The General Discussion Thread

[Publish Date updated to restore to front page]

Okay as an experiment here it is. Discuss your favourite generals here!

Well perhaps… Really this is simply the place to post news-items, fun-items or whatever takes your fancy. In short just post what you want here.

It’s just another wee experiment – comments welcome.


[Image: General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett (Stephen Fry)]

17,284 thoughts on “The General Discussion Thread

  1. I’ve been hearing of cases through people I know, none serious so far, and no one I know myself yet.

  2. `My brother’s software is not being used by the medical profession for quick diagnosis for coronavirus but he is going back to work where his daughter is holding up well in NYU’s four teaching hospitals dealing with the pandemic.

    Wonder if Trump is planning to catch the virus as the centerpiece of getting re-elected. Only a fool who he is would not be following the protective measures recommended while being in public.

  3. This index looks informative:

    Bucky’s Posts – Sorted by New:

    COVID-19 growth rates vs interventions
    2 days ago, 11 comments.

    [UPDATED] COVID-19 cabin secondary attack rates on Diamond Princess
    11 days ago, 5 comments.

    Why such low detected rates of COVID-19 in children?
    13 days ago, 1 comment.

    Growth rate of COVID-19 outbreaks
    20 days ago, 23 comments.

    Quadratic models and (un)falsified data
    21 days ago, 8 comments.

    There’s an index of Bucky’s graphs, here:


    “We have 2 examples of countries which have had significant outbreaks and brought them under control – China and South Korea. In both cases the doubling time starts climbing and keeps going until the active cases starts to decrease. Under full control the halving time of active cases was 2-5 days.
    – I suspect that having a sustained high doubling time is possible if R is just above 1 but so far either a country is not doing enough (doubling time of 2-5 days) or they are doing enough and the cases are about to start decreasing. If R0 is large to start with it’s hard to find that perfect amount of intervention which takes R to 1 so that the number of new cases stay manageable. Possibly as China and South Korea loosen their restrictions they are starting to find that point.”

  5. Mt father made the crash at Ft. Sill look more conspiratorial when right after discussing it,, and i overlooked it, he talked about the “unconventional incident ” (p. 151, Wagon Soldier), relating to McConnell Air Force Base (AAB) in Wichita, Kansas a year later when it was getting desperate to become the new service.

    After looking over a well prepared L-5, and taking off, Dad was hit in the the shoulder by a cat. Instead of crashing, he managed to catch it,and throw it back to passenger Colonel Ray Miller, while making a bloodied emergence landing. Back on the ground, a member of the crew explained its presence thus; “Ah that’s the cat who who was going to have kittens.(p. 152) And sure enough, she had them back in the plane’s tail Not the kind of explanation one would expect for a near fatal accident.

    My father loved the Us Army enough to put up with surprises like this.

    It’s such events which build up the dots of a a conspiracy theory.

  6. Is there no end to Trump’s narcissism?

  7. We know that there is no end to Trump’s narcissism.

    But is there no end to the peoples’ stupidity like wearing or showing masks out of their homes.

    The media should not even show adds without having people in them showing evidence they have them to put on.

    People in America and the UK are not taking this pandemic seriously enough.

  8. How long are people working in labs going to be allowed to say this was nothing to do with them?

    Fuck, “swine flu” had bits of 1918 (and later repeats) built in as well which is why the elderly were mainly immune. Oh but it was a coincidence they lie – it hid somewhere for 90 years!

    Time for all managers of BSL sites to be put on trial for the (potential) mass murderers they are?

    If Nature did this and it is nothing to do with them this time, eventually it will be.


    Not an old person’s virus: Russia warns teens & adults they TOO may need ventilators if ill with Covid-19, citing patient data

    Moscow authorities have sounded the alarm over the ratio of serious Covid-19 cases among younger people, having found that 40 percent of the patients undergoing artificial lung ventilation are under the age of 40.

    At least 1,014 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the Russian capital as of Sunday, and only 15 percent of those are over 65, the authorities said.

    Over 33 percent of those infected with the novel coronavirus fell between the ages of 18 and 34, while 46 percent were between 35 and 64, the official data said.

    But what’s worse, the serious cases requiring artificial lung ventilation units, commonly known as ventilators, did not favor the younger patients, according to the statement.

  10. Just typical China bashing and Britain telling porkies about it all, Fred.

    Beijing is locking massively up its Muslims, not trying to train them to do better in the Republic; started the trouble in Hong Kong, not trying to stop subversion starting there, China was responsible for leaking the latest coronavirus and not telling the Yanks about it rather than the Yanks made it, and had locusts spread it around the world; Beijing used brutal police state tactics in suppressing at a cost of 42,000 victims when it used sensible measures in dealing with stupid opponents; bought off critics with piddling hush money; etc.

    And Britain behaved perfectly throughout, not helping RadioFree Asia spread these lies about the commies, like Neil Heywood trying to organize a rebellion against the Peoples Republic of China when he was just a businessman, the Xilais being his agents caught red-handed and obliged to kill him; Bo and Gu sent to prison for life for their treason; MI6 funding the the rioters seeking the overthrow of the Hong Kong regime:etc.

  11. Sweden is currently using voluntary social distancing and pubs and restaurants are still open but very quiet. However that was the case in the UK until just over a week ago. Let’s see where they are at the end of the week.

    The streets of Stockholm are quiet but not deserted. People still sit at outdoor cafes in the centre of Sweden’s capital.

    …It remains unclear how long Sweden’s exceptional state will last.

    Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, warning of “many tough weeks and months ahead,” announced on Friday that as of Sunday, gatherings would be limited to 50 people instead of 500.

    For now, the Swedish government maintains that citizens can be trusted to exercise responsibility for the greater good and will stay home if they experience any COVID-19 symptoms.

  12. …. would you care to expand on the point

    Unless they get pressured into joining in the mass hysteria, we will be able to compare the effectiveness of their sensible approach with our economy-crippling measures.

  13. Node,

    The UK tried the voluntary approach but our pubs were still packed. Sweden also has closed high schools, universities and cinemas etc. and has banned mass gatherings so it is not as if they have taken no action.

    Sweden has just released their daily update – a new record for daily deaths with 36 reported today. New infections are not clearly escalating at the rate seen elsewhere but that may be due to limited testing. We shall see.

