COVID-19 Deaths in Europe: Excess Mortality is – DOWN?

March 29th, 2020 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Given the global hysteria over the spread COVID-19, you might be excused if you are very surprised to learn that the most recent week of mortality data in the EU shows an actual decline from what is expected for this time of year.

In the coming months there will be an increasing debate over whether the virtual shutdown of our economy was warranted given the threat of the latest form of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. While there are still large uncertainties about how fast it spreads and how lethal it is (statistically, those are inversely related), I suspect we will ultimately realize that our response might well have done more harm than good to society as a whole.

This is mainly because poverty is the leading cause of premature death in the world, and shutting down the economy leads to premature death for a multitude of reasons related to poverty. In the extreme example, you could save lives in the short run by keeping everyone at home, but in the long run we would all starve to death.

But that is not the main subject of this post.

A couple weeks ago I started expressing the opinion on social media that if our reaction to the spread of COVID-19 turns out to be overdone, it might end up having the unexpected consequence of reducing total virus-related mortality.

Let me explain.

As I am sure you are aware, seasonal flu is a global killer, with 300,000 to 650,000 deaths on average each year, mainly among the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions. At this writing, COVID-19 has killed 10% or less of that number. (Yes, I realize that number might have been considerably higher if not for our response).

Here’s the point: It might well be that the increased level of hand-washing, sanitizing, and social distancing we have exercised might save more lives from reducing influenza-A and -B that were lost to COVID-19, and that net virus-related mortality might go down this season.

I personally became more careful about not spreading germs several years ago. No so much for myself (I have a pretty strong immune system) but so I would not carry disease home to my family members. I carry antibacterial wipes in my car and use them religiously. We are hearing more and more now about how such habits can help prolong the lives of those around us who are elderly or have compromised immune systems.

Now, recent results from Europe suggest that the COVID-19 response might be having the unintended benefit of saving total lives. This is all very preliminary, I realize, and that coming weeks might see some change in that picture. But it is worth thinking about.

Early Results from Europe

Every week (on Thursday) the Euro MOMO project (European MOnitoring of excess MOrtality) publishes a report of mortality statistics across the EU, including stratification by age group. The latest report (which I believe includes data through March 24, but I am not sure) shows (green line) no uptick in total mortality from the assumed baseline (red line). In fact, it’s a little below that line (they also account for missing and late reports).

Amazingly, this flu season is seen to be surprisingly mild compared to previous flu seasons in the EU. On the chart I have also indicated the number of reported COVID-19 deaths in the most recent week, around 7,000.

Why do we not see an uptick on the chart? The charts for individual countries do show an up-tick for Italy (for example), but not unlike what was seen in previous flu seasons.

The report itself provides two or three possible explanations, none of which are particularly satisfying. Read it yourself and tell me it doesn’t sound like the people writing the report are also somewhat mystified. They don’t mention what I am discussing here.

So, the chart begs at least two questions:
1) Are the effects of practicing increased hygiene in response to COVID-19 saving more lives that would have been lost to seasonal flu deaths, than are being lost to COVID-19 itself?
2) Why are we not outraged and deathly afraid of the seasonal flu (-A and -B), given the widespread death that routinely occurs from those viruses that come around each season?

You might claim, “It’s because COVID-19 can kill anyone, not just the elderly.” Well, that’s true of the seasonal flu, as well. The case of an apparently healthy 44-year-old Texas man who recently died of COVID-19 probably scares many people, but according to the CDC approximately 5 “healthy” young people a day in the U.S. under the age of 25 die from sudden cardiac arrest. Maybe that Texas man had an underlying health condition that was previously undiagnosed. Unless they do an autopsy, and the family reveals the results, we will never know.

And, you might well think of other reasons why EU deaths have not experienced an uptick yet. Human behavior involves many confounding variables. I’m just mentioning one potential reason I am not seeing discussed.

I am not trying to minimize the deaths due to COVID-19. I’m trying to point out that if we are fearful of death from COVID-19, we should be even more concerned about the seasonal flu (many people are saying this), and that one benefit of the current experience might be that people will be more mindful about avoiding the spread of viruses in the future.

288 Responses to “COVID-19 Deaths in Europe: Excess Mortality is – DOWN?”

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  1. Nate says:

    Flu “300,000 to 650,000 deaths on average each year”. Given the mortality rate for flu oft stated to be 0.1%, that means 300-600 Million CASES of the flu.

    With a flu vaccine and no society wide social distancing for flu.

    COVid19 seems more contagious than the Flu. No vaccine for it. And its mortality is much higher than the flu by various estimates.

    For high testing-rate countries the LOWEST mortality rate = deaths/(deaths +recovered) was still 3%

    for South Korea

    So the no-intervention policies could be expected to have led to at least 9 – 20 Million deaths.

    • I think you will find that the mortality is nowhere near that high, partly related to COVID-19 being much more widespread than previously reported. The two statistics you are quoting are mutually exclusive, based upon current and emerging data.

      • Richard Greene says:

        deatrhs are down with people locked up in their homes and apartments.
        Cuts down ALL respiratory related deaths.

        The one “closed population” tested was the Diamond Princess cruise ship passengers.

        There were seven deaths among the 700 infected passengers and crew.

        So the fatality rate there was 1.0%.

        Passengers were mainly an elderly population, most likely with a much higher death rate than people under 40 years old.

        Projecting the Diamond Princess mortality rate onto the age structure of the U.S. population: The death rate among people infected withCOVID-19 could be as low as 0.1% to 0.2%
        ( similar to other flu deaths).

      • Nate says:

        Which are mutually exclusive?

        • there are estimates of (1) high death rate, and (2) high number of infected. They cannot both be true, because #1 has #2 in the denominator. So high estimates of how many people *could* have died are too high, probably wildly too high. Come back in 2-3 months and remind me if I’m wrong, OK?

        • Nate says:

          “Come back in 2-3 months”

          Dont need to wait that long:

          In Italy and Spain there has already been significant mortality from COVID 19. Even with drastic social-distancing interventions.

          They have had 17 and 14 deaths per 100,000 people respectively, almost all coming in last 3 weeks. Much more likely to come.

          For the Flu, the mortality for the WHOLE YEAR is 10 deaths per 100,000 people on average in the US, consistent with your world value.

          • Nate says:

            And its a mistake to compare to total mortality as you have done. Obviously there are many more deaths of the aged from cancer and heart disease, etc then from flu.

      • Joao Martins says:

        Another factor must be considered (and it is making comparisons of national numbers of COVID-19 a mistake, and thus irrelevant and irresponsible): the denominator of lethality rates is not the same. In Sourh Korea, they tested a lot of people, nevertheless the sample is biased, because tests were made to people with symptoms or that had contacts with them. In most countries, the situation is even worse: only people with some symptoms are tested. Thus, all lethality data are biased and rates are (most probably) overestimated.

        • Nate says:

          I agree. But how is it done for flu? I assume only people with flu symptoms ever get tested.

          My wife and I believe we had the flu earlier this year, never got tested.

          • Joao Martins says:

            You are right, and you show that even the flu numbers and rates are biased, overevaluated, because they relate only to the _tested_ individuals. In extremely few cases do we have random samples of populations so that the real important parameters could be calculated, viz: proportion of resistant (i.e., those that are exposed and do not get infected), proportion of asymptomatic infected, proportion of already immunized, proportion of susceptible (infected = asyptomatic plus diseased), proportion of deaths “from” (i.e., excluding many who die “with” the disease; who die most probably as the outcome of other chronic situations).
            I must stress (as a retired plant pathologist; plant pathology got most of its concepts from medicine) that being infected does NOT mean being disease: there are specific conditions, for each disease, when an infection evolves to disrupt fundamental physiological functions of the host: this is disease. And doctors know for decades that many infections do not evolve to reach a disease state. Flu is a great example.

      • Chris Warren says:

        Nate is right.

        when the epidemic is over – there will only be data on deaths and recovered.

        The correct calculation is therefore;

        deaths/(deaths +recovered)

        The only qualification is that, aat the tail end, deaths will drop to zero, but recoveries will continue for a time.

      • Anderson Wallace says:

        The mortality rate should be determined by the number of deaths divided by the number of resolved cases (not the number of current cases).

    • Jacques Lemiere says:

      you can not use the same mortality rates for all groups..if you want to calculate the number of deads in the world.. and you have to take into account the very existence of reanimation services..
      so it will be different in poor and rich countries and old and young countries.
      What shows data is if we are able to protect elders efficiently..there will be much less deads..

    • Andrew says:

      Andrew Batha
      If you scroll down on that “worldometers” site that you link to, you can find the data from Japan. A population of 155 million on a relatively tiny space. No distancing, no quarantine, no panic, very low testing. They have 0.7 deaths per mil vs S Korea’s 4. So how could THAT then be possible?

      While you are at it, check out Mexico and Brazil. Also non interventionist. They are later in the game, but Japan’s first case was very early.

      So can you stop being quite so hyperbolic?

  2. Mister L says:

    Keep spreading that doom, Nate.

    “could be expected” <— this is the hallmark of a failed fear-mongering prediction.

    Also, you know that flu vaccine isn't 100% effective, in any year, right Nate? That means the flu gets to spread through the population every year (and fast).

    And, there are virologists and that are disputing what you say:

    "The ill-founded opinions expressed by international experts, replicated by the media and social networks repeat the unnecessary panic that we have previously experienced. The coronavirus identified in China in 2019 caused nothing less than a strong cold or flu, with no difference so far with cold or flu as we know"

    Dr Pablo Goldschmidt is an Argentine-French virologist specializing in tropical diseases, and Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris.

    He goes on to say: "There is no evidence to show that the 2019 coronavirus is more lethal than respiratory adenoviruses, influenza viruses, coronaviruses from previous years, or rhinoviruses responsible for the common cold."

    There are more specialists, 22 so far at least, that are disputing the panic-propagating that people like you are doing, Nate.

    In short, there is another, well-substantiated side of the story.

    • Nate says:

      Im just quoting available stats from the country with the LOWEST mortality. I noticed you didnt dispute that.

      • Jacques Lemiere says:

        but you have to add something else that is not known the number off people that will be affected by the virus..we don’t know that for other virus..even flu..
        why flu epidmic stops?

        But i agree with you according with what we can be bad..
        but according to waht we know what is th uncertainty of that?? huge..

        so we are facing the unknown.

    • Anderson Wallace says:

      Dr Pablo Goldschmidt’s last research paper was published in August 2018.

  3. Squahamish says:

    You just can’t help yourself can you, you fundie a-hole. Blood on your hands once again for downplaying the potential impact of a virus of non-human origin and unknown lethality.

    Wow, just, wow. Bye. -Roy

    • Jacques Lemiere says:

      it is data..

      but this data can change very week after and you have to sing another song for sure..
      the south korean case shows us how little we have to change our behaviour to be able to control not only covid 19 but flu virus and so on

    • A G Foster says:

      “A hospital doctor in the Spanish city of Malaga writes on Twitter that people are currently more likely to die from panic and systemic collapse than from the virus. The hospital is being overrun by people with colds, flu and possibly Covid19 and doctors have lost control.”

      Keep up the good work, Dr. Spencer; you will save lives and money. –AGF

  4. ren says:

    A document by the Carlos III public health institute which EL PAS has seen took recent civil registry death records and compared them with the average number of deaths in Spains regions since 2008, finding significant surges in deaths in Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha and Castilla y Len during this month of March. Yet many of those deaths, even when coronavirus symptoms were present, did not get added to the national tally because no formal test was ever conducted on the victims.

    Regional governments only notify the Health Ministry about a coronavirus death if the patient was previously tested and the test came back positive, said two health officials at two regional governments. This leaves out many people who died in residences or in their own homes, and who were never tested, said one of these sources.

    This means that the figures offered daily by Simn, the health emergency coordination chief, are only providing a partial picture of the true extent of the pandemic.

    • yet, we still know at least 7,000+ COVID-19 deaths in the EU in the last week, which should have budged the total mortality statistics… and they didn’t. The compliers of the report would have mentioned it if there was substantial underreporting of COVID-19 deaths.

      • ren says:

        We don’t really know much. In Poland, only government officials can provide information about the epidemic. Doctors may be punished for speaking to the media.

        • ren, are you saying some of those 7,000 are fake?

          • ren says:

            We don’t know how many people would die from flu. We can treat the flu. We can be with a sick family member. He doesn’t have to die alone. Think, now you do not have access to the hospital. Why? What are the doctors afraid of? Would they be scared because of the flu?

      • Nate says:

        “yet, we still know at least 7,000+ COVID-19 deaths in the EU in the last week, which should have budged the total mortality statistics and they didnt.”

        Total mortality is a highly misleading stat to look at. Everyone eventually dies of old age.

        That requires a huge number of deaths each year. Usually by heart disease, stroke, cancer.

        But infectious disease is normally not a major player in that, at least in the developed world, as it was 150 years ago.

        This pandemic is causing huge numbers of EARLY deaths.

        • Jacques Lemiere says:

          huge? or significant?
          it is huge for old people..

          no mortality is something to look at when you want to put this epidemic in historical perspective..

        • Nate says:

          Recent modeling, based on most recent available stats, shows with increasing mitigation, deaths in US will be ~ 100,000. That is about double the worst recent flu season.

          But with relaxed mitigation, deaths will reach ~ 2 million.

          Stark choice.

  5. CO2isLife says:

    Does anyone find it odd that China has far fewer cases than the US?

    • I suspect the virus is much more widespread than is being reported. If I was living in China, unless I was deathly ill, I wouldn’t tell the authorities I had a fever and cough.

    • Bindidon says:

      ” Does anyone find it odd that China has far fewer cases than the US? ”

      No I don’t. The reason couldn’t be more trivial.

      China is a 101 % dictatorship-based country.

      Please try to imagine what would happen in the United States, if New York’s 12 million residents were suddenly forbidden to leave their homes, as happened to Wuhan’s 11 million people together with the 57 millions living in the Hubei province around, and that for over two months!

      J.-P. D.

    • That’s easy. If you declare the epidemic over and quit testing then there will be no more deaths from people confirmed to have the infection.

    • gallopingcamel says:

      Nothing odd about that. Tyrannies can’t handle the truth so the lie, lie and lie again.

      I doubt that anyone will be able to get the true numbers for the People’s Republic of China…….ever.

  6. ren says:

    In most European countries, death statistics to which the coronavirus contributed are underreported. In my opinion, if a person infected with Covid-19 dies from respiratory failure, then Covid-19 should be considered the cause of death.

  7. ren says:

    If someone dies during quarantine and has not had a coronavirus test, no one does this test after death. Even when people around him are sick.

  8. Bruce Morgan says:

    Throw in the Central Bank monetary debt system and its impact on poverty to the equation of harm to humans worldwide. An imploding debt system that is on the way to total collapse/depression?

  9. ren says:

    Don Rafael: The Spanish 89-year-old who fled a coronavirus-stricken care home in fear for his life
    The story of the senior illustrates that way that the pandemic is affecting such residences in Spain, at which high levels of fatalities are being registered

  10. ren says:

    Statistics from New York are interesting. The most infected people are in the group from 18 to 64 years old. Almost 80%.

