Cut thru myths to see facts about COVID-19

Reposted from the Fabius Maximus website

By Larry Kummer, Editor / 22 February 2020

Summary: I talk to people who worry about the coronavirus epidemic and so read much about it – but know almost nothing, with facts lost amidst the rumors and misinformation. Here is a clear picture of what is known, so far. We learn more each day.


Important: the WHO has not yet declared COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) to be a pandemic – where the epidemic spreads rapidly across multiple regions simultaneously. The label “pandemic” describes a disease’s extent and speed of spread, not its severity. See the WHO website for details (here and here). The COVID-19 epidemic now might be breaking containment to become a pandemic. This is where the preparation during the past two months will prove its worth – or not.

The current status

From the WHO Situation Report of February 22.

So far there are 29 nations affected (5 new nations since February 3, two today). There are 1402 confirmed cases outside China (202 new), with 11 deaths (202 new). That is 768 cases plus the 634 guaranteed or tested from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Reminder: the world’s population outside China is six and one-half billion.

  • South Korea is experiencing the most rapid spread of the disease outside of China – so far with small numbers afflicted and an immensely strong response by its government and people. They have 346 confirmed cases: 1 new case reported on Feb. 18, 20 on Feb. 19, 53 on Feb. 20, and 100 on Feb. 21, and 104 on Feb. 22.
  • The other nation experiencing a rapid spread is Italy, so far with tiny numbers. Using Italy’s numbers, there 54 confirmed cases (vs. 3 on WHO’s Feb. 21 report). Again, the government and people are responding strongly and proactively to contain the outbreak (details here).
  • Iran reported its first two cases on Feb 20. There are now 18 cases and 4 deaths, which implies that there are many more than 18 people infected.

People take for granted this accurate, timely, and detailed data (esp. the “government can’t do anything” and “the UN is evil” folks). It did not exist for epidemics until recently. This information is collected according to the International Health Regulations (2005). All Member States are required to immediately report any new confirmed case of COVID-19 and, within 48 hours, provide information related to clinical, epidemiological, and travel history using the WHO standardized case reporting form.

Cases in the US

As of Feb 21, the CDC reports that 414 people have been tests and 14 cases confirmed – with no tests pending results.

As of February 15, the CDC estimates that so far this season (since September 9) there have been at least 29 million flu illnesses, 280,000 hospitalizations, and 16,000 deaths from flu. See their summary page and detail page for current information. But remember America’s new motto: “What, me worry?”

An overview of the epidemic

Excerpt from a speech by Tedros Adhanom, the Director-General of WHO, on February 21. Full text here.

“It’s hard to believe that only 52 days ago {January 1}, WHO’s country office in China was notified of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan city. In just seven weeks, this outbreak has captured the world’s attention, and rightly so, because it has the potential to cause severe political, social and economic upheaval.

“As you know, WHO declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern within a month {on January 30} after the first reported cases, as a result of the signs of human-to-human transmission we saw outside China. And because of the major concerns we had that this virus could spread to countries with weaker health systems such as in our continent. China has now reported 75,569 cases to WHO, including 2239 deaths.

“The data from China continue to show a decline in new cases. This is welcome news, but it must be interpreted very cautiously. It’s far too early to make predictions about this outbreak.

“Outside China, there are now 1200 cases in 26 countries, with 8 deaths. As you know, there is one confirmed case on the African continent, in Egypt {reported Feb. 15}. Several African countries have tested suspected cases of COVID-19, but fortunately they have been found negative.

“Although the total number of cases outside China remains relatively small, we are concerned about the number of cases with no clear epidemiological link, such as travel history to China or contact with a confirmed case. We are especially concerned about the increase in cases in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where there are now 18 cases and four deaths in just the past two days.

“With every day that passes, we know a little bit more about this virus, and the disease it causes. We know that more than 80% of patients have mild disease and will recover. But the other 20% of patients have severe or critical diseases, ranging from shortness of breath to septic shock and multi-organ failure. These patients require intensive care, using equipment such as respiratory support machines that are, as you know, in short supply in many African countries. And that’s a cause for concern. In 2% of reported cases, the virus is fatal, and the risk of death increases the older a patient is, and with underlying health conditions. We see relatively few cases among children. More research, of course, is needed to understand why.

“Our biggest concern continues to be the potential for COVID-19 to spread in countries with weaker health systems. …we’re working hard to prepare countries in Africa for the potential arrival of the virus. …We’ve also published a Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, with a call for US$675 million to support countries, especially those which are most vulnerable.

“WHO has identified 13 priority countries in Africa because of their direct links to China or their high volume of travel with China. …an increasing number of African countries are now able to test for COVID-19 with laboratory test kits supplied by WHO, compared with only one just a couple of weeks ago. Some countries in Africa, including DRC, are also leveraging the capacity they have built up to test for Ebola, to test for COVID-19. This is a great example of how investing in health systems can pay dividends for health security.

“We have also shipped more than 30,000 sets of personal protective equipment to several countries in Africa, and we’re ready to ship almost 60,000 more sets to 19 countries in the coming weeks. We’re working with manufacturers of personal protective equipment to address the severe disruption in the market for masks, gloves, gowns and other PPE, to ensure we can protect health workers.

“During the past month about 11,000 African health workers have been trained using WHO’s online courses on COVID-19, which are available free of charge in English, French and other languages at OpenWHO. We’re also providing advice to countries on how to do screening, testing, contact tracing and treatment.

“Last week we brought the international research community together to identify research priorities, especially in the areas of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. …

“The increasing signs of transmission outside China show that the window of opportunity we have for containing this virus is narrowing. We are calling on all countries to invest urgently in preparedness. We have to take advantage of the window of opportunity we have, to attack  the virus outbreak with a sense of urgency.”

The numbers for COVID-19

From WHO’s February 19 Situation Report. Footnotes omitted. See the report for footnotes with links to research. Links and red emphasis added.

“WHO has been working with an international network of statisticians and mathematical modelers to estimate key epidemiologic parameters of COVID-19, such as the incubation period (the time between infection and symptom onset), case fatality ratio (CFR, the proportion of cases who die), infection fatality ratio (IFR, the portion of all of those infected who die), and the serial interval (the time between symptom onset of a primary and secondary case).

“To calculate these parameters, statisticians and modelers use case-based data from COVID-19 surveillance activities, and data captured from early investigations, such as those studies which evaluate transmission within clusters of cases in households or other closed settings. Preliminary estimates of median incubation period are 5-6 days (ranging from 0-14 days) and estimates for the serial interval range from 4.4 to 7.5 days. …

“The confirmed case fatality ratio, or CFR, is the total number of deaths divided by the total number of confirmed cases at one point in time. Within China, the confirmed CFR, as reported by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention is 2.3%. This is based on 1023 deaths amongst 44,415 laboratory-confirmed cases as of 11 February. This CFR does not include the number of more mild infections that may be missed from current surveillance, which has largely focused on patients with pneumonia requiring hospitalization; nor does it account for the fact that recently confirmed cases may yet develop severe disease, and some may die. As the outbreak continues, the confirmed CFR may change.

“Outside of China, CFR estimates among confirmed cases reported is lower than reported from within China. However, it is too early to draw conclusions as to whether there are real differences in the CFR inside and outside of China, as final outcome data (that is, who will recover and who will die) for the majority of cases reported from outside China are not yet known.”

That last paragraph is important and often ignored. The fatality rate in developed nations is as yet unknown, but probably far lower than China’s due to availablilty of more advanced tools for treatment – especially for respiratory problems.

About transmission of covid-19

From WHO’s February 21 Situation Report.

“Currently, there are investigations conducted to evaluate the viability and survival time of SARS-CoV-2. In general, coronaviruses are very stable in a frozen state according to studies of other coronaviruses, which have shown survival for up to two years at -20°C. Studies conducted on SARS-CoV ad MERS-CoV indicate that these viruses can persist on different surfaces for up to a few days depending on a combination of parameters such as temperature, humidity, and light. For example, at refrigeration temperature (4°C), MERS-CoV can remain viable for up to 72 hours.

“Current evidence on other coronavirus strains shows that while coronaviruses appear to be stable at low and freezing temperatures for a certain period, food hygiene and good food safety practices can prevent their transmission through food. Specifically, coronaviruses are thermolabile, which means that they are susceptible to normal cooking temperatures (70°C). Therefore, as a general rule, the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, raw milk or raw animal organs should be handled with care to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods.

“SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV are susceptible to the most common cleaning and disinfection protocols and there is no indication so far that SARS-Cov-2 behaves differently.”


The combination of good global organization by the national public health organizations (coordinated by WHO) and high technology have contained the epidemic for 52 days. This time allowed implementation of screening and quarantine mechanisms, creation of diagnostic tools (based on decoding its genome), development of protocols for treatment, dissemination of equipment, and starting research about the diseases’ nature and cure.

The next few weeks might show what difference all that has made. Future historians might see COVID-19 as a new age of public health, with the first effective response to a pandemic. Time will tell.

It’s easy to follow the coronavirus story

The World Health Organization provides daily information, from highly technical information to news for the general public.

Posts about the coronavirus pandemic.
For More Information

Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see a story about our future: Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.

Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Also, see these posts about epidemics…

  1. See the ugly cost of the next big flu pandemic. We can do more to prepare.
  2. Stratfor: The superbugs are coming. We have time to prepare.
  3. Posts debunking the hysteria about the 2009 swine flu in America.
  4. Posts debunking the hysteria about the 2015 ebola epidemic in America.
Films about scientists responding to global threats

In these films, we see scientists behaving according to their and our highest ideals.

When Worlds Collide (1959) – The world will end. Scientists band together to warn the world and build an ark to carry humanity to another home.

Contagion (2011). – This shows the progress of a pandemic from its start with Patient Zero, through the global devastation, to an eventual victory by the world’s scientists.

When Worlds Collide (1951)Available at Amazon. Contagion (2011)Available at Amazon.

383 thoughts on “Cut thru myths to see facts about COVID-19

  1. “Specifically, coronaviruses are thermolabile, which means that they are susceptible to normal cooking temperatures (70°C). Therefore, as a general rule, the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided”

    I found this para particularly helpful for us here in thailand. Of course the whole of the post (i read it through to thw end) is helpful.

    Many thanks for this series of posts.

    • I wonder if anyone who has had the flue shot with or without the pneumonia shot has contracted COVID. It may be that when the flue season is over in the spring, COVID will go away naturally only to return when flue season starts again this fall.

        • Brandon,

          “I didn’t realize this was was ZeroHedge.”

          What an odd comment. This post is the opposite of the “news” on Zerohedge. Everything here is all information from the WHO and CDC.

          • I was remarking on the sentiment of “hate to see you go, but bye” posted above. Not the article content.

            No, this article is clearly not the agitprop you see on ZH. The vitriolic response to my calling out a question about the superficiality of this post and its reliance on the official narrative calls into question in my mind “who here is denying science?”

            I get the sense WUWT is downplaying the potential impacts COVID-19 could have. Just my read. Happy to be presented with evidence that says otherwise.

          • The WHO are the same clowns who’d like us all on the EAT-LANCET diet. And you believe them? I don’t believe a goldurn THING coming out of ANY branch of the UN!

            However, numerically we have much more to fear from unrefrigerated potato salad . . .

            But y’all are missing the point. The media are trying to STAMPEDE THE HERD!!!!! to cause the markets to crash and blame it on Trump before the election. Some days I feel like the only one outside of The Matrix who can see this.

          • “…I get the sense WUWT is downplaying the potential impacts COVID-19 could have. Just my read. Happy to be presented with evidence that says otherwise…”

            Oh, so your downplay-sense started tingling. Can you be more specific?

          • “This post is the opposite of the “news””
            Larry, in all seriousness, what is the value of your posts?
            Why spend the time ‘pimping’ what is clearly readily available, simple (WHO/CDC) report information?
            As you are someone who has slandered a Harvard Epidemiologist in his last commentary – what specific credibility do you bring to the table with respect to COVID-19?

          • @Michael Jankowski

            Sure. I frequent this site. So far, I have seen two posts about it (I know, it’s a climate change site). Both posts were along the lines of: this doesn’t appear to be a very big deal.

            I hope those posts are accurate.

        • This site probably has more visitors than ZeroHedge. I prefer climate things but don’t object to occasional Coronavirus info. If you don’t like it then FU*K OFF.

          • Alex: Now we are voting for truth on here??????? More visitors means zilch except to the unscientific. So do insults and profanity–when the alarmists do that, people b*tch. Guess hypocrisy does indeed run rampant and science in NOT what we have here.

          • I would like to say that I have an unreasonable dislike of Brandon. Unfortunately the dislike is reasonable.

        • Don’t worry about it Brandon. Time will tell. Either the ‘nothing to worry about’ guys will be right, or they won’t be. I am very worried indeed, for the first time in my life, and that includes BSE when I read an early paper with their ‘rates of infection’ model and decided it was nothing to get bothered about in the scheme of things, and the Epidemiologists with ‘up to a million deaths, perhaps more’ were barking up the wrong tree.

          I just hope that I am as usual, completely wrong. It would be nice.

          • Same here. I’m not losing sleep over it, but I’ve never seen anything like this in my time on Earth. Granted, I haven’t been here for all THAT long.

          • Hello…Ebola virus, several outbreaks killed far more than this has.
            The one in Sierra Leone killed over 28,000 people, there is one still ongoing in Congo that has killed over 3800 people.
            And talk about a bad way to go…hemorrhagic fever…f#ck that noise.
            This is a bad sniffle for a lot of the people that get it.

      • I am posting this 3 hours after this article is put on the net.
        Above … South Korea has 346 confirmed. Actually now 763 confirmed.
        Above says Italy has 54 cases whereas it is now 152 confirmed, 50,000 on lockdown, and Austria halting train service between the 2 countries.

        As I continue to voraciously speed read through vast swaths of info erupting throughout the cyberspace, I am astounded at the psychology that seems to be on display by so many ‘intelligent’ contributors.
        While it is most certainly a daunting task to accurately discern what is true/false, important/tangential, if you all do not recognize that we are witnessing perhaps one of the bigger catastrophes in recent memory, then you are … Without. A. Doubt willfully blinding yourselves to this global maelstrom within which we are ALL – right across the planet – enmeshed this very moment.

        Good luck, folks.

        • if you all do not recognize that we are witnessing perhaps one of the bigger catastrophes in recent memory, then you are … Without. A. Doubt wilfully blinding yourselves to this global maelstrom within which we are ALL – right across the planet – enmeshed this very moment.

          I think that for the moment you are in fact exaggerating.Yes, we know that the way the world is a lethal global pandemic is a distinct possibility, but is this the one? The evidence so far is that it is not. Yet. And may never be.

          (I have also corrected your spelling of ‘wilfully’).

          • Italy now reporting 219 cases with 5 fatalities.

            These rapidly growing numbers is but one reason to maintain an ongoing attention to this situation.

          • The first 3 deaths were elderly folks, close to 80. I haven’t found info for the other two, yet. Journalists are irresponsible and lazy for not including those data when citing mortality.

          • Iran supposedly reporting 50 deaths, now. We are still talking about small percentages of the overall population, but this is early days. I hope you are right and that everyone is stirred up over unnecessary alarmism. I mean, the Chinese certainly are with some 750 million people under some form of lockdown.

          • The 50 number was reported by a legislator from that affected province. He may be running his mouth and not know what he’s talking about. Government refutes it an says 12 is official number.

          • Do any of you recall a few years ago an Ebola outbreak was spreading all over the world, over 28.000 people died, and then it was gotten under control?
            Right now an Ebola outbreak in Congo is ongoing and it has killed over 3800 people…bad way to go that Ebola.
            Every year tens of thousands of people die of pneumonia in the US.
            And every year in the US alone, between 750 and 1200 or more people get flesh eating strep infections!
            This is a freaking respiratory infection that mostly kills the very old, does not hardly affect young, and mostly is dangerous, it seems, to people with underlying medical conditions or those who smoke.
            And those people are always in trouble when they get respiratory infections…which is why smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the US.
            So far vaping has killed more people in the US that this disease.
            You guys are a trip.
            MERS killed over 35% of patients, and SARS was over 10%.
            The only thing bad about this one is…it spreads more readily…sometimes.
            Some people have not infected anyone including people they slept with.
            Get a grip.
            Nothing good about it, but it is very little threat to a healthy person who has access to health care.

            There will be worse that this over the next 20 years, just as there have been many worse than this over the last 20.
            A new illness spreads from animals to people on average every 8 months.
            This is the 7th corona virus known to cause pneumonia that does so.

          • Haven’t the “powers that be” been warning of a pandemic now for several years? Seems to me that the WHO and the CDC are all rooting for some horror to happen so they can first say, “we told you so” and then to swoop in and be the “heros” but sadly they have never swooped in and became the heros on any virus – look at how they were so incompetent in treating Ebola.

            I don’t believe that Joe B is exaggerating regardless of any spelling errors he may have committed. I, for one, agree that we are on the verge of some horrific event and everyone in America that could stop this from entering here are sitting on their hands with a wait and see attitude – this will not go away like a puff of wind – this stuff is here for a while and will eventually start killing people in America.

