It’s only one study and all that

At the time of the study, Santa Clara county had 1,094 confirmed cases of Covid-19, resulting in 50 deaths. But based on the rate of people who have antibodies, it is likely that between 48,000 and 81,000 people had been infected in Santa Clara county by early April – a number approximately 50 to 80 times higher.

That also means coronavirus is potentially much less deadly to the overall population than initially thought. As of Tuesday, the US’s coronavirus death rate was 4.1% and Stanford researchers said their findings show a death rate of just 0.12% to 0.2%.

But that’s rather lower than the reported – and there will always be missed infections, of course – death rate of regular ‘flu. If true then we face the obvious question, we killed the economy for this?

27 thoughts on “It’s only one study and all that”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    A similar study in Germany came in at 0.37%.

    The overall infection rate (current infection or already gone through) was approximately 15%. The mortality rate (case fatality rate) based on the total number of infected people in the community of Gangelt is approx. 0.37% with the preliminary data from this study. The lethality currently calculated by the Johns-Hopkins University in Germany is 1.98% and is 5 times higher. The mortality rate based on the total population in Gangelt is currently 0.06%

  2. I realise that, initially, testing was a problem, but until some measure of the incidence of the virus in the population at large could be ascertained any statistical inferences re mortality were merely pissing into the wind. Should it turn out that the actual rate is (per Gangelt) 0.06%, Fergusson’s initial estimate of 500,000 deaths would have required the UK to have a population of something like 835 million – and could then have been seen for the arrant nonsense that it actually is.

  3. It is miles behind Hong Kong Flu 1968.

    And Blojo and the gang are in BIG trouble.

    So are we all but they carry the can. Their only defence is that ALL 650 idiots were equally stupid and hysterical and ZaNu wanted even more hysteria. But the danger is the MSM will try to hide that under a blanket of silence while the left go back to their orig ” CCPvirus is no big deal” statements. The intervening month of leftist freakout and “Boris you’ve killed 10000” etc will be covered up.

    Given how that same media has stoked the freak out that might not be possible–Piers O’Meara is a big noisy idiot to cover up or ignore.

    But we should not under-estimate the masses willingness to put blame anywhere except on their own shoulders.

  4. And where the fuck is “sicknote” Johnson anyway? I really can’t believe he’s too unwell to he propped up in front of a camera for a quick “keep calm and carry on” speech.

  5. Bloke in North Dorset

    It is miles behind Hong Kong Flu 1968.

    Another meaningless comparison, we didn’t do any social distancing then.

  6. Wouldn’t make any difference Roue.

    “Keep calm and the fucking lockdown ends at Midnight” is the only thing Blojo could say that might bring any sort of hope.

    And they are too full of stubborn “we aren’t going to look weak” bullshit for that. They are “disciplined” and will march over the cliff–King Christophe style- all in step with the band playing and the Flags of Fuckwittery raised proudly on high.

  7. Bloke in North Dorset

    Perhaps that Sanata Clara study isn’t all that useful:

    So, the major reasons why I remain skeptical:
    – Unstable population weighting
    – Wide bounds after adjusting for clustering
    – Is test specificity really that high?
    – Unavoidable potential for consent bias
    – Is this consistent with other emerging serosurvey data?
    Fin 10/10

    Addendum: Folks commenting that people self-selected into the survey because they had been sick and wanted confirmation. Agreed, this is what I meant by “consent bias.” This is expected w/ volunteer studies. How to adjust/avoid it? Household samples are great but take longer.

    She seems to know what she’s talking about:

    Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at
    specializing in emerging infectious diseases and vaccine study design.

    Nice looking lass as well.

  8. BlokeInTejasInNormandy

    The reality is that there are a whole bunch of pointers pointing in wildly different directions.

    – lots of cases in NY State (230K reported), and lots of deaths (17K). That’s about 7% of reported cases dying
    – in NYC, 130K cases and 9k deaths. That’s also about 7%
    – the German study in the town of Gangelt, found that 2% of a sample of 1000 currently had COVID19, and about 14% tested positive for antibodies to COVID19. Using further data from mortality in Gangelt (ie those who’d actually died), the team from Bonn University estimated case fatality rate of 0.37%

    …That’s about 20x less.

