Some guys at Oxford suggest that that A. a huge fraction, maybe 50%,. of the pop in England have already had it ( and are thus immune) , and B. that the fraction of those infected that get seriously ill is much smaller than it looks. If both things were true, the death rate numbers might work out, they say.

If that were the case,  you would think that any set of tests  would show  a big fraction people with the virus – which is not the case, even though the samples we’ve tested are high-biased.

But, some say, maybe those hypothetically numerous already-infected people have already cleared the virus and thus don’t test positive for it.  But that can’t be right either, since for a fast-growing epidemic ( which this clearly is, from the rapid increase in deaths) , the majority of all cases are very new – less than two weeks old ! So that is obviously untrue as well.





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117 Responses to Oxford

  1. jbbigf says:

    If 50% of the English population has already had it, then obviously the fraction of those infected who get seriously ill is much smaller than it looks.

    So the question is, how do you test a test for a disease that is very mild in most infected people? How do you count false negatives?

  2. gda53 says:

    Some guys at Oxford?

    You mean Neil Ferguson at Imperial College London upon whose predictions the US (and much of the world) based their response.

    He was predicting 500,000 deaths in the UK. Now changed to 20,000
    He was predicting an overrun of medical capacity. Now changed to NO overrun.
    He was predicting 18+ months of quarantine. No saying could be over in 3 weeks.

    Believe him now? All the “experts” believed him before when he was predicting doom.

    Is this not good (maybe great) news in conjunction with the cautious tone of optimism starting to come out of Dr Birx and others in the task force.

    Remember when the same “some guys at Oxford” were predicting 2,000,000 deaths in the US?

    Buck up me hearties!

    • gda53 says:

      Warning! In another thread our host has called me an idiot for suggesting that Neil Ferguson was right.

      He did not specify whether he thought he was wrong when Ferguson was calling for 500,000 deaths in the UK and 2,000,000 in the US.

      I’m no medical expert so I would just ask this – who is the world listening to?
      It’s not me.
      It’s not Greg
      It appears to be Ferguson et al

      Now they may well be wrong – they have, after all, been wrong before (see above).

      But let’s hope they are getting closer to right.

      At least they are moving in the right direction.1

      • gcochran9 says:

        When Ferguson was saying 500,000, he was already being optimistic.

        The ‘right direction’ on predictions is towards the truth.

      • gothamette says:

        • gothamette says:

          • gothamette says:

            He apparently backtracked:

            • saintonge235 says:

              Ferguson’s predictions did not collapse, and he did not backtrack. His original report is available on the web. He said that if no one in Britain took precautions to slow or stop the virus, deaths in the neighborhood of 1/2 a million would occur. HE STILL SAYS THAT.

              Because of the strict lock-down measures, he expects only around 20,000. That isn’t correcting an error, or backing down, or anything else, it’s reacting to a new situation.

              • gothamette says:

                You’re right. In the heat of the moment I misunderstood who was saying what to whom.

                No serious person is saying that strict lockdowns are NOT imperative.

                In NYC, we’re really not locking down. The pandemic is running across class lines. The rich have fled, the middle class hunker down in homes and apartments where we fight the battle of boredom, too many carbs and too little exercise. The poor still go to work. They crowd subway platforms. Most don’t wear masks.

                I really hope that Steve Sailer doesn’t run pictures of them on his blog mocking them for doing so. They have no choice but to go to work in a pandemic because they do the work that make the rest of us function – and they’ve been given so many mixed messages about masks, it’s insane. I made my own out of doubled over cotton, but I can sew, and I have a sewing machine.

                And in my mostly-white neighborhood, most people still do NOT wear masks!

    • Difference Maker says:

      I noticed she looked very relaxed yesterday

    • Different guys. Oxford guys (i.e. Sunetra Gupta) wrote this preprint, which is what Greg’s talking about: https://www.dropbox.com/s/oxmu2rwsnhi9j9c/Draft-COVID-19-Model%20%2813%29.pdf?dl=0

      Of course, you must have known this already, since you’re so well read on the subject.

      You fucking idiot.

      • gda53 says:

        It seems that Dr. Birx addressed the Neil Ferguson new report today at the Coronavirus News Conference. She didn’t mention Greg there, or you, notably.

        I did not hear her call Ferguson WRONG or an idiot.

