I present a Corona-Context graph. Plus corresponding data.
We see Wuhan-Corona (the right-most upswing) in the context of the past ninety years. We can now say on firm/near-final data for 2020 that there is really nothing to be particularly alarmed about — unless you are constantly alarmed.
There are a lot of lessons here, and they go some way towards giving fuel to the investigative fires of how the destructive Panic could have happened.
On the graph:
Expected: Deaths in 2020 in Sweden as a percentage of the population were expected to be 0.89% (the dotted orange line on graphs).
Actual: The year 2020, soon finishing, will end at either 0.92% or 0.93%, for an excess death range of +0.03% or +0.04% over the expected level (0.89%).
(This excess is entirely drawn from those above age 75. A calculation of the net-loss in “expected quality-life-years” associated with the Wuhan-Corona flu wave rounds to -0.00%, which means you’d have to go to the thousandths place to measure it at all — it looks likely to be as low as -0.001%; this post will leave aside this important point, but a deeper age- and condition-adjusted analysis might show Wuhan-Corona as among the milder of the distinct flu waves of our time.)
You see that 2020 shows a clear “spike.” Around half of the 2020 spike’s magnitude is itself an upward correction to the unusually mild 2019 (which was around -0.02% below the long-running baseline). (Note the worst flu year of the 2010s, 2012, was preceded by two modestly below-baseline years in 2010 and 2011.)
(Note also in the graph how the [quickly-forgotten] Swine Flu of 2009 does not show up at all in full-year mortality — the vaccination racket associated with it is another story. I doubt many gave much of any thought in the entirety of the 2010s to the 2009 Swine Flu Panic, but it was a clear harbinger of the madness of 2020. It’s funny what cycles complete themselves. Clearly there were deeper forces at work that allowed the Panic Pandemic.)
The most important finding, one which I first noticed and wrote about in April in May, is that we have firm evidence that Wuhan-Corona is an ordinary flu wave, of the kind all living adults have lived through and never noticed.
Here are all the severe flu years for 1930 to 2020. A ninety year old has lived through about twenty flu waves approximately equivalent to Wuhan-Corona. This is going to be the same in other countries.
Wuhan-Corona’s “+0.04%” is the realistic worst-case now. As of this writing at the end of November, the final ‘hit’ looks somewhat more likely to round to +0.03% than +0.04%; +0.04% is still possible but is looking on the “generous” side. +0.05% now looks very unlikely; late-2020 deaths would have to spike up to April levels to approach +0.05%.
This is all an exercise in number crunching. One might say, “What’s the difference if it’s +0.03% or +0.04% or even +0.05%, all drawn from over-75s? Those are trivial losses not justifying panic or lockdowns.” That is a valid opinion, but the exact final magnitude of Wuhan-Corona 2020 in the context of flu waves of (more-or-less) living memory is the purpose here.
Wuhan-Corona as Classic, ‘Ordinary’ Severe Flu Wave: No Surprise; “Called” on available data by the Anti-Panic side since April
It must be said, the data pointed this way (Wuhan-Corona are nothing to be alarmed about, NOT historically unprecedented) all along. The contextualized data pointing towards the anti-Panic position has been central to the anti-Panic side’s core argument; it is certainly the main reason I joined the anti-Panic side by mid-March, after leaning anti-Panic before that.
Versions of graphs that I’ve made here have appeared since April, but never, I think, exactly like this one and the accompanying dataset.
This effort, a graphing effort and identifying flu-spike years and comparing them to Wuhan-Corona in a coherent way (deaths as a % of population above recent baseline/trendline, i.e., “expected deaths”) is a continuation of a form of analysis I first proposed on these pages in April and May [see Part XI; May 10]. We were, by then, able to see the full scope of the Wuhan-Corona flu wave in Sweden. The estimates which were able to be made by that time have held up. Included in the title for Part XI was the argument that Sweden was set to lose “0.02% of the population,” which refers to deaths above the level expectable in 2020 (+0.02%) given the highly mild 2019 (-0.02%). If 2020 finishes at +0.04%, as it may well, that’s +0.02% above the expected level.
We are proud to say we were right in not only general terms but quite specific term, “called it” apparently correct even to hundredths place (!) back in May. This was not magic or psychic ability. It was simple data analysis observing the shape of the epidemic curves, really mundane work. And the rough outlines were already seen by late March, i.e., all along, as argued in the Wittkowski paper of March 30 and scattered anti-Panic alarm-sounding by many experts throughout March and April.
We were right. But we well remember that positions were hardened already by April. Commenters and writers at the Unz Review and its blogs including the Steve Sailer blog (distinguished for a particularly intelligent commentariat) were divided into two camps with the anti-Panic side predominant, but no data analysis seemed to budge positions of the other side in the first few months of the Panic. What caused this hardening of positions?
Flu waves that cause bumps amounting to a death rate of +0.03% of population occur about once every six years since the 1970s and Wuhan-Corona is one
Another look at the graph and the identification of the peak flu years shows the approximately Wuhan-Corona-level yearly excess has occurred nineteen times since 1930 (Wuhan-Corona the nineteenth). This means that someone who turned ninety years old in 2020 lived through this kind of flu wave about once every three years in his youth and adolescence (1930s-40s), once every four years in his early adulthood (1950s-60s), once every six years in his later working-age adulthood (1970s-90s), and about once every seven years in his retirement age (2000s-2020). With the 2010s mostly quite mild, one was due about now anyway.
Like volcanic eruptions, that they are coming in some approximate timeframe is predictable and unsurprising, but precisely dating them is impossible. That they occur is no cause for alarm.
But flu waves are not necessarily always just random and regular occurrences and are definitely exacerbated by prevailing conditions or disruptions. For example, in the past during famine years, we would expect flu spikes given that people are so weakened by a lack of food. As such, brief look at the 1940s flu waves is instructive.
Flu Waves of the 1930s and 1940s vs. Wuhan-Corona 2020
Sweden was not a combatant in the 1939-45 war in Europe, no battles were fought on its soil, no bombs dropped on its cities and towns, and yet they appear to have been hit by the war’s broad disruptive power anyway. Life is complex and fragile.
If we say the 1944-45-47 death spikes are attributable to war-related disruptions (of a highly complex nature; society does not like disruptions even among neighbors), that means +0.17% of population was “lost to WWII” in Sweden. That is around 5x the final hit from Wuhan-Corona (maybe 10x or 15x when adjusting for expected-life-years). The same magnitude for the three distinct flu waves of the 1930s, associated with the Great Depression, which carried obvious social-economic disruptive power.
World economic and other conditions are highly important towards mortality. This is obvious but it is a form of thinking that almost overnight went out of fashion in March 2020 when Lockdown-ism took hold. Many Western countries have seen alarming numbers of Lockdown-induced deaths. This was all predictable. Bad things happen when you overturn the apple cart of social stability.
The “1968 Pandemic” vs. Wuhan-Corona 2020
A respiratory virus pandemic first identified in Hong Kong about mid-1968 came to be called the Hong Kong Flu. I think it first began to hit Sweden in late 1968 and went into 1969, about the same timeframe or a little later than it began to spread in the USA.
The 1968-69 wave (+0.07% over two years) looks to be twice as strong as Wuhan-Corona (+0.03% or +0.04% for 2020) as measured here.
Now, 1968-69 is good point of comparison given that no one paid attention to the 1968-69 pandemic. It caused no lockdowns or really anyone to change any behavior. If 1968-69 was so minor as to be ignored at the time and not remembered at all by those who “lived through it,” why would we the people of 2020 cross the Panic-Rubicon for something half as strong?
This is going to look embarrassing with a few years’ perspective.
The numbers week by week. The percentages in bold are the total percent of population living January 1 that died by December 31 of that year. This data forms the basis of the above graphs:
I made the graphs in this post on the Nov. 20 update; the table is updated with near-finalized Week 45 data (by this point, straggler data will not make Week 45 rise much above +1% or +2% of the reported total). The final seven weeks of the year remain. We have a good idea of what to expect given the ICU hospitalization rate in November, and it will not exceed levels seen towards the tail-end of the March-to-May spike.
Either “Sweden Was Right” to not engage in any shutdowns and the pro-Panic coalition was disastrously wrong, – OR – we should have been doing shutdowns about once every six years, approximately forever.
A few more words explaining the trends in this graph:
(1) The death rate’s long-term decline from the 1930s to the 1950s is associated with improved medicine.
(2) The death rate’s steady rise beginning in the 1960s is due to an aging society. Deviation from the long-range trends represents either bad years or mild years. (The little spikes you see are flu waves. There are many, and 2020 is one.)
(3) The downtrend, especially pronounced in the 2010s, is due to:
- (a.) smaller birth cohorts in the late 1920s to mid-1940s (comparatively fewer old people), and
- (b.) the migrant policy of bringing in younger-age-range people as refugees who, given their age-profile, are less likely to die in near term and push down the total death rate.
Wuhan-Corona in 2020 puts deaths clearly above the baseline/trendline, but the longer graph is needed for historical context. Flu waves of this exact same magnitude are surprisingly regular. Given the intense focus on Wuhan-Corona in 2020 and its continued “politicization,” this still bears stressing. It is a point that needs to be made again and again. There is nothing unusual here. You have lived through these flu waves regularly with no crazy Lockdowns or even awareness they were going on.
A glance back at how wrong the pro-Panic side was in March/April
One more thing needs to be said: The wild but influential doom-predictions of March, from Niall Ferguson and other influential alarmists and their powerful backers, would have put total deaths in Sweden in the range of 2.0% of total population dying in 2020, something over +1.0% over the expected level (0.89%), including direct virus deaths and those much-hyped-but-seldom-seen “swamped hospital” deaths.
Some of the low-info Panic pushers and media coverage suggested death rates even higher, implying 3.0%, even 4.0% of the total population could die, instead of the expected 0.89%, so a +3.0% was likely unless we embraced hardline Lockdownism.
Given that the actual, observed, full, final impact of Wuhan-Corona is now in sight and it is either going to round to +0.03% or +0.04% for full-year 2020, the extremists/alarmists’ predictions (deaths at +1.0% to +3.0% of population over “normal”) were 25x to 100x too high.
One can find headlines abounding in March and April 2020 in which the pro-Panic side argued that Panic is Good — in this one case at least.
Finally, we can understand why good people fell for the Panic, and why many continue to be under its religion-like spell.
Even this “+0.04%” deaths figure in one year, it may seem trivial if expressed as a percentage, as I have here, but it may also seem scary if presented as a raw number without context. It will certainly seem scary if drumbeat by alarmists in power. If scenes of frantic people hazmat suits and hospitals are bombarded at people (wartime-like propaganda). If governments engage in crazy lockdowns (the manufacture of a crisis) partly as a power-play, often successful. But +0.04% is normal for a severe flu wave.
Good afternoon, Mr. Hail. I’ve been checking almost daily, and it’s great to see you’re (and your) writing again! You answered one of my question already in some of your analysis. I was wondering about the death rate going slowly upwards due to Swedes being older and older on average. (It wouldn’t be a sharp break but could still be in the numbers.) I also wondered about those “migrants” that happen to live in Sweden in large enough numbers to affect the data too, in the other direction.