          • Epidemiologists and people who study the history of infectious diseases have been warning of pandemics for many decades, not just a few years.
            And having one does not mean it is over and done with…there is always the next one.
            Something that kills nearly everyone who gets is, is highly contagious, causes people to shed virus massively…these sorts of things are entirely possible.
            They really scary ones, to me, are the ones that kill the young and healthy as readily as the very old and the very young.
            This is not doing that.
            There are a lot of very old people in the world, more, far more, than at any time in history, and one reason is because treatments and cures have been developed for one cause of death after another.
            It used to be that anyone that was not vigorously healthy was not long for the world, and even many that were vigorous and heathy would die of seemingly minor things, small cuts that got infected, etc.
            And at this point the world of human beings is a large multiply connected monoculture, which means anything that attacks us and we have no defense against can spread rapidly and has many new targets on a continuous and ongoing basis.

          • One thing that protects us that does not protect, for example, a large field crop, is our genetic variability.
            In general, anything that kills some people will be harmless to may others.
            This has been true for virtually every known infectious disease ever studied.
            Everyone did not get plague, even though almost everyone was exposed.
            Everyone did not die of Spanish flu, even though it spread all over the world and even infected people on remote and obscure islands in the middle of the Pacific ocean.
            Everyone exposed did not get smallpox.
            But when the boll weevil attacked cotton, it would typically destroy every single plant, because they were all genetically identical.

        • we will need it
          read this

          first release of data from chinas patients of 55 proposed 3 died on admission to the trial, before they could even begin

          I tried to get a Pneumonia vaccine today in Aus
          although private made- the govt here controls the release TO market
          and that wont be allowed even for private payment via a chemist etc until???
          by which time it WILL be here, at the speed of spread elsewhere.
          seeing as Pneumonias the biggie followed by heart organ etc issues
          its a pretty shoddy setup

          • Excellent reference. Thank you.

            Just a request. Can make sure your fast bowlers all get it before the Ashes please? No need for them to die, wouldn’t want that, just too sick to play will do nicely.

          • Pneumonia vaccine is for a bacteria infection.
            And BTW you need two separate kinds…the polyvalent one, PCV 13, and the Pneumococcal polysaccharide one, PPSV23.
            BTW…how about a meningococcal vaccine?
            It is at least as important for many people.
            Dead is dead.
            And if you have any of several medical conditions, including being old, or ever having had a heart problem, and a bunch of other reasons, there are a bunch you might need:

        • How many were killed in Christmas tsunami? We got a ways to go before we are even close to that recent catastrophe. Plus, this isn’t 1918. Italy shut down theaters/parades. In 1918 many communities didn’t and suffered. I’m not going to panic yet. Besides stock up on food, what am I going to do? Quit my job and hide until food runs out?
          Ya it’s serious but it is also being treated that way.

        • Indeed, the virus appears to be breaking out in several areas.

          Regarding the post, Larry says “We know that more than 80% of patients have mild disease and will recover. But the other 20% of patients have severe or critical diseases, ranging from shortness of breath to septic shock and multi-organ failure. These patients require intensive care, using equipment such as respiratory support machines that are, as you know, in short supply in many African countries. And that’s a cause for concern. In 2% of reported cases, the virus is fatal, and the risk of death increases the older a patient is, and with underlying health…”

          Until Larry got to the mortality rate this information reflects what I have read. Larry, why do you continue to post mortality numbers based on deaths and total case load. It us well known that death takes on average about three weeks from infection for those that die. In a steep exponential curve of infected, the total infected vs the total death is a wrong and baseless measure of mortality. For a better WAG simply compare deaths to recovered, as those time lines are similar.

          As to the biggest threat from this it is the 10 to 20 percent requiring hospitalization, along with an increasingly clearly high RO and
          a likely high RO of 2 plus just from the asymptomatic carriers.

          The you US flu numbers as an example. 29 million, 280,000 in the hospital. With the Coronavirus those 29 million would mean 2.9 to 5 million hospitalizations, overwhelming hospitals, and greatly decreasing care for the infected and ALL other hospital patients.

          Also Larry, you appear to accept the official numbers out of China and places like Iran. This is, in my view, surprisingly gullible. China would not place hundreds of millions on lock down and destroy their economy for the six to eight hundred dead they claimed at the time of these extreme measures. Iran would not go into the lockdown measures they have, and other nations would not stop all border traffic and flights, for 29 infected cases!

          In light of government actions and not official numbers, in light of reports and videos out of China showing a far worse picture, and far greater mortality, in light of South Korea locking down a city of 2.5 million and reports of hospitals being overwhelmed, in light of exponential growth outside of China, in light of very limited testing in many places, including the US, I find your adherence to official state numbers and WHO propaganda, very faulty.

          PS, I hope you are right.

    • Hear! Hear!

      for instance: “All Member States are required to immediately report any new confirmed case of COVID-19 and, within 48 hours, provide information related to clinical, epidemiological, and travel history using the WHO standardized case reporting form.”

      OR WHAT?

      WHO has been telling us not to “panic yet” for more than a month now, but still aren’t able to tell us what, if any, type of masks are effective in blocking transmission. In fact, they have mostly mocked the idea of mask protection. Yet I notice all of the people carrying out their directions are masked and otherwise shielded to the hilt.

      And, at least in my vicinity, they have not managed to make masks of any kind more available or affordable.

      All of their airy reassurances about the difficulty of transmission have turned out to be false. The Italians are now searching for a patient “0” who’s managed to infect dozens of people without being noticed. I guess they were too “panicked”to take the proper precautions.

      I don’t know exactly what “panic” looks like in this context, but I suggest not waiting for the WHO to give the go-ahead.

      We’ve learned very little from this so far, except that the WHO is dangerously incompetent, and wants US$675 million to prove it further.

      I am planning to try the online course, just in case there’s something useful about protective gear in it. I’m not holding my breath, though.

      • Brandon February 23, 2020 at 6:32 pm wrote”
        “This post erodes my trust in this site”

        Hear! Hear!

        for instance: “All Member States are required to immediately report any new confirmed case of COVID-19 and, within 48 hours, provide information related to clinical, epidemiological, and travel history using the WHO standardized case reporting form.”

        OR WHAT?

        WHO has been telling us not to “panic yet” for more than a month now, but still aren’t able to tell us what, if any, type of masks are effective in blocking transmission. In fact, they have mostly mocked the idea of mask protection. Yet I notice all of the people carrying out their directions are masked and otherwise shielded to the hilt.

        And, at least in my vicinity, they have not managed to make masks of any kind more available or affordable.

        All of their airy reassurances about the difficulty of transmission have turned out to be false. The Italians are now searching for a patient “0” who’s managed to infect dozens of people without being noticed. I guess they were too “panicked”to take the proper precautions.

        I don’t know exactly what “panic” looks like in this context, but I suggest not waiting for the WHO to give the go-ahead.

        We’ve learned very little from this so far, except that the WHO is dangerously incompetent, and wants US$675 million to prove it further.

        I am planning to try the online course, just in case there’s something useful about protective gear in it. I’m not holding my breath, though.

  2. So , comparing US flu to China COVID19 ….about 49 times as deadly .
    US 29 ,000,000 cases , 16,000 deaths . China COVID 19 74,280 cases , 2,004 deaths .
    49 times ….

    • Right, and we’re to trust the WHO is on top of the situation? The date in Italy and South Korea have both deteriorated significantly since publication of this article. I understand the impulse here for empirical rigor, but this is a fast evolving situation about which we know very little. With the outbreaks in Italy and Korea, we should finally be able to get a better read on what we’re up against. Data out of China is suspect.

      • Brandon

        The mere fact that this virus is KNOWN (and has been known from near the beginning) to have a NON SYMPTOMATIC incubation period ranging up to 14 days (now posited as up to 28 days with one woman in north China speculated to have had a 42 day, asymptomatic incubation) should CLEARLY display that every single ‘confirmed’ case is looking in the rear view mirror, contagion wise.

        Folks, if you do not realize that this virus has a scalar shedding profile from Zero day infection, look it up … because it does.

        If you are unaware that both the Shanghai medical people as well as the national Chinese medical officials have determined that this bug is now known to be AEROSOLIZED TRANSMITTED, NOT AIRBORNE TRANSMITTED (!!!), then you might benefit by spending a few minutes and familiarize yourselves with the implications of this data.

        • Dude, we already knew how it is transmitted long ago because it is a Coronavirus, a RNA virus with lipid membrane, very much like Influenza virus and with the same transmission mechanism and similar target at the respiratory system in humans. That’s why symptoms are so similar.

          Transmission by aerosols and droplets is a type of AIRBORNE transmission. Viruses with protein cover as measles also transmit as particles and have a much higher infection rate.

          • Yes but droplets are fairly easy to defend against, but aerosol (which is what he meant) is well nigh impossible.

          • Javier
            (Miss your contributions over on POB. I no longer post there).

            Re aerosol versus airborne … no definitive, universally accepted distinctions.
            However, commonly described attributes for the layman …

            Airborne. Distance less than 6 feet
            Suspension time ~ 20 minutes
            Cough/sneeze general source for virus exposure

            Aerosol. Distance can be measured in miles
            Suspension time indefinite, but measured in weeks/months
            (Note Bene. Suspension time is not equivalent to ‘lifetime’ of
            Transmissible through building HVAC systems. (See Diamond

            Big differnce in transmissibilty in characteristics … with the danger greatly magnified due to the lengthy, asymptomatic – yet still contagious – incubation period.

      • Data out of China:

        Since Feb 7th I have been logging the confirmed cases in the provinces around Hubei Province, where Wuhan is located. On Feb 3rd, President Xi declared containing the virus a priority. Until then (although I don’t have the data) cases in those provinces were growing steadily, although whether at exponential rates I can’t say.

        But since Feb 7th new cases first plateaued and then began a steady march downward in every single one of the eight provinces I’m logging. As of yesterday, three of the provinces showed a combined total of five new cases and the other five provinces reported zero new cases. For comparison, the one-day increase on Feb 8th for all eight provinces combined was 287, a 5.8% increase from Feb 7th. (I suspect even that 5.8% rate to be low. Does anyone have a link to data from individual provinces from the beginning to determine if there was an immediate falloff after Xi’s Feb 3 declaration?)

        Frankly, given the explosion of cases in S. Korea, Iran, and Italy, I find the Chinese numbers nearly impossible to believe. One explanation could be that they just aren’t doing any testing of potential new cases, which is probable given that Xi recently said that all new cases would be the responsibility of the officials in charge.

        • I have noticed the same, but didn’t write down from which day. Can only say that almost no new cases, no deaths and numbers don’t add up at all.

          One other symptom of manufactured data is that severe or critical rate last week started to raise slowly. Outside China at about 5%, China was about 19% but now more than 22%. (Of open cases).

          By the way. Last report in Lancet claim 60% of critical cases die. Rate raise significantly when age over 50. (32 from 52).

          Also Death rate of solved cases (Either death or Recovered) is now at 9.5% yesterday both in China and Outside.

      • Well if you want fear mongering there is previous article on this site that claimed video of “dead bodies” in hospital hallway even though person filming never said they were dead.
        I appreciate the summary here. I also notice no new cases in multiple places is glossed over by you. What is it zero currently infected in US? Only 330million of some of the most traveled in the world.

        • POTUS shut down travel quickly.
          And we are only testing in 3 states directly. The rest must go to the CDC. In California 8k have been asked to self quarantine. We are not testing them.

          We will know within 10 days.

      • “Right, and we’re to trust the WHO is on top of the situation?”
        Well this is a problem is it not?
        Do we trust somebody, or some organization, or do we trust nobody?
        Do we just decide what we want to believe, and trust that we can intuitively known what “must” be true, based on our feelings about it?
        Do we just decide that whatever scary bullshit we get on the internet is probably true, and anyone who is not a panic monger must be a shill for the man?
        Should we just believe whoever has a name we like?

        Maybe we should realize that some people are serious about trying to report things accurately, and these are very likely not the people speaking the loudest when information is scarce and validation has not been possible?
        Do we want to get it right, or jump to a conclusion?

    • Sweet,

      This just in: China’s public health system is not remotely like that of the US. Nor is its medical resources. And China’s population density is far higher.

      In brief, your comparison is nuts.

      A valid comparison would be flu deaths in China vs. those in the US, and COVID-19 in China and the US. But I have found data from China about the flu to do the former. So far there are too few cases in the developed nation to do the latter.

      • … and their data “reporting” is probably even less reliable than Cuba’s.

        I mean, really. Trying to assess how bad this is from WHO stats, which are all based on what the Chinese government tell them? Calculating the CFR by dividing known cases by known deaths at one point in time, despite the virus being asymptomatic for up to three weeks? Maybe you should recalculate it using the deaths from three weeks ago. Mmmm. Bit higher now, eh?

        You might as well believe the WHO’s infant mortality rates for Cuba… suplied to them by Castro’s finest.

        In any case, it looks like we’re going to find out. It might all be a big nothingburger, but I think Larry and the WHO are going to look a bit complacent when the dust finally settles from all this.

      • Comparing it to fly at this time is not valid.
        Fly has been spreading continuously for all of human history, as far as anyone knows.
        This one just crossed over to humans and started spreading recently.
        Maybe by next year, comparing flu and COVID19 deaths in a year will be meaningful.
        The cases in Iran and Italy have not been connected to any known cases in other locations, so the virus is spreading by unknown carriers. This is the truly ominous development.

        One illness parameter not mentioned is, how many of those exposed become infected?
        Another is what is the minimal infective dose?
        A third is, has anyone known to have gotten infected via fomites?

        One last thought is, is it possible these new infections represent someone deliberately spreading the illness?
        Or does it perhaps mean some people are asymptomatic spreaders…typhoid Mary types…who have and shed virus, but are not themselves sickened/affected?

        • I’ve read, but don’t have independent confirmation, that the Iran cases in Qom were caused by a merchant who traveled to China via multiple countries to get around the direct flight ban. Even if not true, it raises the following point. As long as there are countries maintaining open travel with China, there will be no way to prevent indirect transmission.

      • If this is like the flu I really can not justify any draconian measure taken by the Chinese government.

    • ok but, the not dead but NOT recovered numbers are weird
      last night figures 77,932 total
      dead 2,368
      recovered 20,863
      that leaving 45,701 cases since the jan start STILL non recovered?
      thats a lot of beds being used and from unwell to critical seems to be damned fast for some.
      and Chinas planning something like 19 more of those fastbuild hospitals?

      • The ratio of dead to infected is not a sane way to calculate the CFR. I’m not sure we are as interested in the proportion of people that can be infected before someone elsewhere dies as we are the proportion of people who die compared to those who recover or become chronic.

        Inside Hubei Province, the death rate seems to be over 20% of the declared cases. Undoubtedly that is largely because of the health systems being over-run, perhaps combined with the draconian measures the Chinese Government has employed such as barricading people in their homes.

        For a highly contagious airborne disease, even 1% is pretty severe. We’ve been seeing annualized death rates for the flu being compared to the COVID19 virus when most of those infected with the latter are still sick, in some cases apparently as part of the original couple of week’s infected.

        • Check your math, more like 2- 3%, closer yo 1% outside hubei. And thats probably 10 times too high as they only test serious cases. Mild cases are not confirmed. Like the flu, only 118 deaths actually confirmed by testing in US, cdc uses models to give us the “true” number

          • 77,932 total
            dead 2,368
            recovered 20,863
            that leaving 45,701 and I think about 15,000 critical.

            So let us assume 0 additional sick, and in 4 weeks all infected are either cured or dead. Say 50 percent of the critical die. Call it 10 k dead. Reasonable especially considering that the most recent 5k infected have not had time to go critical.

            So 10 k dead out of 78 k infected, = 13 percent mortality.

          • The numbers are rapidly changing, and we (and the CDC) do not yet have an idea of how many infected but undetected there are at this time. We are also more limited in that we do not have cohort information available. That said, the main point that dividing (the number dead so far) by (the number reported as having been infected so far) is not at all an appropriate way to calculate CFR, still stands. Especially so early in the epidemic phase.

            As for the numbers, Hubei reports many more recovered this morning than when I posted Monday, so the first order calculation of dead to resolved is 2615 deaths to 23,584 resolved, or 11%. That will obviously drop due to it taking longer to recover than it does to die from the disease, and as we learn the extent of undiagnosed. As we have no one there to check, claims that China officially underestimates their ill by more than a factor of 5 are spurious, but not inconceivable.

            Outside of China the dead/resolved numbers are changing rapidly. Excluding Iran which has only posted dead, the Johns Hopkins posted numbers are 44 dead vs 307 resolved, or 14%. That ratio will go down as more of the initial group recover, but it still is very much higher than 1%. Again, how many undetected cases are there out there that people have recovered from?

            Undoubtedly the categories of recovered, and dead, are not likely to be unknown symmetrically, with the more severe cases more likely to become known. We are, however, also in an environment where outside of China, the infected are relatively constrained and where unlike the normal flu waves there is an effort to identify every single infected.

      • Do you realize how many pneumonia cases in a population of 1.4 billion during flu season there are in a normal year. These numbers are a drop in the bucket, especially outside wuhan/hubei

        • Exactly. That’s why they shut down their economy and put 760 million people on lock down. Ordinary flu.

          • Nobody thinks it is the flu.
            It is a novel virus…new to human beings.
            Not enough time has passed for it to be well understood.
            Who knows why China does what they do?
            One thing is for sure, if the fearmongers are right, there is nothing to be done and then why worry about it?
            It is not on every continent.
            If it is unstoppable and the Chinese know it, if they are on lockdown because it will eventually kill everyone, what is the point of worrying?

            How about if you tell us, after dozens of comments, what you think might help, what people should do, what doctors and hospitals and health authorities should be doing different, in your carefully considered judgement?

