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A BIT LIKE FLU THEN

By Pete Moore On August 8th, 2020

Spain has released its latest figures on the Chinese epidemic. Professor Carl Heneghan (his lengthy bona fides are here and here), estimates an infection fatality rate of 0.1%.

A bit like flu then.

We’ve trashed our economies, loaded the young with mountainous debt, wrought an epidemic of mental illnesses, allowed tens, maybe hundreds of thousands to die in the long run from non-Covid conditions, and wrecked the educations of hundreds of thousands of you people.

For something like the flu.

The general lockdown orders are the most catastrophic and ruinous peacetime decisions since Western countries adopted policies of mass immigration from backward societies.

6 Responses to “A BIT LIKE FLU THEN”

  1. Pete is here being ignorant rather than dishonest, for a change.

    Professor Heneghan is describing a technical epidemiological term called the infection fatality ratio (or rate), which is not the same thing as the crude ‘fatality’ percentage for flu. Apples and pears.

    As a twitter commenter points out, the implication of that very early estimate, given the number of Covid deaths, is that 84% of the UK population has been infected, which is just not plausible.

    Anybody still parroting the alt right “it’s just (something like) the Flu” line is a fool, in my view. Notably, Professor Heneghan is not one of them, a fact which Pete did not have room to include.

  2. We’ve trashed our economies, loaded the young with mountainous debt, wrought an epidemic of mental illnesses, allowed tens, maybe hundreds of thousands to die in the long run from non-Covid conditions, and wrecked the educations of hundreds of thousands of you people.

    Fair comment Pete.

    The general lockdown orders are the most catastrophic and ruinous peacetime decisions…

    Maybe, but the alternative to lockdown in mid-March was an overwhelmed NHS with thousands of patients dying in hotel corridors and car-parks. The UK has suffered about 50,000 deaths from this disease and at least another 50,000 have died already or will die as a result of the NHS shut-down. But without a lockdown in March the immediate death toll would have been much higher.

    However, there can be no second lockdown. We need to fight a lot smarter if there is a second wave in the autumn. The privatised test and trace system shows every sign of being yet another epic Johnson shambles and there is not much time left to get it sorted.

  3. “estimates an infection fatality rate of 0.1%.”

    “We’ve trashed our economies, loaded the young with mountainous debt, wrought an epidemic of mental illnesses, allowed tens, maybe hundreds of thousands to die in the long run from non-Covid conditions, and wrecked the educations of hundreds of thousands of you people.”

    Let’s see, how does it go, ah yes: “Supposition and guesswork”.

    Some people (“intellectuals with models”), are able to evaluate claims about numbers of deaths caused by lockdown, effects on mental health and education and the economy, and all the rest, but people who have consistently derided all the scientific ways of knowing such things as “guesswork” need to STFU. As far as they are concerned any number is as good as any other. For you it’s possible that the lockdown has improved mental health and education. Since you have no scientific model of how anything works, you haven’t a clue. As far as you’re concerned anybody who dies “as a result of lockdown” may have died anyway, or died of a gypsy curse. You lack the tools to disentangle the economic effects of the disease itself from those of the lockdown. Who knows, after all. Well, intellectuals with models know – but you can sit down.

    Meanwhile, just yesterday the largest seroprevalence study yet done anywhere puts the IFR in Spain at about 1%, confirming earlier studies based on models: https://twitter.com/c_althaus/status/1292190165583179778?s=21 – numbers like 0.6% to 1% keep coming up. The IFR also varies by time and place and of course the IFR was not known at the time the lockdown decision was made in any case and they are still trying to work it out. We do know the IFR would have been considerably worse if healthcare had been overwhelmed.

    So, nothing like the flu, which hasn’t threatened to overwhelm the health service and for which we have vaccination.

    Heneghan has got it wrong before, too, most recently about 6 days ago: https://twitter.com/chrischirp/status/1290286773533388801?s=21

    (The CFR number is not from Heneghan anyway it seems to be from some random dude who took up epidemiology as a hobby 5 minutes ago, doing charts based on Spanish gov data)

    As for “mass immigration from backward societies”, by your logic the fatality rate from this is negligible so fuck it.

    Other than that, great points.

  4. All of us can see for ourselves that people aren’t dying in masses, nor are any friends, relatives, colleagues etc dying even at all. Nobody here has lost anybody BECAUSE OF Covid and nobody that I know has neither died nor lost anybody close. As we know, those who have died are mainly over-80 which, in Scotland and Italy is greater than the national life expectancy. The chance of youngsters dying BECAUSE OF Covid is less than the chance of being hit by lightning, and the chance of anybody less than 60 dying BECAUSE OF Covid is less than that of being in an automobile accident. Indeed, the disease is so serious (I’m just kidding) that the only way people know that they have it is to be pronounced positive from a very, very dodgy test.

    On that test, the nasal swabs being used (called nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal) are incredibly long (around 6 inches or 15 cm) which means they reach to the very back of our throats. Is there any medical reason why the swabs must be this length? After all, the entire respiratory tract must be affected by the pathogen otherwise none would be transmissible, so one could blow one’s nose onto the test swab for a sample to be obtained.

  5. A bit like flu then.

    According to the UK’s government (NB -the political parties are just the facade), it’s a bit less than flu……

    https://web.archive.org/web/20200323233816/https://www.gov.uk/guidance/high-consequence-infectious-diseases-hcid

    As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK.

    The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which continues to increase.

    The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) is also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID.

    That’s clear enough – but what is an HCID and examples?

    In the UK, a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) is defined according to the following criteria:

    acute infectious disease
    typically has a high case-fatality rate
    may not have effective prophylaxis or treatment
    often difficult to recognise and detect rapidly
    ability to spread in the community and within healthcare settings
    requires an enhanced individual, population and system response to ensure it is managed effectively, efficiently and safely

    and examples include…….

    Avian influenza A H7N9 and H5N1, Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) , Avian influenza A H5N6 and H7N7, Ebola virus disease (EVD), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)

    The UK has had cases of these diseases on its territory and has never attempted to shut down the economy nor impose restrictions, coercions nor compulsions on the population

  6. Oh I see Allan has added dementia to his long list of mental ailments.

    He has apparently forgotten that he was making exactly the same claim about HCIDs back in March. It was bollocks then, and it’s bollocks now. As Frank pointed out, ‘almost everything that is dangerous is not an HCID’.