  11. Norman says:

    I am siding with Nate on this issue. The flu occurs every year and as Roy pointed out kills 300,000 to 650,000 a year. The difference is the flu does not overwhelm healthcare systems.

    I am going with the Doctors on the Front-Lines on this one. I have been reading reports from them. You can have one isolated case like the Cruise Ship Princess Diamond but that will not really indicate anything.

    Doctors are very familiar dealing with the flu. They do not run out of medical supplies and the ICU are not filled up. They are the ones saying this is far worse and they are also the ones pleading for social isolation.

    It is a tough situation all around. At this time it is a growing threat and information is constantly being updated. How it spreads, how contagious it is, how many people will die from it or be hospitalized in terrible condition needing a ventilator to stay alive and hope their body fights of the invasion.

    Destroying an economy is not at all good so everyone needs to monitor the situation closely. I think over the next few weeks they will have enough valid information to make good decisions. At this time it is too early to tell.

    I am also not convinced (without good testing that they will do soon) that this was circulating around a long time. Why would all these infected people who showed no signs not have infected people sooner that would show signs.

    This has graphs at the bottom showing how the disease escalated in March. If millions were previously infected why did it just start showing signs in March? I do not see how this works. The incubation time is not that long once infected so what is different if many are carriers with no symptoms from February to March? What is the logic to that line of thinking.

    • ren says:

      I agree that you should listen to doctors, not officials. For my own good and for my family.

    • Norman, look at the EU death rates the last few winters in the chart I presented… how did they cope with higher death rates back then? Were hospital facilities overwhelmed? Maybe the current hysteria is causing disproportionately more people to be hospitalized, rather than it being a reflection of more cases of critical illness?

      • Norman says:

        Roy Spencer

        They are not just hospitalized, many are in ICU units on ventilators. My older Sister had bad influenza this season and was in the Hospital with a 103 fever. She did not have to go to an ICU or on a ventilator. They have a few videos out there of ICU units filled up with people on ventilators struggling to live.

        I am not sure why the data in the European graph does not show an uptick. But it is still early, wait and see. On average about 14,000 people die a day in the European Union. The 2000 or so daily deaths will show an uptick at some point. Remember it is still growing, not close to any peaks yet. At an early stage of an outbreak all types of ideas are possible. Even with Italy’s total lockdown they are still increasing in infections and deaths. Had they not shut down the Nation it is only a guess what would happen. I think we will see the results in Nations that are choosing not to shut down. Time will tell. I am keeping an open mind on this but at this time the loudest voices for me are the Front-line doctors and care workers. They see the effects of this disease first hand so would seem the most valid information sources at this time.

        If you look at this article you can see social distancing is not new and it seemed to have worked. They did a total lockdown in St. Louis in 1918 similar to what some cities are doing today.

        • yes, I expect there will be more ventilators kept on hand after this has passed. I just don’t understand why SARS-CoV deaths are less important than SARS-CoV-2 deaths, despite killing far more people every day.

          • Norman says:

            Roy Spencer

            Here is a good source of information on the various epidemics in recent times. They do talk about the difference between Covid-10 and SARS of 2002.


            “Though the SARS death rate was higher than COVID-19, COVID-19 has already claimed more lives.”

            The basic idea in the article is that we do not know enough about this virus to access how bad it will be so based upon the unknown they are taking precautions until more information comes in.

            I think they will reevaluate every 15 days. I am sure most people want our economy to go back to normal. All those out of work need money. As more is known, good sound decisions will be made to minimize deaths and ease hospital ICUs. I think the smartest approach would be to get good test kits and lots of them. Quarantine those who have positive tests and the rest go to work and produce. South Korea is using this method with some success. We should adopt it as a way to minimize deaths and keep the economy going.

            I personally do not want to get this and if it goes the wrong way I could end up on a ventilator fighting for life.

          • gallopingcamel says:

            While we had SARS and MERS they were not on the same scale as COVID-19.

            According to WHO, the worldwide “Cases/Deaths” figures for SARS (2002/3) were 8,098/774. The corresponding figures for MERS (2012) were 2494/858.

            The H1N1 pandemic appears to have infected an estimated 60 million people in the USA and 12,469 of them died for a mortality rate of ~0.02%. Here is a paper that explains:


            The COVID-19 pandemic will kill more Americans than H1N1 in 2009. Let’s hope it does not match the ~675,000 deaths from the 1918/1919 H1N1 pandemic.

            The death toll could be affected by therapies that are coming on line such as the Hydroxychloroquinone/Azithromycin cocktail that you mentioned in an earlier post.

      • Nate says:

        “how did they cope with higher death rates back then? Were hospital facilities overwhelmed”

        Do people who die of stroke, heart attack, cancer, diabetes need ventilators?

    • gbaikie says:

      –Norman says:
      March 29, 2020 at 9:35 AM
      I am siding with Nate on this issue. The flu occurs every year and as Roy pointed out kills 300,000 to 650,000 a year. The difference is the flu does not overwhelm healthcare systems.–

      You are correct Norman.
      This effort is all about flattening the curve.
      The typical flu [that we have some immunity to} does not have a large and sharp spike, instead you have the flu season, starting around October and ending around beginning of April.
      It is true the normal flu season can have various spikes and thereby overwhelm hospitals, but it’s not a bad as what has been happening in Italy and Spain with the Wuhan Flu. And most of Europe is having a very hard time with the Wuhan Flu- with the exception of Germany.

      Without Trump stopping air travel to China as soon as he did {despite WHO strongly objecting to this move {btw something utterly crazy for WHO to do}, the US would probably would have been hit worse than Europe.
      And if US is going to be hit as hard as Europe {New York State looks pretty bad right now} at least it would outside the Flu season for most of the US.

      Personally, I think US should be getting back to work, quicker than what Trump is suggesting, but I think “by Easter” is a reasonable loose target to do this.
      I would say to do it quicker than by Easter, we need a lot more testing- like 2 million tests done in the next week. But for various “apparent” reasons we can’t do this as quick as that.
      But what is a lot easier, is just giving more time.

  12. Ah ha! Ren will listen to medical officials, but not climate officials! Very interesting! Climate model-promoting scientists versus most skeptical scientists’ views range over a factor of 2 to 5 for future warming, yet the UK virus modeler downgraded his projections by a factor of 25X (!) after he had more information. Clearly, their models of ALL of this are very uncertain, mostly based upon a lack of hard data. but we do know the number of total DEATHS, which is the subject of my post. Did you actually read it, ren?

    • gbaikie says:

      Scott Adams {cartoonist} predicts total US deaths will be 5000.
      And predicts we get to close to it {4000} within days.
      And we are at… 2,438 now:

      And Trump was saying US deaths could have reached 2 million, but believe something 20,000 deaths expected. And could peak in 2 weeks.

      • gbaikie says:

        Oh I think it could be 4000 to 10,000 US deaths.

        And I think Brazil is disaster which could happen, though it has advantage of seemingly starting it, later.
        Or with such advantage it will have about 5000 deaths for this Wuhan virus.

        “Climate model-promoting scientists versus most skeptical scientists views range over a factor of 2 to 5 for future warming,”

        So 2 to 5 K added to current temperatures by 2100 AD?
        Or your way of measuring from satellite will increase by 2 to 5 K
        before 2100 AD.

        And can we say 1 to 2.5 K before 2060 AD?
        And .5 to 1.25 C by 2040?

        I think possible if have .5 C added before 2040 AD. Though the 2060 and 2100 AD targets seem more unlikely.

        • gbaikie says:

          What kind of things are going to happen by 2040 AD?

          Most countries, other than US, Canada, and Russia, are going to run out of coal. And the most significant country to run out of coal will be China.
          Run out of coal does not mean no coal left, it means for a country the future energy source can’t be coal. China is already moving away from coal. And China would not do this, if there was more future coal it could get. Or China has about 20 years of coal, but not 20 years of ever increasing coal use. Or if build state of art coal plant {China is {and has been} currently doing this] then it’s lifetime is about +40 years, or in 20 years, all China will have is mostly their state of art coal plants, and will not build more at that time {or it’s future is not coal in 20 years time, but unlikely to tear down operating power plants with less than 30 years of use}.

          By 2040 there will be a lot natural gas, natural gas use as compared to coal or worse biomass, emits a lot less CO2 per energy use {As US has been in process of demonstrating}. And natural gas could be used by vehicles {including planes} and SpaceX will be using it for it’s Starship- and is using it, because it’s cheaper than Kerosene {jet fuel}.
          Though by 2040 we will still have a glut of crude oil as we currently have a glut of crude oil {historical at moment, adjusted for inflation, it’s never been cheaper than, now}.
          A major advantage of crude oil is it’s cheaper to transport, and one of disadvantages of coal {and biomass} is it’s expensive to transport.
          By 2040 the world will be using more nuclear energy.
          By 2040 the world will far more efficient in using energy.
          By 2040 the per person use of energy will decrease- for lots of reasons {though none of reasons to “save the planet” but saving money and time will be a part of reasons}.
          Of course by 2040 there be a lot other improvements which include more able to deal with pandemics {including the long lasting Malaria pandemic}.

          • gbaikie says:

            Oh, and by 2040 AD we have a lot busted solar panels and wind mills to dispose of. Though probably figure out how recycled the silicon and maybe find out what to do with carbon fiber material {other than landfill material}.

  13. ren says:

    Let’s look at Great Britain. There are only 163 critical cases, and new deaths 209. Strange statistics for me.

  14. ren says:

    Thousands of people are on quarantine. We are only at the beginning of the epidemic in Eastern Europe, and healthcare is already having big problems.

  15. ren says:

    On May 22, 1918, the front page of the Spanish newspaper ABC reported on a new illness, described as similar to the flu but with milder symptoms. That same month, Madrid held its annual San Isidro festivities, providing the perfect conditions for mass contagion. The new flu was lightheartedly christened Soldado de Npoles (Soldier of Naples) after a song in a popular operetta of the day which, like the new disease, was extremely catchy.
    Similarly, there was little that doctors could do apart from helping the sick to survive, although the techniques were much more rudimentary. Several experimental vaccines were tested without success, and some doctors even tried bloodletting despite the fact that such a practice had been discredited for a century. The Spanish began to wonder if doctors and scientists had any clue about what was going on, writes Trilla.

  16. Snape says:

    Dr. Spencer

    I had the same mindset few weeks ago, but am not so optimistic lately. Started tracking dates when a doubling of total fatalities occurred (global).

    2/05/20: 500
    2/10/20: 1,000
    2/18/20: 2,000
    3/09/20: 4,000
    3/17/20: 8,000
    3/23/20: 16,000
    3/29/20: 32,000


  17. J Storrs Hall says:

    Please note that real-time death rates are often depressed simply due to reporting / collation lag, and will typically rise as all the results come in.

  18. Matthew says:

    This seems a bit early to write, the shutdowns have happened preemptively but daily deaths are still on an exponential curve. On March 10th worldwide deaths were 300 per day, they’re now close to 4000. A report about mortality until March 24 means nothing. Even in Italy, where people haven’t been allowed to leave home other than for food or essential work for 3 weeks, deaths are tailing off very slowly. If the US reaches Italian percentages it will see more than 5000 deaths a day for several weeks. I think it’s important to consider the economic impacts of a shutdown but this analysis is simply too early and publishing it now is irresponsible as it will encourage more of this “it’s just the flu” thought process which will make the peak worse. I urge you to fit the US daily deaths to an exponential and consider how long that curve will stay exponential and how slow a tail-off would be.

    • Matthew, I tried to emphasize this is all very preliminary. But I showed on that graph how much the mortality should have risen by adding 7,000 weekly deaths to the normal death rate. Why was there a *drop* instead? Deaths are deaths, whether it is the flu or COVID-19. I was making a point about a possibility not being discussed: that the COVID-19 response *could* save more flu lives than there will be COVID-19 deaths. The fact a leading alarmist researcher downgraded his estimate of UK deaths by 96% shows how unstable these predictions are. Are we going to let the world’s governments shut down the economy and go on a money-printing spree every freaking time a new virus arises and a few experts shout “Pandemic!”? There needs to be some people willing to stand up and question extremely uncertain predictions and our public policy response to them. Is it “irresponsible” to point out we could be killing more people than we save? That sounds like the climate alarmists “Precautionary Principle”, which no sane person lives their life by.

      • Nate says:

        “the mortality should have risen by adding 7,000 weekly deaths to the normal death rate. Why was there a *drop* instead”

        Because you are fitting noise, by looking at Total Mortality.

        We could similarly prove that the opioid crisis is not a problem by a similar analysis.

      • Chic Bowdrie says:

        Nate, the naysayer. He’s the King of Obfuscation.

        If you agree with him, he’ll explain why you’re wrong.

      • skeptikal says:

        Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. says
        “Why was there a *drop* instead? Deaths are deaths, whether it is the flu or COVID-19.”

        You cannot compare this year’s deaths with previous years deaths because this year is so much different. The main difference which should not be overlooked is that the world is in *LOCKDOWN*.

        You say (quite rightly) that deaths are deaths but how many deaths are not occurring this year because people are locked down and can’t get out to do activities with result in their deaths… think car crashes and the like. Then there is the reduction in deaths from the seasonal flu, which is also being suppressed because people just can’t get out to spread it around like they would in a normal year.

        Yes, there may be a drop in total deaths compared to other years but since the way the world is operating this year is so much different to other years it would be foolish to try to do any direct comparisons.

  19. ren says:

    Lack of testing of quarantined people puts their health at risk, because even the asymptomatic course of the disease can cause lung changes that can be seen when scanning.

  20. scott allen says:

    Dr. Spencer has a great point.

    Every day in the US over 7,400 people die, that is one every 12 seconds. Since the Wuhan virus killed the first US citizen on the 6th of February over 384,800 people have died.

    To put this more into prospective, for every 1% increase in unemployment, 40,000 people die (suicide, drug over dose, depression, stress, higher blood pressure and homicide.) And we just up the unemployment to over 15% .

    People have a herd mentality and are easy to spook, thanks to the modern age it is at lightening speed.

    • Nate says:

      “Every day in the US over 7,400 people die, that is one every 12 seconds. Since the Wuhan virus killed the first US citizen on the 6th of February over 384,800 people have died.”

      Riight, so need to kvetch over homicides or overdoses.

      They only kill 100/day and 200/day.

      9-11 killed < 3000, and one time only!

      We certainly overreacted to that!

      • Scott allen says:

        Nat your statistic on homicides and overdoses is off by 80%, we have about 8,000 homicides in the US that is about 20 a day, and your overdoses is about 130 a day.

        I just happen to believe in facts not WAGs (wild ass guesses)

        And yes we did overreacted to 9/11, while a lethal reaction was necessary against Osama and his followers with targeted assignations and air strikes, the invasion of Iraq was a mistake (something that happened because of an overreaction).

        If you were really concerned about deaths in the US, do you know what the 3rd leading cause of death in the US is……… Medical mistakes, which kills between 250,000 and 400,000 every years. This per John Hopkins research.

        I did notice you didn’t argue against the logic of my post.

