think it will be a year or so until we know for sure what people are going to learn from Sweden. I suspect they will see a taller peak than other countries. Many countries in Europe seem to be leveling off. Last I saw Sweden wasn’t so much (though this is a few days ago, it may have changed).
        The big test will be to see if when a second wave comes to the countries that took all kinds of extreme measures, Sweden is mostly spared because of herd immunity.

      3. I think the lockdowns did absolutely nothing except crash the economy – it was way too late and we were pretty much locked into the path of infections by the end of February.

        I think lockdowns in January *could* have done something. It wouldn’t have been worth it, but at least they’d have had an effect besides sinking the economy.

    3. The point is so governors can cover their asses. If they back off on the quarantines, and things get worse, they get blamed. If they leave them in place, they get to claim that it would have been worse otherwise, whether or not that’s actually true.

      1. Yep. Politicians are cowards, and if there’s a “no-lose” situation, they will take it.

  7. There has to be a pony somewhere in this pile of shit!

    1. Vermin Supreme has it.

      1. Vermin Supreme killed and ATE his own personal pony long ago! Hate to rain on your parade, butt there it is… He ATE his own personal horse’s ass!

        Jesus was humble and rode an ass into Jerusalem… Today, on Easter, be pubically minded and socially distant, and keep YOUR ass at home!

  8. Keep in mind that with the tests they’ve been using, it takes 2 or 3 days to verify that you have the coronavirus. Unless you die, in which case they can tell within 5 minutes and they don’t have to do an autopsy or anything. “Did he cough, have trouble breathing?” “Yeah, we dug 3 .45 slugs out of his lungs.” “Yep, that’s the coronavirus, alright. Call the CDC and tell them to add another one.”

    Handy that the coronavirus disproportionately affects the old and the poor and there’s Medicare and Medicaid.

  9. We’ve had 19 deaths in my county of 750,000. It’s time to go back to work. Everyone wear a mask and wash your hands frequently.

    1. My town (Philly burbs) has been on lockdown for more than 3 weeks now. Out of 11,000 residents, only 6 have or had it according to the County health gurus. But of those 6, one died. Let’s all hope the death rate isn’t 1 out of 6 who get ChiComVirus.

  10. The science is settled. Everyone will die.

    1. Don’t tell the Millennials–they are already stressed beyond their participation trophy limits.

      1. Seems like the older population is not nearly as panicked as the millennials about this crap even though they are the at risk group.

        1. *cough, cough* (metaphorically).
          When you’ve lived through several ‘sky fallings’, it tends to give you a bit of perspective.
          J-fucking-Free must be all of 15, the pathetic piece of cowardly shit.

      2. I mean, do you think it’s because they’re afraid of getting sick, or its because they’re gonna have to deal with a second economic clusterfuck and are looking at losing their jobs? I think it might be that second one.

      3. LMAO. Too funny. The both of you.

    2. “Everyone will die.”

      True, but in the grand scheme of things, hardly anyone will die of corona19

  11. “your mother is not expendable…..” says Cuomo. So, let’s all commit suicide.

    1. “Your mother is not expendable. However, if drowning her saves even one child’s life…”

      1. ‘…However, if *STARVING* her saves even one child’s life…’
        Cuomo won’t give a shit.

  12. Went to the grocery store yesterday because I still can. They had a guy in a costume with an official looking badge guarding the door making sure there was a 6 foot buffer between entrants. Everybody under 50 was wearing a mask or bandana. They had barricaded the checkout lanes so another costumed guy could prevent violations of the social distancing rules. I don’t know how much of this insanity is a reaction to Pritzger’s rules, how much is liability prevention, PR value or misplaced sincerity. But I find it all terrifying. This will not end well.

    1. Really different experience in SF this morning.
      It’s a chain store where I’m a regular; two security (armed; on asking, they are off-duty SFPD). Sunday is a paper, something for breakfast and anything near the top of the list.
      Two weeks ago, the lines were (with apologies from security) quite formal, enter over there to keep ‘distance’, and I joked with security that in a month we were going to be laughing our asses off at this idiocy.
      This morning, the guys were lounging near the entrance, waved me through, no masks, no enter this side for ‘distance’ BS. Still ‘distance’ in the check-out lines, nowhere else.
      This in SF.