    • Sweet Old Bob, There is no way that there are only 16,000 deaths from 29 million cases of influenza. That is way too low. Influenza kills more people than COVID-19. This is a poorly written article, with other mistakes in it as well.

  3. “The fatality rate in developed nations is as yet unknown, but probably far lower than China’s due to availablilty of more advanced tools for treatment – especially for respiratory problems.”
    “Outside of China, CFR estimates among confirmed cases reported is lower than reported from within China.”

    More than likely it’s a combination of both…..I don’t trust China as far as I could throw it…my instincts say cases are grossly under reported in China….to rural…fear….and people are being turned away

    • CFR in Western nations will remain low, until case rates exceed their capacity to provide intensive care. At that point, “look out below!“

      • it took a nasty flu season in Aus to have hospitals getting crowded last yr when we had Swineflu the ECMO units were in short supply.
        if this hit it would be mayhem fairly soon even here

      • Exactly. How many isolated intensive care beds are there in the UK? The staffing needed and expense is very large. I bet it is numbered less than a hundred. If it does break out in large numbers there might 10 times that amount needed every day.

        I find a good site for regular updates and wider commentary to be Medcram

        • Agree! MedCram seems to present the most level-headed appraisals of the situation that I’ve found, yet. They do lean on official narratives a bit, however.

  4. The main concern in the US is to our economy. China is virtually locked down, severely disrupting the vast manufacturing supply chain. This could induce a recession.

    • A recession is probably on the horizon in any event, since we have had a fairly strong bull market for at least the last 9-10 years which is longer than most business cycles. If Hillary had been elected, we probably would have already had a very serious recession and the election of Trump and deregulation et al probably has delayed that somewhat, at least to the next election cycle, and if this virus slows down rather quickly. If it doesn’t then that could be a problem for the election of DJT if there is health chaos in the West. And of course, if Burnie and the Dems ever got elected, it would be a full on Depression no matter if money was falling from the skies. Both figuratively and literally, about the depression.

      But China has caught a very serious ‘flu’ and it is probably inevitable at some point that markets correct, depending what happens the next month. I have set 50% cash aside and taken some profits for buying opportunities and just in case things really fall apart, 15%-20% in gold/silver just as hedge on the store of value which I already did several years ago. We all hope this COVID-19 burns itself out by spring, but if it doesn’t, then I think we have to accept the fact that recession is inevitable just given the supply chain break down that is starting to show up globally and lack of spending in China itself. China is probably approaching recession territory, at least temporarily for the duration of this current outbreak within its borders.

      This is currently a potential Grey Swan event globally, but could be a Black Swan event within a month and then we have something to really worry about, including both our financial and physical health. But we will survive and bounce back as we always do.

      • Stock futures are dropping like a fat rock here in the US at this hour.
        Markets in Europe are down 3-4% already.
        Anyone brushing this off as no big deal is plainly not paying attention.
        Hope for the best, but wishful thinking never helped anyone prepare for anything…keep that in mind too.
        My best guess is, this virus is past being containable.
        It will probably turn out that many thousands of people fled Wigan and have dispersed around Asia and now Europe.
        Look for a halt to most global travel next.

        • “It will probably turn out that many thousands of people fled Wigan …”

          The Road to Wuhan Pier? 🙂

          • I was writing from my Kindle Fire and it autocorrected words for no apparent reason.
            I did mean to write Wuhan or course.

          • I always had my doubts about Wigan and the Chinese take away there I used a few times.
            The flat caps give the game away. We used to have the Corona van man deliver every week, it was always just a matter of time….

        • “Look for a halt to most global travel next.”

          That should slow down CO2 output and cool things down a bit /sarc

      • It could burn out by spring/summer… in the Northern Hemisphere. If we can’t develop an antiviral or vaccine by the fall, watch out for round 2. Unlike SARS-1, “our” efforts to contain this are failing.

        • Some people might not like to hear this, but the overall effect might be a sharp reduction in the recently greatly expanded of very old people in the world.
          Just sayin’.

          • That could happen. I’m not a virologist, I just play one on TV, but apparently Spanish flu knocked out the weak and old on its first go round, then killed the able bodied in Episode 2: The Virus Strikes Back

          • The 1918 influenza was very different than normal, the virulent form could induce a lethal pneumonia through triggering a cytokine reaction directly.

            There’s essentially no reason to compare the two diseases.

    • The main concern in the US is to our economy

      And everyone else.

      The Aussie stock market was hit badly today. The suspicion is that Europe will follow suit, and the USA more so.

      Australia could be headed for a recession at long last. We’re teetering on the edge anyway, first time for decades.

    • Also many of our drugs come from API’s made in China. We produce no antibiotics and what we drugs we do produce many use API from China and finished drugs from India also use chinese API’s.

    video – 35 minutes 53 seconds
    How bad economically will the Covid19 virus crisis get? Martenson points out, “One in eight companies are so-called zombie companies.” Meaning, they have to keep borrowing cheap money to stay in business. Martenson says governments are hooked on huge deficits and cheap money too, and now the China virus chaos hits an already over-leveraged economy, and more massive money printing is needed to keep debt from defaulting. Martenson says, “This is taking the world’s most important manufacturing center and shutting it down all at once. That’s like throwing a car into reverse at 60 miles per hour on the highway. . . . Supply chain disruptions are going to be legendary. . . . This isn’t like one company having trouble like AIG where Hank Paulson has to ride to the rescue with $700 billion of fresh U.S. taxpayer money. We are talking about a system of tens of thousands of interlocking components that are frozen, and nobody quite knows how to unravel all of that. I think that is well beyond the capability of the Federal Reserve to throw more QE money into the market and goose stocks a little longer. This is the real deal. This isn’t a dress rehearsal. It is happening.

    • 30% drop in fear and confusion. I traded the market for 25 years in derivatives. pricing in puts has a 20% crash component in them for normal crash cycles. This aint normal and it aint funny. i can only hope I am wrong. Truly this is a game changer world wide for lots of things. Same same is over. here comes the judge..

    • In all Fairness to Chris Martenson, he has been predicting Black Swans for some time now which gives me hope that the current worry may die away. But, its also worth remembering that in the fable about the Boy and the Wolf, the Wolf did eventually turn up with disastrous consequences for the Boy and no doubt the Sheep.

      As for the article, whilst it does stick to known facts, it’d be as well to remember that the current sum of knowledge regarding nCoV is scanty at best.

      What I will bet money on, is that if a few cases occur in a neighbourhood near any of the esteemed readers here, the local supermarkets will empty within hours as is being seen in Italy at this time.

      I trust that those pouring scorn on the ‘Hedge’ have adequately stocked larders and supplies of toilet tissue. 🙂

  6. Prepare Now for the Pandemic
    Epidemiologists advise that we prepare for pandamic ASAP.
    Especially prepare for critical shortages of Food and Medications. It may be contained, OR may not be.
    See Johns Hopkins’ Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases online map, stats & graphs.
    CDC’s Official Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website.
    Nominal Stats:
    12% Deaths/Recovered (2,345/21,068)
    15% Serious/Total Cases (11,477/76,291)
    But Wuhan Crematoria went from 5 hours to 24 hours/day with reports of burning 100 bodies/day. 39% were from hospitals but ~60% of bodies came from private homes with only a “pnemonia” diagnosis & no test for COVID-19. Some estimate 2/3rds of cases were not diagnosed.
    Japanese evacuations suggest only about 9% of infections were diagnosed.
    Nishiura, H., Kobayashi, T., Yang, Y., Hayashi, K., Miyama, T., Kinoshita, R., Linton, N.M., Jung, S.M., Yuan, B., Suzuki, A. and Akhmetzhanov, A.R., 2020. The rate of underascertainment of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection: Estimation using Japanese passengers data on evacuation flights.

    China’s lockdown flatline economy could cause bankruptcies for lack of cash, & critical supplies. That could trigger a Chinese economic crash and then a global one.
    Interesting times.

    • And there are reportedly at least 6 cities in Iran, including Qom, now on lockdown.

      In addition to cancelling schools and soccer matches in northern Italy, over 50,000 Italians are now on lockdown as well.

      • Joe,

        That is the kind of fast response that contains an epidemic – massive reaction while the infection count is in the single digits.

        Commenters here confuse a strong pre-emptive response with panic, implying that effective actions predict certain doom. Fun to see this at WUWT, after seeing so many commenters mocking climate activists doing the same.

        • Here’s the difference: the climate “authorities” are telling us to panic, and the medical authorities are trying to tell us everything is awesome.

          NOW do you see the difference?

        • Larry
          As Richard from Brooklyn below points out – and your first sentence (partially) validates – strong, proactive measures are absolutely crucial in effectively combatting this pandemic.

          (‘Infection count in SINGLE DIGITS’??? You sound like you might be confident with the state of Kerala’s (India) public numbers. Get back to us next week, Larry).
          Your sweeping ‘analysis’ of commenters internal characteristics ( … confuse … panic … certain doom) belie more of your own projections, perhapa, than any valid depiction of the other commenters to these articles.

          • Joe,

            “You sound like you might be confident with the state of Kerala’s (India) public numbers”

            Read your own comments. I was replying to your comment that said this:

            “And there are reportedly at least 6 cities in Iran, including Qom, now on lockdown.”

            Iran. Not. India. The authorities in Iran began to take fast action when the number of confirmed cases was in the single digits.

        • “Commenters here confuse a strong pre-emptive response with panic, implying that effective actions predict certain doom. Fun to see this at WUWT, after seeing so many commenters mocking climate activists doing the same.”

          it is rather delicious to watch them.

          That said, Now I am stuck in Korea.

          • Big difference is, if the world warms by a couple degree’s by centuries end, its no big deal and historical precedent suggests a modern renaissance will be the result.

            If however the nCoV gets a hold across the globe, millions will die likely before next Christmas.

            Lets hope that your delectation is not merely schadenfreude ? 🙂

          • So you two are saying climate activists have been confusing “a strong pre-emptive response with panic, implying that effective actions (against CAGW presumably) predict certain doom.” Not exactly making your case for yourselves. Sounds like no more is needed then since “effective ” actions have already been taken against CAGW according to you two.

        • It’s not that (at least) I believe they are panicking, it’s that the actions world governments expose the seriousness of this disease. It’s not the flu.

    • I am reminded that half the stuff on the Internet is astroturf, provided by BOTS. Spook the herd, is that your mission from Mr. Soros?

      I liked it better when BOTS were a type of fly whose eggs we scraped off of horses’ legs . . .

    • Prepare Now Summary: Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
      Harvard epidemiologist @DrEricDing takes the plunge and links to this preparation summary.

      Your most important goals:
      1) Be able to shelter in your home for at least two weeks (the longer, the better) without leaving for supplies or outside help. If we have a significant amount of transmission here in the US, you’ll probably want the option of avoiding other people and public places. Or, if things get really dire, it may be recommended or required that you stay in your home for a period of time.
      2) Be able to protect yourself against picking up the virus. There are steps you can take now, and more serious steps you may want to have ready in case things get much worse.
      3) Listen to legitimate sources so you can make decisions based on accurate, rational news. This epidemic already has enough actual cause for concern —- there’s no need to make things worse with fake news! . . .
      What to buy to protect yourself against the coronavirus
      The further down the list you go, the more you can handle serious scenarios:
      1) Hand sanitizer
      2) Nitrile gloves
      3) Respirators — see below
      4) Eye protection such as industrial safety goggles, swim goggles, or anything that would keep someone else’s sneeze from hitting your eyes (even basic glasses are better than nothing)
      5) Bleach or other household cleaners that will kill viruses on door knobs, etc.
      6) Tyvek hazmat suit (the coveralls you see hospital staff wearing in China) or similar disposable outerwear
      7) Plastic sheeting and tape to seal air access points to your home (especially if in a shared building).
      We’ve put together a more complete list of home medical, hygiene, and sanitation items that can get you through a shelter-in-place scenario.

      PS @DrEricDing reports on important Wuhan Coronavirus news and papers.

    • Why 40 More Incineration Ovens in Wuhan
      Why ever would China add 40 mobile incineration ovens in Wuhan when its CoronaVirus containment is already so effective? With so few deaths, why was a >500% increase in #cremation rates (5 to 24 h/day) at Wuhan Funeral Homes unable to manage the load? With hospitals swamped with 39% of deaths, there were only ~60% of bodies brought directly from private homes and labeled just as “pneumonia” – WITHOUT any CoronaVirus testing or diagnosis. With reported statistics, shouldn’t existing facilities have been able to easily handle the small increase? #COVID19

      • Simple answer incineration kills virus. Many people sick, means many infected objects. Medical gloves, hazmat suits, blankets, etc therefore should be burned. Killing virus is good. Prevent infection spreading.
        It’s not rocket science.

        • One should also note that in a centralized economy – which the Chinese economy still has major elements of – that overbuild (and underbuild) are constant dangers. Look at the uninhabited cities in China built over the past decade.

          That said, even a doubling in capacity is a lot.

  7. INTERESTING China is treating this as if a nuclear war were mandating control measures. In the history of the world no one has tried to lock down even a small percentage of what is up in china. As a risk manager by trade you must look past the conversation and look to the actions. China clearly knows more than anyone about their Creation. They are acting as this is a life and death issue for the country. The systems controllers are fearful for their own families. This being said they have destroyed their environment and their food supply is already in collapse. they are currently preventing food form being delivered all over the quarantined areas. you figure it out.
    You only have two choices the USA is being incredibly stupid, or knows more then meets the eye. china is your guide until the truth is revealed by time or investigation. anyone who believes this is carried from an animal like your dog is beyond rational salvation.

    Hold on i need to walk nick so he can pee, and i need to put on my mask on, for walking the farm i live on.

    this article is f r e e that spells free and c r a ___ that spells nicks dropings

    • As a risk manager by trade you must look past the conversation and look to the actions.

      Taleb’s version is something like, “ask what’s in their portfolio.” In my experience, it’s great advice.

    • Non-sensical. Read some history. Those who ignore this type of issue should be avoided. Nowhere in this article or from western governments am I hearing where outbreaks occur to ignore it or that it is a non-issue. I see action. Non-action spreads disease not the other way around. You are saying if they took no actions it would mean everything is OK. Non-sensical.

    • Yes lots of information on those sites.

      Interesting read today that China seems to see some success with an anti malaria drug. Forget the name but drug discovered 70 years ago.

  8. Italy is up to 155 cases and 3 deaths. They’re shutting down trains from Austria to Italy and asking people to self quarantine. They seem to be taking it pretty seriously.

    As have I. I’ve stocked some food and bought masks. You may think that’s nuts but NYC had 3 possible cases and we never heard anything more. I think they’re hiding the info so as to not hurt tourism or cause panic. I live near NYC and many here commute there.

    I prefer to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it. But that’s me.

    • IMHO the pandemic is here. Preppers anywhere in Europe near Italy should be activating their SHTF plans because it is about to happen. And don’t count on bugging out. When the authorities close the border they tell you after the road blocks are up. That just happened in Italy. Anyone see the story about how two people on the train to Austria got picked up and returned and then Austria closed the border? The rest of us should be stocking up about three months of food and supplies so we’re ready when, not if, when lock down happens here. Given the latest news about the Iranian woman with covid19 in British Columbia Canadians may be about to have an outbreak. That airplane that was downed by Iran had Canadians from every major city in Canada and many people, including our prime minister, have been coming and going between Canada and Iran dealing with that. I heard a BC authority saying we don’t need to be that concerned about the Iranian woman because her case was mild. This shocked the you know what out of me because I thought after SARS 1, Canadian authorities were better prepared.

    • That would be a fantastic outcome, but I’m not holding my breath. It will take fedgov mandate to move production of critical items (e.g., medication) back to the US. Not an outcome markets will derive on their own. Slave labor too profitable.

  9. You can’t just look at the number of cases vs the number of deaths. You have to compare the number of resolved cases (how many survived) vs the number of deaths. US flu, about .05% died. This new corona-virus, about 11% based on 20,000 resolved cases. Most deaths were of people over 70. Since I’m 74, it looks like an ‘aw- $hit” to me. Probably makes the Medicare folks happy.

    • Earl,

      You are looking at mortality rates in China. Their health care systems are primitive compared to those in the US. It’s a bogus basis to draw conclusions about COVID-19’s likely mortality rate in the US.

      • Ah yes, the United States with the best health care in the world and a large portion of the population who avoid going to the doctor because they can’t afford it. link Chinese people think that’s nuts. link

        If you have the money, healthcare in the U.S. is truly excellent, but if you’re not loaded, you’re better off in China.

        FWIW, on my side of the family are Chinese health care workers. On my wife’s side are Canadian and American health care workers. It’s a small sample but I see no evidence that the Chinese system is overall primitive. That said, anyone who tries to say anything that sums up China will end up being wrong.

        • It’s a lot better than it used to be. The first time I was in China, one of my travel mates needed an anti-biotic. He got one, but it was for a horse and had to be broken up into smaller pieces.

          Commie, you have to admit that hygiene standards in China are poor, from squat toilets to lack of soap and hot water in many restrooms, to men hacking up phlegm and just winging it onto the street.

          • It isn’t just in China. I cancelled a trip to Thailand because I don’t care to sit around Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok with all this going on. Even on the beautiful beaches in Thailand, they have pictorial signs of Do Not Take A Crap On The Beach, which you see Chinese tourists do, or with their kids when they need to go potty.
            Or Manila, or any of the big city/airports the Chinese tourists are spitting on the floor and butting into line or just generally real rude and not polite at all. The mainland Chinese have a real arrogant superiority attitude, which shows in how their Gov’t even treats issues like the South China Sea and the neighboring countries and their illegal man made islands. Just read some of the SE Asian newspaper comments about how the locals in the Philippines or in Cambodia for eg, feel about the ethic Han, and they are utterly despised.