        If you a true believer in science and math, here is another research paper which was peer reviewed and published, which shows that for every 1% of unemployment we have a 6% rise in total deaths. The paper is titled “Unemployment and mortality: Evidence from the PSID”
        and was published in Science and Medicine.

      • Nate says:

        Alright Mr Picky

        Correction: I get 50/day for homicides from 2013 stats 5.1/100,000*350,000,000/365.

        Overdoses, 67000 in 2018/365 days is 184/day.

        “I did notice you didn’t argue against the logic of my post.”

        I did, but you missed it.

        The point was we DO care about homicides and overdoses being too high, and large terrorists attacks that kill 2500 people, even though they account for much much less than the overall daily death rate.

        Most people accept that dying at the end of a long life is a normal part of the human life cycle.

        Many early deaths from a pandemic (or homicide, or OD or terrorist attack) is not acceptable to most people.

        • scott Allen says:

          Yes we do care about homicides and overdoses but we don’t shut the country down because of them. We only spend about 100 billion on total law enforcement (that includes corrections, courts etc.) and that is for ALL types of law enforcement. This Wuhan virus has already cost 2.2 Trillion just on restoration of the economy, that does even count medical care.

          I wasn’t trying to be nit picky, I was pointing out an error on your computation which throws off your statistic (the same thing happen in climate models or any other model, a small error can and will completely make the results poopoo, chaos effect). Post random numbers that come to you is not a logical way to address a problem. And wild guesses like those put out by the Imperial college’s Neil Ferguson which had original estimated that 500,000 brit would die had to revise the figure down to 10,000 (they also had estimated that over a Million americans would die but retracted that.) All he did was change 1 small detail in his model to get the “new” numbers

          The issue I and many other people have is, how many of these people would die if they didn’t have the Wuhan flu. The two nursing homes in Washington state that reported the first deaths were not normal nursing home but intensive care nursing homes. they housed over 500 people that needed extra care and reported 3-4 deaths a week (in a normal week). In the 6 weeks since the virus’s first death in those washington nursing facilities 31 people have died from the virus in those facilities. In a normal 6 week period 18-24 would have died.

  21. Stephen Paul Anderson says:

    Good article. The main problem with Covid 19 is that it will eventually infect almost everyone. Even with a low mortality rate of about 0.2% this would mean 14,000,000 deaths. So, these cures are very important. It will also be important to disseminate them to the third world countries as quickly as possible. This virus is just a precursor, a warning. The one that comes which is highly contagious with a high mortality rate similar to what happened to the Indians of the Americas where 90% of the population was wiped out is in our future.

  22. ren says:

    Officially, Chinese authorities have reported over 2,000 deaths in Wuhan, where the virus first emerged. However, experts and locals have long been skeptical of China’s official figures, in light of Beijing’s initial coverup of the outbreak; Wuhan’s overstretched health system, which meant that many people had been unable to receive testing and treatment; and several changes to the way infections were officially counted.

  23. Ken says:

    a. There is no way to know the mortality rate without knowing the number of people infected. There is no way to know how many people are infected without testing. There will likely be a 2nd and 3rd wave; it will take a couple of years to run its course so its way too early to have any meaningful numbers. There will no doubt be lots of number crunching once the plague is done.

    b. The climate change hysteria is no doubt responsible for a lot of deaths. Consider the trillions of dollars wasted on climate change studies and ‘green’ technologies that could have been better spent on getting ready for a pandemic that we have been warned about for at least a decade.

    c. The one silver lining is the climate change claptrap is done. People have much more to worry about than unsubstantiated claims that the temperature will be 0.5C warmer a hundred years from now.

    • Ken says:

      I should mention our feckless Canadian Prime Minister just hiked up carbon taxes.

      • Bindidon says:


        If you have cojones between your legs (no: I don’t mean the balls used to fuck and to make children), then what about publishing your insults under your real name, you coward?

        J.-P. Dehottay

        • Ken says:

          Mr Dehottay

          I don’t understand what has you triggered about my post. I get it that we are all impacted by this crisis in one way or other, however, you are out of line. May God be with you.



      • Stephen Paul Anderson says:

        Bindi’s an angry white man.

        Ken, I’m using 0.2% based upon Bayesian Analysis from Science Magazine article. That mortality rate (0.2%) is high but somewhat in line with bad flu outbreaks. Then using the mortalities which are pretty good numbers you can calculate the total number infected. This puts an upper bound on mortalities worldwide at 14,000,000 if the treatments have no effect. I’m hoping they will and keep mortalities at a few million.

        • Ken says:

          Stephan, One of the interesting bits is how the mortality is so different from one country and another. I saw one youtuber suggest the difference is due to pollution with Hubei and North Italy having serious particulate pollution issues and commensurate higher mortality rates than other countries with cleaner air.

  24. ren says:

    In a 2004 study of the coronavirus that causes sars, a cousin of the one that causes covid-19, a team from Hong Kong found that a higher initial load of virus—measured in the nasopharynx, the cavity in the deep part of your throat above your palate—was correlated with a more severe respiratory illness. Nearly all the sars patients who came in initially with a low or undetectable level of virus in the nasopharynx were found at a two-month follow-up to be still alive. Those with the highest level had a twenty- to forty-per-cent mortality rate. This pattern held true regardless of a patient’s age, underlying conditions, and the like. Research into another acute viral illness, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, reached a similar conclusion: the more virus you had at the start, the more likely you were to die.

  25. J.-P. Dehottay says:

    Roy Spencer

    I’m wondering how an American scientist can write such strange things here.

    I am too tired to answer to all what you wrote in your head post. Thus I restrict my words to your latest reaction.

    How can you write

    ” I just don’t understand why SARS-CoV deaths are less important than SARS-CoV-2 deaths, despite killing far more people every day. ”

    without manifestly knowing even a bit of our situations in Europe, e.g. in Germany?

    What is your problem, Sir?

    Don’t you trust in the numbers provided by Johns Hopkins and Worldometers for SARS_CoV-2?

    Do you know anything concerning the flu numbers in Germany (I suppose that with ‘SARS-CoV’ you in fact meant the seasonal flu which has been in 2003 a totally different, much more dangerous agent)?

    How does your land do flu stats?

    Do they include pneumonia like in Canada:

    or do they not?

    For the actual season, we namely have in Germany for the moment
    – about 180,000 flu cases, and
    323 (!!!) flu deaths (the only exception in the last 30 years was 2017/18 with 25,000).

    323 deaths for 80,000,000 people, i.e. a bit more than 1,200 for the whole US, a bit more than 32,000 for the Globe !!!

    Where does your flu death stats come from?

    Why, do you think, do all hospital personal need (yes: NEED) FFP-2 masks for SARS-CoV-2 patients, but did never for the flu?

    Why, do you think, did a hospital manager in Germany try, with an incredible amount of energy, to obtain masks and protection clothes for his hospital’s personnel, because neither the central government in Berlin nor that of his local federal state were able to do quickly enough?

    Today evening I read from France, under many other articles of course:


    What do you really know about all that, Sir?


    Do you know, Dr Spencer, that since the beginning of the COVI-19 disease, over 50 of these people died because they were infected by patients due to lack of protecting masks and clothes?

    Do you, Sir, really recall that having ever happened with the seasonal flu? I don’t, though aged 70+.


    Eight million masks won’t be enough, so France ordered a BILLION in China.
    Do you, Sir, really recall that having ever happened with the seasonal flu? I don’t.


    Maybe you explain all these scientists whey they are all plain wrong concerning the hydroxychloroquine you so heavily promoted some days ago?

    Sorry Dr Spencer, for being here in your mind certainly too ‘offensive’.

    Regards from Germany
    J.-P. Dehottay

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      j – dehottay,,,”How can you write
      I just dont understand why SARS-CoV deaths are less important than SARS-CoV-2 deaths, despite killing far more people every day.
      without manifestly knowing even a bit of our situations in Europe, e.g. in Germany?
      What is your problem, Sir?
      Dont you trust in the numbers provided by Johns Hopkins and Worldometers for SARS_CoV-2?”


      J -P…I think you are caught up in the propaganda. 389 people have died in Germany. Remember that Germany has had a recent influx of migrants from Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean regions. With a population of 83 million, 389 deaths is insignificant.Certainly not an epidemic.

      I personally don’t trust anything out of John Hopkins or Worldometers because they are preaching the party line. With regard to viruses, the medical establishment is caught up in pseudo-science. They no longer identify a virus using the protocol established by the Louis Pasteur Institute, which requires that a virus be isolated, purified, and photographed with an electron microscope.

      Try to find one virus on Google or anywhere, that shows a virus photograph in black and white with a scale to mark its size. Since HIV, all viruses have been identified indirectly using RNA from infected people that is PRESUMED to be from a virus.

      Not scientific.

      Re Canada, where I live…what is your point about pneumonia? Your link reveals that over 8000 Canadians die of the flu/pneumonia each year. It’s not the virus that kills, it’s the side effects like pneumonia that kill. We currently have 60 deaths claimed to be from coronavirus out of a population of 36 million.

      • Bindidon says:


        You are – and keep – the duumbest liar on Roy Spencer’s blog.

        And you repeat always the same lies, even when you are corrected.
        This is really insane behavior.

        The best is simply to ignore what you write.

        J.-P. D.

        • Amazed says:

          Maybe you should take you own advice and ignore what he writes. Otherwise, people might think you are just another preachy alarmist hypocrite.

  26. J.-P. Dehottay says:

    Typo above:

    ” Do you know anything concerning the flu numbers in Germany (I suppose that with SARS-CoV you in fact meant the seasonal flu which has been in 2003 a totally different, much more dangerous agent)? ”

    should read

    ” Do you know anything concerning the flu numbers in Germany (I suppose that with SARS-CoV you in fact meant the corona virus which has been in 2003 a totally different, much more dangerous agent than the seasonal flu)? “

  27. Stuart Lynne says:

    It is probably safe to assume that prevention measures for COVID-19 will help overall with flu.

    It is probably also safe to assume that spending more money to attack the flu would save a lot of lives and in the long run make us much better prepared for the next variant of the Coronavirus.

    Most likely the number of flu deaths prevented would exceed the number from the next pandemic. 10’s or 100’s of thousands of death per year over multiple years adds up quickly.

    The conclusion is to attack the flu. Build systems to prevent it, treat it, vaccinate it, etc. Save millions of lives over any ten year period. And as a side effect be far better prepared for the next [pickyourvirushere] pandemic.

  28. Eliza says:

    Dr Spencer I think you are complete correct this is your normal flu virus which occUrs every year the internet has picked up and exagerrated and will probably destroy world economies. BuT humans are notoroursly stupid refer to Einstein. The data supports your contention BTW 170000 people die per day and its normal. This an internet virus.Is anybody recording NORMAL flu patients?

  29. Simon says:

    At the Whitehouse briefing today the female Dr (didn’t catch her name)said without mitigation US deaths would be 1.6 – 2.2 million. In the light of this I think this article which is seeking to minimise the impact of this virus is grossly irresponsible. You should be ashamed Dr Spencer.

  30. Matthew says:

    Interesting points but I do believe it is irresponsible when you have the ear of so many people to neglect the possible top end analysis. Most people realize the multmillion death scenario in the US was unlikely but current numbers show that, with no action, the order magnitude wasn’t too far off. You are an expert in data analysis so extrapolating the current exponential increase for a week or two and comparing that too your analysis as an added spike would be very instructive. On the global warming point, I think that figuring out how to lower carbon emissions without going back to the Stone age is possible so why not be cautious and plan for the worst case?

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      matthew…”I do believe it is irresponsible when you have the ear of so many people to neglect the possible top end analysis. Most people realize the multmillion death scenario in the US was unlikely but current numbers show that, with no action, the order magnitude wasnt too far off”.

      No proof, Matthew and worse still, no precedence. We have created a panic over bad advice from computer modellers.

  31. Amazed says:

    Dr Spencer is correct. The present hysteria achieves nothing. Influenza is a killer, and generally mutates enough year to year to make vaccination less than perfect.

    There is no treatment better than rest, hydration, and analgesia for painful symptoms. The idea is to maintain life until the person recovers, if possible.

    Anybody who thinks they may have had the flu is probably dreaming. Influenza is not just a bad cold, it is fatal for hundreds of thousands of people each year. Testing is pointless, as you either survive or die.

    Healthy eating, positive mental outlook, all the other woke nonsense won’t help. Take whatever precautions you feel useful, and hope for the best. Stay off the roads, and stay away from hospitals, if you don’t want to join the hundreds of thousands of people who die in the US each year from vehicle accidents and preventable medical mistakes in hospitals.

    Stay safe.

  32. Alberto Zaragoza Comendador says:

    Data like Euromomo cannot at the moment really guide any decision. Mortality data will take months to make sense. Euromomo simply reports whatever numbers the member countries send, and the problem in a situation in which mortality explodes is that even death registries or however you call them may no longer work properly.

    Of course, it may be that mortality only explodes in some regions or countries, but the problem remains: these regions or countries no longer send reliable data. The 7,000 coronavirus deaths that you mention may simply not have been recorded by Euromomo.

    This news report claimed that Covid-19 mortality in Spain has been greater than registered, based on the same data that gets fed to Euromomo:

    I don’t think the article’s point has been proved at all; as I said, proper mortality analysis will need months. But the article really buries the lede.

    Look at the charts. For Castilla y León, by March 24 (end of “week 12”, or close) mortality is returning to normal levels, from a very abnormal spike a few days earlier. This is absurd: Covid-19 deaths were still increasing after that day. Instead, what seems to have happened is that the region stopped properly recording deaths. The same goes for Castilla-La Mancha.

    But the real problem comes with Madrid. This region has 14% of the country’s population, so on a typical day it should see about 170 deaths. But it has suffered nearly half of the Covid-19 deaths so far in Spain. In fact, if “week 12” corresponds to March 18-24, then the region saw about as many deaths from Covid-19 as from all other causes combined!

    And yet from March 17 on it reports *lower* than normal mortality, which is absolutely impossible. The mortality data from that day on is useless. Just to be clear, this doesn’t mean there is any attempt by the authorities to cover up fatalities; it just means everybody is overwhelmed.

    I agree that shutting down everything is a caveman’s response. Ideally each country should have millions and millions of tests, so that pretty everybody can be tested, and re-tested if necessary (although a person who has developed antibodies in principle only needs to be tested once). Test kits cost something like $20 per unit, so acquiring billions of them is still much cheaper than shutting down the economy. But in order to know what to do, you need information. Countries without sufficient testing are flying blind, and so is anyone who relies on recent mortality data.

  33. Ken says:

    “Countries without sufficient testing are flying blind, and so is anyone who relies on recent mortality data.”

    This is key. S Korea and Taiwan ‘Hammered the Curve’ with aggressive testing. USA is ramping up with testing and so are some other countries but its not enough yet. No one knows how many people are mildly infected; if you’re not deathly ill you’d presume a run-of-mill cold or flu. There is no way to determine mortality rate without very comprehensive widespread testing.

    • Amazed says:

      Influenza is not run of the mill. It kills hundreds of thousand every year. If testing makes no difference to treatment, it is a waste of time. It makes no difference to what has killed you.

