We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

So what is your Covid-19(84) risk calculation?

This interesting Oxford University Covid risk calculator produces number that do not surprise me at all.

This is what my results were (COVID associated death):

(a) Absolute risk = 0.0256% 1 in 3906

(b) Absolute risk with no risk factors = 0.0227% 1 in 4405

Relative risk (a/b) = 1.1278

I had Covid-19 in March 2020 & recovered in two weeks (plus a couple weeks more until taste and smell fully recovered).

I wonder how long it will take for this risk calculator to be taken down, as I suspect it will make many people very angry at those in authority who have intentionally terrified them regarding this disease.

53 comments to So what is your Covid-19(84) risk calculation?

  • Robert

    This is interesting, but a little beside the point. Covid-19 is tricky from a political point of view because it is infectious – if you’ve got it you can give it to other people. That does mean that arguments for restricting people’s freedom because of Covid are not prima facie absurd, although exactly how infectious a disease needs to be to justify restrictions is not at all clear (at least to me). Unfortunately that snowball of nuance doesn’t survive long in the hell of online debate.

  • Alexander Tertius Harvey

    Many things are infectious. But, as far as one can tell, the most dangerous infections (among those who purport to govern us and are ‘frit’) are lockdowns, abuse of legal process, mandating pointless behaviour and panicking half wits out of all their wits (now which distance is safe as some stupid bat swerves across the pavement in case a second’s glancing contact will kill her… what is the benefit from masks… why do people spray gel on their hands and the supermarket trolley, which has been already disinfected, but transmission by touch is minimal, and then do the same as they leave the supermarket [this in an area of low incidence of Covid).

  • Paul Marks

    We do not know exactly what the risk level of the new style vaccines is – they may turn fine (totally fine), or they may make the immune system too active (or not active enough) in relation to future viruses – but clearly the risk that something will go badly wrong over the next year or two is higher than the numbers in the post for the risk of the virus itself.

    If things go well with the new style vaccines then excellent (good show all round) – but given the relatively low level of risk from the virus itself to most people, vaccinating the entire population is clearly a very strange policy.

  • pete

    You switch from statistical data to a personal anecdote.

    Either an inexplicable lockdown mania, in varying degrees, has gripped nearly all governments in the world regardless of their political persuasion, or the virus is an unusual and serious risk to life.

    I know what I believe.

  • Ferox

    It would be illuminating to have a similar tool which calculated some other common risk factors (say, dying in a car crash or being the victim of a violent crime) in order to have a better sense of the relative scale of the risk.

    Nobody ever suggested locking me up in my house for 15 months because of the risk of being hit by a car … so I assume the threat posed by Wuhan Flu must be many orders of magnitude worse ?!?

  • Jon Eds

    Pete,

    “regardless of their political persuasion”. This is incorrect for two reasons. They don’t have that different beliefs. Secondly, this is not primarily about political beliefs as commonly understood but about statistical understanding, risk tolerance, political incentives (which apply to scientists as well as politicians), and courage.

    The lockdown mania is not inexplicable. It is highly explicable. The aforementioned factors are a toxic mix given a rocket boost by social media.

    Even if we were to grant that lockdowns are acceptable in principle, to manage capacity in the health system and so on, the fact that the government is still not easing the lockdown, even though virtually all the vulnerable have now been vaccinated – all the non vaccinated being non vulnerable, meaning that there are now no vulnerable people left in the UK, and the ludicrous fishing for false positives with testing in schools, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that our government is, for lack of a better word, manic.

  • This is interesting, but a little beside the point.

    No, it is far from beside the point, it is entirely the point: I am being locked down due to the risk from a disease that has a 0.0256% chance of killing me if I get it (which I did).

    Covid-19 is tricky from a political point of view because it is infectious

    No. In fact, 4,405 times no. I do not give a flying fuck if I infect someone who has decided not to isolate themselves (presumably because they too are also not at serious risk). Moreover, all the people who actually *are* at risk due to cofactors have pretty much all been vaccinated by now in UK. In truth, I couldn’t infect anyone else even if I wanted to as I’m antibody positive.

    The numbers make it abundantly clear this is not an outbreak of Ebola-like seriousness, that was pretty obvious by the middle of last year, which in turn should make the politics really simple. But instead we find ourselves confronted with an utterly deranged political situation.

    Frankly I’d love to see Nuremburg-style trials to hold people accountable for this.

  • Roué le Jour

    My take is, if you delay lifting the lockdown untill the virus has abated you can claim the lockdown was effective and you cannot be proved wtong. However, if the lockdown is lifted now, while the virus is still active but in decline, and the decline continues unaffected, then the lockdown was obviously doing nothing and the narrative collapses.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Roué le Jour
    My take is, if you delay lifting the lockdown untill the virus has abated you can claim the lockdown was effective and you cannot be proved wtong.

