We Are Being Sold a Lie About the Chinese Virus
I am going to take a look at the Covid-19 statistics today but I am going to do so from a slightly different perspective in order to question, once again, whether Covid-19 is anything like a serious pandemic. Just in case you’re wondering, the answer is that Covid-19 is not a serious pandemic and the point of this post is to explain to you why this is the case. So, using my preferred data source – which is updated daily for the number of new cases and new deaths with the data being reset at GMT+0 – there have been 16,456,028 confirmed cases of Covid-19. There have been 653,030 deaths from the virus. There are currently 5,727,987 active Covid-19 cases. Of those active cases, 5,661,599 or 99% of cases are mild cases. There are 66,388 cases or 1% of cases that are serious or critical.
Only 1% of active cases are serious or critical and yet the global cost of Covid-19 has been estimated by an Australian university researcher to potentially be US$21.8 trillion dollars. You can view the research on an interactive dashboard. According to Deloitte, these losses are the result of direct impact on production which could include declining national and international trade in goods and services, supply chain and market disruption and the financial impact on firms and financial markets. There is also the economic cost of the Covid-19 healthcare “crisis” which will cost countries around the world billions of dollars. The cost of Covid-19 to countries around the world is obviously not an argument for the severity of the virus. Rather, the argument is that Covid-19 is not a serious pandemic and yet economic recovery from the “impact” of the virus is going to take years.
Now let’s take a look at some more data. Still using my preferred data source, there are 10,728,041 closed Covid-19 cases. Of those closed cases, 10,075,011 or 94% of people recovered. This leaves the number of deaths at 653,030 giving a death rate of 6%. I know what people will be thinking. We’ve shut down the world because a 6% death rate is extremely high. I would make a couple of points. First the death rates from Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (round 34%) and Ebola (around 50%) are off the charts compared with Covid-19. This means that the notion of “high” is very relative. Secondly, the death rate expressed as a percentage of all cases with an outcome has been constantly falling. There was a time when the percentage figure death rate was in double digits. Now it is down to 6%. I’m betting that the death rate will eventually fall below 1%.
Go back to the fact that of current active cases, 5,661,599 or 99% of cases are mild cases. There are 66,388 or 1% of cases that are serious or critical. Let’s say that all serious cases lead to deaths. Then 1% of active cases or 66,288 critical cases would result in deaths. The thing is that not all serious or critical cases will lead to deaths and so the death rate will be less than 1% for current active cases. Basically, the world is in a state of chaos for a virus that currently leads to only 1% of those infected developing a serious condition. Furthermore, I’d be willing to bet that those critical cases are amongst the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions and so protecting these people could greatly reduce the fatality rate. I haven’t been able to find worldwide data to confirm this hypothesis but I will keep looking.
Australia Makes for a Classic Study of Covid-19 Absurdity
I’ve reported on the Covid-19 situation in Australia in my last dozen or so posts. Basically the City of Melbourne in the state of Victoria is reporting relatively high numbers of new infections. By relatively high I mean 355 new cases two days ago, 453 new cases yesterday and 535 cases as of today AEST 12:29 AM / GMT 2:29 PM. According to the Australian news source “Seven News” Victoria may go into a stage four lockdown. No one knows for certain what a stage four lock down might mean but we can assume that the restrictions would extend beyond current lockdown measures where one can only leave ones home for: work / education that cannot be conducted from home; medical reasons; grocery shopping; and for exercise. Perhaps closure of additional industries and businesses and even more severe lockdown measures.
So, let’s take another look at Victoria’s Covid-19 statistics but this time with some detail that helps to understand the situation. On Wednesday 22nd July, and again as reported by “Seven News“, the state of Victoria recorded 484 new cases, bringing the total number of cases to 6,739 since data collection began. As reported by ABC News yesterday 27th July, Victoria had recorded 532 new coronavirus cases. There were 4,542 active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria, including 400 infections in health workers and 683 cases linked to aged care outbreaks. There were 245 people in Victorian hospitals with the virus, including 44 in intensive care units. Finally, there were 6 new deaths from the virus with 5 of those people being over 70 years of age. Note here just how many cases are linked to health care workers and to aged care services. More than 25% of all cases are accounted for by these two groups.
There is a key point not yet covered. According to government data from today, 27th July on Covid-19 we have seen a total of 8,696 Covid-19 cases with 77 deaths giving a death rate of 0.88%. I’m going to bet that over time, the picture that will emerge in Victoria is that nearly all deaths are accounted for by people in aged care services. I know it’s a bit of a leap at the moment but not that great a leap. Think back to the fact that 683 cases linked to aged care outbreaks and then remember that the elderly are amongst the most vulnerable members of society. To conclude, a point that I have made before. A sensible strategy would have been to protect these vulnerable members of society rather than locking down entire regions of Melbourne and potentially locking down the entire state of Victoria.
