Seriously Polly

Later come the political questions of how the country came to be left so nakedly unprepared – the NHS and social care brutally worn down by a decade of needless, ideologically driven austerity, with local government and civil service stripped of experience and capacity. We are where we are, right now. Public services will no doubt do their heroic utmost, often in appalling situations.

There is no logical or likely amount of NHS spending which would leave it capable of dealing with a once in a century pandemic. It’s not even sensible that there should be either.

94 thoughts on “Seriously Polly”

  1. There is absolutely no problem in the NHS that cannot be solved without the application of large amounts of dosh

  2. The entire thing is a non-event. We will pay a far higher price for the shrieking than the lightweight disease.

  3. “Are the Tories to blame for Italy and Spain?”

    In ToynbeeWorld, probably. And the Black Death, the Spanish Inquisition, Herod’s Massacre of the firstborn, etc, …

  4. The UK currently has the lowest rate of infection amongst major European nations. Presumably this means our strategy and public health budget is more sensible than those other nations.

  5. Ecks – if you can’t see that this is actually serious, you’re a genuinely lost cause. It is obviously very contagious and it kills a lot of people – as an aside, I’m surprised that you believe the official mortality figure of 1% ish, that’s most unlike you – and thus we either have to do some drastic stuff or let it burn through the country. The latter would involve palliative euthanasia in hospital car parks of many thousands of people who cannot get into ICU. That might be the most utilitarian solution, but thank God we have people who are prepared to try other approaches.

    My kids are at Oxford: some time ago pretty much every medical tutor and biologist was recruited into either research or front line medicine, and the medicine students were sent home. They’ve been told next term just isn’t happening, finalists or not. If you think that’s the sort of thing our best universities and governments just do for the hell of it you’re nuts.

    But beyond that Tim’s absolutely right, and the naked opportunism of Labour and their shills and liars is shocking, even if it shouldn’t be. I predict a couple of hundred thousand dead (it could easily be more, I hope not), many of whom would have died anyway, and major changes to the way we do things, some of them sensible, others not. One thing I sincerely hope is that we have a proper reckoning for the above liars and shills, though.

  6. Interested: “Ecks – if you can’t see that this is actually serious, you’re a genuinely lost cause. It is obviously very contagious and it kills a lot of people…”

    The thing is, does it kill a lot of people who would have died anyway if they had ‘normal’ flu..?

  7. I’ll say it again Interested.

    The fucking Black Death –in an age of filth and ignorance–and eventual (much slower) 100% exposure–only managed to kill 1/3. 2/3 –though exposed and with NO help–did NOT become infected and lived.

    Monster casualty figs are based on 70-80% infection rates. If the Black Death couldn’t get anywhere near that then the Puny Plague ain’t going to. And stuff all the medical hacks who are jumping on the bandwagon.

    And your faith in politiocal shite and bureaucracy–possibly a misplaced relic of yr squaddie days –is entirely misplaced.

    All the fuckwit brain’s trust of the state can’t give us a stable economy–and if you think they can put it back together after the Puny Plague has helped fuck it–YOU are dreaming.

  8. I`m not sure the likelihood it will not be as bad as the Black Death is entirely comforting Ecks. Where you may be right is that the economic contagion could have worse consequences than the virus.
    You will not the market is entirely unable to cope unaided by wider social cooperation.

    Just saying…I`m a capitalist but not a worshipper ( being sane )

  9. In Black Death times, most people would have had very strong immune systems. The ones that didn’t died as babies & kids due to the incessant challenges from insanitary conditions. So it’s perhaps not surprising that many shrugged it off quickly and even asymptomatically. Now many more people survive in our 1st world cleanliness that would have died in those times. So I’m quite happy to assume 70%+ infection rates. What we don’t know is what the relative fractions are of asymptomatic recovery, mild ‘cold’, flue-like but recover, serious pneumonia and death therefrom. 1% mortality is a useful working assumption for disaster planning until we get better figures from reliable sources.

  10. Devil’s advocate, but Singapore managed to contain the outbreak rather well. They drew on past experience with SARS and swine flu. Most of their efforts were in the domain of public health rather than healthcare, so Polly’s complaints about the underfunding of the NHS are misplaced. In fact I hope Public Health England gets taken round the back and shot as a result of their sheer uselessness here. They have a £4.5bn annual budget, none of which appears to have been spent stockpiling face masks.

    Here’s how Singapore did it:
    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/singapore-was-ready-for-covid-19-other-countries-take-note/

  11. “They have a £4.5bn annual budget”: when I first saw that figure I could hardly believe it. How much can it cost to tell us to watch our weight and go easy on the sugar? And who the hell thought those were issues of Public Health anyway?

  12. Facepaint–you fucking scumbag–how do you make any money being thick as you are–selling crap to your fellow rejoiniac dickwads probably.

    The numbers numbnuts. Mass death only comes from mass infection and I see NO reason to believe this corocrap has that kind of infection power.