I am very glad you took another, and wider-view, look at Sweden again, particularly because Steve Sailer* and some commenters on his blog have been telling us that Sweden is in for it now, and they are deciding they’d better change policy toward more Totalitarian LOCKDOWN crap. This is good perspective for somewhat like me whose common sense just says not to even care that much, about the disease itself, that is. I guess I’m one of those guys that don’t get alarmed very easily by the infotainment.
* I know you’ve quit commenting there, but I didn’t know if you’ve quit reading too. If that’s the case, I’ll just update you that Mr. Sailer is happy about, and has been touting, the new vaccines – nothing wrong with that, of course. Otherwise, he’s mostly laid off the topic of this Kung Flu, yet I’m pretty sure he still doesn’t see the massive economic damage and loss of liberty for what they are.
Greetings, Mr. Newman! Good to hear from you.
I expanded this post somewhat to include more thoughts, with one mention of the Unz Review and Sailer commentariat specifically you may be interested in or have thoughts on.
Why did a hardline, pro-Panic element among this group of intelligent observers generally willing to take unpopular or “non-PC” positions, turn towards the alarmist position they did? I don’t know how many of those ever turned from the full-on pro-Panic camp to the anti-Panic camp, but it’s true many stopped talking about it much. (What’s funny is they started talking about things that were largely “follow-ons” from the Corona-Panic, its outward ripples of disruption: The mid-year protests/riots by people bored and frustrated by Lockdowns; the Trump/Biden mail-in ballot firehose election).
The outlines of the points in this post were visible by April, during the roughly peak-Panic period. We tried to make these points then, but the pro-Panic hardliners always had a way of passing the buck. Doom around the corner! No. It never came.
I have a timestamped and google-archive dateable prediction published here May 10 that based on nothing more than then-available data, that Sweden’s total deaths for 2020 would be 0.93%, which now looks likely to be exactly right. We’ll see in a few weeks.
By the way, not only did doom never come, but t he period mid-July to mid-October had (as expected) a consistently below-average mortality in Sweden. The lowest mortality in decades for many of those week. Meaning many of those who died in the late-March-to-May spike would have died within a few months anyway, which of course we’ve been saying all along. All our predictions have now been borne out. What would be enough evidence to get a pro-Panic hardliner down from the cliff’s edge?
OK, Mr. Hail, I see your paragraph with the mention of unz, Sailer, and the commenters. Also, I went to the thread you’d linked to (from your last post re: Belarus) and saw those most recent comments. Thanks for the great explanations and for laying out the figures for the rest of us.
As far as the actual political situation in Sweden regarding any proposed Totalitarian action, I would like to hear also from Mr. Gregg Anderson here. I know you can’t just up and visit, Gregg, but do you have people there you can ask about it, who will give honest and non-hysterical opinions, that is?
The word I get is…mostly normal. Everyone in Sweden going about their business- going to work , going to school, or if you’re one of the “New Swedes”, going to the welfare office or to the local riot/ crime spree/carbeque. Very little kowtow cloth wearing, and the Swedish Elite league is playing games, although not allowing spectators- the main clubs like Djurgården and Frölunda usually draw NHL-like crowds. Dunno when spectators will be allowed. The Churches are empty, but they were before the panic!
What frightens me is how many smart people are Branch Covidians- I haven’t been back to Greg Cochran’s site since the panic began- he was predicting 7 billion deaths or something, and I don’t care to check to see if he’s still in panic mode. As you say, Mr. Newman, our friend Sailer has backed off on the panic. I had an email conversation with an old friend- smart guy, lawyer, and he’s pretty much convinced we are dealing with the Black Plague. Lots like him, I fear. I think, Mr. Hail, your point about “Corona as Religion” still holds.
For those who may see this, here’s the link:
Is Corona a religious cult? An anthropological study (May 18, 2020).
It was a drawn-out exploratory essay on a theme I had been identifying since early April. In the six months since, I’ve subsequently noticed many making the same observation in the same terms, but in April and May it was still a novel idea. (In retrospect, it seems obvious, at least to those on this side of the Panic divide.)
I couldn’t reply directly to Mr. Hail’s comment that is in reply to yours – I think because the comment would be too narrow(?) Anyway regarding the PanicFest as a religion, I’ll let you all know that I just happened to check out Ann Barnhardt’s site. It’s a once or twice a year thing, as she IS a little out there.
She’s got a pretty good post that is in agreement with the Panickers as a religious cult. If this link to the article doesn’t work, I’ll try, try again.
Ann is a character, to put it mildly. I first came upon her work when she had a somewhat viral video of herself burning pages of the Koran. The specific pages were marked with bacon bookmarks, hahahaa! Then she called Lindsey Graham a jacka_s numerous times, which is not only correct, but you just don’t hear that insult enough these days. Ann doesn’t mince words.
On the supposed November 2020 “Lockdowns” in Sweden, see a comment exchange on the previous post.
(Rule One of Corona-Panic reporting is treat all reports with suspicion; the report of a Panic-regime-style Lockdown in Sweden is untrue.)
The vaccines are unnecessary for anyone under age 65 or so, and carry the small risk of collateral damage.
The Swine Flu “pandemic” washout of 2009 had a similarly fast-tracked vaccine, highly encouraged in some places. I think one reason Sweden took such an outlier position in 2020 is their government went all-in for the Swine Flu vaccine, including for children, which appears to have caused brain damage in hundreds (statistical evidence for having caused) hundreds of cases of varying degrees of brain damage especially in children.
I would love to agree with that, but I just can’t, Mr. Hail. I think the way this will go is that we will be told every year or two “OK, new LOCKDOWN! This one’s only for 2 months, so cheerio!”, and face masks may stay forever in certain venues/locations.
What we will hear and read 5 years from now is “Can you believe those people?! Only 6 years back, people went everywhere without masks on and did business like there wasn’t a care in the world, even with one of the big ones going around. Bloomin’ idiots! My, how we have advanced!”
I sure do hope the future you describe does not happen. It’d be a major sign that the West is frankly too spiritually enfeebled to continue. Living in terror of a flu virus of the kind every adult has lived through once every few years is the sign something is really wrong.
I’m with Achmed on this one. We’re in trouble, and, think of what “Slow Joe” and the gang will impose if he, as it’s looking increasingly likely he will, gets in. He’ll declare war on DeSantis, Noem and others who don’t toe the panic line.
As an addendum to my comment above- I do find it interesting that even the Swedes are not allowing large gatherings- not sure why, at this point. My Swedish cousin, who’s 75, just went through a round of chemo for breast cancer- during the “panic”. I don’t think too many people missed med appointments because of the pandemic.
Wow, good for your cousin. Sadly, millions DID avoid low-priority cancer screenings. No one thought about this when it was Two Weeks to Slow The Spread, right. What About-ism, highly Unpatriotic “during a Pandemic.”
If cancer deaths rise even just 1% over next 5 years, that’s tens of thousands more US deaths to cancer than expected. These will be one form of the Lockdown-caused early deaths. SMH…
And those excess cancer deaths will get attention in scholarly literature but otherwise will not be reported.
There will be no Big Board Rolling Death Counts for Statistically Excess Cancer Deaths on cable news channels.
It will be covered, but at around a millionth or less per capita (airtime/print-space/social media attention per excess death) than Wuhan-Corona flu wave and the cult-breakthrough the latter triggered.
Agreed- my cousin lives in Sweden, where they did not (mostly) lock down and discourage people from getting the care they need. Your point about the US is correct.
See below for a reply with thoughts on “Biden Gets In after disputed election” scenarios on what the Corona-Panic situation will be in 2021:
I should have said “my Swedish cousin”.
(Edited/updated comment with correction.)
Hail et al.,
Macroeconomists have a counter intuitive (to laymen) concept of working to keep growth manageable, SLOWER than you might possibly make it. “Why-? Don’t we want maximum growth all the time?” No. An individual might for himself/business, but society does NOT want this. The economy can “overheat” then crashes harder during inevitable downturn/recession.
Hard crashes are what they really want to avoid…they bring social or political spiral-effects of panic or destruction, could easily be worse than the actual recession. Therefore keep growth steady
I see this basic lesson in the “Deaths graph” here.
Layman: “We want deaths as low as possible.” Okay, yes, we might all agree in moral spirit of that. BUT in the real world we may NOT want it, because, very-low one year may mean very-high the next, like 2019 vs. 2020 — and almost all the other “spikes” (?) — !!
Great point, Bo.
The unusually low death rate for mid-July to mid-October is another case of corrections occurring.
Many of the key misinterpretations that led to the Panic Pandemic dealt with failure to see (look for) Context. The mildness of 2019, for example, is almost uncommented-upon, and itself accounts for a great deal of the WuhanCorona-related excess in 2020; 2019 was among the mildest in years for flu virus activity in the West.
The mildness of 2019 was ignored in 2019 was/is a classic case of the overlooked “dog that didn’t bark,” of a failure identify “that which is not seen” (as shown by a famous 19th century parable/essay about Broken Windows). “Deaths,” you notice; “Non-Deaths,” you don’t. But Non-Deaths might be relevant. This presents a problem in decision-making, including group psychology decision-making re: whether or not to indulge in an old-fashioned mass panic.
To Gregg Anderson:
Is it true Swedish media MSM are pushing Corona-Alarmism (now equipped with the “alarming rise in ‘cases,’ a.k.a. test-positives”) but the government and population are “immune”?
Do you know if the mask wearing rate is still in single digits?
I’ll ask around
A quick look at Dagens Nyheter, which is a national, NY Times like paper, and the Aftonbladet, which is more akin to the New York Post (these are very back of the envelope descriptions) suggest that you are right- Anders Tegnell is coming under some criticism, and some localities are instituting curfews. I’m not sure if the ban on large gatherings has been in place all along or not. More info as it comes in!
I’ve never understood the rationale behind restricting hours and closing places earlier, of which Curfews are an across-the-board institutionalization.
What kind of sense does cutting several hours off store hours every day make? Why not get people to spread out their errands?
It feels like the “closing early” was a scam all along but a concession to that part of the implicit Corona Coalition, the people who saw the chance to get a soft, long, fluffy, extended semi-vacation out of the Panic. “Work from home” and severely limited hours came as part of that.
Mr. Hail, its a well known fact that the virus goes to sleep at 10- or is that wakes up at 10, or is that…. I give up. My pessimism grows ever deeper. I’m not optimistic about vaccines’ effectiveness , but I don’t think even universal vaccination will end the panic.
Reply to G.Anderson above and also Peak Stupidity above:
Three scenarios for early-to-mid 2021 assuming Biden gets in:
– a.) Team Biden finds it useful to wage unrelenting war on Corona-dissidents and squeeze the Panic lemon for all the juice it’s got (He has implied this with “nationwide lockdown” talk);
– b.) a middle-road between (a.) and (c.);
– c.) once Team Biden securely takes office, the whole “Corona-Panic” soon winds down (is wound down, i.e., the media-government apparatus including Team Biden blasts the mantra that good news is here to stay, all shutdowns stop).
You both seem to think (a.) is most likely; I think the chance — despite the pro-Lockdown Biden rhetoric — is around 20-50-30. I can imagine each scenario, but my “midpoint prediction” is that we see a government-media line between (b.) and (c.) by late January 2021 or earlier.
