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. Pb,

    The published UK weekly death totals are delayed a couple of weeks or more prior to publication date. I would not expect data referring to weeks ago to show excess deaths.

    Without action death rates from SARS-Cov-2 increase at an exponential rate once individual seeding clusters get entrenched. Surely you know of the “hockey stick” – that’s what you see in Bergamo. Or are the local journalists in on it as well? Did you even bother to read NY Times article.

  2. And don’t forget that Clark’s predictions will go roughly like this:

    April Fools Day – 1,800 dead
    April 2 -3,600 -3,600 dead
    April 3 – 7,200 dead
    April 4 – 14, 4000 dead
    April 5 -28, 800 dead
    April 6 -56,600 dead
    April 7 – 113,200 dead White House wins.

  3. Pb, that’s a weird graph you’ve posted. Surely Week 1 any given year should follow on from Week 52 of the preceding year? Yet the lines on the right all go off the graph some 4000 deaths lower than they come back on at the left, and every year the trend is sharply downward in Week 52 but sharply upward in Week 1, with no minima visible, as if all five minima were masked by the change from the right of the graph to the left. Where is the data from?

    There have been 2,354 deaths attributed to CoVID-19 so far in the UK, but the yearly variance for the current period is about 4000.

    And Pb, you have no right to tell Squonk his own thoughts; doing so is offensive. In my experience Squonk is highly sceptical of claims by both government and corporate media.

  4. I hate to think we’re all jumping on you here, Pb, but could you explain why a figure for deaths and infections which doubles every two or three days is not a cause for concern?

    Sure, there’s a background rate of deaths, and – until recently – we were not talking about much more than that. I do not understand how it’s so dismissable, though. If exploding toasters were killing hundreds of people a day, with numbers increasing very rapidly, that would be cause for concern, right?

    Then again, the denialists would probably want to refer us to the _real_ cause of death being blood loss, organ failure or slipping and bashing one’s head in the immediate aftermath. Not the exploding toaster which had precipitated such demise.

  5. Once again, if you believe this is a conspiracy then it is a conspiracy of scientists, medics etc. against the politicians. Even the local mayors of Bergamo region towns seem to be in on it. Or maybe they are going round lining people up in the fields and shooting them just for the death count?

    I shall repeat here a post from previous comment page

    Ambulance Sirens and Death Bells: Agony in Italy’s Disaster Zone

    CASTELBUONO, Sicily (CN) – “I can’t look at all the deaths in the newspapers. I can’t do it,” he tells me in a weakened voice over the telephone from his home in Gazzaniga, a small town in the Val Seriana near Bergamo and now at the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The sound of sirens and church bells tolling for the dead: For weeks, that’s what the inhabitants of the Val Seriana and towns in the expanses of the Po River flats have been tormented by.

    “In my town, there are eight or nine deaths each day,” he tells me. I can’t believe my ears. I ask him again to make sure I heard correctly.

    “Yes, eight or nine people die each day,” he says. “When someone dies, the person is immediately put into a coffin and taken to the cemetery. There is a long line of coffins waiting to be cremated.”

    …Official data shows the virus has killed 1,267 people in Bergamo, the most of any Italian province, and infected 6,728 people. But these numbers are only a shadow of the real toll, local officials and residents say. In a way, they can be seen as a lonely tombstone atop a mass grave.

    A local newspaper, L’Eco di Bergamo, reported recently that numerous town mayors say official death tolls are inaccurate.

    “In our case, the official records say coronavirus has caused nine deaths,” Cristian Vezzoli, the mayor of Seriate, told the newspaper. “But since the beginning of the month our official records show about 60 deaths.”

    Other town mayors in the 14 miles between Seriate and Gazzaniga say the same. In Alzano Lombardo, about 62 people have died since Feb. 23, compared to nine last year in the same period. In Nembro, about 115 people have died this month compared to 14 last year in a comparable period.

    If you talk with the mayors and priests, they will tell you the number of deaths are five or 10 times as many as officially reported,” Ruggeri says. “If you take the local newspaper, L’Eco di Bergamo, a year ago, there were two pages of obituaries. Recently, there were 23 pages of obituaries

    “People are dying here who until yesterday were doing great, they didn’t have any problems,” he says. “They are dying for no particular reason except Covid. This is more than an influenza. We can’t pretend otherwise, close our eyes.”

  6. Clarke you have no evidence for that assertion, the evidence that does exist suggests that a large proportion of the public have been exposed

    Fred there were significant deaths at the start of the year but not as many as normal (people expected to die didn’t)

    Squonk the figures referred to in the chart are up to and including the 20 March, they show nearly 5000 fewer deaths than normal, the lockdown began on the 23rd

    You have no evidence and never will for your dooms day scenario, you have been had and willingly so.

    I know you don’t like what experts say if it doesn’t accord with your chosen belief but it is rather important to take a wider view that cherry pick the worst case scenarios.

    The lockdown was not necessary last week and when you feed in the figures for this week up to today the lockdown is still unnecessary, it cannot be justified in a benefit / harm calculation.

    We are still at well below normal death numbers. The lockdown has already destroyed small businesses, increased mental illness and anxiety, denied close contact of loved ones to the old and sick in their last days and permitted the government to impose a Totalitarian state without so much as a whimper.

