The actual corona numbers offer us a different picture than what the alarmists are giving us:
OK, it is time for my daily dose of reality regarding the corona crisis. It has become necessary to try to offset some of the panic-mongering, fear-mongering, and just plain hype surrounding COVID-19. Yes it is a real problem requiring real solutions, but constantly running with Chicken Little and It’s the End of the World scenarios helps no one.
So let me once again try to take a dispassionate look at the numbers. Of course numbers alone do not tell us everything, and the numbers have to be interpreted. But still, I much prefer dealing with the ACTUAL numbers instead of speculating on unknowns, and relying on dubious modelling and guesstimates. So here are some recent hard figures.
Let me say at the outset that these numbers of course keep changing – so by the time you read this piece they will have already altered somewhat. And I am making use of the stats and figures as found at the worldometers site: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
As to global figures, we have this:
-Global cases: 2 million (yes I have rounded off this number)
-Global deaths: 126,708
-Global recoveries: 478,932
-US cases: 613,886
-US deaths: 26,047
-US recoveries: 38,820
But bear in mind what I said in an earlier piece about inaccuracies in the numbers (eg, including those who die WITH corona in figures on those who die FROM corona, etc): https://billmuehlenberg.com/2020/04/10/corona-the-numbers-and-some-hard-questions/
In this regard, what Cheryl Chumley recently wrote about how “ridiculously low” the coronavirus case and death counts are in the US is worth repeating here:
Johns Hopkins University of Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center, as of April 13 at 7:02 a.m., reported 557,590 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the United States and 22,109 deaths due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. The current population of the United States, according to WorldOMeters.info, is just over 330 million.
Do the math. That means 0.17 percent of America’s population has been infected by the coronavirus. That means 0.007 percent of America’s population has died from the coronavirus — we think.
As Johns Hopkins also notes: It all depends on the testing. “With more testing, more people with milder cases are identified. This lowers the case-fatality ratio,” the site reported. That means the number of positive coronavirus cases will increase as testing increases — but very likely, the number of coronavirus fatalities will drop at the same time. And by logical extension — that means the number of recovery cases will hike, as well. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/14/coronavirus-case-and-death-counts-in-us-ridiculous/
And a lengthy article by Jonathan Tepper is also worth taking a look at. Let me offer just a snippet from it:
Given the extreme differences in how the virus affects the young and the old, it is worth asking if a countrywide lockdown is the right policy. If hospitals and retirement homes are one of the main transmission vectors and the disease and the virus overwhelmingly affects the very old and sick who have multiple existing conditions, shutting the entire economy will not solve the problem.
Policy measures so far have been indiscriminate, shutting entire economies. Little has been done to make sure that people are isolating, rather than visiting hospitals. Doctors and nurses still lack proper protective equipment, and many hospitals are still mixing Covid-19 patients with those who are not infected. Until we properly diagnose the problem facing us, we will not emerge from this crisis. The virus will continue to spread, and economies will collapse.
What benefit can come from banning jogging in parks or children playing in a playground as is happening in the United States and many European countries? How could it make sense to close schools if children are barely affected and they will develop immunity if exposed? How can such a sledgehammer approach work if over half of all cases can be traced to hospitals and retirement homes? The policies responses in most countries are not targeted, fail to tackle the source of the crisis and will do little to contain future outbreaks. Millions of citizens are paying for this calamitous misunderstanding with their livelihoods. https://medium.com/@tepper_jonathan/ground-zero-when-the-cure-is-worse-than-the-disease-3c513d91393d
Lastly, a piece by Dr John Lee entitled “To understand COVID we need evidence, skepticism — and vigorous debate” is also worth quoting from. He concludes:
It’s not hard to understand why politicians felt obliged to act by the distressing pictures of COVID-19 patients that were beamed around the world, combined with what we were being told about worst-case scenarios. But the fact that so many governments have jumped together, taking extraordinary actions based on modeling and prediction, is not a testament to the validity of those models. It is instead evidence of what can happen when the emergence of a new virus interacts with science and politics in the multimedia age. And how difficult it can be, in times of panic, to stop and think.
It is time for us to return, critically and calmly, to a rounded and robust scientific debate that generates a range of views about the severity and significance of this virus. And for our politicians to weigh these differing views extremely carefully against the clear and manifest harms of lockdown. It is for ministers, not scientists, to decide whether, in the light of changing evidence and understanding, what has been done is in any sense proportionate, and how to take us forward. https://spectator.us/understand-covid-need-evidence-skepticism-vigorous-debate
Much more can be said here – such as how bad China and WHO have been in all this, with WHO basically being a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party. But on this we have some good news: President Trump has just said he will cut funding to it: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-announces-funding-to-world-health-organization-who-halted
And the Australian Prime Minister Morrison is looking into this matter as well: https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6149242481001
Speaking of Australia, it is quiz time: How many Australians are there? How many have died of corona? We SHOULD know the answers to both, but if you don’t, here they are:
-Australia has 25,437,796 people.
-Australia has 61 people who thus far have died to coronavirus.
You can work out the percentages. Yet the entire nation is in lockdown with countless people unemployed and businesses destroyed, and draconian policing infringing on basic liberties. How very easy it is for the state to completely shut down an entire nation.
Let me look a bit more at some of the actual figures here for Australia:
Australian confirmed corona cases
-So far we have had 6416 confirmed cases of corona infection in Australia.
-On March 22 we had the peak number of cases – 537 – and they have been falling ever since.
-March 29 was the next worst day, with 528 new cases.
-On April 2 we had 266 new cases.
-On April 12 we had 10 new cases.
-On April 13 we had 46 new cases.
-On April 14 we had 41 new cases.
-The curve, in other words, seems to have clearly been flattened.
Australian deaths attributed to corona
It is often said that there is a lag time between detected cases and any deaths that may occur – often a period of one to two weeks is mentioned. If so, then we can look at actual Australian deaths thus far.
-We had one death – our first – on March 1.
-In two months we have had 61 deaths – that averages to one death a day.
-The worst day in Australia was April 6 with 8 deaths.
-On April 12 we had 3 new deaths.
-On April 13 we had 2 new deaths.
-On April 14 we had 0 new deaths.
-The curve, in other words, seems to have clearly been flattened.
Australian recovery rate
-So far there have been 3598 recoveries.
-On April 14 the rate of recovery was 98.33 per cent.
I have been urging folks to look at the charts here for a few weeks now. A quick look at them will tell us all we need to know about the corona crisis in Australia: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/australia/
Despite these very low numbers, already because of the nationwide lockdown some 1 million Australians are out of work. And the IMF says that the Australian economy has shrunk by nearly 7 per cent – the worst since the Great Depression. And all this because of a national shutdown based on 61 deaths so far. How many will die from suicide and other factors related to loss of jobs and a ruined economy? All deaths matter here, not just some.
All of these hard numbers, as I said, do require interpretation. And yes, I am fully aware that in a situation like this we have to be cautious about using phrases like, “if current trends continue…” Things of course can and will change, and plenty of variables – some now unknown to us – can come into play. So we need to be careful here with the figures.
So I am not making firm conclusions. But the truth seems to be this: in Australia and some other countries the curve-flattening and levelling has been going on for some time now. That is good news, and it needs to be shared far and wide, if for no other reason, than to offset all the corona alarmism that is out there.