    That isn’t true. You can absolutely prove if the lockdown was effective or not by comparing places that have the lockdown with those that don’t. And the conclusion is almost overwhelmingly that lockdowns have very little effect, and they may arguably make thing worse. What you need to add to your statement is a press that is either incurious or in bed with the politicians, and that is largely what we have.

  • Roué le Jour

    Fraser,
    I would agree that the costs of lockdowns outweigh the benefits, however I disagree that a simple comparison reveals much. It isn’t just apples to oranges, it’s apples to pears, bananas, pineapples and peaches, a whole fruit stall if you will. No two places are exactly alike. There are places that have been hit hard by covid, and places that have not. There are places that have imposed draconian measures, and places that have not. There is, as I understand it, very little correlation between these two variables. The only reliable comparison is a place with itself.

  • APL

    pete: “has gripped nearly all governments in the world regardless of their political persuasion”

    The ‘deep state’, aka the administrative state, the people who will happily discharge a contagious COVID-19 patient from a hospital into a ‘Care Home’, in order to meet his or her target, those are the sort of post civilisational individuals we have operating in the State now.

    The ‘deep state’ is coordinated largely from a central if dysfunctional source, international bodies. We had a period when these worked tolerably well, when they were formerly staffed with Christian or non Christian, but with a high degree of Western Christian influenced administrators. Now we have Saudi Arabia overseeing Human Rights, or China ( who’s policy of bolting shut the doors of COVID-19 suspects, was illustrated back in early 2020 ) with a control over medical procedures via the WHO or similar international organisations.

    In short, we have insane dysfunction.

  • Ben

    At this point I don’t care about the risk of the vaccine for young healthy people versus the risk of COVID. A high proportion of people vaccinated is the one thing that will surely force the government’s hand to stop this lockdown madness.

  • Stonyground

    Don’t forget that we have always had cheap, readily available, safe and effective early treatment available. The fact that these have not been widely used suggests that governments wanted a massive crisis in order to push their agenda forward.

  • Gingerdave

    The time from infection to death is generally accepted as about 17 days (https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/9/2/538 and https://static-content.springer.com/esm/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41586-020-2405-7/MediaObjects/41586_2020_2405_MOESM1_ESM.pdf#page=5).

    If the spring lockdown did affect the death rates we should expect the rate to drop about 17 days after it began. Full lockdown happened on the 23rd and the death rate (people with covid on the death certificates) peaked on the 8th of April . . . 17 days after lockdown began.

    Here’s some studies on how effective lockdown was:

    Alfano and Ercolano
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7268966/
    Our results show that lockdown is effective in reducing the number of new cases in the countries that implement it, compared with those countries that do not. This is especially true around 10 days after the implementation of the policy. Its efficacy continues to grow up to 20 days after implementation.
    Results suggest that lockdown is effective in reducing the R0, i.e. the number of people infected by each infected person, and that, unlike what has been suggested in previous analyses, its efficacy continues to hold 20 days after the introduction of the policy.

    Vinceti et al
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7355328/
    During the study period, mobility restriction was inversely related to the daily number of newly diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 positive cases only after the second, more effective lockdown, with a peak in the curve of diagnosed cases of infection occurring 14 to 18 days from lockdown in the three regions and 9 to 25 days in the included provinces. An effective reduction in transmission must have occurred nearly immediately after the tighter lockdown, given the lag time of around 10 days from asymptomatic infection to diagnosis. The period from lockdown to peak was shorter in the areas with the highest prevalence of the infection. This effect was seen within slightly more than one week in the most severely affected areas.
    It appears that the less rigid lockdown led to an insufficient decrease in mobility to reverse an outbreak such as COVID-19. With a tighter lockdown, mobility decreased enough to bring down transmission promptly below the level needed to sustain the epidemic.
    The median/mean incubation period until first symptoms appears to be slightly more than 5 days [32,33]. There was an additional lag, estimated in Italy to be 5–6 days [34], until test results led to a diagnosis.

    Moris and Schizas
    https://iv.iiarjournals.org/content/34/3_suppl/1695
    Conclusion: Early lockdown was proven to be the appropriate policy to limit the spread of COVID-19. Greece was a success story in preventing spread despite limited resources.

    Lau et al
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7184469/
    Our findings indicate a significant increase in doubling time from 2 days (95% Confidence Interval, CI): 1.9–2.6), to 4 days (95% CI: 3.5–4.3), after imposing lockdown. A further increase is detected after changing diagnostic and testing methodology to 19.3 (95% CI: 15.1–26.3), respectively. Moreover, the correlation between domestic air traffic and COVID-19 spread became weaker following lockdown (before lockdown: r = 0.98, p < 0.05 vs. after lockdown: r = 0.91, p = NS).
    Published in March 2020, so before it went worldwide.

    Di Domenico et al
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7391016/
    We estimate the reproductive number at 3.18 [3.09, 3.24] (95% confidence interval) prior to lockdown and at 0.68 [0.66, 0.69] during lockdown, thanks to an 81% reduction of the average number of contacts.