    The lockdown has not prevented a single death and in time may be shown to be responsible for many suicides, murders and deaths from neglect.

    Food for thought, only ignore it if you are scared of learning the truth or if your fear is more welcome than reality.

  7. “Fred there were significant deaths at the start of the year but not as many as normal (people expected to die didn’t)”

    I have the Office for National Statistics figures hear on spreadsheet. The first deaths with mention of coronavirus on the death certificate were in week 11.

  8. Pb,

    What is the name of that “Swiss Doctor” on covid-19. What are their specialist qualifications?

    I wouldn’t take medical advice from someone claiming to be a doctor on a “propaganda research” site, who won’t even give their name, who is most certainly going out of their way to downplay the issue.

    Without a name behind the commentary I have no reason to believe it is even a real doctor. Or perhaps he’s a Doctor of Music for all I know.

    Your UK death counts are still provisional for week ending March 20th and revisions when they happen go up not down. I should have said the final totals are delayed a couple of weeks or more for accuracy. Anyway The ONS says

    Of the deaths registered in week 12, 103 mentioned novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which is 1.0% of all deaths.

    That’s nowhere near enough to show up as other than noise. Left unchecked these numbers would roughly quadruple every week in a city/town environments. Can you see where that goes?

    Anyway I see you continue to not comment on the news and data from Bergamo.

  9. Fred the point is that the CoD’s that are being registered as Covid 19 deaths cannot be relied upon. A person may die WITH Covid-19 but not BECAUSE of it, that person may have died anyway, the Covid virus may not have contributed to the death but it will be registered as a Covid death, not only if a test has returned +ve but also if the patient is Suspected as having Covid.

    There are some saying that people in the UK were dying from Covid much earlier than reported but they were never tested or suspected of having the virus

    The only reliable source of data for England and Wales for excess or normal trend deaths are the ONS. If Covid is responsible for a significant number of deaths (in addition to the normal trends) then the ONS data is where a true epidemic should be identified. So far it hasn’t, even if you add in all Covid attributed deaths in the UK (not just England and Wales) the figures do not even reach the average levels for this time of year.

    The idea that the lockdown is responsible for that is ludicrous.

  10. OH, I see Squonk that you have joined rabied Craig Murray, moving posts you don’t like.

  11. Pb,

    You say “figures do not even reach the average levels for this time of year.”

    Here’s what ONS says for England and Wales

    The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 20 March 2020 (week 12) was 10,645; this represents a decrease of 374 deaths registered compared with the previous week (week 11).

    The average number of deaths for the corresponding week over the previous five years was 10,573; this means that the overall number of deaths in week 12 of 2020 was slightly higher than previous years.

    You continually quote delayed data that nobody expects to show significant excess.

    And you continue to ignore data and news from Bergamo. Why is that? The lockdown is to prevent Wuhan or Bergamo happening as we go forward – not backwards in time. Do you claim the reports from such places were faked?


    I haven’t deleted anything today. If a comment you made is missing, I didn’t delete it. Of course I can and will do if I want to though. Anyone is free to start their own blog to post whatever they want.

  12. “you have no evidence for that assertion, the evidence that does exist suggests that a large proportion of the public have been exposed.”

    There is evidence from diverse sources – the WHO mission to China, the testing of entire towns in Italy, the testing of everyone aboard the Diamond Princess, and the consistency with mathematical modelling that has worked.

    Where is your evidence that “a large proportion of the public have been exposed”? If true this would be very good news but I have seen no such evidence, but plenty to the contrary.

    And who plotted your graph? It doesn’t look genuine.

  13. Hi your doing a grand job Squonk. There are some positives to be had from this horror show. Climate change will be taken far more seriously by people the world over. This pandemic has raised people’s awareness

  14. I caught your trick in time, Squonk, changing taking down to moving.

    Seems like you trolls want massive deaths in the pandemic

    I have no interest in having my own blog, talking about my truths with myself.

  15. Squonk, there is masses of “it’s a panic induced by inflated numbers to abolish civil liberties” all over Craig’s comment section too.

    I’m pretty sure the cause is fear and denial. You and me must remember that we’ve been taking this seriously for months and have had time to come to terms with it.

  16. Squonk the Swiss Doctor is a publication if you read the referenced articles by experts and with references to experts you would see much of the problems in Italy are born out of hysteria and chaotic management.

    There was e.g. a reference to Bergamo in a letter written by specialist doctors to the President, Prime Minister and Health Minister where they point out that 20% of the nursing staff in Bergamo are +ve with the virus.

    Italy is a mess, you have chosen Europe’s most dysfunctional case where the actual figures are just not known as your base model, accepting without scrutiny the veracity of the monumentally inflated figures. You do know that the deaths attributable to Covid-19 coming out of Italy are demonstrably false don’t you. You will find the evidence from the experts in the Swiss Doctor

    Clark for an explanation of how the ONS present their data go to their site

  17. the low figures at the end of the posted graph represent a part of a week so therefore lower than the full week, I thought that would be obvious. the ONS sometimes use week 53

  18. Clark, narcisist Craig Murray who has set his site to delete my points immediately without even looking at them, is attacking the rescue package which is apparently saving us as the prelude to dictatorship.

    He is a secret menace.

