Corona Clusters

Many big headlines since the last time we talked about it, but the two biggest ones in my opinion are:

  1. In my Feb 24 post, I suggested there are already numerous Corona clusters all over the US, Europe, and elsewhere, due to the disease’s ease of spread and its having a long incubation period.

Trevor Bedford, on March 1:

The team at the @seattleflustudy have sequenced the genome the #COVID19 community case reported yesterday from Snohomish County, WA, and have posted the sequence publicly to There are some enormous implications here. This case, WA2, is on a branch in the evolutionary tree that descends directly from WA1, the first reported case in the USA sampled Jan 19, also from Snohomish County, viewable hereThis strongly suggests that there has been cryptic transmission in Washington State for the past 6 weeks. … I believe we’re facing an already substantial outbreak in Washington State that was not detected until now due to narrow case definition requiring direct travel to China.

As I said, the cat is out of the bag. The US has neither the political will nor the social self-discipline to confine tens of millions of its people to their homes. And there aren’t many Americans who would take sick days out of their meager vacation days,

  1. I also suggested that a recession is close to inevitable this year. In the week since I wrote that post, the tally of betting sites measuring the chances of a US recession in 2020 has skyrocketed from 32% to almost 50%.

As I said, I don’t think there’s much chance of stopping Corona from infecting a large % of the world population. There are now more new daily COVID-19 cases outside China than within China, which remains largely locked down (and at an economic standstill that is unsustainable in the long-term). Epidemics are one of those things where you either go big or go home. And Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch’s prediction that “go big” means a large percentage of the world population is looking increasingly realistic.

Lipsitch predicts that within the coming year, some 40 to 70 percent of people around the world will be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. But, he clarifies emphatically, this does not mean that all will have severe illnesses.

So perhaps governments’ main task should no longer be about trying to contain it as such, but keeping infection rates steady to prevent surges that overwhelm healthcare systems. That is because mortality rates seem to be  around ~1% when there’s access to modern healthcare (e.g. ventilators), it goes up to as high as 4% when they are overwhelmed (e.g. Wuhan a few weeks back – and, as seems plausible, Iran right now)*. So the main focus should be on trying to push as much of the population as possible into the phase state where they have 1% aggregate mortality from Corona as opposed to 4% aggregate mortality from Corona. The most obvious way to do that seems to be to stretch out the infections, e.g. by tightening up and relaxing quarantines at timed intervals.

Even radical and counterintuitive ideas, such as paying to get infected earlier so as to spread out the morbidity burden over time – as suggested by controversial economist Robin Hanson – should not be off the table. My own idea, or “powerful take,” involves paying out money to young people to get infected, which should produce very few casualties and will also push the overall r0 way down because they are generally much more active out on the streets than the elderly.

In other news, today also marks Russia’s first “real” case – that is, an ethnic Russian with a coronavirus infection within Russia (there were two Chinese coronavirus patients about a month ago, but they don’t seem to have spread it further). He was a Muscovite who had returned from vacationing in Italy on February 23, and reported into a clinic with symptoms of pneumonia on February 27 (according to a comment on /r/coronavirus, he was put in a ward with six other people before they discovered that he was infected with coronavirus). This is consistent with reports that Russian clinics have been testing pneumonia patients for Corona since the last third of February. But pneumonia patients are edge cases – there is no mass testing of travelers, or random testing of the population to gauge the approximate strength of the epidemic (as is now starting up in the UK). Considering Moscow’s links with China, Korea, and Italy, I would be very surprised if there weren’t already at least a hundred cases within the Russian capital as of the time of writing.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Isn’t the spread of the coronavirus mitigated by warmer temperatures? Isn’t Spring just around the corner?

  3. Daniel Chieh says

    It might be mitigated by heat, but its not guaranteed. It would also be mutating actively to survive, because that’s what viruses do.

  4. It would be informative if we might somehow get the characteristics of the Kung-Flu causalities: ethnic group (or more broadly ethnic background), gender, age, health problems.

    This would allow to have a better predictive ability per the outcome of the pandemic.

    If a large percentage of deaths are into a particular subgroup, then this is the subgroup that should be taken care of.

    Others could just “Keep Calm and Carry On”, while learning to live with this novel disease around.

    Also, it would be interesting to see how this novel viral disease might impact population growth worldwide.

    Let’s imagine that the mortality rate stays around 2% per year in the developed countries, but approaches 4% in the developing ones.

    Let’s consider that some 50% of population is infected each year by a recurring infection during a “Kung-Flu season “.

    How would it impact the population growth in the next 5 years?

  5. Swedish Family says

    It might be mitigated by heat, but its not guaranteed. It would also be mutating actively to survive, because that’s what viruses do.

    I have met both the argument that the virus might grow more deadly over time, like the Spanish flu of 1918-1920, and that it might grow less deadly. It’s all deeply confusing.

    If anyone can explain how it might grow less deadly, I’m all ears.