  14. Squonk.

    You and I disagree about the likely accuracy of the figures we read. We each think the other is choosing selectively. I suspect that if I was killed by a grand piano falling on me from a balcony, it would be registered as a coronavirus death.

    In a year’s time I expect to see the 2019-20 mortality total for all natural causes is unremarkable, even allowing for many extra deaths caused by the unavailability of routine medical care, and not counting an inevitably higher suicide rate. If I am right, many will credit the government’s measures for keeping the toll down.

    If Sweden holds its nerve, we will have data for a meaningful comparison.

  15. Interestingly Sweden has only submitted one virus RNA sequence to the international tracking database. That compares with 7 from Norway, 9 from Denmark, 13 from Finland, 301 from Iceland and 282 from the UK.

    That strongly suggests to me that Sweden is not doing anywhere near enough detailed testing and don’t really know what stage they are at right now and without sequences they are hampered in monitoring in country transmission. But, again, let’s watch and see what happens.

  16. It is not about Sweden holding its nerve. It’s just they don’t have a clear indication of what’s going on and if their current measures have been enough. The danger here is it explodes in their face but I wish them luck.

  17. Now we learn that Trump closed the White White office monitoring observance of social distancing and wearing masks guide lines, so it could do what it wanted.

    Some hypocritical leader!

  18. “Let’s see where they are at the end of the week” and “We shall see”, versus “mass hysteria” and “hoax”.

    Node, this is what makes your attitude seem blasé and irresponsible; you treat the numbers as static with no concern for the rates at which they are rising. Yes, you can take the current covid-19 figures and compare them with numbers from an entire ‘flu season, and right now they’re in similar orders of magnitude. But the covid-19 weekly death rate far exceeds that for ‘flu, so covid-19 seems on course to be many times worse.

    Worldwide, covid-19 deaths stand at 35,000, implying about 35,000,000 infections, or about 0.5% of the global population, ie. over 99% of the population have never encountered this virus; that vast majority of individuals have no immunity, so the population as a whole puts up little resistance to the spread.

    I’d have liked to have seen a voluntary approach in the UK, but for that to have worked the government would have had to show leadership. Had they taken the situation seriously in January or even February, they would have ordered medical protective equipment, ventilators and oxygen, announced phased social distancing measures in advance, published plans for emergency hospital facilities etc. Then more of the public would have taken it seriously too; maybe even you, Node.

  19. Google translated

    Taha Alexandersson on the National Board of Health and Welfare wants to discourage those who can from traveling to Easter.
    – We would like to appeal to everyone who can refrain from traveling in Easter to do so. Many people want control or a challenge, but we don’t work that way – we appeal, she says.

    So they are certainly taking it seriously but still hoping they can avoid more drastic measures. Just as we were about 10 days ago.


    146 people have died in covid-19 in Sweden

    146 people have so far lost their lives in covid-19 in Sweden. 59 of them are women and 87 are men. The National Board of Social Affairs now appeals to Easter travelers to stay at home.

    306 people are intensive care or have been intensive care to date. Especially in the Stockholm area, pressure is high on the department, the Public Health Agency announces in a press conference.

    …One of the journalists present asks Anders Tegnell if there are any plans to mass test the population.

    – Together with the regions, we are working on how to test more and more, which we also did. There is certainly potential to test more, but it must be done in orderly form.

  21. Let’s suppose …

    1,000,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus.
    The majority will have trivial symptoms and not make themselves known to health services.

    100,000, mostly old, will become unwell enough to present themselves to health services where they will test positive for coronavirus.

    Regarding the health problems (of those 100,000 people), 50% are unrelated to coronavirus, 25% will be a combination of factors including coronavirus and 25% will be solely due to coronavirus.

    10,000 (of those 100,000 people) die of their health problem(s).

    It seems likely to me that most countries would calculate the death rate due to coronavirus as 10% …
    … whereas the actual rate is 10% x (25-50%) x 1,000.000 = 0.25-0.5%

    Yeah yeah, I’ve made made up the figures, but can any of you demonstrate to me that something like this isn’t happening?

  22. Establishment Power cut off their cash flow Economic Cows to what End, fer fucks sake?

    If Trust and credibility were precious and rare metals, no one could afford to buy or even rent.

  23. I wonder about the Trump inspired ‘It’s Just the Flu’ Cultists and their equally ignorant Leftist Denialists. Do they share an aberrant gene?

  24. Brian: It’s true that Trump isn’t the sole problem here. Why should Hospitals be profit-oriented? Essential public services should not be subject to markets.

  25. Node,

    Well the WHO figure is about 3% fatality averaged across all age groups assuming first class care available. Some countries including the UK hope for closer to 1%

    Roughly 20% of total cases progress to serious and require hospital treatment and about 5% of total cases eventually require intensive care.

    However without hospital treatment most of the 20% serious cases progress to requiring intensive care which of course also isn’t available and the case fatality rate shoots up.

    And yes rates are lower the younger you are but people of any age can and do progress to serious and then critical condition and it can happen very rapidly.

    And even if it was 0.25 – 0.5% that would still be about 5 times seasonal flu and 10 to 20 times that of “swine flu”. Swine flu (pandemic H1N1) over all rates were so low because it generally left the elderly alone as they were mainly immune. Nobody is immune to this thing.

    In China they never revealed the total excess death counts however we do see total death counts in Italy and nothing has come anywhere near spiking like this since 1918.

    The UK Influenza and respiratory diseases report for the latest week hasn’t appeared but it does track excess death counts so I’ve been waiting to see that spike. Maybe that’s why it hasn’t appeared. The US CDC weekly report did appear and did cross the excess threshold with data reported from about 3 weeks ago.

    Pneumonia and Influenza (P&I) Mortality Surveillance

    Based on National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) mortality surveillance data available on March 26, 2020, 7.4% of the deaths occurring during the week ending March 7, 2020 (week 11) were due to P&I. This percentage is above the epidemic threshold of 7.3% for week 11.

  26. Squonk.
    As I said, I made up the figures to illustrate the process whereby I believe mortality rates are being inflated. It is the process I would like you to address, not the figures. Specifically:
    (1) Mortality rates are often or always based on the numbers who die with the virus rather than because of it.
    (2) Mortality rates are based on those identified as having the virus rather than the actual total of infected people.

