If you think the soldiers at Gallipoli were brave …

… I’ve just come back from shopping on the high street!

I may be providing advice on how to keep the economy from as deep a disaster as it might still be, but I am also a near complete sceptic on the need for these lock-downs. This is the public will in action. My personal belief is that neither Donald Trump, nor Boris Johnson, nor Scott Morrison would have entered into these kinds of strictures, but politics is the art of the possible, and when your constituency are 60% snowflakes, there is nothing to be done but give them what they want, good and hard. We will have no risks, say our electorates. And in discussing all this with others, I find we are dealing with the Greens ten times over. Again, I watch the stats and the spread of disease, and while it is only we children of the WWII generation who are most at risk, I think this is madness.

We also went to a cafe with friends where we developed a new form of salutation to replace shaking hands. What one does is grab your left upper arm with your right hand, and then lift your left forearm upwards to the sky with your fist closed. More effective still is to think of the government while you are doing it.

Happily I am not alone in my way of thinking. Some Experts Say We May Be Overreacting to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

From this available data, it seems more probable than not that the total number of cases world-wide will peak out at well under 1 million, with the total number of deaths at under 50,000 (up about eightfold). In the United States, if the total death toll increases at about the same rate, the current 67 deaths should translate into about 500 deaths at the end. Of course, every life lost is a tragedy—and the potential loss of 50,000 lives world-wide would be appalling—but those deaths stemming from the coronavirus are not more tragic than others, so that the same social calculus applies here that should apply in other cases.

There was then this: STOP THE INSANE OVERREACTION.

I agree with the Wall Street Journal editorial that Scott quoted from this morning, but I think it is too mild. Here is a prediction: the deaths of Americans caused by the Wuhan flu bug will be dwarfed by the suicides committed by people whose life’s savings have been wiped out, whose businesses have been bankrupted, whose jobs have been lost, and whose prospects have been blighted by the insane overreaction we now see from our governments. That overreaction must stop. Right now. Before it is too late, if it is not too late already.

We will almost certainly end the year with more deaths in traffic accidents than from the CV. Should we now forbid all motor vehicle traffic? We are dealing with primitives who cannot assess relative risks. I don’t want to catch the CV, I don’t think I will. But if I do, it will be just bad luck since the one thing we are not in the midst of is a second version of the Great Plague.

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59 Responses to If you think the soldiers at Gallipoli were brave …

  1. BoyfromTottenham

    Thanks for the entertaining article, Steve. As a 72 year old myself I totally get it! And I tend to think that the predicted suicides will exceed deaths from COVID-19.
    As it happens I am reading Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness at the moment (50c at an op-shop!). This is the most amazing book, and as the ‘twofer’ imprint that I happened to buy also includes The Black Swan, I have the perfect reading material for these crazy times.

  2. Beachcomber

    “The Emperor has no clothes”

  3. Big_Nambas

    I’m 71 but don’t hold that against me. went to Bunnings and BCF today, both parking lots were full and both stores were busy, no form of personal space or supply of hand sanitiser were evident.

    Have to get a lot worse before I start to take precautions.

  4. BorisG

    These ‘experts’ say this while Italias have trouble burring the dead as funeral services are overwhelmed.

  5. Roger

    …we are not in the midst of is a second version of the Great Plague.

    Let’s hope not, but precaution is warranted just the same.

    I read this grim prediction today:

    If present trends continue, NY will be out of ICU beds by 5th April.

    Incidentally, 50% of Italy’s ICU admissions with the virus are under 65, including 20-30 year olds.

    Other American states will follow by mid-April.

    Unless solutions can be innovated – to borrow the jargon – many Americans with insurance used to a high level of medical care may find there are simply no beds to be had.

  6. Roger

    4th sentence should be the last.

  7. Chris M

    Sure you can let it run Steve but you’ll need around 2.5 million hospital beds in addition to those already in use, plus staff and boat loads of equipment. All within weeks. And also 300,000 coffins or cremations.

    Or just skip the hospitals and let them die at home? Even aborted babies get a clinic.

  8. Chris M

    Just for AU of course.

  9. Roger

    US ICU bed analysis here.

    The situation predicted, absent urgent action to expand ICU bed capacity (there is also the problem of staff to man those beds), is exactly the scenario our government is seeking to avoid with its measures.

  10. Iampeter

    My personal belief is that neither Donald Trump, nor Boris Johnson, nor Scott Morrison would have entered into these kinds of strictures,

    There’s no reason to believe such a thing.

