Corona virus: Government takes the St Augustine approach.


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  • #52027 Reply
    Clark

    michael norton, my guess is that the UK criteria for recovery are more stringent, ie. people recover just as much in the UK, but the UK hasn’t counted them as recovered yet.

    I seem to remember that there was a figure for UK Recovered, but then it just vanished.

    #52028 Reply
    Clark

    SA, 10:40: conspiracy theories are usually a right-wing thing. The right is more anti-science in general, as it has to be really, eg. global warming denial, pandering to religious fundamentalism etc.

    There was an exception to this as some on the left in the anti-war movement began accepting 9/11 Twin Tower demolition theory, and I expect this served as the tiny grain of truth in the “anti-Semitism in the Labour Party” hoax. I didn’t realise for years that Twin Tower demolition theory had been promoted from very early on by anti-Semites such as Holocaust denier Victor Thorn, Barnes Review etc.

    #52029 Reply
    michael norton

    Clark,
    so far you are only counted positive with covid-19 in the U.K. if you have been ambulanced in to a hospital, they are only taking incredibly sick covid-19 people in, most are expected to try to cope at home,
    over half of those put on ventialtors, die, the less than half that survive and show a modicum of improvement then have a long time recuperating in a hospital environment.
    Many will take a longtime before they are released in to the wild.
    Japan is now going bonkers.

    Doctors in Japan have warned that the country’s medical system could collapse amid a wave of new coronavirus cases.

    Emergency rooms have been unable to treat some patients with serious health conditions due to the extra burden caused by the virus, officials say.

    One ambulance carrying a patient with coronavirus symptoms was turned away by 80 hospitals before he could be seen.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-52336388
    Japan, which initially appeared to have the virus under control, passed 10,000 confirmed cases on Saturday.

    #52036 Reply
    SA

    Michael
    Mr Johnson does a disappearing act when he does not know what to do. In this last case he has a good excuse. But it shows a major deficiency in a so-called democratic system that the system is so paralysed in the absence even of such an inadequate PM.

    #52038 Reply
    SA

    Clark @April 18, 2020 at 13:38
    This leaked document: The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014 – 2019
    According to this massive investigation the hoax bit was that there were those within the labour party who saboutaged the investigations into antisemitism in order to harm Corbyn. The executive summary is interesting:

    The work of GLU (Governance and Legal Unit) and the relationship between LOTO (Leader of the party Office) and GSO/GLU in 2015-2018, cannot be understood without understanding the role of Labour Party factionalism. As the Party’s investigation progressed, this became increasingly apparent, and unavoidable. Claims have been made about these relationships that are critical to understanding how the Party addressed complaints of antisemitism in 2015-18 – most notably, the assertion that GLU was forced by LOTO to follow “unwritten guidance” which prevented action on antisemitism – and which required investigation.

    This report is not concerned with the rights and wrongs of different political positions espoused by different factions and individuals in the Labour Party in the preceding five years. However, an understanding of the role of Labour staff in this period is critical to any examination of how the disciplinary process functioned, and to assessing allegations about the role of LOTO in those processes.

    Labour Party staff, who are employed by the Party rather than as political advisers to politicians, are expected to act impartially and serve the Party, regardless of the current Leader, much as the civil service is expected to serve the Government under whichever political party is in power. However, this section shows that much of the Labour Party machinery from 2015-18 was openly opposed to Jeremy Corbyn, and worked to directly undermine the elected leadership of the party. The priority of staff in this period appears to have been furthering the aims of a narrow faction aligned to Labour’s right rather than fulfilling the organisation’s objectives, from winning elections to building a functioning complaints and disciplinary process.

    Labour Party staff based at Labour HQ were not obeying secret directives from LOTO. On the contrary, all of the available evidence points to the opposite conclusion – that Labour Party staff based at Labour HQ, including GLU, worked to achieve opposing political ends to the leadership of the Party. This included work to remove supporters of the incumbent leader during the 2016 leadership election, and work to hinder the leader’s campaign in the 2017 General Election. The attitude in HQ towards LOTO could be summed up in one comment from a senior staff member, who said “death by fire is too kind for LOTO”.

