Daily Coronavirus Deaths in Europe Have Returned to March/April Peak

A helpful (and frightening) graph from Statista, as of today (Nov. 11).


You can see the original here on the Statista site, which I much recommend for this. The surge is a mix of a second wave in some Western European countries (e.g., Belgium, Spain, France, UK, Italy) and a first wave in some Eastern/East-Central European countries (e.g., Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania). Indeed, some countries which had a relatively mild first wave (Austria, Switzerland, Portugal) are now having more deaths per day in the second wave than in the first.

At this point, the per-capita death coronavirus rate over the last several days in Europe as a whole appears to be materially higher than in the U.S.; this is particularly striking, for instance, in the larger Western European countries that had already experienced the first wave (I include here just countries with population of 10M or above), though it's even more visible in some of the first-wave Eastern countries:

  • Belgium: 107.11 deaths per million over the last 7 days.
  • Italy: 42.56.
  • France: 34.12.
  • Portugal: 31.84.
  • UK: 30.33.
  • Netherlands: 26.25.
  • Spain: 26.06.
  • US: 17.31.
  • Germany: 10.01.
  • Sweden: 5.83.

But the U.S. death rate may yet be on the way up as well (given the increase in U.S. cases over the last few weeks).

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  1. I am confused.

    Trump said that Covid would disappear on November 4, 2020. That it was just a big ol’ media hoax.

    But it didn’t. In fact, it’s getting worse (which is unsurprising, given that we have colder weather, assuming you believe in stupid things like facts).

    But Trump is always right. Which means that …. the Covid hoax is only continuing because Trump hasn’t conceded yet.

    Thank goodness! For a second there, I thought he might have been lying, or something.

    1. Also, remember how the blue state governors were going to lift restrictions right after the election because they were just trying to make Trump look bad?

      Turns out that basically the opposite happened: right after the election, Utah imposed a bunch of new restrictions including a statewide mask mandate and a two-week ban on social gatherings.

      1. Is Utah a Blue State? Can I have some of what you’re smoking, please?

        1. Congratulations, you’re halfway to figuring out why this is indeed the opposite of blue state governors waiting until after the election to lift restrictions.

    2. Lying, maybe not. Stupid, yes.

      1. No, it’s really lying. Or maybe not lying- just uncaring of the truth.

        Below, SteveMG raises the point that it’s not like Trump murdered 200,000+ Americans. Which is true. No honest broker should expect perfect performance during a pandemic, especially one with a novel virus. In many ways, Covid is a perfect storm when it comes to fighting it off. Just think-

        1. It’s novel. No one had seen it. People were arguing about methods of transmission for some time, and are still arguing about basic things like possible long-term effects.

        2. It’s not so deadly that people go into a serious panic (like Ebola), but it’s deadly and transmissible. In other words, it’s really bad and deadly, but also … well, people keep letting their guard down, because you’re not going to have blood pouring out of your body.

        3. It’s similar enough to things people know about (influenza, common cold) that people make stupid comparisons, but different enough that those stupid comparisons are stupid.

        4. People had little idea what the preferred course of treatment was, or even what the defining symptoms were; there is still confusion on this, although we are much better.

        I could keep going on, but you get the idea.

        And the Trump Administration does deserve a lot of credit for some things; fast-tracking vaccines, for example, and putting money into that (although I would say that cooperation with certain allied countries would not have hurt).

        ….but the continued lying to the American People, the unnecessary involvement of Trump in the press conferences, so many things that devalued trust in institutions; that hurts response because it hurts public health measures. During a pandemic, when dealing with a novel disease, things will be done wrong or incorrectly, but you need to develop a base level of trust that, at a minimum, you are disseminating trustworthy information to the best of your ability, and that you are not changing things up for purely political reasons (or, worse, to make yourself look better).

        Trump did not murder all the people that died during the pandemic. But he needlessly turned it into yet another divisive issue, and corrupted the basic channels of information, and made this Country (and our systems, which were and should be the envy of the world) look like the Three Stooges.

        Which resulted in needless deaths. And probably more, given that confidence in public health is undermined. We will have to see what happens with vaccination rates.

        1. Loki,
          I don’t disagree.
          Had Trump not committed the “errors” that you point out, he would have been re-elected. Being that uncaring was certainly stupid.

        2. Odd – that with all you complaints about Trumps screw ups-
          In comparison with most of Europe, The USA is basically on par

          Other than the screw up in the NE USA with Coumo and NJ, the rest of the USA is doing better than most every other european country except a few such as norway and finland.

          The virus is bad, but it goes to show mother nature is more powerful than man

          1. “The virus is bad, but it goes to show mother nature is more powerful than man”

            Don’t try to tell that the the global-climate-warming-change crowd.
            You will be first up against the wall.

            1. Yeah, humans never do anything to mitigate the effects of nature.

          2. When we look back on this in 30 years, few people will look good.

        3. With all these supposed errors, the US has a lower death rate than Europe at present, so it’s hard for me to see why they should be considered significant. It’s clear that no one has any good ideas for ameliorating the situation, but Trump haters will do their thing without regard to any particular facts.