    Happily I am not alone in my way of thinking. Some Experts Say We May Be Overreacting to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

    They’ve been saying that from the beginning but leaders in the West decided to follow China’s lead instead and it’s way too late now. The damage is done.

    It’s going to take years to recover from the insane actions taken over the last week alone.
    And that’s if we reverse course immediately, which isn’t going to happen.

    Once the shelves are completely empty in a few more weeks no one is even going to remember what the Corona virus is.

  11. Biota

    So in the long run there will be the big question if infections/recovery/death remain better than the common winter flu. Was it all a beat up or was it because appropriate measures were taken?

  12. Tim Neilson

    BorisG
    #3367647, posted on March 21, 2020 at 5:22 pm
    These ‘experts’ say this while Italias have trouble burring the dead as funeral services are overwhelmed.

    Come on Boris.

    Italy’s population is about 60 million.

    Given a life expectancy of about 80, you’d expect 750,000 funerals a year. That’s over 60,000 a month.

    They’ve had about 3,000 CV deaths so far. Well under a 5% increase in funerals required, even if one assumes that none of the CV deceased would have died of old age or other medical problems anyway.

    I don’t know whether or not CV does justify the reaction, but what you’ve just said looks like pure hysteria mongering.

  13. Shy Ted

    The good thing is that the elites will be scared to walk down the street for fear of disgruntled proles.

  14. Beachcomber

    BorisG at 5:22 pm

    These ‘experts’ say this while Italias have trouble burring the dead as funeral services are overwhelmed.

    Tim Neilson at 6:16 pm

    ……… what you’ve just said looks like pure hysteria mongering.

    Indeed.

    99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says

    The new study could provide insight into why Italy’s death rate, at about 8% of total infected people, is higher than in other countries.

    The Rome-based institute has examined medical records of about 18% of the country’s coronavirus fatalities, finding that just three victims, or 0.8% of the total, had no previous pathology. Almost half of the victims suffered from at least three prior illnesses and about a fourth had either one or two previous conditions.

    More than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease.

    The average age of those who’ve died from the virus in Italy is 79.5. As of March 17, 17 people under 50 had died from the disease. All of Italy’s victims under 40 have been males with serious existing medical conditions.

  15. What really irks me is that they just keep giving a cumulative total so that in SA we now have about 50 but since the infectious period is ten days, and since this crap has been going on for weeks, there are a substantial number who should be deducted so the net infectious cases would be nearer to say 30. They also blithely add in those who when found were already no longer infectious. Any assessment of whether the health facilities will be over run will need to be made on the net current infectious cases. As the daily numbers for new cases increase, so do the number dropping off,
    including those who have died so the position is never what it seems.
    I predict that in four weeks there will be more businesses in intensive care than infectious cases of Coronavirus and more jobless created than the number of cases in Italy, and the business mortality will exceed the death toll from this nonsense by a factor of 100 to one.

  16. Infidel Tiger

    Incidentally, 50% of Italy’s ICU admissions with the virus are under 65, including 20-30 year olds.

    Roger, Italian stats are not to be trusted.

    Things are grim there but they have a separate agenda. They want bailouts and this is the way they will get them.

  17. Roger

    Roger, Italian stats are not to be trusted.

    Things are grim there but they have a separate agenda. They want bailouts and this is the way they will get them.

    Perhaps, IT; but those stats were from a professor of intensive care medicine, not a government rep. His point was that the notion that this virus only seriously imperils the elderly is, in their experience, false.

  18. Judge Dredd

    I am also a near complete sceptic on the need for these lock-downs

    Same here, the whole thing reeks of fakeness, and I think many people are onto the fact that it’s a complete overreaction (and for some that the whole thing is completely fake, like a false flag event).
    A lot of people though will thank the government from saving us from catastrophe after this is all over, and never realize they are played. It’s like climate change all over again.

  19. yarpos

    Shopping on the high street, how nice

  20. Chris M

    Rasputin there are tracking sites which list further details such as “currently sick” and “critical” etc.

    One good one is here.

    Excellent thing with South Australia is they are testing for the Wuhan Virus at the highest rate per capita in the world so good stats on community dispersion although everything is delayed as you say. Important effort as the SA hospital system is tottering and won’t take much.

  21. Nob

    Economic lockdown will kill more people than just by suicide.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if fewer old people die from cold and flu than normal this year though, due to all the extra hygiene and lockdowns.

    They’ll die instead from lack of resources in a destroyed economy.