    Labour officials, including senior staff, expressed hostility towards Jeremy Corbyn and his staff, towards Labour MPs including Andy Burnham, Ed Miliband, Sadiq Khan, Emily Thornberry, Diane Abbott and Dawn Butler. Staff described “most of the PLP” as “Trots” or called them “totally useless” in 2015 for not having yet launched a coup
    30

    against Corbyn. As one staff member commented, “everyone here considers anyone left of [Gordon] Brown to be a trot.”

    Staff repeatedly used abusive and inappropriate language about the leader, MPs, Labour members and about other staff. For example, staff discussed “hanging and burning” Jeremy Corbyn, calling Corbyn a “lying little toerag”; said that any Labour MP “who nominates Corbyn ‘to widen the debate’ deserves to be taken out and shot”; and stated that a staff member who “whooped” during Corbyn’s speech “should be shot”. Senior staff also said they hoped that one Labour member on the left of the party “dies in a fire”. Senior Labour staff used language that was considerably more abusive and inappropriate than that cited as justification for suspending many Labour members who supported Jeremy Corbyn in 2016.

    In August 2015 senior staff explored delaying or cancelling the ongoing leadership election when it looked like Jeremy Corbyn was going to win. When Corbyn was elected staff discussed plans for a coup; one staffer said “we need a POLL – that says we’re like 20 points behind”; another suggested a silver lining for Remain losing the 2016 European referendum would be that Corbyn could be held responsible; and another hoped that poor performance in the May 2016 local elections would be the catalyst for a coup.

    Staff described “working to rule” when Corbyn was elected and “coming into the office & doing nothing for a few months.” During the 2017 general election, staff joked about “hardly working”, and created a chat so they could pretend to work while actually speaking to each other – “tap tap tapping away will make us look v busy”. Senior staff coordinated refusing to share basic information to LOTO during the election, such as candidates’ contact details. Labour HQ operated “a secret key seats team” based in Labour’s London region office in Ergon House, from where a parallel general election campaign was run to support MPs associated with the right-wing of the party. The description of the workload and budget involved in this “secret” operation contrasts with the go slow approach described by other staff regarding work on the official general election campaign which the leadership was running to return a Labour government.

    One senior staff member implied that he would support the Conservatives over Labour under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, saying “who votes for JC? If it’s a choice btwn him & TMay how do WE vote for him?”. Staff sent messages expressing their wish that Labour would perform badly in the 2017 general election, saying “with a bit of luck this speech will show a clear polling decline” and “I CANNOT WAIT to see Andrew Neil rip [Jeremy Corbyn] to pieces over it tonight”. Senior staff commented
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    that the huge rallies for Corbyn late in the election made them “feel ill”, and they reacted to the polls narrowing with dismay, rather than optimism.

    On election night on 8 June 2017, when the exit poll predicted a hung parliament, General Secretary Iain McNicol, Executive Director for Governance, Membership and Party Services Emilie Oldknow (who was responsible for overseeing GLU) and other senior staff discussed hiding their reactions, saying “everyone needs to smile” and “we have to be upbeat. And not show it”. Oldknow also described Yvette Cooper and other Labour MPs’ support for Corbyn after the election as “grovelling and embarrassing”.

    In January 2017, Iain McNicol, Emilie Oldknow and other senior staff discussed preparing for a leadership election if Labour lost the Copeland and Stoke-on-trent byelections, and setting up a “discrete [working group]” to determine the rules and timetable. Iain McNicol discussed this with Tom Watson and told him “to prepare for being interim leader”. During the 2017 general election the Director of GLU John Stolliday then drew up these plans, including a rule change to replace the one member one vote system with an Electoral College system to help ensure that a MP from the party’s left could not win.

    GLU staff talked openly with each other about using the party’s resources to further the aims of their faction. The Director of the Unit John Stolliday described his work in GLU as “political fixing”, and described overhauling selections of parliamentary candidates and overturning CLP AGM results to help the right of the Party. Emilie Oldknow and GLU staff discussed keeping Angela Eagle MP’s CLP suspended, at Eagle’s request, in order to give her team more time to organise against left-wing members before the AGM. Staff also discussed organising NEC Youth Representative elections on a different election cycle to other NEC elections, to ensure a left-wing candidate would not win, and noted that this was signed off by GLU’s Director.

    Staff applied the same factional approach to disciplinary processes. One staff member referred to Emilie Oldknow expecting staff to “fabricate a case” against people “she doesn’t like/her friends don’t like” because of their political views. During the 2015 leadership election GLU and other Labour staff described their work as “hunting out 1000s of trots” and a “Trot hunt”, which included excluding people for having “liked” the Greens on Facebook. One prominent GLU staffer, Head of Disputes Katherine Buckingham, admitted that “real work is piling up” while she and other staff were engaged in inappropriate factional work.

