Curioser and curioser

Willis Eschenbach examines what he calls the “Diamond Princess Mysteries.

OK, here are my questions. We had a perfect petri-dish coronavirus disease (COVID-19) experiment with the cruise ship “Diamond Princess”. That’s the cruise ship that ended up in quarantine for a number of weeks after a number of people tested positive for the coronavirus. I got to wondering what the outcome of the experiment was.

So I dug around and found an analysis of the situation, with the catchy title of Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for COVID-19 using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship (PDF), so I could see what the outcomes were.

As you might imagine, before they knew it was a problem, the epidemic raged on the ship, with infected crew members cooking and cleaning for the guests, people all eating together, close living quarters, lots of social interaction, and a generally older population. Seems like a perfect situation for an overwhelming majority of the passengers to become infected.

And despite that, some 83% (82.7% – 83.9%) of the passengers never got the disease at all…why?

Next, slightly less than half the passengers (48.6% ± 2.0%) who got the disease showed NO symptoms. If this disease is so dangerous, how come half the people who got it showed no symptoms at all?

For me, this is all good news. 83% of the people on the ship didn’t get it, despite perfect conditions for transmission. If you get it, you have about a 50/50 chance of showing no symptoms at all. And the fatality rate is lower than the earlier estimates of 2% or above.

At this point at least, it doesn’t appear that we are following the Italian trajectory. However…it’s still early days.

Finally, a plea for proportion. US coronavirus deaths are currently at 67, we’ll likely see ten times that number, 670 or so, might be a thousand or three…meanwhile, 3,100 people die in US traffic accidents…and that’s not 3,100 once in a decade, or 3,100 per year.

That’s 3,100 dead from auto accidents EACH AND EVERY MONTH…

It’s a mystery, right enough. There would seem to be angles aplenty to the whole Chinese Yellow Peril Fu Manchu Wuhan Sino-Flu story, but one of them worthy of at least a bare modicum of serious consideration is the possibility that we’re being played.

Update! With that abundance of odd angles I mentioned, it was a statistical near-certainty that at least one of them would turn out to be unintentionally hilarious.

Baltimore Mayor Begs Residents To Stop Shooting Each Other So Hospital Beds Can Be Used For Coronavirus Patients

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Mayor Jack Young urged residents to put down their guns and heed orders to stay home after multiple people were shot Tuesday night amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Young said hospital beds are needed to treat positive COVID-19 patients and not for senseless violence. Seven people were shot Tuesday night in the Madison Park neighborhood, as Baltimore reported its fifth positive coronavirus case Wednesday.

“I want to reiterate how completely unacceptable the level of violence is that we have seen recently,” Young said. “We will not stand for mass shootings and an increase in crime.”

“For those of you who want to continue to shoot and kill people of this city, we’re not going to tolerate it,” Young implored. “We’re going to come after you and we’re going to get you.”

Be a nice change of pace from standard practice there, I suppose. Shiny new gun-grabber proposal to be announced in 5…4…3…2…

Things that make you go “hmmm” update! My days of taking the coronavirus scare seriously are definitely coming to a middle.

Dark Money Progressive Groups Spending Millions to Politicize Coronavirus, Spread Fear

If Proggies fear it, I’m for it, no matter what it might be.

Oh please update! Anyone beginning to feel a tetch cynical about the coronavirus stampede just got handed another very good reason.

Wednesday on CNN, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the coronavirus pandemic was worse than both 9/11 and the 2008 stock market crash.

Schumer said, “I have lived through 9/11. I lost three friends that I knew in the towers. I was there through the crash of 2008, but this is the worst of all for a variety of reasons. First, we’re uncertain as to what is going to happen. There was some uncertainty after 9/11, in the days after we were worried we might be attacked again, but it’s not the same as this.”

It sure ain’t at that. For openers, there was no uncertainty whatsoever regarding who was responsible for 9/11 (Moslems), nor from whence the perps’ motive might have come (Islamic scripture). In fact, the only “uncertainty” I can think of is how the eventual Democrat-Socialist response—to import teeming, unvetted throngs of them here, get them signed up for welfare bennies in perpetuity, and then turn them loose to wage jihad here instead of there—ever came to be thought of, by anybody, as somehow a sensible thing to do.