  22. Judge Dredd

    while Italias have trouble burring the dead as funeral services are overwhelmed.

    On average Italy has 1500-2000 deaths per day, and a total of 4,000 deaths from Coronavirus over the last couple of months. I don’t think their funeral services are stressed.

  23. candy

    20 to 30 year olds can have pre-existing conditions making them sitting ducks for the disease.
    Respiratory,cancer, AIDS, homeless people.

  24. deplorable

    Perhaps all the heroes amongst us could trot down to their local hospitals and volunteer to clean the wards and take out the waste and bodies. Nah I didn’t think so.

  25. stackja

    We will almost certainly end the year with more deaths in traffic accidents than from the CV.

    CV is the great unknown. Deaths in traffic accidents are expected. CV is unexpected. First contain the virus spread. MSM not helping in Australia or USA. Why are cruise ships still operating?

  26. The Beer Whisperer

    Steve, the entire point is to be able to say that the extreme measures, the economic destruction and ruination of lives not killed by the coronavirus saved lives, of which the vast majority would’ve survived anyway.

    Loss of freedom of speech? We saved your life.

    The elimination of cash? Shut up, we saved your life.

    Need a permit to have a wedding or funeral? You ungrateful swine. We saved your life.

    Have to prove you’re not infectious to get a job? You people are evil. Prepared to kill everyone just so you can feed your family. By the way, did we tell you that we saved your life?

    Figured it out yet? This is becoming partisan, as the right realise that the left is milking this to control everyone and everything. Wake up.

  27. The Beer Whisperer

    deplorable
    #3367884, posted on March 21, 2020 at 6:58 pm
    Perhaps all the heroes amongst us could trot down to their local hospitals and volunteer to clean the wards and take out the waste and bodies. Nah I didn’t think so.

    With the right equipment, processes and pay, absolutely. Line it up, bucko, and i’m there.

  28. The Beer Whisperer

    Chris M
    #3367673, posted on March 21, 2020 at 5:31 pm
    Sure you can let it run Steve but you’ll need around 2.5 million hospital beds in addition to those already in use, plus staff and boat loads of equipment. All within weeks. And also 300,000 coffins or cremations.

    Or just skip the hospitals and let them die at home? Even aborted babies get a clinic.

    On what basis?

    The mortality rate is a case mortality rate. It does not included those not tested, so the death rate must be less than whatever it is officially. South Korea has a much smaller CMR, which correlates with higher testing rates. And the flu? Pure estimation. They assume that for everyone tested positive, another 99 haven’t been tested. So it is likely no worse than SK’s 0.6% case mortality rate.

    China has 1.3 billion people, with less than 10,000 deaths so far, with new cases dropping. Deaths prevented can only be estimated, and people will estimate according to their desired narrative and perception bias.

    The bigger the estimate, the more leftist they are.

  29. candy

    20 to 30 year olds can have pre-existing problem making them a sitting duck to catch a serious virus.
    Respiratory disease, cancer, AIDS, drug abuse, even homelessness leading to poor general health.

  30. John Smith101

    Expand your thinking. Listen carefully to what Donald Trump says here: This Video Will Get Donald Trump Elected. Of course it doesn’t make sense because something bigger is happening, right now, on the back of the corona-virus. Trump has told you what it is in this video. Note that he refers to “our movement”. I have a longer post in the Open Forum about this. Don’t trust what I say. Find out for yourselves.

  31. Roger

    The mortality rate is a case mortality rate. It does not included those not tested, so the death rate must be less than whatever it is officially.

    The death rate – whatever it is – is not the key indicator since there are variables from country to country.

    The key indicator is the number of known cases which lead to hospitalisation with serious complications requiring admission to ICU beds. Even Western health systems are not geared up to accomodate high numbers of such people in a pandemic. That’s the bottom line as far as government response is concerned.

  32. …both parking lots were full and both stores were busy, no form of personal space or supply of hand sanitiser were evident.

    There’s no hand sanitiser for public use at my place – nor in any of the surrounding pubs.

    There is no chance of resupply. None in the shops, wholesalers all say they have none & have no idea when they’ll be able to supply any.

    So…. law says I gotta have hand sanitiser available. None to be found.
    This story will be replicated all across the country.

  33. Confused Old Misfit

    Salvatore, Iron Publican
    And how long will it be before some tin pot inspector drops in to issue you with a fine or worse?

  34. The Beer Whisperer

    Roger
    #3368018, posted on March 21, 2020 at 8:10 pm
    The death rate – whatever it is – is not the key indicator since there are variables from country to country.