    Factional loyalty also determined key recruitment decisions, including in GLU, where people were appointed to senior roles with few apparent relevant qualifications. This
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    had a severe impact on the Party’s ability to build a functioning disciplinary process over the following years.

    This section demonstrates that the party machine was controlled by one faction which worked against Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and to advance the interests of their faction, and that LOTO did not have authority or influence over GLU or the party machinery more broadly. Factional work appears to have come at the expense of work the staff were being paid to do, including – as will become apparent in Sections 3-6 – building and maintaining a functioning complaints process.

    #52127 Reply
    Tatyana

    Well, here is the news from a small Russian city where my parents live. The city hospital canceled all appointments and switched to hospital mode for the virus. All those in need of routine medical care are sent to the hospital in a neighboring village.
    Today I learned from my cousin that someone brought in the virus there too. As it turned out, his wife visited Moscow and infected him.
    Now that second hospital is quarantined. Conditions that are often in the elderly, such as hypertension, also require the attention and control of doctors. And since doctors are now forced to be in quarantine, now my parents have nowhere to turn to.
    I am really worried and terribly angry at such careless people who cannot maintain isolation and cannot do without trips.

    #52186 Reply
    SA

    Kim
    Thank you so much for such a comprehensive round up of events. I missed the Andrew Marr show and now I have a good update and also of the 5 o’clock propaganda broadcast.
    Taking up some points: Jenny Harris and Apples and Oranges is of course true, but not in the sense she means. It is not that of demographics or ethnic mix or susceptibilities, but it is true that Germany has not deindustrialised unlike UK, where we cannot manufacture anything anymore, and we are unable to be self-dependent in many fronts. Germany has also paid much more attention in maintaining higher spending on healthcare, higher beds, and doctors per 100000 population, higher ITU beds and higher ability to manufacture testing kits for example.
    But in all this crisis the Tories have believed on our exceptionalism. After all we managed to have our sovereignty back after Brexit and we must make full use of it. To start with we must have an exceptionally incompetent government, unfit to deal with anything unexpected, like international crises, flooding and now this Covid-19 pandemic. The MO is to declare that we are the best, to declare that we are going to do this and that, and then as you say, to blame everyone else when these plans do not materialize. It’s as if they believe that the moment they have wished something to happen, they are exonerated.
    But another amazing revelation that has now become apparent is that the so called scientific advisor posts within the government, appear to be thinly veiled political appointments, in the sense is that they are not really “guided by the science”, as they keep reminding us, as subjugating the science to their political will. This was so clear from the outset when the herd immunity red herring was floated when there was so little understanding of immunity to this virus. Yes, it revealed that the government understood herd instincts, but had very poor grasp of the concept of immunity. I do not understand how these government appointed scientific staff can sleep at night knowing how they must act against all they have been trained to do.
    But here are also some of the crazy ideas that have become part of the propaganda.
    Preventative measures: for what is essentially a respiratory virus transmitted by droplets and aerosols and perhaps other bodily fluids, the government advocated the ritual of the 20 seconds handwasher. To this day there are still discussions as to whether face masks, are protective. I have to say that the doubt has also been sown by the WHO, and their advice is ambivalent about their usefulness in slowing the epidemic by widespread use in the population. In fact, the most laughable thing I heard, and this time by respectable medics, is that face masks can cause more harm than good if it makes you touch your face! I am not saying that hand hygiene is not important, but it is not the sole way of prevention in a respiratory virus. These same scientific advisers also said at the outset that cancelling mass gatherings would have minimal effects on slowing the infection rate, and decided to allow the importation of 3000 Spanish fans for a match in Liverpool at a time the infections in Spain were at a high level.
    The other insanity is the whole abandonment of the basic tenets of dealing with an epidemic, widespread testing, isolation of case and contact tracing. Although this was started at the outset, it was abandoned when the government decided to adopt the strategy of herd immunity. This should really be the highest priority now as a prerequisite to easing the ‘lockdown’. But there is no chance of that happening soon as the government is failing all targets to ramp up testing on both the logistical and organizational level.
    The rather early major focus, to belatedly encourage local industries to produce ventilators, fell also on many stumbling blocks and instead of concentrating on sourcing tested ventilators from known sources, the government wasted precious time on this rather difficult to achieve endeavor but also without appropriate structural commitment. In any case, it is not just ventilators that are needed, industries cannot just conjure up trained staff to run them especially in the post austerity NHS.
    But what has caused me some alarm is that now the Blood transfusion service would like to collect serum from individuals who have recovered from covid-19 in order to attempt to try and see if this can help those who have the disease to recover quicker and possibly to avoid fatalities. But has this project really passed critical scrutiny? What is known about immunity to SARS cov2? The current state of knowledge is incomplete. What has been suggested so far is that there is slow and weak development of a humoral immune response, as outlined above by Kim from the interview of Prof Sarah Gilbert with Marr. But also from what I understand about the pathology that the virus causes in certain individuals, the major lethal complication in this disease is the ARDS which is not a direct result of virus multiplication, and does not occur in in the acute phase but usually a week or more after the start of the infection, and is possibly related to uncontrolled stimulation of the immune system. What would a little bit of convalescent serum do to treat a ‘cytokine storm’?
    So, in all of this it seems that headlines are more important than details and I am afraid this is a result of politicizing a very medical problem.