    Pachetti et al
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7463225/
    Strict lockdown strategies together with a wide diagnostic PCR testing of the population were correlated with a relevant decline of the case fatality rate in different Countries.
    For all Countries we observed a decrease in the CFR values over time, with the exception of Germany (that maintains a very low value overall) and Sweden (where no decrease is observed).

  • Gingerdave, the point I am making is not “did the lockdown work?” or even “lockdowns don’t work” but rather “I don’t care if the lockdown ‘worked’ because for the great majority of people getting Covid doesn’t matter”.

    I… don’t… care. I have no intention of fighting this battle on ground of the enemy’s choosing.

    The Great Barrington Declaration argued for isolating & protecting just the willing vulnerable, an approach that was studiously ignored by every government.

  • MMG

    The Covid-19 Catch 22

    Me: Doctor, Doctor,I have to get vaccinated but I don’t want to get vaccinated because it is still experimental, but I have to because I wiil lose my job if I don’t.
    Doctor: You mean the only reason you want to get vaccinated is because you are afraid you will lose your job?
    Me: yes doctor.
    Doctor: But it’s very safe, nothing to worry about.(Duty to persuade the patient performed)
    Me: It’s experimental, I don’t want it, I want to wait until the animal testing on sheep is complete. But I am also afraid to lose my job.
    Doctor: Oh! The only reason you consent to vaccination is because of the threat to your job?
    Me: Yes, doctor.
    Doctor: Oh well, then. Sorry. We have very strict rules about consent. You are consenting under duress, I cannot vaccinate you, your consent is not valid.
    Me: But I’ll lose my job.
    Doctor: And if I vaccinate you without your valid consent, I’ll lose my job. Goodbye.

  • Gingerdave

    Perry, the problem with the Great Barrington Declaration is that it won’t work.

    20-30% of the UK population would have to be shielded – that’s the people with a >1% chance of dying from covid (including people 60 years old and the clinically vulnerable). How long will this take? How do you do it when many of them live with non-vulnerable people who you have allowed out? Not everyone in that group is so old and decrepit that they will just sit in a nursing home.

    To get herd immunity, 80% of the population has to be infected.
    The UK population is about 70,000,000.
    So there’s 75% of those are allowed out – 52,500,000 people.
    80% of them catch covid – 42,000,000 people.
    1% of them die – 420,000 dead people.
    Long covid is about 6% in those age groups – 2,520,000 people.

    420,000 dead? That’s your solution? The UK’s already had nearly 150,000 dead.

    That assumes that we have the medical facilities to handle that many cases at the same time. What happens to the death rate when the ICU beds in your city are full and there’s another 20 people who need one? Replicate that across a whole country . . .

    Then you have to hope that covid isn’t circulating when you let the shielding people out, so they don’t catch it and those 420,000 died for nothing.

  • APL

    Gingerdave: “How do you do it when many of them live with non-vulnerable people who you have allowed out?”

    who you have allowed out” – You do know this is supposed to be a Libertarian blog?

    Gingerdave: “To get herd immunity, 80% of the population has to be infected.”

    Not if 60+% already have innate immunity. The article claims this is a new study, but we knew up to 80% were immune from COVID-19 this time last year. Then another significant fraction of a population can defend against COVID-19 with the T-cell response.

    But then if you don’t exercise your immune response its ability to repulse attack is likely attenuated. What might cause that to happen? Why being locked down and isolated for a year.

    In the Diamond Princess petri dish, some of the couples living in the same cabin, only one of the pair succumbed to COVID-19. It’s either not as contagious as has been made out or some people have sufficient innate immunity that they never become infected.

  • Perry, the problem with the Great Barrington Declaration is that it won’t work.

    Of course it will, you just have to actually put the effort in to do what is needed rather than a one-size-fits-all lockdown.

    20-30% of the UK population would have to be shielded – that’s the people with a >1% chance of dying from covid (including people 60 years old and the clinically vulnerable)

    I am 62. I did not have even close to a 1% chance of dying when I got Wuhan Coronavirus. But even if 30% of the population ‘needs’ to be isolated & actually want to be (unlikely), so what? How is the cost & complexity of doing that not both preferable & cheaper to nationalising civil society & locking down tens of millions with next to no chance of dying? Even if you lockdown people who even live with someone with a cofactor, that does not justify doing so to the millions who do not live with such a person.

    420,000 dead? That’s your solution? The UK’s already had nearly 150,000 dead.

    The figures are bullshit, no other way to phrase it. How many have T-cell immunity? My partner does. She was exposed to me when I had it & did not get Covid. The hysterical predictions about healthcare systems collapsing have not been born out in nation after nation regardless of their approaches to lockdowns.

  • In the Diamond Princess petri dish, some of the couples living in the same cabin, only one of the pair succumbed to COVID-19. It’s either not as contagious as has been made out or some people have sufficient innate immunity that they never become infected.