    3. With Trump, it isn’t so much lying as bulllshitting, in the Frankfurtian sense.

      1. Does the “Frankfurtian sense” require 3 l’s?

        1. I have a new keyboard and am still adjusting to it. 🙂

    4. The people in government rarely give back power and control they take.

      Democrats love controlling others and I doubt they will ever relinquish COVID control over the people they govern.

      1. Hey. It’s Grampa Gompers!

        Don’t you have a hoax video to spread?

    5. I’m confused too. I thought that the enlightened, science-loving leaders of Europe were so much wiser than Trump and were doing a far better job than the USA in bringing infections under control, to the point that they were not letting disease-bearing Americans into their pristine, safe countries.

      What happened?

  2. What’s up with Belgium? They had the highest per capita death rate in Europe (by a pretty wide margin) the first time around, and they look like they are going to repeat the performance.

    Could it be population density?

    1. There does not seem to be a strong correlation between population density and case fatality rate on a national basis.

      1. What else is there that distinguishes Belgium? Mayo on their fries? Waffles and chocolate? I’d hate to think that any of those things could have any effect other than making one fat and happy.

        More seriously, I wonder if it could have anything to do with hosting NATO, and all the attendant travel from various countries.

  3. Remember, it is no worse than the flu, and we’re already past the worst. Donnie seemed to have a great time catching it, and has assured you that you’ll get the same care he did.

    Also, it is your moral obligation to resist any efforts to contain it, because #freedom.

    1. You tell those darned freedom and Trump loving Europeans!

  4. I am confused.

    All the Dems and media said our response was uniquely bad because of Trump.

    But here we have multiple countries in progressive and scientific Europe with significantly worse responses.

    Must be an error.

    For a second there, I thought they might have been lying, or something.

  5. How do these numbers compare with flu deaths in a normal year?

    (In the charts I’ve seen, official flu deaths this year are near zero, showing that most of them, as well as a lot of deaths from third causes, are being misclassified as Covid deaths, probably so that healthcare providers can get subsidies earmarked for Covid cases. This holds true over most of the world.)

    1. jdg,
      The number of flu deaths is highly variable year to year. Moreover, they rates remain highly uncertain for at least several months after the end of the “flu season” the Number in the US for last year was between 60K and 90K

      1. Medicare pays an extra $16,000 for Covid cases. Make of that what you will.

        1. granted the incentive to code cases as covid exists, though I doubt the misclassification accounts for more than 5%,

          I am in a national data base as having asthma even though I have zero symptoms. So I am very familiar with agenda driven medical coding

          1. They coded you as asthmatic so they can confine you to your home when the mask mandate goes into effect. Too sick to wear a mask, too sick to go out. And if you keep saying bad things, they will cut off your internet/web access.

            1. I am sure there is miscoding in all death statistics. Like, for instance, there are probably deaths coded as drunk driving that were not due to drunk driving. Nothing is perfectly accurate.

              The problem I have with the American right on that is jumping from that to the conclusion that therefore drunk driving isn’t a serious problem or doesn’t kill anyone.

            2. this happened 20+ years ago, at that time there was a big push to show that asthma cases were increasing along with trying to demonstrate an environmental cause. The doctor was caught up in the fad/agenda and there was a bias to interpret the tests to show asthma. As side note, i have had the vo2 max test results on the high side, just the opposite of the asthma tests.

              Additionally, I have two individuals that I who both caught pneumonia this summer, but were misdiagnosed with covid and received bad medical treatment due to the bias leading to the misdiagnosis. (both in arlington texas)

              That being said, if the asthma experience and the two two pneumonia cases is indicative of the covid bias, then there is probably a over coding of covid cases.

      2. Moreover, they rates remain highly uncertain for at least several months after the end of the “flu season”

        Actually, the rates remain highly uncertain forever since we don’t comprehensively test for influenza and thus are merely “modeling” (aka guessing) its prevalence.

        And given that these models apparently try to make a good-faith estimate of deaths actually caused by the flu rather than deaths that occur when people have the flu, it’s impossible to compare those estimates to the way we’re currently counting COVID deaths.

        1. Exactly.

          Any way to tell what the deaths from COVID are, as opposed to deaths with COVID that we currently have, or will that be even more than highly uncertain forever?

    2. A typical flu season in the US results in 30,000-40,000 deaths in a year. The worst flu season we had in the past decade resulted in around 60,000 deaths. Even if you assume, without evidence, that 100% of the flu deaths during the past year in the US were miscategorized as Covid deaths, if we had a normal flu season, that would still leave us with around 200,000 actual Covid deaths, or about 5-7 times worse than a normal flu season.

      1. Except those 200,000 deaths are deaths WITH COVID, not necessarily death FROM COVID.

        1. If only we could measure excess mortality over normal years. Oh wait, we can.

          1. more suicides, more drug overdoses, more murders…

            1. Those are pretty easy to count up separately, and don’t nearly explain the excess mortality in 2020.

  6. But Europe was supposed to have Covid under control using its big government solutions and the US was bad because we didn’t use a big government command control style solution for this problem.

    1. Jimmy, Skip the blah-blah.
      But the European experience also shows the the Democrats claims of gross incompetence by the Administration was also political blah-blah.