        Greg was the one that said Ferguson was WRONG. I was merely the idiot, for, presumably, heeding him instead of Greg.

        Perhaps Greg could sling a few factual and reliable current reports to support his viewpoint, rather than just slinging insults.

        Perhaps you could do the same, instead of being a suck up.

        Thanks for the link. Perhaps Greg might have included it – then you might not have seen fit to make such a gratuitous and stupid insult.

        “The (Ferguson) Imperial model has played a key role in informing the UK’s coronavirus strategy, but this approach has been criticised by some. “To be fair, the Imperial people are the some of the best infectious disease modellers on the planet,” Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia, UK, told New Scientist last week. “But it is risky to put all your eggs in a single basket.”

        • Toddy Cat says:

          In all honesty, gda53, why do you think that the numbers will be so low? Do you think that the UK’s social distancing measures will be that effective? Is it that you think that there are millions of mild/asymtomatic cases cases, so that the death rate is actually far lower than it is? Or is it something else? I’d really like to know, and I’m not kidding, because things look pretty bleak over the next few months, from my vantage point, and I’d like some good news.

          • gda53 says:

            Honestly, I don’t know. This is a moving target – but note the direction of revision so far.

            My son is working in Edinburgh for a couple years and he tells me things are pretty strict – he’s allowed out once a day for buying food or certain exercise.

            I watch the daily press conference and search the net for useful links to track the progress.

            Started out pretty negative but I note signs of positivity more recently.

            I listened to Dan Patrick’s take on this – basically he’s 70 and, given that the death rate among those under 50 is so low, he points out that destroying the economy by sheltering everyone in place for months would cripple, if not destroy, a decent life for his children and their children. That’s not acceptable to him, so he’ll take his chances, NOT by going back into the public, but by social distancing for however long it takes.

            My mother is 91 , in a nursing home, with a number of pertinent pre-existing conditions. Very high risk. She’s on lockdown and probably still quite vulnerable.

            My wife and I are in our late 60’s, both moderately at risk, and we are staying home except for 1 shopping day every 10 days or so. We’ll stay in that mode for however long it takes.

            But all of us share similar opinions to Dan Patrick.

            If this thing goes in Greg’s expected direction then circumstances may prevent a phased return to work within the next 3/4/5 weeks.

            But I have to say that I’m not seeing the >6M deaths that Greg is predicting. Neither is Dr. Fauci nor Dr. Birx AFAIK. Nor many others in the medical field.

            I’m sure many may have different OPINIONS.

            No one right now has the requisite data to give definitive predictions.

            • Toddy Cat says:

              Well, I personally don’t think that a few weeks or even months of a lockdown are going to destroy the standard of living for two generations, that’s as alarmist as anything I’ve heard from the pro-lockdown people, but I appreciate the civil and well thought out answer. I hope that you and your wife and mother all get through this, and I can only hope that the optimists are right about this. Personally, I fear the worst, but maybe that’s just me.

            • steve sailer says:

              We are learning rapidly about this menace. Maybe we will shortly realize that it’s not a big deal. But, also, maybe not. In the near future we will know better.

            • gothamette says:

              • gothamette says:

                What do you think of Dr. Ebright’s study?

              • gothamette says:

                Sorry, Ebright didn’t write it, he linked to it in a tweet.


                We re-estimated mortality rates by dividing the number of deaths on a given day by the number of patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection 14 days before. On this basis, using WHO data on the cumulative number of deaths to March 1, 2020, mortality rates would be 5·6% (95% CI 5·4–5·8) for China and 15·2% (12·5–17·9) outside of China. Global mortality rates over time using a 14-day delay estimate are shown in the figure, with a curve that levels off to a rate of 5·7% (5·5–5·9), converging with the current WHO estimates. Estimates will increase if a longer delay between onset of illness and death is considered. A recent time-delay adjusted estimation indicates that mortality rate of COVID-19 could be as high as 20% in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.6 These findings show that the current figures might underestimate the potential threat of COVID-19 in symptomatic patients.

              • Gkai says:

                That’s is convincing, if you believe the reported number of contaminated. I don’t think many countries get this number right (even within a order of magnitude). Maybe Germany, SKorea, but certainly not China.
                most countries admit testing only the obviously sick who come to the hospital. This means the number of cases can not be used like they do to estimate death probability once infected.