    Wuhan has 58 million pop–100, 000 thou infected –with something.

    1–China has tons of pneumonia anyway–enough that Chicoms won’t give figures. So their is likely a pool of pneumo victims to begin with
    2–Wuhan has a TB epidemic pre-existing this caper
    3-WuHan has the worlds worst air pollution. Like smog with extra heavy metals and fuck knows what included. There have been demos/riots for 2 years until this coro-justified lockdown.
    4–Lots and lots and lots of Chinese chain-smoke filthy cheap cigs.

    Add that lot in and no surprise Wuhan is a hot spot.

    North Italy is another. Well we know about “belt and train” Chicom attempts to colonise. To wit getting legal hold on the “Made in Italy” label by setting up cheap tat factories in N Italy.

    Thousands of jobs for Italians you say? Chicoms have imported 100,000 illegal Chinese to staff their factories with Chinese conditions and Chinese wages. The Italian gov–which at present =the EU anyway–have done nothing nor has your scummy and precious EU itself Direct contact with China has imported it into Europe.

    Also TB outbreak in NItaly–as all the ME RoP dross head for the North. More money and urban type atomised population. Unlike the south were native clans still exist and local officials wont take the RoPs part. Also the Mafia won’t allow migrant gang trash to set up their own gangs/crim networks down there. Mafia weaker in north.

    Remember that the “test” has up to 47% false positives. And was abandoned –first by China CCP garbage–you get a chest x-ray and if ANYTHING there –pneumo, TB–anything –you are corofodder.

    Now all the rest are doing it. Once a few of the “tested” show positive in any area–anyone with a sniffle is on the merry-go-round.

    The Pathetic Plague represents a load of dross–politicals/Bureau-pukes/bwankers etc –seeing their chance.

    More power for the tyrannical state –and a chance to foist their financial crimes on the virus.

    PS-Tim –why is the cursor on he screen typing slower than I do? Is this some new Hell from your resident computer torment master?

  13. Tractor Gent–our immune systems have been boosted by vaccination–I don’t see why they would be any weaker. Plus we can boost them with Vit C and D etc. Which the old times could not and din’t even know about.
    You either catch something or you don’t then and now. The idea that poor hygiene acts as a gym for the immune system is not really tenable. Germs are everywhere. Then and now.

  14. Evil brutal Tory brutal rule of brutality imposing brutal savage Boris Brutal Johnson Brutal savage brutality (c) Polly Toynbee.

    Doesn’t even matter what the topic is, from Brexit, to coronavirus to what she had for tea, it’s the same shyte from Polly.

  15. Big Sainsburys in Pity Me looked like a bomb had gone off. People seemed to walk in shock looking at the empty shelves. Shelves very untidy. No fresh meat, no eggs, no pasta, no rice, no tinned soups, no sardines. Plenty of vegetables, fruit, cheese, cold cuts, Rotisserie chicken, bread. But untidy, like the roads, council obviously not doing any work outside, full of litter. One lady with a trolley and shocked expression on her face was mumbling why am I picking up this stuff I never buy? It’s because you’re in shock lady! I used the self service till and was able to authorise myself to look over 25 and buy beer.

  16. Being a recent user of an NHS Hospital, I’d say that importing tens of thousands of staff from the the third-world has, unsurprisingly to most people, led to third-world standards.

  17. Dennis, Bullshit Detector

    As usual, Ecks’ ravings end up being the negative of any photo of Spud’s mind.

    One is in a panic, the other in denial. And neither has a lick of common sense about anything.

  18. Average annual deaths in England from the flu in recent years = 17,000. Recent peak 28,000 in 2014/15, recent low 1,700 in 2018/19.

    Anyone remember the world shutting down in 2014/15? no, me neither.

  19. Go back to drinling gun oil Dennis–or Disease as you might better be named.

    But thanks for your brilliant line-by-line refutation.

  20. That’s “drinking” but who knows –he probably has the stuff transfused and “drinling” could be a excellent neologism for that.

    In Dennis’s case a rapidly-repeating bullet suppository would be the best way for him to ingest his gun oil supply.

  21. Lots of people are going to die. More than normal? Possibly. Many more than normal? Unlikely.

    A lot of what is going on is pure theatre.
    Where i work has gone mental. Issuing edicts about how close people have to space their desks and how far apart to stay…
    Until the machine breaks down and we have to work in close proximity to each other to fix it. It’s ok to be in close contact then because, erm, reasons…
    Theatre, pure and simple.

    The fatality rate is very low, unless you have a pre-existing condition or are elderly. So no need for the average person to panic. Except since a lot of people are panicking, whipped up by the media, and panic buying, then lots more people panic as a result.

    Just to give some historical context to the current “deadly epidemic” – current worldwide deaths at time of writing, since approximately January = 7167.

