SARS cov2 and Covid 19

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    From the outset I would like to express my gratitude to Craig for this extraordinary facility of access to publish thoughts for discussion directly to the internet through the discussion forum, without censoring, within the usual limitations. This is truly remarkably generous. This is more so because we are now aware that the government takes this website seriously and quote extensively from it and also acknowledge that it is influential. I refer you to the main thread. To express my gratitude in a tiny way, I have cancelled my paltry PayPal donation of £2 and instead installed a less paltry £5 donation by a standing order.

    I would like to start a new discussion forum to look at the current crisis in a somewhat non partisan and more objective way and try and discourage Politics, but not necessarily politics from the discussion. The political situation is divided and divisive at a time when the a collective effort is needed. CTs are rife and deter from proper discussions. The scientific community itself is not unanimous in its approach partly because in some ways scientists shy from being seen to be politically motivated, partly because they may have narrow interests, and also partly because some seek to be contrarian for various reasons. But there have been a clouding of priorities produced by this approach were politicians have taken the lead, especially in the USA and UK and some others, preferring to make choices based on their opinions rather than purely on the science, despite protestations to the opposite.

    Some of the roles of government in such extraordinary situations should include being prepared for an epidemic even when one is not on the horizon. Naturally this means that we should be prepared for an epidemic when one is very imminently on the horizon as happened here. This preparation should have included, stockpiling of protective equipment, preparations for widespread testing, contact tracing, isolation of cases in proper quarantine facilities, which means finding the facilities to do so, training of staff appropriately and preparing for the logistics and other social and material needs for those isolated. If this is done at the outset of an epidemic, together with modest social distancing then the rate of spread would have been considerably slowed down, and this is not theoretical, it has been applied in South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. Other roles for the government would be to provide logistics to assure the general population of continuity of food and other essentials supply. This would include, ensuring availability of delivery of food and medicine and the safe provision of shopping and so on. The main thrust should either have been on a total lockdown or curfew, and by that I mean a very strict curfew, for say 14 days, strictly enforced, and reviewed. This approach was taken by China at a time when the epidemic had taken hold in Wuhan, and it included also limits of traffic, including air traffic, to and from Wuhan and then the whole of China. As a result the Chinese authorities have been able to restart industry after about 3 months.

    Another role of the government would have been to commandeer resources. After all we are told that this is a war. The military should have been utilised at an early stage in logistics and facilitation, not necessarily of enforcement. Instead of making people redundant and closing down facilities, those for example in the hospitality and food industries should have been made temporary employees of the government to keep the country going. For examples, hotels could have become quarantine facilities and so on.

    But instead we have government interfering with scientific decisions and appointing a strategic advisor to sit on the SAGE committee, together with a statistician who helped with a tory election. This is major politicisation of a scientific problem.


    You cannot deal with a vast mains leak by building larger soakaways
    Another aspect worth discussing is some of the inconsistencies of some of the actions taken by UKG other than those discussed above.