  19. Ok here’s a brand new study in The Lancet. It looks at CFR and IFR again mainly based on Chinese data – and numbers seen elsewhere appear to be higher than China reported but papers based on new European data are being written right now.

    Estimates of the severity of coronavirus disease 2019: a model-based analysis
    Robert Verity, PhD †
    Lucy C Okell, PhD †
    Ilaria Dorigatti, PhD †
    Peter Winskill, PhD †
    Charles Whittaker, MSc

    Evidence before this study

    Estimates of the population-level case fatality ratio from all case reports are in the range of 2–8%. Estimates of the infection fatality ratio averaged across all age-groups range from 0·2% to 1·6%, while estimates of the infection fatality ratio in the oldest age group (≥80 years) range from 8% to 36%.

    Added value of this study

    By synthesising data from across a range of surveillance settings, we obtained estimates of the age-stratified case fatality ratio and infection fatality ratio that take into account the different denominator populations in the datasets.

    Implications of all the available evidence

    Our estimates of the case fatality ratio for COVID-19, although lower than some of the crude estimates made to date, are substantially higher than for recent influenza pandemics (eg, H1N1 influenza in 2009). With the rapid geographical spread observed to date, COVID-19 therefore represents a major global health threat in the coming weeks and months. Our estimate of the proportion of infected individuals requiring hospitalisation, when combined with likely infection attack rates (around 50–80%), show that even the most advanced health-care systems are likely to be overwhelmed. These estimates are therefore crucial to enable countries around the world to best prepare as the global pandemic continues to unfold.


    From an extensive analysis of data from different regions of the world, our best estimate at the current time for the case fatality ratio of COVID-19 in China is 1·38% (95% CrI 1·23–1·53). Although this value remains lower than estimates for other coronaviruses, including SARS24
    and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS),25
    it is substantially higher than estimates from the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.

    Our estimate of an infection fatality ratio of 0·66% in China was informed by PCR testing of international Wuhan residents returning on repatriation flights. This value was consistent with the infection fatality ratio observed in passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship up to March 5, 2020

    So if we said 0.66% infection fatality rate (including asymptomatic unseen cases) that’s the best we can hope to do with full medical care available as the study looked at patients who had all necessary treatment available. Previous studies have shown that the fatality rate shoots up (as we saw in Wuhan and Bergamo) once that care isn’t available. A rough estimate has been made of a five fold increase based on Wuhan when full care was no longer available. In Wuhan most serious cases progressed to critical without care and all critical cases ended in death without care.

    So if we multiply 0.66 by 5 we get 3.3% – that’s what has to be avoided at all costs and that’s what the lockdowns are all about. I also note that Washington State modelling came up with estimates about double that number based on their early data. Heck, even if we half it with no care available is still 1.15%

    Or to put it another way the CFR (presenting cases fatality rate) and IFR (Infection Fatality Rate) are not constants and vary enormously depending on level of care available. The NHS must not run out of beds and ICU.

  20. The ONS figures have to be read taking into account of administrative and health influences at the beginning and end of each year, the bank holidays along with Christmas and New Year holidays influence when deaths are reported and when they are registered.

    Then the weather, too much food, drink and loneliness along with seasonal illness over the Christmas / New Year Holidays accounts for some of the variable spikes seen there.

  21. Of note, Professor Neil Ferguson estimated that the UK as a whole has passed the 1% infected mark in the last week or so. He gave his estimate of 2-3% just a couple of days ago.

    So the deaths we see now are about 2-3 weeks after infection occurred. Running that backwards even for only 2 weeks would mean deaths now are mainly occurring to a fraction of a percent of the population who were infected at that time.

  22. Pb,

    I suggest your imaginary (until proved otherwise) “Swiss Doctor” visits Bergamo, or Madrid for that matter, and volunteers to help.

  23. “Fred the point is that the CoD’s that are being registered as Covid 19 deaths cannot be relied upon.”

    No. My point is that the deaths in previous years for weeks prior to week 11 are not relevant.

    The ONS shows 5 deaths related to coronavirus in week 11 and 103 in week 12 which is not enough to derive any meaning anyway. Total deaths in week 12 were 72 higher than the 5 year average while in week 11 they had been 86 lower but not much meaning can be derived from the figures at this stage.

  24. I must also note here that two Chinese papers now have suggested that mutations seen may mean some “strains” are more deadly than others. Most western virologists say the evidence suggests otherwise for one paper (The “L” and “S” strains paper which even the original authors says was misunderstood by the media) and is at least interesting for the later one although certainly nothing conclusive. But it cannot be ruled out that current mutations vary the CFR/IFR up (or down) right now. More research is underway.

    Of further note, particular potential mutations are being watched for which it is thought very possibly will increase lethality based on previous studies on SARS-1 together with molecular modelling.

    Virologist Trevor Bedford (Seattle, Washington) addresses these issues and others on his twitter stream from time to time and you can track what the mutations are and where they are from links he provides to the sequencing database.

  25. Professor Neil Ferguson is a wind bag who knows everything,taking over from Tudor historian Geoffrey Elton who thought he too knew everything.

    Remember running across Elton in a reading room of the Institute of Historical Research, and he asked me what I was doing.