(Admittedly, pessimism has usually been the better bet all along.)
I won’t give odds myself, Mr. Hail, but let me just say I’m pretty pessimistic about America and Americans right now. At the coffee shop this morning, I almost got into a fight with a guy (one of the owners or something), when I asked him if this mask crap going on inside the place – gotta wear it when you’re standing up, WTF? – was something he was all on me about based on city law or just that he was hysterical.
If the guy had just said “sorry, I don’t want to get our place shut down”, well, he’s got no guts, but at least I can understand the guy. Nope, he’s hysterical about the Kung Flu also, per his answer, but he didn’t like me telling him that.
When stuff like this happens, I get really pessimistic.
That reminds me, I wonder if anyone really “wears a mask between bites/sips” while eating/drinking in public, as some crazies pushed for. So far I have seen none.
I would say Mr. Newman, I’m not that brave, and I have no assets to protect. I good-naturedly complain to the guy who runs the local bagel shop- but if he does the principled thing, he could lose his livelihood. As it is, given the restrictions, I dunno how he stays open. And, he doesn’t have a cushy state funded pension like me.
Yeah, Mr. Ganderson, I get that the guy wants to stay in business, but at least a little pushback would be nice. If everyone does it, there can’t be repercussions on everyone (all these small shops, that is). He can’t just let every go around with no masks, but he didn’t have to act like a Commie about it either. This is how these things keep getting worse. We don’t have downright Nazis around like Michigan Governor Whitmer either here. It’s pretty mellow ordinarily – live and let live.
BTW, this shop is a left-wing run place, one I normally avoid. The other place wouldn’t let anyone stay inside, and it was freezin’ ass cold out. The only reason I got an overpriced hot chocolate to begin with was to support the place since I was, after all, inside there with friends (who are coffee drinkers).
It’s all very discouraging and my opinion of regular Americans has taken a hit lately. Today, one family at the park had masks on both their kids (about 6 and 8 y/o). They still let them play with The UNMASKED! though. (I truly think the boy was instructed not to pick up the soccer ball when that boy and mine were just kicking back and forth. They were taking turns being goalie. Was it the rules, or the PanicFest?
I agree- I wish more of us would stand up to the cultists.
See here for a similar scene from the Virus-Cult-Takeover Twilight Zone 2020.
Hope you’re right!
You notice, in the graphs like these, that longrun structural trends in the death rate just absolutely swamp the little spikes, even the bigger spikes in living memory. Structural shifts make them all look inconsequential compared to bigger generational meta-narratives going on.
Now if someone incorporated births or birth-death-gap in such graphs? you’d see where the dramatic demogrphic story is, and it’s got zero to do with any flu.
Just stumbled over this, seems to be recent: https://cormandrostenreview.com/
Destroying the credibility of PCR testing could be a major development.
I see the authors find the false positive rate for the PCR test to be as high as 97% if settings are set to “max.” Quite a lot of places are using these settings, which, if the false positive rate is 97%, is obviously useless. But the Panic mill keeps on churning.
IOW, if you and 99 friends all test positive by one of these testing mills using ultra-maxxed-out settings on the test (and they are very common), 3 of the 100 are actually positive and 97 are not really positive despite the test result.
Continuing thought from the above:
People like simple, “black-and-white Truths.” But Reality offers up “spectrums of Truth.” Everything exists on a spectrum of uncertainty. Mr. Meteorologist: Will it rain? Yes or no? I can’t give you a Yes or No, but I can say there’s only a 10% chance — that kind of thing.
With all the talk of election fraud in the past four weeks, a simple analogy has tossed itself into public view for all to see: The rate the ballot machines accept or reject ballot irregularities, specifically signature match. They can adjust the settings to accept effectively all (as long as someone wrote something which at least somewhat resembles English letters) at the low end, and rejects quite a few for mismatching at the high end.
Someone at the lever of power in some of these disputed states decided to set the machines to the lowest possible setting and 99.9% of signatures were accepted. In the past, fare more were rejected for non-matching. (And Barack Obama’s political career got started through his choice to disputing signatures, one by one, in his Senate primary; he squeaked in, after getting enough ballots thrown out on technicalities.)
The same thing happens with these virus tests.
The questions one should ask are: Who set the voting machine thresholds so low, tossing out historically low share of votes as invalid? Why? Who set the virus test threshold so low? Why? If we make a Venn Diagram of the people and motivations, what might it look like?
Achmed E. Newman wrote about this blog at iSteve the other day, so I had a look again. Turns out that it pays off again too.
Switzerland is doing pretty much the same as Sweden is doing – hardly any lockdown so far. Everybody at work all year through, schools are open, museums and restaurants too. I live in Germany near the Swiss border. My wife works with kids in Switzerland – everything is just fine – from Kindergarten onwards. Singing in larger groups outside families is prohibited from this week on since a few hospitals run out of emergency care beds (really just a few in all of Switzerland. No problem whatsoever in the (quite small) Kanton Appenzell Innerhroden, which I can partly spot from Konstanz. There was nobody in an intensive care bed for weeks there).
Congrats on your forecast of the Swedish death rate, Mr. Hail. I have a private mail-circle and am just discussing the question of what to make of the fact of the high excess death rate in Sweden and Switzerland – compared to Norway and – Germany – not to mention Korea, New Zealand or Japan.
The most fascinating thing in Switzerland is, that there is hardly any political trouble concerning CO-19 – all measures are taken in a consensus from left to right – it’s almost like in an ideal state. Very good are the Swiss regional newspapers but also the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and the Zürcher “Weltwoche”, which featured the perfect anti-panic articles of Professor Beda M. Stadler, a retired virologist. Very informative is also Dr. Gunter Frank on Achgut.com in Germany.
For GB, Professor Paul Heneghan wrote in August in the Spectator, that 200 000 excess deaths caused by the lockdown might be a realistic number. – I quote him from this article: “A recent Government report suggests 200,000 people might die because of delays in healthcare and the economic and social consequences of the Covid-19 lockdown. NHS figures show that urgent cancer referrals made by English GPs are down by 47 percent in May compared to last year; 26,000 people are waiting more than a year for routine operations, and over half a million people have been waiting over six weeks for essential tests.”
May I add, that I too think, that this CO-19 phenomenon has a deeply religious side to it? People live more and more alone – and work alone too, and that is true for lots of the internet commentariat too. Lots of them sitting alone in their rooms in front of a screen for long hours – day in day out. That makes you feel weak, as soon as some kind of existential threat comes along since you know that suffering can’t be digitalized. And secularisation makes death a bigger threat than it was before because it looks more brutal now, more naked, and more like a rude force than it did before when it was embedded in ritualized (reoccurring, regular, often daily) – gatherings (!) of people. – I think this is the biggest difference and what’s missed most in today’s world and – in today’s souls. Secularisation with its metaphysical rooflessness (Marxist (!) philosopher Georg Lukacs) comes at a prize. It is just not so, that it pays for itself, so to speak.
Lately I often times recommended Jürgen Habermas’s “This Too a History of Philosophy” about the deep relationship between (European/Asian) philosophies and religions (Christianity, Buddhism especially) – this book with its 1000+ pages is only for the aficionados though. But then there is David Guterson’s novel “Our Lady of the Forest” about a present-day Virgin Mary-miracle in the rural parts of Washington (North Folk). This one is very readable and entertaining. Since it came out in the last decade I wondered, why it did not gain more interest. Maybe it’s time has not yet come.
Dieter- Wie geht’s, und willkommen!
Hi Gregg –
– thanks for your welcome here – I’m doing fine. I ride the bike and am often times out in the woods with the camera – my main occupation (well, photography is – the bike is just a very pleasant means to do it).
When people ask me these days how things are going I have sometimes admitted, that I find the situation creates lots of interesting questions and phenomena and – quite a bit of suspense, too.
And I don’t know all the time what to make of it. – Are Steve Sailer, Ron Unz, Anatoly Karlin, and Greg Cochran all stuck with their heads up in the fog of confusion? – James Thompson too? – Old, half retired Swedish epidemiologist Johan Giesecke, when asked, whether the Swedish way is right a few months back said: “It is too early to tell.”
It would be better to wait one more year maybe. Would he say something different, now that vaccines are in reach? I don’t know. Today, the Swedish King Carl XVI.th Gustav said in this context, Sweden has made a mistake, especially with regard to the elderly. And German science-philosopher Michael Esfeld said, the Munich based very old science-Society Leopoldina was flat out wrong to claim, that science about CO-19 would be settled and needed only to be proerly appleid to succed, thus backing-up the lockdown-policyy of teh German government. – As I said: I find all that – very interesting…
Thank you for your thoughts and comments. What you say on the religious nature of “Corona” as a social phenomenon I find correct. I wrote a long essay arguing for this thesis (“Is Corona a Religious Cult?“) in mid-May; I remember the idea occurred to me suddenly in about early April.
Of course, the basic forces you describe behind this “Virus Religion” are mostly not new in Western culture. One could ask why a “Virus Religion” of this kind was not able to break out with previous severe flu waves. The way people interact with the world of 2020 vs. the way people interacted with the world in (e.g.) 2000 or 1990 seems the key to the puzzle.
I also argued even as early as late March that the entire Corona social phenomenon was a “weaponization of our own technology against us,” turning what we think is our strength into a disastrous weakness.
I am going to cross post this comment from Sailer’s blog, because I’m somewhat convinced it will not get through moderation:
If it’s not apparently obvious yet, the individual known as “That Would be Telling” is an obvious sock puppet of some kind. He first appeared in May, had minimal contributions to Sailer’s blog over the summer, then his comment volume skyrocketed after the start of November. He does not comment on anything but Sailer’s covid related posts, and then it’s a full court press of pro-panic propaganda. His comments pass through moderation as fast as any of the commenters who have been here for years.
I won’t speculate on his identity or motives, but he is clearly a hack and every last thing he says should be considered with as much skepticism as possible.
My former handle on Unz was MikeatMikedotMike, but Ron Unz himself limited that user name to 1 post per day with no access to “reactions,” because I am critical of his obtuse conclusions about “Hispanic” crime rates as they compare to Whites, and mocked his absurd contentions that 1. the corona was a US government conspiracy to kill off the Chinese or something (how’s that been working out) and 2. that the vYhrus is the next black plague. Unz (who deserves admiration) as well as Sailer have beclowned and discredited themselves with their baseless panic and fear mongering about Covid-nein!teen (Sailer even resorts to projection by calling vaccine skeptics “cowards”; this from a guy holed up in his closet for the last 8 months hiding from an imaginary threat), as well as have revealed themselves both to be petty tyrants in their own right when faced with push back on by some measures the biggest lie ever to be hoisted upon the people the the United States.
Hey, MikeatMikedotMike, I’m glad to see you are back. You had written a good bit as that handle under iSteve, but I didn’t know you came back as Mike Tre. Under any name, I’ve agree with you the same. ;-}
I’m glad you told us this. You are the only one (I know of, that is) that Ron Unz screwed with, as far as commenters.
Somehow and for some reason I always read that handle as MEATdot MEAT. Welcome aboard.