Now THERE’S a mystery for ya. One for the ages.

Mo’ bettah update! Further and more erudite discussion at Silicon Greybeard, of which you should read the all, emphatically including the comments. Via Fran Porretto, who makes what remains, for me, the essential point.

Time was, no one would even entertain the possibility that an American political party would put power above the well-being of Americans generally. That time is long past.

The possibility that this is an engineered panic – a panic with the full weight of the Left and the media behind it – has been on many minds. As a weapon with which to hobble the American economy, few measures short of a nuclear bombing would have been more effective. But beyond that, a fearful people is a people easily subjugated. The effect is especially powerful when the thing feared is something against which individuals and communities cannot defend themselves.

You cannot see a virus.
You cannot shoot a virus, either.
Virus-caused diseases cannot be cured.
A virus of unknown potentialities is the perfect fear weapon.

But are the potentialities of the Wuhan virus really unknown? Silicon Graybeard’s article suggests otherwise, as do the dramatic differences among infection and fatality rates among the nations afflicted, according to their relative prosperity and whether their governments have socialized medical care. The United States, the most prosperous nation in history, with its free-market medical-care system, is overwhelmingly likely to come out of this “pandemic” almost unaffected, at least in comparison to other widespread diseases such as the common flu. Unaffected, that is, unless we surrender what remains of our freedom in response to political fear-mongering.

We could be doing ourselves immense, long-lasting harm for no good reason – and with Democrat mayors and governors leaping to act on Rahm Emanuel’s “wisdom,” the probability appears greater with every passing day and news cycle.

Whatever its origins, whatever its real effects, the coronavirus is now here. It will be with us always. No one can change that unwelcome reality. From this day forward, the principal thing we have a say over is what, and how much, we are willing to allow those with malign intent to take from us under false pretenses.

3 thoughts on “Curioser and curioser

  1. Re: “Whatever its origins, whatever its real effects, the coronavirus is now here. It will be with us always. No one can change that unwelcome reality. From this day forward, the principal thing we have a say over is what, and how much, we are willing to allow those with malign intent to take from us under false pretenses.”

    Well-said, although it should also be said that in nature, the typical pattern even for lethal viruses is to mutate into chronic diseases which are perhaps debilitating but not fatal.  A virus needs to hijack the genetic machinery of the host’s cells in order to replicate itself. In other words, it is de facto parasitic in nature and needs a living host, at least for a portion of its existence.

    The larger non-scientific point here is that our soceity will survive this virus; it has weathered far-worse storms in the past. Even if the corona virus outbreak ends up being as severe and as lethal as the 1918-1919 Spanish Influenza pandemic, and that’s a very big “if,” the U.S. and other modern societies will have the benefit of cutting edge science and medical technology on their side. Virology has advanced a great deal since 1918, and so has medical science in general.

    Getting back to your basic point, the great H.L.Mencken once said, “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    The corona virus is obviously not imaginary, but that that certainly does not mean there won’t be people and organizations – including government at all levels – who try to exploit this happening, this event, for their own purposes. The mindset of these types is – per Rahm Emanuel – “Never let a crisis go to waste!”

    It has also been said that virtually nothing in politics (geopolitics, too) happens by accident. If that aphorism is at all correct, shouldn’t we be asking “Cui bono”? Who benefits from this crisis, and why? And toward what ends?

     

  2. As for Baltimore the good Mayor can do a great service by announcing those shot in typical hood violence will not get medical care.  Hospital beds are reserved for those in higher need and perhaps the feral population will be reduced.

    As for KungFlu being media hype I sincerely doubt it.  When this was hitting the fan in China the only source for info was the internet.  At that time KungFlu news was called ‘fake news’ and ‘conspiracy theory’.  The ChiComs did not quarantine a good portion of their populace for something that was ‘just the flu’.

    Current ‘fake news’ is that China is having a second wave but just not testing so they can say there is no KungFlu in China.  They are also working on blaming the US for the KungFlu.. after they stole the precursors from US and Canada.  Seems likely to me Pooh is trying to blamestorm his way out of this mess.

    1. Except you can be sure the Mayor will not do that because those hood rats are his primary voting constituency.

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