    2. Well, yes but the counter argument could be that things would be even worse without those measures.
      Look, Trump and his people WERE incompetent and slow to respond. That’s a fair criticism. We know how bureaucracies are slow to respond to a crisis; the president (or someone) has to be on top of them and force them to react. The Manhattan Project analogy is useful here. It wasn’t until Groves was put in charge that the program got started. The military simply didn’t want to use resources on a pie in the sky proposal.
      But these claims that “Trump murdered 200,000 Americans” is just hysterical nonsense. Are all of the these leaders of other countries similarly culpable? What about governors? I’m a Never Trumper but this over the top criticism of the man has actually helped him succeed to this point.

  7. There is no indication of an increase in US daily case fatality rate for the past 50 days.

    1. Who cares if the CFR is increasing? The thing that is increasing is total number of deaths because more people are getting Coronavirus.

      In fact, it does seem that we’ve gotten better at treating the disease as CFR has come down over time, but that’s now being totally swamped by new infections so total deaths are back on the upswing.

      1. Who cares? I am glad that you are not in charge of public health policy.
        You state the obvious. The more people that get sick the more that will die.
        The more people who get sick, the more who will have residual (and maybe permanent) residual physical and neurological damage.

        1. Right, so the goal should be to keep the number of people getting sick down, not pat ourselves on the back that the same fraction of them are dying as before.

          1. Yes, we should try to get the number getting sick down, BUT it is a valuable advance that all over the world, public health officials and physicians have learned how to deliver earlier treatments and better treatments that do not in themselves inflict serious long term damage and even death.

            1. Okay, you’re right that my initial “who cares” was not the right reaction. It is obviously good and important that we’ve gotten better at treating the disease and brought CFR down (which I did acknowledge). I had read your initial message as trying to engage in the same “look over here” tactic that Trump often engages in to look only at CFR and ignore statistics like infection rate and deaths per capita.

      2. Deaths are always rising. You cannot un-die, yet.

        What we have seen though is that the hysteria was overblown. And the virus didn’t seem to get the memo about your mask mandates and social distancing. We can mitigate the risk, by being smarter than “muh masks”, without complaining that “literally Hitler” didn’t authoritarian hard enough, but he’s definitely throwing a coup to become the Last Best President Ever for life, by letting blue state governors show him what dictatorship looks like.

        Y’all are just… insane.

  8. Sweden, otoh, is not seeing an increase in deaths. If anything, they’ve been trending down in the last week.

    1. The daily case fatality rate is much smaller than the first wave in Sweden. The present rate have weak statistical significance and trends over 1 week are similarly meaningless.

      1. Yes, but Sweden’s death rate has been going down reasonably consistently since the peak. Their cases are going up, but the deaths are not. The rest of Europe is not so lucky. Why is that, do you think?

        1. Maybe Sweden had it right with their half-lockdown. It’s a bit early to tell yet.

          But that doesn’t really have a lot of implications for public health decisions being made right now.

          1. Looking at the European examples, it is difficult to know what that means for present policies.
            What does not make any real difference to contagion is virtue signaling.
            If you want a better idea of disease transmission through air. listen to this TED talk. You’ll realize that make experimental measurements about mask efficacy are likely to be misleading especially if the measurements have not be conducted with biologicals,

          2. Sure it does. Stop with the lockdowns and mask mandates. It’s security theatre. The ‘shut it down’ calls to every little inflection in cases sound just like the hysteria over airport security after 9/11. All the TSA nonsense was security theatre then and now, too.

            We knew from the beginning that social distancing was supposed to flatten the curve – not reduce deaths or cases, but spread them out. We did that. After that point it’s all been security theatre.

            You can plot mask mandates and lockdowns on the daily case and death plots, and those locations are pretty much random with respect to what the virus was doing at the time. Similarly, TSA has repeatedly been demonstrated to not actually increase security. The situations are exactly analogous – we get driven into a media-fed fear state, and we demand security theatre, not because it works, but because we demand government do something. It’s just pure stupidity.

            With TSA at least it _only_ (and i hate that i can use that word here) caused massive delays and needless groping of the public by government officials. With Covid-19 we’re shooting our economy in the head.

            1957 and 1968 both witnessed flu pandemics which killed over 100k americans (and over 1 million people worldwide), in a world with lower population. Government did basically nothing. Nothing shut down. The media barely covered it. People who lived through the 1968 pandemic, even as adults, barely remember it. Yes, over 100k Americans died and barely anyone remembers there was a pandemic. (Heck, my mother was a nurse at the time, and she barely remembers there was a flu pandemic). That should have been our response this time, too. Sweden got it right, and our public health response going forward should be the same.

            1. Maybe means the results are nowhere in any kind of probative shape yet.

              And even if they were, Sweden is not us. Plus, of course, *Sweden had a lockdown* just not as hardcore on as Europe. Or, more or less what the US did by accident.

              New York’s been doing pretty great lately, you want to take that as an example?

              Quit fitting unbaked science into your narrative.

              1. Sarcastr0
                November.11.2020 at 4:25 pm
                “New York’s been doing pretty great lately, you want to take that as an example?”

                New york and NJ have 1,783 and 1,870 deaths per million respectively vs Sweden with 601 deaths per million.
                both NY & NJ began their second wave starting late sept and early Oct.