  27. Node,

    Do you think the WHO are stupid? If so you could write to them and give them your wisdom and they can undeclare a pandemic.

    These deaths are occurring mainly due to SARS-CoV-2. Yes, many were elderly or ill but they were not expected to die in the immediate future and certainly not in such numbers. Care homes are turned into slaughter houses when it gets in.

    Do you really think thousands of pianos are dropping on people’s heads and causing the death spikes way above actual confirmed cases?

    The WHO did look for large numbers of infected people with little or no symptoms and that was a hope at one time that only the tip of the iceberg was serious. All testing to date reveals that is not the case unfortunately.

  28. Node at 4:19 pm – “Let’s suppose …”

    Yes, let’s suppose that 67 million get infected and scale Node’s figures accordingly, because 67 million is the number of vulnerable people in the UK, and will probably prove a lot closer to the eventual figure than Node’s arbitrary one million.

    So 6.7 million, mostly old, present themselves to health services. 670,000 of those die of their health problem(s). This would NOT pass as equivalent to a bad ‘flu season.

    You keep doing this Node; what you’re effectively saying is “if covid-19 mysteriously stopped in its tracks right now, it would be no worse than ‘flu”. But as best we know, covid-19 still has 99% of the population to expand into.

  29. And adding to what Clark says, if the fantasists on youtube proclaiming that there are 100 times or whatever as many asymptomatic unnoticed cases were correct, everyone would have it by now and there would be no new cases.

  30. The Diamond Princess is a good example as there was 100% testing done. Out of 712 people who tested positive at least 10 are now dead despite the very best medical care available right from the start (often before they even knew they had it). 99 cases are still being treated with 15 currently in serious or critical condition.

    Ok the cruise passengers were older on average than a typical population but they weren’t at dropping dead stage and there were still plenty younger folk and even kids.

    So assuming no more deaths occur we have a CFR of 1.4% . If all current serious/critical died we would be at 3.5% and let’s not forget that still leaves another 84 people not yet recovered and clear of the virus even though they have been off the ship for well over a month now.

  31. Those 84 on ventilators AA?

    They might remain there like so many polio victims living the balance of their lives on their backs in an iron lung.

  32. Presumably Ben, these 84 either have no symptoms or are in a current mild condition, but worryingly their immune systems can’t fully clear the virus and some of them will progress to serious/critical. Exactly what percentage that is I wouldn’t like to guess at.

    We do know from China that people can die suddenly after a month or two of no symptoms. Sudden heart failure or serious neurological issues often being observed, when the virus get bored with respiratory infection and heads straight for the nervous system and other critical organs.

    At one time it was thought these were reinfections which would have been very worrying if you could lose immunity that quickly, but it now appears the virus just hid for a time.

  33. “appears the virus just hid for a time.”

    This is the most worrying feature. We might be hibernating in isolation for a long time.

    If these bugs can turn out the lights and lie in wait it sounds undefeatable. We can trick HIV with therapies but we’ve been studying it for almost 40 years.

  34. At least Ben it isn’t the other way around. Imagine if you lost immunity so quickly that you could catch it again 2 months later. There would be a never ending epidemic and once you got through one round you’d just be waiting for the next time. Each round weakening you further until eventually most died.

    Most virologists believe that the current mutations we are seeing are not enough to fool the immune system so you are immune to all current variations. However the rate of mutation suggests that there might only be a year or two on average before the virus evolved far enough away that previous immunity was no longer a protection. With luck vaccines should be available by then and it could be given with the annual flu shot.

    That said there is something troublesome in the area of Antibody Dependent Enhancement. During vaccine trials for SARS-1 it was discovered that one particular experimental vaccine actually made things much worse if you caught SARS and it is theorised that SARS-Cov-2 appears to have possible mutation pathways that lead to this.

    If you caught the second strain after the first, your antibodies would still identify the virus and attack it but instead of destroying the virus, the mutated version would actually destroy your immune system. That happens currently with Dengue strains.

    Note this is just theoretical at the moment but it cannot be ruled out with current knowledge. It may also be possible to create such a second strain in the lab which, if released, would then kill most of the planet.

  35. “…one particular experimental vaccine actually made things much worse if you caught SARS”

    Is that the vaccine with the entry spike that most closely matches that of SARS-CoV-2?

  36. It has been claimed Clark that there are some uncanny similarities between that vaccine research and the current virus but no virologists seem to be keen on going on the record about this. It could be a false claim which is why I didn’t really want to mention it.

    I suppose we have to await some papers on the subject

  37. If SARS-CoV-2 does resemble that vaccine, couldn’t SARS become a much greater threat than it is, after CoVID-19 becomes endemic?

  38. Node,

    Here’s just one of the things this little evil bastard can do

    3D video reveals lung damage in US coronavirus patient: ‘People need to take this seriously’

    A video shows the lungs of a man who had been asymptomatic a few days earlier.

    Now, the patient has Covid-19 and his lungs are failing to function properly, said Dr. Keith Mortman, the chief of thoracic surgery at George Washington University Hospital. The Washington, D.C., hospital recently released a 3D video of the coronavirus patient’s lungs.

    …The imagery shows extensive damage to the lungs of a generally healthy 59-year-old male with high blood pressure, Mortman said. Since becoming seriously ill, the patient requires a ventilator to help him breathe, but even on the highest setting, it’s not enough. He also needs another machine that circulates and then oxygenates his blood, Mortman said.

    “This is not a 70, 80-year-old immunosuppressed, diabetic patient,” Mortman said. “Other than high blood pressure, he has no other significant medical issues. This is a guy who’s minding his own business and gets it … If we were to repeat the 360VR images now, that is one week later, there is a chance that the infection and inflammatory process could be worse.”

    Areas marked in yellow on the video represent infected and inflamed parts of the lung, Mortman said. When the lungs encounter a viral infection, the organ will start to seal the virus off. From the scan, it is clear that the damage isn’t localized to a single area, but instead covers massive swaths of both lungs, showing how rapidly and aggressively the infection can take hold, even in younger patients. A patient with healthy lungs would have no yellow on the scan, he said.

    The patient remains in critical condition in the ICU.

