The crucial point

This means Germany currently has the lowest mortality rate of the 10 countries most severely hit by the pandemic: 0.3% compared with 9% in Italy and 4.6% in the UK.

One argument being that Germany is testing more people, finding many more mild cases. Thus while the death numbers stay the same, the rate falls precipitately.

And if that German death rate is true then the actions governments are taking are a dreadful, dreadful, waste.

It’s possible to go further too. Those deaths are curtailing 40 years of healthy life? Or three weeks? Even if the former then we’re still doing too much. If the latter then grossly misjudging the whole thing. That Theory and Madness of Crowds is a real thing y’know.

Nope, we dunno as yet. It’s gonna be fascinating when we do.

27 thoughts on “The crucial point”

  1. “And if that German death rate is true then the actions governments are taking are a dreadful, dreadful, waste.”

    We are, I suspect, in ‘cure worse than disease’ territory already.

  2. Yep. Apparently the cabinet is threatening to mutiny if Boris doesn’t lock everyone in their homes for the forseeable. We’ve fucked the economy for God knows how long in order to combat the equivalent of a nasty strain of flu.

    Don’t just look at Germany, look at the Diamond Princess. 712 infected out of 3,011 on board and 8 have died. Current death rate 1.39% in a population that’s mostly wrinklies.

    37 people died of the virus on March 21 in the UK, every single one had a pre-existing medical condition.

  3. The Meissen Bison

    On the one hand Britain has become obsessed with the precautionary principle taken to an extreme where avoidance of risk is paramount, irrespective of the consequences. On the other hand, Government now believes that its primary role is to protect people rather than to protect their freedoms.

    The upshot is that delivery of bread is sporadic and all circuses are cancelled with arrest failing to observe the dictates of the supreme leader.

  4. TMB–The thing about arrest is that most people have something to lose by falling afoul of the scummy state. A job, money, lifestyle, family.

    But if the antics of said scummy state have already cost you everything and all you can think about re your family is HTF you are going to provide for them now you are ruined –then you have little to lose by putting your fist in Plod’s face.

    The YJ’s are still going strong at 70+ weeks cos they know Macron still intends to ruin them with transport taxes. Millions more will join them when the result of lockdown shite kicks off. And the YJ’s have been trying–mostly non-violently (the violence is Antifa scum) to AVOID ruin. What happens to the level of violence once you ARE ruined already?

  5. It’s politics, not economics. Even with a fresh five year mandate, killing your nan/mum so the FTSE doesn’t fall leaves a sour taste. When every other country in Europe has closed schools, Britain’s politicians have no choice but to follow suit.

    TLDR: Nobody got fired for buying IBM.

  6. Anecdata alert.

    I know a chap who’s working on the COVID-19 testing in the UK, he was in conversation with a Dr at Northwick Park hospital and 5 patients under this Doctor’s care died with the virus.

    The comment from the Dr was words to the effect that “they were all a fortnight away from death anyway”.

  7. Northwick Park?

    I’ve heard anyone who sets foot in there is but a fortnight from death…

  8. The Germans are recording only deaths they can definitely attribute to COVID-19 to COVID-19. The Italians… a positive test means that’s what you died from. Anyone see who these could result in different death rates amongst the elderly population with lots of co-morbidities? The only way in the end to see the effect will be to compare excess mortality.

  9. Andrew M–If the forthcoming storm were as trivial as you suggest then what Blojo is doing might make some small amount of sense.

    But Blojo is doing fuckall to support the S/E. And 80% of wages for employees under 2500 a month. That means millions of folk probably where A can’t pay B and so B can’t pay C and so on to ruin. Not to mention the funny money will as like be magicked up not borrowed–who is going to lend on the promises of poltical pigs-and so high inflation here we come. Blojo might as well post the keys of No 10 to whatever POS replaces Jizz.

  10. Germany has had about 90 deaths in a population of 83m. The UK has had about 280 deaths in a population of 66m. The death rate among confirmed cases is unreliable because Germany is testing more people than the UK. But why far fewer deaths in Germany? Different cause-of-death reporting/classifications? More ICU beds per capita? Better social distancing and personal hygiene? Government cover-up?…

  11. Less infected likely. Italy had a direct link with the Chicoms and 100,000 imports –many from Wuhan– working in the CCP tat factories and wandering around N Italy in their spare time. Their pay is Chinese levels so they probably didn’t wander much further.

  12. “Normal” diseases produce a lot of sick people and a few carriers. CV19 produces a lot of carriers and a few sick people. This is a different game that we don’t seem to have adapted to. It can move rapidly through the population before you realize what’s happening. Number of cases is irrelevant because it’s lots, the more you test the more you will find. Number of deaths is also irrelevant because it’s a relatively few sick people whose exact cause of death would be difficult to establish even under ideal conditions.

    CV19 could overwhelm the health service without causing a single extra death. All that has to happen is two months worth of normal deaths compressed in to a couple of weeks because hospitals obviously don’t run with lots of spare capacity.

