Could even be true

But one Israeli professor claims that all efforts will lead to the same result, because the disease is self-limiting, and largely vanishes after 70 days, with or without any interventions.

Prof Isaac Ben-Israel, head of the Security Studies program at Tel Aviv University and the chairman of the National Council for Research and Development, claims that his analysis proves Covid-19 peaks at 40 days before rapidly declining.

Major General Ben-Israel, who was also head of the Analysis and Assessment Division of the Israeli Air Force Intelligence Directorate and former chief Cybernetics adviser to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claims shutting down major economies is having devastating consequences for little gain….

And wouldn’t it be interesting if it were true?

15 thoughts on “Could even be true”

  1. …because the disease is self-limiting, and largely vanishes after 70 days, with or without any interventions.

    …claims that his analysis proves Covid-19 peaks at 40 days before rapidly declining.

    Seems falsified already. Peaks are all over the place and rapid decline is not observed.

  2. “Seems falsified already. Peaks are all over the place and rapid decline is not observed.”

    But this does not mean he is wrong, perhaps the lockdown measures delay transmission to lengthen the peak, or even cause more than one peak?
    One would assume that as more people catch it the rate of transmission will drop off as increasing numbers of people are now immune.

    The other problem we have is a lack of data… or data that is meaningless See the counter created by John Hopkins…

  3. I’ve been trying to follow the data, see what it suggests & I’m not sure you can make any really meaningful observations. Confirmed cases are more a reflection of how much testing you can do than infection rates. In the U.S. they admitted that anyone who dies with the virus is counted as if they died from the virus (so if in your last days of dying from pancreatic cancer you get exposed to Kung Flu, chalk another one up).
    I have to wonder if the data eventually suggests the shutdown was unnecessary if that’ll get buried.

  4. But this does not mean he is wrong, perhaps the lockdown measures delay transmission to lengthen the peak, or even cause more than one peak?

    He said: “…because the disease is self-limiting, and largely vanishes after 70 days, with or without any interventions.”

    The first UK confirmed-by-test cases were the end of January. We are well past 70 days. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is far from largely vanished. I’d love it if he was right, but he just ain’t.

  5. The data collected by the ZOE app suggests that numbers are declining.

    https://covid.joinzoe.com/data

    The latest estimate for my area is 1% of people have symptomatic covid19 estimated from 4996 app users. Their latest estimate for the country as a whole is 399,281 – a dramatic reduction from even a week ago 571,800

  6. yes, if it was a.lowed to progress unhindered then it would eventually burn out for lack of “fuel”, as immunity reduced the potential cases. The issue was, however, the human cost of doing this as believed at the time – 2 to 4%. No government, even a totalitarian one as in China, could survive that, so you can hardly blame Western ones.

  7. yes, if it was a.lowed to progress unhindered then it would eventually burn out…

    That’s for sure, but that’s not what Prof Isaac Ben-Israel is saying. He says it will follow a set course with or without any interventions.

    This is clearly not the case. He’s wrong.

  8. PJF

    “because the disease is self-limiting, and largely vanishes after 70 days, with or without any interventions.”

    He’s wrong anyway. Because, if that’s the case, we have to start from October or November, when it first arrived in humans. Hence, it can’t mean that?

    Continuing, the 70 days clearly isn’t going to respect “national” boundaries (he mentions “countries” in the article, but that’s clearly meaningless). Hence, does his 70 days relate to something different, and if so, what?

    So, perhaps his explanation is more useful within small pockets of outbreaks where it hits natural boundaries / limits of spread. But which might suggest that, within that natural small pocket, people are not continuing to catch it long before it gets to anything like a significant % spread. Could that mean that many more people are naturally immune to it? I’m speculating, attempting to follow any reasonable logic of his observations.

  9. I’m speculating, attempting to follow any reasonable logic of his observations.

    It probably also makes a difference if the professor was speaking in English or Hebrew. If the latter, we’re picking over the nuances of a translation probably dashed off by a journalist, and we know how accurate they always are.

  10. https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/04/23/andrew-cuomo-13-9-new-yorkers-tested-positive-coronavirus-antibodies-21-nyc/

    21% of NYC people have CV-19 antibodies, based on tests of people sampled at big box stores (there could be some sample bias there). That means 1.75 million people have been exposed to it.

    https://news.yahoo.com/stanford-study-coronavirus-exposure-far-180622931.html

    ‘the actual number of COVID-19 infected persons in Santa Clara County was 50 to 85 times more than the official count’

    It is becoming ubiquitous. I expected the end would come when we have effective treatment. It may come when most everybody has already been exposed.

  11. Bloke in North Dorset

    That Santa Clara study had a lot of biases in it and a lack of controls. One of the biggest problem was that it was set up in such a way that those who thought they’d had it were getting a free test, so were incentivised to volunteer and take their families with them.

  12. Rob–I can blame western govts –for not having the gumption to realise shutting down the world economy =disaster. They could have protected the vulnerable and let the rest rip.

  13. @estaban
    “I have to wonder if the data eventually suggests the shutdown was unnecessary if that’ll get buried.”
    Bank on it, laddie. Bank on it!

  14. I’m not particularly defending this Israeli prof, but we should be careful about how we take a few soundbites and criticise with limited context.

    The virus does actually decay quite quickly once it has peaked in a certain locale. But in a larger territory it has opportunities to spread to new, as-yet uninfected locales. Superimpose a number of up-and-down epicurves with slight delays and you get a much slower up-and-down curve or even a plateau.

    So you have to be careful what scale you are talking about. Comparing e.g. an Israel model to the U.K. makes no sense without adjustment; Israel’s population is about the size of London. Just compare the national deaths curve to London in the linked article. A far, far steeper decline.

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-51768274

    I do question if the lockdowns were really a proportionate measure. But then I also am very aware that the uncertainty around key variables was very high when the decisions were taken, it could easily have been worse. So don’t blame anyone for making bad decisions, only for sticking with them as the evidence changes.

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