1,138 thoughts on “Covid-19 Updates”

  1. John Walker:
    We’ll see.

    Exactly. I made a prediction. We’ll see in a few weeks.

    I agree there are other factors. However, I doubt they could account for an order-of-magnitude difference. Regardless of all that, cases are being taken to be indicative of future deaths. If the relationship is broken, that is the key point, independent of the reason.

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  2. Here is an update on the situation in Switzerland.  This is the daily update as of 2020-11-06.

    Switzerland: COVID-19 status 2020-11-06

    The number of new cases and hospitalisations appear to have leveled off after the latest round of lock-downs was imposed on 2020-10-29, as I described in comment #1098.  The number of daily deaths may still be rising or be flattening—since that is a lagging indicator, we’ll have to see how it develops over the coming weeks.

    The six cantons of Suisse Romande (French-speaking Switzerland) are now all within the top 12 regions in Europe in incidence of new COVID-19 cases as a fraction of population.

    There are some indications of changes in behaviour locally, with evidence for re-emergence of the “hunker in the bunker” mentality.  During the first wave, between March and early May, the on-line home delivery grocery services of the two big Swiss retailers, Migros and Co-Op, both effectively collapsed, with Migros (which I’ve used for years) quoting delivery dates, if available at all, three weeks or more from the date of order.  By the end of May, this had returned to normal, with next day or the day after delivery always available.  I have used this service regularly since then, ordering around every three weeks, with no problems at all.

    When I placed my most recent order last Wednesday afternoon (2020-11-04), the earliest delivery date available was 2020-11-16, almost two weeks out.  By the time I made a screen grab a few hours later, that date had filled up and this was the situation:

    Migros LeShop delivery status, 2020-11-04

    Because I was running out of things which couldn’t wait until the delivery arrives, I went shopping in person at the local Co-Op yesterday for the first time since May.  With the national mask mandate in effect, everybody was wearing a face mask, and there was a sign at the entrance to the store saying that use of the free hand sanitiser near the entrance was required.  Unlike my last visit in March, they no longer supplied free plastic disposable gloves or supplied sanitiser and paper towels to wipe down handles on shopping carts.

    Inside, the markings at the ends of each aisle requesting that only one person per time use the aisle had been removed, and there was little evidence of people keeping their distance from one another.  All of the self-checkout stations were in service, as opposed to only every other one the last time.  There was no evidence of anything being out of stock.  The number of people in the store seemed normal compared to what I’d observed before all of this began.

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  3. Here is an excerpt of the daily report for Switzerland for 2020-11-13.  The Federal Office of Public Health has changed the format of the report again, for the worse in my opinion.  There is a Web edition published in English and a PDF summary with much less information than the previous reports.

    Switzerland: COVID-19 status, 2020-11-13

    In the last week, the number of daily deaths with laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 has climbed higher than its peak from the first wave.  There is no sign so far that the curve of deaths has turned down.  The curves of cases and hospitalisations have both, however, begun to decline, starting around the date the most recent lockdown was imposed on 2020-10-29.  Since deaths usually lag cases and hospitalisations, we’ll have to wait and see if that happens here.

    The final chart shows the number of tests and, indeed, there are many more tests being done now than during the first wave, although note that the number of tests increased above first wave levels without a corresponding increase in the number of cases for some time before the start of the second wave of cases.

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  4. John Walker:
    In the last week, the number of daily deaths with laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 has climbed higher than its peak from the first wave.  There is no sign so far that the curve of deaths has turned down.

    As we remarked about twenty pages ago, deaths is a pretty good indicator, so long as the actual cause of death is accurately reported.

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  5. I am not very conversant with PCR, but apparently, whether it is characterized as positive or negative depends in part on the number of amplification cycles. As best as I can tell, the number of cycles used to determine positive tests, which equals “cases” in most instances, has varied from time to time and from place to place. They only thing to which I give much weight anymore is comparisons between excess mortality between countries.

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  6. On 2020-10-22 James Delingpole interviewed Dr Michael Yeadon, who worked for 17 years at Pfizer in the U.K., rising to the position of Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for Allergy and Respiratory Research.  He then founded start-up Ziarco Pharma, Ltd., which was acquired by Novartis in 2017.  He is now semi-retired, consulting with new biotech start-ups.  His Ph.D. is in biochemistry and toxicology.

    Dr Yeadon has been a contributor to Toby Young’s Lockdown Sceptics Web site, with posts such as “Lies, Damned Lies and Health Statistics — the Deadly Danger of False Positives”.  He has been an outspoken critic of the lockdown strategies promoted by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), whose recommendations he argues are based upon a flawed understanding of basic immunology which its leaders must know to be false.