    #52196 Reply
    Clark

    SA – “So, in all of this it seems that headlines are more important than details and I am afraid this is a result of politicizing a very medical problem”

    That succinctly expresses my criticism of media coverage, which you asked me about elsewhere. It expresses it much better than my own criticism, which was inadequately thought out and badly worded. Thank you.

    #52201 Reply
    Clark

    It reminds me of the problem with coverage of global warming; always “what will be the immediate economic effects”. It is always the same with the “news” media, which is overly focused upon established political positions. Analysis proceeds from that establishment political narrative; this is a very specific form of tunnel vision.

    #52207 Reply
    Clark

    Tatyana, my sympathy to you and yours.

    I am attempting to counter the “it’s not serious, abandon all restrictions” narrative elsewhere. Such people seem lacking in empathy and patience. They lack foresight by ignoring the rapidly rising numbers.

    #52223 Reply
    SA

    Clark
    Thank you for your appreciation. I always read what you have to say but don’t always comment because I take in the information. It is rather distressing to see how many swallow the misinformation and are willing to cherry pick what they choose to believe in, often even misrepresenting or misunderstanding the message. But whatever, please cheer up, there is a lot to celebrate in the world despite the evils of mankind. In fact it looks that many people are beginning to understand the value of not rushing around, spending time with family and appreciating the joys of nature and wildlife as a result of this crisis. Maybe we will all come out better in the end, who knows?

    #52237 Reply
    michael norton

    One Big country is China,
    one little country is Belgium

    Belgium has had more deaths from covid-19, than has China.
    There are less than twelve million people living in Belgium.
    There are more than 1.4 billion people living in China.

    Strange that China has done so well, and Belgium does so bad.

    The explanation I can come up with is,
    something very fishy in China.

    #52243 Reply
    Clark

    Michael, first, a big disclaimer; I haven’t researched what follows this paragraph, and there has been a lot of China-bashing about for years, eg. we often hear about China’s high CO2 emissions, but it’s rarely mentioned that (1) the per-capita emissions are lower than Western countries, (2) much of China’s emissions are from manufacturing for export, and it’s predominantly the West buying the products, (3) China has more installed renewables than any other country, and is installing more faster than anywhere else, (4) China has been more successful in decoupling economic growth from rising emissions than any other country and (5) a lot of the new coal burning capacity being built is factories rather than power stations, which are being authorised by local authorities in contravention of central government; big place, China. That’s quite a lot of good news you very rarely hear about China. So, with China bashing in mind…

    Back in February or March I saw a video interviewing leading UK virology and epidemiology experts. One of them said that China’s published case and death figures must be between a tenth and a hundredth of reality.

    China wouldn’t give the WHO free access; they negotiated for a couple of days or more, and then Chinese officials accompanied the WHO and permitted them to certain places only.