    When i told him I was researching a second volume of a biography of Lord Chancellor Henry Brougham, Elton replied, “I would have thought a single volume would have been enough, and a thin volume at that.” Actually I had two volumes published, containing over 1,200 pages.

    Ferguson, a historian, now passes himself off as an epidemiologist. I have a trash book of his on the empire somewhere, and will look for its simple minded ideas, and post them here to prove what I am claiming.

    He is a fraud like Craig Murray seeking the lime light

  26. Trowbridge,

    Professor Neil Ferguson has never been a historian. You must have him mixed up with someone else.

    Neil Morris Ferguson OBE FMedSci (born 1968) is a British epidemiologist and professor of mathematical biology, who specialises in the patterns of spread of infectious disease in humans and animals. He is the director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics (J-IDEA), head of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology in the School of Public Health and Vice-Dean for Academic Development in the Faculty of Medicine, all at Imperial College, London.


    Imperial College London

    Professor Neil Ferguson

    Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health

  27. I see the imaginary Swiss Doctor says that South Korea “has already passed the peak of the epidemic”. Not according to the South Koreans – they are only keeping it in check for the moment as we are trying to do.

    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,” Vice Health Minister Kim Ganglip said.

    Pb, Do you have a link for me from an Oxford study (with an opposing view) then?

  28. Here’s the latest I can find

    The effect of human mobility and control measures on the COVID-19 epidemic in China

    . Here, we show that travel restrictions are particularly useful in the early stage of an outbreak when it is confined to a certain area that acts as a major source. However, travel restrictions may be less effective once the outbreak is more widespread. The combination of interventions implemented in China were clearly successful in mitigating spread and reducing local transmission of COVID-19

  29. Pb, I’ve looked and looked at that graph yet I cannot see how it can possibly be a genuine representation of a dataset. It should be effectively one continuous line from 2015 to 2020, but it has discontinuities of ~4000 each time the year rolls over. Do you not see this problem? You presented the graph so you should address this issue.

  30. Latest from Sweden

    Almost 5,000 confirmed infected in Sweden

    Sweden now has 4,947 confirmed cases of coronary disease, states state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell at today’s press conference. A total of 239 people have so far lost their lives.

    – We now have a situation we had last week, where it is starting to look like a steep curve upwards

    Infect at least 29 homes for the elderly in Stockholm

    There are coronas infections in at least every third residential and care accommodation for the elderly in Stockholm. This confirms Stockholm City for SVT.

    It is serious that we have cases of covid-19 in our nursing homes. We must now work hard to stop the spread, says Carl Smitterberg.

    And based on their current trajectory

    Half of Sweden’s population infected in April

    In April, most Swedes will be infected, calculations show. By the end of the month, around half of the population will be infected, according to Professor Tom Britton.
    – If it is any month that you should do yourself and others a job by staying home then it is now in April, he says.

    …This is such an infectious disease that over half of Sweden’s population will be infected before the end of April. After that, the spread of infection will not stop, but it will go slightly slower so that about two-thirds will be infected by the end of May, he says


    However, the modelling by Oxford’s Evolutionary Ecology of Infectious Disease group has been challenged by other scientists. They have pointed out that the study presents possible scenarios — based on assumptions about the nature of the virus, its virulence and its arrival from China — that contradict those supported by most epidemiologists.

    …However, she was reluctant to criticise the government for shutting down the country to suppress viral spread, because the accuracy of the Oxford model has not yet been confirmed and, even if it is correct, social distancing will reduce the number of people becoming seriously ill and relieve severe pressure on the NHS during the peak of the epidemic.

    …This article has been amended since original publication to clarify the fact that the modelling is controversial and its assumptions have been contested by other scientists.

    I also note that this paper does not appear on Oxford University’s Corona Virus Research page. Looks like they’ve disowned it.

  32. You are quite right, Squonk. I mixed him up with right-wing Scottish historian Niall Ferguson. Haven’t thought about him for years.

  33. Bottom Line here Pb is that you are saying current measures are wrong at least partly based on a heavily criticised “outlier” paper that even its own main author isn’t confident about. She doesn’t recommend we change course based on it so why do you?

    Here’s criticisms of this paper which has not passed peer review.

    Also (see comments)

  34. So basically all they “proved” was that somewhere above 1.9% of the population are infected and even that was based on dodgy assumptions and could be lower.

  35. Clarke that is where the ONS figures start and finish, I can’t help that, see for yourself, if you put the figures end to end and made a graph they would appear different at dec/jan but the max and mins would be the same.

    It may be more practical to start and finish the graphs in july / june where there is a less of a varience but for me the graph serves the purpose of depicting the natural fluctuations and comparing the year to year variances / conformists. You can see clearly when the Grim Reaper takes his annual holidays each year and leaves his apprentice in charge.

    The graph appears to faithfully reflect the ONS figures.

    Another graph for total deaths per year throws up some very interesting observations e.g. Between 1993 and 2011 the population grew ~10% and the number of deaths reduced by ~20%

    Data set from the ONS

    Squonk, yes I believe the current measures in the UK are wrong, no I do not rest that believe on the narrow and unsubstantiated view that you characterise.

  36. Pb,

    I said “at least partly based on”. Feel free to link any other genuine research backing up your view. Otherwise it is just your hunch is it not?

    And can you admit there’s even the slightest possibility you are wrong and that real tragedy might face us if we follow your hunch?