              • gothamette says:

                You don’t believe South Korea’s numbers?

              • gothamette says:

                In NYC there have been 366 deaths out of 25,573 confirmed cases. 1.4%. It’s all so repetitive.

              • gothamette says:

                I agree that the picture is quite opaque now.

                What I can see clearly is what happened in Wuhan, Lombardy, and now Spain, and parts of NYC.

                NYC is an interesting test case, if you want to look at it clinically – not all parts are affected equally. Some nabes are overrun, some are unaffected (now).

                So we need the power of prediction, and I’ll go with Cochran’s numbers.

              • Gkai says:

                I said maybe skorea and germany are at least accurate enough to be of the correct order of magnitude. SKorea seems not to be in the exponential phase anymore. If they are not, then the current total death/current total contamined is close to the death rate and you get 1.4%. How is it different ?
                Japan is much more mysterious, a 0.5% death rate, the epidemy seems not exponential anymore, but without much measures taken… Time to eat sushi or what ?

              • gothamette says:

                “That’s is convincing, if you believe the reported number of contaminated.”

                Alright…. so that’s the heart of the argument. I get it, I get it.

                What I don’t get is why I should believe you – that 50% of UK is infected. I really don’t.

                Look at Westchester county – the NY Times has an article about it, you can get numbers here:

                Me? I’m going by clinical symptoms as evidenced by Italy and Spain and Wuhan and Princess Diamond. You can make up whatever you want.

  3. James Thompson says:

    Yes, unless there is confirmation from population testing that the virus is at 50% of population, their modelling looks unlikely.

  4. lg says:

    If you have already had the virus, but were not sick, would you test positive? or would you need an antibody test instead?

  5. Isidore says:

    Yeah we had a cruise ship, 25% got it, then we restricted people to their quarters, about 1% died, 18% were a-symptomatic. That 18% was probably low due to the age of the ship passengers. The death rate was probably high, given the same, and infection rate is quite sensitive to measures taken. These numbers from Oxford make no sense.

    • You’ve got the numbers wrong.

      From the CDC report (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6912e3.htm):

      Among 3,711 Diamond Princess passengers and crew, 712 (19.2%) had positive test results for SARS-CoV-2 (Figure 1). Of these, 331 (46.5%) were asymptomatic at the time of testing. Among 381 symptomatic patients, 37 (9.7%) required intensive care, and nine (1.3%) died (8).

      So that’s 19.2% of them got it. Of that 19.2%, just under half were asymptomatic at time of testing (i.e., symptom onset could have happened after testing, so that’s a upper end estimate for asymptomatic fraction). Of the infectedpatients, 9.7% needed hospitalization and 1.3% died. So a case fatality rate of 9/712 = 1.3%, that would probably go up to 46/712 = 6.5% if treatment wasn’t available. And these are low-ball estimates, since testing was done early.

      • David Chamberlin says:

        Sadly we are going to shortly see what the mortality rates spike to with an overwhelmed medical system in the US. In Wuhan at the beginning when the medical facilities were overwhelmed the mortality rate was around 6 percent but everywhere else in China it got down to similar numbers, around one percent. Covid19 is doubling every 3 days in New York right now. That’s insane. That might be an artifact of the increase in testing but still even if is doubling every week it projects a horrible outcome for both percentage of population infected and a mortality rate nearer the high end of that 1 to 6 percent spectrum.

      • gWile says:

        Isn’t it possible however that some of those who tested negative had already been infected but recovered? That would lower infection fatality rate.

        The lack of testing for antibodies means that we might be missing a pretty large chunk of the data.

  6. Toddy Cat says:

    I have no idea what the CFR of this thing is, but so far, most of the more optimistic assumptions made about this thng have not been borne our by events. If CFR is only one percent (a very optimistic assumption) having 20,000 deaths in the UK would mean that only 2 million people in the UK would catch this stuff, about 4% of the population. Is that a reasonable assumption to make? I hope so, but it sounds very low. What’s supposed to stop it? It’s estimate that somewhere between 5020% of the population gets the flu every year, and we have shots for that, plus this stuff seems to be more contagious than the flu. I’m glad that Ferguson is more optimistic now, but after the way so many of our experts have lied to “prevent panic” I’m doubtful.

    • gcochran9 says:

      He’s lying, for some reason.