    Video at link

  39. Virus is just smarter and quicker to react to our defenses AA. Being fooled should be sufficient.

  40. Node, Here’s just one of the things this little evil bastard can do

    Why are you pointing this out to me? That’s exactly what I’d expect. Enter “flu lung damage” into Google images with a custom date range excluding 2020 and you’ll see plenty more of the same. I’ve never said or implied that only old people are liable to serious symptoms.

    Rather than address my reasonable points, you and Clark ascribe beliefs to me that I’ve never professed, then attack the fictitious person you’ve created. It’s a transparent ruse to avoid the issues I raised.

  41. Node.

    I am rapidly losing patience with you. No typically flu does not do this damage. However the 1918 variant did and swine flu (which is now seasonal flu) did it very occasionally as well (thus some pics) as it had a particular occasional sporadic mutation that attacked receptors deep in the lungs, which recent previously circulating flu did not have and greater than 99.9% of swine flu itself did not have.

    However that mutation was well known (from 1918) and it did not transmit as easily as the upper respiratory variant. Intensive sequencing was done to track any spread of the deep lung variant and use contact tracing and quarantine to stamp it out. The mutation was seen in some of the earliest sequences which caused the panic but it never really got going. Well except for in Ukraine where it almost got out of control and death rates shot up. Fortunately it was brought back under control with the help of The WHO. It only turned up sporadically in the UK.

    However as I’ve said before this current virus has the ability to do upper and lower respiratory built in from the start together with many other organs.

    If you seriously think that Dr. Keith Mortman, the chief of thoracic surgery at George Washington University Hospital, is trying to spread fear and panic because you think regular flu does this just as often, then you are no longer welcome to post here.

    Everybody is a fucking idiot apart from you. And the doctors, WHO, CDC, hell even Putin himself, are fear mongering and somehow forgetting this happens every year. That’s your basic argument.

    I’m beginning to think you are just being deliberately obtuse.

  42. … and I think that you are unwilling to admit that the statistics you post here are probably inflated in the ways I describe, and you’re looking for an excuse to shut me up so you don’t have to face up to that uncomfortable possibility.

  43. “Everybody is a fucking idiot apart from you…”

    Yep; stupid, or evil. Conspiracy theorists regard everyone else as either stupid sheeple, or evil agents of the conspiracy. These are the only two reasons they’ll consider for anyone disagreeing with them. Conspiracy theory is driven by feelings of superiority.

    “I’m beginning to think you are just being deliberately obtuse.”

    Yep, that’s where I got to regarding Twin Tower demolition theory, when Node continued to insist that US building regulations had not been changed due to the collapses, even after I’d shown Node the new regulations.

    Having run out of even remotely valid arguments, conspiracy theorists typically turn to claims of persecution and evasion:

    “you and Clark ascribe beliefs to me that I’ve never professed, then attack the fictitious person you’ve created. It’s a transparent ruse to avoid the issues I raised.”

  44. Fine Node,

    I need no excuse to shut you up – it is my blog. Perhaps it is you not willing to admit you are wrong? I quote true experts in the field and you just make up stuff.

    I’ve been a member of two disease tracking forums for over 10 years including during the whole swine flu thing. Apart from initial concern and the Ukraine experience, I have never seen anything remotely like this go pandemic before. I didn’t just start paying attention now with SARS-CoV-2.

    So, no more. Any posts on this subject, from you downplaying the epidemic, from now on will be deleted. It is my blog and, yes honestly you are doing my mental health damage with having to repeatedly respond to your nonsense with facts. I do not like banging my head against a brick wall so I am removing the brick wall – that is YOU.

    Go peddle it elsewhere.


  45. Node – with all due respect, I cannot see how you think the figures are being artificially inflated. It was you who claimed that falling pianos would be marked down as a Covid-19 death, remember, yet we are not just talking about a normal death rate here.

    If it were a normal death rate, why do you suppose funeral homes are working flat out in the worst hit countries? That graves cannot be dug fast enough, that the army is required to ship out bodies in such large numbers?

    I do not believe you are stupid, and find it hard to believe you’re just having a laugh here. So why can you not accept the facts that appear to be so obvious – there is vastly increased death all of a sudden, as a result of illness which is utterly swamping health care systems.

    Do you seriously think all these field hospitals are being created by governments for a laugh? That governments are happy to ruin their economies by these lock-downs for the fun of it?

    Do you really think all these scientists, health officials and governments are “in on it”?

    I did ask you politely before, yet – contrary to your assertions that you answer polite questions – answers came there none. I ask you politely again, please address the questions above.

  46. @Squonk: If it is of some benefit, please know that your explanations have been most edifying. Details which would not have been brought out were in not for continued questioning on the point (I am being diplomatic). There may be few enough of us actually reading this blog, but if you consider informing others well to be a good thing, then your efforts have not been entirely wasted.

    It is not surprising that some are viciously mal-informed. The most popular cable news channel is the hard-right propaganda station Fox News. They have cause to be concerned themselves, now:

  47. Node, the statistics are all over the place, for the very simple and obvious reason that the epidemic is spreading and therefore the numbers aren’t stationary. We have mortality rates from 0.1% to over 80%. UK’s resolved cases right now:

    Deaths: 1,408, recovered: 135
    1,404 / (1,404 + 135) = ~91%

    Obviously that figure is ridiculously high, presumably due to the UK being cautious about declaring anyone recovered. So instead we could calculate the CFR, Case/Fatality rate:

    Confirmed cases: 22,141, deaths: 1,404
    CFR = 1,404 / 22,141 = ~6.3%

    Independently of shortage of confirmations, the CFR has a bias towards being too low because it takes weeks between infection and death, and in those weeks new infections have occurred and been detected.

    Or we can estimate the true number of infections from the mathematical simulation of covid-19’s spread, which says that for every 1000 cases that have accumulated, about 1 death occurs. Trivially that will give a mortality rate of 0.1%, but that’s too low because some of the 1000 infected will be yet to die.

    The statistics being so uncertain is part of the reason for the panic; unlike you, the experts can’t yet be certain how bad this could get. Hint – when that happens, it is safer to err on the side of caution rather than “hoax by the United Nations to impose New World Order”, which is what this conspiracy theory is a variant of.