    Historical pandemics, in increasing fatality size:
    Japanese Smallpox Epidemic 735-737AD – ~1M
    Hong Kong Flu 1968-7970 – ~1M
    Russian Flu 1889-1890 – ~1M
    Asian Flu 1957-1958 – ~1.1M
    17th Century Great Plagues 1665AD – ~3M
    The Third Plague 1855AD – ~5M
    Plague of Justinian 541-542AD – 30-50M
    Spanish Flu 1918-1919 – 40-50M
    Smallpox 1520AD – 56M (90% of native americans)
    Black Death 1347-1351 – 200M

    Obviously some of these numbers are estimates and approximate and other historical plagues exist. I highlight these as they were short duration, which the “experts” claim the Coronavirus should be if we all panic and hide in our houses.

    We’re several orders of magnitude lower than these numbers. Lets not panic just yet.

  22. Julia – yep that’s what I said.

    Ecks: Fucking hell, yes, it’s not the Black Death. Who’s saying it is? I don’t know about ‘Monster casualty figs’ – I think they’re fairly small, especially when you bear in mind the likeliest victims. Many would have died anyway.

    But it is coming, and it is going to kill a lot of people, and the reaction – is probably justified if the alternative is (as I suggest) to let it rip and watch a lot of our parents and grandparents die, along with lots of younger people who are weak for one reason or another. If you have a ‘third way’ I’m all ears. I think the nation is. (I assume your response is, it’s all bollocks, they won’t die, in which case there is no point discussing it further – that would mark you out as a genuine raving nutcase.)

    I don’t know where you get the idea that I have much ‘faith in politiocal shite and bureaucracy’ – I’ve been contributing to this blog for as long as you, and maybe longer, and I’ve never even hinted at such faith.

    I have never – never – said that I was in the Army. My history is as opaque, and my waters as muddied, as possible. I may have been, I may not have been, it’s no-one’s business but mine.

  23. @Chernyy – ‘The fatality rate is very low, unless you have a pre-existing condition or are elderly.’

    I’m not elderly and I have no pre-existing illness (that I know of). But I think the 1% figure will be blown out of the water by the (inevitable) unavailability of ICU which would, with that availability, have saved many lives. Hope I’m wrong.

  24. Average annual deaths in England from the flu in recent years = 17,000. Recent peak 28,000 in 2014/15, recent low 1,700 in 2018/19.

    Anyone remember the world shutting down in 2014/15? no, me neither.

    Reminds me of the quote from “The Dark Knight” by the Joker:

    You know what I noticed? Nobody panics when things go according to plan. Even when the plan is horrifying. If tomorrow I told the press that, like, a gang-banger would get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics. Because it’s all part of the plan. But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everybody loses their minds! Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order and everything becomes chaos

    Instead of a mayor being shot, we have a bad cough virus.

  25. I’m not elderly and I have no pre-existing illness (that I know of). But I think the 1% figure will be blown out of the water by the (inevitable) unavailability of ICU which would, with that availability, have saved many lives. Hope I’m wrong.

    I hope it remains a low percentage.
    I hope that it all turns out to be a big scare with a low mortality rate and we can all look back in a few months and laugh at how silly we were, and make sensible plans for the next one that comes along and actually is a dangerous beast.
    It is annoying the media and the people’s reactions – panicking and stripping shops of supplies, putting more pressure on the .
    Their reaction is, however, understandable.

    My greatest hope with all this, is that this all blows over, but scares the majority of people into building and maintaining a stockpile of supplies all the time to generate resilience in the system.
    We can hope.

  26. Death rates can be used in any number of ways. I read that the increase in life expectancy in the region was so generalised that it continued,for Vietnam, during the Vietnam war. I think most people would nonetheless say that this war was quite a bad thing.
    I commend Ecks, however, for keeping the the British end up ( Sir ).He is exactly the jolly whistling chirpy pleb that keep us laughing through the agony, a sort of deranged George Formby.
    PS
    I am rather enjoying the discomfort of the many small companies who thought calling themselves Corona was a good idea,referring presumably to the hazy light around the sun.
    I do hope there is an Isis solutions, somewhere who hastily changed their name to Cornona Direct

    Go on Ecksy ..give us a song …

  27. Interested–I thought I remembered you saying something about being a squaddie –but since it is nigh on ten years since I ‘ve been around the blog maybe I mixed you up with someone else.

    As for the bureaucracy etc–it looked to me as if you are casting all these uni types being put on –supposedly–the job in the manner of argument from authority. If the state co-opts all these clever chaps it must be a big deal etc.

    How many of them were likely saying–“This is crazy bullshit–close the fucking Uni over the common cold mark 2?” and got the age-old authoritarian response “You want to keep your job?”.

    What’s that line from “Die Hard” where the FBI idiot is telling the electric bloke to turn off half the city’s power ” Is the United States fucking govt enough authority for you?”

    I also have an elderly relative who is the last of my family left so I don’t suggest doing nothing. But shutting the fucking country down and collapsing potentially millions of businesses world wide is also the work of genuine raving nutcases–unless it is some globo elite caper and even they would think on I suspect.