                Deaths are down, though mostly because all three burned through a lot of dry tinder in the spring.

                Might actually check the data before commenting


                1. Among US States, NY is ranked like in the 30s. Which is quite a change.

                  How could Sweden’s plan be good, but NY be getting the same result with a lockdown?

                  Bottom line is anyone seeing a clear policy upshot from the facts at this point is adding a heaping helping of their own bias.

                  1. Sarcastro – “Among US States, NY is ranked like in the 30s. Which is quite a change.”

                    Needs repeating since you obviously missed it New York and NJ have 1,783 and 1,870 deaths per million respectively vs Sweden with 601 deaths per million.

                    That is Number 1 and Number 2 in deaths per million. State number 30 is ohio with 484 deaths per million.

                    NY is number 1 in total deaths
                    NJ is number 5 in total deaths

                    1. It’s almost as though your metric sucks because you are comparing to disparate places, whereas comparing states might work a bit better.
                      And that your use of total deaths is another flawed choice of metric.

                      You really are outcome-oriented as all hell. We don’t know enough. Sorry your narrative isn’t as proven as you feel it is.

              2. Which unbaked science, exactly?

                The history is pretty on point. When the media doesn’t drive us into a fear frenzy, mild pandemics don’t require a response.

                And Sweden had no lockdown. They made some recommendations, but they let the economy keep working.

                1. WTF? Plenty of counterexamples to your ‘history’ regarding pandemics.

                  You also seem to be focusing on economics and not, you know, lives. And you still get it wrong even on that front.

                  Sweden imposed a lockdown today.
                  And previously, uh…”“It is not a lockdown but some extra recommendations that could be communicated locally when a need from the regional authorities is communicated and the Public Health Agency so decides.”
                  Yeah, not a lockdown.

                  Your ideology has blinded you to the point you just state 3 completely incorrect things like they are facts.

                  1. “Sweden imposed a lockdown today.”

                    Am I getting that right – the lockdown is that bars can’t sell alcohol after 10PM? That’s a pretty mild lockdown, as lockdowns go, don’t you think? Probably not a whole lot of people thrown out of work by that?

                    1. Especially on top of their current policies it’s well beyond what people advocating the Swedish model want to admit.

                  2. yet your were claiming NY was doing pretty well these days – Thats like claiming the the fire is under control after the house was burned to the ground

                    1. No, Joe – I’m discussing policy, and using comparable cohorts.

                      Not whatever propaganda nonsense you’re doing that requires comparing New York State to Sweden like they’re similar.

                  3. Historical/
                    Pandemics are rated on a Pandemic Severity Index, based on their IFR. Something on the order of seasonal flu is a category 1 (IFR <= 0.1%). Hong Kong Flu (1968) and Asian Flu (1957) are category 2 (0.1%<IFR<=0.5%). And so on. Spanish Flu was a category *5*.

                    So appropriate historical comparisons mean comparing it to a pandemic with a similar category rating. Covid-19 is clearly a category 2. It's estimated IFR by the CDC (last i saw) was 0.26%, which is in the same class as Hong Kong Flu and Asian Flu, and (iirc) actually less than both of them. Ergo, those are the correct historical comparisons. Comparing to a Category 5 pandemic like Spanish Flu is wholly inappropriate.

                    Economics ARE lives. That some people don't understand this makes me want to beat my head against my desk.

                    On the one hand, economic despair leads to more deaths. This is proven – the literature is vast, and the causes are numerous. When that economic despair is *optional* (artificially caused by lockdowns), you're choosing to cause those deaths.

                    On the other hand, economics captures *what we do with our life*. A life cowering in my house in fear to a virus that is exceedingly unlikely to kill me is not a life. My life is measured by how i work and how i play – take away those things, and my life is a nullity.

                    Aside from that, the risk assessment is bonkers. 242k people have died in the US this year from Covid-19 so far – 300k seems like a reasonable annualized total. So the average risk is less than half that of heart disease. Should the government compel people to eat better to reduce heart disease deaths?

                    Finally, the lockdowns prevented no deaths. They just spread them out more. Which is exactly the logic of 'flattening the curve' – not to prevent cases and deaths, but to delay cases and deaths. Which is exactly what Fauci was telling us back in March. And social distancing accomplished most of that – lockdowns were unnecessary (they came too late to matter), and mask mandates were unnecessary (they came after the initial peaks).

                    (Of course, our shortage of hospital beds was frequently caused by Certificate of Need laws, so there's certainly lessons to learn here, but they aren't 'government must institute draconian measures because a mild pandemic comes along').

                    They literally just imposed their first "lockdown" ALL pandemic, pretty much while i was typing my initial comment in this thread.

                    "For the first time since the pandemic started, Sweden is imposing a partial lockdown on bars and restaurants by banning the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m."

                    And… that's not really a lockdown. No one is locked down. That's a (very limited) curfew. Fortune is characterizing 'banning the sale of alcohol after 10pm' as a lockdown, which is a gross abuse of language. That's like a Tuesday in non-pandemic Pennsylvania.