    I’ve seen some estimates for incidence of T-cell immunity (i.e. non-antibody generating immunity) run as high as 30% of the population, but sad fact is you can find papers backing up essentially any position you want to take.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Fraser Orr:

    You can absolutely prove if the lockdown was effective or not by comparing places that have the lockdown with those that don’t.

    Says someone who was horrified by the comparison of Sweden to other Nordic countries, arguing instead that Sweden should be compared to the worst-affected countries in the world.

  • […] “So what is your Covid-19(84) risk calculation?” – Perry de Havilland at the Samizdata blog suggests you use the Oxford University’s Covid Risk Calculator to calculate your own risk of succumbing to the virus. It showed his absolute risk is 1 in 3,906 […]

  • LG

    Interesting that France, Germany and Spain have done better than the UK in terms of excess deaths per million of population (compared to 2019 and 2020) for the first two months of 2021 – the figures are available from the countries’ statistical office websites. This is despite (!?!) only one of these countries having a significant vaccine rollout.

    Why are we prevented from going there ? Presumably in case we get too healthy ?

  • Mr Ed

    Here is a graphic purporting to show the risk factors in activities. My ‘Covid’ risk of dying is put at around 1 in 9000 in a 90-day period, i.e. it is trivial. It comes down after a year to around 1 in 2,200, around the same as boxing per the graphic, again insignificant. The figures in the graphic for Grand Prix racing look wildly too high and there is no timeframe for any of them, and it seems that people are very bad at assessing risks, anecdotally nervous flyers are more likely to die getting to an airport than flying (in most countries), but few worry about the trip to the airport other than that it is punctual.

    It’s perfectly clear that the best things that the UK government could have done in March 2020 would have been to close the NHS entirely to stop people catching Covid in hospitals and to end the pretence that it provides health care in any meaningful way, and to have allowed experimental early treatments that had a reasonable basis in established research.

  • Lloyd Martin Hendaye

    As Covid hysteria subsides, post-WWII milieus from 1945 through 2017 have gone the way of America’s ante bellum South; of pioneering Westerers, the fin de siècle Belle Epoch, Jazz Age mass-commercial culture in Versailles’ aftermath.

    This is a pan-historical motif: People who don’t sense their bourgeois world’s collapse only hasten its demise. Foolish and ignorant, unworthy of their mighty heritage, their culture, national identity, their formative Greco-Roman/Judeo-Christian civilization succumbs to grifting verbalizers, a something-for-nothing entitlement mentality familiar from Timon of Athens, Rome’s Gracchi brothers, Cataline and Sulla, any number of chiliastic sects from medieval times to murderous 20th Century despotisms. As Joel Kotkin writes in The Coming of Neo-Feudalism, “Civilizations survive on members’ living by deep, unstated vaules. (Populated by a perversely ignorant, incompetent, self-destructive clerisy), contemporary American institutions … reject Western cultures’ fundamental values.

    “As Arthur Bryant points out in his fascinating The Study of England: Makers of the Realm, a major reason for the decay of Rome lay in ‘a lack of faith and hope,’ the gradual demoralization of a people seeing ‘no purpose either in society or their own lives,’ indifferent to their history, disdainful of learning, lacking ‘individual character,’ recognizing ‘no ideal inspiring cynical masses to perform (or even respect) their bounden duties.’”

    The result is self-deprecating despondency, failure to “compete with ancestors”, an anti-natalism denying posterity its birthright … mutatis mutandis, from 1914 on the contemporary West has progressively abandoned all pretense to commitment over-and-above egregiously crass-and-vulgar, materialist, “getting-and-spending” that lays waste the world.

    In this debilitating context, all one can hope for is that secular-scientific-technological Western cultures, which –however superficial offshoots may protest– drive all the rest, are traversing a requisite three-generation, 72-year transitional phase similar to that of AD 1445 – 1517, when loss of Byzantium’s Eastern Roman Empire incited seminal innovations, an Age of Discovery followed by liberating Reformation, Industrial-Scientific Revolutions and Enlightenment, that transformed global socio-cultural milieus at compounding rates.

  • Paul Marks

    Gingerdave – there would have been some excuse for writing the things you have written here, if you were writing in March 2020 not March 2021.

    It is now quite clear that those nations that did not lockdown have a lower (not higher) Covid death rate than we do.

    Yet you, Gingerdave, continue to write as if such people as Professor Ferguson of Imperial College had not been exposed as liars (pushing fake Computer Models) – indeed the British media had this evil man on today, treating him as if he was some some medical authority (he has no medical training what so ever).

    At least you, Gingerdave, do not SMEAR the Early Treatment of Covid 19 which, it is now clear, could have saved most of the people who have died from the disease in the United Kingdom.