  28. No-one has yet pointed out that Polly’s denunciation of the alleged effect of the non-existent Tory cuts to England’s NHS follows two days after the FT published a big article on how the Welsh NHS (managed by the Welsh Labour government) was countrywide postponing routine operations but the English NHS was not.
    Distraction tactics – blame the Tories in England for something that might happen to avoid people noticing the mess Labour has made in Wales.

  29. Interested said:
    “I predict a couple of hundred thousand dead (it could easily be more, I hope not)”

    200,000 coronavirus deaths for the UK? Seriously? Twenty quid says it won’t.

  30. Facepainter–The only song you will ever hear from me is patriotic ones blasting out of the gallows loudspeaker to drown out your last words before the trap opens. We have heard enough of your crap as it is.

  31. Willis at WUWT has done a quick analysis of the figures from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and a good look through his report has me more on the Ecks side of things.

    A quote:
    For me, this is all good news. 83% of the people on the ship didn’t get it, despite perfect conditions for transmission. If you get it, you have about a 50/50 chance of showing no symptoms at all. And the fatality rate is lower than the earlier estimates of 2% or above.

    But RTWT and remember the age range on the ship was heavily skewed towards oldies.

    “Don’t Panic Capt. Mainwaring!!”

  32. Mr Ecks said:
    “What’s that line from “Die Hard” where the FBI idiot is telling the electric bloke to turn off half the city’s power”

    Wasn’t that “Ghostbusters”? (a superb anti-government movie)

  33. Bloke in North Dorset

    Tractor Gent,

    In Black Death times, most people would have had very strong immune systems. The ones that didn’t died as babies & kids due to the incessant challenges from insanitary conditions. So it’s perhaps not surprising that many shrugged it off quickly and even asymptomatically. Now many more people survive in our 1st world cleanliness that would have died in those times. So I’m quite happy to assume 70%+ infection rates. What we don’t know is what the relative fractions are of asymptomatic recovery, mild ‘cold’, flue-like but recover, serious pneumonia and death therefrom. 1% mortality is a useful working assumption for disaster planning until we get better figures from reliable sources.

    I was listening to the latest Rebel Wisdom program in the gym this morning and they were making a similar point about modern immune systems and whether or not we could cope with the shock of trying to build herd immunity. Their main point was around our diet and other health issues, but its certainly going to be a factor as the disease progresses.

    Joe Rogan asked one of his guests what could be done to reducing the chance of getting a sever reaction, and he made the point about getting fit and health, stopping smoking, stopping drinking and eating healthy.

  34. The daily number of new cases in South Korea has been dropping for two weeks now. It’s now less than 100 new cases a day, down from more like 1,000 a day at the peak.

    As of a couple of days ago it’s got so low that the number recovering each day is higher than the number of new cases, so the number of active cases is now falling too.

    Two weeks of rising numbers of new cases, then two weeks of falling numbers of new cases but the total active cases still rising (although more slowly), then the number of active cases starts dropping.

    Total cases less than 10,000. Total deaths less than 100 (might hit 150 if the seriously ill all die). And that’s in a heavily urbanised country with a population of 50 million.

    Latest UK figures suggest that we’re following the same pattern, with the number of new cases having dropped in the last couple of days. Similarly, about 2 weeks after it started kicking off with in-country infections. If that trend continues for a couple more days then it’s basically all over bar the clean-up. At which point it will be less than 1% of the usual annual winter flu effects, except for the extra damage caused by fuckwit panicking.

    Will the shills be embarrassed? Apologetic? Of course not.

  35. Richard T–The Ghostbusters tangled with Walter No-Dick from the EPA who made them turn off their spook storage system.

    Good film and the analogy does sort of hold up.

  36. Facepainter–The only song you will ever hear from me is patriotic ones blasting out of the gallows loudspeaker to drown out your last words…

    When I die I would like them to play Shaddap-a you face and disappear into the furnace to the words
    ” Big Accordion Solo !” –

  37. Bloke in North Dorset said:
    “what could be done … getting fit and health, stopping smoking, stopping drinking and eating healthy”

    Actually that’s probably really bad advice – the evidence so far is that smoking massively reduces the risk of dying from this one.

    The reports I saw, hardly any smokers died in China, and that’s a country where there are a lot of smokers, so statistically it’s really stood out that it’s only the non-smokers who are dying.

    Now, I don’t know whether the smoke is killing off the virus before people get properly infected, or if people just keep further away from smokers so they’re less likely to get it, or if it’s just that all the smokers with weak lungs have died already so the remaining ones are tougher. But there’s apparently a very clear link, and it’s that smokers are much less at risk, not more so.

  38. “Joe Rogan asked one of his guests what could be done to reducing the chance of getting a sever reaction, and he made the point about getting fit and health, stopping smoking, stopping drinking and eating healthy.”

    Given coro is a resp virus stopping smoking should help.

    The rest are pious tripe.