    2. I went to Cabela’s on Friday- had something I ordered online (finally) show up at the store, plus I wanted to pick up some reloading supplies (if they were available, of course- don’t hold your breath looking for primers or most powders lately). Anyway, got there about 4, and there was a line of people in the parking lot. I knew what that was about right away, and was dismayed to see it. If I hadn’t had that order to pick up, I would have turned around and went home. But anyway, we went and stood in line (since I couldn’t see any way to sneak in). Made a point to stand next to and talk with the older guy in front of us (who was cool- seemed confused about the whole thing). Get to the door and see a sign that now they are closing at 6 PM until further notice, and of course have “senior hours” the first hour or two they are open in the morning. Employee inside telling you when you have permission to pass. Roped off around the gun counter, only limited people allowed inside. Constant reminders over the PA that they will be CLOSING PROMPTLY AT 6 SO BUY YOUR SHIT AND GET OUT OF THEIR STORE. Lots of areas seemingly purposely empty, like they were really trying to make you not want to be there. All the regular checkouts closed, so everyone was herded into a line (6 FEET APART!) to check out at the service counter. I had hoped that a store like Cabela’s, which ostensibly caters to a more outdoorsy/self sufficient/hardy demographic would at least on the lagging edge of restrictions like these. Wouldn’t expect them to do nothing (unfortunately), but not necessarily to go out of their way to make up the most ridiculous shit possible. But they did. It was one of the most unpleasant retail experiences of my life, which seems to be the goal for many stores right now- it’s like that’s what people want. Most of this stuff doesn’t even make sense. If you are worried about people being in close contact and spreading something, how in the hell does REDUCING the hours you are open help that?? So you can force more people to have to go there per hour? And when you have like 10 registers that could be open and thus in all likelihood never have more than one or two people in line at any one of them, what sense does it make to close them all down and then have like two registers open elsewhere where EVERYONE has to stand in line? Just retarded.

      Menards is similar- again, I had hoped that being a DIY focused store with small town midwest values would cause them to be at least skeptical about the need for this shit. John Menard has had more than one run-in with state government for telling the DNR, et. al. to get fucked, so I had hoped that some of that FU ethos would seep into their response here. But they too have reduced hours (DUMB), plus dreamed up a rule where children under 16 can’t be in the store. WTF? Banning the one group who has truly zero risk from this (statistically speaking)? I’m sure their overall point is to minimize the number of people who don’t have to be in there potentially crossing paths with more susceptible folks, but maybe the overlords that you are kowtowing to should have thought about that before shutting down everything that might otherwise be occupying the kids?

      I have sent emails to both companies expressing my disgust with these policies and asking what the justification is. If nothing else, they can see one tiny sliver of pushback from their customer base. I’ve got to wonder if there aren’t consulting firms who jumped on this and are advising these corporations on their “COVID Response Plans” and dreaming up/suggesting all these stupid reactions. Much like the state governors, one has to outdo the others in dreaming up “creative” ways to show you are taking “aggressive actions” to protect your customers and employees. They and anyone who makes the plexiglass that is not in front of every cashier in America should be at least two economic bright spots here.

      1. And, where I am at least, stuff like that has only started in the past week or so.
        Pissing in the wind.

        1. Yes, that makes it worse. Again, this is northern Wisconsin- you have almost no chance of getting this and zero chance of dying from it. Full stop. And for a couple weeks now, it has been apparent that we are not at any significant risk. Like every state, and every nation, our biggest city (Milwaukee) is getting mildly slammed. Certain people, in certain areas, should maybe think about taking some extra voluntary precautions. 2-3 weeks ago, when we first went into panic mode and did not have good data about how this was going to look across the US, I could have at least, maybe, understood the thought process. Would have totally disagreed then as now, but at least you could have said you were preparing for something totally unknown with an abundance of caution. But now, when it is so clear that these actions are neither necessary nor useful at this time in most areas, and when the horse would be well out of the barn even if they were, they are being ratcheted up and up and up. It makes no sense- now is when even the panic brigade should be in a holding pattern, realizing that we have done all we can do and now it’s just a matter of waiting for results, not taking even more extreme measures. But yet that is exactly what they are doing, even when the results ARE coming in and show that this is a big nothing burger.

  13. Give me liberty or give me COVID-19.

    Maybe the pandemic is just a test on how world governments can use something like a bad case of a viral respiratory infection, and completely control civilians by scaring the heck out of people using the overzealous corporate media or state controlled hungry for ratings or with some agenda. And turning people into mindless and frightened automatons who are willing to imprison themselves in their homes for months or even years.

    This will all be over with less than the amount of deaths seasonal influenza causes every year. No need to scare ourselves that this is some post apocalyptic mode we all need to go into by destroying the global economy and negatively impacting the livelihood of millions of people, and giving up all our freedoms which we will never get back.

    This virus probably existed out of China since December or January itself. The R0 (R Naught) and CFR will ultimately be revised to 1.2-1.5 and 0.3% respectively after the dust settles. Based on the rate the CFR is constantly being reduced from 4% to less than 1% which is the current scientific estimate.
    And this is Dr. Fauci’s estimate (New England Journal of Medicine (March 26th, 2020):

    Statistically, probability of dying is less than dying due to an auto accident (barring of course some vulnerable group of people). That doesn’t mean we lock ourselves at home and stop driving.

