31st May 2020
Next TOI blog post and comments: Why less than 25% of the world’s population is likely to get Covid-19
This is the post. And this is an email I sent out a moment ago to a number of people.
Things went pear shaped for all previous analyses and “models” when Stockholm’s data showed that it had crossed the herd immunity threshold in mid-April but serological studies showed far less than 20% people had antibodies at that stage. Everything had to fit this. So I became open to alternative explanations. I found some good leads in the work of Nicholas Lewis and Anne Marie Knott – despite potential questions about each approach.
I looked at the R0 concept closely and found it to be shockingly shoddy – with almost no possibility of getting a real handle on the actual number, which means herd immunity numbers floating around were simply speculative. Martin Kulldorff confirmed that: “No respectable epidemiologist would claim a certain percentage as needed for COVID-19 herd immunity. At this stage of the pandemic, we simply do not know what the number is”. I also studied some of epidemiological literature which is quite dismissive of the practical utility of this concept. I have come to the view that 90 per cent of epidemiologists in the public domain spout pure garbage – just like 90 per cent of economists and climate scientists. (Anders Tegnell and Johan Giesecke are among the few exceptions).
I then started looking into the actual spread of previous pandemics (flu) and found that most did not spread beyond 25%. Knowing fully well that this virus is a coronavirus, not flu, I still think these facts now all add up and suggest that this virus faces natural resistance. Immunological science explains why that might be so (innate immunity, cross-immunity etc.) – Btw, in this regard I’d like to share a recent study that SS Chakrabarti et. al of the Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University has sent to me (attached).
In addition, I’ve reviewed worldometers for deaths – with San Marino showing clearly that its pandemic is over. That seems to be the upper limit of fatalities for this virus. The lethality of virus seems to be comparable ed with the Asian flu – around 20 times less than that of Spanish flu. I have summarised these findings in this TOI blog post: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/seeing-the-invisible/why-less-than-25-of-the-worlds-population-is-likely-to-get-covid-19/
Good news: Sweden is now reopening high schools, colleges and universities for summer classes and the fall semester. Sweden has recognised that its pandemic is nearly over and life should be able to return to full normalcy within weeks.
And for India: Johan Giesecke was interviewed by Rahul Gandhi, a political leader from the ultra-corrupt Congress party. Leaving aside the question why Johan chose to speak with this super-corrupt man, his points are pretty much the same as our party has been advocating for three months: end India’s lockdown and focus on the elderly. I’ve extracted two minutes from the interview. (Johan, please do visit India but NOT on Rahul’s invitation. The man and his family have absolutely ruined India! – I’m fighting him and other corrupt socialist parties of India – politically – for the last 25 years. I’d be happy to connect you to really decent and respectable people from India).