    Extra vit c/d and perhaps jumping up and down on one of those rebounding mini-trampets–said to activate the lymph system–and possibly saunas. Uninfectted ones–if you have one of your own. Normally infra red saunas are better as you avoid having to breathe too hot air–but the heat might be an advantage against this virus.

  39. Mr Ecks said:
    “Richard T– The Ghostbusters tangled with Walter No-Dick from the EPA who made them turn off their spook storage system.”

    Oh yes, that was it. But a good illustration of officious ignorant bureaucracy making things worse rather than better.

  40. Facepainter–your carcass will dined on by your lovely EU Grandee friends. A special celebration eve-of-Masthrictemburg(sic) trial dinner. With “Hawaian Long-winded Pig” as the main course. And Humble Pie as dessert.

  41. Dennis, On The Front Lines Fightin' Them Chlorinated Chickens

    But thanks for your brilliant line-by-line refutation.

    There is no way to refute batshit crazy. You just point it out and then mock it.

  42. Ecks, I stand by what I said. I watched the Boris Show yesterday afternoon, and I was impressed by what Dr Whitty said. They accept that many will get it and the strategy is to protect the vulnerable (risk of requiring NHS intervention) whilst letting it work its way slowly through the young & fit to build herd immunity.
    They need to try to control the rate of demand on the NHS so hopefully we won’t need triage. Apparently the Dutch are doing much the same – see Guido today.
    If you go full lockdown, like Spain & France, then it’ll just break out again when everyone starts ignoring the restrictions.

  43. Ecks – I’ve done all sorts of things but I’ve never said what… People can put two and two together and reach whatever conclusion they want.

    RichardT – I hope I’m wrong. I do know that the medics dons at Oxford are worried, and I have seen what happened and is happening in Italy. I don’t know: I just can’t see any particular way, absent a vaccine and probably as importantly an antibody test – that it won’t just keep going? Herd immunity I get, but for it to reach the (I believe) 66% of population required to achieve that means 665x70m people need to be infected, ie 46,300,000. If the 1% death rate is correct then that is 462,000 dead. I would like someone to tell me why this is wrong, and not just by saying ‘you pussy, it’s only the flu’. I have been in some very tight spots indeed in my life, and I have been less concerned than I am now (albeit that those were fleeting events and this is not).

  44. Dennis, Crusher of Fools

    Mass death only comes from mass infection and I see NO reason to believe this corocrap has that kind of infection power.

    Ecks is learned in the ways of infectious disease. Who knew?

    Anyway, Ecks, what you fail to understand (among other things) is that the adults in the room have to react in a manner that takes into account of the unknown, and plan for the worst instead of the best. Ever heard of a virus mutating? Probably not, but it happens. Think that through, if you can.

    Just as nobody in their right mind would allow you to handle a sharpened pencil, nobody in their right mind would look to a frothing raver for advice on how the public health and medical communities should handle a potentially very dangerous pandemic.

  45. Willis at WUWT has done a quick analysis of the figures from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and a good look through his report has me more on the Ecks side of things

    There’s a report online of an Italian head of virology at some university testing the entire population of a town, about 3,000 people, repeatedly. He found that only 10% of positive cases showed any symptoms. As people were tested multiple times it reduces the probability that these were false positives.

    So good news and bad news if true – the case fatality rate will drop, as apart from in places like Korea we are only testing those with symptoms. The bad news is that these people must be the main driver of the epidemic just by sheer numbers alone, and containment is practically impossible short of a total lockdown – but for how long?

  46. The entire thing is a non-event. We will pay a far higher price for the shrieking than the lightweight disease.

    Who are You, Who are so Wise in the Ways of Science?

  47. the Italian and Chinese experiences based on age based fatalities suggests a death rate of 1.6% given the population age structure assuming that all individuals have an equal chance of infection – this number could be skewed by gender, the reports suggest that males tend to be more susceptible and the age based fatalities are not broken down by gender – and it seems likely that the percentages could be skewed by this – so possibly close to the 1% level. The bulk of these deaths is of those over the age of 80 or 70, meaning that while the deaths will represent an increase in mortality rates, it would probably mean a slightly more than doubling of the UK mortality rate.

    A couple of caveats, if the NHS is overwhelmed by cases – as was the case in Wuhan and is the case in Lombardy, the death rate will spike higher

  48. One can imagine the criticisms that would be made in any article the revolting and repellent Toynbee wrote if an asteroid the size of Everest were found to be on its way to wipe out all life on Earth.

    Much the same as now, the Tories, austerity, Boris Johnson, why was 100% of UK GDP not diverted over the last 10 years to fund a big fvck-off laser gun to fire at it, etc etc ad fvcking nauseam.

  49. “Herd immunity I get, but for it to reach the (I believe) 66% of population required to achieve that means 665x70m people need to be infected, ie 46,300,000. If the 1% death rate is correct then that is 462,000 dead. I would like someone to tell me why this is wrong, and not just by saying ‘you pussy, it’s only the flu’. ”

    Because the 1% death rate is very much at the top end of a reasonable estimate. Diamond princess, which is the closest we have to a clinical trial of coronavirus, 614 definite cases, 7 deaths. So 1% fataility rate there.