I can understand why Unz and Sailer and Cochran and Karlin and many other smart people started to “fall for it” in late January and February and even into March (Karlin, for his part, doesn’t have the quasi-excuse of advancing age). They were wrong. It was early when they got into it. Probably all of us entertained the idea, at some point, that there was something to this. I did.
The tragic flaw in the Sailer et al case was not in getting it wrong at the outset, for which they can surely be forgiven, it’s in NOT turning against the Panic when it became clear the Panic was wrong.
The Anti-Panic side’s basic contentions were all vindicated by May 1, and really by April 15 on a tentative basis. All the hundreds of millions of man-hours spent globally on analysis since then has been unnecessary in that we knew the basic scope of Wuhan-Corona, with reasonable certainty, by mid-April (which was also the most-likely in March but not yet demonstrable via firm data). Why continue Panic-pushing after the data disproves it? I didn’t get it then and I don’t get it now. Frustrating and sad.
And then the late May / early June breakout of riots, which was a predictable consequence of Lockdowns. None of the people who demanded the Panic be kept up saw something like that coming?
Steve Sailer seems to be backsliding on the Corona Question, just published a new TakiMag article on Wuhan-Corona as a historic disaster and arguing for everyone to take the vaccine. (IMO the vaccine should be recommended for people over 65 and purely optional for others, like the seasonal influenza vaccine.)
As for the comments “That Would Be Telling”:
Assuming, for argument’s sake, that he is someone pushing a pro-Panic line in bad faith, one wonders at motivations.
There is a “troll phenotype” one sees online and maybe always has since the earliest days of discussion boards and chat rooms etc. on the Internet. There is just something attractive to some (types of?) people at some stages in their lives, maybe, to “troll.” So maybe that’s it.
What might motivate someone to bad-faith troll on ‘Covid’ specifically? I have my ideas.
Let me also add that your presence is missed over there. I know the covid dogma is maddening, but your efforts do not go unnoticed. Many of us appreciate your dedication to presenting the data with an unbiased eye. Thanks.
(Update: Predictions made in this post some weeks ago hold up as of Dec. 16)
The latest Swedish Health Ministry info (release date: Dec. 14) brings us up to date with more-or-less final data through the end of November. The final full-year 2020 death total as a % of population looks like it will round to one of the following: 0.92%, 0.93% or 0.94%. This clearly exceeds the 0.89% baseline, indicating a severe flu wave. But 2019 was at a mild 0.87% (-0.02% under baseline), implying that 2020 might be expected to have been 0.91% (+0.02% over baseline) to smooth out the two-year average back to baseline. The actual mid-line projection (if December deaths are in line with the November upswing) is 0.925% (+0.035% over baseline).
At this point, one should recall that 2020 is also a leap-year, 366 days vs. 365 in normal years, and on leap-day Feb. 29th 2020 Sweden logged 244 deaths. This additional day itself maybe enough to push the rounded final down to 0.92% (+0.03% over baseline) and not 0.93% (+0.04% over baseline), as the mid-line final-year projection now looks like 0.925%.
In simple terms, now on final-year data we see unmitigated Wuhan-Corona as typical severe flu wave, of the kind seen once or twice a decade in the lifetime of a typical adult living today; the same is seen in the Belarus case and other cases where the full-epidemic came and went.
+0.03% in 2020 looks possible;
+0.04% is equally as possible
(the exact number will come down to rounding re: whether to correct for the leap-day, and what the exact total-population denominator to use should be; I am using 10,400,000.)
+0.05% would require a big upswing in deaths in December, equal to the height of the April peak. There are no signs of that incoming, and the Deaths:ICU-intake ratio is much lower now.
Around half the one-year excess for 2020 will be making up for the dearth of expected deaths in the very mild year of 2019.
Thanks again. Sweden announced today that they would also wear masks in public.
I found this article interesting discussing the question of how the CO-19 deception began with Anthony Fauci’s troubles with the distinction between Case Fatality Rates and Infection Fatality Rates and all that followed
Anthony Fauci ended up claiming that CO-119 would cause ten times the fatalities of the flu.
Knut Wittkowski, an early hardline Corona-Critic and a German, said publicly in early April already that Fauci did not understand basic epidemiology. He is not an epidemeologist.
In fact, Fauci has been “fat and happy” for almost forty years in a soft government position, and turns 80 years old today (Dec. 24). I think Fauci is one of the genuine villains of this drama, along with Niall “Millions of Deaths” Ferguson and others. Many, many others are not villains but cowards and demagogues., but Fauci is IMO a villain.
Just hear the phrase “Two weeks to flatten the curve” on the radio. Sheesh
Two Weeks To Flatten the Curve as replacement for the Twelve Days of Christmas?
(Though this is not a daily blog and many who see this will see it much later, I’ll say it anyway:)
Merry Christmas to all!
Restrictions here in MA are increasing- they are close to where they were in early April. Baker issued new, more restrictive orders this week. The panic is never ending.
Here is something I’ve been noticing:
The All-Cause Deaths curve does not reflect the supposed alarming “second wave.” If the virus were not being ‘tracked,’ no one would particularly notice anything unusual in November and December.
The share of Covid deaths which were “deaths with the virus but of something else” is considerably higher than before, in other words the presence of the virus is irrelevant.
As for the full-year impact, it now looks like there is no way All-Cause Deaths Curve has the momentum in it to reach +0.04% deaths (of total population) for the full year, and it will probably settle at +0.03%. By the time final figures thru Dec. 31 are available in a few weeks, it’s possible up to –two-thirds– of supposed (reported) “Covid deaths” were those who died of something else but with the virus.
This is something that looked likely from what we knew early on and for which those of us on the anti-Panic side were mocked for proposing, but final/observed data looks to be corroborating it.
I’m glad to see some more conversation here from you, Mr. Anderson, and Mr. Kief. Tell, me, Mr. Hail, what you think of Steve Sailer’s friend’s look and analysis of this same thing, total deaths or “excess deaths” (over some base curve) in America. I can send you a link to Sailer’s friend’s (of some sort) one page with all the graphs, if you want.
The situation per those graphs looks a lot worse than Sweden’s graph your 1st one in this comment, but I have a hard time believing it nonetheless. I really wonder about the baseline – not a line, but a curve. Americans are getting older. Median age was up by 1.2 years over 9 years, and the population 65 y/o and older went up by 34% in the last decade. The base curve didn’t seem to reflect that very well, and I don’t know where it came from.
Mr. Newman (PeakStupidity),
You’re right that calculating a base-rate for deaths is not an exact science, and where one puts that line can amount to “editorializing.”
I believe the CDC was caught, last month, by sharp observers putting its “baseline for 2020” on graphs significantly below what it had been in 2019. What sense does that make? But, in a big/zoomed-out graph, it was hard to tell the baseline had changed at all. The end-user eyeballing it just saw more data above the baseline, which was alarming, mission accomplished.
Helpful would also be such graphs as Drug-Overdose Deaths, even one with a ‘baseline’ set in the 2010s (high tens of thousands), would show a big spike in 2020. But what if I put the baseline at 2000 levels (low tens of thousands)? Suddenly the drug-overdose epidemic looks major (and is), much more important than a rise in flu deaths.
A longer reply here, my take on the all-population loss associated with the events of 2020 in the USA:
Impressive, thanks again.
A few European remarks:
The curve of the Swiss deaths on the Covid Worldometer looks very much like the Swedish one – only difference being that the Swiss peak is in the winter.
The person causing the biggest CO-19 effect in the German public is social-medicine professor Karl Lauterbach of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) with his claim that the CO-19 measures taken in Germany (two lockdowns, one in spring, the other in winter (still going on at least till the end of January) would have saved 250 000 lives in Germany ( 70 Million inhabitants) – 250 000 people that would have died so far without the government’s actions. Lauterbach is a star.
Professor Lauterbach is closely followed by the big man of the leading German parties, the two Christian Democratic ones (CDU/CSU), Markus Söder, Bavarian Prime Minister, who’s most successful metaphor is, that CO-19 deaths would be the equivalent of a daily crash of a German passenger jet.
Is Soeder still seeking the CDU Chancellor-candidacy for the Sept. 2021 election? I haven’t been keeping up.
I want to understand why specific politicians in specific places at specific times choose “the Demagogue’s path” on Corona.
Yes, Söder is still in the race for the CDU/CSU Chancellor-candidate. Could well be that he wins it.
I think the demagogue’s path is something that is actively chosen, ok, but also a thing politicians are – drifting towards, just following the public mix of facts and emotions. Söder’s genius move was to speak of the CO-19-danger with the crashing plane metaphor: Germany suffers now each and every day from a plane-crash caused by – CO-19. Such are his words. You must be a man whom people trust, to place such a strong and devastating inner picture into the heart of the public sphere of a country like Germany (70 million inhabitants).
To me the most striking difference in the mood of the public discourse is between Switzerland and neighboring Germany. Hardly a Swiss politician fell for the dramatizing metaphors of daily crashing planes like the one used by conservative politician Markus Söder of Bavaria/Germany. Sebastian Kurz, the very young Chancellor of Austria steers a middle course between the Swiss rationality and the German frenzy – with the medical expert in the German government, Professor Karl Lauterbach, being the one who induces the highest level of panic-energy. – The reason for that is quite simple I guess: Since he realized, that the public lusts for panic, he used his expertise to go for the most impressive numbers he could find – and he has an advantage over the others because he knows the field best. So – he could surpass them – and he did. As I said – at the moment, panic pays for politicians – and for the media people and for most of the experts in Germany.
“He realized, that the public lusts for panic”
And so it is; the real pandemic was a Panic Pandemic.
I notice the CDU recovered its lost popularity exactly during/following the Panic.
The CDU was down to 25-30% stated support before the Panic (and even hit a low of 24% in some polls in mid-2019 into early-2020), then rapidly rose to 35-40% after the Panic. The turning point was exactly in mid-late March, when the Lockdowns began. As long as the Panic has continued, even now at the end of the year, the CDU has maintained this new support level.
The Greens and AfD both lost support. I interpret this to be millions of panicked centrists, who had strayed away from the perceived Establishment and were now looking for a safe harbor in a perceived storm. Just as people rally to the flag in wartime.
This “Corona popularity boost” may be enough to guarantee the next Chancellor is again from the CDU, whereas pre-Panic it looked possible for the Greens. Not only might they keep the chancellorship, the CDU may even able to take enough seats to dominate the ruling coalition; whatever coalition partner (Greens?) may be much weaker than it would have been pre-CoronaPanic. In short, the Panic was very good for the CDU specifically, in party-politics terms. This may not translate everywhere, but it seems Soeder sees this well and simply cannot resist the temptation. This does not give me much confidence in Soeder as a leader, but one also understands why he’s doing it.
Re: Achmed E. Newman (Peak Stupidity) writing above:
There have definitely been Lockdown-induced deaths in the USA and some hard-lockdown European countries. We warned they were coming, warned that they were happening when they started happening, but the Panic regime would not let its claws out.
(Although real and even uncontroversial by now, I’m not sure if “Lockdown-Induced Death” is a concept quite fully mainstream-ed yet. It am confident it will be.) (And Lockdown-induced deaths will continue long after the Flu Panic ends, because that’s, usually, the way it goes with recessions and wild social experiments — in this case both at once. What does the pro-Panic side say of the observed spike in drug-overdose deaths in the USA in 2020? One guy told me, apparently unironically, “Drug overdose is a choice. Getting Covid is not a choice. Big difference.”)