    I am also not saying that we should not take some precautions till the vaccine is developed – specially the most vulnerable who have compromised immune system, chronic pulmonary disease, heart condition, obesity etc..
    Social distancing does not mean that lockdown is the only way to do it. We can wear masks when outside of our homes, avoid unnecessary large social gatherings, keep personal distance of 6 feet etc., but being in a lockdown and shutting down the economy is not sustainable for the long term.

    I am sure more people will disagree with me than agree – but this is just my personal opinion. Not trying to trivialize the pandemic, but just putting things into perspective.

    BTW, I am a liberal. Paleo type of liberal, and not the mutated neoliberal.

    1. Statistically, probability of dying is less than dying due to an auto accident (barring of course some vulnerable group of people). That doesn’t mean we lock ourselves at home and stop driving.

      No. But it does mean we try to buy safe cars, obey traffic laws, don’t drink and drive, and wear seat belts. And, of course, there are government mandates about all those things, which have helped to lower the rate of fatalities per mile driven substantially.

      I suspect if, all of a sudden we had an exponentially rising number of car crashes which threatened the ability of ERs to cope, we’d probably stop driving for a while until we figured it out.

      Social distancing does not mean that lockdown is the only way to do it. We can wear masks when outside of our homes, avoid unnecessary large social gatherings, keep personal distance of 6 feet etc., but being in a lockdown and shutting down the economy is not sustainable for the long term.

      I’ve seen not a single argument for doing that. The discussion now is about when is the right time to start easing restrictions so that COVID-19 doesn’t flare up again and start overwhelming hospitals – not whether or not ever to do so.

    2. “This will all be over with less than the amount of deaths seasonal influenza causes every year” — I think you are ignoring some glaring data that the virus is much more deadly than the flu. In New York — 5,000 more people died in a one-month period than the average one-month death total (for all causes including flu). That pretty clearly illustrates how deadly the virus is. There’s no serious confounding variables or numbers to estimate there…. It’s just many, many more deaths than average. Trust me — I’m always skeptical about statistics with a hundred variables that could skew the data. But think about it — on a cruise ship where nearly everybody was infected, 7 people died, about a 1 percent death rate (10 times higher than flu). In New York, you got the daily death total double the average from all causes. It’s quite obviously a nightmare at this point

      1. “But think about it — on a cruise ship where nearly everybody was infected, 7 people died, about a 1 percent death rate”

        Only 20% infected, not “nearly everybody”, though everyone was not doubt exposed. The demographic also skewed older. And we definitely know that the fatality rate is strongly correlated with age.

        You should read John Ioannidis’ work on the Diamond Princess numbers.

        1. I hear you … but if I was on a cruise and 7 people dropped dead, even if they were older folks… I would be concerned that we were dealing with something far worse than the common cold. Think about the excess overall number of deaths in New York City — 3,000 more overall deaths in a month than average (for all causes). No guess work needed in that stat. I know it’s not ebola here. But even this study just got revised up to a nearly 1-percent death rate. That’s 8-12 times more severe than a common flu strain. I know someone in their 30s who had it and it wrecked them for more than a month — at one point she felt she could not breathe.

          1. Correction — roughly 5,000 more than average in New York City

  14. “I am sure more people will disagree with me than agree – but this is just my personal opinion. Not trying to trivialize the pandemic, but just putting things into perspective.”

    Not sure about that; a LOT of people here are very upset regarding the over-reaction of tin-pot dictators to what seems to be the equivalent of the seasonal flu.
    There should have been rioting in the streets.

    1. It’s quite obviously not the equivalent of the seasonal flu….. the amount of people dying every week in New York city is DOUBLE the average rate of deaths (for all causes, including the flu). So 5,000 more people died in a month in New York than the ordinary monthly totals for deaths in the city…. That’s the plainest, most simple stat to show you what’s going on and what could happen in every major U.S. city: let’s say in a terrible flu season, 6,000 or 6,500 people die in New York City in a month. Well were more than 9,000 in a month during this mess. That tells you the virus clearly unequivocally has the power to drastically increase population death rates in a large community.

  15. Can anybody tell me where these two published their findings? Id like to read the original report. I already read the Lancet infectious diseases article that was mentioned when it came out.
    Thanks, Edward

  16. Its ok I just found their full report thanks. On this site there is a link at the bottom of the page and you can download the pdf.

  17. Heres the link sorry forgot to paste above.

    1. However — it’s /not/ a published piece. Rather a blog post. I’ll be much more impressed if it actually passes peer review and gets into a good journal.