  6. The White population in the United States has been stagnant for the last decade. Zero growth , as 8,000 white Americans turn 65 each day and only 5,000 White babies are born each day , the future is known. The white population will fall faster due to this virus which mostly kills the elderly boomers.

    In the United States 70 million people are elderly, over the age of 60. Most of the elderly are boomers, just 24 million living Americans were born prior to 1946.

    Last year 1.8 million baby boomers passed away. If half the boomers contract the corona virus and 2% of them succumb to the virus, we will see the death rate for boomers increase from the current levels of 4,900 per day to 6,700 boomers per day.

    If this virus spreads rapidly the number of boomers dying this year may exceed 2.5 million, bringing the number of boomers alive down to 61 million..

    it is certainly possible that 50% Americans will contract COVID-19 this year and we will be fortunate of the mortality rate for this virus remains below 3% for the elderly population. So far very few people under the age of 50 succumb to the disease, with mortality rates below 0.4% for this demographics and no fatalities for those under the age of 11 so far.

  7. Philip Owen says

    So, should I take the train to London on Friday to attend an event or stay at home? Catching it early and receiving better treatment might be a good strategy. (old, male, diabetic, heart trouble OTOH fit).

    No antiviral prophylatics available. Go outside in the cold spring sunshine, remove top and get some exposure to build vitamin D? Definitely go to bed early. Squeexed lemon.

  8. Mr. Hack says

    Mother knows best:

    Garlic contains compounds that help the immune system fight germs ( 5 , 6 ). … These compounds have been shown to boost the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body when they encounter viruses, such as the viruses that cause the common cold or flu

  9. Squeexed lemon.

    You’re good, it’s actually not against the rules to use a lemon wedge instead of a lime wedge with your Corona Extra.

  10. Some Guy says

    The more serious the symptoms, the more likely the sick person is to stay quarantined at home or in a hospital. Milder versions of the disease allow the sick person to be out and about and spread the disease unhindered.

  11. Europe Europa says

    The idea that East Asians are more susceptible to it than others has proven to be false, considering countries close to China like Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, etc, have significantly lower rates of it than Iran and many European countries. The high number of infections in China, particularly in Hubei province, seems to be because that’s where it started and because of China’s large population rather than any particular racial susceptibility to it.

    If anything the way it has spread in Iran and Italy implies that Caucasoids might be more vulnerable to it than East Asians if there is a racial angle at all.

  12. Swedish Family says

    The more serious the symptoms, the more likely the sick person is to stay quarantined at home or in a hospital. Milder versions of the disease allow the sick person to be out and about and spread the disease unhindered.

    That makes perfect sense. Thanks!

  13. Dr. Krieger says

    That doesn’t really square with Italy and all the garlic eaters there.

  14. Mr. Hack says

    I’m not trying to suggest that eating garlic is some kind of magic bullet that wards off the corona-virus.

    I do think that it’s a good idea to try and keep our immune system in tip top shape during these threatening times. Getting good sound sleep and eating healthy vegetables including herbs like garlic, ginger, turmeric and onions can only help maintain a strong immune system. With the same exposure one person succumbs to the illness while another one does not?….

    I wonder if our Fearless Leader here is upping his intake of curries right now? 🙂

  15. reiner Tor says

    This sheds some light on the theoretical questions of the evolution of virulence:

    It’s not a one-way street, and highly depends on the exact circumstances, like how it’s spread.

    As a general rule, pathogens “like” being virulent, and thus are as virulent as they can get away with. The common cold, not much, the flu slightly better, but still not much, on the other hand, smallpox (until vaccination) could get away with killing lots of people, more than COVID-19. Based on its contagiousness and survivability on surfaces, its equilibrium is probably somewhere between the flu and smallpox (and it’s really there right now), but hard to say which way it will tilt, because it depends on the values of several parameters, which we don’t know. Human behavior could also change some of those parameters, and thus the outcome.

  16. for-the-record says

    The coronavirus “epidemic” has thus far very likely had a positive impact on Chinese population.

    In 2018, the latest year for which figures are available, there were 256,180 deaths in China from traffic accidents, about 700 per day. Thus, one would have normally have expected around 60,000 road deaths in China since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in early December. To date there have been c. 3,000 deaths in China due to the coronavirus. A decrease of 5% of road traffic would have saved 3,000 lives. And since estimates of decline in demand for oil products seems to have been much higher (20% was cited in early February) it seems likely that the decrease in road traffic will have exceeded 5%.


  17. china-russia-all-the-way says

    Approx. mortality rates based on deaths and confirmed cases

    Wuhan, Hubei province: 6%
    China outside of Hubei province: Under 1% (for the last 10 or more days, there have been few new confirmed cases outside of Hubei, so the lag effect is not a major consideration in weighing the accuracy of this rate)

    I do wonder if a lot of people in Wuhan with mild symptoms did not visit the hospital because around there even being inside of a hospital looked dicey. That would inflate the rate for Wuhan because of fewer confirmed cases than would have been expected if somewhere else in China.