The importance of Sweden is as a “control.” Wuhan-Corona’s magnitude in Sweden — the Limited-Panic, Stay-Open regime — is the ballpark magnitude (or at least relative magnitude, “relative” to its own past flu waves), which we’d expect of the same virus in all countries with comparable demographics and conditions. (No-Lockdown Belarus, as well, had a flu wave that matched their peak waves of the past few decades. Basically most of the rest of Europe, too, regardless of measures taken.)
The big-picture, I think, looks like this (using the method of “deaths on an all-population basis” to bypass the baseline problem):
(1) A typical severe flu-wave, in more-or-less first-world country with typical first-world demographics in our time, represents a population loss of +0.02% to +0.08% all-population deaths. (to use a clean number for example’s sake: Say 1.00% of the living residents of a place who wake up at dawn Jan. 1 are expected to die by the end of the day Dec. 31 of the same year. A severe flu wave comes. It pushes that 1.00% up to 1.02% , maybe 1.04%, or in some cases even as high as 1.08%). (Italy had flu waves in some years of the 2010s that nearly hit +0.08%.)
(2) Sweden, which has a lower “max-out total” (with its most-severe flu waves in living memory generally below +0.04% in any one year), now looks to be finishing 2020 with +0.03%. We would expect everywhere else to hug up near their maximum level, too. That is, all else equal.
(3) The USA may finish 2020 with +0.08% all-population deaths, even though its flu waves have usually been closer to Sweden’s than to Italy’s in recent years. As far as I can tell, around +0.4% of the extra U.S. deaths are due to the flu wave, primarily hitting the elderly; another +0.04% to Lockdown-induced deaths, primarily to working-age people, with no statistical excess deaths in children.
(4) The “flu deaths to lockdown deaths ratio” in the USA could be different, but from all we know it’s not different by much. The two categories are in the same ballpark. The important thing is, there is definitely a Lockdown-induced Deaths category and it is substantial. While Lockdown Deaths could even exceed Excess Flu Deaths in crude body-counting terms, lockdown deaths definitely (and very, very easily) exceeds flu deaths in lost-quality-life-years terms.
(5) The Lockdown-induced Deaths group is one that the Steve Sailer (or Sailer’s friend)-type analysis has consistently ignored, which I find puzzling. These Lockdown deaths, younger and otherwise healthier on average and completely swamp the flu-death group in life-years-lost, are the actual unprecedented phenomenon in our time, not a severe flu year among the eldelry, which is pretty mundane. Sailer has always been sharp on the “excess homicides” phenomenon (which is also occurring in 2020 thanks to another Lockdown follow-on), so why not here?
(6) Finally, babies-not-born look set to cause a significant all-population loss, probably greater than both the flu-deaths and Lockdown-induced deaths put together when the smoke clears. Early data suggests a -0.01% all-population loss PER MONTH to the Lockdown/Panic/recession/social-disruption-associated fertility drop, so if that level holds for about five months (Dec. 2020 to April 2021), babies lost have already exceeded genuine excess flu deaths. We’ll have to see how many months it lasts. Final birth data won’t be available for a long while. The birth-drop of course completely overwhelms the flu deaths in quality-life-years-lost, and yields the ugly picture of a civilization trading the life of its infants for its elderly, which of course makes no sense.
Population loss in the USA above the expected level for 2020:
-0.04%, flu wave deaths
-0.04%, Lockdown and social-/economic-disruption deaths
-0.10% or more?, babies to never be born due to the disruptions/recession
-0.20%: full hit, in crude body counting
PREDICTIONS of Virus-Apocalypse current in March 2020 (Panic start):
-1.50%?, flu wave deaths
-0.50%?, “swamped hospital” deaths
-2.00%: full hit, in crude body counting
DO NOTHING Scenario (if the flu wave were ignored or no one been aware):
-0.04%, flu wave deaths (maybe -0.06%, to be generous to Lockdown-ism)
-0.00%, Lockdown and social-/economic-disruption deaths
-0.00%, babies not born
-0.04% (or -0.06%): full hit, in crude body-counting
As Mr. Kief wrote, thanks for the concise few basic numbers to show your point. I know that the LOCKDOWN deaths is just an estimate, and I have read all your posts over the year on this Kung Flu panic, so I remember your arriving at that rough factor of 1/2 the deaths being only “with” COVID.
I find the excess deaths in those graphs Mr. Sailer (and whoever the analytical guy making the graphs was) showed, to be excessive, let’s say, humor not intentional, mainly based on my questioning that baseline curve. No, he put no effort into a calculation of LOCKDOWN deaths, due to his not caring very much about the real consequences of the panic.*. I put that down to not getting out so much, and not in an insulting manner. I’ve just seen recently, as I will put in my Part 4 of a series about the service economy, that hotel/motel businesses, just for example, may end up with a 60%! closure rate. That is, shutting down for good.
Yes, when the economy goes down, people suffer more, and that does translate to more health problems too.
I like your number (5) paragraph but (6) is one that nobody talks about. No, these babies weren’t born, so nobody died there. However, that is indeed a big effect on society. I saw no mention of affordable family formation (an important insight by Mr. Sailer) or Zero family formation by him. I guess the fear factor has overridden all else, and to me, it’s not so much Mr. Sailer’s bout with cancer, as per Mr. Kief, but the fact that he is on the internet A LOT. Hey, I am too, but I don’t screw around with the BS coming out of the Lyin’ Press main sites. I appreciate his reading of the NY Times, etc, for our benefit (to see what our enemy is up to), but all that barrage of worry about this huge, huge pandemic, must have just gotten to the guy early on.
(More coming in another comment.)
* In addition, I Mr. Sailer obviously thinks these other deaths are negligible. He got into the co-morbidity thing, but he did not discuss the delayed healthcare problem, due to “the hospitals will be swamped, swamped, I tell ya!”. Will we be even able to separate these out later?
On (3), that 0.08% must be for total excess deaths, not “all population deaths”, right, or it is way too low. I think you meant the former. Then, just below it, that 0.4% should be 0.04% and really more like 0.04 percentage points, as this type of thing can be confused always (taking percentages of numbers given in %). You’re divvying up that 0.08% into 2 equal parts, right? (approximate, of course)
In quality of life – years, man, compared to that Spanish Flu of a century ago, this thing is absolutely NOTHING.
I would say something about the “boomers” here, or I can see some young people saying something really derogatory, due to this fixation on the old-people epidemic, but:
(a) I’m close to a boomer myself, but not one per Strauss & Howe (you know, the EXPERTS! haha)
(b) Most of the people dying are too old to be boomers anyway. They’d be from the “Silent Generation”.
You make everything look simple, r. Hail, and I think, that is a great accomplishment.
(Reminds me of Gerd Gigerenzer’s and Walter Krämer’s work in Berlin.)
“Sailer has always been sharp on the “excess homicides” phenomenon (which is also occurring in 2020 thanks to another Lockdown follow-on), so why not here?”
Steve Sailer did write in-depth analyses of the drug-induced (often unemployed white) deaths in the rust belt etc. So – why not now?
To put it quite simply: He feared for his life and got into – survival mode: – First things (my personal well-being) first. – He had a close encounter with a cancer death in his late thirties, which might well have enhanced his death angst. And as the German saying of old goes: Angst is no good adviser.
One more thought I have oftentimes these days: Many people live personally quite lonesome modern lives. And loneliness is a driver of existential angst. – People, therefore, are grateful to Angela Merkel, because they get the impression via TV, that she personally cares. – And, irony of ironies: They are even right in a way because her public addresses are full of warm, personal remarks such as do a few stand-ups, go out for a walk, open your windows frequently, when cold, clap your hands, sing with your elders over the telephone… In terms of media-transported reliability and – flat out old school humaneness, you probably can’t do much better than Chancellor Merkel does. So – she has that going for her – and for her centrist CDU/CSU party.
I have to disagree, at least in attitude, on your view of Chancellor Merkel, Dieter. Maybe it’s supposed to be different in Germany, but at least in the US, the administrative position* of President is not supposed to that of a leader of any sort, unless it’s (declared by Congress!) war time.
There’s that bully-pulpit thing, but to me, that’s supposed to be about getting Congress to act via the population who votes for these critters. I have no need for any supposed leader having compassion for me and telling me to dress for the weather or get out in the sunshine. My kind of President was Calvin Coolidge. He didn’t do that much. Good! Just hire people for the cabinet, sign or (better yet) veto bills out of Congress, and shut the hell up about my well-being – that’s what I want out of an administrator of government.
I would vote for Merkel for kindergarten teacher of the year though. Is there somewhere she could teach kindergarten and make much better use of her “skills”?
* Administrator of the Executive Branch, that’s all.
I’m absolutely clear about your position, Achmed. I’m also absolutely clear about the average voter in Germany. Angela Merkel’s political success is well-rooted in the – minds and hearts of most German voters. And since we’re talking politics: It is enough to win there, so to speak. If you win, you have the power.
What I forgot: Germans do not only look at Germany, they also look to France and Britain, to the neighbors in Belgium and to Italy – and what do they see there: Not much to admire or to be exited or even satisfied about. More and harder lockdowns, more hospitals beyond capacity. Patients of Italy had to be carried around in all of Europe, those of France were brought to Germany and the Netherlands when the hospitals – collapsed. Fifty Italian priests died. – Whereas in Germany, everything went comparatively smooth.
That Sweden and Switzerland are doing way better, not least economically, but also with regard to the hospitals and – that’s more true for Switzerland than for Sweden: In the homes for elder-care is something that is lost in the German mainstream. It does not cross the panic barrier.
Thing is: As soon as such a (communicative!) panic barrier is erected, you fight an uphill battle, even if you just try to state differing facts.
Actually considering the Articles of Confederation and our government with the EIGHT hopelessly weak presidents BEFORE them, 1774-1781, and EIGHT AFTER them, 1781-1789, most of the Founders actually SAW the pathetic kind of president you describe in action and wanted no part of it, though many contrarily vehemently feared the Constitution was TOO strong. It’s all well and good to talk about minimalist Coolidge who benefited from a strong foundation of many decades of variously strong Presidents, but it’s an unfair comparison.
The Many U.S. Presidents Before George Washington, July 29, 2014 Sarah Stone
The weak executives BEFORE the Articles of Confederation were ratified:
A1. Peyton Randolph, 1774-1775 leaving due to poor health;
A2. Henry Middleton, [1774-1775] who served in Randolph’s absence;
A3. John Hancock, [1775-1777] (and later AFTER the Articles of Confederation, B5 below);
A4. Henry Laurens [1777-1778], who ultimately resigned
A5. John Jay [?], who also served as Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court at the same time he held the office of president;
A6. Samuel Huntington [?], who ultimately resigned due to health problems, but has the distinction of being the president when the Articles of Confederation were finally ratified;
A7. Samuel Johnston [?], who refused the office of the president when elected; and
A8. Thomas McKean, [?-1781 resigned after the British surrender at Yorktown.
McKean is notable as being the first president elected after the ratification of the Articles of Confederation.