                    99.9% of Sweden's economy remains functional. You can argue the semantics about a limited curfew on alcohol sales being a lockdown all you like, but the key part is Sweden has done very little to interfere with private economic activity.

                    (I doubt this "lockdown" is going to be very effective at doing anything – it would surprise me if 'alcohol sold after 10pm' is the cause of most or even much of their new covid-19 cases. And with deaths per day bottomed out, the actual medical consequences of covid-19 in Sweden have been minor for months).

  9. Much as I appreciate the trendiness of sowing panic in the unwashed masses, you must realize that it is not at all clear how to interpret this data.

    Testing has gone way up in Europe and elsewhere, and the difficulty in attributing Corona-caused deaths causes some countries to label as such any death in which a patient tested positive for the disease within the last month.

    Perhaps a more meaningful statistic would be to look at excess deaths, year on end, but even that is fraught with problems, such as the fact that we have completely disrupted typical social patterns with lockdowns and social distancing … to the extent that it’s hard to discern deaths caused by COVID mitigation (e.g., suicide, unaddressed cardiac conditions, …) from others.

    In short, it is downright irresponsible to put up graphs of raw data without context to an audience that may or may not be able to infer the context and meaning. Bad professor.

    1. “more meaningful statistic would be to look at excess deaths, year on end, ”
      You might think so. But almost as many countries have fewer deaths this year than increased deaths.

      1. Given how age-skewed deaths due to covid-19 are, would it really be surpising if a lot of them were likely to die this year anyway?

        AtR has it exactly right – the problem is separating out deaths caused by our response from deaths actually caused by Covid-19. Because those ~half of countries with excess deaths might be due to the response, not covid-19 itself.

        1. The deaths are very aged skewed.

          Sweden has been held up both as an example of how to screw things up worse than Coumo and at the same time Sweden demonstrated how to best acquire herd immunity to minimize the long term damage. (it didnt work out so well – at least not yet)
          However, one item overlooked in sweden with their high death rate (at least at the early stages) is they had significantly more dry tender than their neighbor nordic neighbors. OBvioulsy the higher amount of dry tinder doesnt account for all the delta, but it does account for a portion.

          1. 1) Sweden has not achieved herd resistance.
            2) The amount of “dry tinder” is not very different than any other country in northern Europe. That hypothesis of yours doesn’t match any demographics as the number of those in vulnerable age groups id much larger than the number of fatalities.
            3) The case fatality rate has fallen in almost every country although there are a few exceptions.

            1. The case fatality rate has mostly fallen because more testing = more mild cases diagnosed.

              We caught pretty much all the severe cases early on and few of the mild ones. All the additional testing adds mild cases, so of course a higher proportion survive.

              The last IFR estimate from the CDC was 0.26%. Less bad than any pandemic flu in the last 150 years.

              1. There is little medicine behind your claim.
                CFRs have fallen because infections are recognized sooner and patients receive treatment sooner this avoiding the damage caused by ventilators. In addition the ventilation is no longer as aggressive as it was initially. Agressive overpressure frequently led to permanent lung damage.

                1. So you’re claiming that massively increased testing doesn’t identify relatively more mild cases than when testing is limited only to those with severe symptoms? I’d like to see evidence of that. That’s both counterintuitive and logically implausible.

                  I agree, treatment has improved somewhat – especially less ventilator use. But i doubt that accounts for much of the change in case fatality rate.

        2. ” Because those ~half of countries with excess deaths might be due to the response, not covid-19 itself.”
          Yours is a completely unverified and perhaps unverifiable speculation. Have you even looked at the statistics on a world wide basis?

          1. Speculation? Sure. It may be unknowable.

            However, we *know* the cost of lockdowns can be measured in bodies. Delayed diagnostic procedures for life threatening injuries. Unwillingness to seek medical attention even for known life threatening conditions. The rate of heart attacks didn’t magically go down, but the rate of 911 calls for them did! And economic despair and isolation causes depression and suicides.

            Knowing that there’s a cost for the response that can be measured in bodies, some of the excess deaths are certainly due to the response. If virtually half the countries aren’t seeing any excess deaths, wondering if those excess deaths are driven by policy rather than viral outcomes is natural.

            Can I prove it? Of course not, not now. (It hasn’t even been a year – week by week excess deaths are meaningless). Hopefully someone will try to disentangle the effect of the lockdowns from the effect of the virus itself. But just because it’s unverified doesn’t mean you can dismiss it out of hand – that all ‘excess deaths’ are due to the virus is itself unverified speculation.

            1. ” we *know* the cost of lockdowns can be measured in bodies. ”
              That claim is doubtless true, but has yet to be documented quantitatively especially as many of the effects of non-diagnosis or non-treatment with take some years to come to their consequence

              1. Documenting this lockdown’s cost in bodies can’t be accurately done yet. But we can look at previous recessions – there’s a pretty decent literature on this topic.

                See, for example, https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)61910-2/fulltext

  10. Both sides fucked up the Coronavirus response, and both sides politicized it, resulting in the fact that it has been very difficult to get straight info from any source.

    1. “Both sides fucked up the Coronavirus response, and both sides politicized it, resulting in the fact that it has been very difficult to get straight info from any source.”

      probably the most objective and accurate statement yet. though I might have been more tactful.