  18. Bit disappointing that they say at the end “putting an end to current travel restrictions and social distancing measures will not only require a strong reduction in the transmission of new cases but also major improvements in the ability of countries to detect new infection to then adopt adequate measures for isolating infected patients and tracing potential contact persons.”

    I suppose they are academics though, not clinicians. Main point for me was if the infection prevalence really is that high it ties in with my anecdotal experience, that for the vast majority of persons the infection is completely harmless.

    1. “I suppose they are academics though, not clinicians. Main point for me was if the infection prevalence really is that high it ties in with my anecdotal experience, that for the vast majority of persons the infection is completely harmless.”

      There are many reasons NOT to wreck the economy over cold symptoms, I don’t care how many catch a cold.
      They are going to suffer far more from the tanked economy over the next X months/years than they would from the sniffles.

  19. It’s simple. All we have to do is test everyone on Earth…every two weeks…for a year.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    1. With a 30% false negative rate to boot.

  20. >>”The true number of infected people worldwide may already have reached several tens of millions,”

    number of dead persons didn’t go up though, so global non-demic?

  21. When people say that IFR is usually overestimated at the beginning, that isn’t always true. There’s been several cases where the reverse has happened. If my memory serves me correctly, that was the case with SARS.

  22. “COVID-19 isn’t serious because I don’t like the government telling me what to do” is not a very good argument.

    This disease is killing a lot of people, and a lot more will die if hospital beds are available to treat those who are made very, very sick by it. The fear is not manufactured; it comes from seeing what’s happening in hotspots.

    I’ve had friends who have lost family members and close friends to COVID-19; in some cases, people like me in age, health, and profession. I can’t remember the last time anyone I knew had a family member or friend die of flu.

    1. I suppose that depends on how you define ‘a lot of people’. We have ~122k deaths *worldwide*, that’s not a lot. There are 7.8 billion people, after all. That’s just 0.0016% of the world population. Even a million global deaths in today’s population probably wouldn’t make it severe enough to qualify as a category 2 pandemic.

      (Pandemic flu has killed at least a million people worldwide ~4 times in the last ~150 years, and 2009’s swine flu estimates go as high as 600k deaths worldwide. I consider 2009’s Swine Flu to be ‘not serious’, and the US certainly didn’t go into lockdown because of it).

      Young people do occasionally die of flu. Flu deaths among children are actually more common than covid-19 deaths among children, since covid-19 deaths among people younger than 10 are vanishingly rare.

      An interesting note from the CEBM (Center for Evidence-Based Medicine) is that Covid-19 doesn’t behave like an historical pandemic. Historical pandemics *skew young* in their victims, with 80% of deaths being below 65. However, 90% of covid-19 deaths are above 65.

    2. Yet ~40,000 to ~60,000 American die of the flu every year.

    3. I hate to tell you this but people get sick and die every year. Even without a coronavirus going around. This fact may be related to an even more troubling rumor that has been making the rounds: people are mortal. This rumor says that every person will eventually die.

      I know, it’s scary.

      “I can’t remember the last time anyone I knew had a family member or friend die of flu.”

      Well, more people die of the flu in most years than have died of Covid-19 this year, so you must believe that a combination of two conspiracies is at play here: flu deaths have been overcounted and/or Covid-19 deaths are being undercounted. Please, tell us some of you other conspiracy theories.

      1. Bud, you are saying that more people die in a YEAR from flu, and then comparing that to …. 90 days of counting COVID deaths (with an entire shutdown of social interaction, no less). You don’t see a problem with your math there? I hate to sound like a broken record, but in New York City, 9,000 people died last month total, vs. the average of roughly 5,000 deaths per month total. Let’s be super conservative and say only 2,000 to 3,000 more people died last month directly as a result of COVID in New York…. The death rate (for all causes) went up at least 30 percent in a major U.S. city. You don’t see how dangerous it could be if that were happening in major cities across the U.S.?

      2. And I should add…. that rough average of 5,000 to 6,000 deaths per month in New York INCLUDES flu deaths…. The flu does not cause 9,000 monthly deaths in the city. This virus did.

  23. If the mortality rate is actually only a few times seasonal flu and only a couple of times worse than fu in a bad season, then tanking the world economy and driving 20 million American into unemployment was criminally irresponsible.

  24. However — it’s /not/ a published piece. Rather a blog post. I’ll be much more impressed if it actually passes peer review and gets into a good journal.

  25. “the true number … may already have reached several tens of millions”.

    Or, it may not have. Nobody has a fucking clue. This particular study uses information obtained from China. Why would anybody waste their time with Chinese data? Why would Reason put out a story on a study that was based on Chinese data when they know Chinese data is garbage?

    Click-bait for cash, gotta pay the bills.

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