The weak executives AFTER the Articles of Confederation were ratified:
B1. John Hanson from Maryland The first president of the United States under the Articles of Confederation [1781-1782]
B2. Elias Boudinot of New Jersey became the second president [1782-1783]. His presidency coincided with the official end to the American Revolutionary War. Boudinot presided over the country when the Treaty of Paris was signed in Paris on September 3, 1783.
B3. Thomas Mifflin became the president [1783-1784]. He oversaw the ratification of the Treaty of Paris during his presidency.
B4. Richard Henry Lee of Virginia [1784-1785]
B5. John Hancock, [1785 to 1786]
B6. Nathaniel Gorham, also from Massachusetts, [1786-1787]
B7. Arthur St. Claire, from Ohio [1787-1788]
B8. Cyrus Griffin of Virginia, eighth and final president of the United States under the Articles of Confederation.
The three branches of the American government that we know today—the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches—came about with the Constitution. Under the Articles of Confederation, only the legislative branch existed. Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress couldn’t tax the states. It needed to ask them for money to run the government, which they weren’t willing to provide, hopelessly.
Of course now our government is rather so gigantically out of control it took out even Trump, the strong executive of the Constitution the citizens’ legal votes actually elected, with the criminal fraud of actual deranged Trump hating conspirators both RINO (e.g. GA’s Kemp), Dem & foreign, but not quite an accurate comparison since the 1774 US was so minuscule (2.5 million vs 330 million today). One wonders if we’ll survive as a nation under Red China puppet Biden or more seriously if we’ll ever have an honest election again (really impossible without easily rigged voting machines being outlawed as they are in Europe because of it, something corrupt Dems/RINOS (e.g. GA’s Kemp) would never allow). Only God can save us.
Interesting post of (medical) Dr. Stefan Lehnhoff on Achgut.com about Swedish Excesss deaths.
“In fact, colleague Bauer, if you want to compare mortality, you have to do it indexed according to age distribution in order to be able to make meaningful statements. The Swedes (I’m here right now) have not only gotten more, but also older. If you take that into account, 2020 shows even the second lowest mortality in 11 years. This is all the more remarkable as 2019 was also a year of low mortality and something like this is usually compensated for in the next year. If you look at the numbers EXACTLY, no country in Europe is doing so well – maybe it’s because of the lack of collateral deaths? That’s the way it is with a fake pandemic. From now 6 days of digital detox. Last post this year, everyone at the axis and their readers all the best for 2021 – everyone could well make use of such a time!”
Well – …. – Happy New Year to everybody, be it on – or offline from me too!
The “vaccine” could literally be saline and they tell everyone it worked, normal service resumes and people think science saved the world. Unfortunately they’re going with the experimental new technology across the world, with medical surveillance and mask mandates unlikely to go away and possibly passports and restrictions for those that don’t conform.
Why did they cause all this panic again?
The vaccine as saline doesn’t have to be literally true for the placebo theory to hold:
I foresee a study coming out in 2022 showing no difference in 2021-mortality, among otherwise-healthy persons under age 75 or 80, between vaccine-takers and non-vaccine-takers. The vaccine is useful for
The vaccine could be useful to make elderly care home staff less infectious.
I still haven’t seen anything about the efficiency of the vaccine for people 80+.
Or, my guess is that people who get the vaccines will show significantly higher mortality. Using untested pharmaceuticals on a large scale is a terrible idea!
A new graph of daily deaths in Germany, three years, Jan. 2018 to Dec. 2020:
Notice, flu wave peaking March 2018. No other severe waves, until Wuhan-Corona finally caused one (delayed, not avoided) in late 2020.
Comparing to the case of Sweden, we can assume that the Wuhan-Corona flu wave in Germany will be about the same as the early-2018 flu wave. (If we subtract the Swedish failure with nursing homes.)
Was there a major crisis everyone ignored in early 2018? Or is there is no particular crisis with Wuhan-Corona? Which is it?
Checking in with England & Wales
What does total, all-cause mortality for 2020 look like?
If the following data is right, or close to right…:
…then England & Wales could be at +0.05% for 2020, maybe higher when final data is in.
The same general story as with Sweden holds, except that total all-cause mortality spike is higher in England than Sweden, it could be twice as high. Why would Lockdown England’s total deaths be twice as high as a No-Lockdown country?
The pesky “Lockdown-induced deaths” problem probably provides much, or most, or possibly even all, of the answer. A big clue is places of excess deaths:
The big excess is in “deaths at home,” largely people terrified to seek medical treatment for Fear of The Virus, and die from some other cause (e.g., heart attack, normally survivable with care).
From all our available data it looks like Lockdown-induced deaths very clearly take away many times more life-years from society than Wuhan-Corona Virus deaths, which are almost entirely a problem with elderly care centers.
England&Wales mortality 2020, roughly and tentatively:
Expected: 0.90%–91% of population deaths expected.
Actual: 0.95–0.96% of population actually died.
+0.03%? 0.04%? Flu Wave deaths attributable to Wuhan-Corona directly
+0.02%? net Lockdown-induced early deaths (so far).
So – lockdown came at a cost in England and Wales.
(That’s what Johan Giesecke might have had in mind when he said that he is not willing to make a comparison between Sweden and other countries – yet).
Self described “armchair virologist and epidemiologist” Zack F from Frankfurt: Lockdowns don’t work as expected. And: Lots of unanswered questions concerning CO-19 – (sewage, unsymptomatic infection pathways etc.) – comaparisons Florida / California and North- und South Dakota.
Take some of your new stuff, and put it in a post for us, Mr. Hail. It’s been a while. I know you spend lots more time on these articles than Peak Stupidity spends on the quicker polemics (most of the time), but we’d all like to see another one, if I may speak for everyone, haha. I’d like to see data and analysis on the situation in the US. I know, I know, you’ve got a life too…
Anyway, I keep checking, and I’m glad to have seen some new comments. Thanks for all you do, Mr. Hail.
Greetings, Mr. Newman, thanks for checking in.
Lately I am interested in the Corona-Panic as Social Phenomenon, especially appraising it now that it’s past its year-mark. Why did it happen? That’s the big question. There were a lot of good ideas on this back in the early months, but the Panic took turns that few expected and somehow is still with us after a year.
(There was significant circulation of this virus in the later months of 2019, we know now, months before a Panic emerged. The epidemiological curves and the Panic curve have very different start-points and follow different logics.)
Assigning Covid-as-social-phenomenon a birth-date must be an art and not a science, but it’s somewhere between Dec. 30?, 2019 — the date of the first report out of China, which seeped out essentially as media-sludge; news-people soon began to cast themselves as heroic reporters out of a horror movie — and Feb. 22, 2020, when Italy and South Korea began reporting their “alarming spike in cases” and proceeding for whatever set of reasons they had with their own overreactions and Panic. It was really the Italian and South Korea cases, I think, that sealed all of our fates in March, but some would say those dominoes fell because of China’s (unnecessary) crazy province lockdown, Jan. 20, 2020.
The early pro-Panic coalition of Jan 2020 looked different from what it did in Feb 2020 and different in the various stages of March 2020 (the critical month) and then more changes thereafter. Eventually battle lines hardened. What allowed the pro-Panic side such a total victory despite what turned out to be almost laughable weakness in their case (the “millions of deaths” predictions)? This is a social question, primarily.
I want to write more on this, maybe even expanding this comment. But the topic seems too big. Recently I’ve come across this excellent short summary of something similar to what I’d write, highly recommended:
The two Western exceptions to the panic rule are Sweden and Switzerland.
Switzerland I know from up close (I’ve lived there for ten years and live now just a few kilometers from the border).
Switzerland is divided up into 26 Kantons, some of them inhabit less than 50 000 people but they all are still quite autonomous. – Whether or not to wear a mask for example is decided upon in the Kanton parliaments, not in the capital Berne. Masks indoors became obligatory throughout from November on in buildings
Switzerland did a lot (much more than Germany) to protect those over 70 and the care homes for the elderly.
The hard edge data like intensive care hospital beds for CO-19 patients and people on a ventilator were published and discussed frequently and openly in the papers and in the public broadcast (radio and TV). So people knew what was going on. Restaurants and museums etc. stayed open until November. Schools and kindergarten too; all crafts and factories etc. were working throughout.
Since November there was a (mild) lockdown with restaurants and museums and some shops closed. But even in closed shops you can buy via the internet or phone and pick up your purchase outside.
Switzerland had fewer people on a ventilator in 2019 than in 2020. Overall, the Swiss data look a lot like the Swedish data do.
Switzerland is hit hard in the tourist segment, but other than that doing quite well economically.
There is no panic in Switzerland to be seen. A few hospital directors rang the alarm bell because of a shortage of intensive care beds and staff in late autumn, but that soon got better.
Regular people in Switzerland have political influence due to elements of direct democracy.
In the media, there was no big left/right divide over CO-19. Lots of papers – local and national, reported accurately – even most tabloids. Prof. Beda M. Allemann, a prominent anti-panic virologist, sat in the most important political talk-show and could say what he wanted. Turned out he was even a bit too optimistic with his prediction, that CO-19 would cause no second wave in wintertime. It did – but not a big one.
There is a distinction between public-reaction (public opinion) and political-state-regime reaction. (The latter includes agenda-setting Media. Not including independent players like blogs or Unz Review-like efforts.)
It is easier to study government reactions than general-public reactions. You mention both in Switzerland, and you suggest the gap between the two less than in other countries.
As for governments, we see a range from “Minimal-Intervention” regimes (Sweden the ‘gold standard’ here) all the way to the other end, the “Endless, Martial-Law Lockdown-Nightmare” regimes (the latter who imposed major recessions and social damage on themselves, among the ironic effects of which will be maybe causing drops in birthrates that alone will exceed the number of genuine extra flu deaths).
In many/most places, public opinion was more anti-Panic at first. Even much more anti-Panic. The “anti-Panic coalition” was always stronger than the “pro-Panic coalition.” The anti-Panic side, which could easily have won, if governments reflected popular opinion. Even the German government was anti-Panic in most of March (later converted to Endless Lockdown-extremism).
It’s clear now that the pro-Panic coalitions in country after country were undermined by coordinated action by their governments, which amounted often to really internal coups-d’etat.
The at-first-strong Anti-Panic coalitions were able to be broken and defeated by:
[1.] Agreeing to one-sided compromises (“Two weeks of Lockdown and it’s over, Okay?”), and
[2.] Bing maneuvered into a position where even arguing their positions was made immoral and even illegal.
We still saw signs of strong anti-Panic attitudes, especially in all the Germanic countries, even when government reactions were so mixed.
If an academic study wanted to measure levels of anti-Panic feeling in the public, proxy measures would be needed. The basic anti-Panic attitude went semi-underground after Panic forces took over in their Virus Coup d’Etat. it is like measuring regime-support in a dictatorship: Hard but possible indirectly. Anti-Lockdown protests. Rates of mask-wearing. What are others?
Apparently, the Germanic countries had much lower levels of mask-wearing than the Latin countries — and almost none in Sweden. This includes the countries with strong Lockdowns. The people never became mass mask-wearers.
There is also an intermediate between the Common Man and The Government: The Independent Expert. When an Corona-Dissident expert would come up, one willing to publicly reject Lockdowns, it was often a German.