    I also have two links, but I have no idea how propagandistic the media sources are. Treat with caution. The first is about crematoria:

    https://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/wuhan-deaths-03272020182846.html

    This second one claims to show figures that were leaked or escaped, and says they match a mathematical epidemic simulation:

    Remember also that the Chinese lockdown has been absolutely brutal, especially in Wuhan, and this would be more effective. Doors of apartment blocks welded shut; people carted off to quarantine by teams of four in biohazard suits just on the basis of a forehead temperature reading, not even asked to come voluntarily. Such incidents have been caught on cellphone cameras. Also a lawyer who was videoing the massive backlogs at crematoria was arrested, not heard from for a fortnight and then didn’t post any more videos.

    I have long thought that China was greatly suppressing its figures.

    #52268 Reply
    michael norton

    Clark,
    today we learn that China has counted 4,632 deaths from covid-19 ( pop. 1,400,000,000)
    and the U.K. has counted 17,337 deaths from covid-19 ( pop. 67,000,000)

    They really have in under control in China
    and we are bloody incompetent?

    Or China are telling little porkies?

    #52270 Reply
    Tatyana

    Clark, something is very naive in the article you’ve linked.

    “…84 furnaces with a capacity over 24 hours of 1,560 urns city-wide, assuming that one cremation takes one hour” One hour is not enough

    I would very carefully accept such information. Human psychology is capable of greatly exaggerating the number of victims. For example, once in my region a severe flood happened, people also told absolutely frightening figures. But my husband was a volunteer and I know for sure how this does not correspond to reality.

    #52273 Reply
    michael norton

    Tatyana
    “porkies” is London slang
    Porkie Pies = Lies

    Smells Fishy = Lies

    #52287 Reply
    Tatyana

    Thanks, Michael 🙂

    I’m here with a new and absolutely fascinating report from medics.
    The virus attacks hemoglobin
    https://chemrxiv.org/articles/COVID-19_Disease_ORF8_and_Surface_Glycoprotein_Inhibit_Heme_Metabolism_by_Binding_to_Porphyrin/11938173/6

    Now recall it came from the bat and here we are with a new interpretation of Dracula.

    #52291 Reply
    Clark

    Tatyana, thanks for checking. As I said, I had not.

    #52292 Reply
    Clark

    Michael, the UK ‘lockdown’ is working. But it was imposed rather late, and the current deaths are from the many infections that occurred before it was imposed.

    The predicted effects of the various level of restriction match the figures really rather well.

    So here’s the model of new infections daily in the UK; the sudden drop is the predicted effect of the lockdown. Actual infections can’t be shown, because testing has been neither widespread nor random enough to get a reliable sample of the entire population:

    Daily infections from simulation

    This shows the forecast deaths in blue, against the counted deaths as a brown bar chart, and the fit is very good:

    Deaths: predicted and actual

    Rt is the predicted reproduction rate of infections. This shows the estimated decrease for the various measures:

    Reproduction rate for various restrictions

    And this is the second graph again, but with deaths plotted logarithmically and a bit more of the forecast shown:

    Forecast deaths, log scale

    More information here.

    #52332 Reply
    SA

    Tatyana
    This is a spoof and is utter rubbish
    “This article is for academic discussion only, without experimental prove. we hope that qualified laboratories can do experimental verification .”

    #52344 Reply
    SA

    Clark
    April 20, 2020 at 22:39
    Radio free Asia is a US government Cold War tool just
    like the notorious Radio Free Europe, a propaganda outfit.

    #52346 Reply
    SA

    The European Union Times – Media Bias/Fact Check

    The European Union Times


    Founded in 2009, The European Union Times is a far right conspiracy website that does not always publish factual news. According to their about page the “European Union Times …

    #52357 Reply
    Clark

    SA, thanks for mediabiasfactcheck.com

    The eutimes.net article specifies a source:

    https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3871594

    “Tencent may have accidentally leaked real data on Wuhan virus deaths”

    mediabiasfactcheck.com tells us: “Overall, we rate Taiwan News Left-Center Biased based on socially liberal editorial positions. We also rate them Mostly Factual in reporting, versus High, due to a failed fact check.”. That’s better than, for instance, mediabiasfactcheck.com’s rating of the Daily Express.

    Another route is to pick some text from the article that looks fairly specific to it, and search on that. I chose “Hiroki Lo”, and found the same information posted elsewhere.

    I have also heard that the Chinese authorities stopped publishing their routine regular overall mortality figures, something they’d have to do to cover up excess deaths. I looked up Tencent and found them to be a massive and highly influential Chinese company, a sort of Chinese Google. I rate the story credible, unproven, possibly a China-bashing ruse but not necessarily. There’s only so deep I can dig, but diverse snippets from diverse sources quite strongly suggest that China has downplayed the case and death numbers.