      Why ruin an economy just because you can? Collapse can occur swiftly. Recovery often takes decades.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      ken…”USA is ramping up with testing and so are some other countries but its not enough yet”.

      The tests are useless. They do not test for a virus, they test for antibodies or for RNA BELIEVED to be from a virus. Testing positive for coronavirus does not mean much more than you have an infection.

      Deaths should be the marker, especially deaths across all age ranges and all healthy conditions. As it stands, the majority of deaths involve the elderly who have underlying health conditions and younger people with underlying health conditions.

      Recently, a young man claimed to be seriously ill from coronavirus was revealed to be suffering from cancer. The cancer was completely overlooked. Anyone with cancer likely has a seriously compromised immune system due to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or the cancer itself.

      I mistrust many medical professionals due to their unwillingness to look beyond paradigms.

      • Norman says:

        Gordon Robertson

        There is someone I mistrust much more than any Doctor. It would be you and you constant incorrect ideas that you present as factual.

        Your false claims you studied University level physics. NOT! You could not have passed even the first class 101 with your horrible ideas. You intentionally distort and mislead people you hope are gullible enough to accept your phony physics. You use a few names to try an make your garbage physics seem valid.

        You can pretend on this blog. But you are a very dishonest person who deceives with intent. You are doing it again. Just a low dishonest human. Nothing will change you. You will lie the rest of your life. It is what you do. You like to mislead and distort truth to lead people astray.

        Gordon enough of your lies. They are endless. Doctors in the Hospitals are the ones who are complaining! They know cancer, they know flu but they are overwhelmed by this one. Why?

        Also you don’t even know how they test for the virus. You are almost a sick person with your dishonesty. Someday maybe you should work on learning the truth. Will it be today?

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          norman…I can take only so much of your utter stupidity. I am quoting reliable sources, not offering my own opinions. My sources and the related data speaks for itself. You have nothing to offer but hot air, ad homs, and insults.

          The world as we know it is changing dramatically, not because of a virus, but due to utter stupidity like yours related to panic and hysteria. People are far too willing to follow blind authority without having the slightest clue about the science.

          There is nothing out of the ordinary going on in North America. The US with a population of 350 millions has endured 2400 deaths. Canada, with a population of 36 million has endured 60 deaths. In my region of Canada, with about 4 million people, we’ve had 17 deaths, most of them occurring in rest homes for the elderly.

          Why don’t you go misinterpret more textbooks? It’s all you’re good for.

          • Norman says:

            Gordon Robertson

            Okay phony pretender. Whatever you want to make up and believe.

            You are quoting no one. You are just making up unsupported opinions.

            I offer much but you are too dishonest to accept anything except for the lies that fill your empty mind.

            Above you state this garbage: “I personally don’t trust anything out of John Hopkins or Worldometers because they are preaching the party line. With regard to viruses, the medical establishment is caught up in pseudo-science. They no longer identify a virus using the protocol established by the Louis Pasteur Institute, which requires that a virus be isolated, purified, and photographed with an electron microscope.”

            Right you are some type of Authority in this field and know so much more than the experts.

            Here is how the test works. It is fairly amazing technique. You are not able to process it so it has to be fake in your limited dishonest mind.


            Of course none of these people know what they are doing or talking about. But you know they are wrong. Based on what?
            What official opinion can you link to that states this gene technique is fake and does not work? Who is saying this.

            Make up more of your ideas and peddle them here on a blog.

            Maybe submit your stupid physics ideas about how IR is generated to a physics professor and see if he celebrates your genius insight. He would consider you a crackpot who makes up ideas on the fly and pretends to be an expert.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            norman…”Okay phony pretender. Whatever you want to make up and believe.

            You are quoting no one. You are just making up unsupported opinions”.


            You are simply too stupid to comprehend what I have written. I have quoted Luc Montagnier who discovered HIV and Peter Duesberg who won the California Scientist of the Year Award for his work on retroviruses. I quoted Kary Mullis, the founder of the PCR method for DNA amplification. All three have been correct in their assessment of HIV/AIDS and the data proves them correct.

            I have extrapolated their findings onto covid19 since the same viral loading pseudo-science has been used to identify it as HIV. Viral loading cannot produce a virus and no virus has been produced using the standard protocol for identifying a virus.

            Circa 1983, when Montagnier discovered the HIV virus using indirect means, he claimed at the time that he did not think HIV along could cause AIDS. It took him another 30 years to say why. He has now announced why, that the immune system has to be compromised first before HIV can act.

            Why should it be any different for any of the covid viruses, including SARS? Only 44 people died from SARS in Canada in 2003 and 43 were all in one location. With covid19, only 60 people have died in Canada, most of them with compromised immune systems.

          • Norman says:

            Gordon Robertson

            It seems you are prone to get suckered in by any Conspiracy out there. You do not consider evidence as a guiding light, you would rather find a handful of contrarians (who are most likely contrarians not to discover Truth but to gain some gain for their hungry egos…I doubt you consider this a possibility).

            The contrarians caused the death of many in South Africa because the leader believed their nonsense. Every contrarian that comes along does not mean they are correct but you blindly believe everyone.


            I guess you will never change. You are still most dishonest. You peddle the lie you took University Physics. You could not have passed any physics course (including High School) with the ideas you post on any science topic. You read goofy contrarian conspiracy garbage and that is the actual level of your real education.

            You can pretend you took College Physics. I took both High School and College Physics. Your ideas are so far off that no Instructor would pass you. You would have failed out.

            Pretend as much as you need to for your own ego. The truth is you could not have passed a University Physics class. I passed with a B (long ago) but I did take it and you could not have.

            I think Bindidon has you figured out. Not that you can or will change and become honest. I really don’t know what your agenda is, it is not the Truth. Maybe it is to spread your false religion of contrarian thought. You keep posting your phony ideas trying to convert some gullible people to your twisted thought process. Science without evidence, and believe any person who goes against established views. It is a religion with you.

            Also you never found any supporting evidence to support your claim the genetic test used to determine the virus is not valid. You will not answer it because you don’t have valid evidence and you are not interested in Truth or reality. You are seeking converts to the Contrarian Religion. If it is established or accepted reality then it is wrong, only opposing views are accepted by you and mainly when only a handful of contrarians support it can it be considered the official reality.

          • Rune Valaker says:

            Mr. Gordon Robertson, finally your many posts about climate here at Spencer’s blog became understandable.You are nailed.

  34. Gordon Robertson says:

    Roy….great article, well thought out.

    I read today that Anthony Faucci, the head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is claiming a possible 100,000 deaths in the US from covid. The current total of deaths in the US is about 2400.

    I have experienced Faucci before and I’d rather not offer my opinion on him, it’s that adverse. He completely screwed projections on the HIV pandemic that did not happen by making claims that paralleled his recent irresponsible 100,000 deaths.

    Faucci is no doubt using a computer model and in cases like this with covid, I think models should be banned. We should be observing local conditions, not projecting outcomes based on what is happening in Italy or in a model. Here in British Columbia, Canada we’ve had 17 deaths, out of a population of a bit over 5 million, the majority of them poor elderly souls living in rest homes.

    Economies are being screwed world-wide over this panic, which has not been based on the scientific method but on consensus and models. Where have we heard that before?

    There is no way to determine how many recent deaths are due to an infection and how many are due to serious underlying medical conditions. As far as I am concerned we don’t have an epidemic in Canada even though those medical professionals with epidemic-on-the-brain have been hoping for one. As of March 29th, 2020, there have been 63 deaths in Canada out of a population of 36 million.

    Even the death stats of 2400 in the US are listed as virus-related. If this virus could kill as claimed, everyone would be at risk, which is not the case.

    Several years ago, the scientist who discovered HIV, Dr. Luc Montagnier, revealed that HIV will not harm a healthy immune system. For nearly, 40 years, we were fed propaganda about HIV, that it could lie dormant in a person for 15 years then activate to destroy an immune system. Anthony Faucci helped spread that propaganda and many medical professionals today are still spreading those lies despite data that proves them liars.

  35. If memory serves me correctly, this apparent decline is overall deaths isn’t surprising and often happens. The dynamic runs a bit like this.

    In a crisis, hospitals typically cancel all elective surgeries broadly defined. Some deal with issues that are not remotely life-threatening such as cosmetic surgery. Other surgeries may be helpful but have no clear risk involved. The hernia surgery I had was like that. I could have done without it for years and maybe for life. And the final category are ills that are serious, but not immediately so. Some orthopedic surgeries are like that, as are some cancers.

    Here’s why those numbers die for the dying go down. Some of those surgeries would have resulted in deaths. Delay them and you delay those deaths. But the surgeries still happen, as will the deaths that occasionally result. Nothing has changed.

    And as you might guess, those in medicine aren’t happy when these incidents get attention. It looks like those seemingly elective surgeries are killing patients and should be done. That neglects the fact that people are willing to take a risk of dying to get rid of some aliment that bothers them even though it’s not fatal.

    –Michael W. Perry, medical writer

  36. Here’s the gold standard of predictions for coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths from the IHME at the University of Washington. It predicts 81,113 deaths between now and August 3. By that point it assumes the death toll will have dropped to about 10 day.

    It is possible that the virus could return in the late fall like many such viruses do. If that proves true, an estimate 0f 100,000 deaths is not unreasonable. And as the website notes those figures assume “strong distancing measures and other protective measures.”

    The green bar at the top is a pull-down menu that lets you look at the data by individual states.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      micahel…”…University of Washington. It predicts 81,113 deaths between now and August 3″.

      Gold standard? For what, speculation?

      The U of W is full of crap. They are using computer models in an irresponsible manner. Washington State has suffered 189 deaths and how those modellers have the nerve to predict 81,113 by August is not only a mystery it is scientific misconduct.

      The 189 cases have occurred during the peak of this infection. The deaths have not been categorized as to the underlying condition of the poor souls who succumbed.

      It is imperative that politicians stop taking advice from such sources and get our countries back to normal.

      • Stephen Paul Anderson says:

        It makes you wonder after all of this is over and analyzed how many deaths will be reclassified?

  37. Gordon Robertson says:

    Some interesting facts about deaths from covid although I have not checked the veracity of the claims. Someone of the page has provided links to the WHO to corroborate them.

    “One of the worst days so far for Coronavirus was the 10th of February. On that day, 108 persons in CHINA died of coronavirus.

    BUT, on that same day

    26,283 people died of Cancer

    24,641 died of Heart Disease

    4,300 people died of Diabetes

    and on that day, Suicide, unfortunately, took more lives than the virus did, by 28 times.

    Moreover, Mosquitoes kill 2,740 people every day, HUMANS kill 1,300 fellow humans every day, and Snakes kill 137 people every day.

    Take a deep breath, and wash your hands.”

    Even if some of the facts supplied are not accurate, it underlines the fact that we are blowing the number of deaths related to covid away out of proportion. We simply don’t know how many deaths were imminent due to serious underlying complications. Neither do we know why locations like Northern Italy have been much harder hit than other areas. We don’t even know if they are based on the same infection because the tests are far too generalized.

    • Simon says:

      Trumps team just said unless we do sit up and take notice and fight this thing, it could take 2.2 million US lives. Kind of puts your pathetic figures in proportion and given most of the things you listed are either self imposed or unavoidable it makes your comment even more worthless. Sorry but fools like you are making this worse not better.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        simon…”it makes your comment even more worthless. Sorry but fools like you are making this worse not better”.

        I am dealing with fact, Simon, while you offer nothing more than ad homs and insults. Who’s the fool?

        There is no precedent for this hysterical reaction. Do you have any facts to back your statements, about making things worse? Have you any explanation for why we have 17 dead out of a population of 5 million?

  38. Gordon Robertson says:

    ren…”In a 2004 study of the coronavirus that causes sars, a cousin of the one that causes covid-19, a team from Hong Kong found that a higher initial load of virus—measured in the nasopharynx…”

    You need to understand that a “load of viruses” does not mean what it says. They are referring to viral loading, a debunked theory which relies on converting RNA, BELIEVED to be from a virus, to DNA and amplifying it with the PCR method for DNA amplification.

    The viral loading theory has been debunked for several reason although it is still used to measure covid. One reason is the lack of a method to relate the RNA to a virus. A virus is claimed to be RNA with a protein wrapper but how does the RNA measured get out of the wrapper? The body is full of RNA related to each cell in the body. The RNA could simply be a marker for an infection agent.

    Another reason is that Kary Mullis, the scientist who invented PCR, pointed out the obvious. You are not amplifying a virus but genetic material believed to be from a virus. If the RNA is not from a virus, more of it tells you nothing.

    The damning question about viral loading is this: why do you need such a method to identify a virus if you can isolate the virus, purify it, and see it with an electron microscope? If you can do that, you have it’s RNA/DNA directly. What’s the problem?

    Perhaps the most damning evidence against viral loading is the collapse of the HIV-AID theory which depended on viral loading. It was effectively killed off by Dr. Luc Montagnier, who discovered HIV, when he revealed a few years ago that HIV is harmless to a healthy immune system. He now claims the immune system has to be damaged first before HIV can infect it. Peter Duesberg claimed that nearly 40 years ago and the medical establishment ruined his career.

    Despite that revelation, and the data which supports it, many medical professionals are still spreading propaganda about HIV based on the viral loading method. They are using the same debunked method now to spread propaganda about covid.

  39. Chic Bowdrie says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    You have been on this Wuhan flu like white on rice. You are looking at the data and offering great insights, not wild speculation. Keep up the good work.

    Thanks as always. God bless you and yours. Stay well.

    • Nate says:

      Fawning total lack of skepticism from our self-proclaimed resident skeptic…

      “Not wild speculation”

      Except for the article wildly speculating about the ‘correlation’ between malarial countries and lack of covid-19 cases.

      Except for this article speculating that ‘we will ultimately realize that our response might well have done more harm than good to society as a whole.’

  40. Gordon Robertson says:

    Roy…”Are we going to let the worlds governments shut down the economy and go on a money-printing spree every freaking time a new virus arises and a few experts shout Pandemic!? There needs to be some people willing to stand up and question extremely uncertain predictions and our public policy response to them”.

    Excellent point and my concern as well. We need immediate legislation to prevent any government from ever doing this again.

    There are other ways to respond to an epidemic, even though what we have in North America is by no means an epidemic. Rushing in a panic to put people out of work and shut down businesses is unacceptable.

  41. ren says:

    Healthcare professionals and other public services are most at risk of severe lung damage due to Covid-19 infection. Completely regardless of age.

  42. ren says:

    There is no point in discussions until you understand that this infection spreads more easily from person to person than influenza and how it affects health care.
    The Chinese cheated from the beginning. The number of deaths in Wuhan certainly exceeds 40,000. If we take into account the decrease in the number of mobile subscribers in Wuhan, the number of deaths may be even several times higher.

    • gbaikie says:

      I would not say the Chinese “cheated”.
      I would say Chinese have no incentive to tell the truth.
      And it would require resource of the government for Chinese government to “tell the truth”.
      And Chinese government does not ever make much effort to tell the truth about anything, and spends a vast amount of resources lying, and stealing.
      The Chinese government probably has largest and most inefficient global spy network in the world. Far larger than Soviets manage to do at their peak and far less efficient than the stupid Soviets.