            So I thought maybe I would go to Costa Rica next week, but now I see the odd flight having someone testing positive going hither and thither. I am getting on in age and with heart disease and other health issues, and I would just be another statistic if I caught this. So I wonder if I am even safe to fly in North/Central America. Canada hasn’t even suspended flights from mainland China, so if this spreads to North America via Canada, then Canada will have to quarantined from the USA. It could have perhaps been slowed down in early January if China had acted more quickly to admit they had a problem. But NO, they didn’t and you can’t trust anything China says. So I don’t trust China, WHO or the UN, since they are heavily influenced by China.

        • During the SARS outbreak Canada had a 9% death rate and the disease spread in two Toronto hospitals with close to the 400 cases. The US healthcare system contained the disease and had 75 cases and no deaths. You were saying about the ability of both systems to deal with a serious contagious disease?

          • John,

            That nails it.

            See my comment below about the US health care system. A large number of ICU facilities, the Strategic National Stockpile of drugs and medical equipment, and other protective systems all ready to roll on short notice.

            Fortunately, we have competent professionals running these systems, not the panicky know-nothings. That does not guarantee immunity from disasters. It just means we have done what can prudently be done to prepare for them.

          • “Superspreading events,” in which a single person spread the infection to many other people, were an important component of SARS transmission globally. link

            There is at least one case where someone caught SARS in Toronto well after the alarm had sounded. That person returned to the ‘States and reported to the emergency room on April 6 and was sent home. The patient’s symptoms worsened and he went to a different emergency room on April 14 where he was diagnosed with SARS. While loose in the ‘States, the patient had close unprotected contact with 26 people, mostly family and health care workers.

            The American experience with SARS is as much a story of good luck as good management.

          • That would be a fantastic outcome, but I’m not holding my breath. It will take fedgov mandate to move production of critical items (e.g., medication) back to the US. Not an outcome markets will derive on their own. Slave labor too profitable.

          • Larry,

            US hospitals are ALREADY reporting shortages of surgical masks. We have 3/4 months or critical medication in the supply chain based on everything I’ve heard or read.

        • Didn’t you get the memo Obama-care fixed it. Everyone has free health insurance due to the plan that was designed to fail.
          But, seriously he said “compared to” and honestly I don’t know how good China’s healthcare is so won’t comment. I have heard stories of tourists having to pay up front to fix broken arm. I do know the worst insurance in US gets you better treatment then Britain. Ask the right question which is “why are costs so high it is unaffordable?” Not how can we provide it to all. Asking the right questions leads you to the solution. Hint gov’t interferes such as not allowing Dr’s to advertise costs.

        • Ummmm … seriously??? Did you even read it?

          I don’t know who runs this site/blog you’ve linked to, but they are immediately recognizable as non-credible. Is this an English proficient CCP member or some western expat who is still in the honeymoon phase of living in China? In any case the bullshit level propaganda is screaming out and you’re not hearing it.

          First clue should have been when they listed an independent country, repeat independent country, as a province of China. In the entire history of the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan) has NEVER been under PRC jurisdiction. Not only is the CCP not sharing information with Taipei, they actively prevent WHO from direct communication with the government of Taiwan as well.

          But here … check these lines out:
          (2/24 8.01pm) China Tourism Ministry: Don’t Travel to the US: According to a statement on the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s website: “Recently, Chinese tourists have been treated unfairly in the United States due to the excessive vaccination measures and the country’s domestic security situation. Chinese tourists should be vigilant and should not travel to the United States.”
          Did this really come from the Tourism Ministry, and what are “excessive vaccination measures”? Are they really that terrified of simply telling their people that the USA is not allowing flights from China?

          Anyone who hasn’t been paying attention to China the last couple decades needs to catch up before trying to assess the credibility of any information coming from the country. And the first thing to understand about the CCP is that self preservation and maintaining their grip on power is the only thing that really matters to them.

          Likewise, any information coming from the Xi-suckup, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the UN entity WHO should be carefully scrutinized. The guy has allowed himself to become a Beijing puppet. (Did you see the guy’s body language when he met Xi recently?)

    • Every year the flu carries off many seniors. That doesn’t cause a panic. What does cause a panic is when health care workers are affected.

      The largest case series published to date highlights the risk for hospital staff in the early part of the outbreak, with nearly one third of cases occurring in healthcare professionals. Feb. 11

      It was the same with SARS. Folks were scared spitless because health care workers were affected.

      My own personal worry is Iran. The neighbors are slamming their doors shut. link

      • From what I’ve read, the healthcare workers in China are lucky if they get 4 hours of sleep per day. Combined with the immense stress they are under, they can only do that for so long before their immune systems break down. Add nutritional deficiencies, lung and organ damage from long term air pollution in Wuhan and immune system and organ destroying drug treatments, experimental and otherwise, and you have a recipe for mortality when even opportunistic pathogenic triggers (i.e., normally non-virulent) are added. Also, we don’t know if they were smokers or drinkers.

        • Somewhere between 40 and 60% of male doctors in China smoke cigarettes.
          That by itself breaks a large difference between China and, for example, US.

          • I would love to see the data on what their alcohol drinking habits were. I have read that over 1.5 million people in Wuhan abuse alcohol. Alcohol, of course, damages the liver. The liver creates glutathione, the master immune system antioxidant.

            So give antibiotics to a doctor with an impaired liver, which destroys the gut biome and thus impairs the ability to absorb nutrients that destroy viruses and regulate the immune system (e.g., zinc, vitamins D and C; the body can’t make glutathione without vitamin C).

            And give the doctor acetaminophen for fever, which depletes glutathione.

            And give the doctor toxic experimental drugs like antivirals and other things that the liver normally has to detoxify, but now can’t because glutathione reserves are exhausted, and suddenly the doctor has a real problem.

          • I sat at a conference room table that had a couple of no smoking signs on it. Several times, that sign only moved the smokers to the furthest end of the table.

            With regard to drinking, in my estimation, it is binge drinking in China that is most destructive. Their moutai bai jiu is a distillate made from fermented sorghum. During many corporate functions there is pressure to drink a lot of it to prove your manhood. They gang up against foreigners making toasts in a kind of drinking contest, and there are many more of them.

  10. How prepared is the US?

    The US has roughly 80 thousand ICU beds.

    The bottleneck is the number of intensive care beds. Japan has an unusually low number of ICU beds per capita among the developed nations, for a total of roughly 6 thousand beds. They can increase that, to some extent. On the other hand, they also have by far the largest number of hospital beds per capita.

    Belgium and Germany have even more ICU beds per capita than does the US.

    What if a US city or region is overwhelmed with a demand for medical services during an emergency, such as a natural disaster or epidemic? Other hospitals in the region and nation can help. Medical professionals can work longer hours, and be reassigned from other services. Retired professionals can return to service; professionals can go where needed.

    What about equipment and supplies?

    Hospitals have reserves. Vendors can provide supplies from their warehouses. And if that’s not enough – there is the Strategic National Stockpile run by the Federal Dept of Health and Human Services. It costing $600 million per year to maintain – and is well worth the money. This stockpile is designed to supplement state and local inventories.

    “With approximately 200 federal and contract employees, the Strategic National Stockpile is organized to support any public health threat. Stockpile staff represent a variety of specialties, and all work together to ensure the right resources are ready and can get to the right place at the right time.”

    The inventory consists of twelve Push Packages, stored at secret facilities around the nation. Each occupies 124 cargo containers, weigh 94,424 pounds, and require 5,000 square feet of floor space for proper staging and management. A package fills a wide-body aircraft or seven tractor trailers. It can be deployed to arrive in any city in the continental US in 12 hours.

    The SNS has been supplemented by a second tier of medical products that are under the control and management of selected, pre-qualified vendors. The Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) is designed to arrive 24-36 hours after SNS deployment.

    Here is a WaPo article about the program. See a detailed description here.

    Another line of defense

    The US Army has Combat Support Hospitals (CSH), successor to the Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals used in Korea and Vietnam. There are 8 active duty units and 14 reserve units (plus 3 overseas). A fully manned CSH has over 600 people when fully staffed 248 beds.

    • With regard to military hospital resources. Here in the UK better than 9/10ths of military medical services rely upon reservists, and guess what most of those reservists do for a full time job ?

      Militaries dont really need vast medical services unless there’s a shooting war going on. And in the event of a Big War, denuding civil medical services to bolster the military may be acceptable.

      Sooooo, it might be a mistake to imagine the Military will be able to save the day if nCoV gets out of hand.

  11. Look at the many comments here that are exactly like those of climate alarmists. Fearful, gullibly believing stories from fringe sources, drawing extreme conclusions from little evidence (or fake news). Switch the nouns and their comments are similar.

    This shows the brotherhood of humanity: the difference between skeptics and alarmists is both universal (across subjects) but only a difference in beliefs (not in people’s nature).

    Also, remember when reading skeptics on this website ranting about alarmists. Switch the subject and those people might act exactly the same.

    • Yes, we don’t know how this is going to play out. I do think it’s prudent to prepare for the possibility of disruptions as making preparations doesn’t cost very much. Get some extra supplies, food and medicine.

      I recently picked up some N95 masks at Home Depot. I went back today to get a few more and they were sold out. I had paid ~ $7 for a 3 pack and I checked Ebay and they are $30.

      • “I checked Ebay and they are $30.”

        A much superior half-mask respirator (high-rated too) was under $35 when I got it two years ago.

    • Larry
      The validity and accuracy of your sources regarding this virus come from where?
      Have you seen the umpteen videos emanating from China?
      Do you dismiss any/all visible evidence as being Falun Gong/Uighur/Hong Kong dissident propaganda?

      These are not sarcastic points, as we all struggle in this Info/Disinfo/Misinfo Age of near-instantaneous global communication.

      As some above have wisely pointed out, watch what governments – most especially China – DO versus what they say.

      Observable actions by the Chinese government include the quarantining of over 750 million people.

      If an astute observer is not impressed by that single data point, so be it.

      • An astute observer will realize that most likely that will stop the spread in China. Problem solved for them.

    • Actually Larry, your articles on Covid-19 sound like those from climate alarmists (Trust the WHO/IPCC).

      There is no way the Chinese would be doing this much damage to their economy (with the travel restrictions and quarantines) if the disease was as controllable as the WHO would have you believe. Try explaining the outbreak and deaths in northern Italy in the context of your summation.

      The comments you see as alarmist are skeptical responses to the assessments of an intergovernmental organisation. Sound familiar?

      • “The comments you see as alarmist are skeptical responses to the assessments of an intergovernmental organisation. Sound familiar?”

        +1 (BTW, Jo Nova has regular new threads on the topic, often with alarming interpretation, mostly advocating strong quarantine measures and other practical steps.

      • You’re making a big assumption that their reaction corresponds to the disease’s virulence. They’ve just lost 33% of their pork production, which makes for a very unhappy Chinese populace. There is a revolt against communist rule going on in Hong Kong, and the totalitarian communist regime is very fearful of that spreading to the rest of China. So this may just be their way of distracting from those issues.

        • Again, explain northern Italy. Then Iran. South Korea.

          Now factor in the lack of testing in Hawaii, North Korea and the African continent.

          Your “calm and reasonable” stance is just faith in authority

          • Infection is one thing, mortality is another.

            From what I’ve read, all of the mortality outside of China is elderly people and people with other health issues. For example, the first 3 cases in Japan were 2 people in their 80s, and a taxi driver in his 60s with diabetes and hepatitis B.

            The first person to die in S Korea had been bed ridden for 20 years.

            The other countries exhibit the same pattern.

          • Analitik

            Your comment about lack of testing is especially important.
            Early reports out of Italy claim the rapidly rising number of confirmed cases is attributable – in part – to the vigorous testing of virtually anyone with suspected symptoms.
            One may draw whatever conclusions from that factoid as one wishes, I suppose.

          • Infection is one thing, mortality is another

            Absolutely. But that does not mean that a highly infectious disease that has a low(ish) mortality rate is not hugely disruptive.

            From what I’ve read, all of the mortality outside of China is elderly people and people with other health issues.

            Yes, this could be the disease that the Club of Rome wanted to cull the human species down to a more “sustainable” level by removing the members that “contribute least” to society.

    • Larry just take a look at the simple numbers.

      80,000 ICU beds
      U.S Population 320 odd million.

      Now lets say that over the next 4-5 months just 100 million people in the U.S contract this Virus.

      And lets go by current numbers and guess that 10 % of those infected need a Hospital bed.

      10 Million people need a Hospital bed… And that is with generous assumptions based on current figures

      So then also based upon current numbers roughly 10-15 % of those Hospitalized need intensive care.

      1,000,000 people need Intensive Care.

      So 80,000 ICU beds go’s how far ?

      What if half the population of the U.S gets hit by this Virus ?, What if this is just the first wave of the Virus?

      Being aware of the possible dangers and acknowledging them is not the same as being an Alarmist.

      As for placing any trust in either the Gov’t, WHO, UN, CCP or anybody else not directly involved with the safety and well being of my Loved Ones …LMFHAO….

      This all still has a long way to go, just 8 weeks ago there were but a small smattering of news reports of a strange new Pneumonia in China, 4 week’s ago here in Aus we had the Gov’t mouthpiece tell us all that there was still no clear evidence of Human to Human transmission and a few thousand reported cases in China with daily flights still coming in all over the Planet.

      Hi, We are from the Gov’t and Were are here to Help…

      • You’re leaving out the time factor, and assuming that most of the worst cases need full ICU treatment for the full time of the outbreak.

        From what we’ve seen, the worst cases only seem to need two weeks or so of ICU treatment (but let’s call it a month, to allow for a worst-case scenario).

        So you can handle five times as many cases over those five months. Equivalent to 400,000 beds.

        Further, you can also assume that a lot of US non-ICU beds will be suitable for “ICU” treatment – mostly, the only real medical plan is “give them oxygen and some drugs, and keep an eye on their vitals.” For available treatment, a “standard” US hospital bed is easily equivalent to an “ICU” bed in most of China (and most of the world, for that matter).

        • “You’re leaving out the time factor, and assuming that most of the worst cases need full ICU treatment for the full time of the outbreak.

          From what we’ve seen, the worst cases only seem to need two weeks or so of ICU treatment (but let’s call it a month, to allow for a worst-case scenario).

          So you can handle five times as many cases over those five months. Equivalent to 400,000 beds.

          Further, you can also assume that a lot of US non-ICU beds will be suitable for “ICU” treatment – mostly, the only real medical plan is “give them oxygen and some drugs, and keep an eye on their vitals.” For available treatment, a “standard” US hospital bed is easily equivalent to an “ICU” bed in most of China (and most of the world, for that matter).”

          cirby it still works out at 1 million ICU beds over that time frame and that is assuming that less than a third of the U.S contracts the virus and that only 10% of the seriously affected 10% actually need an ICU bed.

          It also assumes that all 80,000 ICU beds are currently vacant, that all ICU beds are contained/isolated units with independent air filtration and negatively pressurized exhaust in order to negate any cross infection of other patients and care providers as well.

          What do you do with all the existing patients currently under care in the hospitals ?

          Why is China asking for asking for supply’s of face mask’s and hazmat ppe from the rest of the world when they are the main manufacturer of such stuff ?

          Current time frame from initial diagnosis of Cov-19 till end result is roughly three weeks, IE Recovered or Dead, South Korea has gone from a few dozen cases to over 800 in three days or so with a 2.2% recovery rate.

          How long do you think it would take for an already stretched hospital system to be overwhelmed with virus cases, how do you handle the quarantine of those confirmed with the virus from those with… oh lets just say the common flu or any other pre existing condition such as post op care for a boob job, palliative care, heart conditions, diabetes, etc etc ?

          Do you just chuck a diagnosed Cov-19 patient into a common ward along with everyone else and give them some oxygen and some drugs ? And don’t forget that this is not “Intensive Care”, that is for those needing assisted breathing, actual life support or they are dead.

          Along with all that you can add the number of Doctors and Nurses themselves that will no doubt become infected as well, the shortage of PPE, Drug’s, Beds, and the interruption of transport and other supply issues as all this evolves and drags on over time. Who want’s to go to work at an infected hotspot as a cook or cleaner unless you absolutely have to and risk infecting not only yourself but your two young kids and Missus when you go home as well ?

          Once again this is not being an Alarmist, this is just an underestimated scenario and realistic assessment of the current numbers as they stand so far, I might also add though that the U.S has a fundamentally different health care platform compared to that here in Australia.

          Who pay’s if you are unfortunately infected with this virus in the U.S and need Intensive care ?

          • Look up: negative pressure rooms for infectious disease containment. Then try to find the number of negative pressure rooms we have.

            Should an outbreak take hold here, the hospital will be the last resort.

            My favorite running theory right now about this virus is that’s primarily transferred via fecal-oral transmission, so sanitation and hygiene standards have a real influence. If that’s true, we might see much of an epidemic over here in NA.

            With that said, the supply disruptions are very real. Wonder if the US strategic reserve plans include restocking the local Walgreens.