    The key indicator is the number of known cases which lead to hospitalisation with serious complications requiring admission to ICU beds. Even Western health systems are not geared up to accomodate high numbers of such people in a pandemic. That’s the bottom line as far as government response is concerned.

    Roger, that is an absolute figure which is worthwhile as it deals with the actual capability of hospitals to deal with the outbreak. However, this is a function of the health system as a whole. Singapore is coping well because they prepared for this following the swine flu by creating special facilities to deal with it.

    My point is that they are using a different methodology to the seasonal flu, which is a false, nay fake, comparison.

    If they can’t be truthful, they can’t be trusted. You can take that to the bank.

  35. Mitch M.

    Richard A. Epstein, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, offered some perspective on the pandemic, suggesting that while everyone seems to react to bad news from Italy, some good news is being overlooked. “Overlooked is the good news coming out of China, where the latest report shows 16 new cases and 14 new deaths,

    I won’t trust an expert who trusts “good news coming out of China”.

    John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist and professor at Stanford University, argues that there isn’t enough data available to know just how dangerous the virus is and that the measures being taken to curb the spread of the virus could be excessive in relation to the actual threat.

    … Ioannidis argues that if we assume a mid-range mortality of .3% (based on his Diamond Princess analysis) …

    Ioannidis looking to get his face in the public view again. Not enough data but he still has an opinion. He extrapolates from a very specific small sample context to argue his case? That from a so called expert in epidemiology.

    The dilemma is this: waiting for enough data is waiting too long when the data says bad things will happen. It is like the doctor telling the smoker: I can’t say whether or not you’ll die of a smoking related illness so keep smoking, you might get lucky.

  36. Nob

    Judge Dredd
    #3367879, posted on March 21, 2020 at 6:56 pm
    while Italias have trouble burring the dead as funeral services are overwhelmed.

    On average Italy has 1500-2000 deaths per day, and a total of 4,000 deaths from Coronavirus over the last couple of months. I don’t think their funeral services are stressed.

    Presumably the biggest spikes in deaths have been in certain areas.

    I haven’t heard from my man in Lombardy for a few days. I’ll see what he reckons.

  37. nb

    They’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
    Smoothing the curve in order to keep cases under or nearer to hospital availability is not unreasonable, except that the cost is astronomical. What price a life? There is a growing trend in believing that the state must intervene wherever a life can be saved. This is erroneous and dangerous as it allows for infinite expansion of the state and absolute control of the populace.

  38. Nob

    The NH approach of (allegedly) smoothing the curve possibly not the best for Australia and other SH countries as it goes in the opposite direction in these months – i.e. from summer to winter.

  39. Geoff Cruickshank

    Hard to be a government. Some of the population wants even more now, and some think it’s all crap. And if it doesn’t turn out too bad here, the ‘all crap’ party will say ‘see, it was all crap’.
    The point is, the 15% or so that get pretty sick, we feel obliged to try to treat. If too many come at once, hospitals get out of control. Already quite a few doctors have died well before their use by date.
    If you can persuade the really sick to quietly die at home, then by all means, do it your way.

  40. The BigBlueCat

    Of course, the governments have to take “extreme measures” … that’s so that when not much happens they can tell us it was down to their leadership. There is no downside. A bit like the Y2K bug …. all that work so that at the end of it, Y2K was a dud!

  41. TFX

    I have always been on the side of limiting government intervention in the way we live. I unfortunately have significant experience in biosecurity, primarily with plant and animal disease incursions.
    In the few examples I know of their has been joint industry and government/taxpayer funding for dealing with the problems. As to industry I know that the relatively tiny honeybee industry puts its funding up and the pollination dependent horticultural industries also provide funding through a separate body for research and dealing with biosecurity incursions, recognising the importance of this input industry.
    For major agricultural industries such as all the livestock industries there have been trials undertaken for exotic disease incursions which could destroy the industries for an indeterminate time such as from an FMD incursion. We did a trial on a nationwide basis in 2014 on handling such a problem and I was an outsider reviewing it and I was impressed with the honesty of the different groups saying where they got things right and where they could improve or did not recognise the problems beforehand.
    Having dealt with these problems I am aware that biosecurity incursions can get out of control very quickly and from the trials and previous experiences the first best approach is containment.
    Accepting that we do not know the spreads and potential impacts of a new zoonoses from my agricultural experience I am a supporter of an absolutely hard-line approach on containment as the first best option.
    Yes there will be economic costs and the problem is there is such a huge uncertainty as to what they could be. Risk analysis would tell us go early and go hard (and I am not supporting the Kevin Rudd view of the world).