  37. There was a sudden unexplained massive number of requests to the server from bots.

    Made much worse though by WordPress not being very good with posts with huge numbers of comments like this one so is much easier to overload.

    I should really create a new discussion thread.

  38. Pb,

    I found a comment of yours from a few days ago in spam. Also one from nevermind. I’ve forgotten to check last few days with all the activity. The spam filter sometimes goes berserk.

  39. Still think you almost all are feeding Trump’s propaganda campaign to get re-elected, coming out of it as the country’s savior as deaths straighten out more on graphs yt, like not reporting the numbers cured, the numbers who never get it, those who recover naturally from it, the enormous amount of money made available to catch up with the cases, suppliers working 24/7 to meet the growing demand, the complaints of having to pay higher prices to get essential equipment from competing purchasers when no one should give a shit about the money lost, talking irrelevantly about those killed in small wars and 9/11, the growing ability of the public health community to better coordinate its actions, the public, even the braggarts, paying more attention to warnings, mathematical drawings are just models not predictors of what might happen, saying something might happen is begging the question of what will happen, etc.

  40. Pb, OK, I see what has happened; the falling ‘tails’ at the right-hand end of the curves simply shouldn’t be on the graph, because that data is for less than a full week so of course it’s too low. The right-hand end of the graph should be truncated at the end of the last week.

    Whatever, this graph tells us nothing yet about CoVID-19, but it will over the next few weeks.

  41. “mathematical drawings are just models not predictors of what might happen, saying something might happen is begging the question of what will happen, etc..”

    Prescient words Trow. The World has just changed precipitously and we know not the Triangulations or the volume of it.

  42. This is an Asteroid strike on economics. If you dont have a victory garden skillset and/or sufficient long-term food storage I suggest you look into it stat!

  43. Ben,

    The whole financial system is magic hocus-pocus. If the will is there (and it better be) we can magic our way out of these problems and make sure support gets to those individuals and businesses that need it. And we’d better do that.

    This time bail outs can’t just be for the rich. I fully agree that action on this must be taken just as quickly as the measures that cause it.

  44. “This time bail outs can’t just be for the rich.”

    Then when the CoVID-19 peak has passed we must rise up and disobey! The people’s money is already being used to prop up the markets and the megacorps.

  45. “Then when the CoVID-19 peak has passed we must rise up and disobey! The people’s money is already being used to prop up the markets and the megacorps”

    Ironically, that’s Trumps meme for some time now Clark.

    He keeps emphasizing the delusional notion that the mitigation at Peak means we can relax. Bullshit as ever this rapscalliin speaks.

  46. Clark,

    As I’ve said before “rise up and disobey” may ultimately get you shot if things go seriously downhill.

    It”s the “scum” who’ve “risen up” to the top who must change.

    Rush Lyrics
    “Closer To The Heart”

    And the men who hold high places
    Must be the ones who start
    To mold a new reality
    Closer to the heart

    Lyrics: Neil Peart (RIP)
    Music: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart


    Comments will be opened again tomorrow.

    Good night.

  47. Good morning Squonk.

    I just read the following about mitigation versus suppression; it’s thorough, very clearly written and has some interesting epidemic simulation calculators.

    “The Hammer and the Dance”

    Squonk – “As I’ve said before “rise up and disobey” may ultimately get you shot if things go seriously downhill.”

    I know. But there would be lots of other ways of ending up dead under such circumstances and besides, “die on your feet or live on your knees” etc…

  48. Here in Scotland the SNP have taken advantage of the disruption to push through a law enabling the extension of the time allowed to reply to freedom of information requests to 200 days.

    I can’t imagine why that would be a priority.

  49. Fell short of the yesterday’s predicted deaths by around 800, Clark, with around 1,000 deaths recorded, and it will apparently only get progressively better in future days as today, 3,600 deaths are predicted by the model.

    Vice President Pence should just STFU by saying that Italy may be the best comparison with what is going in the USA.

    And if you want a body bag, try the Pentagon as it has 100,000 to get rid of.

    Nice to know that the government in Washington is the real enemy, as my pour father so insulting learned.

    And thanks Ben for the supporting words.

  50. Just puzzled why the SNP would see it as a priority in these troubled times when no other countries have JOML.

    You couldn’t think of a reason could you?

  51. More on excess deaths in Italy. This confirms the figures from the local Bergamo newspaper although the data here is only up to 21st March as opposed to 26th March for Bergamo city only in the local paper and shows that excess deaths are being seen in many areas now.

    Coronavirus, direct – Istat: “In Northern Italy the deaths more than doubled in the first 21 days of March. In Bergamo mortality + 337%

    The dossier refers to data on people who died in the first 21 days of March and compares them to the average recorded in the same period in the years from 2015 to 2019 . The report, which takes into account 1,084 municipalities , highlights the situation in Bergamo in particular , where deaths have almost quadrupled ” going from an average of 91 cases in 2015-2019 to 398 in 2020 “. That is 337% more. “Increments of the same intensity, when not higher – reads -, affect most of the municipalities in the Bergamo province”. As is known Bergamo and its province represent the epicenter of the Covid-19 infection .