          • Ok we get it you are wetting yourself. So, let’s assume you are 100percent correct and that the governments are all useless.
            What do you propose be done about it? We can’t go to gov’t they are useless. So, what do you propose? Revolt? Should we go out and try to panic the World thus making your worse case inevitable? Seems like the only sane thing to do is stay calm and make sure you have supplies in case of earthquakes or other natural disasters.

          • There are people in their 20s and 30s in ICU beds right now in Italy and SK. As case counts climb outside of China, we will start to get a better read on this. IMO, trusting what the WHO says is akin to taking the IPCC at their word.

    • You’re exactly right. Visceral reactions based on fear rather than reasoned skeptical analyses. It’s almost like it’s considered sin to be skeptical of the pronouncements of the medical and public health professions.

      • Haven’t you noticed that “health-care providers” are the new Priestly Class, They Who Know and Must Never Be Questioned? Now shaddup and take your statin, Comrade!

    • “Look at the many comments here that are exactly like those of climate alarmists. Fearful, gullibly believing stories from fringe sources, drawing extreme conclusions from little evidence (or fake news). Switch the nouns and their comments are similar.”

      Yup. smart folks prepare for the past whether that is weather or epidemics.

      • Hi, – I read Steven W. Mosher article from the NY Post on-line 2 days ago : “Don’t buy China’s story ….” I thought it interesting & assumed it was by WUWT’s occasional commentator Steven Mosher.

      • Steven Mosher February 24, 2020 at 2:28 am
        Steven, You said you were it Korea, Get out quickly. We don’t know what is happening to the “north” but in turbulent times Megalomaniacs tend to get adventurous. As I said what ever it takes get out. Baring that invest 10,000 SPF sunscreen.

        Not joking

      • Smart folks learn from the past and natural occurrences such as climate changing and realize it is normal. Smart folks know this isn’t 1918. So don’t get their knickers in twist thinking a 100yr old problem can’t be dealt with.

    • There’s one massive difference between alarmism about Covid-19 and alarmism about global warming. Covid-19 is killing people. Global warming hasn’t, isn’t, and isn’t likely to in the foreseeable future. The risk presented by a potentially fatal disease that may be spread by asymptomatic carriers is not remotely comparable to the risk of sea levels rising a few centimenters over *decades*.

      I’m not particularly panicked by this disease, yet. But it’s an event in progress and the eventual outcome is not known. The center of the disease happens to be in a nation that cannot be relied on for accurate information. When this is all over may be a good time to go back, do a post-mortem, and assess how well organizations like CDC and WHO performed during the event. Right now, when “what we know” is changing on a daily basis, there’s every possibility that at least *some* of “what we know” turns out to be wrong.

  12. Based on the cruise ship and data from Italy, the best estimate of overall mortality in a city would be of the order of 1:1000. So in the USA, 300,000 deaths. Most likely some 5-10x that number would require intensive care ventilation or ECMO. If not contained, that’s the kind of problem that likely will be faced.

    • Chris,

      It is far too soon to be making estimates of mortality. Those samples are bizarrely small.

      That is how misinformation gets created and circulated.

    • You can’t base anything on the cruise ship population yet. It’s just too early. It’s also likely that letting the “uninfected” off the ship and into Japan, rather than into another quarantine facility, was a huge mistake, but that’s another matter.

      But you’re right, a lot can be derived from the first 500-600 confirmed cases on the Princess. They will all be tracked and we will know within a month the mortality rate of that cluster of cases. From that, we should be able to get a good estimate of the mortality rate for populations similar to those infected on the ship.

      And, if they are following all of the others who left the ship, we should also get a feel for who is least susceptible to the virus, as well. For example, if there were kids on the ship, did they come down with it too? Or young adults?

  13. I am just back from a week in Hong Kong. The A380 Airbus from Sydney was 1/4 full (excellent service).
    5PM Tuesday the freeway was sparse to say the least. Wednesday morning at 0830 the streets were full, but Lambton Quay, Wellington, NZ full, not Hong Kong or NY full. For a 40 minute walk along Hennessy Road I counted just 20 people without masks, half non- Chinese. I wore a mask, not the least out of respect for the locals. Courts were closed, schools and Unis were also (up to 12 March at least). At my birthday dinner at Jimmy’s there was our party of 10 and 2 other people in the (normally full) restaurant. The churches were closed with replacement ‘on line’ church services.
    Hong Kong is taking things seriously and even with the proximity to the mainland and a land boarder, numbers of infections are relatively low. Hong Kong also has a good public and private health system which helps survivability.
    With the latest infections among a party of 50 Hong Kong police at a birthday party I now have a tiny doubt about my birthday party (and my unfortunate friends!)
    My view is that it is worth taking it seriously if Corona virus comes to your town but don’t go over the top. SWMBO has me on an enforced 14 day quarantine in the spare bedroom which is not necessary (but keeps her happy). However if it does come to town, keep away from crowds, wear a mask out of the house and wash hands carefully as often as you can.
    And no, I have no cough and feel fine (so far!!)

      • Ply yourself with vitamins C, D3, K2 and zinc. You mentioned you got a Vit D shot. Take vit K so calcium gets directed to the right places and not your arteries, which can happen with excess vit D and low vit K.

        • I intend to sit in the sun, isolated from all huu-monns, while delicately and slowly consuming 40 cases of SPAM!

      • How would you cope with a 28 day Quarantine Mosher??? Seems that’s what this Virus means for the safety of everyone concerned.

        • I hear for the early adopters of quarantine here in the UK and Europe, full WiFi is available. So he’ll be able to give us a day by day account.

          Of course, should quarantine facilities experience growth, it’ll be back to the tree falling in a forest making a sound argument. 🙂

    • Enjoy your last two weeks.
      You seemed like a decent guy…we will miss you.
      In case anyone missed it…masks do not keep a virus out of your body.
      They are not I tended to.
      They keep them in those infected.
      Case in point: Japanese epidemiologist on the cruise ship taking info from people.
      Wore mask and gloves.
      Fully aware of all procedures and safety measures.
      Got sick anyway.

      I would not blow it out of proportion…or ignore it.
      Masks are not meant to protect the wearer.
      Not unless coupled with several other measures will it help…maybe.
      Maybe not at all.
      Full face shield, goggles, and a frequently changed properly fitting mask…those likely help.

        • Hi Nicholas. yes mortally offended!! I can tell a friend by the level of offensive or inappropriate digs. The more offensive or inappropriate the better the friend. (we are odd here in Brooklyn (south) )
          BTW I wore the mask mainly to not offend the locals. Apparently it also reduces you touching your eyes and mouth with your dirty hands.
          My people in H-K who, like all in H-K are ‘China watchers’, say to divide Chinese good news by 10 and multiply bad news by the same.

          Now in early May I am off to Malta for a wedding. Close to Italy. Hmmm…

          Will post a note on WUWT if I get the virus so you can all have a good laugh.

  14. Okay, which name is it, SARS-Cov-2 or COVID-19? There seems to be some confusion as to the name of this virus. Are these one and the same as the article implies?

    • Tom,

      “There seems to be some confusion”

      SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.

      Just as Smallpox is caused by Variola major and Variola minor visuses.

      • “SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.”

        So COVID-19 is not the name of the new virus? Now I’m even more confused.

      • Well, now I’m no longer confused after reading the link supplied by Nicholas McGinley(below):

        “CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which has now been detected in 32 locations internationally, including cases in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).”

        All I have seen in reference to the virus in articles published to date was COVID-19. I only saw the reference to SARS-CoV-2 in the article published yesterday, which is why I raised the question.

        I finally got straightened out. 🙂

  15. “Recovered” Patients may still infect others.
    Wuhan is imposing a 14 day quarantine on recovered patients as some are testing positive AFTER discharge.
    Coronavirus: Wuhan to quarantine all cured patients for 14 days after some test positive again

    Recovered and discharged people were sent to designated centres from Saturday onwards
    Decision follows several instances in which recovered patients were found to be still carrying the virus and able to infect others

  16. What happens if a pandemic hits?

    The focus will switch from containment to mitigation, i.e. slowing down how fast the virus spreads through a population in which it has taken root. Mitigation can occur via individual measures, such as frequent hand washing, and collective measures, such as “social distancing” — cancellations of mass events, closures, adopting remote work and remote education wherever possible, and so forth.

    The slower the pandemic moves, the smoother the demands on health-care systems will be; the less risk those systems will have of becoming overloaded;

    • David,

      That’s all true, of course. But there is another element to this: preparation. Throughout history, plagues hit with blinding speed.

      But this time, the world’s public health agencies have had two months to prepare. Protocols have been developed, people trained, global communication networks set up to exchange information, and trials on drugs are already underway.

      Also, containment measures are being taken with unprecedented magnitude and speed.

      • Throughout history, plagues hit with blinding speed.

        No, they didn’t.
        “The Black Death, also known as the Pestilence (Pest for short), the Great Plague or the Plague, or less commonly the Black Plague, was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia, peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351.”

        So that’s a 4 year period where it peaked, but when did it start?

        “The Black Death is thought to have originated in the dry plains of Central Asia or East Asia, where it travelled along the Silk Road, reaching Crimea by 1343”

        So 4 -8 years after it reached Europe, it peaked in Europe.

        Hardly ‘blinding speed’.

        The problem we have today is physical transport is so fast and so easy.

        That makes modern day spreads far more likely to have ‘blinding speed’.

        Oddly enough this pandemic if it occurs may in fact bring about a societal change that is beneficial: remote working.

      • “Also, containment measures are being taken with unprecedented magnitude and speed.”

        Which measures had ANY success?

  17. The only problem with this article is that it relies heavily on data provided by the Chinese Center for Disease Control. The facts on the ground seem to show that those statistics are simply garbage. We’ll see the real numbers as this pandemic (and I am calling it that) progresses outside China. WHO and other officials are downplaying this to avoid panic while hoping for a miracle to stop the progression of this disease. They’d be better off pi**ing int the wind.

    I don’t think that this pandemic is the end of the world as we know it, but it’s certainly going to change our world in ways we don’t yet understand.

    • DaveK,

      “The only problem with this article is that it relies heavily on data provided by the Chinese Center for Disease Control. ”

      No, it does not. It does exactly the opposite. Very little of it is based on data from China. The focus of the post is about its spread outside China.

      As is repeatedly mentioned in this post (and in the comments) that data from China is probably not a useful guide to what we’ll see in the developed nations. I’ll give just one example from the post.

      “Outside of China, CFR estimates among confirmed cases reported is lower than reported from within China. However, it is too early to draw conclusions as to whether there are real differences in the CFR inside and outside of China, as final outcome data (that is, who will recover and who will die) for the majority of cases reported from outside China are not yet known.”

      • “No, it does not. It does exactly the opposite. Very little of it is based on data from China. The focus of the post is about its spread outside China.

        As is repeatedly mentioned in this post (and in the comments) that data from China is probably not a useful guide to what we’ll see in the developed nations. I’ll give just one example from the post.

        “Outside of China, CFR estimate”

        it’s like they cant read!

    • I prefer officially made up numbers to those you can find at random on the ‘net.

      Who you going to trust? Some person you have never met or some Government with similar qualifications.

      • I’ve been giving people on here a lot more credit for real climate science than I have the IPCC. Now, we all want to do an about face?


    • I am seeing less downplaying.
      DEC says this:
      “However, it’s important to note that current global circumstances suggest it is likely that this virus will cause a pandemic. In that case, the risk assessment would be different. ”

      The odds are, this disease has broken through the attempts at containment.
      That is not a forgone conclusion, but the trend is impossible to ignore.
      Prior to a week ago, almost every case, possibly every case, was traceable back to Wuhan.
      That is no longer the case.
      I known carriers are spreading the disease.
      So it is unknowable if the lockdown will matter.

      • Highly likely it has not been contained. More than 10 million Chinese tourists travel the world each month.

        The top 10 destinations for Chinese tourists:
        Hong Kong
        South Korea

        If the virus started spreading in December or earlier, how could it be contained?
        Watch Amesh Aldja, Johns Hopkins,
        “The virus probably had a head start before people knew what was going on”
        “Flu has almost identical symptoms to the corona virus… so there may have been cases that were misdiagnosed as flu … and spreading before it came to attention.”

        Quite likely there has been a pandemic for the last month or two and we are just starting to see medical professionals testing suspected cases in their countries.

        • It would have been very unlikely for anyone to have been alerted to presence of a novel illness until a large clump of unusual cases occurred in a small area.
          I think it is a virtual certainty that the virus was spreading prior to December.
          Only in a case where most people become very sick very quickly could there have been any chance of catching the original transmission of a new virus.
          This was one of my first reactions after hearing the particulars, when people seem to have been assuming that the virus not being found in the market meant it did not come from there.
          For one thing, that was assuming it had just started spreading around the time they were looking, that it was infecting some animal or group of animals that was still there, etc.
          It always seemed likely to me that if the market was a place where many people had become infected, it was either a person who worked there, or a vendor who delivered there, or a wild caught animal that was brought there sick and then infected people in the market, perhaps one person who then spread it to other people, perhaps numerous people who each spread it.
          They were probably looking 6 to as many as 10 weeks or more too late to find the original carrier, when they went to the market and tested for it.

          • “I think it is a virtual certainty that the virus was spreading prior to December.”

            Agreed (although I wouldn’t use the word ‘certainty’) and considering how many Chinese tourists travel the world every month (millions) it is highly probable that there is already a global pandemic that is just being acknowledged.

  18. We know about this virus? Nothing do we.
    Cats have their own Coronavirus.
    Incubation period up to 6 weeks.
    Lethality 100%.
    Covid19 is very tricky.
    Already cured become ill again.
    It us unclear whether the virus can be cured at all or will stay inside forever like HPV

    • Alex,

      “We know about this virus? Nothing do we.”

      A great deal is known about the virus, from its genome to many of its characteristics. Much more than in week 8 of any previous epidemic.

      I suggest that you read the post, and perhaps click thru to some of the links.

      • Great that you’re so educated.
        The future will show.
        German government asked 2012 for a study.
        They called the imaginary new Virus modi-SARS.
        The prediction: 7.5 mio dead after first 3 years.

        • The unending predictions of apocalyptic pandemics have been just as accurate as the unending predictions of climate catastrophism. Batting average for both = zero.

          • Well, you are right. Somthing is “batting zero”.
            We had no winter this year.
            It was the very first year without Mongolian anti-cyclone in winter.
            Google Voeykov axis.
            He discovered this anticyclone 1873.
            Since then, it was every year present and defined the atmospheric circulation over Eurasia in winter.
            Not this year. There was nothing. Nada. Null.
            This is a true tipping point.
            It is like if the Alps would disappear at once.

  19. While I don’t disagree with the gist of this post that we are better off now in our ability to handle situations like this, I notice much of what is provided is from WHO. The problem I see is WHO bungled the initial response due to corruption and thus I, and I’m sure others out there, need to know why we should trust their information now? Peter Navarro mentions WHO bungling at 7:35 in this interview though I would recommend people watch the whole thing.

    • rah,

      “The problem I see is WHO bungled the initial response due to corruption”

      It’s a sad fact of life that professionals managing fast moving complex situations with little information are not as smart as amateurs (Navarro is an economist) looking on from the sidelines with perfect hindsight.

      How strange.


  20. I was only slightly concerned about this in January. Than around the 21st or 22nd of January the director of WHO spoke about how we should not worry about this and that there was no need for a travel ban. What he didnt talk about was what measures were being taken to contain this and why those measures would work. When people try to assure you and leave out those details. it means they either are incompetent or lying to you. At that point my panic level went up to 8 or 9 on a scale of 10. I no longer have any trust in WHO at all. The CDC was more honest in that they didn’t believe they could stop it and the purpose of the travel ban was to slow the rate of infection down. This more negative statement actually calmed me down because it seemed honest.

    Just looking at the data this infection is growing exponentially. The good news is that the death rate among the young is comparatively low. Maybe .4%. Unfortunately us older people have a higher death rate so that they balance out giving a CFR of about 2 – 3%. The definition of CFR used in this article “The confirmed case fatality ratio, or CFR, is the total number of deaths divided by the total number of confirmed cases at one point in time.” is not accurate because CFR is your chance of dying if you get the disease not what percent have died at a point in time. For example only about .4% of the people on the princess diamond who contracted the disease have died at this point in time. After it runs its course that should increase from 3 deaths to somewhere between 14 to 21 people unless more than 691 come down with the Coronavirus on the princess diamond.

    • ^this

      When the WHO Director General criticized nations for putting travel restrictions to/from China to prevent economic disruption, that’s when the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

    • Old smokers should be looking for a cabin in remote mountains to rent for a year or two, eh?
      Another clue about this virus being serious: Health officials talking about how soon a vaccine will be available, as if it is a foregone conclusion one is possible.
      No corona virus vaccines exist.
      Ever…for any of them.
      No such thing.
      Being in trials does not count.
      Most trials fail.
      And people are saying with a straight face it might be as much as a year until one is ready for distribution.
      That would be by far the fastest any vaccine has every been created and manufactured and tested then distributed.
      As I have many times previously noted, many viruses have no vaccine despite decades of trying.
      So why would health care professionals say such a thing?
      No idea personally.
      What does it mean?
      Probably nothing…people like to have something to say.

      • Even more worrying, there is evidence that a vaccine can make things worse. There was research on SAR vaccines tested on animals and they found it made the infection worse instead of better. The latest on that is a report that it was something to do with ADE – Antibody dependent enhancement. Bizarrely, it reported that when the antibodies are at a low titer, the antibodies themselves can facilitate the entry of the virus into cells.