    So, you have a virus that you know little about, including until now about 5 to 6 months later, how immunity to the virus works and how it can be measured. Adequate tests that are reliable have not been rolled out yet on any scale. So, the priority is to try by all means possible to stop the virus from spreading. This is almost axiomatic and is the gold standard way of halting epidemics. Testing, testing, isolation, and contact tracing. There is absolutely no substitute for this. So to state at the very beginning that we will not try to stop this virus at all, but we are taking it on the chin and that we would like to go for herd immunity, is a total fantasy not based on any science whatsoever, nor does it have a precedent. And in order to placate the masses, the government instead advocated concentrating on getting more ventilators, again not through the conventional tried procurement route, but by encouraging manufacturers who have no experience in this line, to divert their energies to this effort. It is equivalent to asking Sainsbury’s to make test kits for the virus. But in fact, it would have been much better to ask industries, some with experience in reagent processing and molecular products, in pooling resources to produce testing kits, something that should have been on top of the agenda. And if you want to stem the rise in cases whom do you test? Surely anyone would have said, I will target the largest known groups of potential spreaders of the virus especially those at large, and then any known large focus of infection. Immediately you would hit the right answer. As the majority of case, around 80% from the Chinese and Italian studies, present with mild disease, to reduce the spread of infections you must identify those as early as possible and quarantine them so that they do not act as case multipliers. Instead our government chose to ignore that vast pool of infection, asking them to stay at home with a potential to infect others, including members of their families until such a time as they become too ill to stay at home. So, the 20% of cases that presented to hospital were tested. But then another irrational decision: knowing that hospitals will quickly become a major nidus of infections, you should then try and limit the further spread, by protecting the workers as much as possible, PPE and the like, but also make sure that any front line workers are tested very early if they develop symptoms as this will then mean that you do not loose workforce through random self-isolation, but also to identify care workers infected and isolate them so as not to infect their families. But the government was adamant that this was not their priority. Whether this was through expediency, because they could not source the tests, or through sheer incompetence, is immaterial, the government lied as to its intentions.

    So if you want to save lives in an epidemic, you first try to stop the spread, you take precautions against spreading virus and lastly you also want to save as many people as possible who are sick with the virus. But then if it comes to priorities due to any sort of constraints, you must be honest. Focusing on ventilators is exactly that. Given that half the patients who need invasive ventilation, will die and that ventilators are expensive and not easily sourced and require training and staff and premises, this should not have been the main thrust, especially given that practically it is not feasible. This is an example of high-profile announcement of an action to grab attention, but is not really a useful to save lives.

    The nightingale hospitals should now be converted to centers to deal with mild cases and isolate them. Anyone with mild symptoms should be able to get a test easily through a walk in centre, and anyone found positive should then be quarantined, that should be the priority. Again, to state the obvious, rollout testing, isolate those infected and trace contacts, these are the priorities.


    Plus a little light entertainment:

    “We All Live In An Yellow Submarine Endless Quarantine

    [ This one’s good too: Bohemian Coronavirus Rhapsody. ]


    ICL’s CoVID-19 infection model; UK

    I’m impressed by the fit. Of the countries modelled (all European), Sweden, and to a lesser extent Belgium are the ones that have failed to prevent infections increasing. Greece seems to have done very well, but with such small numbers the data is nearly lost in random fluctuation.

    The restrictions that make the biggest difference are banning of public events and gatherings, and having to stay at home. Reversing the increase in infections requires both measures; either on its own is not enough.



    In answer to your question in the other forum this is an excellent paper (in Nature). Unfortunately I don’t have the time now to discuss in depth but have a look.


    Here is also an article that discusses the CTs about China and Covid 19


    SA, I cannot see how it would be possible to prove that this or any of the recent viruses didn’t escape from a biolab, and there have been multiple previous escapes.

    The precautionary principle must be applied.

    Work is proceeding out of accountability, some of it extremely hazardous. I am not China-bashing; in 2001 anthrax was smuggled out of a US military lab and used to blackmail US politicians; it was never determined who took it. Recently in the UK, a ‘novichok’ substance may well have been smuggled out of Porton Down. Foot and Mouth escaped from a lab. SARS escaped twice.

    These labs are not secure. There needs to be better oversight, possibly an organisation like the IAEA making random inspections. Goldacre’s Bad Pharma alerts us to just how much goes on in secret in the pharmaceutical industry; why should we assume that biolabs are any better? This whole area of “secret science” needs completely cleaning out; it must not be tolerated.



    “SA, I cannot see how it would be possible to prove that this or any of the recent viruses didn’t escape from a biolab, and there have been multiple previous escapes.”

    You have just repeated what I said earlier which is that absence of proof is not proof of absence. This is an attempt to shift the onus on someone to refute an accusation rather than providing substance for the accusation. CTs use this device often. So let us look at the possibilities:

    1. That this is a bioweapon developed by the Chinese that escaped and a coverup followed.
    2. That this is a bioweapon developed by the US and released in China deliberately.
    3. That this is an accidental release from a biolab in Wuhan.

    I hope that we can agree that we are only considering 3 as a possibility and that previous discussions have shown that this is not a bioweapon and therefore we shall only consider accidental release of the virus.

    Prerequisites to the accidental release of such a virus is the existence of a pathogenic virus accidentally isolated in the lab that was capable of infecting humans and that working on this virus was hidden from scrutiny and that this escape was covered up. We would then have to explain as to why the Chinese scientific community has covered up such a serious fact having discovered such a potentially dangerous pathogen. In the case of previous laboratory escapes there were valid reasons for the pathogens being present in these labs, and their presence was fully acknowledged. These are not secret biolabs but medical and biological biolabs, subject to international registrations and submissions. There are also treaties regarding biological weapons which I believe China has signed but the USA has not ratified. As far as I know the Chinese have no record of developing bioweapons whereas other countries, notably the US and Israel, have and these countries also have military biolabs.

    In biolabs you will have to have the approval to works with certain pathogens with approval from national and international authorities. So the first thing if you postulate the presence of the pathogen in the lab, before it was spread is that there was a conspiracy to work secretly with a potentially dangerous pathogen by the Chinese. This to me counts as a conspiracy theory.

    You then have to postulate the purpose of a medical scientific biolab having the pathogen: is it to study its possible effect to understand mechanisms of disease or in order to develop a vaccine or something else not nefarious? There is very little evidence for any of this.

    When you look at the past history of accidental laboratory release you will find that the research on these were not secret it was very clear that the labs were working on this for example to develop a vaccine, and that negligence led to escape. These were recognised quickly because it is very important to do so in order to get over the unknown possible consequences.

    If you also look at the current concerns about the covid-19 being a lab escape, none of these have come from established scientific communities, but have been led by politicians and conspiracy theorists.

    I hope you understand what I am trying to say. The problem here is that despite the lockdown, I have so many things to get on with than trying to refute conspiracy theories based on circumstantial evidence of a biolab being nearby. I take your point that it highlights the dangers of these biolabs and that is an important message, but in the current crisis it does not appear to help international collaboration to control the virus to carry on with this unsubstantiated accusation.

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    “…if you postulate the presence of the pathogen in the lab, before it was spread is that there was a conspiracy to work secretly with a potentially dangerous pathogen by the Chinese

    Do we know how much work proceeds under (probably commercial) Non Disclosure Agreements? NDAs are effectively conspiracy.

    I have struck “by the Chinese” because neoliberalism rules everywhere; attributing the problem to a specific country distracts through politicisation, as we are currently seeing, and which is precisely why you’re making the argument that you are. But the problem is that the monetary powers of corporatism have exceeded and superseded the legal powers of governments which were, from the article you linked, already inadequate to prevent such escapes in the 1970s.

    We need a Bad Biotech to go with Bad Pharma.


    But Clark, is there any evidence that the Wuhan lab is based on commercial considerations? I consider for the time being that this theory does not have legs.


    This argument should be turned around. Let me illustrate with an example that is now less contentious.

    An incident occurs with a pathogen in, say, Salisbury. As Craig once pointed out, the nearest lab dealing with such pathogens is a reasonable place to suspect a source. So point me to the public databases to see what they were working on there, their previous and current stock levels of associated substances, and the findings of independent inspections, so that we can eliminate that lab.

    No such database and only perfunctory inspections, right? Employees not allowed to speak. But if there were, internal vigilance would be much higher, just as a compulsory trial register, compulsory disclosure, and protection of public testimony would raise standards in pharmaceuticals.

    It should be an ongoing responsibility of institutions to demonstrate that their work is safe, not the responsibility of public and governments to prove, after an incident, that it was unsafe.


    “is there any evidence that the Wuhan lab is based on commercial considerations?”

    “Communist” China itself is little but a commercial consideration! It is the manufacturing base for the entire world! A recent Pentagon report stated that the USA could not wage war on China for more than a few weeks, because the US military is commerciality dependent on components bought from China. When you get to the point that superpowers can’t fight each other, it’s clear that commercial considerations control everything.


    This is getting a bit convoluted. What are the commercial gains from making deadly viruses? Isn’t that the sort of things that the military do and are national security concerns?
    Anyway, at the moment I would rather spend more time looking at the fascinating part played by ACE2 as the receptor for the spike protein in SARS-cov-2 and the possible therapeutic implications of disrupting this interaction. Although there has been a lot of talk about a vaccine, the targeting of this interaction to try and reduce virus entry is something that can be achieved in a shorter time than a vaccine.


    “What are the commercial gains from making deadly viruses?”

    Well consider the original story I heard of SARS-CoV-2 being a lab escape, which was this: researchers noticed that the 2019 novel coronavirus had a protein spike which resembled that of SARS, but no one was finding a particularly close match for its genetic sequence in nature. Then a closer match, 70%, was found in a patent for a vaccine against SARS, but the vaccine had been abandoned. Or consider the Foot and Mouth escape; the Foot and Mouth pathogen was being used, again in vaccine research, but it leaked from a broken pipe. There certainly is commercial gain in vaccine development.

    I suppose what I’m saying is that I can’t dismiss those who hold such suspicions as conspiracy theorists. Some are extrapolating unreasonably to bioweapon stories, but there are obvious political motivations to encourage such rumours.

    Conspiracy theory grows from concealment, distortion of information, complexity, odd bits of disinformation thrown in, and the simple common-sense understanding that there are always motives for deception. Since a consensus is developing I expect it’s true that SARS-CoV-2 arose in the wild bats, but it is too complex for me to check for myself; I’d need years of experience. Statements such as this in the Lancet actually make matters worse, because the signatories make it clear that propagation of the ‘rogue’ theory is causing their information supply to be threatened, ie. they have an ulterior motive to dismiss the lab origin theory, making it look like they’re closing ranks.

    SA, we need to build the world anew, and transparency of information has to be a major part of that. Look at global warming denial. The media that we have just isn’t fit for purpose. There needs to be some transparent system of reporting based on tiers of competence and public accountability, so that lay people can see a clearly trustworthy information path all the way up to the specialist communities.

    michael norton

    cui bono

    Virus probably harvested from bats from caves in South West China, by Chinese people under the pay of the Chinese state.
    Probably to study the many different types of virus they are finding on different colonies of bats for the purpose of “research”
    But there will be Chinese political/military angles.
    My feelings are that the Chinese political considerations will play the greatest part in all this.


    Michael, China has no monopoly on viruses; check the history of accidental laboratory releases that SA linked earlier. There’s some serious China-bashing going on, particularly from Trump, when compassion and international cooperation are desperately needed.


    I am getting bored. Lots of circumstantial elements, loud accusations from Pompeo and Trump and classic cui bono, Yes they all add up to no evidence at all.


    So I’ve just read this article at

    There was still mainstream scientific support for the lab escape theory at the time of writing – published April 8. There are two biolabs in Wuhan; a Centre for Disease Control public health lab right across the road from the wet market said to be the origin, and a “highest security” BSL4 lab some miles away. Both labs work with bat viruses, and the BSL4 lab has the largest collection in the world of viruses found in bats. Scientists from China’s top polytechnics published a pre-print paper (ie. not peer reviewed) saying that SARS-CoV-2 may have leaked from the public health lab, which has also had biosecurity breaches involving contamination of staff. SARS and other coronaviruses are handled with a lower level of security not requiring full decontamination of staff, and the original SARS leaked from labs four times rather than the two I mentioned elsewhere. There is no worldwide body overseeing biolabs.

    It’s just not good enough.


    And there is no reason to believe that biosecurity outside China is any better.


    SA, I hadn’t seen or hadn’t noticed your April 30, 21:04 #52754 comment when I posted my #52761 and #52762 comments.

    Yes, the political slanging match is deplorable, but entirely in character for politics. What matters right now is addressing the pandemic, and in that science must be focussed on the common objective of understanding the virus, its evolution and its effects. That is a massive task, a scientific emergency.

    This pandemic has some vital lessons to teach about the structure of society. It is like the climate and ecological emergency, but compressed into a timescale that individual people can relate to. Dismissal, denial and deliberate distortion of science, and blaming and shaming at the political level characterise both crises.

    michael norton

    Clark, what would be interesting to learn, would be
    was the virus that causes covid-19 being handled in a lab in Wuhan prior to covid-19 in the human population?


    Michael, yes, that’s what the political row is about.

    It’s too late now; the politicians should stop their mud-slinging and get on with the job in hand, which is to cope with the pandemic.

    I say there’s a strong case for much better security and regulation of biolabs. All biolabs, not just Chinese ones. These things should not be in city centres. Staff shouldn’t go home every evening either. Three months living in, each stint consisting of two months of work followed by a month of quarantine before leaving.


    An alarm should be raised that there is a danger of mutation of the anti-vaxxers movement, in recombination with the covid deniers to produce a much more potent movement. I noticed this tendency on another forum of this website, We now have a perfection conflation of causes that ‘prove’ that the ‘PTB’ are out to get us, the building blocks of this overarching conspiracy has already been set and prove the conspiracy. The elements are, in no particular order:

    • Vaccines are themselves conspiracy to ultimately reduce the population
    • Vaccines are unsafe, and are produced purely for profit, and governments encourage this deception.
    • Wi-Fi and now 5G is the main new culprit for all human diseases.
    • Bill gates has a vested interest in being part of the new world government, and that is his overriding motive for being interested in vaccines.
    • Bill Gates controls the WHO because he gives large funds to it.
    • The WHO is part of the world domination conspiracy.
    • Any data that comes out of scientific bodies is suspect because it is controlled.
    • All medical whistle blowers are silenced because they expose the truth.
    • Covid-19 is the latest part of the world domination project and is a hoax.
    • Governments are rushing to implement pre-arranged programmes of controlling us through lockdown.
    • But the major reason for the Covid-19 hoax is to get us all vaccinated with a new, no doubt mind controlling vaccine for the greater profit of big pharma.

    And so on.

    I may be a bit harsh on the anti-vaccine movement because there may be some who are concerned genuinely about the safety of vaccines and about possible individual effects. Anti-vaxxers may also not be completely responsible for the fall in vaccine uptake as this article discusses.


    SA, I entirely agree, I have noticed the same myself. In fact all conspiracy theories reinforce all others. This dynamic is very clear in the Twin Tower demolition discussions; the conspiracy theorists’ theories contradict each other eg. thermite versus buried nuclear bombs versus energy beams etc. But the various species of demolition theorists never criticise each other’s theories. Nevertheless, if anyone challenges demolition theory, they all turn on the challenger, and start exchanging sly comments about “usual suspects”, proponents of war, “supporting the official story” and how the weak-minded trust everything said by governments.

    It’s all very well raising the alarm, but what to do about it? Censorship will just drive it underground; the Internet as a whole cannot be censored, and I wouldn’t want it to be. The conspiracy theorists try to take over whatever Internet discussions they can, driving non-subscribers away with their concerted but subtle attacks. That’s why I describe it as fascism, because the fasces symbolises “stronger together”. They’ll just find somewhere to congregate, and then post under different usernames at places like this.

    This is why I’d like to demolish Twin Tower demolition theory. They use it as a test of who’s faithful. It’s a rallying point, underwritten by their false certainty about Chandler’s “Downward Acceleration of WTC1”.


    Hey Clark, I know this game. You’re playing CT Mornington Crescent, right? Somebody names a Conspiracy Theory and you have to get to “Chandler’s “Downward Acceleration of WTC1 (CDAW)” in as few steps as possible.

    I reckon you got from “the anti-vaxxers movement” to CDAW in 3 steps there, very impressive, but your finest hour was when you leapt from “Arson attacks on 5G masts” to CDAW with one mighty bound.

    My turn to start. I play : “Nazis have built secret base on the far side of the moon.”
    On your marks … get set … GO!


    Where do you stand on vaccines?


    I’ll duck that one for now. My views on the subject are complicated and require a more detailed explanation than I have time for now. I fear that any ambiguity in my answer would be weaponised first and clarification sought afterwards. Therefore let’s have that discussion another time.


    I understand and sorry to intrude. Have you read the link above from Prospect above? You might find it interesting.


    Earth’s current predicament is tragic. I frequently weep at how much is being lost, and the vast amount more that is likely to be lost. We have come so far; to destroy it all now would be unthinkable. I frequently consider suicide, but having been devastated by others’ suicides, I hold on, find support where I can.

    Node, I wish to cooperate; I’d really rather not fight, I find it deeply distressing. But logic and reason are all we have, and I have no idea how to promote them without you taking me for an enemy. I really have no idea how to reach you. Please help if you can.


    Clark and Node
    Why do we all write here and why are why so dedicated to discuss? Because we care and that is a good start. Although we have different beliefs we still discuss with each other and perhaps try to convince each other. This is a difficult task because we all have different life experiences and different outlooks and personalities. I found discussing with Node and sometimes with other more extreme people here good because it sometimes makes me research and find things that I had not researched before and educate myself. It also makes me organize my thoughts. We all want to hear what we believe in. Let us keep the discussion healthy and invigorating and not downcutting and negative. I admit that sometimes I too indulge in negative writing.
    My outlook is often optimistic, not because I do not see the evil but because I accept it is there and try to ameliorate its effects.
    Clark, please do not take these discussions so seriously and please do not think negative thoughts. I am sure that even Node and others who polemically write against you, still appreciate what you write, and even if they don’t, others do. The world has many beauties and it is for us to find these and explore them. Put all negative thoughts behind you and keep fighting but not at the expense of your mental health.


    May 4, 2020 at 11:04: I wish to cooperate; I’d really rather not fight, I find it deeply distressing.

    May 4, 2020 at 13:28: Who are the ‘conspiracy theorists’?” Er, can’t you see them? They’re all over this thread. Maybe you just can’t smell your own farts.

    May 4, 2020 at 13:38: You know all those sheeple clapping the NHS workers that commenters on here have been berating? They have more humanity in their little fingernail than I see among the conspiracy theorists.


    You have to admit that the Rhys Jagger’ post that this was an answer to was particularly nasty. I hope you do not agree with Rhys and his extremist views.

    michael norton

    The World must learn from this, it can’t be allowed to happen again, at least for a very long time.
    Millions will soon be out of work and hungry. Thousands will top themselves.
    Old people consigned to a lonely demise. People will miss their surgery treatments.
    Children not at school.
    Home violence.
    Lives blighted.
    Families losing their homes.

    first we must learn, have the Chinese caused this terrible thing to happen.
    Until we know this truth we can not be sure it wont happen again, soon.


    You seem to be on a mission on the side of Pompeo and Trump to denigrate China. The US intelligence which usually tries to cook up evidence has come with none. Hunches can’t form a basis for accusations; something more concrete has to be produced to get a case against China going. The US do it by constant repetition of the accusations: witness WMD, Syria and CW, Russiagate as examples. Until there is more evidence and actually until we get over this, this becomes a distraction from the fact that the US has not prepared for this and is not being honest about many things. Remember the war against China has not just started, the trade war has been going on. There is evidence that the US is preparing for war against Iran and possibly a proxy war against China alluded to in the ME forum.
    Clark is right, the safety of bio labs needs to be tightened and subject to more scrutiny by an international treaty, although even these can be corrupted as we can see with the OPCW. But this does not only apply to China or even bio labs only. Many university labs experiment with all sorts of animal viruses and generic manipulations with potentially huge potential for damage. They are often not as strictly regulated as bio labs. But until we know more about this virus these accusations serve no purpose except those of US warmongers and their agenda.