      Of course everyone knows about the Chinese domestic spying which also more inefficient than Soviet, Cuban, and US. But in terms of sheer number, no one comes close in terms of global or domestic spying. And just the flaying around related to spying {opposed to mere theft or effective “spy work”} probably has damage {monetary
      and other damage} amounting trillions of dollars per year. Or everyone on the planet is losing far more than $100 per year from Chinese just trying to spy {and not really being “successful” other leaving a wake of damages from numerous ways of interfering}.

      Only thing you can say about US spying is it is probably more efficient and seems to me, it probably to causes less damage to ever soul on the planet.

      • gbaikie says:

        And Chinese are using human body parts {from wrongful imprisoned people [citizens of China]}. And they doing Nazi concentration camps. And their one child policy {though applauded by many} is very evil.
        Or they doing the best in terms of being an evil empire and if not first place, they working very hard to be number one {in terms any where and any time in world history}. I think they are even proud of doing this.

  43. Gordon Robertson says:

    More bs from Anthony Fauci…

    “In response to a question at the briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reiterated his estimate from earlier in the day that it remained possible that 100,000 to 200,000 people could die in the United States. “What were trying to do is not let that happen,” he said, calling the extension of social-distancing guidelines “a wise and prudent decision.” Over 2,300 people with the virus already have died in the U.S.

    “Models are good, but models often generate the kind of anxious question you asked,” Fauci said, when a reporter asked how bad the situation could become. “A model is as good as the assumptions you put into the model, and very often, many of these assumptions are based on a complexity of issues that aren’t necessarily the same… from one country to another.””


    When are we going to remove modellers from important decisions and get back to real science? Modellers have ruined climate science now they are going to ruin the global economy.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      One good thing may come of this. When the public sees that unvalidated models are useless toys in real science their protests may put an end to this pseudo-science once and for all.

      Fauci is already making excuses in case he is dead wrong…again. He and his modeller friends in the World Health Organization proclaimed an HIV/AIDS epidemic that did not happen. According to them, HIV would have spread to the heterosexual community by now and we’d all be dropping like fleas.

      • Norman says:

        Gordon Robertson

        Contrarian that you are (probably how your brain is wired or some experience you had…most likely real science was too hard for you to learn and you found the contrarian path easier to understand so adopted it as reality and it rose your ego from a humbled ignorant to the Master of Reality, rising like Mt. Everest among the lesser scientists who did hard work and earned the knowledge with considerable effort).

        You are the Contrarian on HIV/AIDS because a couple scientists said it was so.

        Here is a complete and total refute of the contrarian belief. All your points have been rejected with evidence and hard work. Contrarian path is the path of lazy people who do not want to put out the effort to learn the correct science.

      • nurse ratchet says:

        My apologies to everyone here.
        Gordon has again escaped from his room and is not taking his medications.

      • Nate says:

        “HIV/AIDS epidemic that did not happen.”

        Riight, Gordon, ever heard of cause and effect?

        What caused the dramatic drop in AIDS deaths in mid 1990s? Someone should investigate.

  44. ren says:

    It is still snowing in northern Spain.
    This is the temperature that promotes viral infections.

  45. ren says:

    Very high levels of galactic rays are correlated with weather and pandemics. That’s my opinion.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      ren…”Very high levels of galactic rays are correlated with weather and pandemics. Thats my opinion”.

      Makes more sense than the current opinion that covid is causing the problem. What kind of virus selects people randomly around the world and focuses on small areas like the Milan area of Italy?

      The theory that the virus has been spread by Chinese travellers from Wuhan province makes no sense when you consider there are over a million Chinese in the Vancouver, BC area who have been travelling between China and Vancouver regularly since the infection began.

      Furthermore, covid19 has still not been isolated ,purified, or photographed on an electron microscope.

      Personally, I think we are dealing with a contagious form of the flu. Leave it alone, focus on hot spots, and stop the hysteria. The likelihood that it will pass is very high considering the history of the flu.

      Meantime, let the world get back to business as usual.

      • ren says:

        I’m sorry, but this is how nature works, and man has no influence on it. One outbreak of the virus will be extinguished, and new mutations will appear in other areas of the world.

      • gbaikie says:

        “Makes more sense than the current opinion that covid is causing the problem. What kind of virus selects people randomly around the world and focuses on small areas like the Milan area of Italy?”

        There could a number of reasons.
        Some of what I have heard:
        This region typically has high death rate and hospital getting overloaded, in the Flu season.
        Or one could say the health system in this region is not capable of handing a “normal flu” season.

        It’s also region with a large number Chinese who working in Italy’s fashion industry and Italy was too slow cutting off air travel from a region which having what everyone knew probably was going to cause a pandemic. Or two centuries ago, people would known enough to stop air travel from China {they wouldn’t known what air travel was, but assume you explain what is was and they believed that air travel could exist}.

        The region was as cold {even cooler} than Wuhan- and at certain temperature, it seems possible that this has something to do with rate of spread and/or intensity of inflection.

        Italians kissing each other on the cheek as a greeting.

        Not that I have heard it, but I believe the region has high population density. And has poor air quality, like Wuhan {but not as bad}.

  46. ren says:

    Joe Diffie Releases Statement
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – GRAMMY®-winning country music legend Joe Diffie has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and has released the following statement:

    “I am under the care of medical professionals and currently receiving treatment. My family and I are asking for privacy at this time. We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic.”
    –Joe Diffie

  47. MikeA says:

    Sweden will provide an interesting set of numbers. They are carrying on almost as normal. Figures will need some detailed analysis of course, since Sweden’s population is comparitively small and I’m not sure how the popuation density in their cities compares to other places.

    • Nate says:

      Interesting. They already have as many cases/million people as the US, and more deaths/million.

    • Bindidon says:


      ” They are carrying on almost as normal. ”

      Yes, but two other Scandies do even better:

      29.03.20 Cas | New | Dths | New | % Dths/Cs | Dths/M

      Norway | 4284 | 269 | 26 | 3 | 0.61 | 5
      Finland | 1240 | 73 | 11 | 2 | 0.89 | 2
      Sweden | 3700 | 253 | 110 | 5 | 2.97 | 11
      Denmark | 2395 | 194 | 72 | 7 | 3.01 | 12

      The sort is by % deaths / cases.

      Sweden has the highest death toll among them (but it is negligible compared with Germany, France, Spain, Italy).

      J.-P. D.

      • Rune Valaker says:

        Sweden does not operate as normal, neither does Denmark or Norway. What we are experiencing now is how it fares with a nation with first world universities, first world manufacturing industry and a third world health systems and a third world president.

  48. Leitwolf says:

    What is odd about this “totally new virus”, is that a good share of people seem to be immune against it. This is not about age and mortality risk. Sure, if the infection hits hard, then fitness will be a key factor in the outcome. But this fitness can not explain, why people do not get sick in the first place.

    Immune systems differ significantly from person to person. I know that, because I suffer from an immune disorder (total lack of mannan binding lectin) which makes me much more susceptible to a number of infections, many of which would not even be considered a danger to humans (like systemic fungal infections). On the other side, at least in theory, I should be naturally immune against leprosy or tuberculosis..

    So actually it is less a genetic disorder, but rather a mutation to secure the survival of the species. With immune systems being so diverse, it will be hard for any “bug” to kill them all.

    Having said this, it could well be true this diversity is the simple reason why Sars-2 makes some seriously sick and hardly bothers others. If that was so, it would be very helpful to identify those risk factors because it could also provide a plan for more effective treatment.

    However, there is even a more likely, alternative explanation. People may have been infected with other corona viruses in the past, similar enough to Sars-2, to provide them with immunity over the adaptive immune system. In this case there was actually a vaccine freely circulating.

  49. Snape says:

    There have likely been fewer traffic fatalities because of fewer people driving.

    Just a 10% reduction in car accidents would have saved about 33, 000 lives since the start of the year, completely offsetting the number of lives taken so far by COVID-19.

  50. John says:

    I don’t know about the rest of the world but here in the U.K. a death certificate has to show a cause, old age is not a valid reason. Therefore, if a patient shows being CoViD19 positive then that will be put on the death certificate, e.g community acquired pneumonia secondary to CoViD19. I have heard of a patient being on end of life from January, who subsequently died in March, with the cause of death being CoViD19.
    Unless everyone is tested you cannot obtain morbidity data, hence mortality rate cannot be obtained either. Here in the U.K. only those presenting to the ED with respiratory problems or pyrexia are tested.

  51. zack says:

    Dr. Spencer. Thanks for doing the math. Has a correlation in patients pre-exposed to malaria been established? Some kind of positive side-effect, an inoculation against covid? Do we take the wrong lesson from Singapore’s Public Health response and outcomes? Seems likely most of their older population was malaria exposed as youth.

    Though worth noting that that WA and SF adopted policies earlier and both have not accelerated up the case curve as dramatically as NYC has and LA is beginning to.

    But is focusing on the death rate a bit of straw man? Covid becomes the substitute on the death certificate. Doesn’t really generate more of them. Just replaces not only flu but heart, lung and cancer disease stats as cause of death.

    The debate is more about how to keep the economy going while avoiding or reducing the (too many) numbers of patients needing to spend two weeks sedated/restrained and on ventilators simultaneously.

    Otherwise beauracrats and doctors will have to choose whether it’s 57 year old Sally with diabetes, Tim, 63 with two stents or healthy 82 year grandma that gets palliative care only.

    That there’s still no TP on the shelf seems the perfect metaphor. Unforseeable demand spike on a system designed to produce a time stabilized steady supply.

    • Nate says:

      ‘Just replaces not only flu but heart, lung and cancer disease stats as cause of death.’

      Replaces, but 10, 20, 30 y early, perhaps.

      Just like 150 y ago when infectious diseases lowered life expectancy to 45.

  52. Oliver King says:

    Dr Spencer, a very interesting article. I wanted to ask a question about modelling which has been alluded to in a couple of the comments.

    Here in the UK the government has been making policy based on the Imperial College model of Prof. Niall Ferguson. He originally predicted 200,000 UK deaths, then 20,000 and as of yesterday circa 6000. He’s now confident the UK NHS can cope with the expected number of cases and he’s seeing a slowing of the rate of increase.

    The Sunday papers in the UK also carried articles criticising his work on the bovine foot and mouth outbreak of 2001, which led to the slaughter of 6m cattle, quoting scientific papers saying his models made a number a false assumptions.

    So what is the future for modelling? If Ferguson is wrong (Which I’m sure we hope he is) and the deaths are far lower than predicted, and the public realise models have failed, what will be the impact on the climate alarmist movement when the public realise the ‘climate emergency’ Is based purely on modelling?

    • Bindidon says:

      Oliver King

      If models aren’t trustworthy enough, why don’t you look at the data:

      Here is a little compilation for GM/US/FR/SP/IT (UK didn’t interest me), from March 23 till 29:

      23.03.20 | Cases | Deaths | % Dths/Cs

      Germany | 29056 | 123 | 0.42
      USA | 43734 | 553 | 1.26
      France | 19856 | 860 | 4.33
      Spain | 35136 | 2311 | 6.58
      Italy | 63927 | 6077 | 9.51

      24.03.20 | Cases | Deaths | % Dths/Cs

      Germany | 32991 | 159 | 0.48
      USA | 54881 | 780 | 1.42
      France | 22304 | 1100 | 4.93
      Spain | 42058 | 2991 | 7.11
      Italy | 69176 | 6820 | 9.86

      25.03.20 | Cases | Deaths | % Dths/Cs

      Germany | 37323 | 206 | 0.55
      USA | 68211 | 1027 | 1.51
      France | 25233 | 1331 | 5.27
      Spain | 49515 | 3647 | 7.37
      Italy | 74386 | 7503 | 10.09

      26.03.20 | Cases | Deaths | % Dths/Cs

      Germany | 43938 | 267 | 0.61
      USA | 85435 | 1295 | 1.52
      France | 29155 | 1696 | 5.82
      Spain | 57786 | 4365 | 7.55
      Italy | 80589 | 8215 | 10.19

      27.03.20 | Cases | Deaths | % Dths/Cs

      Germany | 50871 | 351 | 0.69
      USA | 104126 | 1696 | 1.63
      France | 32964 | 1995 | 6.05
      Spain | 65719 | 5138 | 7.82
      Italy | 86498 | 9134 | 10.56

      28.03.20 | Cases | Deaths | % Dths/Cs

      Germany | 57695 | 433 | 0.75
      USA | 123578 | 2221 | 1.80
      France | 37575 | 2314 | 6.16
      Spain | 73235 | 5982 | 8.17
      Italy | 92472 | 10023 | 10.84

      29.03.20 | Cases | Deaths | Dths/Cs

      Germany | 62435 | 541 | 0.87
      USA | 142460 | 2484 | 1.74
      France | 40174 | 2606 | 6.49
      Spain | 80110 | 6803 | 8.49
      Italy | 97689 | 10779 | 11.03

      Your UK corner IMHO is a rather special case, due to both the Channel and… Brexit.

      J.-P. D.

      • Bindidon says:

        A paragraph was missing.

        The accuracy of models often enough depends on how much real data their predictions are based on.

    • gbaikie says:

      “So what is the future for modelling? If Ferguson is wrong (Which I’m sure we hope he is) and the deaths are far lower than predicted, and the public realise models have failed, what will be the impact on the climate alarmist movement when the public realise the ‘climate emergency’ Is based purely on modelling?”

      Well, everyone knows modeling has always been wrong.
      Even IPCC says modeling is wrong. It’s “projections”.
      And projections {every meaning/definition of projection} is
      about one’s bias {mostly}.
      One could say a model usefulness is requiring person(s) to “state” their bias.
      So IPCC get different groups to state their bias {and exclude the unworthy from stating their bias].
      And they are all wrong.
      But generally speaking, anyone is usually wrong about predicting the future.

      One can make an argument that predicting the future could cause the future to change. But I would guess that Mother Nature does not listen to predictions.

  53. JG says:

    MoMo report of Spain of March 29.
    The excess of deaths over those predicted in the period 20 to 27 March represents the regional distribution and the male-female ratio quite well. But the amount of the excess (2370) is much less than that of deaths from coronaviruses reported in that period (4025)

  54. Jaime says:

    But the key point here is that we don’t know the mortality yet.
    And it can be really high from what we see.

    In Spain hospitals are collapsed, and a horrible number of people are dying, much much worse than in any flu season. By far.

    You will see that in a few weeks in the US, I’m afraid.

    • Bindidon says:


      If you look at Worldometers’ COVID-19 info, you see for all countries affected (the whole Globe inbetween) the number of cases and the number of deaths.

      Of the two you can build the ratio percentage.
      Spain: currently about 8.5 % (compared with the flu: 0.2 %).

      J.-P. D.

  55. ren says:

    People with hypertension have a worse course of Covid-19. Ask your doctor.

  56. It is very wrong to analyze the seriousness of this pandemic by looking at how many people have died so far.

    The problem is that this is only the beginning!