        • ” ADE – Antibody dependent enhancement. Bizarrely, it reported that when the antibodies are at a low titer, the antibodies themselves can facilitate the entry of the virus into cells.”

          I wonder whether this is the mechanism that requires a wait of some weeks before kittens should be vaccinated for Rabies. Presumably their immune system is immature initially, and so could be overwhelmed by the vaccine and be infected by it instead of immunized?

      • “That would be by far the fastest any vaccine has every been created and manufactured and tested then distributed”

        The flu vaccine is created in a much shorter time frame every year, but it’s also a dangerous drug with zero evidence of usefulness in any context, that so reasonable health authority would defend, so…

        • This is a fundamental misunderstanding of what makes every year’s flu vaccine unique.
          The virus is well understood, and the vaccine is only a variation on a successful model.
          They sample virus which is circulating in the Spring and try to anticipate what variants will be predominant in the following flu season which typically starts in the Fall in the US.
          All that varies is what strains of circulating virus are selected to manufacture the vaccine for the following season.
          No one thinks it is perfect, but everyone who understands statistics agrees that it decreases the odds of getting the flu, and the severity of the symptoms of people who get sick anyway.

          If you do not understand the difference between creating a vaccine of a slightly different strain of a well described illness, and creating and testing a vaccine for a novel virus, the discussion is over your head and I would not trouble myself if I were you.

          • The vaccine is a defective product allowed through by dismissing procedures and the so called “evidence based medicine” that was actually never a thing, as we have pretty much MDs with the minds of those of Molière.

            The vaccine is worthless at best, but it isn’t just that, it’s very dangerous and to be avoided.

      • “Old smokers should be looking for a cabin in remote mountains to rent for a year or two, eh?”

        Maybe. The dangerous part of COVID-19 seems to be when it gets down into the lungs and causes pneumonia. I think they have been having some success with antiviral drugs in treating this, although that was only one report. And of course, these antiviral drugs are made in China.

        I think one thing that will result from this virus is there will be shorter supply chains in the future and more nations will decide it is in their interests to manufacture their own critical substances rather than depending on outside entities.

      • they did develop a SARS vx I gather
        been reported that its not offering protection for this variant though

        • It was developed at the tail end of the epidemic and the clinical trials were discontinued, although some objected and thought they should have finished the trials.
          They have recently just restarted the trials, is my understanding.
          I am considering a drug in trial to not count as a vaccine until and unless it is proven safe and effective.
          Prior to that, it is a vaccine candidate.

          Here is more on the story…several weeks out of date but accurate AFAICT:

  21. Why did the youngish Chinese doctors die ? They are not the vulnerable old people. They are also in a hospital with best facilities available. Maybe worse than we are told ?

    • I’ll repeat my comment above, here.

      From what I’ve read, the healthcare workers in China are lucky if they get 4 hours of sleep per day. Combined with the immense stress they are under, they can only do that for so long before their immune systems break down. Add nutritional deficiencies, lung and organ damage from long term air pollution in Wuhan and immune system and organ destroying drug treatments, experimental and otherwise, and you have a recipe for mortality when even opportunistic pathogenic triggers (i.e., normally non-virulent) are added. Also, we don’t know if they were smokers or drinkers.

  22. Reporting from Italy.
    The government’s actions can be described as flip-flopping, with an initial unwillingness to seriously quarantine travellers returning from China, and now strict (at least on paper) lockdowns of areas where cases have been registered; the recently passed executive order even indicates the Army may be called in and transgressors of the lockdown fined with a threat of incarceration.

    There has been quite a rush to stockpile food and other items; hand sanitizing gels are sold out in most stores and some supermarkets had their shelves cleared.

      • “Empty store shelves in Milan”

        It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for people to buy themselves enough food and other essentials to allow them to stay home for a couple of weeks. Just in case. Stocking up now when there is no panic is better than trying to stock up when there is a panic.

        It also wouldn’t be a bad idea for people who are in a position to do so, to plant themselves a garden.

        • It’s still too early for gardens in northern Italy, you need to give it a couple more weeks before plants can make it outdoors, even in a tunnel. And there’s a cold front coming, it seems.

  23. Too late. The horse has bolted

    It was never going to be contained anyway. The average person with average protective gear has zils chance of avoiding infection in a contaminated environment. Look at the number of health workers infected in China. They are fully kitted up and doused in disinfectant.

    When it comes to my country I will not be wearing a mask. These guys are VERY tiny

    The only thing that will stop this is nature – the slow reduction of the infectious capability of the organism- the way that every annual flu outbreak declines. Parasites never entirely kill out their host, That is if there is not a mutation. Then, start over

    A fascinating saga

    Anyone here suggesting a homemade disinfectant? So far I have heard of bleach and ethyl alcohol. Anything else to add?

    • Yep! Relying on a sugar-free 100% carnivore diet. Sugar suppresses the immune system massively. 1 can of Coke will get your T-cells down to near nil for 6 hours.

      All you freaker-outers need to remember; for most folks who catch this, it’s a mild cold.

    • Ditto…I will not be wearing any mask or rubber gloves.
      Avoid sick looking people, and just use regular squeamish behavior.
      Do not touch people or objects in public places, do not stand real close to people when talking to them, wash hands a lot.
      Odds are any particular person has nothing to worry about, and even if infected, most will live.

    • Hi Michael Carter, – Peracetic (per-oxy-acetic) acid is a significantly stronger oxidizer (breaks bonds) than bleach & also stronger than hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, pure hydrogen peroxide is almost as oxidizing as peracetic acid) . Peracetic acid is basically 2.4% hydrogen peroxide + 0.8 – 1.6% acetic acid + molecules of water.

      Here are proportions for a small batch: 400 ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide + 100 ml of white 5% vinegar.

      Directions: in microwave, or otherwise, bring 100 ml of vinegar to a boil … then add the 400 ml of room temperature hydrogen peroxide to that vinegar before the vinegar temperature is cool.

      Mixed together at 36*C (97*F) yields 0.15% per-oxy-acetic acid (equivalent to 1,500 ppm) + residual acetic acid + H2O (from H2O2 hydrogen peroxide).

      Note: glass best for stirring & storage; corrosive to all metals (wash any stainless steel implements promptly & avoid aluminum even for stirring).

      Let cool in fridge & then can store in dark glass wherever cool. It is fully potent for up to 2 weeks before any per-oxy-acetic acid starts to break down. [Note: once your bottle of the 3% hydrogen peroxide has been opened that formula ingredient loses it’s original potency in 1 – 2 months. This type of thing happens with bleach too, when not freshly opened chlorine can be lost.]

      Proper use as disinfectant: don’t blithely spray it misting around & avoid sniffing it (use face mask); also avoid skin/eye contact (use eyewear). During handling use latex or nitrile gloves.

      Time of contact for disinfection varies. On natural surfaces (ex: wood) give it 5-10 minutes before wipe/rinse down, on hard surfaces give it 1-4 minutes before wipe/rinse down & you can also dip/submerge smaller item into it for about 1 minute before rinsing off.

      Option if really, really, really got something you are worried about: then wrap it in porous paper to dip it 1st in 70% isopropyl alcohol for 2 minutes, then unwrap & put it into 10% bleach for 10 minutes, next (unwrapped) put it in peracetic acid for 7 minutes, then wash it off twice with 2% hydrogen peroxide to flush it clean & finally let item dry without rinsing it off with water.

      [Note: if for some unlikely reason, you are attempting to treat something that already has a very low pH (ex: lower than formula component acetic acid) then be aware you can anticipate there will be some degradation of the active component of your peracetic acid.]

      Disposal: do not pour down sink drain since risks contacting metal , rather highly dilute with water & pour down toilet bowel for sending to sewer.

  24. This virus is here to stay. Vaccination eventually may work but billions of people have to be vaccinated, it might take decades of catching up. If this is a natural generated virus it will mutate making it more difficult to eradicate.
    If it is a laboratory product science and medical researchers should be given full access to data regardless where was the origin from. If that happens to have been the case it should be possible to engineer a harmless antiCOVID-19 to neutralise the the infection.

      • niceguy February 24, 2020 at 5:47 am
        When has mass vaccination worked?

        Polio eradication starting in 1988, so far reduced globally by over 99%.
        Smallpox eradication declared in 1980, 40th anniversary celebrated last year.

        • Thank you.
          In fact in the US and much of the developed world, there is a long list of diseases that used to be endemic and kill large numbers of people on a regular basis.
          Some of them are now becoming resurgent thanks to antivaxxers and allowing unscreened illegal immigrants to go wherever the hell they want.

          For the USA:
          Disease, Pre vaccination annual # of cases, Recent reports of # of cases

          -Diphtheria, 21,000+ per year, now down to approximately zero cases per year

          – Haemophilus influenzae, ~20,000/yr, now down to about 250 or less/year

          – Hepatitis A, used to be ~118,000 cases per year, now down to ~ 11,000 cases/year

          – Hepatitis B, used to be over 66,000 cases/yr, now down to ~11,250 cases/yr

          – Measles, used to be over 530,000 cases per year, now down to 61 cases per year…had been close to zero

          – Mumps, 162,500 —-> 942

          – Pertussis, 200,750 ——->11,500

          – Pneumococcal disease, 16,000+ —–> 4,167

          – Polio, 16, 300+ ——> ZERO

          – Rubella, 47,750———–> 4

          – Small Pox, 29,000+ ————> ZERO

          – Tetanus, 580 ———-> 14

          – Varicella, 4,085,120 ———–> 449,363

          The above have been reduced by, in order: 100%, 99%, 91%, 83%, 99%, 99%, 93%, 74%, 100%, 99%, 90%, 100%, 98%, 89%.

          That was as of 2013. Anyone who feels like it can look for more recent number.

          And nine vaccines currently in development that are showing promise:
          Universal Flu Vaccine

          Sadly, all attempts to create an inoculation against jackassery and ignorance have failed miserably.

          • Thank you Nicholas. I learn a lot when I read your comments. The same for a lot of others here too. I have probably leant more here at WUWT the last 4-5 years than the rest of my entire life. You must be able to type 200 words a minute…

          • niceguy February 25, 2020 at 10:18 am
            Do you admit that you have not found any trace of hint of evidence that one vaccine was EVER useful?

            I just gave you two where global vaccination programs eradicated diseases, completely in the case of smallpox and by over 99% in the case of polio (Afghanistan being a war zone is a complicating factor there). Before the introduction of polio vaccines in the 50s every summer the outbreaks of polio in the summer were dreaded, doesn’t happen now. The last cases of naturally occurring polio in the US were in 1979 among Amish residents who had refused vaccination. Used to be millions of cases of smallpox around the world, none now!

          • niceguy February 25, 2020 at 4:12 pm
            What is “polio”?

            It’s short for poliomyelitis, which is an infectious viral disease which infects the central nervous system and can cause paralysis (often called ‘infantile paralysis’). Typically transmitted via contaminated water, the outbreaks in the US that occurred prior to vaccination were usually in the summer and resulted in public swimming pools being closed down as they were seen as sources of infection. Polio was endemic in the US and Europe prior to vaccination in the 50s. In the US polio was one of the most serious communicable diseases among children, in 1952 nearly 60,000 children were diagnosed, many were paralyzed and over 3,000 died. Hospitals had ‘iron lungs’ set up in wards to keep polio sufferers alive. We even had a president who was a polio survivor.
            In the US fighting polio was a national priority from 1946, the US began widespread vaccination in 1955 and the last case occurred in 1979 (in a religious community that rejected vaccination. In just two years in the US, following mass vaccination programs, the annual number of cases dropped by 90%.
            My father contracted polio in 1922 and suffered with a paralyzed leg for the rest of his life. The family supported the British Polio Fellowship in fund raising to eradicate polio in the UK, following the mass vaccination program started in the 50’s polio was eradicated by the early 80’s.

            Do you deny the explosion of “polio” following mass vaccination?

            Absolutely, it didn’t happen!
            Personally I find the nonsense you spout on this subject to be offensive.

    • for some reason S. Korea with more than 700 cases (apparently largest outside China) is not shown.
      Italy is an odd case, they are unable to pinpoint source of sudden explosion. Perhaps they should check if there was a delivery of a Chinese made products, recently delivered to a large supermarket, department or discount store where many people may have had physical contact with infected products.

      • ….My bet is that there is a considerable lag in reporting from Iran and Afghanistan. And the infection follows the old route – from Wuhan to Italy – The silk route.
        My bet is also that the scientists who, a couple a years ago, speculated that the outbreak of ‘the black death’ in Europe in the 14. Century was caused by a virus from … Wuhan were right.

      • My guess would be Chinese tourists of whom there are always huge numbers in northern Italy. Hence many simultaneous origins of infection, most whom had gone home by the time they realized they were sick. If you were infected by the couple that used the table before you did, and left droplets on the napkin you picked up from the dispenser – you would never know. And then Italian social life is almost designed to spread this kind of infection.

      • The Big Money fashion brands in northern Italy have been bringing in Chinese labour for years now.

        Given that a comment above from a poster on the ground suggests Italy has been lax in restricting air travel from China, and combining with the likely movements to and fro for the lunar new year, its probably no surprise there is an outbreak ?

    • Leo, I note with interest the lack of cases in Africa, South America, Indonesia, Mexico.
      Sadly I think that this is a really bad omen for all who live in said places. Indonesia alone with a population of 260 million and an apparent CFR of 2% gives a death toll of about 5 million or more.
      Indonesia claims that they have zero cases of Ncov-19 so far despite an annual average 5 million visitors from China.
      The question is though that if you don’t test for the Virus how do you know if it is there yet or not ?

  25. I am sorry but the “only 10% are seriously affected and the rest recover within a week” is simply not supported by the numbers we seeing from outside China. On 15th Feb Singapore was reporting 79 cases, yet today they only have 49 recovered, so not 90% within a week. Also the ‘CFR’ Confirm Fatality Ratio means what, exactly? The usual statistic is the Risk of Mortality, the likelihood of dying if you get the disease, which by China’s own figures is far, far greater than 2.3%. That number is deaths/infected, but says nothing about the large numbers of ‘serious’ cases which the Chinese doctors say have a 94% likelihood of dying. Risk of Mortality is looking like 15% to 20%, with teenagers and early 20’s largely immune to very high risk for over 80s.

    The WHO failed at the start when its primary policy concern was to not offend China. They are continuing with that policy, publishing numbers that are largely spin.

    We have yet to see if the improved medicine outside China makes a difference to the ‘serious’ cases. So far only one seems to have come out of ‘serious’, so it’s not looking good. Unless western medicine starts to show that it can rescue ‘serious’ cases the calculation of overall Risk of Mortality will stay as it is, for the cases outside China it is easy to do and is steady at around 18%.

    If we see a difference in the West, I think it will come from fewer smokers, people standing further apart when they talk which inhibits droplet transmission. The Italians stand very close to talk, love crowded city centres and kiss on the cheek giving hand to cheek to mouth transmission.

    • Harry
      I think the only difference in the West will be the transmission speed if anything, We have no herd resistance to this at all as a species so far. Sooner or later will be about the only difference in infection rates when it comes to Cov-19 all over the Planet. Refer to the Zerohedge tag line of “Over A long Enough Time Frame” for the final outcome.
      Also everyone should keep in mind the effects of the so called Spanish Flu circa 1918, it swept the Planet two or three times over all with the largest amount of deaths occurring during the second event.

      Mind you that was when the current ability of such a bug was in the nascent stages of global travel when it took a good 3-6 months to get anywhere in a real hurry compared to a two or three hour trip to millions everywhere all over the globe. But also keep in mind that information traveled even slower then and that we have instant information at out finger tips in this day and age alerting us to WHO updates 24/7 letting us all know that everything is still all good and it is Racist to stop flights from China cause that might interfere with the global economy ….

      • We don’t know the history of the Spanish Flu genome, but I suspect it mutated before the 2nd wave. Most flu viruses do within a year. This virus was almost certainly created in a lab so it is less likely to mutate successfully.

        • As I said above: ‘If that happens to have been the case it should be possible to engineer a harmless antiCOVID-19 to neutralise the infection.’

          • It struck me that if what I read about the RNA of the virus is true it must also provide points of attack. It’s a Chinese virus, so “every strength is a weakness”. But I don’t know enough to be able to form an opinion.

        • Evidence is against this being developed in a lab. MedCram cited a study yesterday that found an near exact match to an existing bat coronavirus. Study was from several years ago.

          That said, can’t at all rule out the possibility this leaked from the lab. There could have been valid research underway there to find a vaccine or treatment in the event of an outbreak…

      • Spanish flu death data are polluted with aspirin-related iatrogenic deaths, so trying to make any meaningful correlation or comparison with microbial pathogenesis is futile.

      • The reason for it being more deadly the second time round, is due to what we think is ADE – antibody dependent enhancement. I recently got this from the abstract of a virology paper (can’t remember the title), and what they said was that when the antibody titer drops below a certain level, the antibodies themselves actually facilitate the entry of the virus into the cells. That is why when it comes round a year later it can be deadly. This is truly worrisome.

  26. “Cut thru myths to see facts about COVID-19”
    But yet, there is no distinction made between myth and fact in the article.

    Do we know how much China has lied about the ‘facts’? no, not really
    Do we know how much the WHO is lying about the ‘facts’? no, not really
    Do we know how much speculation by global and national health organization is presented as ‘fact’? no, not really

    This is an evolving situation and the ‘facts’ known today may very well be proven to be a myth tomorrow. Take for instance the “2-14” incubation period that was a ‘fact’ just a few weeks ago, and now we know that this has been proven wrong.
    During the SARS outbreak, the mortality rate was initially around 2-3%, but after conclusion, ended up around 10%. the later data was based on further information and assessment. So comparing this to the ‘flu’ is frankly farcical. We just don’t know yet.