    The smearing of Early Treatment is hard to explain in medical terms – for example the Lancet now admits that the “study” it pushed against Hydroxychloroquine was FALSE – yet no one was punished, as far as I know no one even resigned. EARLY Treatment with a COMBINATION of long existing medications – Hydroxychloroquine ZINC and either azithromycin or or doxycycline (the a or d for non Covid infections that may hit the the body in its weakened state), OR one can go down the Ivermectin route – there are also other alternatives.

    But nothing was done in most Western nations – instead we got demented chanting “There Is No Early Treatment” (which is just not true), and absurd policies – which are all about political power (such as lockdowns) rather than medical treatment. As Mr Ed pointed out at the time (long before I accepted what was going on) – any policy that says you can go to a bike shop but not a book shop is NOTHING TO DO WITH PUBLIC HEALTH.

    Even leaving aside Early Treatment – which could “only” have saved about 80% of the people who died (“only” 80% Gigerdave) – what about improving basic Vitamin D levels?

    It has long been know that just increasing Vitamin D. levels can greatly reduce the chance of becoming seriously ill with Covid 19 – yet there has no been no government campaign to get people to take Vitamin D. supplements.

    It is not as if the government do not know, I have personally listened to Members of Parliament (such as David Davis) beg ministers and the Prime Minister to launch a campaign to encourage people to increase their Vitamin D. levels – yet nothing has been done.

    Gingerdave – the only response from the government (either on Early Treatment for Covid 19, or increasing Vitamin D levels) is that they follow “expert advice”.

    As with Dr Fauci in the United States (a lunatic who has been turned into a hero figure by the American media) – these “experts” turn out to be people who have treated a patient for Covid 19, or any other disease.

  • Paul Marks

    Dr Fauci has been a government bureaucrat for over 40 years. It was his agency who, via a private corporation, funded the “Gain of Function” research in Wuhan that created this plague in the first place.

    Gingerdave – Dr Fauci is the classic lockdown and mask mandate man, the Czech Republic followed these polices even before Dr Fauci suggested them. Bar tiny San Marino the Czech Republic has the HIGHEST Covid death rate on the planet.

    Perhaps I am being unfair – perhaps we should judge Dr Fauci only be American evidence (and pretend the rest of the world does-not-exist). O.K. then.

    The State that has followed the advice of Dr Fauci most closely is his home State – New York, “New York has done everything right” according to Dr Fauci.

    There are almost 50 thousand dead of Covid 19 in New York State (one of the highest rates on the planet) and the economy of the State is smashed – which will cost many more deaths (in spite of the orgy of bailout money sent by the Federal government).

    Gingerdave – Dr Fauci is (at best) a lunatic – and you are supporting his policies in a British context.

  • Paul Marks

    Almost needless to say – a corporation is going to produce a book praising Dr Fauci, just as corporations produce books praising Barack and Michelle Obama and K. Harris (books that leave out the real, Collectivist, beliefs and life long corruption of these terrible individuals). Such “Agitprop” books are normally targeted at children – it would be better for those who write and push these works had they never been born.

    On Early Treatment – we do not know how effective (if effective at all) Early Treatment will be for the Brazil variant of Covid 19 – this mutation appears to be a natural one (just horrible bad luck – as mutations are normally less lethal, not more lethal as this one appears to be).

    But we do know that EARY Treatment with a combination of existing medications would have saved at least 80% of the people who have died of Covid 19 in Britain and the United States.

    “Only old JEWS believe that” – a charming sentiment one hears from people who (bizarrely) believe themselves to be “anti” racist.

    It is true that Dr Zelenko is Jewish – but Dr Tyson (in California – look-at-him he could not be more Ayran) has had the same results, as have many other medical doctors.

    Unlike the “experts” that Gingerdave believes – these medical doctors have treated thousands of patients for Covid 19.

    But, of course, the Brazil variant may change things.

    Nature has a way of stabbing us in the back.

  • Jon Eds

    Gingerdave,

    You are concerned about 420,000 deaths. Did you know that the population of the UK is almost 70,000,000? That is, 420,000 is only c 0.5%ish of the total population. The vast majority of those that could have died would have died in the next few years anyway. Excess deaths this year would be followed by below average deaths in the next few years. Roughly that number of people die every year in normal times, which rather suggests that it is not a ‘shock horror’ figure.

    You are also ignoring the lives and livelihoods lost due to the lock down itself. If you ask me, not one family should be left destitute in order to save the life of an >85 year old. I’m only 40 and would happily die right this second for this madness to end right away, so that my children can have a world left in which it is worth living.

    I have no problem believing that ‘lock downs’ work. The question is whether a voluntary lock down, which is more or less the Swedish approach, is any less effective than a UK style enforced lock down. The answer is pretty clear. Sweden’s economy has suffered too, but not as badly, and the soul of the nation remains intact, which is not the case here.