  48. Squonk, 10:56 pm – “yes honestly you are doing my mental health damage with having to repeatedly respond to your nonsense with facts”

    That’s exactly what I found arguing against Twin Tower demolition theory, and arguing climate science against Blunderbuss.

    Hey Node, at least you only got banned. Squonk didn’t say you should be taken outside and shot, eh?

  49. Glenn

    To be fair it is difficult for Node to answer if I’ve said enough on this. I suppose I could allow meta discussion as to why so many could fool themselves generally. But then I can’t see how you could fake the cruise ship or Wuhan or Bergamo or where ever either.

    I do have to consider the remote possibility that Node is game playing (or LARPing – Live Action Role Playing). People do that especially on conspiracy forums but I’d certainly hope not here over such a serious subject. Just like in University Debating Societies you will never convince the other side because that’s not the rules of the game.

    It also seems fair that if I stop Node from posting I also ask everyone else to stop attacking someone who can’t defend themselves.

    I don’t mind Node hoping for a miracle – I wanted most of their arguments to be true several months ago – so did everyone else, but the hard evidence dashed that hope.

    Maybe Node thinks we create our own reality and all we’ve got to do is imagine a lower CFR and if we all do it, then it works. Some people believe that as well.


    I see people posting Node’s point of view on conspiracy forums all the time. I don’t engage with them there as it is not my forum and there is little point – I’m not going to convince them. This is my personal blog though and there is a point where I draw a line.

    Node, I get that you think I am wrong (or pretend to) . No need to keep telling me that constantly on my own blog.

    Let’s all agree we want the end numbers as low as they possibly can be though.

  50. One thing we do want to see though is wide spread testing for antibodies to the infection – that will tell us not just who has it but who HAS had it. This type of screening is just starting to be done and the testing should ramp up. The WHO has said that initial results do not indicate huge numbers of totally asymptomatic infections have occurred – but then we know this already from 100% screening including in some small towns in Italy and cruise ships.

    Maybe that will help a bit though and every little thing that chips away at the CFR, I will be delighted to see. If we can even half the estimated CFR than that is great news but it still leaves us with a massive problem if it were allowed to surge through at its natural growth rate.

    I don’t want to be locked down any longer than necessary and I really can’t see the world going for an 18 month or longer lock-down waiting for a vaccine. Let’s hope the more experience we gain the more options become available.

    The good news (for me) is my father’s appointment for the monthly injection to treat ocular degeneration is back on tomorrow. Hospital contacted him to say that treatment is considered time critical and he will be treated in a clinic in a wing isolated from covid patients.

  51. Squonk

    Jeez I’m terrified to watch your video.. What the virus can do… Cos my lungs are bad enough right now… I tried to make some wee home videos just mucking around…But horrified at the camera picking up my breathing.

    Eleven days now since I have been anywhere but the back garden..

    I manage to keep occupied by a wee bit of Mischief… I have been calling it ‘ The Corona Chronicles ‘
    This was today – Episode 6 –[email protected]/49717752998/in/dateposted-friend/[email protected]/49718601442/in/dateposted-friend/

    Stay Vigilant Folks.

  52. Brian, those binox look pretty good for comet spotting; have you seen comet ATLAS? I haven’t looked yet.

    What are the two wee truncated cones with coated objectives? They look like binocular parts. And is that a 6″ or a 4″ Newtonian? Its tripod looks a bit wobbly; do you have a Dobsonian mount for it as well?

    You’ve got some lovely photos on your Photostream. West Highland way Run, Vatersa Bay, Temple of Complex Thoughts, and Fog Above the Clyde are among my favourites, but the noctilucent clouds are just amazing.

  53. Why all this hoopla over the USNS Comfort going to NYC when it isn’t prepared to treat those having coronavirus? Is it just to comfort the dying, gather the dead bodies, and then bury them at sea?

    Would be in keeping with Trump dictating the whole agenda of the massacre, and its discussion.

    Still think that the dead will not top 50,000.

  54. Global deaths will exceed 50,000 by tomorrow. US deaths are likely exceed 50,000 in about a fortnight.

  55. Trowbridge : I heard that the ship is going to deal with the regular medical cases that will crop up in NYC for the duration.


    March 27 – NEW YORK (from New York Governor Cuomo daily briefing):

    – Apex of hospital need could be in 21 days from now in New York
    – All hospitals need to increase capacity by 50%, some by 100%
    – Need a total of 140,000 hospital beds. Currently have 53,000 (an additional 87,000 hospital beds are needed)
    Need a total of 40,000 ICU beds. Currently have 3,000, with 3,000 ventilators. An additional 37,000 ICU beds are needed

    March 26:

    – COVID-19 patients average time on ventilator: 11 – 21 days (vs. 3 – 4 days for non-COVID-19 patients). “We have patients that have been 20 days 30 days on a ventilator. The longer you are on a ventilator, the more likely you are not going get off a ventilator”

  57. Just scare-mngering, Clark. Never claimed anything about global deaths from the virus, and America will have to suffer over 3,000 deaths a day to meet over 50,000 in the next fortnight.

    And my brother is not in a hurry to get back to work as his services will be welcomed by the whole exhausted staff where ever it is, and oncologist he has brushed up what is required.


    Mikael Tofvesson at the MSB says that the authority is now focusing on disinformation and rumor spread about covid-19 from foreign states.

    – There is a significant amount of disinformation around the world and in Sweden. The topics that are being spread are, for example, that covid-19 is the result of biological warfare, that it is harmless and that excessive handling is being done, or that Sweden is not doing anything to combat the problems, which is not true, he says.
    However, Sweden is not a main target for the attacks at present, according to Tofvesson.
    SVT · Felicia Nordlund


    Calls grow for state of emergency as Tokyo logs 78 more coronavirus cases

    Calls are growing for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus before it is too late.

    “I personally feel it’s time (Japan) makes the declaration, and devises measures based on that,” Satoshi Kamayachi, an executive board member of the Japan Medical Association also serving on a government expert panel on COVID-19, said at a news conference Monday night.

    …”The central government has said (Japan) is ‘barely holding up,’ so the declaration needs to be made at this stage. If we leave it too late, (the virus) will be uncontrollable,” Yoshimura told reporters.