  18. for-the-record says

    Lipsitch predicts that within the coming year, some 40 to 70 percent of people around the world will be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

    I will go out on a limb here: utter rubbish.

    40% to 70% of the world’s population means 3.1-5.5 billion people. As sub-Saharan Africa (1.1 billion) appears untouched (1 imported case in Nigeria) and China’s total will almost certainly be less than a million (the number of new cases is declining rapidly towards zero), that means that of the remaining 5.3 billion people the number infected will be 60-100+%.

    Can we place bets on this?

    Total deaths outside Asia so far are less than 100. That’s fewer than the number of children killed by flu in the US this flu season (125 as of 22 February), not to mention the nearly 16,000 adults.

  19. prime noticer says

    not buying it at all. nothing even close. 40% of the global population is nonsense, let alone 40% of the US. 40% of the US contracting it with first world medicine reducing the fatality rate to 1% means that over 1 million Americans will die from coronavirus.

    i’m willing to put up money that less than 1000 Americans will die from it. or should i say, ‘Americans’. paper Americans. Hart Cellar ‘Americans’. it’s still largely an east asian thing and mostly hits a wall when it encounters europeans. even in Korea and Japan it hasn’t, and won’t, kill millions. also, so far fatality in Korea is about 0.8%. and these are the humans most susceptible to it.

    one thing that’s possible is that this coronavirus will never be eliminated completely, and can become a minor annoying thing that’s on earth forever. that seems far more likely than millions of first worlders dying in 6 months from what is essentially influenza. depending on what the vaccine situation is and how effective it is, how aggressive the vaccination campaign is, it’s also possible Covid-19 could be completely eliminated in a few years.

  20. prime noticer says

    as for the economic effect, that’s more grounded in reality. if half the people in China won’t even leave their house, then Apple can expect to sell half as many IPhones in China the next 2 quarters than they normally would. nothing to debate about that – Apple will make less money in 2020 than they normally would.

    so all the sales which global companies could have expected in east asia can probably be cut in half for the next quarter or two.

    furthermore, trusting China and thinking it is ok to offshore your supply chains to China means that for certain, manufacturing capability will be down during the next quarter or two. again, nothing to debate here. simple, non-controversial facts.

    that’s enough to put China in a technical recession for sure, and possibly other nations in east asia. will that put America into a technical recession? i’m less convinced. GDP will have to go negative, will have to go below 0, will have to go to -0.1% at the minimum, for 2 quarters in a row, for it to be a technical recession. considering current economic activity, around 2%, and what i’m seeing with my own eyes on the ground here in the states, no, i don’t think so. i don’t think it will shave >2% from GDP for 6 months in a row. it could, but i don’t think negative growth will be sustained for that long. that means the effects would have to persist to August. i’m pretty sure they won’t.

  21. “…which should produce very few casualties and will also push the overall r0 way down because they are generally much more active out on the streets than the elderly.”

    Push down r0? Must be counterintuitive or just sloppy because I do not get it.

  22. Hernan Pizzaro del Blanco says

    The Swine flu pandemic of 2009 infected 60 million Americans within the first 11 months of being detected.

    The Corona virus pandemic is spreading faster than the 2009 Swine flu (H1N1). Swine flu was first detected in March 2009. By December 250,000 Americans had been hospitalized for H1N1. Over 12,000 Americans died from H1N1 with 1,100 child deaths, according to the CDC.

    This Corona virus could easily infect 90 million Americans this year. it spreads faster than H1N1 and has a longer incubation period, and higher rate of infection compared to the Flu.

  23. I believe the virus Iran has is a different strain than what China has.

    One that is more virulent towards their race than what the Chinese experienced.

  24. yakushimaru says

    Today or yesterday the rules are changed in China that a “cured” patient must pass 3 instead of previous 2 DNA tests to qualify as being cured. And a few other companion changes of the rules to the same effect.

    The reason is that in a selected group, about 10% who passed 2 tests are later on checked to be still having it.

    The possible reasons for the failure of “two tests”: the way the samples are collected from throat might be in error; the test method itself might not be exact; and that the virus cells might be in some phase of their cycle that they are not spreading into your throat just yet.

  25. yakushimaru says

    One important factor is how easily a virus can survive in the open. I think it is generally assumed that it will be more difficult for the virus “cell” to survive in the open when Spring comes in real force. But so far there is no published scientific investigation of the survivability of this particule virus.

    When killing a host does not have sufficient impact on the virus’ ability to hit on next target, it will hardly becomes mild by its own evolution. From the point of view of the “selfish” virus, the calculation is between being sneaky and being explosive. But, even being sneaky does not automatically translate into being mild. It can be sneaky with mild effects in say 10 days and then it gets into a final explosive period producing a lot of virus “cells” and spreading them out while also killing the host real quick.