  42. Confused Old Misfit #3368080, posted on March 21, 2020 at 8:49 pm
    Salvatore, Iron Publican
    And how long will it be before some tin pot inspector drops in to issue you with a fine or worse?

    It’ll be as soon as they can get here.
    The Police Force is training a significant number of officers as we speak, to form flying squads for the express purpose of issuing fines to businesses they find inside the ratio of a person to four square metres.

    These bastards know how to guarantee non-cooperation after this is over.

  43. Bill The Bunyip

    I was in the local chemist getting my usual meds and saw he had a spray bottle of metho on the counter. I told him that was what we have used for years and that it is readily available at the servos and Bunnings. He replied that he couldn’t buy any labelled brands from his suppliers as they were all out of stock.
    Recipes for making your own hand sterilizer are only a google search away. Add some essential oils and tell mr inspector to f*** off and do some real work.

  44. DHS

    Perhaps, IT; but those stats were from a professor of intensive care medicine, not a government rep. His point was that the notion that this virus only seriously imperils the elderly is, in their experience, false

    The virus doesn’t imperil anybody. In Italy, everybody with a sniffle is being sent to an ICU rather than staying home and resting (or being told by a triage nurse to stay home and rest). Hence the ICUs are full.

    This was always going to happen at some stage. People are petrified of germs and contagion. I’ve had so many “libertarians” say to me they support forced vaccination. When people fall for the idea that one person can make another person sick then there is no longer capacity for reason.

  45. Steve, the government is not “giving the snowflakes what they want”, they are giving the media what they want.

    The sooner everybody realises the media’s complicity in the panic, the better.

  46. Tombell

    Currently hunkered down in NYC. Not quite “ shelter in place” but we’re getting close. MSM breathlessly reports every new case as if it were a confirmed death sentence. Whatever the position in Italy – and frankly having lived on and off in Rome for many years I take everything coming out of that country with a large grain of salt – unambiguously the people currently most affected are the aged and infirmed. And by and large this is the pretext used for intervention.The employment arrangements in the States complicates matters. Many are casual workers eg restaurants. And those full time employed have limited leave (2 weeks normally) with sick leave being virtually unknown in some sectors. And the power to dismiss is often untrammelled. ( if a business is casually shut down by State diktat what do you expect?). So we now receive dozens of emails asking to make donations to support out of work staff. People thrown out of work can apply for benefits. The numbers come out next Tuesday I believe. Likely to be highest on record. The political aspect to this cannot be underestimated. As in Oz hand sanitizer in short supply. Yesterday I wandered into Morton Williams on Bleecker and was surprised to find they had new stock. Bought a couple at $1.29 ( plus tax) ! Made in China of course.

  47. mundi

    As pointed out by video by beachcomber…

    Virus kill 0.1% of population every year. In italy that is 60,000 people per year. About 10% of that has always been coronavirus stands. That’s 6000 people per year. They are at about 4000 people in a few months and spread of the strain hasn’t gone through the population yet.

    So no it’s not an over reaction. This strain is indeed at least looking to be one order of magnitude deadlier for some reason.

  48. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From John Smith101 at 7:56 pm:

    “Expand your thinking. Listen carefully to what Donald Trump says here: This Video Will Get Donald Trump Elected. Of course it doesn’t make sense because something bigger is happening, right now, on the back of the corona-virus. Trump has told you what it is in this video. Note that he refers to “our movement”. I have a longer post in the Open Forum about this. Don’t trust what I say. Find out for yourselves.”

    I am reminded that George Bush arranged for controlled demolition of the World Trade Centre buildings, with miles of cables and charges laid throughout multiple floors, by numerous technicians over several weeks, which no-one noticed.

  49. DHS

    Virus kill 0.1% of population every year. In italy that is 60,000 people per year. About 10% of that has always been coronavirus stands. That’s 6000 people per year. They are at about 4000 people in a few months and spread of the strain hasn’t gone through the population yet.

    Maybe you should stop falling for obvious propaganda.

    Just because doctors say someone died of virus x, it doesn’t mean that’s what they actually died from.

  50. Vicki

    As it happens I am reading Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness at the moment (50c at an op-shop!). This is the most amazing book, and as the ‘twofer’ imprint that I happened to buy also includes The Black Swan, I have the perfect reading material for these crazy times.