This includes world-leading epidemiologists like Martin Kulldorf (Swede; a strong opponent of Lockdowns) and the colorful anti-Panic hardliner Knut Wittkowski (a German, expatriated since the 1990s). Wittkowski now posts only on LinkedIn after his bans across other platforms for “contradicting health authorities.” LinkedIn is a closed network, which limits his audience to around 1/10000th of what it was in April 2020.
The site “Swiss Policy Research,” which specializes in media analysis, published the series “A Swiss Doctor on Covid-19,” data-focused, which was valuable antidote to pro-Panic media coverage throughout the peak of the Panic.
Another Swiss is Daniel Jeanmonod, a medical academic, has written analyses of the pandemic which argued Lockdowns were the worst idea possible. Here is his latest:
There was a lack of US-origin (as in, US-born to US-born parents) experts willing to break ranks and criticize the Pro-Panic regime. We did have John Ioannidis, but he is not really an American in that sense (being born and raised and educated at university level at first in his native Greece). Ioannidis stands out almost alone in the USA in consistently and publicly attacking the Lockdowns right at the very peak of the early Panic, with his first anti-Lockdown article published March 17, 2020. (The spirit of everything Ioannidis wrote then, his instinct from decades of expertise, was right, of course. He was attacked by some prominent commenters, including as I recall by Steve Sailer and some of his close network like Dr Greg Cochran).
If there is some core, data-centric truth to “Covid,” which as an epidemiological phenomenon there is, why are the experts of some nationalities so much more willing to speak up than others? If everyone sees the same data?
In the US case, there is just no way to ignore Trump and the (fixed date) Nov. 3rd 2020 election. The Pro-Panic coalition as it emerged was not entirely about hurting Trump, but it was a main goal of many of them, and experts in the US, not being stupid, often stayed quiet. Especially after Fauci became a political figure, with people either loving or hating him; he now openly embraces the role.
Anti-Corona-Panic Sketches from Germany
Professor Mathias Schrappe is in Cologne – and quite influential. Seems to be heard not least by the new Christian Democratic Party leader Armin Laschet, who opposes pro-panicker and pro-lockdowner Markus Söder more and more. Very interesting could have real-world consequences in all of Germany! Söder is the head of the affiliated CSU and competitor of Laschet as Chancellor candidate.http://www.matthias.schrappe.com/index.htm
Stefan Homburg is a prominent economist who is very outspoken against CO-19 panic – not least for economical reasonshttps://www.stefan-homburg.de/aktuelles.html
Walter Krämer and Gerd Gigerenzer concentrate on statistical questions – see their website “Unstatistik des Monats”. Walter Krämer publishes quite a few articles about CO-19 related statistical questions – no panicker both, with Gigerenzer being a bit of a disappointment for lack of – hm: For being too much on the defensive side. A prominent person who trades in clarity and – opposition for academic respectability too readily in my eyes. Statistician Walter Krämer is more the fighting type and willing to expose himself. Loosely affiliated with them is Peter Pflaumer a statistician with an eye on excess-deaths who is also willing to go public.
Klaus Wodarg – this ex-politician and Doctor spoke out early on against the Corona-panic – with good arguments
Professor Winfried Stöcker is trying out a vaccine he created – sounds promising https://www.winfried-stoecker.de/
A quite influential anti-panicker is the Heidelberg family doctor Gunter Frank. His numerous articles are free online on the influential blog Achgut.com(On Achgut there are quite a few doctors, journalists, and scientists regularly writing there – like Jesko Matthes, Jochen Ziegler, Robert von Loewensstern, Beda M. Stadler, etc. pp. Another online Blog and monthly magazine willing to publish anti-panic articles is Tichy’s Einblick and – at times focus-online https://www.tichyseinblick.de/
The well-known NZZ in Switzerland is also anti-panic at times.
The German quality paper Die weLT gives at times room to anti-panickers too – not least to the very influential new CDU leader Armin Laschet and to professor Manfred Homburg and – to virologist Professor Wolfgang Streeck, who conducted the now well known Heinsberg study.
Public Broadcast in Germany is on the panic side almost completely – which is in itself very interesting, because they are economically unrestrained. The Swiss counterpart is anti-panic quite often.
Now I want to mention the successful blogger Sebastian, who made a courageous anti-panic video in the summer of 2020, a psychology student from Ulm. His video Die Zerstörung des Corona Hypes (The Destruction of the Corona Hype) is very straightforward and – fresh! – Sebastian’s claim is this one: “Part of the Solution”.
Thank you for this set of links.
I will say Dr Wodarg was impressive from the start. He was immunized against the Corona-Panic by having such close dealings via his political positions with the 2009 Influenza-H1N1 pandemic, which shared some similar characteristics with the 2020-21 Corona-Panic enough for him to “see” it from the very start.
Although we of the West and some others in the world remain stuck in the Corona-Panic, I feel there will be many more “Wodardgs” next time.
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Interview with John Ioannidis in the German daily Die weLT: Hard lockdowns can be counter-productive. Special protection for the elderly, social distancing, and masks recommended.
He said too, that France, Belgium, and Spain did not well in this crisis.
Ioannidis was right from the start.
He should be commended for publishing a pretty strong Anti-Panic article in mid-March 2020, when almost everyone was either in Panic mode themselves or, those experts who were either highly skeptical are were Disbelievers from the start, were keeping a low profile. For sticking his neck out (and being right), WELT calls him a “provocateur”!
Epidemiologists are neither politicians nor public-relations people. They are basically academics. Given their usual personality-types, it was always likely that in a politicized Virus-Panic crisis, they would tend to stay quiet.
And even those experts who might want to speak out did not / do not have platforms to do so. Wittkowski by chance got a big platform via a popular Youtube documentary group. But soon was life-banned by Big Tech.
The core group behind the Anti-Lockdown Great Barrington Declaration were missing-in-action in the early weeks of the Panic.
But Ioannidis was there from the start, the same with a small handful of others.
The only reason anyone ever heard of “Doctor Fauci” is because Trump gave him the US government platform, one of Trump’s many mistakes in four years, and as it looks now allowing Fauci to (effectively) take over the US government was his biggest mistake. (Imagine a world with Fauci quietly terminated in Feb 2020 and Scott Atlas appointed Head of Corona-Response!)
Donald Trump just went with the flow. I looked at the video with NBC’s interview with Fauci about CO-19 and climate change. He is the old very experienced bright guy who knows how to surf the emotional waves and how to strengthen them by doing so. Awesome. No rhetorical mistake, not blink of an eye. And delighted about the strength he radiates. In some moments, he even talked (intonated) like Trump in the lower registers. In our screen days, such abilities make a big difference.
Te two journlalists in Die weLT are women. – – – They bring the news, but – go with the flow at the same time.
England had made big mistakes too, Ioannidis said in Die weLT.
What made a big splash in Germany was that in an internal conference, RKI-Professor Lothar Wieler (Germany’s Dr. Fauci, together with Prof. Christian Drosten) did support Beatrix von Storch’s claim, that yes, Migrants are remarkably overrepresented in CO-19- intensive care beds. The severe cases are way above 50% (some say 80%) of migrants.
You can see daily, if not by the hour at times, how that stirs an extra-panic on the 85% majority of the pro-immigration parties. What’s happening in France too. One of the CO-19 hotspots being the well-known immigration-dominated Departemen 93, Saine Sainte-Denis in the north of Paris, where police are not “allowed in” by the mob on the streets, to secure the CO-19 rules the government imposes on the regular French.
Culture geographer and yellow-vest interpreter so to speak Christophe Guilluy (“No Society”) has written in-depth about Dep. 93. The government solves the CO-19 problems in the clinics of the immigration-heavy towns/regions with superfast trains (TGV) they made into – ambulances and use to bring the patients into regions with lesser immigrants and clinics that still have beds.
Like Anders Tegnell and Johan Giesecke in Sweden, John Ioannidis says that CO-19 will be around for quite some time. Achmed E. Neuman would not like that Ioannidis is in favor of wearing masks in public.
My wife and I were in Switzerland at the arts- and natural history museum in Winterthur yesterday. – Lots of visitors with lots of kids (a lot more than before the pandemic on such a day). Very joyful and relaxed mood, very pleasant. New works by Richard Long (paths in the wilderness) and minimalist Fred Sandback, two of our favorite contemporaries.
As usual, the US provides more ‘race’ data than Europe and for Europe we have to rely somewhat heavily on anecdotes. Even anecdotes from experts are still anecdotes.
There are a lot of questions that remain on this:
On one hand, in the US there are apparently relatively more deaths among Blacks than Whites. The Swedish health authority has mentioned at one point that up to half of reported “Covid” deaths were of African origin. But they have never thereafter released comprehensive race data. On the other hand, there is no indication of increased deaths in Africa itself. So how can both be true?
One possible interpretation of this:
Ioannidis understands the Panic as he has observed it for over one year, and is savvy enough to know he has to concede to Corona-orthodoxy on some points or he will be ignored and maybe villified. He has walked a tightrope since mid-March 2020. There is clearly a very big negative on masks, which is that unnecessarily, visually, viscerally “reinforce” the Panic.
Sweden had <10% mask use for almost the entire period of Corona and has been no worse than mask places.
Chancellor Angela Merkel after an15 hours (!) long conference in Berlin at three o’clock in the morning this week: We have thought this over a very very long time. And we have found new ways to think this CO-19 problem through.
Then she said what’s up: “We have a new pandemic.” The newly mutated virus, she said, “is way more deadly and way more infective.” – So: The lockdown has to be intensified.
Here is a quote from the article from Die weLT I quoted from above in German:
„Wir haben sehr, sehr lange und neu gedacht“, sagte sie. „Neu gedacht“ – da wurde das Publikum morgens um drei Uhr hellhörig. Hatte die Kanzlerin mit den Ministerpräsidenten tatsächlich einen Weg herausgefunden aus dem monatelangen Hangeln von Lockdown zu Lockdown?
Im Gegenteil: Über die Ostertage wird der bestehende Lockdown derart verschärft, dass auf der Pressekonferenz die Frage aufkam, ob in Deutschland nun auch die Industrieproduktion stillgelegt werde. Dieser Schritt wird von den politisch Verantwortlichen aber nicht Shutdown genannt – denn es wurde ja sehr, sehr lange und neu gedacht: Es handelt sich um eine „Erweiterte Ruhezeit zu Ostern“.
Merkel erklärte: „Wir haben eine neue Pandemie.“ Mit einem mutierten Virus, „deutlich tödlicher, deutlich infektiöser“.
Germany extends lockdown to April 18 including an unprecedented super-hard-lockdown in the upcoming week of Easter, all stores closed, all industrial production stopped. Madness, pure madness.
Final 2020 Graph for Sweden
(I meant to do this in late February when Sweden released its final 2020 death data. Here it is one month late.)
I am proud to say that I predicted what would be the final figure 2020 mortality in Sweden almost exactly in May 2020:
I proposed 0.93% but also said 0.94% was possible. The actual final total rounds to 0.94% (0.9448%, leap-year-adjusted). 98,124 deaths; 10,357,000 population July 1, 2020.