    More than 50 percent of the worlds population will get infected if we just let it run it’s course. Millions will die unless we take measures to stop it.

    This is not panic, it is pure logic when we know that the infectious rate, R0, is at least 2.0.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      jan…”It is very wrong to analyze the seriousness of this pandemic by looking at how many people have died so far.

      The problem is that this is only the beginning!

      More than 50 percent of the worlds population will get infected if we just let it run it’s course”.


      Evidence????? Is there a precedent upon which you can call?

      • The reported basic reproduction number “R0” is probably above 2.0. That means that it will continue to spread to at least 50% of the population, unless we take some actions to stop it.

        As I see it, we can describe the situation with an analogue to a warned tsunami.

        You may believe in the warning, and take some steps to mitigate the impact, or you may not believe in it and live on as before.

        I can accept that.

        But to argue that you do not believe the tsunami is coming because you see so few drowned people around, is just bad logic.

  57. Ken says:

    Stock market crashed because Saudi Arabia and Russia are having an oil price war.

  58. O2bnaz2 says:

    Youre confusing metrics Nate. The .1% mortality is based on an estimated infection rate. The 3% mortality rate in Korea is based on confirmed cases through testing. If you calculate the flu rate based on confirmed cases it is nearer 4.5% mortality.

    • Nate says:

      Can you show a link?

    • Nate says:

      You are correct that the .1% for flu estimates the total number who are symptomatic. Those who get tested are self selected.

      But thats why I chose s korea as a high testing country. They tested early and often, ~400,000, trying to catch anyone with symptoms and exposed. It worked. Therefor they likely discovered most of those who got sick plus contacts.

      Of those who tested positive and it ran its course 3 % died and 97% recovered.


  59. Gordon Robertson says:

    norman…”It seems you are prone to get suckered in by any Conspiracy out there. You do not consider evidence as a guiding light…”

    I gave you the evidence:

    death rate related to covid:

    Canada (36 million)…60 deaths
    British Columbia (5 million)…17 deaths
    United States (350 million (now 3000 deaths)

    If you call that an epidemic you are the conspiracy advocate.

  60. ren says:

    Note the development of the Spanish epidemic over time.

    In the United States, the disease was first observed in Haskell County, Kansas, in January 1918, prompting local doctor Loring Miner to warn the US Public Health Services academic journal. On 4 March 1918, company cook Albert Gitchell, from Haskell County, reported sick at Fort Riley, a US military facility that at the time was training American troops during World War I, making him the first recorded victim of the flu. Within days, 522 men at the camp had reported sick. By 11 March 1918, the virus had reached Queens, New York. Failure to take preventive measures in March/April was later criticised.

    In August 1918, a more virulent strain appeared simultaneously in Brest, France; in Freetown, Sierra Leone; and in the U.S. in Boston, Massachusetts. The Spanish flu also spread through Ireland, carried there by returning Irish soldiers.[citation needed] The Allies of World War I came to call it the Spanish flu, primarily because the pandemic received greater press attention after it moved from France to Spain in November 1918. Spain was not involved in the war and had not imposed wartime censorship.

  61. ren says:

    Rapid tests for the detection of antibodies should be developed to detect people who have immunity. These people can help a lot in the long run.

  62. gallopingcamel says:

    In the recent past only the 2009 H1N1 pandemic is comparable with the COVID-19 outbreak in the USA. Here is a report that tries to make sense of the confusing data about H1N1. Even with modern computers we are not good at counting such things accurately:

    The 2009 H1N1 pandemic started with 2 cases on April 11, 2009 rising to 3 million cases 16 weeks later and 60 million a year later. As of Friday, March 27 (Week 10 by my reckoning) there were 114,254 COVID-19 cases compared to 10,319 cases of H1N1 in the same week. This in spite of travel bans, social distancing etc. suggesting that COVID-19 is more infectious than the 2009 H1N1.

    The infection rate is important but the death rate is more important. H1N1 killed 12,470 out of 60,714,887 people infected for a rate of 0.02%. With a death rate like that, little government action was necessary and therefore no harm was done to the economy. The stock market ignored the 2009 pandemic.

    In reality the 2009 death rate was even lower since people like me contracted the disease and self medicated at home. My cure was Theraflu and hot toddies. While this may be worse than useless as a treatment I did not show up in the statistics. There is no way to know how many people acted as I did. My wild guess is that the true death rate was under 0.01%.

    This time it will be different. If I get COVID-19 my doctor will hear from me very early…… case will be counted.

    Assuming Dr. Faucci is right about COVID-19 peaking around April 14 we are still on track to exceed H1N1’s 60 million cases by January 21, 2021.

    If the death rate from COVID-19 remains at ~1.5% as it appears to be in the USA right now there would be 900,000 deaths…..even more than the 675,000 estimate for the 1918/1919 H1N1 pandemic.

    We need to slow down the rate of infection to buy time for effective therapies to be developed. We can’t wait a year for a vaccine of unknown efficacy.

    Socialists see government as the solution to all problems. Thank God that Donald Trump is our president and he understands the power of public/private partnerships. You can be sure this approach will reduce the death toll dramatically. Let us pray for at least a factor of 10 reduction.

    • Nate says:

      Up to the last paragraph, nice analysis GC.

      • Bindidon says:


        I had exactly the same reaction.

        Camel’s comment above is very good, especially when compared with the desperate stuff he wrote these days.

        But the last paragraph is really below least level.

        Never did Trump ‘understand the power of public/private partnerships’ !

        The contrary was the case: he had to threaten severe penalties for private companies like GM if they were unwilling to work with public institutions.

        In that, he has been a surprisingly good ‘socialist’ (quotes needed).

        I would rather say ‘Thank God that Donald Trump began to hear to what the people around him said.’

        J.-P. D.

        • gallopingcamel says:

          You seem to have lightened up so I will stop making harsh comments about your veracity.

          Let’s agree that COVID-19 is a serious problem that demands the best ideas from all our legislators regardless of party. Republicans and Democrats must put the interests of ordinary Americans first.

      • gallopingcamel says:

        A kind word is always appreciated.

        While on this blog I try to avoid being political. Please accept my apologies if that last paragraph upset you. I should not have mentioned Donald Trump since so many other people say that he is the “Best President Ever”.

        • Nate says:

          Youre welcome GC. Ill just say that DT can take credit for positive steps that gov. has taken, like FDA quickly approving new tests, and keeping Anthony Fauci, but he should also take responsibility for failures.

          • gallopingcamel says:

            Trump is a great cheerleader for the USA. He is selling the idea that the USA has the best doctors in the world so we should be able to lead the world to solve the COVID-19 pandemic.

            While the USA has many wonderful doctors it does not lead the world in “Public Health” as is obvious to anyone who looks at US life expectancy versus other countries. Currently life expectancy is decreasing in the USA while many other countries are improving.

            We should all support our medical leaders. They are working their butts off. My heart goes out to Dr. Birx who looks exhausted. That said, other countries have handled the COVID-19 pandemic better than we have and they have better spokesmen (sorry, I can’t bring myself to call them “spokespeople” as our PC police demand). Here is the best explanation I have found for what the COVID-19 pandemic is and how to combat it:

            Kim Woo-Ju explains what South Korea did to control the pandemic but he warns us that a second or even a third wave is likely.

            South Korea reported its first two COVID-19 cases in the same week that the USA had its first two cases. This was the week ending Friday, January 24 which I call “Week 1”.

            By “Week 7” (March 6) the USA had 369 cases compared to South Korea’s 6,593. At that date both countries were following an exponential curve but at different rates of increase.

            In “Week 8” (March 13) South Korea “Peaked” by which I mean that the new cases (1,386) were fewer than the previous week (4,256).

            In the USA we only had 2,683 cases in week 8 (compared to 7,979 in South Korea) but the USA remained on an exponential growth curve for another three weeks with the result that we overtook South Korea and most other countries:

            April 2, 2020:
            USA cases = 244,994
            South Korea cases = 9,976

            According to Dr. Birx the US peak will occur around April 12 and that implies a death toll in the 100,000 to 200,000 range. She said that the death toll would have been ten times higher but for the stringent measures that are shutting down the US economy. While I love this lady that is total BS and I look forward to explaining why.

            When “Doomsayers” are right they say “I told you so” and when they are wrong they say “it would have been much worse if I had not warned you”. This is “Post Modern Science” where opinions and beliefs matter more than facts or evidence. We deserve better!

            Spoiler alert….South Korea and Sweden followed different public policies yet did better in terms of controlling the pandemic and maintaining their economies.

          • Nate says:

            “is BS and I look forward to explaining why.” I look forward as well.

            The modeling she quotes sounds entirely plausible based on available data.

        • Nate says:

          “South Korea and Sweden”

          Uhhh..S. Korea peaked and has 3 deaths/Million people.

          Sweden has yet to peak and so far 33 deaths/Million.

  63. ren says:

    Source: Pulse of Medicine

    SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus not only affects the respiratory system. “People who have cardiovascular disease such as hypertension, myocardial infarction or diabetes are more likely to die from coronavirus infection than those who are not burdened with these diseases. Observations also indicate that the virus can irreversibly damage the heart in previously healthy people “- says prof. dr. n. med. Adam Witkowski, head of the Cardiology and Intervention Angiology Clinic of the National Institute of Cardiology in Warsaw, president of the Polish Society of Cardiology.

  64. ren says:

    The most obvious is the correlation with high levels of galactic radiation and low solar activity. They affect large temperature jumps and the increase of troposphere ozone. Also, an increase in UV radiation at the surface weakens immunity. The increase in ionizing radiation at the surface lowers people’s immunity around the world.

  65. ren says:

    Brazil may become a new great epidemic focus Covid-19.

  66. Peter Tari says:

    Dear Dr. Spencer, thank you for introducing us Euro MOMO project. The most interesting thing about this project is the graph you posted (Weekly Mortality in the EU). It is interesting because that graph depicts the mortality caused by COVID-19 AND also mortality caused by climate change at the same time. Its a pity that you addressed just the first. You are right that that graph shows no sign of increased COVID-19 mortality for the time being. On the other hand, it is clear, that climate change cause tens of thousands premature deaths yearly. According to that graph, mortality depends of the number of the week, while it is low between weeks 20 to 40, it is high between weeks 45 to 15. Why is mortality higher during the cold part of the year? Maybe cold kills? As global warming cause milder winters but not warmer summers, I hope that the high winter mortality will be decreasing.

  67. C.Goatcher says:

    Status of COVID-19

    As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in the UK.

    The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which continues to increase.

    The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) is also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID.

  68. ren says:

    We should observe an increase in all deaths in individual countries if such statistics are public.

  69. ren says:

    “Things seemed more ominous by early July. On July 9, The Seattle Times reported that the influenza in Spain had “spread over other parts of Europe” (“A Puzzling Epidemic”). On July 28 the newspaper noted that Camp Lewis had 327 cases of flu, but a week later the number had fallen to below 100. As late as mid-August there were reassuring reports that the count of flu cases at the army base continued to decrease, and no indication of any special concern. Even into September, the general mood was one of confidence. An optimistic commentator enthused, “It is a marvel, due to the perfection of our medical science, that there has been no widespread epidemic this summer of a more serious character than ‘flu,’ as the Spanish influenza and other allied fevers are called” (“Heavy Rain and Mud … “).”

  70. Adelaida says:


    Some translated extracts:

    “Undoubtedly a virus that mutates a lot could give problems,” says Jos Antonio Lpez. “But this does not appear to be the case for SARS-CoV-2, because it is quite stable.” In addition, as he explains, not only are there dozens of vaccine candidates (41 of them are being worked on), but they are also seeking to design them to recognize various “targets” of the viruses and to generate a prolonged immune response. Ignacio Lpez-Goi emphasizes that this coronavirus is less variable than the influenza virus, “a champion of variability” for which new vaccines are developed each season.

    Holmes and Zhang recall that this virus has an enzyme capable of correcting errors, thus compensating for its natural tendency to negligently copy genetic material. Therefore, there is no evidence that the virus can undergo “radical changes, such as its transmissibility or virulence, since these rarely change on the scale of a single epidemic,” they write in an article published in “Cell.”

    Trevor Bredford, an epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Research Center and a professor at the University of Washington (USA), agrees in this regard. “My prediction is that we should see occasional mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 protein S (crucial for its ability to infect) that allow it to partially escape vaccines or group immunity, but this is a process that will surely take years and not months, as he wrote on Twitter.

  71. Adelaida says:

    More from the same los link:

    “In this record pandemic, the scientific response has also been record. Just a few days after the epidemic was detected, scientists accomplished one of the most important things in responding to these situations: taking the “robot portrait” of the enemy. On January 5, thanks to the most advanced sequencing techniques,
    Chinese scientists obtained the complete genome of the virus. This allowed us to find out who he was and where he came from, which is key to understanding how it is transmitted or how it infects and to design new treatments and vaccines.
    In fact, just two months after obtaining their sequence, vaccine candidates, such as that of the company Moderna, are already being tested in volunteer patients.
    The accumulation of mutations detected implies, according to what Edward C. Holmes and Yong-Zhen Zhang write in their article “Cell”, “more than 20 years of sequence evolution”. That is, the virus did not suddenly mutate, but the current pandemic was brewing for decades in various animals without being detected. Another possibility that cannot be ruled out is that the virus evolved to its current version, transmitted for years between people, without being detected until December 2019, according to Holmes and Zhang.”

    • ren says:

      Adelaida in my opinion, mutations can occur in large cities, such as New York or Sao Paulo. We’ll find out in the autumn. You have to be vigilant.

  72. ren says:

    “This virus communicates like nothing else that we have seen,” Cuomo told MSNBC late Monday. “This is like a fire through dry grass with a strong wind behind it. New York is just the test case for this. We’re the canary in the coal mine. There’s nothing unique about New Yorkers’ immune system. There is no American who is immune from the virus.”

  73. Adelaida says:

    On March 17 in Spain there were 12,000 confirmed affected and 500 deaths
    13 days later, we are in 95,000 confirmed affected and more than 7,000 dead.

    Coronavirus: 7000 deaths in approximately 47 million inhabitants, in less than 1 month.

    The flu campaign that begins every year in October and ends in April of the following year (7 months of campaign) left, as an example in
    2017-2018, 15,000 deaths.

    Seasonal flu, year 2017-2018 in a population of 47 million inhabitants aprix.
    15,000 dead in 7 months.

    I believe there is no need to say anything more….

    • ren says:

      The storm will pass through all of Europe. The next week, the temperature in Poland will rise very much and the virus will hit with great power.
      It will be similar in northern US.

    • Bindidon says:


      ” I believe there is no need to say anything more. ”

      There is well need to, Adelaida.

      1. Flu stats mostly show severe biases due to the fact that in many countries, many pneumonia cases and fatalities are attributed to the flu.

      In countries like Canada, both flu and pneumonia are put in the same bag (row 6):

      2. Moreover, another bias may arise when you take for comparison a year where flu fatalities reached an unprecedented maximum.

      A typical example is the 2017/18 flu season in Germany, with the highest fatality level since 30 years: over 21,000 deaths! I remember to have been heavily attacked by the flu at that time.