    …JMA President Yoshitake Yokokura said in the same news conference that the number of beds available for infected patients is nearing its capacity.

    “So that the health care system doesn’t collapse, I ask people to refrain from going out and to enforce basic health practices, such as washing hands and gargling,” he said.

  60. Me: – “Global deaths will exceed 50,000 by tomorrow”

    Sorry, I got that wrong; it could be four days.

  61. Trowbridge, the US might head off the rise fast enough to avoid 3000 deaths per day, but Italy’s highest so far was 919 deaths in a single day, Spain’s was 913, and the US has over 5 times the population of Italy, and over 7 times the population of Spain.

  62. You got the US daily death toll incredibly wrong Clark, a daily average of over 3,000 for the current fortnight, but nothing about that.

    More important, can anyone tell posters the right way to wear a mask, with the white side out or the colored one, usually green one? Think most people wear ii with the white side showing.

    Think is a mistake, as that will keep the virus in the pocket between the two, risking one to breath them in when one takes the mask off.

    Any answers?

  63. Trowbridge, the current US death rate is about 500 per day, but the rate has been rising; ten days ago it was about 50 per day, so if it keeps rising at the same rate, then in about ten days time it would be 5000 per day. We shall see.

    Regarding masks, I don’t know which way to wear one, but I think that mainly they help remind you not to touch your face with your hands. Most of them aren’t fine enough to block virus particles, though they would intercept sneeze droplets etc.

  64. More relapse cases from South Korea

    Two military personnel test positive for coronavirus again after full recovery

    Two military personnel, who had been reported to have fully recovered from the new coronavirus, have tested positive again, the defense ministry said Sunday.

    An Army officer based in Yongin, some 50 kilometers south of Seoul, and an Air Force contractor in the southeastern city of Daegu have tested positive while in a preventive quarantine after leaving the hospital, according to the ministry.

    Both were reported to have fully recovered from the virus on March 20. They have been in quarantine again at a hospital since Friday, it said.

    Navy sailor tests positive for coronavirus again after full recovery

    A Navy sailor has tested positive again for the new coronavirus after having fully recovered from the disease, the defense ministry said Tuesday.

    The sailor stationed on the southern island of Jeju was released from a hospital last week after recovering fully from the COVID-19 virus following monthlong treatment.

    But he redeveloped symptoms while in preventive quarantine, and tested positive again Tuesday, officials said, adding that he was immediately sent to a hospital.


    New cases up again on cluster, overseas infections; new school year further delayed

    South Korea reported a slight uptick in new cases of the novel coronavirus Tuesday, driven by a steady rise in cluster infections and imported cases.

    In the face of community spread of the virus, the country again pushed back the new school year, with the introduction of online classes. The opening of kindergartens and child care centers has been delayed indefinitely.

    …South Korea has been pushing for an extensive 15-day social distancing campaign since March 22 to stem small-scale cluster infections.

    Citizens are strongly urged to stay home, except for essential needs or jobs. The government has also strongly recommended people suspend religious gatherings, indoor sports activities, and visits to nightclubs and other entertainment venues.

    If we ease our social distancing campaign, there is a high possibility that the virus could spread rapidly in the country again,” Kim said.

  66. And it isn’t just the virus South Korea is worried about.

    NK tests missiles as US chained to anti-virus efforts

    North Korea fired what appeared to be two ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Sunday morning, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said, urging the regime to halt the “inappropriate” military act amid the coronavirus pandemic. It was the North’s fourth weapons test of the year, all in March.

    …A US surveillance aircraft flew over South Korea on Sunday on an apparent mission to monitor North Korea as the communist regime carried out a test of what appeared to be a pair of ballistic missiles the same day.

  67. It’s amazing to watch the ‘critical mass’ of infected Hosts reach its exponential apex.

    Half the. US still regards Trump an impostor…fiddling like Nero while taking in the vista of Roman fires.

  68. The simple exponential increase of the coronavirus pandemic takes no notice of knowing it exists and taking measures to slow its grow like informing the ignorant public to take steps and enforce them to stop it, to inform the medical profession how to improve their ability to make sure diagnoses and act on them, and the society at large that it is a public heath problem and behave accordingly.

    I doubt America will ever see 5,000 people die in a single day.

    Seems the colored side of the mask on the outside is the right way to use it.

  69. Trowbridge, you’re right that I didn’t factor in slower spread due to public behaviour. But there are two problems.

    One is that covid-19 is infectious before it provokes symptoms. Consequently there are many times more infections than there are confirmed cases; covid-19 is spreading in the population, and social distancing merely slows it down a bit – not very much if restrictions come too late.

    The other is that ongoing and future deaths result from infections that occurred around a fortnight ago and onwards. The current infections are likely to cause death anyway, no matter what social distancing is adhered to.

    Total US deaths stand at 3,186. By the spread model, there must be some 3.2 million infections in the US. If 2% of those cases die that’s 64,000 deaths, which if spread over three weeks would average to about 3000 per day.

    Still, new cases and deaths are both rising slower, so let’s hope it doesn’t get that bad.

  70. I have given up relying on hope about almost everything in his country after it humiliated and insulted my dead father over 30 years ago.

    Instead of treating him as a true hero it treated him worse than the defeated Germans and Southern rebels.

    Did you know that the Pentagon named the permanent air training school which he was responsible for the creation of for Confederate honorary general Edmund Rucker which it had already honored by naming a horse jumping show place Rucker Park when we lived at Fort Sill.

    Dad was named for a sad student center at Fort Rucker which you might find interesting when you visit,go to Burger King and McDonald’s. it now suggests.Dad apparently chose to be burred in a marked grave next to his wife in Redding, Connecticut rather than a government cemetery intended for veterans.

    I just can’t believe that a Southern, whose personnel had fought and died for the Confederacy, who deliberately joined the Union Army at great cost, would be so trashed
    by its military establishment.

    I’s not a family complaint but a patriotic one.


    Some ultra-Orthodox Jews are ignoring Israel’s coronavirus rules, despite a warning to ‘wake up!’

    As Israel has battled the spread of coronavirus, the government has imposed increasingly tighter restrictions on the public in an attempt to slow the rate of infection. As of Tuesday morning, Israel had 4,831 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 17 deaths as a result of the disease.