    I have heard strong recommendations of this interview since it came out, but at one hour and 48 minutes it is a substantial investment of time.  Today, I had a long list of chores, and occupied my mind by listening, and I now add my recommendation.  This is a crash course in immunology and viral respiratory diseases from someone who both knows what he’s talking about and is talented in explaining such matters to the intelligent layman.  His focus is on the science, and not the motivations of those he believes are manipulating and misstating it for their own ends, but warns that mass testing with poorly-controlled tests with an unknown false positive rate, lockdowns that fly in the face of a century of experience with viral respiratory diseases, possible vaccine mandates or “COVID passports”, and “contact tracing” will lead to a loss of liberty un-imagined a year ago.

    If you can make the time, it’s worth hearing his viewpoint.  The podcast is also available on Podbean and Apple Podcasts, if you prefer to listen on a mobile device.  The YouTube version below is audio-only.

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  7. We are truly living in the Age of Maximum Stupid.  Behold:

    Does Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson recall that,

    • On 2020-03-27, he tested positive for COVID-19, was admitted to hospital on 2020-04-05 with symptoms, was moved to intensive care, where he remained until April 9th, and left hospital three days later.  He has since made a “full recovery”.
    • Were he to somehow become re-infected with COVID-19 due to “being in contact” with somebody said to have the disease, he would be only the fifth person in the world said to have been.
    • If it is possible for somebody who has had a serious case of COVID-19 and recovered to subsequently contract the disease again through “contact” with an infected person, then none of the vaccines under development and test can possibly work to prevent the disease.

    If he has forgotten, might somebody tell him?

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  8. We are truly living in the Age of Maximum Stupid.

    Agreed.  Sadly, the Maximum Stupid label applies to us — the manipulated — who are too ready to buy this nonsense.

    Boris knows what he is doing.  He is facing disgust from disappointed Brexiteers;  he is desperately trying to keep the support of restive Tory northern English Members of Parliament who realize now that their angry voters have been subjected to a Boris bait-and-switch;  he has already lost the Scots, Welsh, Northern Irish.  Boris’s behavior might be loosely analogous to Alexander the Great retiring to his tent after his army declined to march on to the edge of the world — except that Alexander the Great had actually delivered accomplishments.

    The frightening aspect of the current situation is that so many of us are going along with the insanity — destroying lives & economies to combat what the UK Office of National Statistics reports is currently the 19th most common cause of death.  Maybe we really are a “herd”, as our betters contemptuously call us?

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  9. Here is an hour long EconTalk conversation between host Russ Roberts and Nassim Nicholas Taleb on “Pandemics and Fat Tails”.  From the description, “Topics discussed include how to handle the rest of this pandemic and the next one, the power of the mask, geronticide, and soul in the game.”

    You may not agree with everything (spoiler: you won’t!), but it’s well worth an hour to hear his insights and perspective.

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  10. The Delingpod interview linked in comment #1109 with Dr. Michael Yeadon, as John said, is compellingly worthwhile. This “second wave” is not as it is being portrayed. We are living through an inflection point in history of the public’s ability to know the actual reality of the events in the world which affect their lives. Going forward, it is clear, we are at the mercy of propaganda and misinformation until the tech giants are brought down. If government won’t do it, I suspect there will be those moved to direct action against their considerable and vulnerable infrastructure. In my state, the governor (whose initial edicts were declared unConstitutional) is now telling us when we must wear masks outdoors and inside our own homes. No wonder they want to erase the Second Amendment.

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  11. By 49% to 34% Britons would support the government making it legally compulsory for all people in the country to be vaccinated for coronavirus

    I think the English expression is “gobsmacked”!  Knew you not Thalidomide?, as the Bard might have said.

    The tinfoil hat brigade of course suspects the evil Bill Gates of planning to use a compulsory CovidScam vaccination as a cover for significantly reducing human fertility and thereby accomplishing the aim of cutting the human population of the planet by an order of magnitude.  There was a time when I would have laughed at that idea — but that was before a US Presidential election was stolen in broad daylight.

    Apparently, Danes are pushing back against the concept of compulsory vaccination;  unfortunately, Denmark is globally insignificant.  Probably what will happen is not direct Big Gov mandating of a compulsory sterilization (Oops!  CovidScam) vaccination.  Rather, in order to get a driver’s license or board an airplane or get health insurance, it will be necessary to provide proof that one has been vaccinated.  On the bright side, this could be a great commercial opportunity for those in the forgery business.