      • epoch says:

        He probably has a lot of shares.

        • Toddy Cat says:

          Or more likely telling himself that he is “preventing panic” which has gotten to be a mania among public officials over the last thirty years.

          On a somewhat related note, I have never understood the hostility so many people have towards those who make less than optimistic assumptions, as if we wanted the bad outcome. I remember at the end of the Cold War, a lot of my Lefty friends were saying things like “See, you thought that the USSR was so powerful, and now they just collapsed! Don’t you feel stupid?” Hell, no, I felt great, I was delighted that they were so much less powerful than I thought that they were. Ditto the coronavirus. If it turns out to only have a CFR of .3 or something, I’ll be opening champagne at my favorite (re-opened) restaurant. It’s not like I want it to kill lots of people, I just haven’t seen the optimists be proved right much on this issue.

  7. texan999 says:

    I agree, though, it’s hard to explain why the tests are coming out 90% negative, even in what should be a highly positive-biased sample (at the very least, people with symptoms, and in some cases symptoms plus identified risk factors). Unless what we’re seeing is that lots of people already have had it and are already showing negative on tests? It’s way too soon to be sure about any of it.

  8. Joe says:

    That always troubled me in the early stages of the Washington state testing. But I will submit that having symptoms similar doesn’t necessarily make it a biased sample – there are plenty of similar illnesses, especially this time of year, and many people don’t have symptoms of Covid enough to warrant testing. So the bias could go in the other direction – you are testing a bunch of people who likely have something else. Having a cold doesn’t make you more likely to have Covid. I don’t know nearly enough of what I’m talking about so I eagerly await my mocking.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Consider yourself mocked.

      • Joe says:

        I appreciate the quick turnaround! The hardest part about the death sentence is the waiting.

        For the record I am not thinking the infection isn’t spreading widely. I was disabused of that notion while watching what was going on here in Washington state. I was just trying to make sense of the low poz data. And we’ve had some officials note the low poz rate as some sort of good news. So is the answer that many are not symptomatic enough to take the test, or is it that this is an expected result for the growth we are going to see?

  9. Thersites says:

    Conor McGregor apparently made a speech demanding an immediate hard lockdown in his homeland; it’s morbidly amusing that a guy who gets punched in the head for a living seems to have more common sense right now than a lot of credentialed “experts” with fancy sheepskins on the wall.

    • Pincher Martin says:

      I believe his aunt died from the virus. There’s nothing like a death in the family to concentrate the mind.

  10. tc says:

    This guy bought a bunch of IgM tests from China and is testing people in the Bay Area. So far, no positives aside from known PCR positives.

  11. rgressis says:

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    My two thoughts are: (1) The numbers are wrong; (2) there are minor genetic differences between populations that are causing big differences in outcomes. I’m much more confident of (1) than (2), but is (2) possible? And is there a third option?

    • dearieme says:

      A third option is that it’s an artefact of reporting cause of death. I’ve no idea how standardised that is in Switzerland.

      In other words, the numbers might be right for deaths but wrong, or rather inconsistent, on cause.

    • gda53 says:

      Maybe the answer is simpler. The Italians are very tactile and close socially. The French somewhat less so.

      But you don’t see a lot of Germans kissing each other in greeting.

    • Anon says:

      Meh ! Finland Pop 5.3 million is reporting 3 times the cases that India Pop 1350 million is.
      The data is a mess, there is always something missing or incomplete when trying to build a hard proof for some outlook or other. Understandable of Dr. Cochran to stick with levels of death and hospitalization present vs. past.

    • DataExplorer says:

      The Italian speaking Swiss are more likely to have had contact with Northern Italians, which is where it spread from.

    • TB says:

      There are reasons you generally buy a German car rather than an Italian if you want reliability. There might be exceptions, a particularly poor German model or an uncharacteristically reliable Italian one, but that’s not the way to bet. Differences in culture go way beyond how huggy-kissy they are.
      The French fall somewhere in between.