    #52368 Reply
    Clark

    Troubling news in Nature :

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41577-020-0321-6

    The potential danger of suboptimal antibody responses in COVID-19

    – There is a desperate need for effective therapies and vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 to mitigate the growing economic crisis that has ensued from societal lockdown. Vaccines are being developed at an unprecedented speed and are already in clinical trials, without preclinical testing for safety and efficacy. Yet, safety evaluation of candidate vaccines must not be overlooked.

    – Recent studies of antibody responses in patients with COVID-19 have associated higher titres of anti-N IgM and IgG at all time points following the onset of symptoms with a worse disease outcome. Moreover, higher titres of anti-S and anti-N IgG and IgM correlate with worse clinical readouts and older age, suggesting potentially detrimental effects of antibodies in some patients.

    #52370 Reply
    SA

    Clark
    Like you I don’t normally watch TV, too busy living and doing things I enjoy, to be spoon fed propaganda and entertainment. But for social reasons I had to watch a lot during this crisis and find that some journalists have risen to the challenge and some good programmes. An example was Channel 4 last night: Can science beat the virus?

    It is a pity that many of the journalists now including Peston and Maitlis and even Piers Morgan are now asking searching questions and exposing the government’s inadequacy but did not di so during the elections but chose to attack Corbyn instead.

    #52371 Reply
    Clark

    SA, Moon of Alabama is really good on covid-19. Thanks for pointing it out on another thread:

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/04/the-moa-week-in-review-open-thread-2020-31.html

    #52399 Reply
    Nick

    What does the forum think of the footag3 of the cmo of california state telling a journalist at a briefing that covid19 cmr was just over .1%. The figures given certainly came to that.

    #52400 Reply
    Nick

    Clark what you describe there from that nature article sounds very similar to anaphylactic shock.

    #52405 Reply
    Clark

    CMR I take it means Case Mortality Ratio. That’s usually taken as the ratio of confirmed cases to mortality. I’ve never seen it anything like that low anywhere there’s been an outbreak. So looking at California’s figures right now, 1,438 total deaths for 37,787 confirmed cases is about 3.8% which is more usual.

    The infection fatality ratio IFR is all infections, detected and undetected, versus total deaths, and is therefore lower than CFR. IFR from a simulation looks like 0.1% as an outbreak is spreading unrestricted, in that by the time there are x deaths, the model predicts that there are about 1000x infections in total, detected and undetected. But this is misleading through being a static snapshot of a developing situation, because some of those 1000x will die over the coming weeks, by which time the number of infections will have increased. Neither CFR nor IFR can be properly calculated until infections come to equilibrium, and that’s a long way off.

    #52407 Reply
    Tatyana

    if you understand russian, you may be interested to get news from a doctor (intensive therapy department), he answers questions in the comments
    https://pikabu.ru/@K0L0K0L82

    his latest post says:
    “… we had another death (patient 80+, with a lot of concomitant pathologies). I took him from the floor and was amazed at how quickly a person worsens. In a matter of minutes. What they say on TV / write on the Internet is completely true. I also thought about exaggeration, but no. The patient worsens in 5 minutes.
    Good news – our youngest patient was transferred to another hospital (I hope the traffic jams resolved) to ECMO (ExtraCorporal Membrane Oxygenation) – a treatment method in which the patient’s blood is taken, then a special device removes carbon dioxide from it, saturates it with oxygen and returns it back, in non-stop mode).
    Well, we have 9 patients left. And again, everything is not very good. 6 of them on mechanical ventilation. Another, apparently, will be on a ventilator in the near future. So that the number of extremely severe patients is growing, although not in progression…”

    #52477 Reply
    SA

    Interesting analysis from the Guardian
    ” Why do female leaders seem to be more successful at managing the coronavirus crisis? ”
    And one of the answers suggested is that having women leaders is a reflection of the political status of the society of egalitarianism and non-discrimination. I also think that it reflects a more politically mature society, where politics and politicians serve the interest of their people not the interests of the overinflated egos of the leaders and their vested interest. And this reminds us why we are in this mess we are in, because despite or because of a head start in democracy, countries like US and UK have not moved on with the times and still run extremely patriarchal societies, with the leaders as ultimate decision makers. That is the lesson that should be learned.