    …”Mortality more than doubled in the North” – The Institute of Statistics points out that ” the increase in deaths due to all the causes is noticeable only from the end of February and from the first week of March and is concentrated in the northern municipalities and the center where the epidemic spread most. Significant increases are observed in these areas not only in major urban centers, but also in municipal areas of smaller demographic dimensions “. But not only. “ Particularly alarming situations – stresses Istat – are also found in the province of Brescia , in whose capital the deaths in the first three weeks of March have more than doubled: from 134 in 2015-2019 to 381 in 2020. It should still be noted that increases of over 200% are also present in capitals such as Piacenza or Pesaro

    Doubters (you know who you are) please note these figures are from the official Italian National Statistics Institute. (Istat).

  52. Fred, I’m certainly not puzzled why you are trying to paint a possible consequence of the Coronavirus Bill as a specific piece of legislation.

    There’s undoubtedly huge negative risks that emergency legislation can and perhaps will be abused – just read Node’s concerns in his posts earlier this week. Dangerous times, in more ways than one.

    Enjoy your fun, spinning to your heart’s content. After we get through this, you may have to direct your ire elsewhere, when the SNP get ditched in favour of a party more dedicated to independence. Who knows.


    Putin extends paid holiday period in Russia until end of April as Covid-19 cases spike

    Russia’s week-long paid leave will be extended until the end of the month, President Vladimir Putin has announced in a national address. The country is bracing for the possible rapid growth of Covid-19 cases.

    The move comes a day after the President acknowledged that the situation with COVID-19 in Russia was becoming “complicated,” during a meeting with officials, conducted remotely. Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova used the opportunity to suggest extending the paid time off.

    Putin said the peak of the coronavirus epidemic is yet to come both globally and in Russia. Moscow, which is the hardest hit Russian city, announced almost 600 new confirmed cases on Thursday.


    Hundreds of infected by covid-19 at elderly homes in the Stockholm region

    Now comes new information about the spread of the corona virus in many elderly homes. A healthcare company now states that they have 250 elderly people living in the Stockholm region with covid-19, of which 50 have died.
    We are worried about the elderly group. The curve goes up again. It is very unfortunate, said state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell on Thursday.

    It is unclear how big the total infections are for elderly people

    Also the health care company Capio Legevisitten, which has about the same amount of care for the elderly residents in the Stockholm region as the Family doctors, confirms that they have infected the elderly, but do not want to state any number.

    SVT News has unsuccessfully sought a total figure for the number of infected people in elderly homes via the press service at Region Stockholm.

  55. Yes JOML, when we get through this more people might realise just how much better placed Scotland is to deal with unexpected emergencies as part of the United Kingdom. Coronavirus may turn out to have been the cure and Nationalism the disease.

  56. End result could be Nationalized Industry Fred.

    The bailouts in US will require some Government ownership but I seem to recall Reconstruction had some bumps along the way.

  57. Final death totals for March for residents of the city of Bergamo, Italy compared with last year. Note the previous graph I posted was deaths registered in the city of Bergamo which includes people normally resident outside the city where deaths were recorded in Bergamo City. There’s Bergamo City (120,000) , Bergamo City Metropolitan Area (500,000) and Bergamo Province (1.1 million) so it can be confusing.

    Anyway following chart from Bergamo local newspaper and includes only deaths of people who normally reside in the City itself. Data from city records.

    Google translate says the bottom text reads
    “According to the data of the Region in the Municipality of BERGAMO the “official” Covid-19 deaths are 201″

  58. Don’t you love everyone’s fixation on the Trump administration’s model of massive death from the coronavirus pandemic.

    Now that it isn’t working, we are falsely told that the model is showing that social distancing is affecting its impact.

    The model doesn’t explain deviations from its impact. Just shows the impact of repeated propaganda.

  59. Trowbridge,

    Take a look at the chart above. That would equate to approx 1.5 million total deaths in the USA in one month if scaled up. They lost control in parts of Italy and are now, I hope, finally getting things under some sort of control with the lockdowns.

    Other countries started their control measures much earlier on the curve to prevent Bergamo happening everywhere. I for one certainly hope and expect actual numbers to start dropping down from the “no restrictions” model. If they keep on rising we are fucked.

  60. I don’t go along with comparing what is happening here with what has happened there.We have played catch up with massive 24/7 efforts over public health, and only have 5,700 dead while Italy has 13,000. According to the model, we should already have 20,,000 more. Think that we will not have anything like that tomorrow.

    Just get sick thinking about the false assumptions,ignored facts, bloated opinions that the media is wallowing in. If I worked in public health, I would wonder why we are risking our lives for such dummies.

  61. Trowbrige,

    The models also try to predict what happens with the various lockdown measures . You would have to compare what they predict with measures already taken to see how well they are performing. You are just not comparing with the right output because you haven’t seen it.

    Also note that as Italy stats show, especially once you lose control, far more people die due to covid-19 than were ever tested and so not in official covid death counts. The models predict the actual number of deaths, not the ones “lucky” enough to have been tested before they died.

  62. Global confirmed cases just passed one million. It passed 100,000 on March 6, just 25 days ago.

    So if things were to carry on as they are, there would be ten million cases before the end of April, and a billion some time in June.