  26. yakushimaru says

    Stay away from crowds is the best I believe. The “catching it early” is just silly. When you catch it, there is no guarantee that you will know that in next 5 days or next 14 days. The virus might stay on with you for 10 days, and your family might catch it during the period. Then, when you have the symptoms and you go to the hospital, who knows which phase, early or middle, the local hospotals are in?

  27. Black Pilled Again says

    It’s not about China anymore. Now that that they are done with the initial epidemic, China will snuff out its outbreaks with rapid draconian movement restrictions in any districts with new cases of atypical pneumonia. They already have the infrastructure for it. A great time to be a sinotriumphalist.

    It’s not about supply side problems anymore. The West believes that quarantines don’t work so they will focus on mitigation rather than complete prevention. It’s a sensible strategy, but it will create anxiety even assuming low ball estimates of fatality rate ~0.5%. That’s still 1 in 200. Not high but one would rather avoid it if possible. When the infected could be everywhere, what will the idea that people can realistically die because they had a contact with them do to consumer confidence and spending? How many people will decide to skip vacations, going to the movies or even to the local fast food place? How many people will start saving just because the world is going to shit around them? A more stable economy could weather the storm, but ours was on its last legs even without any pandemics.

    China did its best and isn’t on the list of countries to have an epidemic anymore. The problem now is Corona is obviously spreading in the West and less obviously in third world countries that can’t even detect it. The cat is already out of the bag, it was back in mid-January when the Chinese started traveling for the Lunar New Year. Now it’s everywhere. Stopping a flu in Congo, even the idea sounds ridiculous. People speculate about how bad it can get once the healthcare system is overwhelmed like in Wuhan, but some countries (many countries) don’t have much of a healthcare system in the first place.

  28. reiner Tor says

    fatality rate ~0.5%

    How much safer it is to board a 737 MAX than to catch COVID-19? 500 times safer? Only 50 times safer?

  29. Mr McKenna says

    March 3rd: 06:37 GMT – Shanghai says visitors entering from “virus-hit countries” must be quarantined

    03:45 GMT – Guangdong imposes quarantine for visitors from virus-hit countries

    Feb 3rd: China accused the US of spreading global ‘fear’ over the Wuhan coronavirus.
    Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry, told reporters Monday the US was “consistently creating and spreading fear, which is a bad example.”

  30. Europe Europa says

    Anyone who trusts what the Chinese say is a fool. They, like Jews, act only in their own interests and are more than happy to claim they are being discriminated against while they discriminate against others. This is yet another example of it, I’m surprised that people are so surprised by it.

    Chinese are fundamentally dishonest and dishonourable people, everything is about “face” to them. That is probably hard to understand for Westerners who tend to place a lot of value on honouring their word. I’m surprised that the Western media has accepted the Chinese statistics on this virus so unquestionably considering the Chinese are such unashamed liars.

  31. LondonBob says

    Interesting how Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Thailand haven’t had the spread you would think they would. Hot weather likely the reason.

    The American response has been profoundly incompetent, on a par with Africa. Interesting it was spreading in Washington State, only to be discovered once it hit a hospice where the old and inform started dropping dead.

  32. LondonBob says

    The mortality rate in South Korea is 0.7%, and is also the case for rest of China. Likely that is the real rate where there is proper care and those with mild symptoms are recorded.

  33. LondonBob says

    How many dead for the Diamond Princess, only six or seven? A lot of elderly coffin dodgers on that cruise too.

  34. yakushimaru says

    Calm down, man. I love you! Not as much as I love my family or my fellow country men, but I do love you like a fellow human being. Calm down. It will do all of us some good.

  35. yakushimaru says

    Think about a dam, it is safe until it being overrun.

    The medical setup in Wuhan is no different from the rest of China. Only that in Wuhan you have the clinics overwhelmed, and that made all the differences.

    Next question is: How did Wuhan’s medical support get overwhelmed? The wet market plays a key role. And in winter the air is not flowing as freshly. And too many crowds everywhere. Chinese gov’t reaction in Wuhan can be regarded as too late for about 10 days, but Chinese gov’t reaction in the rest of China is on time. So, no 2nd Wuhan in China. At least so far.

    In March, we will know if anywhere in the world we will see a 2nd Wuhan. If no, then we are all lucky. If yes, then April would be really interesting time.

  36. reiner Tor says

    Some of them were young (I read somewhere that there were grad students onboard), but overall skewed towards the elderly. Of the roughly 700 cases, almost half were asymptomatic, so the death rate is already nearing 2%, and some are still in critical condition, so a couple more deaths are likely to follow.

  37. reiner Tor says

    Arguably Iran is already a second Wuhan.

  38. yakushimaru says

    737 MAX is bad enough. But most people do not go on an airplane everyday three times a day. With COVID-19, if it really gets out of hand, then everytime you are in a crowd, there is something like, say, 1% chance you get it. When you get it, it means that a significant chance you end up spending two weeks surviving it, at least.