    It seems the practical approach for young people today would be (a) start collecting printed books on key topics, before everything online gets Wikipedia-ized, and (b) start learning Chinese — whether one wants to join them or oppose them, unLockedDown China is now the A Team.

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  12. John Walker:
    These are the people who stood alone against Hitler and Mussolini, defeated the Spanish Armada, and put an end to the scourge of Napoleon.

    They have become what they hate. Britain is lost. Perhaps the West is lost. We had a good run.

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  13. Here is this week’s update from Switzerland, where the Federal Office of Public Health now seems to invent a new format for the status report every week.  Last week’s near-worthless HTML page is now gone, replaced by a comprehensive weekly 15 page PDF report [PDF, duh!].  Here is the money page.

    Switzerland: COVID-19 status, ISO week 46

    Weekly data are plotted by ISO week, with which everybody in Europe is familiar, but may be puzzling to those in the land of inches, gallons, and Fahrenheit—click the link for a converter.  What we see is now a clear peak of the second “wave” (this may be incorrect terminology, but that’s what everybody’s calling it) in week 44 (October 26–November 1, 2020) in cases and hospitalisations.  This was the week the most recent round of increased lockdowns was re-imposed (on 2020-10-29),  Since then, cases, hospitalisations, and the fraction of positive tests have fallen every week, with hospitalisations now below their first wave peak in week 14 (starting 2020-03-30).  Deaths, an indicator which typically lags by two weeks or more, have continued to rise, marking six weeks of consecutive increases and two weeks above the peak of March-April.  If the earlier pattern repeats, we should soon see the number of deaths falling.

    Of course, all of this simply demonstrates that a non-sustainable lockdown and curtailment of individual liberties, including the freedom to travel internationally, is able to reduce the spread of a communicable disease, which was known in antiquity.  It says little about how to get out of this mess without mass brain transplants among the “expert” and ruling classes to restore common sense, a grasp on reality, and willingness to forfeit a once-in-a-century opportunity to enslave their subjects in a tyrannical, top-down Great Reset.

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  14. Arguably, another money page in that document is on page 11 — the average age of Swiss people dying with Covid-19 over the 3+ month period of ISO weeks 9 to 23 was … 84.  Since week 24, that has risen to … 86 years old.

    It is sad when a disease strikes people down in the prime of life, terrifying when children are struck down at the beginning of their lives.  And then there is the CovidScam.

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  15. Just off the phone with my friend in Peru.

    Iquitos has 30% of its population testing positive.  There have been some deaths (no, I don’t have a number).

    On a brighter note, the greatly feared massive hit of isolated native communities deep in the rainforests has not materialised.  The disease is everywhere now, but COVID fatalities are not etraordinarily high as feared.

    Lima has idiosyncratic rules, aggravating people.

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  16. China’s apparently conducting international testing of vaccine.  My Peruvian friend’s niece is a testee.  No idea whether she’s had the vaccine or a placebo.  She has been exposed to the virus itself (lost her father to it recently, her mother tested positive but was only briefly ill).

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  17. Michael Yeadon and three co-authors have a new paper published at Lockdown Sceptics, “PCR-Based Covid Testing Has Failed”.  Here is the summary from the introduction:

    Across Europe, including in the UK, we see the following:

    1. Daily ‘cases’ sky-rocketed in Europe as Autumn arrived.
    2. Daily deaths labelled as ‘Covid deaths’ rose in line with ‘cases’ – to levels apparently higher than at the Spring peak.
    3. BUT: Total all-cause mortality does not reflect the above.

    What is behind this conundrum?

    The central thesis of this paper is that we have a major problem with PCR-testing.

    This is distorting policy and creating the illusion that we are in a serious pandemic when in fact we are not.

    This is causing:

    • Excess deaths due to restricted access to the NHS.
    • An NHS staffing crisis which is exacerbating matters.
    • Unprecedented assaults on civil liberties and the economy.

    What we need to do about this:

    • Stop mass-testing using PCR in the UK and replace with Lateral Flow Tests where required.
    • Other recommendations as detailed later in this document.

    The paper notes that this is the first time in history that an “epidemic” or “pandemic” has been declared purely on the basis of a diagnostic test, not the presence of clinical symptoms.  In fact, a chart (scroll down to “1) The definition of Covid deaths is too broad”) shows that admissions to Accident and Emergency departments for acute respiratory infections are, in fact, presently lower than the average over previous years and have been since the end of September.

    Here is some information on lateral flow tests, of which the common home pregnancy test is an example.

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