    Obviously, there’s something wildly amiss here. Perhaps there were 20x the number of cases in New York and they never went to get tested. Population of NYC is getting on for 9 million, so the reported cases are only 1.4% of the population. 20x 1.4 is, however, getting up there, eh?

    Perhaps the fine citizens of NYC are in significantly worse health than Gangelt? Hard to tell. Perhaps NYC hospitals did the wrong thing? Hard to tell.

    ..for perspective, there’s some criticism of the Gangelt study – less detailed than the C case, but still:

    And you *could* add into the mix the results from Didier Raoult (Dr chloroquin) whose latest unpublished results suggest 5-10 deaths per treated by him COVID 19 patients as simply saying, yeah, there are 5-10 deaths per thousand from COVID 19 (on the basis that others haven’t found the treatment effective.


    Need a BIG study – – 50K or so.

  9. “The number of cases of predicted symptomatic COVID has fallen from 2 million to 582,640 in just over two weeks (01 April to 15 April) according to the latest data from the new COVID Symptom Tracker app”

    Their map shows that the rate of infection is under 2% in most of the UK

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    Bollocks to SD BiND. Rather the whole point of Tim’s piece that.

    I wasn’t commenting on whether SD was a good or bad thing, I was pointing out we didn’t do it for HK flu, so comparisons with the spread of C19 are meaningless.

  11. I think you’re wrong, Mr Ecks. I think BoJo has played a blinder. He’s nuked the country from orbit, wrapped the bomb in an NHS flag, and the Great British People live him for it. He has thus made them complicit in the decision.

  12. ‘And Blojo and the gang are in BIG trouble.’

    Nah. They followed the “science.” They’ve got some college boys to hide behind. Politicians are blameless. And “scientists” are never held accountable*.

    The problem is, as BiTiN shows, we still don’t know.

    *If the destruction of tens of trillions of dollars of wealth and and the vast contraction of the global economy was a mistake, U of Washington/IHME principals will not be executed. They will go on about their business. AND, they will be called on again in a few years to give their prognostication on the next pandemic, AS IF THE DESTRUCTION THEY CAUSED NEVER HAPPENED. Not only will they not be punished, they’ll be relied on again.

  13. I think BoJo has played a blinder. He’s nuked the country from orbit, wrapped the bomb in an NHS flag, and the Great British People live him for it. He has thus made them complicit in the decision.

    If he uses the wreckage of the economy as a reason to permanently ditch reams of red tape regulations “to get everything moving again”, then we might still come out ahead. I’ve seen it suggested that he’s aiming for (not just falling back on) a WTO trading arrangement with the EU for just this reason, so there is a glimmer of hope.

  14. Gamecock/Mr Lud–no job/business and fears as to how to feed and provide a life for your kids are not conducive to placid emotions and wry smiles about how “crafty” Johnson might have been.

    100% agree the new Project Fear ( this time with extra-added actual fear of death–which no one believed re Brexit) got the mob going.

    But the equation is:– Pain/Fear=Rage=Find someone to blame who isn’t me/us. Regardless of what part I/we might have played in my/our own downfall.

    I don’t think Bloj can manage to get around that. Success has many authors as they say but failure/ defeat–let alone disaster–is an orphan.

    One that is shortly to be fostered on Blojo. Even his own Cabinet are likely planning it as we speak. If Johnson is not back on the job by, say… next Wednesday and moving faster than The Flash to end the lockdown and sort this clusterfuck I reckon he is finished.

    I have always believed the CCP virus hysteria was bullshit. I am less confident in my Bloj prediction. Possibly because it is undermined by the fact that, idiot tho’ he is, I don’t want him gone–to be replaced by what can only be a worse idiot.

  15. BiW–I hope you are right–but I see nothing about this mess that looks that hopeful. Or about Blojo that looks that clever.

  16. I was pointing out we didn’t do it [SD] for HK flu, so comparisons with the spread of C19 are meaningless.

    We are, unfortunately for knowledge, at a point where we cannot know how dangerous COVID-19 inherently is. We don’t know if it would have peaked where it has naturally or whether it has done so as a result of measures taken.

