In a terrifying show of crowd psychology, berserk governments are destroying their countries to extend the lives of a very few people for a few months. The cause of this madness is the WHO/ UK’s Imperial College March 19 Report.
First, no one read its fine print. “Suppression…carries with it enormous social and economic costs which may themselves have significant impact on health and well-being in the short and longer-term.” “We do not consider the ethical or economic implications of either strategy [mitigation or suppression] here…” * And by the way, what IS the mortality rate??
Their assumption is 80% infected and a 0.9% infection fatality rate (IFR), so 0.7% of the population will die over two years, the majority this year. Enough months of shut-down to be economic suicide will theoretically “save” half of these over 2 years. This was the source of every official fear mongering statement and every scary headline. And even as evidence piled up that none of this was correct, governments sowed panic and launched scorched earth policies that will now cause more deaths over time than Covid.
Second, what the Report omitted needs scrutiny. Covid is not the Spanish flu, which afflicted the young and healthy. The UK report gives age cohort IFRs, from a 0.03% probability of dying for ages 20 to 29, to 9.3% for ages over 80. Using their cohort IFRs and population age data, one can calculate that roughly 90% of deaths were going to be over 60, and 70% to 80% of deaths would be of those over 70 years of age. In this, they were correct. This turned out to be the pattern of deaths. And yet the Ontario government acted surprised!
Never mind the appalling ethics of extending the lives of the elderly by throwing their children under the bus. There is a statistical problem. An 80 year old already has over a 20% chance of dying in the next 2 years, a 90 year old, nearly 40%. Thus the projected deaths include many who would have died of something else. It was incorrect to take the average fatality rate, multiply by the population, and then to imply that the result equaled incremental deaths.
Third, we have more data on the mortality rate .
Recent data show that the vast majority of carriers have no or only mild symptoms, and show that the number of infected people is far greater than expected, i.e., the fatality rate is far lower than originally assumed. The Center for Disease control recently reported 0.46% for symptomatic people includes a rate of only 0.2% to 0.05% risk for those under 65 and a 1.3% rate for those over 65. (Even their worst case scenario has the risk for those under 65 at only 0.1% to 0.6%). And counting asymptomatic people brings 0.46% to 0.26%.
At Stanford, Prof. John Ioannidis arrived at similar numbers. “Deaths for people <65 years without underlying predisposing conditions are remarkably uncommon.” He also pointed out that different coronaviruses infect millions of people every year, and they are common especially in the elderly and in hospitalized patients with respiratory illness in the winter. Case fatality of 8% has been described in outbreaks among nursing home elderly in the past.
(And we did not put all the healthy people in masks.)
Dr. David Katz mentioned that the flu is more lethal to children than Covid-19.
There are hitches in calculating the rate. Obviously reliable testing is required. As we know, this took time. To include the 35% of people who have Covid but have no symptoms, random tests are needed.
Very recently, it was discovered that people who have recovered can lose their antibodies after 2-3 months. These people would not be counted in the denominator. Dr. Karol Sikora said there are other immune responses besides antibodies, the mucosal membrane for one, “that do not leave a footprint for a test….we should not assume that no antibodies means no exposure”. Dr. Dolores Cahill, who researched antibodies, also mentions this alternative response. Dr. Katz added that in sequestered groups such as cruise ships, naval vessels, there seemed to be constant percentage, only 20% who would get infected. So now it is beginning to look as if the fatality risk is even less than 0.26%.
Fourth, they assumed the R0, the number of additional infections from one person was around 2.4 and that it stayed constant and that cases multiplied exponentially, AND that no one had any innate immunity.
According to experts it does not spread that way. As explained by Dr. Michael Levitt of Stanford, the spread was never going to be exponential, and that it slows down after two weeks. This was backed up by Dr. Knut Wittkowski, retired epidemiologist, and Prof Isaac Ben-Israel who says Coronavirus dies out within 70 days no matter how we tackle it. Dr. Sikora says the decline in infection rates are NOT just from social distancing and attributed the decline to the other immune responses .