There is Most Definitely a Place in the World for Conspiracy Theorists
There was a story today from ABC News about a woman who refused to wear a mask in a Bunnings DIY superstore. Granted that the woman does appear to have become rather hysterical and she may have incorrectly told staff that she had the right to sue Bunnings “for being in breach” of the 1948 Charter of Human Rights. However, there is nothing reported about her behaviour that would suggest that she is a conspiracy theorist. And yet, the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is quoted as saying that we should “ignore such people” and that engaging in an argument with a “conspiracy theorist” should be considered a waste of time. Furthermore, Australia’s two Deputy Chief Medical Officers also condemned the actions of conspiracy theorists. I would offer this reporting as an example of news outlets trying to create our perspectives. There is just no logical connection between refusing to wear a mask and being a conspiracy theorist.
The references to conspiracy theorists in the ABC news report also seem to have something to do with videos that are being posted on social media and with posts on FaceBook. I don’t engage with social media and I don’t have a FaceBook account so I can only imagine that there are some not very clever people putting out conspiracy theorist messages such as Covid-19 being a big hoax. Or perhaps they are ranting that Covid-19 is just a way for governments to gain control of the population through rushing through security legislation that would allow for wide spread surveillance of the populace. If this is the case, then we might ask how far off the mark they really are with their opinions. The trouble with conspiracy theories is that we will never know because they are never substantiated by evidence. However, I maintain that it is reasonable to “assume” that agendas are being served by the massive over-reaction to Covid-19.
I came across a most interesting website which would, most likely, be labelled as the work of a conspiracy theorist. This weekend I am going to review an entire article on the site that essentially argues that Covid-19 is being manipulated by a secret elite for a whole host of reasons including controlling humanity. A very likely case in point re conspiracy theorists lacking evidence for their theories. At the same time, the article references a report commissioned by the German Interior Ministry in May 2020 to analyse every aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic. The report noted that at the time of writing the report, there were no more than 250,000 deaths worldwide from Covid-19 as compared to 1.5 million deaths during the influenza wave 2017/18. As of today there have been 657,451 deaths from Covid-19 but we are, as I have argued many times before, a long way from reaching the fatality figures for a normal influenza season.
The previously mentioned report commissioned by the German Interior Ministry apparently also noted that the people who had died from Covid-19 were those who would have statistically have died in any case because their bodies were no longer able to cope with stresses including catching one of the 150 viruses in circulation. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to follow this line of argument. You simply have to look at publicly reported Covid-19 statistics from reputable sites such as the one that I use. You then have to ask yourself a very simple question to do with whether the world’s reaction to Covid-19 is proportionate to the real threat of the virus. I would venture that this is not the case. Rather, the world’s reaction has been totally disproportionate to the actual threat of the virus. Even more oddly, the world’s reaction continues to be totally disproportionate to what is really happening with the virus.
Why is Xi Jinping Being Such an Arrogant Idiot?
There is another question that we can ask in terms of what is going on in the world right now and it is a question from “The Guardian” newspaper. That question concerns why Xi Jinping is “pitting China against the world”. You could go with the some of the opinions offered in the article. For example, China now believes that it is strong enough to take on the world and to win a “war” whether that be a diplomatic war, an economic war or an actual confrontation on the border with India or in the South China sea where China is asserting its territorial claim to waterways and islands that are also claimed by other countries. On the other hand you might agree that policy making in China is “broken” because Xi Jinping has absolute control meaning that there can be no dissenting voices. Basically Xi Jinping declares what China will do and China does it. Thus, poor decision making.
These would be legitimate explanations for what is going on in China and if you adhere to the principle of Occam’s Razor you might well decide to stop your enquiries at this point particularly as conspiracy theories are notorious for containing far too many conjectures and assumptions that cannot be proved. However, if we are just following plausible thoughts, then it seems reasonable to posit a slightly more complicated hypothesis for what is going on in China. Perhaps there is a long-term strategy behind China’s actions. For example, perhaps China’s actions in Hong Kong, on the border with India and in the South China see are part of a “menacing strategy” to seize regional control in these areas. This idea seems plausible to me. Of course, only time will tell but China’s actions in Hong Kong would speak to expansionism. The same is true of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. And, China is definitely engaging in hostilities with Indian troops. Scary, scary times and likely more to come.
First Published July 27th, 2020