    And, even though the death rate is ~1% so far, it is not comfortable at all getting your lungs messed up. When you recover, how much lung functionality do you get back? 90%? 95%? It can change your life quite a lot.

    Ask yourself, how much would you enjoy a bone crash that the hospitals can fix for you?

  39. Felix Keverich says

    As I understand it people don’t develop immunity to this virus, so catching it early won’t stop you from catching at a later time. You might even find a way to “re-infect” yourself, if the reports are right.

  40. Black Pilled Again says

    Reinfection doesn’t make any sense.

    What we know is that there are people who A) test positive again and B) become symptomatic again. Sometimes both.

    A simply means that tests detect Corona particles. What does that mean? We don’t know. It could be false positives or it could be tests detecting antibody-bound particles that weren’t yet flushed out of the system completely and that weren’t detected before due to false negatives. In these two cases it wouldn’t really mean anything.

    B could be explained by secondary infections. Respiratory diseases are not uncommon.

    The bad scenario is that sometimes Corona goes dormant and then a relapse happens weeks later. In that case you never really recovered the first time and didn’t develop full immunity. It would be a nightmare for containment attempts, but I don’t see a lot of evidence supporting this scenario since the “reinfected” don’t seem to be dying much.

  41. LondonBob says

    The WHO specifically said no reinfection.

  42. LondonBob says

    I have 6 deaths and 706 infections, so again about 0.845%.

  43. Black Pilled Again says

    The WHO specifically said no reinfection.

    I mentioned that reinfection doesn’t make any sense. The WHO didn’t explain why people test positive again and what are the ramifications. There simply were no studies on it yet.

    I have 6 deaths and 706 infections, so again about 0.845%.

    As of the last update 34 are in critical condition and half of those die according to the WHO. Some serious and severe cases turn critical later on. The time from onset of symtpoms to death is 2-8 week.

    Diamond Princess is a good petri dish for fatality rate in a controlled environment with good healthcare, but we need to let it run its course before making conclusions.

  44. Anatoly Karlin, you have showed yourself, along with Steve Sailer, to be an Unz Review community leader via your responsible, incisive and practically-oriented reviews of the coronavirus epidemic. I thank you.

  45. dearieme says

    It’s remarkable that there might be a decent estimate of the fatality rate when the equivalent number for ordinary flu isn’t much better than an intelligent guess. Or is that too harsh? Does anyone here have any expertise?

  46. Europe Europa says

    The death rate in Iran and Italy appears to be roughly the same, so the claim that the virus is different in Iran seems unlikely unless the virus in Italy is also different. I would say if anything it shows that Caucasoids are equally affected by it if not more so than East Asians are.

  47. reiner Tor says

    My point was that no one is going to board a 737 MAX (at least until the software issue is fixed), and the risk is much lower than with the coronavirus. So it’s quite rational to try to avoid the even riskier COVID-19.

  48. Hyperborean says

    I don’t think anyone here has mentioned Erdogan’s little migrant episode yet. No matter how it ends the situation is really going to escalate.

  49. Pericles says

    If anyone can explain how it might grow less deadly, I’m all ears.

    Basically because killing the host is often suboptimal from the evolutionary perspective. So those who evolve to be less deadly themselves survive in larger numbers, and may also outcompete and breed out the deadlier strains.

  50. I don’t know if anyone really knows the answer, but it is a really interesting question to me how HIV got into the US, whether through immigration, sex tourism, or rather some combination of sex-tourism with international business.

    I mean, over 675,000 people have died in the US. Arguably, the propaganda value of that created sympathy for homos, which means it is powerful. But, it remains untapped, when it comes to immigration restrictionism.

  51. “The American response has been profoundly incompetent”

    Check this out:

    The CDC sent faulty diagnostics test kits and American law forbids other labs to develop those kits without FDA approval.

  52. Europe Europa says

    The West created the migrant crisis at the behest of Israel/Zionism. Besides, it’s not Turkey’s job to police Europe’s borders. Most Syrians look as white as Greeks to me, if they weren’t Muslim I doubt many people would be worried.

  53. yakushimaru says

    It takes I think about 2 weeks or more between the onset and death if unlucky. Right now in Korea, most cases haven’t been lasting for that long.

  54. Here are the figures:

    That’s for <40s ofc.

  55. A reduction in R0 through artificially infecting young people follows from two assumptions.
    1. Infection confers immunity to reinfection (currently likely but not fully known).
    2. Immunity of a large cohort of young people lowers the population density of potential new hosts and so makes new infections less likely (almost impossible not to be true). To make an extreme comparison for post-artificial-infection daily life, from a boomer’s viewpoint attending a rave would be less risky than going to a megachurch service.

  56. The CCP was decisive. And it appears they can eliminate the epidemic and prevent it from returning. Western politicians have tried to cut corners and will continue that approach, but most of the citizenry will choose to minimize their public exposure. That will kill the economy and maybe trigger the long-awaited debt crisis. Who will buy Treasuries from a government with moribund tax revenue?