    Since then of course, our government and society has gone quite mad, with masks in schools, fishing for false positives by mass testing, bans on foreign travel, highly likely internal passports to go to the pub, definitely some kind of covid passport to go abroad, possibly even compulsory vaccination, maybe even for children.

    There must be consequences for the individuals that have pushed this madness.

  • Gingerdave

    Paul Marks – OK, I’ll bite. I understand science well enough to know that new data can make old studies obsolete.

    Based on the papers I’ve read, randomised control trials have not shown any effectiveness from HCQ, azithromycin and zinc. (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2019014, https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2022926?query=featured_home, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33617702/, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33247380/). RCTs are the best type of study, so I’ll believe those over any others.

    How do Zelenko and Tyson get these impressive results, while large studies (properly designed and powered to detect even fairly small effects) not show the same results?

    Vitamin D is another matter.
    No effect on covid (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33740339/).
    Uncertain (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33744444/).
    Vitamin D deficiency is associated with covid (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33751020/, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33748066/), and given the correlation between melatonin-rich skin, insufficient sunlight in the UK and vitamin D deficiency, there may be a reason why covid is more common in minority groups and doesn’t seem to be as bad in Africa – though there may be other reasons for that. It’s always tempting to reduce a complex system to a few variables, but it’s never that simple.

    Though there’s no harm to having a slightly high Vit D level, and it’s protective against many conditions – so yes, that should be pushed.

    Jon Eds – I’m not so happy to write off that many people who may have years left. There are plenty of 85 year olds who will have another 10 years left in reasonable health. Have a look at the excess deaths here (https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps#pooled-by-age-group).

    Last I read (though I can’t find the reference) Sweden’s economy had taken a moderate hit, at the cost of a lot more lives compared to Norway and Denmark.

    Perry – how does focussed protection work in a multi-generational household? Or one where one person is immunocompromised and vulnerable? How do they stay safe when everyone else in the house can move around freely, catch the virus and bring it home? Do the vulnerable people have to stay in one room? Or does the entire househod behave as if they’re vulnerable, which will affect so many people we’re a fair way to lockdown already?

  • Perry – how does focussed protection work in a multi-generational household? Or one where one person is immunocompromised and vulnerable? How do they stay safe when everyone else in the house can move around freely, catch the virus and bring it home? Do the vulnerable people have to stay in one room? Or does the entire househod behave as if they’re vulnerable, which will affect so many people we’re a fair way to lockdown already?

    Already answered that. If you have a mixed household that needs (and above all wants) to isolate… then isolate them. All of them.

    But having done so… how does also isolating your neighbours who have a close-to-zero risk from Covid make that actually vulnerable isolated household any safer?

  • Mr Ed

    Do the vulnerable people have to stay in one room?

    Like any living thing, you are in a struggle for existence, so you do what you need to do to survive and deal with your environment. If you are in a malarial area, you sleep under a mosquito net, and keep your windows closed at night, and spray some repellent or insecticide around etc. or face the consequences. If you have snakes in your neighbourhood, ideally get a pet mongoose.

    Life requires effort.

  • MMG

    Gingerdave,

    The papers you linked to are all studies of use of HCQ and Azithromycin for treatment of hospitalised patients.

    As such, they do NOT address or test the proposition/hypothesis by Zelenko and other doctors that they are effective treatments if given to out-patients immediately on initial onset of symptoms and that they therefore PREVENT hospitalisations.
    Therefore, hospitalised patients do not represent the group for whom the treatment is proposed, and studies on hospitalised patients cannot be considered to nullify the hypothesis.

  • Gingerdave

    MMG – my mistake, I thought I’d included the papers about early treatment with HCQ.

    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2016638
    HCQ was given to people exposed to Covid-19. No effect on the number of people developing covid.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33349815/
    People who were already taking HCQ for rheumatological disease – no difference in the covid-19 rates.

    Perry – yes, that’s a good theory, but when lockdown was relaxed in the UK the rates went up, and the only lockdown that really brought the death rates down was the strictest.

    You’re right, no health services collapsed – but that’s due to the drop in cases due to lockdown.

  • Lloyd Martin Hendaye

    Comparing these Covid-19 death-rates to US and UK’s prevailing crude death-rate at 9 per 1,000 = .90% from all causes (age, disease, accidents etc.) reveals that absolute risk of Covid-19 fatalities = .0256 : 900 = approx. 1/35th of age-related and incidental deaths. For this mess of potage, your slavish, sordid Gen-Xer and Millennial will sacrifice his birthright, hard-won liberties, prosperity and retirement prospects?

  • Perry – yes, that’s a good theory, but when lockdown was relaxed in the UK the rates went up

    Good. The more the merrier & the faster people get infected, the faster we get to herd immunity. People like me getting infected was a GOOD THING (albeit not my idea of fun).

    and the only lockdown that really brought the death rates down was the strictest

    Which is why I am in favour of strictly locking down the willing vulnerable, the ones who actually have a meaningful risk of dying rather than a 1 in 4000 chance like me. I have taken vastly greater risks with my life than that a great many times in my 62 years.