    Though police say the majority of the public has heeded the instructions, the seriousness of the situation seems yet to have fully penetrated the ultra-Orthodox community.

    …In Mea Shearim, video from Israel police showed officers showered with cries of “Nazis” and “murderers” as they made their way down the labyrinthine alleys of the insular Jerusalem neighborhood. A medical team from Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s emergency response service, was pelted with rocks in the same neighborhood while trying to carry out a coronavirus test, a spokesman from MDA said.

    …Israel’s ultra-Orthodox, also known as the Haredim, make up just 14% of the country’s total population but comprises a disproportionately large number of coronavirus patients. At Tel Hashomer hospital outside Tel Aviv, 60% of the coronavirus patients are ultra-Orthodox, spokesman Steve Walz tells CNN

  72. First cruise ships, now warships

    Exclusive: Captain of aircraft carrier with growing coronavirus outbreak pleads for help from Navy

    The captain of a nuclear aircraft carrier with more than 100 sailors infected with the coronavirus pleaded Monday with U.S. Navy officials for resources to allow isolation of his entire crew and avoid possible deaths in a situation he described as quickly deteriorating.

    …“Removing the majority of personnel from a deployed U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier and isolating them for two weeks may seem like an extraordinary measure. … This is a necessary risk,” Crozier wrote. “Keeping over 4,000 young men and women on board the TR is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those Sailors entrusted to our care.”

    …“We don’t disagree with the (captain) on that ship and we’re doing it in a very methodical way because it’s not the same as a cruise ship, that ship has armaments on it, it has aircraft on it, we have to be able to fight fires if there are fires on board the ship, we have to run a nuclear power plant, so there’s a lot of things that we have to do on that ship that make it a little bit different and unique but we’re managing it and we’re working through it,” he said.

  73. Node, Do you think the WHO are stupid? If so you could write to them and give them your wisdom and they can undeclare a pandemic.

    I don’t know if they’re stupid but if that’s where you’re getting your information from it explains a few things. Quote from Our World In Data:

    Additionally we found many errors in the data published by the WHO when we went through all the daily Situation Reports […] As of March 18 we no longer maintain this database for the reason that the WHO data can not be used for reliable time-series information.

    The simple fact is nobody (but you, apparently) knows the mortality rate because nobody knows the infection rate.

    I’m gone. You’ve lost your way here. This was once a quirky backwater. Now it’s an echo chamber of sneering intolerance and smug self-congratulation. The world is moving into a dark place and this blog epitomises the problem. Talk about turkeys voting for Christmas. As the manufactured crisis is dragged out and ever more ’emergency’ powers are invoked and normalised, you lot cheer the government and demand more. You do their work for them – spreading hysteria and silencing protest.

    But worst of all you knowingly post exaggerated figures because it’s in a good cause. Yes, you know your scare figures are inflated in exactly the way I said and that’s why you want to shut me up. Same with Pb, he was polite, knowlegeable, and keen to discuss your favourite subject, but your howling mob of sycophants shouted him down and when he persisted you banned him just because he disagreed with you (His parting words: I won’t be bothering you again here, there are some that just want discussion and exploration shut down with abuse, ad hominem and sneers because their own egos don’t stand a chance against genuine inquiring minds. Sad!).

    And then you have the fucking cheek to question my honesty, you hypocrite. Keep your blog. I want no part of it.

  74. Node,

    I’ll let your parting comment remain.

    I take data from every source I can. I don’t knowingly post inflated figures.

    Your links says

    However, as we explain (here) the total number of cases of COVID-19 is not known. That’s partly because not everyone with COVID-19 is tested

    But that’s why I posted the Diamond Princess. Everybody was tested. It was not possible for me or anyone else to inflate these figures. The USS Theodore Roosevelt will be another good test case because this time we have a ship that represents a much younger population and there will again be 100% testing according to the US Navy. This should give us a lower fatality rate because of age bias and I’ll be following what happens – as long as they report it.

    Pb actually I thought seemed to more or less agree with me before disappearing. I certainly never banned him.

    It seems to me that you don’t actually read most of what I post because you continually bring up issues I have previously responded to. You accuse virtually everyone of posting inflated figures but don’t even leave the door just slightly open to the possibility that your ideas might be “deflated”.

    “manufactured crisis” – See there we go again. You just state something from your imagination as fact. It never seems to occur to you that just because a thought pops into your head that it might be incorrect. That’s not the way science works. I have stated I hope we can reduce the CFR (or more precisely get IFR – Infection Fatality Rate) once we have widespread antibody screening but there’s only so much scope for that to be consistent with current screening and modelling, which even though you don’t understand it, does give us upper and lower bounds on the final figure. And even the lowest possible value is too high. If it wasn’t Wuhan, Italy. Madrid etc. just wouldn’t have happened.

    It must be very strange for you for the world to be a conspiracy consisting of almost everyone but you.

    Anyway we’ll have antibody screening soon and I most certainly want that to let us know if a wider population has been exposed asymptomatically so we can relax things sooner.

    Bottom line is I truly believe the current measures are to prevent hospitals being overloaded and so no treatment available when needed. You believe it is a conspiracy and can’t be convinced otherwise.

  75. Node, you’re projecting. Look at your own comment:

    “The simple fact is nobody (but you, apparently) knows the mortality rate because nobody knows the infection rate”

    Squonk hasn’t claimed to know the fatality rate. Squonk has said, again and again, that the fatality rate increases by an order of magnitude when hospitals are overloaded. On the contrary, it is you that claims to know:

    “As the manufactured crisis is dragged out and ever more ’emergency’ powers are invoked and normalised, you lot cheer the government and demand more. You do their work for them – spreading hysteria and silencing protest”

    “Silencing protest”? After what you’ve written about XR? And you accuse Squonk of hypocrisy!

    Node, you’re a conspiracy theorist. Yes, I know, you’re so arrogant that you think the term has no meaning; just a phrase the omnipresent CIA use to discredit “brave free-thinking truth seekers” such as yourself.

    You’ll never accept that there are conspiracy theorists until you try arguing with one yourself. Give the new flat earthers a try; you’ll soon come to recognise the handful of techniques they repeatedly deploy, and if you’re capable of seeing past your self-image and being honest with yourself, you should recognise that you’ve used and encouraged the same techniques yourself, against me, and now against Squonk.

