Hotblack Desiato 20 Feb 20 17:18
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Okay so:

1. You cannot trust the Chinese statistics, and more people than the Chinese are admitting have (a) got Coronavirus and (b) died from it.

2. Infections and deaths outside of China now starting to go up pretty steeply.

3. South Korea now recommending people stay at home.

Whose feel complacent now?



that’s a v interesting one goose m7

u could read it several ways:

the chinese have got themselves comfortable it’s under control and improving

or the communist party have decided that the political risk is so significant that it’s better to risk the spread of infection than imply that they have lost control/plus the unrest caused by effective mass house arrests

or the expert advice is that the curfew has been ineffective in halting the outbreak and the resources used to maintain curfew need to be applied elsewhere

the order to relax the wuhan quarantine was only to allow non symptomatic non residents to leave, and in any event it was overruled by more senior officials That said, after 1 month of total enforced social distancing, 

None of the “videos out of China” of mass body bagging of children etc (which I can’t even find) is being picked up or commented on or repeated by any reputable international media sources, a fairly sure sign that it’s fake news.

If the Chinese really have been covering up huge numbers of deaths we should be finding out pretty soon given that there are now significant confirmed case numbers outside of China - or will the narrative then become that everyone is covering up huge numbers of deaths

Think they’ve changed their mind again about Wuhan - back on lock down. Bit like the 40 yr old doctors who are dead one minute, then reported alive, then dead again.

We really do have very little idea what is happening in China; save that it is (relative so all our prior recent experience) - very bad.

Given lag times, I think the non China situation remains consistent with a c2% fatality rate, worse where healthcare is overwhelmed. But still too soon to tell. It seems to take a long time to kill people off, so we need a few more weeks worth of data.

I am a little incredulous that big crowded cities like Shanghai manage to escape relatively unscathed. But then it would be rather difficult to cover things up in Shanghai so I can't rationally be suspicious.

Anyway, the important thing to take away from all of this is that they will have some super new data to examine, and I'm sure the next strain will be far, far more efficient in terms of lethality and transmission.

Wot Shooty sed, FFS.

Plus this from Hoolz:

lindaradlett23 Feb 20 12:20

These measures don't make sense unless the fatality rate is actually much higher than we are being told (which seems unlikely)

Locking down 11 Italian towns and almost 50,000 residents doesn't make sense if it's just equivalent to annual flu or thereabouts, so why might they be doing it? Answers on postcard please.

Nobody is saying it’s only seasonal flu - it is clearly more dangerous than normal flu (though less dangerous than H5N1 bird flu which is fucking scary).

Nearly all their cases of a novel, little understood and in some cases clearly highly dangerous pathogen have been within a small area. Why wouldn’t they lock it down? Absolutely the right thing to do.

If it's only as bad as they're saying it is then the Italy lockdowns are wholly disproportionate, as Hoolz sed.

Be interesting to see how they deal with the next outbreak somewhere in the UK compared to how they dealt with the superspreader in Brighton.

I see the Russian bots are all over this on twitter and “have your say” news sites..

Bentines - links please.

Not following how Russia gains from this, especially if their bots are obvious enough for people to spot as Russian bots.

(OMG - are Canary Worf and Del Segno Russian bots?)

It’s about sowing discord between USA and China, allegemundo.

The authorities can’t get it right per internet experts - either they are under-reacting and dangerously incompetent or they are over-reacting and there “must be something else they’re not telling us”

Just look under BBC news have your say. Implication is that it’s man made and/or going to cause financial meltdown/buy guns and tinned food etc.

seen loads of twitter accounts apparently “joined February 2020” with sole purpose of spreading panic. 

They are, quite rightly, applying a precautionary principle.

Until you know what you are dealing with it makes sense to apply precautions that might turn out to be disproportionately stringent.

Time will tell whether this overly cautious approach could/should have been adopted much earlier in the history of the outbreak - the nature of the risk has been apparent for at least 4 weeks. It is certainly appropriate action now.

What’s hard to understand? This is a serious pathogen, everybody is saying that. Quarantine measures are 100% rational and justified given what we know

Bright Carver 24 Feb 20 10:43

Wot Shooty sed, FFS.


I know, right?

What chimp said

Italy’s decisions are entirely sensible, other than the postponement of football which is unforgivable.

Bentines24 Feb 20 12:26

Just look under BBC news have your say. Implication is that it’s man made and/or going to cause financial meltdown/buy guns and tinned food etc.


Oh, man, thank you for this. I'm gonna hunt the inevitable "This hole coronation virus thing is a media smear, or a domenic comings plan to distract the public from voting for Rebeeca Long bailee for Labour leader." post. It's gotta be there somewhere.

And, if it's not, I'll have to start it.

(Sorry they being the Italian authorities. Not the Russians).