    • sprfls says:

      I saw this and wondered about it briefly as well. What came to mind and I haven’t seen mentioned is % of multigenerational homes. Obviously I have no local stats on this but I’m guessing there is a nice gradient going from the Italian cantons to the German ones. That would be a purely cultural explanation. In Italy it’s quite standard for people to live with their parents into their 30s. And it’s got little to do with wealth even. E.g., I used to know some very wealthy people in Geneva (at that time late 20s) who lived with their parents even though they could of course afford to live in a regular apartment. It’s much harder to imagine Germans (or northern Euros more generally) doing that…

    • Curlywurly says:

      Must be the Röstigraben (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%B6stigraben)

      Don’t forget about geography and time. If the transmission started from Italy it would first reach the Italien-Speaking cantons, followed by the French and only then the German-speaking ones. Dying takes a bit of time too.

  12. The Anti-Ron says:

    That crazy Ron Unz thinks he can calculate the actual number of infected given death count and etc:


    • Craken says:

      That’s a reasonable analysis. If only he’d stick to math.

    • j says:

      Unz’s logic is correct but the number of deaths will never reach thousands because Americans are not waiting frozen with horror but taking action to stop the epidemic. If the Chinese were successful in a few weeks to clean the epicenter in Wuhan and are returning to normal life, why should America do less? Anyway, hundreds of labs are racing to get the vaccine and the Nobel Prize, so I am hopeful that in summer it will be all over.

  13. Hans says:

    This hypothesis does have some appeal given the large number of celebrities and public figures testing positive. Unfortunately, I think this hypothesis is unlikely given the Diamond Princess data (10 of of 700 or so have now perished, with a dozen or so still in critical condition).

    I do expect infection fatality rate to be under 1% in most countries (higher than 1% in more aged countries like Italy) but it’s probably closer to 1% than say .1%. In other words, SARS II is much closer to Spanish Flu than seasonal flu. We are not overreacting given what we know about this virus so far.

    • Gkai says:

      If we use 1% death rate (i think it is probably around this), about 2 weeks as the average time between contamination and death, and a doubling time of about 4 days for the geometric progression, we have, during the exponentiel growth before saturation, about 1000 people which have been contamined for each death. In belgium, we have about 300 reported death, that would be 300000 infected. 0.3% of the population, not crazy, not far from my guess of around 1% infected in europe….offical number is around 7300 people have been infected, far away from the 300000…but given how many (semi) famous people are now positive, 300000 seems much much more likely.

      • Gkai says:

        Oups, 3% of the population…. Still around the 1% mark, but above instead of below…
        of this is roughly correct, peak contamination will be soon, in something like 2-3 weeks. Peak death will be in 4-5 weeks, and will be massive…

        • gothamette says:

          “about 1000 people which have been contamined for each death.”

          NYC has 366 deaths. Do you really think that 366,000 people have been infected?

          • gothamette says:

            More like one in a hundred = 1% death rate.

            • Gkai says:

              If you are in the exponential phase, 1% death rate would not mean you can multiply death by 100 to get number of cases, except if progression was so slow/death so fast that no new contamination occur during the time it takes to die from the virus.
              this is obvously not the case (it can not, else R0 would be much lower than 1 on the first place)
              so yes, it’s either around 300000 infections , or much more than 1% death rate. Pick one.

              • gothamette says:

                OK, gotcha.

                This datum might help:

                “Westchester County has adopted an aggressive testing philosophy: More than 29,000 of the county’s less than one million residents have been tested, according to the county Department of Health, with 7,187 positive for Covid-19 as of Friday. ”

                Note that the article says first confirmed case fell ill on 2/27, confirmed on 3/2.

  14. Anonymous says:

    On page 3 they say:
    “In both R0 scenarios, by the time the first death was reported (05/03/2020), thousands of individuals (~0.08%) would have already been infected with the virus.”

    I agree with the number (I estimate somewhere between 10^3-10^4 infected) but 5000/66 million is 0.008% not 0.08% of the UK population. Then they estimate that as of the 19th of March as many as 36% of the population have been exposed. This would mean a daily growth of +60% during those 14 days: exp(0.6 * 14) 0.008% = ~36% (or +43% if we start from 0.08%). I do not see how this could be possible as the current growth rate seems to be about 30% a day (looking at recorded deaths).

    I think these people use fancy models which just obscure that they dont even pass simple sanity tests. It’s all rather embarrassing, 6+ authors from Oxford and you get this.

  15. Steve D says:

    So what’s the estimate of American deaths now? Is it still 5-6 million? Will we have them by the end of the summer?