    Great irony here. If you read Nassim Taleb’s twitter site – you will see that he has argued for several months that the “experts” are not understanding the mathematics of non-linear growth of this virus. He does not believe the so-called “panic” in unwarranted.

  51. Terry

    ‘The Police Force is training a significant number of officers as we speak, to form flying squads for the express purpose of issuing fines to businesses they find inside the ratio of a person to four square metres.’

    No, they’re already trained (been happening for years now). They’re just waiting on the special arm patches for their uniforms, but they’re made in China.

  52. Linden

    Just watched a ‘home made video’ of a young married lady, the very kind of person they say are likely to be least effected by the coronavirus. It was posted from a local community FB page group, the senders knowledge is first hand. She is in an intensive care unit coming through being gravely ill from the virus. She speaks with a horrible dry deep barking cough, explaining what has happened to her and how she feels. She implores everybody don’t take the coronavirus for granted, don’t think it is just another form of a flu like affliction, you are seriously mistaken if you do. It is only a short video but it shows how and why this thing is so devastating on the vulnerable and elderly. During the video this young mother in the prime years of her life is really struggling to breathe!

  53. DHS

    If you read Nassim Taleb’s twitter site – you will see that he has argued for several months that the “experts” are not understanding the mathematics of non-linear growth of this virus. He does not believe the so-called “panic” in unwarranted.

    Yes he is one of the panic merchants.

    His problem is that he believes in the mainstream idea of contagion and naively applies it thinking it’s real and not just impossible lunacy that we’re all supposed to trust without ever thinking about.

    What contagion actually is though is an internally incoherent fairy tale designed solely to justify government and medical authority over us.

    That’s why his projected numbers are nothing like what has actually happened.

    The same goes for every “virus” scare that was meant to wipe us all out.

  54. DHS

    . It was posted from a local community FB page group, the senders knowledge is first hand. She is in an intensive care unit coming through being gravely ill from the virus.

    Wow! That changes everything!!!

    Never before in history has someone had a bad bout of flu before!

    Given this person – the first person in history to do so – has had said bout, that definitively proves that it must be caused by some virus called “covid-19” and this virus has never existed before in humans and is about to spread to and kill all of humanity.

    QED.

  55. DHS

    It was posted from a local community FB page group, the senders knowledge is first hand. She is in an intensive care unit coming through being gravely ill from the virus. She speaks with a horrible dry deep barking cough, explaining what has happened to her and how she feels. She implores everybody don’t take the coronavirus for granted,

    Yes. She’s probably the first person in history to have a bad bout of the flu.

    Clear proof that she has a brand new virus that never affected anybody before in history and started in a Chinese province in December 2019 and spread to the rest of the world.

  56. Colonel Crispin Berka

    Enough vague statements about overreactions. What will be the cost to the economy of a 3-week shutdown of everything non-essential? Must be fairly easy to ballpark from past figures.

    The cost in lives of the alternative is easy to get a ballpark figure for.

    The evidence is the death rates reported by Italy which, after estimating uncounted infections, implies a probability of an infected person dying from it as ~ 2.75%. This is lower than the WHO’s estimate, but higher than the deaths now being seen early in the Australian epidemic while there are more hospital beds than concurrent cases (a cosy situation which doesn’t last long under exponential growth). Multiply that by 80% infection of the population (since there is nothing to stop it). That’s about 1 million premature deaths in less than 5 months. That’s the likely cost of Kates’ Business-as-Usual.
    If the Italian doctors quoted by the Guardian were exaggerating by a factor of 5 it would make no practical difference to the best course of action, it would just be pricing each death postponed at 5 times higher because the shutdown period cost is the same.

    Then we have to have the awkward discussion, which I admit should have been had already before people started shutting things down, about exactly what price we’re all willing to forego to postpone the deaths of others.

  57. DHS

    The evidence is the death rates reported by Italy which, after estimating uncounted infections, implies a probability of an infected person dying from it as ~ 2.75%.

    That’s not evidence. There is no proof that *anybody* has died because of the virus. There is also no proof that it is spreading, nor is there evidence that the virus is new.

  58. Beachcomber

    DHS at 4:18 pm

    There is no proof that *anybody* has died because of the virus. There is also no proof that it is spreading, nor is there evidence that the virus is new.

    Keep on commenting DHS. I have been making posts with information that supports this, but they have been blocked by moderation.

    This is the situation in Italy that the hysteria-mongers are ignoring.
    99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says
    How many people have died because of COVID-19? Not many, if any.

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