    But who goes on cruises? Old codgers with multiple pre-existings. Some of these cruise ships have dialysis facilities, many have an infirmary. All of them have a morgue. Because that is their clientele.

  50. I’ve suggested this before, but should we send from this site a Get Well card to Murphy to assure him we’re all rooting for his recovery in his manful struggle against Covid-19 and that our lives would be immeasurably poorer were it not for his utterly asinine blogging?

  51. We can drive around pissed in Australia now because they’ve indefinitely suspended random breath tests (RBTs).

    If RBTs are a risk of transmitting COVID-19, presumably they’ve always been a risk of transmitting flu, hepatitis, pneumonia, etc.

  52. I haven’t the patience to read all of Toynbee’s ravings for the past many years that she has befouled the world but has she ever said or written one word suggesting the government prepare better for the next pandemic?

    I doubt it for if she had, she’d have crowed about her prescience.

    She’s a liar and a fool.

  53. Looks like the issue is sorted. WUWT reports a cure for Covid-19.

    Can you imagine the bansturbators’ heads exploding at PHE if Boris were to announce that we’re all to knock back as much G&T as we can find? 🙂

  54. Bloke in North Dorset

    Ken,

    Aren’t China and Italy special cases that we would expect to have a higher death rate?

    The location of that start of an epidemic that turns pandemic is never going to have time to put in place measures to flatten the curve, made even worse there by their tendency to hide from authority anything that makes China look bad, all the way up the line.

    Italy is a special case. Their close links with Wuhan, I saw one estimate that 100k Chinese live in the North of Italy following the purchase of a lot of leather goods manufacturers by companies based in Wuhan, that included direct flights and the delays in notification meant that the Italian authorities never had time to prepare. They may have been incompetent with what little time they had, being Italian.

    What the rest of the countries are doing may or not be optimal but if we’re to believe even half what the government’s advisors are saying there should be some impact on the death rate?

  55. @BiG – yep. Friends of my mother are regular cruisers. A death a week is not unusual. In fact one of the reasons my Mum’s pals go cruising is because his health isn’t up to much else.

    I’d be very surprised if the average age of passengers on the Diamond Princess was under 55. So far all the fatalities have been amongst the over-70s.

  56. Dennis–what used to be your brain is floating in that gun oil son–but good to know you have been accepted as one of the adults. Doubtless Mom is very proud of how well you did after leaving special school.

    The only valid use for a sharp pencil around you would be G Gordon Liddy’s trick –look it up–to bring your ramblings to a permanent end.

  57. Sing as we go and let the world go by
    Singing a song, we march along the highway
    Say goodbye to sorrow
    There’s always tomorrow to think of today

    Sing as we go, although the skies are grey
    Beggar or king, you’ve got to sing a gay tune
    A song and a smile make it right worthwhile
    So sing, as we go along

    Blues, where are you now
    You oughta know that I’ve no use for you
    Frown, get off my brow
    It’s plain to see that from now on we’re through
    Take to the south and sing morning and night
    I see a better day coming in sight

  58. BiND

    The death rate in Wuhan was too high and it’s likely that the death rate in Lombardy is also high because they were overwhelmed. But I’m extrapolating from the percentage of deaths in each age category – with an assumption that all people then have an equal chance of becoming ill. Imperfect, but one way to measure potential impact.

    Things that might make these numbers wrong are if there are reasons to believe that the disease does not transmit as easily to much of the population – something that is suggested here

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.05.20031773v2.full.pdf?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=e0f93784fcc4b8d6967e93ecf7a4c2da37be2b58-1584456285-0-AfPQDNGeqenWjyAW5044Bq0cAVwrZzQGX5aeb4djcqLxf_pFsKklpsZ1OZZxQrMTSCVQ-D6q2uEGdx40g-iYK0BQ0HkS-BYctSBPy9m33Q9jpQnHyNma6ijOTiTfbCG-pBLoDe2u5N0NySa_Zf6djTHwwnzU4yTTHcEUG6KvADraRjlQnd-SIzocYfbMLBBluWw50kD3v16sMssqJcPCoVOsk5CA_uLqKwTjCRZrMxJ-I9956CJG8vYhwG52eKPQqqghga8-OGKRQ03RQiR0LLv-_LgFXi38nWY31PanSnI3zaJD2yMiD8xBzKp_nD98-qjNFlzmRZU4JRoYnmOhX44

  59. @BiG

    “Because the 1% death rate is very much at the top end of a reasonable estimate. Diamond princess, which is the closest we have to a clinical trial of coronavirus, 614 definite cases, 7 deaths. So 1% fataility rate there.

    But who goes on cruises? Old codgers with multiple pre-existings. Some of these cruise ships have dialysis facilities, many have an infirmary. All of them have a morgue. Because that is their clientele.”