    Overall, this kind of article is irresponsible crap. There are few ‘facts’ available to the public right now, and the authorities have a vested interest in controlling this until the situation has reached a peak to avoid panic and social order disruption.

    Intelligent people should not be listening to what they are told, but rather be watched what is being done by authorities, such as hard quarantines and travel restrictions of towns across the world. Those in the ‘know’ are concerned, significantly so. China does not shutter their economy like this unless they are extremely concerned.
    Don’t panic, but everyone should be adjusting their life in accordance with the clear evidence available in what is ‘done’, not what is ‘said’.

    • What everyone should be doing, is considering how they will cope with an outbreak in their locality and taking steps to keep themselves as safe as feasible.

      With a potentially month-long incubation period, everyone should be prepared for a month sheltered in their home with adequate meds, food, supplies. Needing to run out to the grocery store because you ran out of TP is an irresponsible situation to be in.
      Expect to be unable to get basic medical care. Be prepared with care items at home for everything below an ER/ICU visit.
      Expect to have schools/daycares closed for weeks+

      Expect to have the global supply chain for basic goods heavily disrupted for the rest of the year. Are your daily shoes on their last legs? Buy new ones now. Are your cars tires reaching the end of their tread? Buy new ones now. Too many folks are used to not having long lead times. Expect that to change in the near future.

  27. Speaking of data Larry the info we get in Beijing about Beijing is pretty high detail and consistent.

    Total cases, suspected but not confirmed, cases in treatment, recovered, severe, and dead.
    And then it is broken down by district, so my district has 62 now.

    About 50% of staff is back at work after submitting medical checks twice daily for 14 days.
    The number of people allowed in the building will increase over time.

    For guys who love numbers you can go check the provinces outside ground zero and get a sense of
    what a “prepared system” will result in.

    Singapore is good proxy for what you will see in a diligent, prepared, condition.

    of course one of my friends is predicting 10M deaths world wide. with math no less and a cup of assumptions

    • Mosher are you seriously trusting the number from Beijing ?

      I have read your comments here for nearly a decade now, never ever commented though.

      But seriously??? you are posting comment on China’s Beijing Data being “pretty high detail and consistent”

      FMD!!! Talk about Jumping the Shark!

  28. Further to what I said earlier, the best site I know of for up to date information is
    How can we calculate the Risk of Mortality? Numbers from China are infected with state propaganda and are completely unreliable, the Diamond Princess was a petri dish and does not represent any kind of a normal population, and who knows what the figures from Iran actually represent. So I exclude all of those.

    Risk of Mortality, for a disease where you either recover or die (unlike for example Prostate Cancer which many men die with, but not of) the RoM is basically deaths/(recovered + deaths) as a percentage.

    During the Press Conference that Chinese medics gave, where they said the RoM was 2.3 % (and dropped their eyes and fiddled with their fingers as they said it) they also stated very confidently that 6% of ‘serious’ patients survive, and only 1% of ‘critical’. One thing we learn from this is that if you are going to use the propaganda technique of ‘hide your lies in a thicket of truth’, don’t get doctors to tell the lies for you. It’s not a talent their career develops. So I take it that the 6% recovery from serious figure is very probably what they really think.

    One problem with estimating RoM is that those who recover generally do so quite quickly, but those who die often last out for some weeks.

    Looking at the numbers from the site above, we can estimate a population for whom the disease has run its course and so make a calculation of RoM. Today with the exclusions above and accepting the 6% recovery from serious, we have 222 recovered, 46 serious, 18 dead, giving a RoM of 21%.

    That is (18 + 46*0.94)/(18 + 46 + 222) as a percentage.

    • …and if you then speculate about the stark difference in RoM when considering patients age and lifestyle – and take into account median life expectancy, general health conditions and lack of treatment in the European middle age – you most probably end up in ‘black death’ numbers.
      It’s serious.

      • My advice to smokers is to stop now. To others get yourself in good cardiovascular shape. I let myself get into bad shape for last 5 years. Because of this threat I have been hitting the gym everyday for last 3 weeks and will continue to. It is not that hard to improve your health, just a little will even help. Even a brisk walk each day will help. And eat a healthy diet.

    • Using only deaths and those recovered is not a valid metric according to any established epidemiological principle, or even basic logic.
      All those two numbers tell you is how many have died and how many recovered.
      It is useless as a predictive case fatality rate (which by the way is the correct terminology).
      Larry described it mostly correctly up top.
      Unless one knows how many mild cases there are, how many are asymptomatic, and how many of those now sick will eventually die, it is impossible to establish a case fatality rate that is valid.
      Unless you know at least a slight bit about epidemiology, you ought to at least know that it is a science and has established ways of describing what is known.
      Even outside of China there are obviously people with mild illness or zero symptoms who are infected and spreading the virus.
      Or there would not be these pockets popping up where no known source has been identified.
      There is some chance some evil bastard is spreading the virus on purpose around the world, but this is unknowable.

      • I am sorry, but you are simply wrong. That is how RoM is defined in the textbooks, specifically it is the likelihhod of dying once you have contracted the disease. I carefully included only the figures for outside China where the ‘mild’ cases that so many drowning experts cling to would be included, unless they it is so mild that nobody, including the patient noticed. Cases that are so mild that even the patient doesn’t notice are not usually counted as infected, except possibly in your strange world. There is a separate question of percentage vulnerable to infection, which is never 100%, and for this virus may be surprisingly low.

        And thank you I do know quite a lot about Epidemiology, even more about Statistics, but the meaning of the terms ‘risk’ and ‘likelihood’ appear to be a mystery to you. That’s not surprising, medical statistics are frequently complete rubbish on first submission.

        • My strange world is a world where people have an illness that barely affects them but that they are able to spread to others, some of whom get very sick from it.
          You know…like is happening now with this virus.

        • I have no idea what you do or do not know about virology, but there are long lists of infectious diseases which people can become infected with and display mild symptoms that some people are barely affected by, but they are nonetheless able to spread the infection.
          Some are among the worst of the worst chronic infections.
          People with HIV, HBV, HCV, Polio, Influenza, …it may be the case that most illnesses have large numbers of people who do not become very sick.

          “An asymptomatic carrier (healthy carrier or just carrier) is a person or other organism that has become infected with a pathogen, but that displays no signs or symptoms.[1]
          Although unaffected by the pathogen, carriers can transmit it to others or develop symptoms in later stages of the disease. Asymptomatic carriers play a critical role in the transmission of common infectious diseases such as typhoid, C. difficile, influenzas, and HIV. While the mechanism of disease-carrying is still unknown, researchers have made progress towards understanding how certain pathogens can remain dormant in a human for a period of time.[2] A better understanding of asymptomatic disease carriers is crucial to the fields of medicine and public health as they work towards mitigating the spread of common infectious diseases.”

  29. Stefan Molyneux has made recently some Videos, including interview with somoene from Hong-Kong.
    Scenes of people locked in buidlings and military firing on people are quite disturbing.

  30. The one thing that is interesting about the Diamond Princess is the infection rate. A cruise ship is an almost ideal world for transmitting disease (see novovirus outbreaks) and the ‘quarantine’ was no such thing. Several people got infected during ‘quarantine’. But, the total infected so far is about 700 out of 3,000 on board. Why?

    The man who got infected in France and flew to his family in Majorca. He was infectious, kissing and cuddling is an ideal transmission environment, they weren’t infected (they were all tested). Why.

    The super-spreader who flew back to England went to the pub the night before he showed symptoms, but no one was infected (they were all tested). Again, why?

    All this does suggest that only a percentage of the population are vulnerable to infection.

    We know (or we think we know) that the disease infects by attaching to the ACE-2 enzyme expressed from the lung, and that heavy smokers express five times as much as non-smokers, and that people with reduced lung function (the sick the very old) also express a lot more. Perhaps the disease needs a subtantial cohort of virus to get an infection started, and also perhaps the size of that cohort affects how likely you are to get swamped and slip into ‘serious’. For the young with little ACE-2 there is just never enough to get a big hit in at the start?

    • The people he infected at the ski resort could possibly have been infected from oral fecal route fomites due to his not washing his hands properly, to give one possibility (based on no evidence but just what is known from other illnesses), and after that he infected no one because he washed his hands better after that, in this hypothetical scenario.
      This sort of thing is why with novel viruses or any novel illness, it typically takes years to have a good idea of exactly what was going on.
      Think how long it was with other new diseases.
      Ebola Reston is still a complete mystery as to the point of origin of the viral infection.
      Animals were tested before they were shipped to Reston and were negative, but were positive upon arrival.
      Exhaustive efforts to trace the source came up empty, AFAIK, and I followed that story for years.
      But over time the details will become more clear, especially in this case given the widespread outbreak and the particular circumstances.
      It is pretty well established that many people have mild illness, and at least some are almost or completely asymptomatic.
      But do not overlook that at this point there are many false negatives, and also perhaps some false positives.

      • Given what is known about the man, it most unlikely that the infection came from him not washing his hands properly. It is far more likely to have been droplets staying on surfaces in large numbers which even dutiful cleaning would not have gotten rid of them.

        Even the family that visited after him entered an environment riddled with the stuff, all over surfaces, furniture, utensils that hadn’t been washed. An almost perfect infectious environment. The most bacteria ridden thing in a hotel room is the TV Remote.

        It is believed that fecal transmission is not a risk, but urinary transmission is and droplets are the most likely routes. Aerosol was touted, and certainly the virus can be detected as aerosol but it is not a method of infection.

          • “The discovery of the Wuhan virus, dubbed 2019-nCoV, in the fecal material of the 35-year-old man treated at the Providence Regional Medical Center Everett in Washington is “interesting,” said Scott Lindquist, the state epidemiologist for infectious disease at Washington’s Department of Health.”

            “A virus-laden aerosol plume emanating from a SARS patient with diarrhea was implicated in possibly hundreds of cases at Hong Kong’s Amoy Gardens housing complex in 2003. That led the city’s researchers to understand the importance of the virus’s spread through the gastrointestinal tract, and to recognize both the limitation of face masks and importance of cleanliness and hygiene, Nicholls said in an interview.”

      • The increased ACE-2 seems (and a very uncertain ‘seems’) to be connected to reduced lung function, which smokers, especially heavy smokers do have. The same is true of heavy vapers, some of whom have seriously damaged lungs and look like WWI gas attack victims. I guess very light vapers, and two a day smokers would not be affected.

        If that is true, chewing tobacco gets a bye on this one.

    • “We know (or we think we know) that the disease infects by attaching to the ACE-2 enzyme expressed from the lung, and that heavy smokers express five times as much as non-smokers, and that people with reduced lung function (the sick the very old) also express a lot more.”

      I read a report the other day that claimed the Chinese have a larger percentage of this enzyme in their lungs than do non-Chinese.

      Is this true? Are any of the deaths to date non-Chinese?

      • That was based on a very small sample, and the difference was explained by their smoking. So it seems it was smoking not race that made the difference. There have been native Italian deaths, although I understand they were over 80 and not very well.

        People who recover usually do so quite quickly, but some of those who die struggle on for weeks. I have seen no detail on the ‘serious’ cases, which is where the deaths will come from.

        • Sorry Harry, but the latest figures seem to suggest that smokers are only marginally more prone to hosting the nCoV.

          As for Vapers, you do know that the primary constituent of vaping fluid is the same as used as a carrier for asthma inhalers ?

  31. UK’s FTSE100 index is 3.2% down, I assume the US market will be down similar amount. My modest share portfolio is down just under 4%

  32. Interesting discussion. I have been following Dr John Campbell on youtube right from the start of the outbreak and have noticed a gradual increase in concern. Always placing emphasis on “evidence based” conclusions, he now thinks the WHO have dropped the ball. Sadly, he says, “I am convinced we are at the early stages of a global pandemic” and “I don’t understand the reasoning of the WHO”.

    I also do not share the faith in the institutions that some people seem to express. We learn that Italy flew a number of people from China and did not quarantine them. Now they are where they are. Also, the US flew a large number back from the Diamond Princess sharing the same flight as the other passengers, who did not even know. In countries like Iran, it is even worse and they are unable to trace the source of contagion and have had to lock down whole areas. The true number of infected cases must be much higher based on the deaths, and one of those infected turned up in Israel.

    • Many bad decisions have been made, that is for sure.
      About a month ago a person I know offered and informal poll on FB, asking about level of concern about this virus.
      I wrote more than most since I have long traded biotech and have spent years studying epidemiology, virology, and immunology.
      Here are a few of my comments quoted directly from 4 weeks ago.
      Starting with my first thought:
      ” It is hard to not be concerned at least a little, particularly if one recognizes that at some point the world will face some sort of widespread epidemic of a disease for which no natural immunity exists.
      Also concerning is the source of an outbreak is once again a market in which numerous species of animals are sold for food, with many of them being wild and exotic species.
      And yet another reason to be somewhat concerned is the level of disruption being caused to various markets, even though at this point the illness has caused a low number of actual deaths. WHO authorities are now saying the disease seems to spread more readily between humans but is overall less likely to be deadly to an infected individual, than was SARS or MERS…which were the other two widely publicized outbreaks of a novel coronavirus illness in recent years.”

      A couple of days later:

      “Also concerning is that the greatest fear of health authorities is the rapid spread of illnesses around the world that now occurs, due to the large number of people flying between all parts of the globe on a daily basis.
      All of the worst case scenarios for a widespread and deadly epidemic of a new disease presupposes that an infection can and will spread widely before anyone knows it is even occurring.
      That seems have happened in this case, with the illness now appearing in the US as well as many countries in Eastern Asia.
      How likely is it that a person who travelled to Wuhan and then to a country with a less effective and responsive health monitoring system in place than the US, will be identified and isolated before they can spread the illness to another generation of infected individuals?
      Because this is the most likely way that a new disease is able to spread widely among large numbers of people all around the world…and exponential spread that overwhelms the ability to locate and isolate infected individuals.”

      “My concern is not that this illness will lead to a large number of deaths in far flung locations.

      It is simply that it is possible.

      Such an event is sure to occur at some point in the future, although of course no one knows when or how bad something might get.

      Being that it is likely to occur at some unknown and unknowable time, and be caused by something which will only be understood to be particularly deadly in retrospect, no one will know it early on…it will only become apparent as it progresses and at some point becomes uncontained and uncontrollable.”

      All of these are from 4 weeks ago, including this next one:
      “Of course, it should also be noted that many diseases which spread easily and/or are particularly deadly to people in one part of the world, fail to be equally deadly and/or to spread as readily in other parts of the world.

      There are numerous reasons for why this is so…many parts of the world are notable for not having the same attention as other parts of the world to hygiene and general steps people can take to avoid getting sick or spreading an illness if and when they contract one.
      Also people in more prosperous parts of the world seem to be less likely to become severely ill when exposed to a disease, perhaps due to being generally stronger and healthier to begin with.

      Hand washing, daily bathing or showering, screens on windows and a general avoidance of being exposed to mosquitos when they are biting…such habits and living arrangements as we take for granted do not exist, or exist to a more limited degree, in other parts of the world and other populations of people.”

      • Yes, well said. I think a balance has to be struck between overconfidence in authorities to protect everyone, and panic. My own feeling is that the main authorities – WHO, CDC – are behind the curve, as was the stock market, although that now seems to be reacting to the picture that is emerging. There are just too many clusters suddenly appearing in developing countries for my liking and these countries have no way of tracing the origins, and poor ability to treat the seriously ill.

  33. I don’t worry about the disease factor per se, but rather the economic factor. It’s a lot like the Irish Potato famine—all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. Cheap Americans and Americans who didn’t want their backyards sullied with actual manufacturing pushed us to buy so many things from China. We have reached energy independence, but not manufacturing. I have read China makes most of our antibiotics. Also, much of our clothing, much of Walmart’s goods, much of Amazon’s goods. Shortages will start occuring. We can and will make up for these, but the cost may not be cheap. Plus, China is in trouble and “in trouble” most likely means much cruelty to its people. Communists are not known to deal with adversity well.

    • Uk’s discount store Primark has already warned of imminent shortages, and a car manufacturer stated that essential electronics is transported back to the UK in suitcases on passengers flights.

    • China makes most of our basic medical supplies.

      there were reports a week ago that China began recalling ships carrying such supplies.

  34. Well, this is not a myth.

    I don’t trust the Chinese numbers, especially after their multiple adjustments, so I’ve been tracking the numbers in other countries, here:

    Those numbers now appear corrupted. Look in the ‘total cases’, and ‘recovered’ columns. For most countries it is obvious that the recovered victims are included in the number of total cases. However, Iran, France, Taiwain, the Philippines are showing larger numbers of those recovered than total cases. One can only assume that they are reporting active cases as total cases, or that the numbers are screwed up. Regardless, such clear and obvious inconsistencies in the numbers cast doubt on the entire report. Clearly there is no quality control in issuing this information.

  35. Mr. Causey

    Dr. Campbell has been doing great work and will come to be recognized as one of the true heroes in this ongoing tragedy.
    Along with with Hong Kong’s Dr. Gabriel Leung, Wuhon’s deceased, courageous Dr. Li Wenliang, Dr. John has earned the respect of all who follow these events.