In an interview with Stanford’s (very diplomatic) Dr. Ioannidis, an interviewer asked him about this:
The Imperial College/ Neil Ferguson originally projected 500,000 UK deaths. The Oxford study took issue with it. Neil Ferguson changed it down to 20,000 [a 96% reduction!], and said it was due to social distancing -which had only been in place for one day. [The sceptical expression on Dr. Ioannidis’ face in response to this says it all.]
How could the very smart Imperial College/ WHO have made mistakes of this magnitude?
Ioannidis: They worked under stressful conditions with limited evidence. so they assumed the worst the default option. They got it astronomically wrong, that is indeed the case. Those predictions of millions of [US] deaths were science fiction. Our California research and others shows the IFR to be very low.
The WHO is now furiously backtracking., Rather than admit the original projections are nowhere near reality, it is crediting the shutdown to save face. All shutdown measures could be dropped today, but now the WHO and allied governments prefer to prolong the shutdown than to admit mistakes. We now know about the number of asymptomatic carriers, and how the virus survives on surfaces, and we know what unbiased experts can tell us: mitigation and quarantine could not possibly account for the reduction in numbers.
This is why people do NOT trust the WHO.
They lost their opportunity to correct their work early, citing lack of data. The more they clung to their projections, which were nowhere near reality, the worse it was. THAT is why the WHO continues to spread fear and urge extreme measures, masks, distancing.
If they can convince naïve Chief Medical Officers (who are getting dictatorial powers these days) to implement strict measure, the WHO can credit those measures for subsidence in infection rates, however implausible, and never admit their mistakes, even though this trend is natural and has been seen before. And if feckless politicians believe them, they will happily destroy the country.
Dramatic headlines listing numbers of Covid deaths without context are irresponsible . To relax, read A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper by J.A.Paulos. One of the most idiotic fear-mongering headlines most disliked by Prof. D. Cahill is “alarming number of Covid cases”. Since the vast majority will recover, many will have no symptoms, and some, according to her, do have some immunity (contrary to what the WHO says), this is not a bad thing. These people will be immune for life. As a doctor said, “Eventually we’ll all get it.”
Containment has been ruled out by US experts. The slightly less draconian action of mitigation was to stay home to postpone getting infected. How profound! This was never going to miraculously save 100,000 Canadians. They’d just get infected later. Governments were dishonest about this. Now we know those projections were wrong to begin with, and the government is still waging a fear campaign. What about flattening the curve? Given the double counting, the Report’s use of worst case numbers, and some truth in a dissenting view from Oxford, and the disease’s normal subsidence, the large spike in deaths and illness is already flattened by data. Our strained hospitals are still better than Venezuela’s, and flattening the curve has zero effect on fatalities in a system already over capacity. Pushing any outbreak into the next flu season would definitely increase deaths
If the shutdown persists we can expect 30-40% unemployment. Probably a third of companies, all the airlines, and all theaters, galleries, restaurants, sports clubs, sole proprietorships, maybe dentists, optometrists and other small professional offices will be bankrupt. Small businesses employ 8.3 million (StatCan). These jobs will not return. Cities will be empty streets of boarded-up store fronts. The government, unable to handle the volume of subsidy applications in time, will fail. It already has. Employees, deceived into panic, have refused to work in public counter service. Will the government manage to distribute funds to every small business, every airline, and every unemployed person in time? This has been delegated to the CRA, which takes eight months to answer tax correspondence.
We just lost almost our entire oil and gas industry with the recent price drop. Relief payments rely on printing currency. Tax revenue will plunge. Canada’s petro-dollar will go to 20¢. Since everything is imported, inflation will be high. Shortages will result. Hospitals will have no money for equipment. More people will die from stress, crime and poverty than the hypothetical number “saved” from Covid. I do not fear Covid-19, but I am terrified of my government’s actions.