  16. 415 reasons says:

    So Greg, why can’t we do the following? Recruit 20 death row inmates and reward them with their freedom. In exchange, they get our best shot vaccine product or a placebo, and two weeks later a low intranasal dose of SARS-CoV2. Presume the vaccine works. We obviate phase 1 and phase 2 and jump right to phase iii with a definitive experimental design that’s much simpler than what they will do. For imagine containment works: how do you test efficacy against a virus that’s barely around. It requires a long wait or huge N or doing the study somewhere in the third world where it stays uncontrolled. But Moderna has their construct now. We could have the answer on it in… 6 weeks? And if that fails you try again. I know the ethical complaint. But these would be volunteers. Men trying to redeem themselves from great ignominy with true heroism. And the worst that could happen is maybe one in the placebo group dies of the virus. These were all men who expect the government to end their lives. And of course if they did get sick they’d get w ventilator, remdesivir, convalescent plasma the whole 9 yards.

    Who says no and why?

    • Henry Scrope says:

      Don’t see an argument against it, but you might have thought then that the Chinese would have a vaccine already given their rather generous definition of the word ‘volunteer’.

  17. gothamette says:

    Put aside the name of the authors. Wonder what you make of this. Does it say anything that is notable or are they saying anything you did not?


  18. protokol2020 says:

    I have an opinion, too! I wonder what will people comment on this site say?

  19. Maciano says:

    On Twitter & US conservative media, I see a lot of people who think Neil Ferguson was off in his model & predictions like the Y2K bug morons or alarmism about non-issues. Completely untrue.

    Ferguson did good work on Zika & Ebola, and for that reason he has a deservedly good reputation. He’s not like the neocon Iraq war proponents or the people who pushed banks to loan mortgages to dirt-poor minorities.

    Ferguson didn’t retract his predictions. He said his low estimate might come true if the UK government keeps up its stringent social distancing policies. That’s completely different from “retracting from alarmism”.

  20. Gkai says:

    50% is very unlikely… But reported case are as unlikely, much too low, just looking at the number of high profile people testing positive it, you get there is something wrong. In Europe, around 1% infected seems roughly right, with maybe a 0.1/10% interval for local variation (doubling every 3 days, this would be 20 days delay between start of the epidemic between high prevalence/low prevalence region-not unbelievable)…
    If this is correct, a peak late april, a long one (cause inhomogeneities) makes sense for Europe… The curve will not have been killed, just slightly flattened, too late to change it much now…

  21. meagain says:

    “After two weeks of quarantine, the researchers carried out another round of mass testing in Vo.
    The rate of COVID-19 infection had dropped from nearly 3 per cent to 0.41 per cent.”

  22. catte says:

    They’re nearly at a thousand deaths per day in Italy. How the fuck is it still going up? They’ve had lockdown for over two weeks.

  23. epoch says:

    Does anyone know the attack rate from Vo’ Euganeo, one of the earliest hotspots in Lombardia where they tested everyone? I can’t find even a hint. It seems pretty important.

  24. reziac says:

    If half had already had it, then a proportion in hospital would have already had the unique symptom set — long enough ago to have fully recovered. And that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    Interesting post from an ER MD in New Orleans. (Translation into English on p2.)

  25. Just saying says:

    There are at least two possibilities we need to look at simultaneously

    people who have it but have mild symptoms (regular test)
    people who already had it a mild case and cleared it (different antibody test)

    If we don’t look at both, we might miss a lot, if the timing is wrong.

    Does that cover everyone or is there another possibility, such as people who were exposed but never got it and also didn’t develop antibodies the same way a recovered person would?

  26. James K says:

    The Oxford paper considers a number of scenarios, for both the UK and Italy. The scenario of interest here is the one that predicts high rates of infection; and in this case the model mortality in the population as a whole is very low: 0.014%. For given model parameters, the paper obtains the infection curve by fitting the deaths in the 15 days from the first death, by which time the cumulative death toll exceeds 100. It is obvious that for sufficiently low mortality the epidemic must be far advanced by this stage.

    Specific objections to this scenario are:

    (1) The model mortality is considerably lower than most people believe.

    (2) The model splits the population into two groups: a small group who are “at risk of severe disease”; and a much larger group that consists of everybody else. Deaths occur only in the first group, which has a mortality of 14%. In the scenario that predicts high infection rates, the first group is only 0.1% of the population, giving an overall mortality of 0.014%.