I am proud to say I got it exactly right. And it’s all the more impressive a prediction given that so many including The Experts were still predicting major catastrophe for Sweden and anyone who refused to ‘lock down’ and embrace the other trappings of the emergent Covid-Cult. And in fact we of the Anti-Panic side only had something like six or seven weeks of reasonably firm, final data to work from (from the start of the Corona wave in mid-March) by the time I publicly predicted a final-2020-mortality of 0.93% and +0.02% to +0.04% above-baseline final.
This remarkably accuracy, predicted so early on, really confirms our (Anti-Panic side) analysis and the rightness of our position, at least on the data.
I believe this points to the extent to which many of us had already largely collectively “solved” Corona, as a kind of giant math-problem, by late April and May, after tentative arguments of March and into April, the case was largely closed on the data by May. We had the data, we had the tools in hand to start making rather sweeping and very-much-testable predictions. As I did the second week of May 2020. And we were right.
Now, the final for 2020 at just under 0.945% yields either a +0.03% or +0.04% as the mortality-bump for the year over the expected level. The ‘average’ or ‘normal’ level is computable in several ways and must be treated with caution. Ideally it should be computed from data both before and after the year-of-interest. Lacking a time-machine, we can only use the years before in this case: Using 2014-2018, we get 0.916%; using 2015-2019, we get 0.905%. 2020’s 0.945% is either +0.03% or +0.04%. We might prefer the 2014-2018 average because 2019 is a clear outlier, data which, when used in interpretations, causes distortions (which is scientists throw them out).
(One must also be careful with trend-lines and pegging them onto single data-points which are clear outliers. This is a typical Corona-Panic graphing error/trick, and the graphing/interpretation error led one man to declare 2020 is Sweden’s deadliest relative year in a century. It was based in a simple data-analysis error, pegging his trendline to the outlier datum of 2019.)
Here are the final-2020 graphs etc. with appended commentary which I will later hopefully put up as a stand-alone post:
(Looking ahead, I think the realistic worst-case for 2021 is now +0.02%, for a two-year 2020-21 total of +0.06%, but as of now 2021 is just as likely to show even slightly mortality deficit.)
(Note, the above final graphs are posted here as a draft and I will publish it cleaned up later.)
I was compelled to update the graphs and make a final analysis especially after seeing an apparent Pro-Panic partisan claim Sweden’s “excess mortality” in 2020 was the highest since 1919, based entirely [and predictably in Corona-World] on a faulty application of a trendline.
Why would any reasonable person assume a second-year-in-a-row of historically low mortality – the mildest year ever in Sweden in 2019 at 0.86% in 2019, and the same in 2020? Data doesn’t work like that, and certainly mortality doesn’t.
Reckless, bad , misleading, potentially disastrous misuse of trendline by Marc Bevand. A historic and unusual low probably implies a bounce-back; all reasonable standards to measure an expected-baseline-value for 2020 are at least 0.90%, probably even up to 0.915%, which puts Wuhan-Corona snugly inside the pack of severe flu years.
Historical demographers have generally identified mortality crises as defined by deaths doubling in a given year over the norm for the time. They have generally defined the norm as the mean death total for the locality of the ten years around the crisis year (+/- five years) minus the two or four highest and lowest outliers in that sample.
Using the historical-demographers’ standard, we find the expected value for deaths in Sweden in 2020 to be 0.913% (mean of 2015-2019 minus the outlier-years of 2019 and 2015). A true mortality crisis event within the standards of the field of historical demography would have meant 1.826% deaths in Sweden in 2020 (the baseline of 0.913% + an additional 0.913% to reach the ‘crisis’ threshold of double the rolling-average).
And this is doubling thing is no strawman or unfair comparison, for it is also easily found in the mouths of the Pro-Panic side themselves. Panic-backers assured us that absent MAJOR government interventions, deaths could easily double (the “millions of deaths in America alone” scaremongering via unrepentant Panic-fanatic Dr Niall Ferguson), and, if it was worse than we thought, it could possibly triple.
(So it was that local Panic-backers in New Zealand in March 2020 puffed up some wild projection claiming well possible a tripling of deaths for 2020, absent a brutal and endless Lockdown. This is the kind of horror-fantasy that triggered New Zealand’s ongoing bizarre lockdown regime, alas not so different from every other society/regime that caved in, but seemingly nowhere as extreme as Australia and New Zealand.)
With the final mortality-total for Sweden in 2020 at +0.9474% (+0.9448% leap-year-adjusted), that’s +0.032% over the calculated expected-value (see above).
Being that Sweden would ‘need’ +0.913% for a crisis as defined by a true mortality crisis per the historical demographers, 2020’s +0.032% amounts to some three-and-a-half percent of the necessary value to reach a crisis.
Countries in modern times undergoing major war crises can reach half-doublings in total deaths at the peak of the crisis — I am talking the worst-hit areas of WWI, and the 1918-19 pandemic, and the worst-hit areas in 1944-45 or so in continental Europe — and in some of the very worst local cases in the 20th century reached mortality-doublings for one or more years, and such were the true mortality crises of the last century. Sweden-2020 only managed to attain 3.5% of the doubling threshold, 3.5% of a true crisis?
Even by the highly relaxed standard of only a quarter-doubling, Sweden-2020 still doesn’t come close, the final count for 2020 being just 14% of the way to a quarter-doubling. (And that is all before considering that most or even all the 2020 losses may be canceled out when a rolling three-year average is used!)
Any historical demographer three, four, five centuries from now, looking back on death data from the 2010s and 2020s, would simply laugh at anyone who informed him of a mass Panic, a year(s)-long Panic over excess deaths in 2020-21. After getting done with his laugh, he’d have to pass the problem to historical sociologists to solve. For of a general threat here, there was none.
Then there is the reoccurring hint at Noway and Finland: Look at the number of lives they have saved compared to Sweden. – Thousands! – It’s tiresome at times and I must admit that I still have not found a compact answer to this comparison.
From the early data we now have for 2021 (two months of near-final data and hints of what March will be when finalized), we can say it’s likely Sweden will have an excess no more than half that in 2020. I predict most likely the final for 2021 falls within -0.010% to +0.025% using the 0.905% baseline. (so 0.895% to 0.930%, below the final-2020 of 0.945%).
We can make such a prediction now because the final scope of the “second wave” of 2020-21 winter flu is now complete and is only half as much as the March-April 2020 wave, and all epidemiological knowledge tells us any third wave of the same flu is likely to be even weaker.
Here is the visual:
Mr. Hail, you say it looks like the flu, it behaves like the flu, so it will produce an outcome pretty much exactly – like the flu.
That’s a fact-based analogy, your applying here, I’d say.
Very irritating, if you contrast your method of analysis with the one currently applied in most of Europe. – In my words – maybe there are better ones: The points of reference for the official defensive measures being taken change often. Now it’s the mutations that are in the sweet spot on center stage.
And then there is the special kind of vulnerability of the most precious of the subgroups of the liberal European society: The migrants/ Muslims.
The news comes in again and again from German clinics confirming that yes: Muslims/ immigrants are deftly overrepresented in intensive care beds and on ventilators too.
The last to say this was the directly elected (important, because that makes her independent from her party, the CDU) District Administrator of the Nahe-Kreis, Barbara Dickes – and the head of the Lung Specialist Clinic Dr. Thomas Voshaar. They both said that this is what they see: There are currently 80 % of the CO-19-patients with migration background in the intensive care beds and or on ventilators (even more amongst the most severe cases on ventilators: Here ca. 90 %, said Dr. Voshaar.
The district with the highest infection rate in France is the very heavily immigration dominated somewhat famous District 93 Seine / Sainte -Denis, north of Paris. – A combination of the highest infection rates, and lowest willingness to follow the Government-measures against CO-19.
The French government admits that yes: There is a big extra-problem in Seine/ Sainte-Denise. and they have an explanation: That people are poor there. That other poor regions don’t show the same problems – that they don’t want to think through though.
For a moment in Germany, the window to the greater public was open, when RKI-chief Lothar Wieler admitted that there is a – let’s say – special – situation with the immigrants. But this moment was soon over, and now there is public silence again.
I am sure that the panic of the German Chancellor and her ministers is at least partly fueled by the reports that come in from the immigrants. The consensus in Germany is that you have to simply can’t admit this because of – Adolf Hitler (= the right-wing AfD).
Some have chosen to abandon basic knowledge of how viruses work. All viruses always have mutations. The “mutations” seem like the latest desperate big to keep the Panic alive. (Successfully, it seems, but ridiculously.)
How many centuries of progress and collective knowledge have we ‘suspended’ for the Corona-Panic? It’s across multiple fields. Extreme government interventions, radical restriction on civil liberties, and (effective) abandonment of key aspects of the germ theory of disease itself.
The compelling theory I think is on Vitamin D deficiency. Black Africans most at risk (i.e., needing most sun so keep a healthy immune system) and Middle Eastern people at more risk than Europeans.
To get Vitamin D properly from the Sun, your skin must be exposed to direct daytime sunlight.
Ironic: No lockdown = more outdoors = more Sun = more Vitamin D.
I suspect that outdoor mask wearing hurts, too. It blocks much of what little sunlight people under lockdowns did actually get in cold-weather months.
The intensive care crisis in France (esp. Paris /Nord Seine /Seine, Saint-Denise) is serious. Doctors ring the alarm bell because necessary operations can’t be made anymore, for example.
And there are lots of migrants (young ones too, lately) in those beds. Could be a lack of Vitamin D. But it for sure is non-compliance with regard to social distancing and washing hands etc. – and the fact, that the police has not much to say and is not allowed to do much in lots of the “lost” (immigrant-dominated) quarters in France. Patrick Kanner, the Social-Democrat minister of the interior famously said once, that he knows of two hundred of these “lost quarters” in France (this number has not become smaller since Kanner said this around 2014).
On April the 30th the German Ministry of Sanity (Gesundheitsministerium) published the following note on intensive care beds in Germany in 2020 declaring officially that there had never been a shortage of such beds be it for patients with or without CO-19.
The percentage of beds occupied for Covid patients had been four percent on average in 2020.
„Die Analyse der Leistungsdaten aller deutschen Krankenhäuser zeigt, dass […] die stationäre Versorgung in Deutschland im ersten Pandemiejahr 2020 flächendeckend gewährleistet werden konnte. Nach einem Rückgang der Krankenhausfälle im Frühjahr um ca. 30 Prozent, wurden auf Jahressicht im Bereich der allgemeinen Krankenhäuser 13 Prozent und im Bereich der psychiatrischen Kliniken 11 Prozent weniger Fälle als im Vorjahr versorgt. Im Jahresdurchschnitt waren vier Prozent aller Intensivbetten mit Corona-Patientinnen und -Patienten belegt. […] Die Mitglieder des Beirats betonten, dass die Pandemie zu keinem Zeitpunkt die stationäre Versorgung an ihre Grenzen gebracht hat.“
**** Wolfgang Schäuble once famously made this remark about the chances, that the Greek economy would recover from its crisis and be able to – walk alone, so to speak. – Won’t happen – that’s what Schäuble, the German Minister of Finances said.
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Foreigners who did not comply with the Sewdish rules – by far – the main source of excess deaths in Sweden
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