    The pattern of COVID-19 spread / deaths before lockdowns indicates that it isn’t the once-in-a-century mass killer we have been fearing.

  17. “I don’t think Bloj can manage to get around that.”

    I think he can. Boris’ plea that he followed the “science” will be perfectly acceptable to the public.

  18. The blame lies with those who believed the Imperial prophesy. Early days, the CCP released the genome read but lied about all the other figures, predictably.
    So Ferguson used data and formulae he’d plucked out of the usual place, his arse.
    Hence a figure to frighten the pols with pictures of people dying in hospital corridors. In the full text probably hedged about with error boundaries to cover his arse, but no politician read past the first page.

  19. A normal immune response is to mobiiise / create antibodies to fight off the infection. Once the foreign invasion is defeated the antibodies are stood down / de.mobbed and may be present in concentrations too low for an antibody test to reliably detect.
    So reported figures for anti bodies / natural resistance should be considered the lower bound.

  20. Boris’ plea that he followed the “science” will be perfectly acceptable to the public.

    Agreed. We have useless politicians because we have a useless public.

    You can put the British under house arrest and destroy their livelihoods whilst 15,000 people a day land at the airports with no tests and no quarantine, and they’ll accept it. But if someone doesn’t go out and clap the NHS they’ll suffer.

    The British are pretty resilient against foreign aggression but for our own lords and masters we are happily whipped dogs.

  21. Gamecock/Mr Lud/PJF–Normally I’d agree but there are thresholds of offence.

    Someone hassling you in the street and saying nasty things is one thing. Prob not worth the hassle of a fight. But someone trying to punch one of your kids is mostly something else. The damage done by this CCPvirus will be huge and it will hit right at families etc.

    As for incoming flights and illegal boat-pukers. Well the issue here is WHAT to do? You could put a selection of bats and pick-axe handles in your car and set off for the ports /airports–but that is not a very effective strategy. A Party giving expression to our wishes in these spheres would be FAR better–but the candidates are all presently disorganised likely because most of us have been fat and sleek and didn’t want to rock the boat.Massive downgrades in lifestyle are just the thing to change that.

    Now lots will be VERY uncomfortable and VERY angry. Things will happen that otherwise would not have.

    I said before that what keeps people from causing trouble is having something to lose –a job, a place in society or a cherished life situation. That is why the Plod tries to cost you your job or occ licence if you have more than a casual run-in with them If the fucking state have already ruined things for you–the incentive to behave is much less.

    Remember the Black Death lead to the Peasant’s Revolt. They lost the actual fight by poor tactics derived from being dumb. But it changed things forever.

  22. ‘But that’s rather lower than the reported – and there will always be missed infections, of course – death rate of regular ‘flu. If true then we face the obvious question, we killed the economy for this?’

    Quantification is still unknown.

    I saw a doctor today. Used to be my next door neighbor. He was helping the guy who bought his house with cleaning some filters.

    He said he is working 4 hour days. The medical profession is almost shut down. Supplies are a big problem.

    He said he has talked with a doctor friend who works ICU in NYC. The ICU doc said this stuff is really bad. More virulent than the flu, and deadly for some people.

    My doc friend said that South Carolina is doing better than other states with infection rate because most people live in houses, not apartments. Lots of people sharing the same elevator in cities has its problems.

    My golf club is opening back up next month. Don’t know what’s changed. They said they were closing for the protection of their employees. I assume no money for a month showed them that the money is more important than their employees. Most courses around here have remained open. We’ve had some fun playing places we haven’t played in years. You don’t shop price in a pandemic, you shop availability. We’ve paid more, but enjoyed it.

    Maybe my club realized they were just being stupid. But my doctor friend said to be very scared of this stuff.

    So maybe in a few years, we’ll know the real deal.

  23. @BlokeInTejasInNormandy

    NY has a lot of Blacks & Hispanics, Gangelt doesn’t

    ~80-90% of NHS staff CV deaths are non-white

    CV19 is racist, misandrist and ageist

    Like Ecks, I have always believed the CCP virus hysteria was bullshit

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