    IMHO the idea that only 0.1% of the population is at risk of severe disease is hard to believe – unless most of us have an as yet undiscovered immunity. The most dangerous known risk factors for a severe case of coronavirus are hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease; the proportion of people in the UK who have these diseases is, respectively, 6%, 19%, and 3%.

    (3) An exacting test of the model would be to predict the course of the epidemic after day 15 (assuming no protective measures such as quarantine). Presumably the number of deaths would soon start to decrease, as herd immunity takes effect.

    All the Oxford paper is saying is that, if the mortality rate is very low, then by the time 100 people have died the number of infected people is very high; so high that the UK is close to achieving herd immunity; and infecting 80% of Italians by 6th March. This is a doubtful idea, because we have data for 3 subsequent weeks in Italy, and the epidemic has not yet peaked.

    • TB says:

      The fast and easy number is the excess deaths compared to prior time periods. How is March 2020 doing compared to the last ten Marches?

      All those other numbers are too easy to fudge or to allow preconceptions to obscure what’s going on. The confound is that I am expecting flu (etc) numbers to crash in places with effective isolation.

      • Gkai says:

        Yes… Excess death can be faked only very short term, but i think art this time it’s probably not sensitive enough. Appart italy, maybe spain, iran and china, i think other have excess death still hidden in the noise. China and Iran are probably busy hidding it, a sort term measure but everybody will be to busy to know for sure before the epidemic is over. We already know they did something fishy though.
        Another thing, about the increase mortality once intensive care is ovewhelmed. I find consistent (compared to other data about covid 19) figure of 50% chance of death pour recovery once intubated. Quite bad as it also means doubling the death rate once intensive care is completely overwhelmed…This doubling is progressive, because they have indicators about the chances you have to be among the 50% who make it. To get worse than doubling death rate, basic care must collapse. I think collapse of basic care is close to total collapse (not only the health sector) , but i may be wrong…

        • John Massey says:

          Stupid. You can’t hide deaths in China. Their families don’t like it. You wouldn’t know that because you know nothing about China, so you just imagine things and make stuff up, like a lot of others.

          You can’t spell either.

          • Gkai says:

            I can’t spell cause i type on a phone, in my second langage. Still good enough for you to understand…
            There are more and more stories about china official numbers being fabricated. It was on the Web first, now it’s in the MSM. And it’s not the first wave of china criticisms of a few month ago, when there was few cases pour of China. It’s a second wave, apprently coming from epidemiologists this time.
            Maybe you can be a little bit more relax about china criticisms.

            • John Massey says:

              I’m fine with criticisms of China that are justified, just like I’m fine with criticisms of any other country when they are justified. I just have an extreme aversion to bullshit, so maybe you can be a little bit more discriminating about which bullshit you swallow and regurgitate.

              I also know lots of people in China and talk to them by phone, so I can get independent views from them, rather than just seizing on whatever junk is circulating on the Web or in MSM.

              I have absolutely no idea what “when there was few cases pour of China” means. Maybe you could try Google Translate.

              And don’t tell me what to do, or I will tell you where you can put yourself, you mumbling moron.

              • gkai says:

                You talk to people from Hubei province then? Care to share what they have to say, second hand?
                If it’s from other provinces, it’s not second hand, it’s third hand or worse, and have no interest.

                Replace “pour” by “outside”. This should not have been too hard to guess…for most people.

              • John Massey says:

                More than 3,000 people from where I live were trapped in Hubei Province after all the cities there were locked down, and I talked to some of them. What we talked about is for me to know and you not to know. Oh, so pour = outside. How stupid of me not to know. Now go fuck yourself.

  27. Hans says:

    Does anybody know what explains Westchester New York’s low CFR? That was the first part of New York to experience an outbreak, so the lag effect seen in CFR should be diminished as compared to NYC. Johns Hopkins reports that there have been only 10 deaths for the 9,326 confirmed cases. Obviously Wu Flu is much deadlier than seasonal flu, but maybe it’s by a factor of X3 rather than X10? Could the overwhelmed hospitals be more of product of its rapid spread rather than severity of illness? In short, we need antibody testing ASAP to help determine really how deadly this virus is and how we should best manage this situation.

  28. Pingback: What Percentage of the UK Population Has Been Infected? – Covid Sceptics

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