      For comparison, the 2019/20 flu season in Germany shows a total death toll of a bit more than 300 for about 160,000 cases, and thus the season probably will end with a death toll around 500 for 200,000 cases!

      3. What to my great surprise nobody tells about is the fact that in Europe and in the US so many medical staffs claim about patients dying so much quicker than with the flu.

      In Italy, Spain, France but ALSO in the rich Germany, all hospitals claim about never having needed so many and heavy protection masks and clothes.

      Everywhere hospitals are currently missing these masks and clothes, but I never heard in any flu season of that having ever been a problem. Never!

      4. If you look at the Worldometers stats, there is a corner showing the mortality rate for different coronas compared with the flu:

      You see there:

      – seasonal flu in the US: less than 0.1 %
      – SARS-COV-2 (former 2019-nCOV): 2 %
      – SARS (2003): 9.6 %
      – MERS (2009): 34 %

      And I add the 2019/20 flu rate for Germany: 0.25 %

      The current death toll rate in Germany for SARS-COV-2 is very low, around 1 %; that for the US is 2 %, i.e. the same as the current very careful worldwide estimation (the rough estimate is 5 %).

      For France: 7 %, Spain: 9 %, Italy: 11 %.

      All well increasing, nowhere is a final peak visible in the data.

      Thus yes: the corona virus is by far more a killer than the seasonal flu.

      But due to his slow killing, it is even more dangerous than SARS-COV-1 and MERS, which killed most people long before they could transmit them to others.

      Let the ‘skeptic’s doubt! That is all they are able to.

      ¡Hasta la próxima!
      J.-P. D.

  74. Adelaida says:


    The article explains very well how mutations occur. If you copy the link and paste it into Google. Google itself translates it into your language .

    Dużo zachęty !! 😉

  75. Bindidon says:

    I just picked this up while looking for news in the conservative French newspaper ‘Le Figaro’:

    Pour les anglo-saxons:

    Wow! I pity them!

    J.-P. D.

  76. Rune Valaker says:

    Dr. Spencer, this was a lousy blog post. You haven’t even realized that the data you present is several weeks old and that the past week’s data shatter any idea that corona is just a regular flu. You are obviously not competent in epidemics, but I thought You had some bearing on numerical processing, statistic and common sense. What you have presented is not even at the elementary school level, scientists should not weaken science with such nonsense.

  77. Norman says:


  78. Adelaida says:

    Very good enlargement about coronavirus and flu.

    More about pangolin:

    But make attention wlth:

    “The accumulation of mutations detected implies, according to what Edward C. Holmes and Yong-Zhen Zhang write in their article Cell, more than 20 years of sequence evolution. That is, the virus did not suddenly mutate, but the current pandemic was brewing for decades in various animals without being detected. Another possibility that cannot be ruled out is that the virus evolved to its current version, transmitted for years between people, without being detected until December 2019, according to Holmes and Zhang.

  79. Bindidon says:

    I read a translation of a Science magazine article in the French newspaper ‘Le Monde’

    and found it interesting:

    We should not confound China’s political system and Chinese persons, even if they are at some very high place in the country’s societal hierarchy.

    J.-P. D.

  80. Snape says:

    The numbers from the USA, March 31, were astonishing:

    24,742 new cases
    912 new deaths


  81. ren says:

    Bad weather forecast for New Jersey and New York.

  82. gallopingcamel says:

    Five years ago UNC (Chapel Hill) was working on corona virus samples from Chinese bats. The research team included two researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology who probably took live virus samples back to their lab.

    The author list is: UNC (Chapel Hill) = 10, WIV (Wuhan, China) = 2,
    USFDA = 1, Harvard = 1, SIM (Zurich, Switzerland) = 1

    The researchers were working to combat corona viruses:

    It is entirely possible that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted from the co-authors from Wuhan taking samples of the virus back to China and then failing to take proper precautions. If this turns out to be true both China and the USA contributed to what is now admitted to be a global calamity. At this point finger pointing won’t help but if the truth comes out there is a chance that action will be taken to prevent something similar happening again.

    This evening Tucker Carlson explained this on “Fox News” based on a report from the South China Technology Institute:

    This has been public since February 6 yet there was stunning lack of interest in “Media” until this week.

    The report represents the opinion of Xiao Botao and at this point I have no idea if he is reliable. Already there seems to be an effort to sweep this under the rug presumably because it makes the Wuhan labs look incompetent. I wonder if the researcher will ever be heard from again.

    Remember that nobody can find Ai Fen, the Wuhan doctor who tried to tell the truth about the situation in Wuhan.

    While our “Media” is lapping up Chinese and WHO propaganda it is left to Australia’s “60 minutes” to expose the truth:

  83. ren says:

    In summary, the total incidence of COVID-19 illness over the next five years will depend
    critically upon whether or not it enters into regular circulation after the initial pandemic wave,
    which in turn depends primarily upon the duration of immunity that SARS-CoV-2 infection
    imparts. The intensity and timing of pandemic and post-pandemic outbreaks will depend on the
    time of year when widespread SARS-CoV-2 infection becomes established and, to a lesser
    degree, upon the magnitude of seasonal variation in transmissibility and the level of crossimmunity that exists between the betacoronaviruses. Longitudinal serological studies are
    urgently required to determine the duration of immunity to SARS-CoV-2, and epidemiological
    surveillance should be maintained in the coming years to anticipate the possibility of

  84. Galaxie500 says:

    Potholer54 has posted a good youtube video mainly regarding Trumps/USA poor response to the outbreak. Constant denials from Trump that was a problem.

  85. Tim Wells says:

    UK mortality rates are very low according to official stats. I am being told they can’t test for corona 19 and it makes me think it may not exist. There are multiple numbers of corona strains, one which is the common cold, low amounts of a coronavirus in your body will have no effect on you. I believe this is another weapons of mass destruction hoax.

    • barry says:

      I wonder if it will get published. The conclusion is way too firm based on the evidence.

      “In summary, somebody was entangled with the evolution of 2019-nCoV coronavirus.”

      Let’s compare that summary with a different one from a more recently published medical paper.

      “The genomic features described here may explain in part the infectiousness and transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 in humans. Although the evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 is not a purposefully manipulated virus, it is currently impossible to prove or disprove the other theories of its origin described here. However, since we observed all notable SARS-CoV-2 features, including the optimized RBD and polybasic cleavage site, in related coronaviruses in nature, we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible.

      More scientific data could swing the balance of evidence to favor one hypothesis over another….”

      That kind of qualified conclusion gives confidence in the investigation.

  86. barry says:

    Bringing some context to the issue is always welcome. I’ll add my thoughts.

    Every flu season a vaccination is available based on the previous season’s mutations, and an assessment of what is currently making people sick, and what will be the dominant strains in the burgeoning flu season.

    There is no vaccine for SARS CoV2.

    SARS CoV2 (the virus that causes the illness called COVID19) is an additional influenza. The flu viruses that come each year are still going to come.

    It is a mistake to pitch SARS CoV2 as a typical influenza, implying that it is simply part of the normal flu season.

    As the US has good records of infections and associated mortality, let’s look at flu in the US.

    The highest incidence of seasonal flu was the 2017/18 period, with 45 million cases and 61 000 deaths (preliminary figures). Mortality rate for that season is 0.14%.

    Remember, this is the figure with an annual vaccine.

    There are usually several strains in any flu season. I chose the total from all of them from the 2017/18 flu season. Data points are by week.

    At the peak of this season, cases were accumulating at 7000 cases per week. The data starts at 1000 cases per week, and achieves peak cases in the 18th week.

    Let’s look at the rate for COVID19 to date:

    The SARS CoV2 daily rate exceeds the 2017/18 weekly rate on March 22, 6 days after cases were at 1000 per day.

    COVID 19 case accumulation is 20 times faster according to these data. There are plemty of caveats – there is a dedicated testing regime for COVID 19, for example. However, the figures I’ve supplied for seasonal flu are also positively tested cases (as opposed to estimates). At this time, there is nearly twice the positive testing of COVID 19 than there was for positively tested flu cases in the US for the 52 weeks 2017 to 18.

    It’s way too early to make any calls on much at all, but considering these figures and the figures worldwide, there is ample cause for prudence, and none for complacency.

    • barry says:

      The current mortality rate for COVID 19 in the US is 2%, based on reported cases/deaths. At this early stage that is 14 times the mortality rate for seasonal flu, based on a year with a large number of cases in the US.

  87. I have analysed the latest UK death stats here (with nice, shiny, easy-to-read graphs):

  88. Bindidon says:


    You wrote upthread:

    ” The numbers from the USA, March 31, were astonishing ”

    Again: no comment posting possible, please look at

    J.-P. D.

  89. ren says:

    São Paulo reports 136 deaths and Rio de Janeiro has 23 fatal cases.

  90. ren says:

    The data suggested that by the end of February more than 43,000 people in mainland China had tested positive for the coronavirus but had no immediate symptoms. They were not included in the official tally of confirmed cases.
    Chang Jile, director of the commission’s Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, said on Tuesday that the government would step up screening and investigation of asymptomatic cases.
    “With effect from April 1, we will include reports of asymptomatic cases, any status change and how they are being handled, as part of our daily outbreak updates to address public concern,” Chang said. “We will strengthen our work in monitoring, surveillance, quarantine and the treatment of asymptomatic carriers, and do sampling in key areas to investigate and analyse these carriers.”

  91. ren says:

    The Chinese are very much afraid of the second wave, and for good reason.

    • gallopingcamel says:

      Right on target.

      Here is a chart showing the three waves of the 1918-1919 H1N1 pandemic:

      This shows the second wave that did the most damage. It peaked in late October 1918 a couple of weeks before the armistice on November 11.

    • barry says:

      I think it’s really important to talk about the Chinese. I read some news media about it? And it’s really important. I think we can probably blame them for coronavirus and all the attendant ills. And it’s really important to do this.

  92. Adelaida says:


    The full summary:
    “In summary, somebody was entangled with the evolution of 2019-nCoV coronavirus.
    In addition to origins of natural recombination and intermediate host, the killer coronavirus
    probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan. Safety level may need to be reinforced in
    high risk biohazardous laboratories. Regulations may be taken to relocate these
    laboratories far away from city center and other densely populated places”

    First: It is strange that this document came from China …
    It seems very risky on the part of the author …

    Plus: Anyone could not imagine that it was the origin of a pandemic, but the researchers who work in these centers should be aware of it.

    Of course, the proximity of the research centers to the seafood market is suspicious and the researchers’ conclusion to suggest that they be moved to a place far from a large population, very logical.

    About The author -Botao Ciao- :

    • gallopingcamel says:

      Those links you provided look genuine but as you point out “It seems very risky on the part of the author …”

    • barry says:

      Thanks for the reference link, Adelaida. Did you have a good look at it? I did. The author has a wide variety of interests. Some of the papers he has coauthored are well cited. Others, not at all.

      I doubt this one will get accepted in its current form. The conclusion, even the fuller version, is bad science. No caveats is a massive red flag.

  93. barry says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m seeing a whole heap of blaming going on about the toyotavirus. It’s comforting, because when I have more time on my hands, I need to punish someone. That’s the way to make things better. There’s nothing as satisfying as righteousness, especially when there is so much uncertainty in the world.

    When things get uncertain, I buck the trend! I get more certain. It’s the rock on which I found my peace.

  94. ren says:

    This is great news and testifies to the high effectiveness of real scientists.

    As Dr. Mariola Fotin-Mleczek said on Thursday, SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus vaccine has been working since mid-January. The vaccine is intended to be innovative because it uses ribonucleic acid, which contains information about the structure of the protein on the surface of the virus.

    • ren says:

      SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Our vaccine elicits the right response in animals. It gives us wings.
      As Dr. Mariola Fotin-Mleczek said on Thursday, SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus vaccine has been working since mid-January. The vaccine is intended to be innovative because it uses ribonucleic acid, which contains information about the structure of the protein on the surface of the virus.

      – We have been preparing it for animal testing since January, and at the same time, the production of this vaccine for human testing started two weeks ago.

  95. Adelaida says:

    Try to copy the first link of muy last post (all together! Without separation between words!include the vacines/coronavirus-vacines yo the link above that) And after that, paste in Google because there are more information about all kind of vaccines and of RNA curevac vaccine,
    that Ren told!

  96. Adelaida says:

    Sorry If was wrong!… I couldn’t find more information as Ren about Dra. Mariola Fotin-Mleczek and Cure-Vac from Germany…

    • ren says:

      Mariola Fotin-Mleczek
      Polish scientist working in a team in Germany.

    • ren says:

      It all began with an unexpected discovery. CureVacs founder, Dr. Ingmar Hoerr (a doctoral student at the time), discovered that when it was administered directly into tissue, the historically unstable biomolecule mRNA could be used as a therapeutic vaccine or agent after optimizationno complicated reformulations or molecular packaging needed.

      We built CureVac from lifes building blocks
      With a single discovery, CureVac opened the world up to the potential of mRNA to treat diseases and create vaccines. Officially founded in 2000, CureVac is the worlds first company to successfully harness mRNA for medical purposesbecause we saw opportunities where others saw obstacles. Today, were more than 400 passionate people strong, each one committed to using the clinical potential of our proprietary mRNA technology to provide tailored solutions for those with the greatest medical needs.

  97. r says:

    The beginning of 2020 brought us information about the novel coronavirus emerging in China. Rapid research resulted in the characterization of the pathogen, which appeared to be a member of the SARS-like cluster, commonly seen in bats. Despite the global and local efforts, the virus escaped the healthcare measures and rapidly spread in China and later globally, officially causing a pandemic and global crisis in March 2020. At present, different scenarios are being written to contain the virus, but the development of novel anticoronavirals for all highly pathogenic coronaviruses remains the major challenge. Here, we describe the antiviral activity of previously developed by us HTCC compound (N-(2-hydroxypropyl)-3-trimethylammonium chitosan chloride), which may be used as potential inhibitor of currently circulating highly pathogenic coronaviruses – SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV.

  98. Carmen says:

    In Spain, death rates for March are horrific. The excess deaths in the country as a whole are nearly 40% over the normal deaths.
    In some regions, are near 100%.
    Those deaths are not only of COVID-19 but also of other illness that can’t be properly attended due to hospital collapse.
    And that’s even when other deaths are fewer these days because of lockdown, such as traffic or laboral accidents.
    So don’t infravalorate COVID-19. It’s not a joke.

  99. Snape says:

    I have been tracking the rate of doubling of deaths from COVID-19 (worldwide). Amazingly consistent – every 6 days, going back a full month.

  100. Snape says:

    Sorry, going back about 3 weeks, not a month.

  101. ren says:

    In the Infectious Diseases Clinic of Clinical Hospital No. 1 in Lublin, an innovative method of treating coronavirus-infected patients is being tested, which aims to prevent the development of respiratory failure. The treatment uses drugs that are used in rheumatology and hematology. Their implementation is carried out at the second – third stage of infection.
    The drug blocks the mechanisms of inflammatory reactions
    – This is not strictly an antiviral treatment, but we are trying to turn off the inflammatory response that is responsible for serious complications. By blocking the receptor of one of interleukins – a substance secreted by our immune system, we do not get to the so-called cytokine storm, which results in respiratory failure – said dr hab. Krzysztof Tomasiewicz.