    Equally it could kill lots of people. I’m glad it’s not me making that decision.

  13. Roue le Jour–No sign that it is going to kill lots of people–otherwise it would have already.

    So let’s NOT ruin our economy.

  14. ‘And if that German death rate is true then the actions governments are taking are a dreadful, dreadful, waste.’

    True, but the ‘if’ is still unknown.

    14 counties in my state have ZERO cases. About 200 for total state. I say the closing schools and canceling group activities – sports – has worked. They have not closed dine-in restaurants. But I’m not seeing many cars in their parking lots.

    3 deaths. All said to be elderly decrepits. Which begs the question, “How the fvck did they catch it?” What stupid potential carrier went near them ?!?!

    My guess: medical professional.

  15. IIRC, we were told that because of the wicked Tories, 130,000 people had died because of “austerity”. So tell me, what multiple of that will die because of the economics of our reaction to Corvid-19?

    Or was that 130,000 figure nonsense in the first place?

  16. The Other Bloke in Italy

    I will offer a number which may be interesting.

    A funeral director in the north of Italy said that his firm normally handles about 100 funerals a month.

    In the previous four weeks he had buried 611 people.

  17. “But why far fewer deaths in Germany?” It’s an artefact.
    “Different cause-of-death reporting/classifications?” Very likely.

    The rest is all explained by the z blogger.

    ” … a month ago they had two possible outcomes. One was the virus spread and killed a bunch of people, which would be very bad for the ruling class. The other possible outcome was a mild spread that got little notice and then it petered out. Heads they got blamed for ignoring a pandemic and tails they get no credit remaining calm about it.

    That’s a bad gamble for a politician, which is probably why Tucker Carlson talked Trump into declaring total war on the virus. If all efforts were made to stop the virus, even if it craters the economy, the possibilities get much better. If the virus runs its course without much trouble and goes away like every other virus, Trump can declare war and throw himself a triumph. If the virus turns out to be the Antonine Plague, then Trump can fairly say it would have been much worse if not for his efforts.

    What just happened is Trump has flipped the odds on what happens after the panic subsides this summer. In the do-nothing scenario, one outcome was neutral and one outcome was terrible. In the do-everything scenario, the outcomes are reversed. There one great outcome and one mostly neutral one. If it is the Antonine Plague, civilization collapses and none of this matters. Since the most likely outcome under all scenarios was closer to the Honk Kong Flu, this is a neutral result.”

  18. Can the EU survive this? Club Med is [email protected] for this year, tourism will take time to recover. Germany, exporting capital goods, will make up for lost time. Germany refuses help to Club Med and debt mutualisation still a no-no. So ever widening divergence. It’s a cause of amazement that Club Med populace is still broadly pro-EU.

  19. Philip–If the EU handouts to the Club Med stop or are curtailed then emotions will change.

    Other Bloke in Italy: An anecdote –even if true what does it mean? Have the firm been given coro-burying business by the state? Does it mean that shitloads are dying of coro without being recorded by said state? Were that true I think there would have been a much bigger keffuffle than we have heard so far. Or is it saying that lots of other Italians are dying in sympathy with or imitation of Coro’s style?

    I know they love “style” over there but it seems a bit excessive. Short of seeing his business records I would tend to dismiss the story unless some more substance turns up,. For example–is the rest of the undertaking business enjoying a similar boom?

    Dearime–The key phrase is “even if it craters the economy”. The world’s economy is built on a mountain of unpayable debt. Cratering what we have got on top of that is like exploding nukes on top of Yellowstone National Park.

    It may not end well.

  20. Correct, dearieme. Governments make POLITICAL decisions.

    “The world’s economy is built on a mountain of unpayable debt.”

    I beg to differ. It is payable. If the U.S. government stopped being fascist, we’d have a $50T economy in no time. Our current debt would become trivial.

    Then politicians would start borrowing more. So, just temporary relief.

  21. @PJF: tonight’s COBRA meeting is going to be the crunch point. If it’s European-style restrictions on movement, we are, I suspect, going to find out how very un-European we are.

    I hope.

  22. RlJ @ 9:43 am
    ““Normal” diseases produce a lot of sick people and a few carriers. CV19 produces a lot of carriers and a few sick people. This is a different game that we don’t seem to have adapted to. It can move rapidly through the population before you realise what’s happening.”

    A very good point. I suspect this straightaway messes up a few of their “models”.

  23. The Germans are definitely fudging their numbers, they are such an outlier on the low side that no difference in care or demographics could possibly account for it. They’ll be putting down “organ failure” for all the COVID related deaths, where as Italy is correctly attributing them.

    Economic shutdown is coming one way or another. Either we do a short, sharp cut to activity now or we’ll have a much longer and drawn out one when the daily cases are 1% of the population every single day. 2-5% of them are going to die each day and 10% of them will be hospitalised. The healthcare system will disintegrate and people will be too afraid to go out of their homes. Spanish flu last 18 months and passed through in waves. That is the infection model to look towards.

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