  57. The U.S. also has just 10% of the required respirator masks that would be needed for medical professionals if the COVID-19 outbreak erupts into a “full-blown” pandemic in America, Health and Human Services official Dr. Robert Kadlec said at the hearing.

    What a chickenshit country. Demarchy Now!

  58. china-russia-all-the-way says

    Diamond Princess

    7 deaths, 706 cases

    About 2 dozen still in serious or critical condition.

    The 3,600 people on board included 1,2000 crew members. The passengers are mostly elderly. If we assume half of the 3,600 people on board are over 60, and in the end there are 8 deaths, what can we infer is the mortality rate for a normal age pyramid population?

    South Korea

    31 deaths, 5186 cases, 0.6%

    The number of cases has doubled quickly so there is a strong lag effect. However, South Korea is known for maximum testing so there might not be many undetected, mild cases missing from the total.

    I am paying attention to the rates for these two populations to figure out what is the actual mortality rate. An estimate of 1% in stable medical environment conditions sounds reasonable at this point.

  59. On the other hand 77 deaths and “just” 2336 cases in Iran. It seems out of control there with many undetected cases. By the way, it seems also out of control now in Spain (very efficient healthcare system) and the virus reached Latin America and Africa. It will be bad.

  60. reiner Tor says

    That’s an oversimplification. Many pathogens were pretty deadly for centuries or millennia. Just think of smallpox – it was happy killing more people than COVID-19.

    The factors driving virulence were explained in the link I provided in my above comment, which I got from another commenter (I think Bert, sorry if someone else), so it’s not quite known at this point which way this virus is going to go. The article also doesn’t mention that for the pathogen it often doesn’t matter if, at the end of a long illness, it kills the host or the host gets cured. Either way, it cannot replicate inside the body any more. So if COVID-19 changed to the same illness, but with a lower mortality – how would it help it?

  61. prime noticer says

    if it’s so dangerous, and the stumbling, bumbling Trump Republicans are morons who are gonna get everybody killed…then why are the Democrats having a nationwide primary today? aren’t they the smart ones? shouldn’t they just push the primaries back a few months to be safe?

    but they aren’t, because Democrat leaders don’t believe anything they’re saying about this stuff either. they know this is just hysteria, and they’re the ones mainly responsible for spreading the hysteria via their media control. it’s not the end of the world where millions of people are going to catch a disease and die, and Democrats won’t even take the extremely obvious precaution of moving back their primaries. their actions SHOW they don’t believe anything they’re saying about it. just like when they buy 10 million dollar houses right on the coast, after lecturing us for years that rising ocean levels are gonna kill us all.

    you guys are just doing the classic internet doomer dance

  62. This kind of thinking is only fit for the fuzzy reality of video games.

    The great scheme of Karlin that you try to rationalize comes to the following profundity: Infect people who can’t get infected, u.e., people who once infected become instantaneously immune and, most importantly, can’t become carriers of infection. Instantaneously immune? It does not matter if they are infected (get in contact with the virus) or not, right? If people like that exist then whether they are being artificially infected or naturally infected has no impact on Ro.

  63. Hyperborean says

    The West created the migrant crisis at the behest of Israel/Zionism. Besides, it’s not Turkey’s job to police Europe’s borders. Most Syrians look as white as Greeks to me, if they weren’t Muslim I doubt many people would be worried.

    That can be debated, but my implicit point (given that I posted it in the Corona thread) is that the migrant wave, considering the quantity, their density and lack of sanitation, is quickly going to become an infected lump.

    So either the EU folds and Europe’s virus situation becomes immensely worse, or even in the absolutely best case scenario, there is a giant infected camp on the border with Europe with little supervision constantly needing personnel to prevent zerg rushes. Plus Erdogan is going to throw yet another hissy fit if his scheme fails.

  64. prime noticer says

    every primary the Democrats don’t move back or cancel, i’ll post on here to be as annoying as possible.

    either the Democrat leadership is deliberately sending millions of their own voters out there every week to get exposed to a deadly virus that ‘should’ kill thousands and thousands of them, rendering them unable to vote against Trump in November…

    or they don’t believe a thing they’re saying about Covid-19, and it’s strictly about hurting Trump.

    most annoying for me is how sports events i actually care about are getting canceled because of the hysteria Democrats are spreading in their naked political pursuit.


    “Too bad that Unz Review doesn’t have a specially moderated thread for useful coronavirus information in which the reflexively cynical, ironical and useless comments were not allowed.”

  66. another anon says

    Even more interesting is that no one here mentioned what is going on in Syria in the latest few days.
    Interesting from geopolitical, military and generally Russian point of view.


    Turks went in to Idlib to protect the rebels in full force. First massive use of drone aircrafts on battlefield. Syrian forces demolished, Russian famed anti-air defences either absent or proven worth nothing.