    I would bring one item to your attention, relevant to the ‘sourcing/facts’ issue constantly discussed upthread … Dr. John is increasingly referring to “unnamed sources” for his presented data.
    That is, his trusted, first hand accounts are relaying info to him that he is passing on to the world … prompting his growing pessimism.

    Puts “official” data in a somewhat different perspective.

  36. Interesting that Iran has cases. I wonder how that happened? Clue — Chinese going to & from Iran doing something or other.

    • beng
      So much speculation.
      So much that we still do not know.
      I have read numerous accounts claiming that there are various large construction projects ongoing in Iran that are sponsored by/conducted by the Chinese which involves a significant number of Chinese workers.

      If true, that could increase the implications regarding the large number of Chinese projects all throughout Africa.
      The airport in Addis Ababa has been mentioned as worthy of attention as it is a major ingress point from China into the African continent.

      • Most of the guys going from China to Africa to work for Chinese companies will be quite young, and so less likely to be carrying the disease. But not all of course.

        • Being young has nothing to do with whether someone is a carrier or not.

          I read an interesting tidbit that Chinese workers returning to Africa were bribing local officials to let them go to their compounds unchecked.

  37. Sorry, you forgot about Africa. Tens of thousands of Chinese workmen commute annually to and from Hebei Province for the lunar New Year. The fact there are no reported cases in Sub-Saharan Africa says more about the dismal state of medicine than it does about the Wuhan Flu’s presence.

    Africa will be devastated by the Wuhan Flu. Poor Africa.

    • It was estimated that around 5 million people left the Wuhan area before the quarantine was enforced. Any of those with enough money could have gotten themselves transported to many different nations. That could explain the sudden rise in Italy for example.

  38. The WHO are simply toadying to the Chinese..I just don’t believe the crap they’re coming out with.

  39. I think we can assume the virus can’t be contained now and the genie is out of the bottle. Containment is as much economic as it is physical now as you can’t keep continually locking up large sections of the community from productivity or the cure is worse than the disease. We all have to take our chances now and in that respect if medical facilities are overrun we have to have a plan to prioritise the young dependants and their productive parents. That means having a succession of age fallbacks that the community calls upon to be denied critical care and scarce drugs and those of us with grandchildren have to understand that and stand up for it now.

    Well Greta et al we’re about to give you back your childhood my dears and perhaps give you the respite you seek from your dreaded plant food and the dooming but I’d suggest you run those ICUs etc on fossil fuels for a while yet.

  40. OK boomers so much for retirement and we’ll need all the retired medicos and nurses and lots more volunteers like a reserve army to be thrown into our hospitals and ICUs at the first sign of a raging pandemic as we can’t have our young medicos and nurses sacrificed at all like our young Chinese doctor as they’ll be needed to attend to the day to day medical needs of our progeny. We need to speak with our young people about this battle plan and fire up our politicians to understand what’s required and get their arse into gear as there’s no time to waste.

  41. Interesting that our Western development has made our health status more resilient and our economic status more vulnerable. So highly reliant on communication and just-in-time delivery (including our daily food) we are ripe for the plucking.

    If this does get serious one will have to move very quickly to stock up with essentials before the masses.

    • I suspect unless one is a prepper it may be a little on the late side to begin thinking about it.
      It is one thing to stock up like for a hurricane season, where one might not be able to get food, medicine, etc, for several weeks.
      And there is an outside world unaffected.
      What can you do if it is everywhere and lasts for months and then becomes chronic?
      Go to Costco and buy a few hundred pounds of rice and beans?

  42. problem is figures that who/cdc/etc report/use are figures given to them by OTHERS.
    even if the bureaucracies are trying to work honestly and efficiently (some will say they are others will say they are not, but thats not pertinent to this comment) they are DEPENDENT on info given to them by others who MAY have ulterior motives to fudge the figures in EITHER direction.
    trust but verify, read the figures presented and compare them to what people on the ground themselves are reporting. and don’t blindly trust any source.

    • During a crisis bad info is the rule.
      Only later can it all get sorted out.
      How can anyone give medical stats for a whole country in real time, especially if there is a veritable emergency and people are scrambling?

  43. Bear with me …

    What happened?

    1) Chinese scientists from the Wuhan lab reads about the theory that the ’Black Death’ in mid 14. century could have been a virus originated from Wuhan.
    2) They take a field trip to collect mammals – and suddenly find themselves a killer virus
    3) First thought let’s make a vaccine.
    4) Second thought let’s test this vaccine.
    5) Third thought – damn this thing is still infectious – and very much so. Should we tell anyone?

    In the mid 14. Century the real virus spread via the Silk route, Afghanistan, Persia, Syria to Italy and from here to the rest of Europe and North Africa. But not in tropical countries like India.
    A scientist from that time could differentiate the disease from what is now know as the bacterial bubonic plague.

    ”It is said that the plague takes three forms. In the first people suffer an infection of the lungs, which leads to breathing difficulties. Whoever has this corruption or contamination to any extent cannot escape but will die within two days. Another form … in which boils erupt under the armpits, … a third form in which people of both sexes are attacked in the groin.”

    … and later studies has also confirmed that in London in 1350 the disease got mere severe the older the patients was – not as with the plaque where children was hid hard. But the rate of death 40-50% – not like todays virus/vaccine 4-5%

    I think this explanation covers both facts and the most common speculations.

    But I could be wrong ☺

  44. Any new virus associated with the airway epithelium can cause a healthy person a cytokine storm and acute respiratory failure.
    It is a reaction analogous to acute allergy.

      • CRS occurs when large numbers of white blood cells, including B cells, T cells, and natural killer cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, and monocytes are activated and release inflammatory cytokines, which in turn activate yet more white blood cells.

        This can occur when the immune system is fighting pathogens, as cytokines signal immune cells such as T-cells and macrophages to travel to the site of infection. In addition, cytokines activate those cells, stimulating them to produce more cytokines.

        • Sounds like a vitamin D deficiency. Vit D reduces the production of proinflammatory cytokines and moderates immune response.

  45. I’m going to make an observation that will give me the appearance of monster to some, but I invite everyone to look at the 2nd order effects (I hope I’m using that term properly) instead of the Covid-19 virus and its immediate effect on health. Using HIV as an analysis, the infection itself is not the direct killer, it is the secondary infections that exploit the weakened immune system.
    In this case, infections and deaths from those deaths will have far less impact than the financial fallout from the quarantine. From a purely statistical standpoint, a million deaths in a population of over 7 billion is essentially unnoticeable. On an individual scale, when it is your friend, or your relative, the impact is huge. But globally, it is insignificant.
    Economies run the gamut from the individual, to the family, the community, the nation and finally to the whole world. At every level, the economy works because there is a cyclical flow between production and consumption. You can’t consume (food, gasoline, clothes, etc.) unless there is production (fast food worker, miner, factory production, transportation, etc.). And production eventually stumbles and stops when the consumption stumbles and stops. China is starting to see it now with the internal restrictions on movement, and external quarantines as well. Businesses borrow money from the banks with the expectation those loans will finance construction, production, etc. The sales finance the repayment of the loans and the cycle continues. When people don’t buy anything but the necessities, when people don’t go to work because the factories are closed, essential assemblies aren’t manufactured, so they aren’t shipped to the factories that need those parts to complete their product, which they can’t ship and sell anyway, the economic engine is grinding to a halt. I read an article this morning about car dealerships (among many other businesses) that can’t pay their loans back to the bank. They may be large enough to escape foreclosure, but the smaller businesses will be out of business. A port in Alabama hasn’t been affected yet, the Chinese ships take about a month to complete the journey, but pretty soon those ships will stop. And the goods that would ordinarily ship to China, may not go. So then the port doesn’t have the business they need, workers are laid off, they can’t make their payments, buy the stuff they normally did, etc. And the ripple spreads outward.
    Corvid-19 doesn’t look to have the health impact that the flu does every year. But the economic effects of trying to contain it look very likely to precipitate the severe recession or depression.

  46. A lot of people here are not doing a good job of looking at the bright side.
    This is the best opportunity in a long time for everyone to compose a list of people you wish were dead, and have a decent chance of getting your wish on some of them.
    After the Black Death, the people left were all far more wealthy in general, and it is regarded as the beginning of the end of the surf class.
    Wealthy people had to give money to peasants if they wanted anything done.
    Right now, old folks have a low of the money.
    So in addition to that wish list, give a nice phone call to anyone who might leave you an inheritance and make sure you are not on their sh!t list.
    Dont’t worry…be happy.

  47. What about false positives in the test ? Does the test have high false positives ? If they test thousands and thousands of people even a small chance of false positive will skew numbers quite a bit. What if they test same person again that gets a false positive, is that person more likely to show another false positive ?

  48. It will be impossible to create ANY “effective” vaccine for this virus because an RNA coronavirus constantly mutates. What CAN be done is create a vaccine that is close enough to give at least partial immunity and potentially reduce the severity of the illness it produces. What is known without any question is:

    1: This virus has an incubation period of up to 24 days therefore 14 day quarantines are too short. They should be extended by at least a week to 21 days.

    2: Majority of cases of this illness are relatively mild. People do not become ill enough to seek medical attention. What has been happening is that the virus circulates until someone dies and then many additional cases are discovered. It can also take weeks for the illness to develop to the point of pneumonia.

    3: There is really no way for an individual to distinguish this from seasonal flu, particularly if they have mild symptoms. It might appear to be a regular bronchitis, severe cold, or mild flu.

    4: Majority of deaths, and mean the vast majority (though not all) have been people over the age of 60. Most of them have had some other underlying condition but a 60+ smoker with COPD should be worried about this as should anyone with cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, chronic asthma, and other chronic pulmonary problems. The average normal healthy adult will most likely survive this just fine.

    5: The virus spreads most readily in areas with cool, dry air. It does not do as well in warm humid areas. It will become less of a problem as temperatures warm in the northern hemisphere.

    • It’s pretty humid in Wuhan. It may be cool this time of year there, and perhaps indoor humidity is lower. It’s going to rain there often in the next week or so. Would there be an expectation that weather in Wuhan will be less favorable to spread of the virus?

  49. It is important to note that all these cases in Italy and Iran and South Korea didn’t just suddenly appear. The virus has likely been circulating already for weeks. Finally someone dies. They test, find the virus, then they check people associated with the deceased and discover more cases and working out from those people, discover a bunch more. So while it LOOKS from the reported number that a lot of people are suddenly becoming ill, that isn’t the case. They have been circulating the virus for weeks in most cases and were either asymptomatic or had very mild symptoms consistent with a regular seasonal cold. Lombardy is worrisome because it is a major European ski resort area. Lake Como is sort of like Europe’s Lake Tahoe or Lake Placid. There have been a lot of tourists from a lot of countries of Europe who have been through the Lombardy region of Italy in the past several weeks so it would not be a stretch to assume that the virus is now circulating more generally in Europe.

  50. For all the people who frequent this site – including, natuarally, the moderators- I strongly recommend watching the Dr. John Campbell videos that he puts up (one or more per day).

    Just as this website – and this article – can contain numerous supplementary bits of information (credible or not, agreeable to you or not), the comments accompanying the Campbell videos are exceptionally intriguing, particulary the data posted from a claimed, informed Iranian.

    I’ll not repeat some of the claims here as they are completely ‘unverified’ and coming from anonymous sources.
    However, the info – if accurate- is nothing short of alarming.

    For the folks who continue to rely upon preposterous sources such as the WHO (after today’s presser, they should return to the Clown Kar), do not be surprised when, say, March 1st presents you with an entirely new world view.

  51. This thing is only scary when you see an increase in new cases from one day to the next (or if you live near an outbreak). This is happening in South Korea and Italy, but just the opposite in China (if their numbers are to be believed):

    For some perspective, imagine if 10,000 new cases were reported each day, but that rate remained steady? Horrible, yes, but it would take 274 years to infect a billion people. Over 2000 years to infect 7.8 billion people (current global population).

    • These are not really “new” cases. These are cases that have been there for weeks that they are only now discovering after someone dies and they start testing for it. It is likely that dozens have come down with it, had mild symptoms and already recovered from it before they even start testing for it.

      • Agreed.

        At some point there needs to be a study of how many cases go unreported for every case that is reported. At this point it’s just speculation.

        • Snape/crosspatch

          Excellent observations about a very critical point … number of ‘known’ cases and their complete, precise status (how long infected, source of infection, etc).
          This is why early reports out of Italy may provide important info, specifically, there are claims thst the – relatively – high Italian cases stem from vigorous testing.
          This was enabled by government’s efforts combined with sufficient, effective testing material.
          However, online comments suggest that these kits are being rapidly depleted and, as a consequence, several cases – generally more moderate – are simply not tested.

          Not tested seems to equate with Not Infected, amongst our more naive peers.

          As test kits supposedly just arrived in several African countries last week, we may yet see an ongoing – presently unrecognized/unacknowledged – scourge erupt into the wider consciousness in the near future.

  52. Interesting and lively comment section on this article. Its a good sign that WUWT readers are using their heads to ponder what could become a problem.

    Bottom line, if nCoV comes to a place near you, it’ll be a crapshoot. 🙂

  53. The penny is dropping that this is not containable/quarantiable and will likely overwhelm our medical systems as it has in China-

    Without a swift clear plan to deal with it that everyone understands such a pandemic could easily lead to panic and social breakdown. Our young people will have to continue to go to work and be productive while the active retirees volunteer to have their backs and necessarily die in numbers to shield them and ensure the future generations get all the scarce resources and care. If you have any other alternative plan this grandparent is all ears but I’m not about to get in the masks and baked beans as it’s counterproductive.

    When you think about what’s required it clearly needs all retired medical expertise skills on call and some crash courses from them attending to drips and medication but special hospitals need a lot more than that. Orderlies cooks cleaners maintenance trades etc right down to bulldozer/excavator drivers to note and bury the aged dead in mass graves as there’ll only be time to mark and pay due respect to them when the vaccines have finally ended it. This is a civilian war and our young people and their dependants need YOU to answer the call OK Boomer?

  54. I guess reports out of China will show Chinese government and hospitals is much better than at any other country.

    Death Rate in China

    Compare to rate outside :


    Calculated as : Rate = 100 * deaths / (deaths + recovered)
    Yesterday the numbers were almost identical. Should wait until it stabilizes in Asia and Europe. Then we know better what we have ahead.

  55. Jerome Ravetz should be on this.

    We face a situation that he would call “post normal science”

    1. facts are uncertain
    2. Stakes are high.
    3. Values are in conflict
    4. stakes are high
    5. decisions are urgent

    • In the spirit of looking on the bright side. The virus may end up doing what Liberals have been pining for but unable to do: driving the cost of medical care down.

      Big up-front cost, but whacking the bulk of the end-of-life consumers will eventually pay dividends. That I’m barely but in that group kind of sucks but doing the greatest good for the most is what I intend to keep in mind.

  56. The penny is dropping that this virus is not containable or quarantinable economically-

    In that sense we have to prepare quickly for a pandemic spike that overruns our medical facilities capacity to cope even though the death rate is relatively low. In that sense I’d argue we have to think quickly about the tradeoffs that will require to see productive young parents and their dependants get priority over those of us who are aged retirees on a spectrum of vulnerability of course. If I’m approaching 70 with a massive queue for treatment then forget me and concentrate on my children and grandchildren. Most of my peers would feel the same and we’ve got your backs young’uns. However don’t leave that planning and social understanding until a crisis is fully evident with panic and social disorder. Let’s get that out in the open and the rules sorted now as I fear there’ll be a tendency for our authorities to downplay a pandemic and not to want to frighten the horses worried about stampedes.

    Having said that and planning for the worst we should all be optimistic that any run of such virus will see it ultimately knocked on the head fairly quickly before massive social and economic disruption-

  57. Each new virus is dangerous because it can cause a cytokine storm. A cytokine storm (own lymphocytes) destroy lung cells and in a short time respiratory failure occurs (holes in the lungs).

  58. Coronavirus species-jumped bat-pangolin-human.
    Sweet revenge for Pangolins!
    Pangolins are close to being driven to extinction in their native Africa due to Asians eating them and using their scales for folk magic.
    They are the most hunted wild animal in Africa.

    Stick it to the man, Pangolins!

    • In total, 80,148 cases of infection were reported worldwide. 2,699 deaths from coronavirus were also confirmed. 27,683 people were cured of the infection.

  59. How is it possible that China managed to test thousands of suspected infected people, before the commercial test was available? How many labs can do that and what kind of precautions were used?
    Are the lab workers tested themselves?

  60. The Oz Govt pulls the trigger on the obvious now-
    but with a public and private health system we get ambulance ramping at public hospitals already with flu season and there are variable waiting lists for certain services-

    That’s where I’m coming from with the call to arms for all the retired oldies as the economic productivity must go on but our young have to know they’ll get priority care to do that or there’ll be mayhem with serious infection rates.

  61. The remark about wealthy early self-evacuees from Wuhan makes me think of India. Maybe it’s lucky the Indians and Chinese haven’t been getting along that well lately, and maybe that explains why the virus hasn’t made an impact there. But I wonder…

    I certainly wouldn’t want to be in India with a COVID-19 epidemic. Even being in China might be preferable.

    In any case, lovable as Italy might be to the Chinese, I think the stats show they love Paris much more. So where did all those 5 million go? Have they all gone to their ancestral homes and are quitely sitting out the epidemic there. And the other mystery – how are quarantined or exiled Chines e in or from Wuhan making do without work etc.?

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