‘Science-Based’ Comrade Alabama: State Kidnappings Are Awesome, All Deaths Are Covid Deaths
Moon of Alabama tries to claim lockdown deaths for Covid-19
Comrade Mao of Alabama continues on his crusade to have us all locked up as tightly as possible and for as long as possible by the powers that be (all for our own good of course).
In his recent-most piece he proudly recreates an exchange in which he explained to horrified Off Guardian that yes he was indeed in favor of “breaking the family chain” as he calls it (strictly for epidemics-countering purposes of course):
— OffGuardian (@OffGuardian0) April 9, 2020
To separate infected from non-infected people is the ONLY way to stop such an epidemic.
— Moon of Alabama (@MoonofA) April 9, 2020
He went on to stake out a familiar position that Covid is the plague and present lockdowns are good and must be continued lest we die by the millions. Let’s take a closer look at his points one by one.
This graphic though from the British Office of National Statistics does not look like a flu outbreak:
The few high blue dots around December/January time frame show exceptionally bad flu seasons like the London flu of 1972. Similar charts from other countries show the same effect for current covid-19 outbreaks. Without control measures like the current lock-downs the red line would certainly go through the roof.
This spike in excess deaths is definitely nearly unprecedented. But it is happening during the spread of a disease that is not at all unprecedented, as well as during a media and government and popular reaction to it that absolutely are unprecedented.
The jury is still out on the question if these excess deaths are due to the rather unremarkable disease, or the totally unprecedented, never before seen measures supposed to fight it and alleviate anxieties of the public and of the politicians and of their side effects.
So far the latter possibility has more going for it as one of the biggest drivers of excess deaths seem to be heart attacks precisely at the moment when the number of those seeking help for a cardiac event in hospitals — which are quite good at providing such aid but which are now seen as something akin to plague-infested death traps — has nearly halved.
In fact, non-lockdown Sweden has had about the same number of confirmed Covid-positive deaths per capita as the UK, but has not recorded an equally pronounced spike in total excess deaths:
This may indicate it is not so much Covid driving excess deaths as the different answers to it.
The covid-19 disease the novel coronavirus causes is not a “flu”. We largely do have ‘herd immunity’ against the flu. But this is a new virus causing a new disease. Nearly nobody is yet immune against it. It works in ways we are still just beginning to understand and there is no established therapy.
Being novel is not the exclusive domain of the “novel coronavirus”. Every year the virus mix causing the “influenza-like illness” outbreak is slightly different, with new strains of influenza and pneumonia viruses, as well as of new coronaviruses coming into existence all the time. This is why influenza vaccines are updated all the time and why someone who gets a flu shot can still fall ill with flu.
No, it’s not possible to say with certainty that nobody is yet immune to it. We don’t know what the susceptibility rate is and if it really is 100%. It is entirely possible that those who have antibodies for some of the other coronaviruses have partial or full immunity. We simply don’t know.
It is entirely possible, even likely perhaps, that we started out with less immunity to SARS-Cov-2 than would be the case for a new flu virus, but it is not a matter of 0 and 1, but of degrees.
If we let this epidemic run wild without any control measures the death toll will be exceptionally high. The death per infection rate in Germany is currently estimated to be 0.53% (via Christian Drosten). It may be higher in other countries. That looks like a small number but remember that nearly no one has yet acquired immunity. It would probably take a year for the epidemic to run through a whole country.
It is estimated at 0.53% by some and considerably lower by others. But that is not even the point. Question is 0.53% for whom? It goes all the way up to 15% for frail inhabitants of nursing homes and all the way down into insignificance for the under 50 cohort. Why should those who are no more at threat from Covid than they are by commuting to work or by their work, be locked up? Is it because they could still spread the infection to the older cohorts? In that case you separate the vulnerable cohort from the essentially invulnerable cohorts, but you don’t freeze civilization in its tracks.
Great Britain, with a population of some 60 million, would be theoretically looking at 300.000 excess death within one year. But the health care system would completely break down and thereby vastly increase the total death toll as there would be no care for most of the critical covid-19 patients and no beds for the usual other cases. That may already happen as Britain is now estimated to already have 41,000 excess death from the current epidemic.
Nonsensense. There is no sign whatsoever that the 41,000 excess deaths in Britain are the result of any sort of break down of the health care system because there is no sign of any such breakdown. In fact, hospitals have never been emptier or had less work and there is still 22 percent of ICU capacity spare which is more than is often the case.
The vast number of those excess deaths is a direct consequence not of the virus but of the lockdown, primarily of the fear of hospitals it has helped reinforce.
Current estimates say that 2 to 3% of the population have so far developed anti-bodies against the virus. They likely give some immunity but we do not know how long that will hold. Should this epidemic have weather dependent waves the first one will likely end during the summer. Model calculations show that only some 6-7% of the population would by then have acquired immunity.
Some estimates are 2 to 3%. Other estimates depending on the geographic location are higher by an order of magnitude. Two separate estimates figure one-third of Stockholmers have by now developed immunity or will have by May 1.
We don’t know how far along the way that is because we don’t know what the susceptibility rate we started with is.
Also, there is initial data indicating that some young people in particular are able to fight off the infection without even developing specialized antibodies, so true immunity could be even higher than antibodies tests will indicate.
It is entirely possible that non-lockdown countries, in particular, are by now some distance on their way toward herd immunity.
— UPDATE — Now Cuomo is saying that 21% of those tested in NYC at grocery stores and so on have antibodies.
A second wave will then come during the winter. It will be worse as it will start everywhere at the same time and will come on top of the yearly flu season. We will then likely again need some harsh control measure like temporary lock-downs and case quarantains.
Nonsense. A second wave would not come on top of the flu season because you only have so many people who are at a significant risk of dying should they contract a respiratory infection of this sort. If these are taken over the edge by one disease they are no longer available to be pushed off the ledge by another.