Following a steep decline in oil prices and excessive government spending of fiat money, as we have today, Venezuela in 2016, became the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say. It’s been called a human tragedy on the same scale as civil war, and a cardinal example of disastrous policies. The media report food scarcities, near-epidemic violence, illnesses, and economic disarray. Can Venezuela happen here? Yes.
What about plangent tales of statistically insignificant cases of young people with Covid? Decisions need to be rational, not emotional. Covid is a relatively benign disease for the young.
The longer the shutdowns go on, the more intransigent will be the governments, and the more they will instill fear, with the media’s help, to get compliance. Young people, whose risk is trivial, are cowering in masks. People shun their neighbours. All this is for a virus with less than a 1 in a 1,000 probability of killing a 35 year old. If this scorched earth policy continues, the apocalyptic Great Depression of 2020 will go down as one of the greatest follies of all time.
No matter what is done, Covid will be the cause of many deaths. It is the refusal to accept this that drives the frantic behaviour. We need leaders who WILL consider the economic and human costs that the UK Report omits, and who WILL tell the truth. People are going to die. Get over it. Staying home is not a solution. As professor Ioannidis said, “I think that there is a risk of really making some fundamental decisions about the structure of our civilization, of our society, of our future, that may not be appropriate.” As an example, he cited the risks of constructing a society over the longer term around where everything is done at a distance.
Most boomers would gladly give up a few years of life to ensure their children’s future, and we need to be heard. Destructive shutdown is not just a medical decision. It is for economists, actuaries, ethicists and people who care about the young and the working class to decide, for the greatest good for the greatest number. May 2020, June 2020
More opinions at:
Including an article by 2 Canadian infectious disease experts, Drs Neil Rau & Susan Richardson “This sledgehammer approach will affect mainly able- bodied workers, children and students, for whom a COVID-19 infection will be nothing more than a cold. It will put a huge segment of the workplace out of commission, including healthcare workers, at a time when we need them most.”
COVID-19 Antibodies Can Disappear After 2-3 Months, Study Shows
Scientists in China studied 74 people with coronavirus, half symptomatic, half asymptomatic. Eight weeks after recovery, antibody levels fell to undetectable levels in 40% of asymptomatic people
British Professor Karol Sikora, MD, & former head of the WHO’s cancer program
Professor Michael Levitt, Stanford School of Medicine,
2 May 2020 “[E]xponential growth in infection… hasn’t actually happened anywhere, even in countries relatively lax in their responses.” “I think the policy of herd immunity is the right policy. I think Britain was on exactly the right track
before they were fed wrong numbers. And they made a huge mistake [in going with lockdown].”
“I am surprised that there has been such unqualified acceptance of the Imperial model,” Oxford epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta . His researchers believe both the hospitalization and mortality rates are much lower than the worst estimates, and immunity is more widespread than previously thought.
According to Professor Adam Antczak from the Medical University of Łódź, Poland, the coronavirus only infects a small slice of the infected populace with severe symptoms.”This means that as much as 80 percent of infected people do not show symptoms of the disease or suffer from mild or moderate illness, that is, similar to the common cold.”
Dr. David Katz on Medscape https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/930482
CDC REDUCES IFR to something like a really bad seasonal flu
CDC report itself
John Ioannidis, Stanford
27 March 2020. “The Iceland experience and other data from Rome and Italy where entire city populations were tested shows that the vast majority of people are either completely asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic in ways that you would not be able to differentiate from the common cold or common flu. This information makes a huge difference while we are proceeding with aggressive measures of social distancing and lockdowns that may have tremendous repercussions, especially in the long term.”
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.05.20054361v1 Dr. Ioannidis 4 April 2020
“The COVID-19 death risk in people <65 years old during the period of fatalities from the epidemic was equivalent to the death risk from driving between 9 miles per day and 415 miles per day.”
Dr. Dolores Cahill
Dr. Knut Wittkowski : There are many people supporting my positions; they are not favored by the media, [for] the media—only bad news is good news…[T]he huge damage done to the economy could not be justified by whatever was known.
Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, CENSORED BY GOOGLE/YOUTUBE
also at https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7tkx22 Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi,