Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Well, F##k Us All...

h/t Small Dead Animals

Why lockdown everything?
"Two fundamental strategies are possible:  
(a) mitigation, which focuses on slowing but not necessarily stopping epidemic spread – reducing peak healthcare demand while protecting those most at risk of severe disease from infection, and  
(b) suppression, which aims to reverse epidemic growth, reducing case numbers to low levels and maintaining that situation indefinitely. Each policy has major challenges.  
We find that that optimal mitigation policies (combining home isolation of suspect cases, home quarantine of those living in the same household as suspect cases, and social distancing of the elderly and others at most risk of severe disease) might reduce peak healthcare demand by 2/3 and deaths by half.  
However, the resulting mitigated epidemic would still likely result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and health systems (most notably intensive care units) being overwhelmed many times over. For countries able to achieve it, this leaves suppression as the preferred policy option.” - Imperial College, London - COVID-19 Response Analysis pdf {emphasis mine. -A.}

It's 20 pages long.
This was probably a lot of the basis for the EU suddenly going full BFYTW yesterday.


Suppression (i.e. societal lockdown) : need for it could last for 18-24 months, until an effective vaccine is found. No guarantee that will happen by then, either.

Mitigation: (small-scale quarantines): won't work, and disease will blossom the minute you relax from suppression to mitigation.

Secondarily, all ICU beds are overwhelmed no matter what we do by May 1st, and from then until July 1st, medically, this is going to be a living hell.

(I love my job, I love my job, I love my job...O, hell!)


Now see if you can suss out, all by yourself, why TPTB have been slow-rolling this thing out in bite-sized chunks, over the last 5-15 days (besides myopia when confronted by abnormal situations).

If this harshes your mellow, and offends your delicate feeeeeewings, take heart:
these are just doctors doing policy research that informs world leaders.
They could all be a bunch of pointy-headed idjits, all completely wrong.

Tomorrow, magical faeries riding enchanted unicorns could swoop down over the earth, pooping healing pellets of strawberry scented pixie dust, which cures cancer, wipes out Kung Flu, ends acid reflux, sweaty palms, toenail fungus, and the heartbreak of psoriasis. And your Panda Express fortune cookie fortune may have the winning numbers for Powerball, and the direct cell phone number of the Playmate of the Year.

So do whatever seems right to you.
And let us know how that usually works out for you and yours.


LanceBrubaker said...

Academics will do what academics will do...

If you love their Chinese Virus projections, perhaps I can sell you on anthropomorphic global warming? NO? How about their ozone depletion projects -- lots of pretty charts there. Still no bites? Global cooling? Global famine? No? Really?

Of course not -- THIS TIME they have it just right....


edutcher said...

10 of the 11 governors pulling this are Demos.

DeWidiot is a Whig.

nick flandrey said...

whatever you think about the projections, Italy has 35K known cases and 3000 deaths so far. Compare and contrast with just 3 weeks ago.

For closed cases they are running 4:3 discharged vs. dead. If you get this in Italy, you have slightly better than 50-50 odds of LIVING.*

Elsewhere looks about the same or much worse.

Do whatever it takes to avoid getting this.


*usual caveats about patient mix not aligning with general public, and most vulnerable getting it early.... no matter what it's pretty grim

nick flandrey said...

oh yeah, and 8% of known cases are serious or critical. not 15% of 20% like DeBlahseoh was pushing last week.


LanceBrubaker said...

the death rates in Italy are not at all like any other European group. Forget the curve BS. What no one is talking about in Italy is WHO is dying -- other than they are "old". The Netherlands has their first young person die from the Chinese flu - he was not a genetic European - but a 20-something 'migrant'.

Northern Italy suffered a huge flu crisis in 2018 - not as many deaths (I think about 500). But if this is a little more pesky and if it has an affinity for the Chinese mafia types, migrants and really old - I can imagine the death rate in the North being higher.

Remember, all heart attacks and lung cancer deaths in the US are due to smoking if you looked at a cigarette ad. Meanwhile in Japan and France (much more aggressive smokers) - not the same stats....

But agreed, if I were old, immune compromised or had latent TB, I sure would isolate myself from this flu - or any other flu for that matter....

Aesop said...


I'ma guess you're pretty new hereabouts, or you wouldn't have floated that line about GloBull Warming BS.

So I'm going to spot you a solid, and assume you're a baby duck.

You're missing the point, lad.
It ultimately doesn't matter if the doctors and professors are right or wrong.
No, really. (It matters to me, because it's going to be a bit more personal, but not so much to you.)

What matters to you is who is listening to them;
what policies they adopt as a result;
and what that means for you and your life for the next 18-24 months.

Let me know when the penny drops for you.

These are not guys selling timeshares on infomercials on late-night cable, FFS.
Right at the moment, they have the Golden Microphone.
You'd best think this out two or five more moves, for your own sake.

nick flandrey said...

It's not a flu at all.

Everyone for the last two months has been trying to find reasons it won't affect them- only the old, mostly males, only chinese/asian/yellow devils, only the sick, only foreigners...

As more people get it, in more places, the ages are coming down, the gender ratio is getting more even, whites and hispanics are getting it, even babies and kids are getting it.

It is killing people. The western civilization countries aren't making the numbers up. The growth rate is being proved out everywhere and all the time.

If you're cool with it because it's only killing old people (who almost ALL have SOME underlying health issue) that makes you a sociopath. Those same old people are parents, grandparents, Drs, nurses, every adult from my childhood, and most of my friends. Normal people, those with empathy, are horrified by the thought of how many people we are going to lose.

Sociopaths and psychopaths are a threat to normal people. Threats will be dealt with once identified. Probably a good thing to keep in mind.


Marina said...

Having similarities to our soon to be predicament:

Anonymous said...

Hi Aesop. I bought a few extra N-95 masks and hand sanitizer quarts back in December. At what point should I call the local county hospital and offer to don ate them?

Anonymous said...

Started trying to graph worldwide cases (using Johns Hopkins webpage as source). Starting point was March 9 with +/- 90,000 cases. With a 6 day doubling (saw that...probably here, a while ago) figured by March 16 we would be at 180,000. Actual JH number was 182,406. Tonight its at 218,743...+36,337. If 6 day doubling is correct, cases should be at +/-360K by March 23. We shall see. Other notable info was NY cases, 1,707 yesterday, 3,074 tonight with 20 deaths. If the 5% (?) hospitalization/ICU prediction is correct then NY should have about 154 such cases. Kind of brings context to why Cuomo and DiBlasio seem to be ~stressed~ lately.

I'm graphing it myself to try and visualize the exponential curve. JH website does not provide daily history that I can find, so I pop on there, collect the numbers, then come here to see what you-all are thinking.

Saw a news article today that said Newsome was putting in place provisions for martial law (if needed)...that is going to be interesting. Pennsylvania closed highway truck stops...brain trust did not think about the truckers who need to resupply supermarkets...duh! I think they are walking it back a little after some blow-back stained their 3 piece suits.

POTUS talked about sending the USNS Comfort to NY. What is missing is the staffing, which is pulled en masse from all DoD Medical assets. I believe the West Coast version is the USNS Hope, don't know where it is ported, but assume CA.

Appreciate all your work, Aesop as well as the many, many well informed commenters.

Ray - SoCal said...

Coronavirus fatality in Pomona, So CA of Wife. Just returned from overseas trip, 69 years old, Filipino vising family in Walnut.

Husband that did CPR can't get tested, since does not show symptoms.


Front page LA Times per my Mother. I have not figured out the LA Times link, but found this:

McChuck said...

The time to act was the first week of January. If we had shut down the borders then, and made it stick (no barrier is effective without being covered by direct and indirect fires), we could have nipped this in the bud here in the USA.

It's already everywhere. Bigger boat, indeed.

Welcome Black Carter said...

"Started trying to graph worldwide cases" - I have been doing a similar chart for the US. The doubling has been closer to 3 days. Real numbers are slightly ahead of mine. If it holds, we hit 100,000 on 3-30 and 1 million 11 days later. Somewhere in the middle of those 11 days, everyone who thought this would never become as bad as the Flu, becomes a believer.

Aesop said...

Better late than never. Not.

nick flandrey said...

@anon 8:59 and welcome black carter,

you can do the math yourself, and I'm glad someone is doublechecking, or just go to

The site is a bit hard to find stuff on, but they do all the graphs using the same JH data. like this one...

scroll down for the graphs. They are 'live' if you hover over the dot for the day, the number of cases will pop up. Move to the left or right x days and see the number. Most places were doubling every 3-4 days. Or slightly more than doubling in that time.

If the graph isn't smooth, something changed-like how many tests or if they test.