    Someone interested in military science, robotics and transhumanism should at least have noticed.

  67. another anon says

    While in Iran: LICK THE SHRINE, DO THE TIME!

  68. Daniel Chieh says

    Why should the Democrats be any more competent than the Republicans? Equally incapable is absolutely the norm.

  69. yakushimaru says

    The virus is not doing much in South & Southeast Asia except maybe Singapore (but Singapore seems to be having it controlled).

    I think that is a sign that there is a good probability that the virus might just go away in April or May all by itself, almost.

  70. Black Pilled Again says

    What’s with Americans and making everything about their elections? There are countries out there that don’t have Democrats blaming Corona on Trump but they still have the virus.

    Corona kills boomers and the older gen xers primarily. If it’s allowed to spread in America and many of them die then the US will become a socialist Latin American country faster than you can say “hey esse.” Things to consider here.

  71. another anon says

    What’s with Americans and making everything about their elections? There are countries out there that don’t have Democrats blaming Corona on Trump but they still have the virus.

    The elections do not matter to Americans.
    What happened to all Barack’s and Donald’s promises? No matter who is elected, the system stays the same. No one can change anything, president least of all. The White House inhabitant cannot give you free college or universal health care, cannot ban abortion or guns, cannot build a wall.

    The elections matter greatly to the rest of the world, because foreign policy is one field where presidents have actual power. The president can sanction, bomb or invade any country of the world, for any reason or no reason at all.

    If anyone shall vote, it should be the seven and half billion of non-Americans.

  72. Pericles says

    Thanks for the article. What I mentioned is basically the common ‘host-parasite’ paradigm that Ewald wants to contrast against in his article (mentioned on the first page, p. 86).

  73. The fuzziness is in your head. Obviously it is a given that those artificially infected would be in quarantine and only released from it after they no longer test positive for the virus. I, and apparently Karlin, thought that for the scheme to be functional, quarantine was too clearly necessary to need mentioning. The “instantaneously immune” is your strawman. The idea of reducing Ro this way just requires thinking in three dimensions: two of space and one of time. Or three of space if you want to include high buildings.

  74. That’s not a thread with moderation which deletes non-practical comments.

  75. Black Pilled Again says

    According to the Chinese there is already a faster reproducing more virulent strain of SARS-CoV-2 that becomes dominant without interventions.

  76. “The idea of reducing Ro this way just requires thinking in three dimensions…” – What was the point of reducing Ro? Wasn’t it to reduce the quick surge of infected so the resources are not overwhelmed too fast where you need to quarantine lots of people and treat many in hospitals ? And Karlin’s and your solution is to infect many and, yes, quarantine them. Brilliant!

  77. yakushimaru says

    For the scheme to work, there must exist very fine and tight control of society, and when you have that, you almost can kill the virus off altogether.

    1. Quarantine a sizable group of young people. Let us believe that they are cooperative.

    2. At the same time, you need to keep the rate of infection in the rest of society sufficiently low. I mean, when you can do that, what exactly is the problem you are trying to solve with this scheme?

  78. yakushimaru says

    There is the observation that few kids got seriously sick by this virus. A theory is that the kids somehow have partial immunity because of exposure to some other flu, but the immunity is gradually forgotten as time goes by, so the old guys generally have less of it. I find the part that the kids have partial immunity a bit of hard to understand.

  79. yakushimaru says

    His assumption is that the young people are not harmed as severely as the old. So the idea is to lower the R0 in the old by increasing it among the young, roughly speaking.

    By the way, the virus seems to be evolving by the latest genetic analysis.

  80. LondonBob says

    From what I read the WHO aren’t really sure why this does impact children. My theory God realised there were too many on his planet and decide to cull the oldies.

  81. reiner Tor says

    You are deliberately obtuse. The idea is to infect as many as are still manageable, and then releasing them to the population after they have recovered. Rinse, repeat.

    I don’t think it’s practicable with this particular disease, because the incubation period and especially the illness itself is too long, and it has already arrived.

  82. reiner Tor says

    Well, it could’ve been started in January in Europe. But even then, the illness just takes too long time, making it impractical.

  83. reiner Tor says

    God must love Africans.

  84. And the award for brilliant solutions of the problems in the real world goes to Karlin, Bert and you:

    A really lazy boy! Ultimate gaming bed that comes with a snack-filled energy wagon and a desk big enough for multiple screens means players NEVER have to get up again

  85. It may go South with the South hemisphere winter and return back by the year end. North hemisphere summer may help a lot.

  86. Interview with Dr. Bruce Aylward published March 3rd.

    Bottomline: Covid-19 transmits less efficiently than flu. Avoiding a Wuhan type disaster was possible in other Chinese cities only by extremely rigorous methods. For the USA to avoid Wuhans it must get serious immediately.

  87. First, I was not endorsing the idea of artificially infecting willing, compensated young people. I was trying to help you understand the logic of how Ro in the general population would be reduced by arranging that there are fewer people per unit area who could be infected.