    Here also is a well researched and argued article from Moon of Alabama.


    michael, the very term “the Chinese” is misleading. Such terms, “the Chinese”, “the English”; they’re in common use, but they mash separate things together, like some national government, the people currently living within a certain national border, people from within that border but now living elsewhere, and people descended or partly descended from people in that place, wherever they live.

    Really, all of us are just people, and each of us lives somewhere partly controlled by some government.

    I think that SARS-CoV-2 may have escaped from a biolab, but that’s really nothing to do with “the Chinese”; neither the people nor the government. The people in China suffered horribly with covid-19. The Chinese government did some things wrong, and many things right. They release propaganda like this:

    in which they mention all the things they did right, and omit the things they did wrong, like trying to silence the doctors who raised the alarm, and welding the doors closed on apartment blocks during the Wuhan lockdown. I quite like that piece of propaganda, because the US administration has been spectacularly stupid over this.

    Did you read the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ link, “Threatened pandemics and laboratory escapes: Self-fulfilling prophecies”?

    Threatened pandemics and laboratory escapes: Self-fulfilling prophecies

    Lab escapes are nothing new; it’s just that this particular virus (if it is an escape; we don’t know) spreads really fast. It’s just a coincidence.

    First, we have to mop this up, and heavy restrictions are the way to do that. Then we should do two things. The UK should declassify Exercise Cygnus:

    and implement proper pandemic precautions, as should all other countries. Covid-19 could have been contained and suppressed if every government had been prepared, and had implemented precautions when the WHO raised the alarm. And biolabs must be secured and regulated internationally.

    Countries, especially the powerful Western countries must start respecting the UN.


    Node, yes, I’m only human. Maybe all this death and suffering is just a game to you. I don’t know. I have been deeply touched by death, several times.

    The IFR seems to be proving out around 1% in New York, with around an eighth of the population infected. Those seem to be about the most reliable numbers to date. The UK seems on that track too.


    I’m angry, Node. Angry that commenters including you are attempting to undermine public understanding of science, trying to mislead readers into believing that SARS-CoV-2 is not a major threat, despite clear and unambiguous evidence that it is.

    Oppose the stay-at-home laws by all honest means, but not by deception, because readers deserve respect. Readers have a right to make their own decisions, but misleading and confusing them undermines that right.


    What is your problem exactly? Is it that you think that the ‘lockdown’ is an over reaction? If so what do you think is the answer, because this discussion with Clark is sort of clouding the issue. If you can discuss them calmly.
    There are several aspects of this debate:

    • How serious is the virus?
    • Are the measures appropriate?
    • Are the measures causing hardships and more damage than the virus?

    And there are many more.

    There are medical and scientific aspect, political, social and economic ones. We have to agree that the most solid ones are the scientific ones, but the others can be applied in different ways. Scientists unfortunately do not run the world but politicians do. I think a lot of the discussions seem to by and politicise the science rather than to analyse and attack the politics. I side effect of this is that you seem to be lined up with Boris and Trump on the science but against them on the politics which is causing you a dissonance which you seem to try to resolve by attacking the science more than attacking the politics.

    But even the economics of the lockdown are debatable. I read somewhere that it was countries that had more efficient lockdowns during the Spanish flu epidemic that recovered quicker economically. We are all collectively suffering from trying to extrapolate what is best from limited data, in a rapidly evolving situation. Calm is required.

    michael norton

    The Bank of England is expecting 14% drop in GDP this year, the biggest drop in economic activity, for three hundred years, meaning before the Industrial Revolution took hold.
    Many people will lose their incomes and their homes.
    Some may starve to death.
    Three quarters of those who die, would be expected to die soon, anyway.
    The answer should have been to shield the most at risk and let the rest take their chances, meaning let it rip.

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