Though the emergence of second order political effects (which could have God knows what consequences) are depressingly predictable. That is to say we can predict the crisis will probably be exploited. Obviously by whom and how and what the consequences of it might be we cannot know. But as the scale of the event gets bigger the scale of the political risks increase. No-one would have really cared about conspiracy theories surrounding a relatively small event like SARS, but a global pandemic that kills many more will mean that such political consequences could be much greater.

FAOD I am not Russian.  

But in any case if you think this is all trivial and going to go away:-

(1) How do you explain the sudden outbreaks in South Korea, Iran and Italy? 


(2) How do you explain the rather draconian reaction of the authorities in Italy ?  Schools and universities, theatres, cinemas, cafés, restaurants, bars, shops and factories closed, travel bans with police roadblocks, Venice carnival cancelled, football matches cancelled?  

Are the Italian authorities taking it quite seriously perhaps ?  Or are they just ignorant and misguided scaremongers?  

Answers on the usual postcard, please.  

But in any case if you think this is all trivial and going to go away:-

Genuinely who are you talking to?

7 dead in Italy now. At least had had underlying health concerns and were over 70, but that's still a high rate thus far and apparently no closer to locating "Patient Zero".

In Italy it seems to have got into the hospitals and infected lots of people who were already seriously ill.

I do object to the trivialisation or dismissal of this on the basis that it primarily (by no means solely) seems to kill old people. 

I mean, is everyone ok with loads more old world dying than otherwise would? It’s not like I know any old people I care about, or anything.

This all seems like social media overblown BS. I remember when SARS was just another story in old media outlets e.g. 2 minutes on News at 10 with Trevor McDonald at its peak. Now with 24 hour news to fill and billions of self-publishers across the globe every muppet can't get enough BS to fill their working days.  

We are now getting increasing non China data in and death rate still looks consistent with 1-2%. 

At moment the naive fatality rate (current non China deaths divided by current non China cases). Is 32/2589 = 1.24 %.  Clearly the denominator is likely to be much higher, but at the same time it is early in the outbreak and there is likely to be a significant lag effect (incubation times and then time to death can both be quite long). Professor Ferguson ICL (who estimated a fatality rate of c1% in a paper a couple of weeks ago) thinks denominator effect/lag effect likely to balance out. Seems consistent with Chinas reported fatality rates of c2% (which has been a wholly naive/misleading number to date and which is now edging up due to lag effect - but in any event tbh we have no idea what real case/fatality nos are).

So 1-1.5% but still with considerable risk both ways.  But base case is c10-15x worse than seasonal flu. Thats bad enough, but what remains terrifying is we really don’t know yet whether it could be more - which is almost as likely in my view as less. Worse - there has been little discussion to date about reinfection - which seems quite possible. If this becomes endemic like the common cold etc - but carries on killing 0.5-1%, then we could be in real trouble. We should be heaping money into vaccination research. Tbh - we are clearly starting to do that and Im sure this will ramp up as the public becomes increasingly aware of the scale of the crisis.

Needless to say there was a doctor on Good Morning Britain this morning saying it was about twice as bad as flu. Im not sure if there has been some further development in the academic literature that ive missed, but I suspect that statement is wholly wrong. Only he knows if it was a lie, but I would fancy my chances of proving it in a court.

Having said that, although there is now a growing consensus amongst experts that a pandemic is likely I still think there is a reasonable chance of containment to some degree. Iran, S Korea and Italy look bad right now, but I think its equally telling that places like Sing, HK, UK, Germany, US and others haven’t had a lift off yet. Another week or two with no news from those sorts of places and if the new outbreaks are slowed and the slow down in China cases is true and holds as they return to work, then I think you would have to conclude it is controllable. Those remain pretty big Ifs though. Im certainly not betting on it.

CW I suspect the lack of take off in other places has more to do with testing criteria and not testing people rather than any actual containment of the virus. 

Many countries are refusing to test for corona in any patient that doesn’t have a direct link to China. 

Various experts have come out in the last day or so saying this isn’t controllable and is likely to become another generally circulating form of the flu. 

Also reinfection has already been proved to occur. 

reinfection in the short term will be rare and not a major contributor to an epidemic because the body will retain immunity. The virus has been found not to have significantly mutated since first being observed in humans.

In the long term, there will be reinfection probably, as viruses of this type don't leave particularly strong long term immunity (they think, based on past experience). However, once the epidemic is quelled, as it already is being in China, the chances of reinfection will be low because the incidence of the virus will be low.

Those who think it inevitable that there will now be a massive epidemic in e.g. Italy would do well to consider that Guangdong had over 1000 cases but prevented an epidemic. The Italian cases are highly clustered.

No kickoff in the UK within 2 wks and I call it ain't happening