    #52483 Reply
    Clark

    SA, please check over my repliy to Nick, above, and correct if necessary.

    #52485 Reply
    michael norton

    China has rejected calls for an independent international investigation into the origin of the coronavirus.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-52420536

    WHO could have guessed that?

    #52486 Reply
    michael norton

    Officially North Korea has no cases of covid-19
    unofficially it is very bad.

    BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) – China has dispatched a team to North Korea including medical experts to advise on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to three people familiar with the situation.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-politics-exclusive/exclusive-china-sent-team-including-medical-experts-to-advise-on-north-koreas-kim-sources-say-idUSKCN2263DW

    The sources declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter.

    #52501 Reply
    SA

    Clark and Nick
    The case fatality rate in different countries is all over the place. Here is an article that discussed the reasons why this is so. As Clark says, the case fatality rate always improves with time presumably because you always diagnose the more severe cases first as milder cases may escape attention and you will also get better at treating a disease that you become more familiar with in time. Of course there are many other demographic factors, as discussed in that website referred to above:

    Between countries, case Fatality rates vary significantly, and over time, which suggests considerable uncertainty over the exact case fatality rates.
    1. The number of cases detected by testing will vary considerably by country;
    2. Selection bias can mean those with severe disease are preferentially tested;
    3. There may be delays between symptoms onset and deaths which can lead to underestimation of the CFR;
    4. There may be factors that account for increased death rates such as coinfection, more inadequate healthcare, patient demographics (i.e., older patients might be more prevalent in countries such as Italy);
    5. There may be increased rates of smoking or comorbidities amongst the fatalities.
    6. Differences in how deaths are attributed to Coronavirus: dying with the disease (association) is not the same as dying from the disease (causation).

    But also I think that the overall mortality can only be ascertained after widespread testing and also after the end of the epidemic, or at least the first wave of the epidemic.

    #52503 Reply
    SA

    Nick @April 23, 2020 at 18:50

    “Clark what you describe there from that nature article sounds very similar to anaphylactic shock.”

    Only in so much as they are both phenomena whereby the immune response overreacts and causes damage but the mechanisms and the clinical picture are different. Anaphylaxis is mainly mediated by a type of immune protein called IgE which is associated with allergy. The reaction against a protein, say nuts in those with nut allergy, triggers the release of histamine which causes constriction of the bronchioli and a wheezing attack such as occurs in asthma and skin rashes and so on. The reaction described in the nature paper, also known as a cytokine storm, is triggered by a suboptimal immune response which instead of neutralising the invading agent, virus or bacteria, will instead cause an inappropriate release of chemicals called cytokines, which are intracellular messenger molecules that control certain immune responses. Such responses always have checks and balances but in the case of this inappropriate response, these do not function and an overreaction with damage to various organs, such as the lungs, blood vessels, kidney and heart can occur. Simplistically put!

    #52505 Reply
    SA

    Michael
    Here is a view from the other side of the argument. I mention it not necessarily as an endorsement but just for balance.

    Among the myriad, earth-shattering geopolitical effects of coronavirus, one is already graphically evident. China has re-positioned itself. For the first time since the start of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms in 1978, Beijing openly regards the US as a threat, as stated a month ago by Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Munich Security Conference during the peak of the fight against coronavirus.
    Beijing is carefully, incrementally shaping the narrative that, from the beginning of the coronovirus attack, the leadership knew it was under a hybrid war attack. Xi’s terminology is a major clue. He said, on the record, that this was war. And, as a counter-attack, a “people’s war” had to be launched.

    #52536 Reply
    SA

    Michael
    April 25, 2020 at 11:21#52485
    The calls for independent investigations come from Australia and USA with a background agenda to politicise a pandemic which both USA and U.K. have by all accounts, badly managed despite being warned and seeing the example set by China. In this case it is not the pot calling the kettle black, it’s the same calling fridge black.

    #52575 Reply
    michael norton

    SA on Andrew Marr, this morning, some scientist was saying the real death toll in the U.K. has already surpassed 40,000

    #52582 Reply
    michael norton

    Andrew Marr asked Dominic Rabb if Kim Jong Un was alive or dead
    Rabb said he had heard the cyber waffle but had no actual knowledge.

    If he has gone or been very ill from complications of covid-19
    North Korea, which claims none, must be crawling with covid-19

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