  • Paul Marks

    Gingerdave there are many studies showing you are wrong about Early Treatment. You could go onto the various websites (such as America’s Frontline Doctors) if you wish.

    With Early Treatment (with the combination of existing medications that you attack) hospitalisation and death can be reduced by about 80%.

    You are also wrong about Vitamin D. – keeping up levels reduces the rate of serious development of the disease by about 50%

    Are you are sure that you are not “Nullius” under a different name?

    As for the policies you support – lockdowns, mask mandates, social distancing (and so on) – these policies have totally failed where ever they have been tried.

    I say “failed” if the objective was really to save lives – I no longer believe that people such as “Gingerdave” have the slightest interest in saving lives, their objective for supporting lockdowns and so on is political.

  • Paul Marks

    The case of Brazil is an interesting one.

    The President of Brazil has been totally ignored from the start – instead of what he wanted to do, all but two (two small and very remote States – where it is impossible to enforce any policy) States have followed policies of lockdowns, masks and so on. The Federal bureaucracy and courts have also gone AGAINST what the President wanted to do.

    Yet the President of Brazil gets the blame for Covid deaths – even though his suggestions were NOT followed, and the policies he opposed, were followed.

    When dealing with people as totally dishonest, and morally despicable, as those we face, one is eventually forced to the position that their own policy is the correct one – correct in relation to THEM.

    Some people support the use of violence (lockdowns and so on) – I oppose the use of violence, apart from in the case of people who practice it.

    However, in fairness, I should point out that ONE statist policy does seem to have been successful in relation to Covid 19.

    This is the policy of closing-the-borders – a policy that is possible for some countries (such as Taiwan or New Zealand).

    Not a policy that fills me with joy (actually I am horrified by it) – but it was successful, and so I must state that.

    As for an internal “lockdown” whilst keeping borders open (“pubs shut – borders open”) – well there is no point in wasting words discussing such a policy.

  • Paul Marks

    The area of genetic vulnerability needs to be examined.

    I remember in the case of Vietnam almost the only person on a vent in a hospital was a Western airline pilot – the virus was (contrary to what they said) widespread, but very few Vietnamese people were serious ill from it.

    When China said it had only five thousand dead from Covid 19 this claim was widely mocked – but Japan has also had very low deaths (and the virus is, contrary to what is sometimes thought, widespread in Japan).

    Partly this can be explained by high levels of Vitamin D and by low levels of fatness (obesity) in such countries as Vietnam and Japan) – but there does seem to be a genetic component.

    This does NOT mean that this was a deliberate biological warfare attack on the West (although it may have been) – the Gain of Function “tweaking” of a natural virus in the Wuhan lab may have done all this by accident.

    It is also quite possible that the virus escaped from the lab by accident – although deliberate release is certainly also possible (we just do not know if it was accidental or deliberate).

    Cutting off Wuhan from other cities in China whilst keeping the international airport open (as happened for some time) was also an interesting move.

    The release of the virus may have been accidental – but there does seem to have been a policy from the CCP dictatorship to spread the virus around the world (especially to Western countries) as much as possible, and the CCP used their stooges (the World Health Organisation – led by an Ethiopian Marxist Doctor of Philosophy, NOT medicine) to downplay the virus so that countries would not close their borders against it.

    Taiwan assumed that anything that came out of CCP influenced organisations (such as the World Health Organisation) would likely be a lie – but many countries were very trusting.

  • Bell Curve

    I have taken vastly greater risks with my life than that a great many times in my 62 years

    Yeah you’re not kidding. I remember back in the day, at one of your boozy Chelsea blogger bashes, that ultra hot Croatian friend of yours telling us a story about the two of you and a minefield in Bosnia. You have a fucking charmed life, mate 🤣

  • JohnK

    It’s perfectly clear that the best things that the UK government could have done in March 2020 would have been to close the NHS entirely to stop people catching Covid in hospitals and to end the pretence that it provides health care in any meaningful way, and to have allowed experimental early treatments that had a reasonable basis in established research.

    Mr Ed:

    I was reading an interview with the mayor of the West Midlands the other day. It mentioned that he had lost his 83 year old mother to covid. She had been isolating, but had had to go into hospital for another condition, where she caught covid and died.

    I know two members of my own family who had to go into hospital this last year. Both promptly caught covid, but thankfully survived.

    It seems to be that the most dangerous place you can go these days is a British hospital. I am sure the doctors and nurses do their best, but the places are absolute plague pits.

    We have so far “spent”, ie borrowed £410 billion to pay for the lockdown policy which was meant to “save the NHS”. Would anyone have agreed to that if they had known the cost? Vulnerable people could have been given a pension to stay at home and supplied by Ocado at a tiny fraction of the cost. We have shut down our society for the sake of a disease with a survival rate of over 99.5%. That is just decadent.