    The point of artificially reducing R0 could be as an alternative to extreme lockdown methods. Currently the only method of prevention is social distancing. But it has to be on a large scale. Lockdown is one method to achieve that. Karlin’s suggested artificial infection of young people might be another way: by removing stepping stones that facilitate the virus’s spread.

    As for young people who were artificially infected requiring a huge hospital capacity, the death rate in the 20-29 year old cohort is 0.2%, i.e., between 10 and 80 times lower than the death rates of older cohorts. If this approach were taken, it would have to be scaled to available treatment facilities.

    In China and elsewhere quarantine does not require a hospital setting. It could be done on moth-balled military bases. Or at home if coupled with supervision and the requirement that an unbroken quarantine is an absolute requirement for delivery of the government check.

    You don’t seem to be able to think in other than black and white terms. And your routinely expressed churlishness is unnecessary and unbecoming. But even imperfect critics do assist in fleshing out ideas, so thanks for that.

  88. 2. At the same time, you need to keep the rate of infection in the rest of society sufficiently low. I mean, when you can do that, what exactly is the problem you are trying to solve with this scheme?

    Maybe you can’t keep the rate of infection in the rest of society low when all the 20-29 year olds are running from school, to wait staff job, to apartment complex, to passing joints around, to meeting a sugar daddy. Whether implementation of Karlin’s idea is desireable, depends on how much of the non-familial transmission the 20-29 year old cohort is responsible for.

  89. Younger people just have stronger immune systems and stronger bodies.

    One change that happens as you age is that the thymus gland (where T-cells are selected) shrinks down to practically nothing.

  90. sudden death says

    Current hospitalization rates in Italy are hovering around 45% out from more than 3000 confirmed cases, just the same percenntage as initial US hospitalization rates were when 5 of 11 first known patients were hospitalized and we thought it might be some wild exaggeration…

  91. reiner Tor says

    I’m not sure what you’re babbling about, since I explicitly stated I didn’t think this was practicable, so I didn’t think it could be applied (at least definitely not in this case) in the real world. I have also very little to do with video games, haven’t played with any for something like two decades, and not much even before that.

  92. reiner Tor says

    Younger people, yes. Children, especially little children, not so much. Most serious lethal epidemics killed a larger number of the old and infirm and a larger number of children, especially little children below age 5. If someone reached age 5, he could be fairly certain of reaching adulthood, so bigger children were less of a risk group (but AFAIK still worse off than people in their 20s), and then over 30 age started to have a negative effect, increasingly so over 40.

    So it’s a bit weird that this virus is not harming children.

  93. songbird says

    Well, in that case, I’d expect that it has something to do with the relative lack of experience of young kids’ immune systems.

    If one is infected with a virus with a similar antigen earlier, then that can mean that you’ll produce antibodies that weakly bind the target. In effect, sort of hiding it from the immune system, but not disabling it enough, so that it is no longer able to infect cells.

  94. another anon says

    Stay calm, there is no need for panic.
    There is nothing to fear.
    Listen to the world’s greatest scientist, he knows what is going on.

  95. reiner Tor says

    I’m not enough of an expert to say anything about the reasons for this, just note that it’s not quite similar to most more or less deadly infectious diseases. Your explanation makes sense for me, but I’m just a total layman.

  96. reiner Tor says

    He is going to lose the election to this.

    He cannot even campaign during an epidemic, because his campaign is based on rallies, and he develops his talking points based on the responses he gets when mentioning certain things. “Build the wall” became such a big slogan because people at the rallies were always, invariably cheering for this, and so he realized it must be a really popular talking point of his. Some other points got quietly dropped, as soon as he realized that people didn’t much like them.

  97. It’s not always a bad thing.

    Spanish flu of 1918 killed mainly younger people with stronger immune responses (as the immune response was often what killed them).

    While, some epidemics like Black Death, just seemed to kill people of all ages.

  98. LondonBob says

    It looks like it less than one percent, sounds like that it what the experts are telling him too.

  99. EldnahYm says

    In that clip Trump did not suggest it was ok for people to go to work. Aaron Rupar is incompetent. Nothing Trump said about coronavirus in that clip was unreasonable.

  100. songbird says

    Yes, there is definitely a trade-off. I think that a lot of autoimmune diseases are probably the result of pro-inflammatory genes that might have been good to have in the Middle Ages, but not so much now.

  101. reiner Tor says

    The belief in the lower mortality was not quite reasonable.

  102. Italians don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom.

  103. Swedish Family says

    Stay calm, there is no need for panic.
    There is nothing to fear.
    Listen to the world’s greatest scientist, he knows what is going on.

    This is all just cope. We know already that Trump suffers from germophobia, and now watch this clip (“I haven’t touched my face in weeks. It’s been weeks. I miss it.”)

    Gotta give it to him. The man is funny as hell. 😀