  102. Nate says:

    The death rate in hot-spot New York City from Covid-19 has averaged 250/day for the last 3 days.

    The normal death rate in NYC from ALL causes at this time of year is 150/day.

    The morgues cannot keep up. This with about 1 % of the people having tested positive for the virus. Imagine if it were 50%, as projected with no mitigation.

    Convincing evidence that this is much more deadly than seasonal flu.

  103. ren says:

    For example, certain types of zinc lozenges can stop a cold dead in its
    tracks, and everything we know so far suggests that zinc offers strong protection against the
    coronavirus too. Elderberry is very effective against the flu, and its probably just as effective
    against the coronavirus.

  104. ren says:

    President of the Polish Society of Cardiology and Director of the Warsaw Course on Cardiovascvular Interventions, prof. Adam Witkowski, draws attention to the dangers of the heart associated with the coronavirus pandemic not only to cardiological patients, but also to young and healthy people.
    Many factors contribute to the severe course of coronavirus infection. On the one hand, in most cases, patients who suffer from cardiovascular disease are elderly people, therefore they have worse functioning of the immune system, which is able to fight infections, but it is also caused by the fact that the virus itself can attack heart cells. – explains prof. Witkowski. – because the receptors through which the virus enters the lung cells – ACE2 receptors – are also found in the cells of the heart muscle, as well as in the cells of the kidneys or vascular endothelium. SARS-Cov-2 virus can also damage myocardial cells by causing so-called cytokine storm caused by a corrupted T-helper lymphocyte response to infection.

  105. Adelaida says:


    What this doctor says is that they have seen that people with a very very strong immune system react to the entry of the coronavirus by developing a combination of two processes or syndromes:

    1) Macrophage activation syndrome (SAM) is a systemic inflammatory pathological reaction, frequently fatal and commonly undiagnosed, which is accompanied by multi-organ failure and can be triggered in association with rheumatic, neoplastic, infectious or drug diseases.

    2) Antiphospholipid syndrome or antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (SAFL), also sometimes called Hughes syndrome, is an autoimmune picture of hypercoagulability caused by antibodies directed against phospholipid-binding proteins in cell membranes.

    This doctor Calleja advises to put “high-dose corticosteroids” and look at the patient’s ferritin for Macrophage activacin syndrome , and the second, Anty phospholipid syndrome with heparin …
    The video is difficult for us to understand even the Spanish …
    And there is controversy with Dr. Calleja’s treatment:

    But anyway:

    EU doctors are connected to each other:…

    About Zn:

    “Long-term consumption of zinc in excess of the maximum tolerable intake level (NM; 40 mg / day for adults) can cause copper deficiency”

    “Supplementation with doses of zinc higher than the ML is effective in reducing the duration of symptoms of the common cold. The use of zinc in daily doses of 50 to 180 mg for one or two weeks has had no serious side effects”

  106. Snape says:

    Here is the update to my earlier comments – dates when a doubling of deaths occurred:

    2/05/20: 500
    2/10/20: 1,000
    2/18/20: 2,000
    3/09/20: 4,000
    3/17/20: 8,000
    3/23/20: 16,000
    3/29/20: 32,000
    4/04/20: 64,000


  107. ren says:

    “The disease is way more severe than anybody could actually imagine,” Grayver said. “I cry. I think that’s ok to actually say, the fact that I do allow myself to, at a certain point, feel what this actually means.”

    She said that if others could see what she has to witness on a daily basis, people would take the quarantine much more seriously, and no one would ever leave their home.

  108. ren says:

    In tobacco, but also other plants, and even yeast or cell lines, you can produce vaccines so-called subunit. Such vaccines usually contain one or more virus proteins – most of them are structural proteins, i.e. those that form a virus envelope. What makes them different from attenuated vaccines?

    – These particles externally resemble a given virus and cause almost the same immune response as a natural virus. They do not contain genetic material of the virus. Therefore, there is no risk in their case of neither the virus multiplying nor the return of the virus to its virulent form and disease symptoms – the expert explains.

  109. Adelaida says:

    “Studies from the past few weeks seem to confirm that the spread of the coronavirus in the air lasts longer than previously thought.
    For this reason, the World Health Organization (WHO) could re-examine its recommendations on the use of masks to protect themselves from the spread of the coronavirus, in light of the results of a new study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    The MIT experiment has observed that the virus travels both in the droplets of saliva expelled when speaking and in the aerosol, and that it can reach up to 7-8 meters with a strong sneeze.

    The difference between aerosol and saliva droplets may seem academic: it is in the dimensions of the saliva spheres that carry the virus. But they have great implications for diffusion: saliva goitas travel 1-2 meters from the person who emits them and fall to the ground.

    The aerosol remains suspended in the air and can reach greater distances.

    “This means that in closed rooms with people and elevators the virus could accumulate, if infected people remain for some time.

    Virologist David Heymann, chairman of a group of WHO consultants, told the BBC: “We are studying the new scientific evidence and we are ready to change the recommendations, if necessary.”

  110. ren says:

    This allowed the researchers to draw two conclusions: “A high viral load in the throat at the very onset of symptoms suggests that individuals with COVID-19 are infectious very early on, potentially before they are even aware of being ill,” explains Colonel PD Dr. Roman Wölfel, Director of the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology and one of the study’s first authors. “At the same time, the infectiousness of COVID-19 patients appears to be linked to viral load in the throat and lungs. In hospitals with limited bed capacity and the resultant pressure to expedite patient discharge, this is an important factor when it comes to deciding the earliest point at which a patient can be safely discharged.” Based on these data, the study’s authors suggest that COVID-19 patients with less than 100,000 viral RNA copies in their sputum sample on day 10 of symptoms could be discharged into home-based isolation.

    The researchers’ work also suggests that SARS-CoV-2 replicates in the gastrointestinal tract. However, the researchers were unable to isolate any infectious virus from patients’ stool samples. None of the blood and urine samples tested positive for the virus. Serum samples were also tested for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Half of the patients tested had developed antibodies by day 7 following symptom onset; antibodies were detected in all patients after two weeks. The onset of antibody production coincided with a gradual decrease in viral load.

  111. ren says:

    The Italians have already mastered the methods of treatment. Medicine in rich northern Italy stands at a high level. Steroids only inhibit inflammation, they cannot guarantee a cure.

  112. Adelaida says:

    Dr. Andrs Varela, Chief C Thoracic of Pta. of iron.
    Today I want to cast a ray of hope. It is true that the data in the Community of Madrid have stabilized, but there is no waiting list for ICU patients.
    There are 30% more registrations than income.
    Regarding our hospital, today is the second day without patients pending admission to the emergency department and we have woke up with 30 free beds, although we have 270 patients admitted to CoVid.
    So using an appropriate WHO term we start the
    “Recovery period after the peak activity phase”.
    This afternoon we started the disinfection of hospitalization units to start admitting negative patients and patients from other specialties. On Monday we will continue with the disinfection of other areas.
    I hope I can pass on more good news next week.

  113. Adelaida says:

    It is a hospital in Madrid! A Big smile and Hope for every one!! Little by little! 🙂

  114. Adelaida says:

    “Every day there is reason for hope in the battle against the coronavirus. At the Hospital Doctor Peset in Valncia, anti-inflammatory corticosteroid therapy has been applied with great success in patients with coronavirus, from the sixth to the 12th, which are giving “” excellent initial results, “” as explained by an internist and head of Covid19 in said hospital center through a message that has begun to be distributed and that has been confirmed by two totally reliable sources from the Hospital itself.”–con-mucho-exito–en-pacientes-con-coronavirus-una-terapia-antiinflamatoria-con-corticoides/207638

  115. Adelaida says:

    From last link:
    “The initial results are excellent so that the admissions in the intensive care unit have been reduced, with shortened hospital stays and radiological and clinical responses that I would dare to define as spectacular. We believe that COVID therapy for pneumonia is corticosteroid therapy at the onset of pneumonia at the stage that we consider mild, particularly in febrile patients from the first week and with analytical abnormalities. Initiating anti-inflammatory therapy prior to the development of severe pneumonia, covering the period of time in which the patient can worsen corticosteroid therapy”

    “The OMS made a contraindicated mistake in the use of corticosteroids in patients with COVID infection 19. In this way, this therapy is postponed until a very serious situation in which the therapy is much less effective. Soon we will have data on all this and we will disseminate it but we will disseminate this information inviting you to try this treatment on the patients that I anticipate. Infection Does Not Kill Them Kills The Inflammatory Reaction To Macrophage Activated Infection”

  116. Adelaida says:

    What the newspaper does not say but all the doctors in Spain already know because it has been spread on social networks:

    “We are starting treatment with a dose of 80 mg of methylprednisolone daily 40 mg every 12 or 80 mg bolus and some patients who see that their correct response add another anti-inflammatory therapy such as tocilizumab or anakinra.”

    “Disseminate this information and put it into action, collect data and we all overcome this epidemic. ” And it ends: ” LUCKY COMPANIONS EARLY ANTI-FLAMMATORY TREATMENT ”.”

  117. Adelaida says:

    Two medical friends have confirmed it for me, but anyway I imagine that whoever wants to follow this guideline should contact that hospital or the one in Granada:

    Dr. Manuel Calleja. Internist doctor at the Virgen de Las Nieves hospital in Granada

    Dr. Angel Atienza mdico internista y responsable del rea COVID en el Hospital Doctor Peset Valencia

  118. Adelaida says:

    You are welcome!
    Hopefully many people are saved !!!!

    It is information that is not yet official, contradicts the OMS, and that only circulates in social networks and local newspapers … not in the big ones …

    Those of us who believe in God pray intensely for it too !!!!

    And I am sure that those who are not believers also have an inner prayer to whatever the force or energy of the universe that can help this end as soon as possible !!!!

  119. Adelaida says:

    I mean, we pray, or we ask the universe ….. or whatever you want to call it …..
    so that as many people as possible heal and in the shortest time also possible!!!!;)

  120. Sebastian dittus says:

    Seriously Roy!?
    How long are you and your pals going to keep this up?
    And using the Euro MOMO statistics? Come on! Any one who goes and looks it up for him self will hopefully be smart enough to read the introduction which clearly states that the last weeks of the chart can not really be taken into account due tu delays in registration of cases.
    Everybody please check out the spanish MOMO report wich come out every few days and clearly paint an unmistakable picture. By the way they also show the yearly increase in deaths over the flu season wich are not considered excess mortality (not even 2017/18) and come nowere near to this years “invented pandemic”
    Thanks every body for switching on their brains! And sorry for any typos

  121. Leitwolf says:

    Mortality seems to be up a little in the more affected areas. In the province of Bergamo (1.1 mio residents) about 5.400 people have died in march 2020, about 6 times as many as in march 2019. That is despite the “big dying” only started in mid march.

    This suggests btw. that the death toll is strongly underreported in the official numbers so far, since a lot of people died at home, without treatment or diagnosis. Officially 2,060 have died from Sars-2 in Bergamo.

    This should give us an answer to the question above: “Why are we not outraged and deathly afraid of the seasonal flu (-A and -B), given the widespread death that routinely occurs from those viruses that come around each season?”

    Likely because if you would let this virus go as it pleases, excess mortality might easily go beyond 500.000 per week in Europe alone. So, no, this is NOT just another flu..

  122. Tommy says:

    Is there a word limit on here?

  123. Tommy says:

    I have to post my comments in parts:

    I have a few questions:

    Here’s a further look into the way deaths are recorded in the UK and US:

    Overall deaths and the coronavirus (COVID-19)

    To meet user needs, we publish very timely but provisional counts of death registrations in England and Wales in ourDeaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisionaldataset. These are presented by sex, age group and regions (within England) as well as for Wales as a whole. To allow time for registration and processing, these figures are published 11 days after the week ends. Because of the rapidly changing situation, in this bulletin we have also given provisional updated totals based on the latest available death registrations, up to 25 March 2020. These deaths will be included in the dataset in a subsequent week.

    Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our regular weekly deaths release now provides a separate breakdown of the numbers of deaths involving COVID-19. That is, where COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, including in combination with other health conditions. If a death mentions COVID-19, it will not always be the main cause of death, it will sometimes be a contributary factor. This new bulletin summarises the latest weekly information and will be updated each week during the pandemic.
    We will publish accompanying articles periodically, giving enhanced information such as age-standardised and age-specific mortality rates for recent time periods and breakdowns of deaths involving COVID-19 by associated pre-existing health conditions

    • Tommy says:

      These figures are different from the daily surveillance figures on COVID-19 deaths published by Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on theGOV.UKwebsite, for the UK as a whole. Figures in this report are derived from the formal process of death registration and may include cases where the doctor completing the death certificate diagnosed possible cases of COVID-19, for example, where this was based on relevant symptoms but no test for the virus was conducted. Our figures also include any deaths that occur outside hospital. In contrast to the GOV.UK figures, we include only deaths registered in England and Wales, which is the Office for National Statisticss (ONSs) legal remit.

      • Tommy says:

        So deaths are registered to the mortality rate even if theyve been suspected, possible cases of COVID-19, for example, where this was based on relevant symptoms but no test for the virus was conducted. And is not the main cause of death?

        Source: Office of National Statistics UK

        • Tommy says:

          And in the US:

          Mortality Coding of COVID-19 with ICD-10 Both categories, U07.1 (COVID19, virus identified) and U07.2 (COVID19, virus not identified) are suitable for cause of death coding. Similarly, new codes were created for ICD-11.

          COVID-19 is reported on a death certificate as any other cause of death, and rules for selection of the single underlying cause are the same as for influenza (COVID-19 not due to anything else).

          For recording on a death certificate, no special guidance needs to be given. The respiratory infection may evolve to pneumonia that may evolve to respiratory failure and other consequences. Potentially contributing comorbidity (immune system problem, chronic diseases…) is reported in part 2, and other aspects (perinatal, maternal…) in frame B, in line with the rules for recording.

          A manual plausibility check is recommended for certificates where COVID-19 is reported, in particular for certificates where COVID-19 was reported but not selected as the single underlying cause of death.

          So a U07.2 (COVID19, virus not identified) are suitable for cause of death coding. Is added to the mortality rate even though the virus is not identified?!


  124. A Chemist says:

    Roy, I think you are overlooking something spectacularly simple. Hospitals do not treat dead people. With this disease preventing death is harder for a variety of factors including how long the patient needs care, how much and what type of care. It is far too early to look at death statistics (even now) when the course of the disease is long. In New York, the peak in new cases is expected around now, the peak demand on the hospitals a bit later. I would appreciate an update of this post in a week or two.

  125. spinor says:

    You must be really egocentric to always use PhD and Dr.

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  130. H_M_X_ says:

    Amazing how quickly your blog post became outdated.

    Please update your MOMO figure. Currently Europe is running at z-score of 30, with a maximum of 54.10 on April 14th.

    Way above historical flu trends.

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