  63. That fake as fuck anonymous “Swiss Doctor” has badly misled a lot of people.

    I see even though the URL is the same they no longer claim it is by a “Swiss Doctor” but instead by “experts in the field” – yes perhaps, if that field belongs to a farmer and is full of bull shit.

  64. Swiss Propaganda Research contribute articles at Global Research, Information Clearing House, Countercurrents; the usual list of undiscriminating ‘news’ websites. They are registered as an author at Znet, which I think is more reliable, but no articles published there 🙂

  65. Can’t believe what that looney Dr, Anthony Fauci has said that he ca’t understand why one person did not catch the virus while another died from it.

    I would tell him about my experience when the first polio epidemic occurred in 1940. I was a sickly child who caught almost every infection in the book while my sister’s beau came down with it too. In a few days, he was paralyzed from the was it down, in an iron lung, and finally died 15 years later, while I only had the symptoms while quarantined for three months.

    I would suggest my having a mastoid in my left ear was responsible for my being so sickly, and was changed after I had an operation on it, building up antibodies against it which repelled the polio.

    Think every immunity has a similar explanation.

  66. The iron lung must have been devised as a temporary liaison until medical ‘practice’ could devise a solution, Trow.

    15 years on your back is what, superior to death?

    Why else would anyone condemn you to such a fate?

  67. Apparently the heaviest period of viral ‘shedding’ on which viral loading of surrounding uninfected is most profound is during the asymptomatic period.


    Singapore to close workplaces, schools in virus fight

    Singapore will close schools and workplaces while people are being told to stay home, as the city-state ramps up curbs to stem the spread of coronavirus, the premier said Friday.

    The country has won praise for its handling of the outbreak, and had largely kept the crisis in check by carrying out large numbers of tests and tracing close contacts of those infected.

    Authorities had slowly been introducing curbs, such as closing bars and nightclubs, but had so far avoided the kind of tough restrictions seen in worse-hit nations.

    However, after a jump in the number of locally transmitted cases in recent days, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said it was time to apply a “circuit breaker” to halt the virus’s spread

  69. For any of those coming here following Node’s comments elsewhere that I am “knowingly posting false information”. I’ve posted some details of death totals across Northern Italy from official government Italian National Institute of Statistics for the first 3 weeks of March. See

    I’ve also posted the Bergamo city residents death totals up to the end of March from city records as published by local Italian media. Node would have you believe the Italian government is making up the numbers as are the city of Bergamo, doctors, priests, mayors, journalists etc. See

    Some people will never admit they are wrong. But that’s not me.

    Here’s European surveillance from EuroMOMO – European Monitoring of Excess Mortality. Note data is latest available and may not be complete for recent weeks.

  70. The UK Influenza and Respiratory Illness Report has appeared this week after going missing last week

    Outbreak Reporting

    611 new acute respiratory outbreaks have been reported in the past 7 days, compared to 285 in the previous 7 days(Figure 2)

    512 outbreaks were from care homes where 230 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, 1 for influenza A(not subtyped), 1 for rhinovirus and 2 for seasonal coronavirus.

    3 outbreaks were from schools where one tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

    33 outbreaks were from hospitals where 23 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

    63 outbreaks were from the Other Settings category where 24 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

    All-cause mortality surveillance

    In week 13 2020 in England, statistically significant excess mortality by week of death above the upper 2 z-score threshold was seen overall, by age group in the 65+ year olds and sub nationally (all ages) in the North West, East & West Midlands, London and South East regions after correcting GRO disaggregate data for reporting delay with the standardised EuroMOMO algorithm (Figure 1). This data is provisional due to the time delay in registration; numbers may vary from week to week.

    I hope now people are beginning to see through the “co-morbidities” issue. Yes, of course it tends to kill the easier ones first (especially if it runs wild in a hospital or care home), but it is most certainly not true that covid deaths were exaggerated by including people who would have died anyway (although obviously some would). In fact it is the other way round – worldwide far more people are dying primarily due to SARS-CoV-2 than are officially tested and confirmed, especially once systems are swamped.

    If you don’t accept that SARS-CoV-2 is causing these excess deaths, then you have to explain why people are dying in increased (massively in the worst hit places) numbers at the same time SARS-Cov-2 is circulating. That’s exactly what the models predict will happen and is happening. Let’s hope current measures are enough to get R0 below 1 so the numbers can start coming down again. The situation in Wuhan is not very encouraging though. Yes, they got the numbers down but they continue to use very strict measures to prevent flare up again. See next comment.


    Wuhan to maintain closed-off community management, investigate silent carriers

    Hard-hit Wuhan vows to set up a long-term COVID-19 prevention and control mechanism and stick to its closed-off management for all residential communities due to pressure from asymptomatic infections, imported cases and patients who are testing positive again after being discharged from hospitals.

    The city’s government published the notice on its WeChat public account on Friday. The epidemic prevention and control in Wuhan are still critical as the flow of people and imported cases increased, and some local residents have relaxed their guard against the epidemic, the notice said.

    The government will continue to strengthen the residential communities’ closed-off management, requesting local community staff members to identify and record people entering and exiting the community, and take their body temperature.


    Pneumonia and Influenza (P&I) Mortality Surveillance

    Based on National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) mortality surveillance data available on March 26, 2020, 8.2% of the deaths occurring during the week ending March 21, 2020 (week 12) were due to P&I. This percentage is above the epidemic threshold of 7.2% for week 12.