    2. “Both sides fucked up the Coronavirus response”
      Who are “both sides” and how exactly did they fuck up aside from the trivial statement that everyone makes mistakes.

  11. The only way out is through, lockdowns don’t work. So, to follow the Ezekiel Emanuel plan, as long as the median age is above 67, 20-30 million deaths are acceptable losses.

    1. That dude is a weirdo who sucks and I’m not happy he’s on Biden’s taskforce, but that’s not what he said.

      1. Read between the lines. To pay for all the new programs, money has to come from somewhere. If not culled, Boomers will devour government spending, leaving no resources for the Green new Deal, free college, etc…

        1. Will the Secret Service let Ezekiel Emanuel alone with Biden? Biden should have killed himself 3 years ago per Emanuel

        2. Norman, how about culling you first.

          1. OK, Boomer.

  12. Stay safe, everyone. Be careful. Try not to contribute to — or disregard — general risk and misery.

    Thank you.

  13. There is no good evidence that masks actually work.

    Just one fascinating fact in all that is going on.

    1. Masks work except during peaceful protests and election celebrations when they are not needed.

    2. “There is no good evidence that masks actually work.”

      Pandemic management tips from disaffected, uneducated, no-count clingers are always a treat — especially from people who claim that praying to illusory gods works better than a mask.

      1. That’s not a very respectful way to speak of Dr. Anthony Fauci of March 2020.

        1. This isn’t March 2020, you half-educated, nonsense-embracing, inconsequential rube.

          1. Fake lawyer, fake reverend, fake poll watcher.

        2. When scientific results change, Fauci changed his position.
          There can be an interesting discussion of bias in scientific results underlying that change.

          But your cheap shot just shows you care mostly about propaganda these days.

          1. Well, Fauci himself would admit that there is zero trial evidence that masks work.

            There has been one trial study out of Denmark, and it is currently being suppressed from publication. Rumor is that the results are, well, guess.

            Of course, before COVID, the flu has been studied for 100 years, and that evidence would apply here as well. What is the evidence? It suggests masks have no effect in preventing the spread of the flu. (Incidentally, 100 years of studying the flu has also yielded no evidence of meaningful asymptomatic spread, and after 100 years of study scientists continue to disagree on whether asymptomatic spread is a significant vector for flu spread.)

            So you can understand why Fauci said masks are useless. But at the same time, you can understand why he changed his tune as a public figure, to err on the side of “doing something.”

          2. Scientific results never changed, though. There hasn’t been a single experimental study on the efficacy of masks since the pandemic started.

            Meta-analysis of all the experimental mask studies on the effectiveness of masks against viral transmission pre-Covid-19 (for respiratory viruses) clearly demonstrated no effect of masks.

            And the *observational* studies which have claimed an effect of mask mandates are laughable. Remember the mask mandates happened *after* the peak in cases in wave 1, while cases were already going down anyway. So the studies compared daily case rates before and after the mask mandate… which was useless, because the case rates were *already going down*, and they simply continued going down. Their null hypothesis (that case rates would stay the same) was obviously false even in the hypothetical world without mask mandates. (And yes, i actually read some of those studies. Their methodology really is that bad – i actually cracked up laughing when i realized what the first one was statistically testing).

            1. The CDC has released a new writeup which has helpful footnotes to fairly extensive data on mask efficacy.

              1. Absaroka, this is the same CDC that encouraged COVID-positive citizens to vote in person (https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/11/03/cdc-covid-19-vote-election/).

                How is that they have even a shred of credibility left?

                1. You might follow the footnotes, and address those underlying studies. Those aren’t the CDC talking.

                  Particularly when people are saying ‘there aren’t any studies showing mask efficacy’ … and there are several in those footnotes.

                  1. I’m well familiar with the studies in the footnotes. The CDC admits outright that ‘Data regarding the “real-world” effectiveness of community masking are limited to observational and epidemiological studies.’ and that is, in fact the state of the field.

                    Researchers are desperately looking to justify the CDCs masking mandate, but there is no clear science to support them.

                    1. If you are saying that there is no clear science to say that a mask improperly worn stops the spread of virions via aerosols, then you are correct.

                    2. I’m a little confused here. I looked at the studies referenced in footnotes 32 through 45. They provide extensive evidence of mask efficacy. For just one example (#39):

                      “Depending on the region we analyse, we find that face masks reduced the cumulative number of registered Covid-19 cases between 2.3% and 13% over a period of 10 days after they became compulsory. Assessing the credibility of the various estimates, we conclude that face masks reduce the daily growth rate of reported infections by around 40%.”

                      “effectiveness of community masking are limited to observational and epidemiological studies”

                      You are objecting to epidemiological studies … of an epidemic? Can you flesh out your objections a little more? What kind of studies would you like to see instead? There are lots of lab based studies, but they presumably don’t meet your ‘real world’ requirement???

                    3. Absaroka:

                      That evidence is weaker than the evidence supporting effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.

                    4. Absaroka: none of those are experimental studies. They’re observing differences between uncontrolled ‘natural’ events and trying to estimate something.