    Good points, ta

    I actually said a couple of hundred thou, so not 1% (though we’re splitting hairs a bit); I think availability of ICU is going to be crucial. I’m assuming that most reasonably healthy people who suffer badly would recover if ventilated, but that a lot won’t if not. Obviously there never could have been enough ICU, but that won’t stop the after action review all pointing at Boris. The way the left are jockeying for that position now is genuinely vile.

  60. Few points
    What’s the evidence that the NHS is struggling and turning people away from ICU yet?

    My wife visited an infirmary on a cruise ship, they have pretty much a full ICU setup, though only for 1 or 2 people the one she saw, she was quite impressed

    My wife who used to work in ICU rang the manager and offered to come in casual shifts if needed, was told no need at this time, yet today I’m the only person in the office.

  61. Dennis, A Wog Or Not A Wog... That Is The Question

    I’ve suggested this before, but should we send from this site a Get Well card to Murphy to assure him we’re all rooting for his recovery in his manful struggle against Covid-19 and that our lives would be immeasurably poorer were it not for his utterly asinine blogging?

    Be sure to address it to “The Asshole In Ely” to ensure prompt delivery.

  62. @BniC

    “What’s the evidence that the NHS is struggling and turning people away from ICU yet?”

    I don’t think there is any evidence of that yet but obviously the desire is to avoid it as far as possible. I don’t think there is any evidence of that yet but obviously the desire is to avoid it as far as possible

  63. “I’d be very surprised if the average age of passengers on the Diamond Princess was under 55.”

    Yup, it was 58.

  64. BlokeInTejasInNormandy

    The news I hear (from folk who really do have a clue or seven) is that chloroquinone/chloroquine/… is indeed usefully effective. But in lab experiments so far.

    The good news is that it’s an old drug and so its side effects are pretty well known; apparently, they can be nuisancy (I have NOT done the research) but one rather suspects that they’re usefully less bad than fatal, irreversible death.

    On the other hand, it doesn’t seem to be known how effective it is agin the Evul Tory Virus (ho ho just joking) in real people. But even if it only knocks out 20-30% of bad cases to the point of not needing ICU space, that’s a good start on widening the peak.

    One might well hope for better.

    And remdesivir also seems useful.

    It’s still not clear to what extent these things (and others) can reduce what stage of the ETV. But it’s an encouraging start.

    Unfortunately, I don’t like gin, and so the obvious hopefully prophylactic measures therefore seem inappropriate. I shall have to continue to attempt to sterilise my thoat with Armagnac and the like….

    … well until it’s known that getting a prescription of Chloro and/or Remdesi is a good and effective thing… Then I’ll go get a prescription and get it filled.

    Meanwhile, in France: bizarrely, the massive accumulation of cases is happening on the eastern side of France (” le Grand Est”), with army convoys shipping eastern ICU patients further to the west of France.

    Polly ought to get over there, to explain how Tory austerity left everything so screwed up over there. I’m sure M. Macron would be pleased to have the explanations.

  65. With 7,500 reported deaths so far it makes me wonder how people can bandy around 100,000+ for the U.K. alone.
    At some points stats are just numbers, still need reasoning and logic to interpret them

  66. I can’t find any betting sites offering odds. Does anyone know of any? Since my prediction is that this is going to turn out much less of a problem than most people seem to think, it would be interesting to put my money where my mouth is.

  67. it makes me wonder how people can bandy around 100,000+ for the U.K. alone

    Hysterical, drunk on their own pessimism. I’ve lost track of the numbers bandied around. Although there should be a more forceful term than ‘bandied around’ for deranged guesswork crywanked into the troposphere…

  68. I’ve not worked there long but the A&E department in the hospital where I work was quieter today than I’ve ever seen it. Maybe only people who actually need the service are turning up.
    There seem to be empty beds in every ward. Of course, this won’t be the same everywhere but I think you can take media flapping about the NHS already being overstretched with a large pinch of salt.

  69. @Stu

    It is my completely unmedical opinion that 80% of the people at A and E have no business going there, which is why they end up waiting for hours to be seen

    I think hospitals are bsuy freeing up beds by sending people home, reducing routine operations and not making people wait forever to be discharged or for test results

  70. My view is this is going to go one of two ways, either it’ll be entirely underwhelming, and everyone will wonder what the fuss was about, or its going to turn into a crisis of fundamental proportions. Not sure which yet, though if I had to come down on one side or another it would be the low side.

    Incidentally on the ‘the experts are predicting hundreds of thousands of deaths’ issue, don’t forget these are the same type of expert who also predicted hundreds of thousands if not millions of deaths from Aids, Mad Cow Disease, Bird Flu etc etc. Now I guess one day they might be right, but only by accident…….

  71. UK expert was talking about 20,000 deaths as best case, still seems high but at least more in line with the annual flu deaths and an order of magnitude from 200,000+ being thrown around.
    Italy is still only at 2,500 and UK measures should mean things don’t end up as bad as Italy

  72. I’ve got the impression that for some, possibly including me, this has all the jolly beano qualities of a few days off work.