  • We have so far “spent”, ie borrowed £410 billion to pay for the lockdown policy which was meant to “save the NHS”. Would anyone have agreed to that if they had known the cost? Vulnerable people could have been given a pension to stay at home and supplied by Ocado at a tiny fraction of the cost. We have shut down our society for the sake of a disease with a survival rate of over 99.5%. That is just decadent.

    Quote of the day, old chap

  • willfulknowledge

    Gingerdave,
    If you want more studies undercutting the lockdown narrative they’re available. Chances are that sars2 with become endemic. Even if lockdowns were actually effective do you propose leaving the world on rolling house arrest indefinitely?

    https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1931

    re: herd immunity. There is no set number.

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.24.20078717v1

    Abstract

    This phenomenological study assesses the impacts of full lockdown strategies applied in Italy, France, Spain and United Kingdom, on the slowdown of the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak. Comparing the trajectory of the epidemic before and after the lockdown, we find no evidence of any discontinuity in the growth rate, doubling time, and reproduction number trends. Extrapolating pre-lockdown growth rate trends, we provide estimates of the death toll in the absence of any lockdown policies, and show that these strategies might not have saved any life in western Europe. We also show that neighboring countries applying less restrictive social distancing measures (as opposed to police-enforced home containment) experience a very similar time evolution of the epidemic.

  • MMG

    Gingerdave,

    thanks for the two additional papers. However, they review treatment with HCQ alone, not in combination with other drugs.

    People taking HCQ for rheumatological disease. These people are already ill. The proposed therapy is for otherwise reasonable healthy people, therefore, in addition to the use of only HCQ, this group is not comparable to the people for whom the therapy is proposed.

    Again, this does NOT test the proposition/hypothese by Zelenko and many others that the drugs in combination have a greater anti-viral effect than if used individually and substantially reduce hospitalisation.

    Therefore, since these papers do NOT study the proposed drug=combination therapy, they do NOT nullify the hypothesis.

  • willfulknowledge

    Gingerdave takes another dive into the Norway/Denmark narrative.

    And what is Sweden’s outcome compared to the UK and the rest of the EU nations who were and are in lockdown. New York took a far harder approach to lockdown than Florida yet Florida has fewer deaths/100k. RCTs are the gold standard to determine the efficacy of a treatment in a SPECIFIC POPULATION, not in real-world circumstances. You may pin your faith on RCT’s vs observationals but whilst RCTs may be considered to be more reliable than OSs, meta-analyses have not shown significant differences in the estimates of the effects between RCTs and OSSs.

  • Paul Marks

    To the people who are replying to GingerDave.

    He already knows what you are pointing out. And he could find many real studies if he wanted to.

    This is not March 2020 – this is March 2021, it is quite clear now that the international establishment are NOT interested in saving lives with Early Treatment. They know they could – but they have made a decision not to do so.

    Yes – the world is dominated by people are that bad. So pointing out “you could do…. and this would save at least 80% of the people who died” is pointless, because their objective is POLITICAL (a Corporate State with vast government and a few vast “pet” Corporations”) not medical.

    Even the international medical authorities are now much more interested in “public policy” and the “social justice” agenda than they are with the individual treatment of individual patients.

    I wish this was not so – but this is the despicable world we live in.

  • […] to point people back at an earlier samizdata article… I urge people to not only see what their risk estimate is, please also share that link with […]

  • Absolute risk (a) Absolute risk with no risk factors (b) Relative risk (a/b)
    COVID associated death 0.1027% 1 in 974 0.0812% 1 in 1232 1.2648
    COVID associated hospital admission 0.3008% 1 in 332 0.2001% 1 in 500 1.5032

    I’ve now received 2 shots so my real risk must be as close to zero as not to matter, especially compared to my risks associated with riding a motorcycle.

  • My neighbour did this and she came up with
    COVID associated death 0.0004% 1 in 250000 🤣

  • MMG

    In Ireland, in the 12 months to 6 March 2021, of persons aged 0-65

    With underlying conditions, 287 dead, population 826,000, annual risk of death with Covid 1 in 2,880
    W/out underlying conditions, 53 dead, population 3,498,000, annual risk of death with Covid 1 in 66,000
    Total w.w/out ULC, 340 dead, population 4,2324,000, annual risk of death with Covid 1 in 12,700

    For comparison, for persons under 65, annual risk of death, all causes is about 1 in 360.

  • bobby b

    Perry de Havilland (London)
    March 28, 2021 at 9:02 am

    “My neighbour did this and she came up with COVID associated death 0.0004% 1 in 250000.”

    She’s like nine years old and rail-thin?

    (What’s the function of the postcode in the equation? Just a basic socioeconomic ranking?)

    ETA: Nevermind the question. Townsend deprivation index. Just saw it.

  • She has a ‘model’ figure and is in her twenties. This is a disease that kills older overweight men.

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