                      Here’s the primary problem: when mask mandates were implemented, daily cases were already trending down. So the study found fewer daily cases after mask mandates than before, and despite the existing trend in that direction, they concluded the difference was entirely due to masks! It’s terrible reasoning, the wrong null hypothesis, and bad science.

                      Experimental study (blind, with controls) or it doesn’t mean a damn thing.

            2. ” There hasn’t been a single experimental study on the efficacy of masks since the pandemic started”
              Wrong! See the high impact factor journal Nature Medicine
              NATURE MEDICINE | VOL 26 | MAY 2020 676 | 676–680 | http://www.nature.com/naturemedicine

              1. Please give a proper citation. The only experimental studies of which I am aware were mechanistic studies – showing that masks can stop some droplets or aerosols.

                This is a far cry from showing that masks are effective in reducing transmission of an extremely contagious virus.

                1. Did you read the paper cited? It is a proper study with biologicals. Does it control air pathways in a quantitative fashion? Probably not, but few studies do.
                  If you are serious interested in learning about the mechanics of air transmission and controlling air flow from breathing watch
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ1NN0HZWcQ from MIT professor of fluid dynamics, Lydia Bourouiba.

                  1. You gave only a partial citation … no author or title of the paper. I am familiar with the mechanics of air transmission … that’s not the point.

                    There are many ways for very small viruses to move from person to person (e.g., they may be aerosolized by your cloth mask and then waft into my nasal cavity) … they may exit through the parts of your mask that are not tightly fit to your face … they may collect on the outer surface of your mask until you scrape them off when you improperly remove your own mask.

                    Bottom line, you need strong scientific evidence to remove people’s freedoms in the interest of public health. When you don’t have that, you may be cause significant damage with your good intentions.

              2. A link to Nature Medicine rather than a specific paper isn’t very useful.

                But i think i managed to track down the right paper, and you’re definitely over-hyping it.

                -Masks had no significant effect on droplets for coronaviruses (p=0.07)
                -While the effect of masks on coronaviruses was weakly significant (p=0.02), that’s really not enough for a controlled setting. p<0.01 should be a bare minimum, and they can't even hit that.
                -Small coronavirus sample size is a serious issue – and if you combine all three (flu, coronavirus, and rhinovirus) datasets, there's no significant effect.
                -Flu: masks had a significant (p=0.01) effect on droplets, but not aerosols
                -Rhinoviruses: no significant effects
                -Most data points, masks or not masks, had very little RNA load, any significant differences were due to differences in the number of a small handful of more loaded instances. This suggests the sample size is woefully inadequate for answering the question they're asking, because effectively the only useful data is those rare data points where you get higher RNA loadings. (And coronavirus had a total n=17 across all sampling types)
                -Separating out the analysis by type of infection is a kind of p-hacking. They've created 6 comparisons instead of 2, which gives them more chances of finding a significant result *by accident*. P-hacking is a definite problem, because they never corrected for multiple comparisons. Actually making the correction leaves them with NO significant results.

                That said, it isn't even addressing the right question. They tested RNA load in droplets and aerosols, not transmission rate. Whether or not RNA load in droplets or aerosols (and which ones) of the relevant ranges may have a connection to transmission rate, or it may not – not established. So they're measuring something which may or may not be relevant.

                1. Oh yeah, they’re also claiming p=0.07 is a significant result in their discussion. What the hell? No, no it’s not. I can’t believe anyone actually peer-reviewed this.

                2. Also:
                  “The major limitation of our study was the large proportion of participants with undetectable viral shedding in exhaled breath for each of the viruses studied.”

                  Which is exactly what i said about only a small handful of more loaded instances were relevant, and its why their sample size is grossly insufficient.

      2. Masks and praying to illusory gods work about the same, neither has any effect.

    3. That is because of the Magic of Diversity(TM), Bob. It does amazing things according to liberals.

  14. When will the NYT explain how the European death rate is Trump’s fault?

    1. No need; Trump’s universal guilt for everything bad is an accepted given in all cases.

  15. So, as I alluded to above, this is interesting, but it’s hardly dispositive.

    As we keep seeing, people spread all sorts of information about what works and doesn’t work. For example, we know that the rates in Africa are, for the most part, incredibly low. So you often see people refer to the heat/humidity (which plays a part), and yet that doesn’t explain the much much worse rates in Central and South America. (It’s probably a combination of good public health measures … yeah, Africa does have experience with disease, climate, outdoor living and spaces, lower rates of travel, and most importantly, an incredibly young population).

    But we are still struggling both with the idea of super-spreader events, as well as super-spreader individuals. Of shifting the paradigm from worrying about the virus on surfaces (remember people washing all their groceries?) to the virus-as-aerosol.

    We know so much more, but it remains difficult to educate people on what the best practices are, especially when they aren’t the same as what they were five months ago.

    1. Loki,
      Your caution is well placed. It is not even clear what the best practices are or even whether they are the same in all places and with all populations.
      We do know that there are super-titers who carry a million or more times the viral load of the average infected person. How are they to be identified and “controlled” in a manner consistent with what would be tolerated in the US and EU?

    2. “For example, we know that the rates in Africa are, for the most part, incredibly low”

      Good point – Lower Rates in africa cant be explain by better adherence to social distancing and mask wearing.

      whereas lower rates in Asia can be partly explained by better adherence to social distancing/ masking and other preventive measures. however the delta is far too large and the delta in compliance isnt big enough to account for the full difference.