    OTOH, the London roads are more or less as busy.

    Ecks, Dennis:get a room.

  73. m’Lud

    Good advice there which I’d qualify only to the extent of suggesting that Rocco organise CCTV.

  74. My view is this is going to go one of two ways, either it’ll be entirely underwhelming, and everyone will wonder what the fuss was about, or its going to turn into a crisis of fundamental proportions.

    I’d go with both; medically underwhelming and an economical fuck up of monumental proportions.

  75. I’d go with both; medically underwhelming and an economical fuck up of monumental proportions.

    Exactly what I was going to write.

    We’re all going down, economically, but I would start shorting the Euro if I had the cash. Italy was already in a bad position having to help part fund the shortfall due to the UK leaving. Now it will be a total basket-case.

    This is likely to leave most of Europe far less interested in co-operation, and far more interested in protecting their own country first. Not great for the EU.

  76. “This is likely to leave most of Europe far less interested in co-operation, and far more interested in protecting their own country first. Not great for the EU.”

    Good job we slipped out under the wire on the 31st Jan then!

  77. m’Lud: “this has all the jolly beano qualities of a few days off work”

    Much like the period between Christmas and New Year really, except people haven’t been stockpiling we in advance. But then then there won’t be all that socialising to boost consumption.

    plus: “When war was declared on Sunday 3 September 1939, all cinemas were immediately closed as a safety precaution. But most were back in business within a week as the authorities realised that the nation needed entertainment to keep up its spirits.”

  78. Further to Jim and PJF’s prognostications…

    Being of a somewhat nerdy frame of mind, and as a result of government panic, having plenty of time on my hands, I’ve had a look for some actual figures for the UK that come from (relatively) reputable sources…

    SARS – 4 cases, zero deaths. (NHS figures)
    Avian Flu – 75,000 deaths predicted, actual deaths = zero. (HNS)
    Swine Flu – 3,100 to 65,000 deaths predicted, actual deaths = 138 from 540,000 reported cases (0.026%). (NHS).
    BSE was going to cause “millions of deaths”, actually 178 deaths from NvCJD. (NHS).

    On the basis that (in England & Wales 2018) on average 1,480 people died every day, Covid-19 isn’t even a rounding error yet. Frankly, I suspect that it will never become statistically significant in the UK – despite the media’s best efforts to convince everyone to panic further. Today’s “shock headline” – “Britains youngest coronavirus death”, some poor chap of 49, it only mentions in passing that he was suffering from Motor Neurone Disease!!!

    If it wasn’t in such poor taste I’d be tempted to see what odds Paddy Power or the like are offering on final totals of deaths.

  79. In the past week, I’ve decided that this coronavirus is more virulent than I thought. I have moved from Eck’s corner toward Deutsches Eck (BiG’s). But I still don’t believe the mass death predictions.

    We are seeing now what Malthus also missed 200 years ago. Human adaptation. We now think chloroquinone might be an effective treatment (what about the quinine in my Canada Dry Tonic Water?). A doctor on TV last night said that treating patients with blood plasma from recovered patients seems to work very well. Vaccines in the works.

    While trajectories of vast casualties appear possible on paper, I just don’t see it happening.

    The seasonal flu report from CDC (US) 29Feb says 36 million people had the seasonal flu this past season. That 10% (!) of the U.S. population. Not a peep from the legacy press.

    “Anyone remember the world shutting down in 2014/15? no, me neither.”

    Yep. 22,000 Americans dead this year, . . . cricket chirps.

  80. ‘New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that he was considering whether to impose a shelter-in-place order, which would essentially require residents to stay in their homes and keep outside social contact to a minimum to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the nation’s largest city.’

    I heard a clip from him on TV saying that grocery stores could stay open. A bit of Pelosi decadence. They don’t understand that grocery stores have back doors; that everything going out had to come in. People produce and deliver goods to stores. We need them to go to work.

    My son works in a factory. His coworker is livid that they don’t close. They are in the supply chain for what is on the grocery shelves. Not 105 howitzer shells, but, at this time, equally important.

    De Blasio should STFU. Recommend staying home. Don’t order it. It is widely in effect around here already, simply as a result of business conditions and school closings.

    As commented above, it is impossible for government to rationally decide – among those not sick* – to decide who can leave home and who can’t. Similar to 4th Amendment in it would be too great a waste of resources, and added contacts, for people to have to explain that they are going to the grocery store. Does a policeman really want to know where you are going enough to contact you in a pandemic?

    *Arguing the human rights of freedom of movement and freedom of assembly just doesn’t work during a pandemic. Putting armed guards on the sick is as old as civilization.

  81. TMB I think that Ecks and Dennis is more suitable for WWE, although I am playing around with scenarios involving bondage and electrodes. In case you are wondering, “Dick” Murphy is fine after his recent misadventures with the donkey

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