  73. I can only review news updates on the Virus twice per day. Morning and Evening is my COVID time. I learned during 9/11 that seeing hourly reports created deep depression.

    So I shut it off.

    It definitely was a therapeutic milestone for me.

    A word to the wise is sufficient.

  74. Ben, I find that too. I think it’s only partly the depressing content; much of it is simply spending too much time indoors at the screen and keyboard, and not enough being more active. I definitely feel better when I’ve spent some time collecting and cutting firewood.

  75. Squonk, for a given viral infection, does herd immunity equate to R0=1, the number of cases being stable in the host population, and is this the meaning of an infection being endemic?

  76. Not really. R0 (especially) for this is the native spread rate in a susceptible population.

    When I talk about getting R0 below 1, I mean because distancing measures have done that – not that there is herd immunity. Remove distancing measures and it would go back up until enough immune for herd immunity. See Wuhan where situation is still critical – no herd immunity there clearly. R0 = 1 could easily be stamped out by simple measures if it didn’t just die off itself as it is not as if that is a completely fixed constant.

    For herd immunity then R would be below 1.

  77. I just got this from an XR associate who’s an NHS nurse:

    “2 front line nurses gone today. 36 and 38. Poor loves all left children behind. It’s so wicked. “

    She also said there are two strains, and “one is a killer”. I replied that that isn’t confirmed.

  78. All published data says that there aren’t really strains but slight typical mutations. Any of them are perfectly capable of causing mild or fatal illnesses. There might be some variation which should be looked at but nothing critical has changed in the RNA or mutation occurrence frequency that suggests anything major according to most experts. Obviously that will continue to be tracked.

  79. White House not meeting the deaths predated by Fauci’s model, so Big Mouth doing everything he can to bring today’s victims up to the predicted 14,000 dead in the States like not wearing a face mask, firing Navy Captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Brett Crozier for getting treatment for its crew suffering from the coronavirus at the expense of his career, and scooping up health materiel which he doesn’l want the States provided wanted by other countries.

    The s.o.b. is a serious threat to the whole world.

    Thanks Squonk for bring this important site back on line.

  80. The country should experience Trump’s doing as little as possible for allowing the House of Representatives to impeach him for alleged abuse of power.


    Few on the streets of Japan as stay-at-home requests heeded by major cities and businesses

    Far fewer people were seen out and about Saturday after official stay-at-home requests in major cities grew in response to another spike in coronavirus infections.

    For the second weekend in a row, many refrained from going out after the National Governors’ Association called on residents Thursday to avoid leaving home unless necessary. Store and restaurant closures proliferated as well, with Starbucks and Tully’s coffee shops, Matsumotokiyoshi drug stores, Big Echo karaoke parlors and Isetan department stores adding their names to the list.

    People now have fewer reasons than ever to leave the house.

    …Besides Tokyo, where a nearly weeklong surge in cases has made the capital the worst-hit area in the country, stay-at-home requests have been issued in Osaka as well as Ibaraki, Miyagi, Fukui and Fukuoka prefectures.

  82. Here’s a notable victory for conspiracy theorists:

    “Mobile phone masts have been torched and engineers abused over “baseless” theories linking coronavirus to 5G.”

    The article points out “Coronavirus is spreading in UK cities where 5G has yet to be deployed, and in countries like Japan and Iran that have yet to adopt the technology.”


    Coronavirus: Thirteen Glasgow care home residents die in one week

    Thirteen residents at a Glasgow care home have died in one week following a suspected outbreak of coronavirus.

    Staff at Burlington Court Care Home, Cranhill, said they were “closely monitoring” the health of other people in their care and that “strict protocols” were in place.

    All of the deceased residents had underlying health conditions and their families have been made aware.

    Two staff members have tested positive and are being treated in hospital.

    As first reported in The Scottish Sun, the care home said tests were not carried out on residents as they were only carried out when people were admitted to hospital.

  84. How bad do things have to get before community leaders call what is happening in the White House and Downing Street as evidence of a deliberate policy to politically exploit the pandemic – e. g. – ambulances coming out of the buildings carrying ill members of the Cabinet, Big Mouth and Bozo being forced to wear masks, the President and Prime Minister avoiding crowds of people in public, important personnel in government being fired for doing what they are assigned to do, the chief executives in government openly committing serious crimes like sexual abuse in public, etc. ad nauseam?


    ‘Extremely disturbing’: Jump in Jakarta funerals raises fears of unreported COVID-19 deaths

    The number of funerals in Jakarta rose sharply in March, a development the governor of Indonesia’s capital city said suggested that deaths from the new coronavirus may be higher than officially reported.

    Nearly 4,400 burials occurred in March, 40 percent higher than any month since at least January, 2018, according to a Reuters review of statistics from the city’s Department of Parks and Cemeteries. The second-highest total during that period was March 2019, when nearly 3,100 people were buried.

    …Jakarta’s governor, Anies Baswedan, and some public health experts suspect the number of infections and deaths in Jakarta has been significantly under-reported due to one of the world’s lowest rates of testing.

    It is extremely disturbing,” Baswedan told Reuters on Friday, referring to the funeral statistics. “I’m struggling to find another reason than unreported COVID-19 deaths.”

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