  76. Node: ” I don’t respond to abuse. I’ll answer polite relevant questions.”

    As provided by the evidence just above for all to see, this is not true.

  77. At Tel Hashomer hospital outside Tel Aviv, 60% of the coronavirus patients are ultra-Orthodox, spokesman Steve Walz tells CNN

    Now now… this is obviously playing into a well known anti-Semitic trope that Jews are carriers of disease. /s

  78. – Hospitals Need to Repair Ventilators. Manufacturers Are Making That Impossible:

    – As hospitals face the prospect of a critical ventilator shortage caused by the worst public health crisis in a century, they face another problem: not being able to repair the ventilators that they do have.

    – This is because, like John Deere, Apple, and so many other electronics companies, the major device manufacturers have spent the last several years cementing a repair monopoly. They’ve done this by lobbying against legislation that would make it easier to repair machines, keeping access to repair guides out of the hands of independent repair professionals, and using software controls to limit who can perform repairs.
    In Italy, device manufacturers have threatened to sue makers who have 3D printed parts for medical devices used to treat Covid-19 patients.

  79. Ben, March 30 at 4:48 pm – “Why should Hospitals be profit-oriented? Essential public services should not be subject to markets.”

    The neoliberal doctrine for the public is that everything must be subject to the markets. But that’s just propaganda; big companies get massive government contracts, and banks get bail-outs.

  80. Can’t believe how many Americans and most of the posters here, like Clark, have come down with rabies when discussing how many are going to die here from coronavirus, as far as I can learn yesterday, it was around two to three hundred, just mouthing like Trump and his scientific toadies predict, using the number coming down with the disease.

    Yes, it is almost 4,000, more than those killed on 9/11.

    No mention of what Andrew Cuomo is achieving with those who are reducing death numbers through their efforts and new equipment.

    Hope you survive your rabies.

  81. Craig Murray has apparently come down with rabies, thinking that he is Emile Zola, the famous novelist/reporter who saved Alfred Dreyfus from a trumped up treason conviction, and was imprisoned in Devil’s Island, for apparently saving Alex Salmon from a trumped up sexual abuse charge. No evidence for the claim though.

  82. Of course, the list adds up for a week that Clark predicts for a day.

    And no mention of the apparent recovered patients of 7,521, as I recall, and that does’t include patients like me who were never counted in those who came down with the virus, but didn’t know it for sure, like when my doctors believed that I had polio, settling ultimately that I had non paralytic polio.

    These so-called scientists leave out facts that don’t fit their theories.

  83. Sqonk

    I see myself mentioned, yes I broadly agree with you that critical analysis should be encouraged but I disagree with your conclusions, you should have accepted that without dismissing my opinion as nonsense and dangerous.

    Abuse and rejection of inconvenient facts and statistics seems to be the norm here, I am reminded of Chicken Little.

    There have been over 4,800 fewer deaths in England and Wales since the beginning of the year to March 20 (Week 1 to Week 12).

    If over the next 2 or 3 weeks 4,800 more people die than the normal trend then the figures would bring 2020 to the average for the previous 5 years.

    There would be NO increase in the average death numbers if 4,800 more people die.

    Forget about test results and predictive modelling they have produced a false picture.

    Look at ACTUAL Death Numbers, look at the norms, the trends, the seasonal fluctuations and then look for the spikes and troughs. Then if there is a spike does it conform to previous years mortality figure, then look for attributions.

    You are scaring yourselves silly, the only crisis is from deliberate hysteria building by the government and MSM for very dark and sinister reasons.

    If we have has 4,800 more deaths in England and Wales over the next 2 or 3 weeks the figures will only reflect and Average number of deaths so far this year compared with the last 5 years.

    You appear not to want your conclusions challenged, fair enough, your blog, your rules.

  84. Pb,

    Go read the New York Times article on Bergamo I linked above.

    Also note this chart of monthly deaths in Bergamo city up to 26th March – compiled from city register by the local Bergamo Newspaper

    Once upon a time, a long time ago, I thought I wanted to be a physicist – did three years of university physics and maths before ending up in computing. I’m still reasonably good with numbers.

    Of course the numbers in the UK were dropping as winter and flu season ended – they would shoot up again like Bergamo if we did nothing. Wuhan and Bergamo didn’t implement lockdown until basically after their health systems collapsed under the strain.

    The urgency for the lockdowns came from the scientists – not the politicians. We didn’t need lockdowns for swine flue because in the end it basically was “just the flu” (despite some worrying sporadic mutations, which fortunately never really got going).

  85. My service provider can’t bring up The Times link, but I shall take your word for it.

    But the USA is in no way like Italy either organizationally or publlically. The government could never pass a money bill like our country did. Sure,a lot of fat cats lost massive amounts, but poor people lost next to nothing. Think I actually made some. And the italians did’t seroiusly practice social distancing, and other preventive measures. And their public health corps leaves much to be desired.

    Still, they din’t lose numbers like our scientifiic loons are predicting.

  86. Also of note the UK National Influenza and respiratory illness survey for last week has not been published. No reason seems to have been given. Most recent available excess deaths surveillance figures are included in that report. Well they are when they actually publish it!

  87. Squonk you are pick and choosing the items of propaganda that feeds your fear. You are doing it deliberately and consciously, you have reached what I consider to be a ludicrously off the mark conclusion (with the assistance of HMG and MSM) you want it to be the case and you want the answer to the imaginary impending catastrophe to be the lockdown.

    Look at this data closely, look at when the lockdown came into force and tell me where the evidence is that suggests the lockdown in going to prevent the impending doom that you imagine. The evidence does not exist because the threat does not exist.

    There are no “excess” deaths in the UK at the moment there is no evidence to suggest there will be

  88. Pb, you and Node consistently ignored the most crucial point: over 99% of people are yet to be exposed to this virus, and the deaths so far are all from the well under 1% that have been.

    It’s not the figures now that you need to contemplate, bad though they are. The concern is about where the current increases are likely to lead.

  89. Tell me Pb, why are you taking your averages from the start of the year when there wasn’t a significant number of cases until March and the first death wasn’t till week 11?

    The first 10 weeks of the year are not significant.

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