      A big portion of the difference can probably be attributed to genetics, the question is how much for both the asian difference and the african difference.

      Oddly, Sweden is more in line with the rest of Europe (excluding the initial fiasco) than with their nordic neighbors. The anomonly seems to be more Norway and finland than being sweden.

      1. “A big portion of the difference can probably be attributed to genetics, ”
        Another ungrounded speculation. There is no evidence of correlation with ethnic group that is not completely explainable by differences in patterns of behavior, either forced (China) or unforced but driven by economics (US)

        1. Don Nico
          November.11.2020 at 5:35 pm “There is no evidence of correlation with ethnic group that is not completely explainable by differences in patterns of behavior,”

          Objectivity is not your forte

          1. Then bring the evidence.

            1. I’m happy to.

              But do the same when you make speculations

              1. Don Nico
                November.11.2020 at 5:35 pm
                “A big portion of the difference can probably be attributed to genetics, ”
                Another ungrounded speculation. There is no evidence of correlation with ethnic group that is not completely explainable by differences in patterns of behavior, either forced (China) or unforced but driven by economics (US)”

                How is that proof – when there was no testing for genetic factors?
                Nor did the study address or factor in behavior – so how is proof of what you are asserting?

                1. You have also made an assertion. Arguably yours is the one that needs support, rather than Don Nico proving a negative. So far all you have offered is ipse dixit.

              2. I didn’t ask you to do the same, Don, and that was my bad.

                Shows my bias. I’ll do better next time!

                1. No problem. We all make such mistakes at times. I do too.

          2. Joe,
            What do you KNOW about objectivity. I just see you spouting off opinions.
            The data speak for themselves.

            1. Nico

              That is the 2nd time you cited the study that does not support your argument
              The article doesnt even address the issue,

  16. Well thank God Biden was just elected president of the US and EU, so he can clean up Trump’s mess.

    1. The man is walking into a nightmare. Not the best “opportunity” for an 80 year-old

      1. If by nightmare, you mean the same as any natural disaster, then OK. Other then spiking infection numbers, which happen in any pandemic, the economy is coming back around, pretty strongly too. Markets have recovered nicely. Trump is leaving Biden is a good position concerning international trade. The economic outlook for 2021 is pretty good (unless Biden ruins it) and there are some viable vaccines on the verge of being released (which were developed under aggressive business plans spurred by the Trump administration.)

        Do I expect anyone on the Left to acknowledge that Trump did anything good? Of course not. But if you want to ignore the truth that is your choice.

        1. Trump printed tons of money and Biden plans to continue that policy. There’s little difference between the two. The economy will tank because printing money doesn’t create prosperity.

          1. Neither Trump nor Biden get to determine how much US Treasury money is spent.

  17. Don’t worry everyone. Biden has a plan. We are all good here. You can go about your business as usual.

  18. Boy, I really hope that two things happen in the very short term. One, that bamlanivimab gets quickly distributed throughout the country’s hospitals. It is approved. It works. It reduces mortality. Two, that 1-2 vaccines get approved before EOY so we can rapidly distribute 200MM doses to the most vulnerable (age 65+, etc) and front-line HCPs. Those two things set the stage for this country to get back some semblance of normalcy again.

    It is flu season. The data tell us when we see flu cases rise, Covid-19 is not too far behind. We need to get the things we actually have distributed quickly.

    1. The vaccine is too dangerous for the vulnerable to take so it was never tested on them. The market for the vaccine is young people who mistakenly believe that the virus threatens them so much that they need a vaccine.

      1. Why do people make up stupid shit like this?

        From https://news.bloomberglaw.com/coronavirus/pfizer-vaccine-results-leave-questions-about-safety-longevity :

        “About half the trial participants are elderly, and it’s possible to project from the current results that the efficacy among older people should be above 80%, BioNTech Chief Executive Officer Ugur Sahin said. More analysis is needed to be sure, he said.”

  19. Another statement out of gross ignorance

  20. Today’s article in the WSJ, “Asymptomatic Covid-19 Cases Show Need for Wider Surveillance Testing, Study Suggests ” and the cited paper in the NEJM indicate the best that one might hope to do with serious mask wearing and social distancing.
    Granted the contagion rates were small but statistically significant. The NEJM paper is dated Nov.10. Both the news report and the medical paper are worth reading.

    1. Testing isn’t going to do us much good unless we can get accurate, rapid results from extremely low viral counts. Current guidance looks like it is wait 5 days from exposure for a PCR test for the most accurate results (probably 3 is long enough, but 5 reduces the chance of a false negative to almost nothing). That is way too long. We can’t tell people to self quarantine for 5 days every single time they come into contact with someone who is infected. That just isn’t going to work.

  21. Anyone else notice that the one nation that isn’t having any kind of a second wave is China? Admittedly you can’t trust their figures that they have fewer people in hospital from COVID-19 than Canada, but clearly there has been no re-introduction of travel or business restrictions, or signs of significant hospitalizations.

    Almost like they had a vaccine ready to go once this had been unleashed on the world.

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