Covid-19 - Get ready for immunity certificates

It's now April 1st, but I won't be doing a spoof article today, as Covid-19 (a.k.a the CCP or Chinese Communist Party virus, or MERSles as I sometimes call it) is dominating my thoughts. It's now been over two months since I began blogging about this virus, and warning about its threat, so I thought it was worthwhile to see how the coronavirus timeline I created in early February is holding up. Here's a smaller picture of the timeline (click on the link if you want a better quality image):


As of today, the totals in the UK are approximately 25,000 cases. This corresponds fairly accurately with the timeline's values of 20,000 cases. It's worth noting that I expected that the number of tests, that the UK authorities could carry out, would not be able to keep up with the number of cases. This is why the actual symptoms number is 32,000 but only 20,000 of those can be tested (as the number of tests being done only doubles every fortnight, not every five days like the virus). The death rate in the timeline is a week out. It expected 3000 deaths but we have had roughly 1800 deaths. This is because the lag time between symptoms and critical survival should be three weeks, not two. We are likely to reach the 3,000 deaths figure in two or three days' time. (Addendum: as of 4pm today, the total is 2,352).

I think it's important to review this information in order to show that the appalling damage of this pandemic was predictable. The people in power in the West are likely to tell everyone that, 'no one could have predicted the damage this virus has done'. This is untrue; they are only saying it to avoid taking responsibility for their hopeless and frankly callously uncaring efforts to stop or successfully contain it during January and February. The nature of this disease and what it would do to people in the West, and around the world, was clear in late January, even to an ordinary Joe like me, without nothing but 'A' level chemistry and a laptop. If we had stopped all flights out of China in January, tested anyone entering the UK and traced all contacts with any infected people, we could have contained this virus. South Korea and Taiwan have shown what can be done if you plan ahead and act decisively and quickly.

Returning to the UK, I think there is hope that the pandemic won't turn out as badly as the timeline predicts. Lockdown measures in the West have, I think, slowed the virus's spread. If everyone wore masks, this would also help. Wearing a mask is very important. It stops someone with symptoms from coughing out particles. It also stops someone who is infected but doesn't have symptoms from breathing out virus particles. In addition, it stops someone who isn't infected from breathing in virus particles exhaled by someone else who's infected. It really is a no-brainer. If you're in a shop, on a bus or a train, or walking along a busy street, wear a mask. You'll be helping everyone, including yourself. Lockdown and mask-wearing should slow the virus's spread, easing the burden on the health services. If all goes well, we could avoid the terrible numbers predicted by the timeline.

Immunity certificates and a vaccine

The authorities in the West, and a lot of people, want normal life to resume. It's therefore likely that more countries will follow either China's approach of giving each person a colour code, or Germany's plan of carrying out immunity tests and giving someone an immunity certificate to show they're immune to the disease. Once the person has this certificate, they can return to work.

The tricky problem with such certificates is that someone whose successfully avoided the disease for months could find that a lack of a certificate could jeopardise their income. Once lots of people return to work, with their certificates, the ones without a certificate could no longer get income support, or be laid off. They'd therefore wonder if they should deliberately contract the disease and survive it, in order to get their certificate and get their job back. It's likely that our authorities will anticipate this problem and supply a vaccine at the same time as rolling out the immunity certificate programme. The person would take the vaccine, wait a week then take the immunity test. Bob's your Uncle, everything would be fine again.

Unfortunately, it may not be as good as it sounds. Any coronavirus vaccine produced in the next six months is unlikely to be a cure. Instead, it will be probably a small dose of the disease. Not surprisingly, having a small dose of the disease inside you is a risky endeavour. Anecdotal stories about the flu vaccine's side-effects show that your body could fail to handle even this small dose and you'd become very ill. This possibility may make this alternative a lot less healthy than the authorities might wish us to believe, but they're likely to back the plan to the hilt because they want the economy to be running again. I guess we'll find out, either way.

This site will be mothballed-deactivated in late April

Hello, everyone. At the end of April, I'm planning to mothball-deactivate this website. It's antiquated now, with little support for feedback from readers. Its blog has also become a big headache to update and maintain. I'd also like to create a new site with a different style and the latest tools available to web sites. The new site will be, as in Sci (for science) Psi (for the Mind) and Guy (as in me). At the moment, there's only a stub at this address but by the end of April, the site should have expanded into a fun and interesting place to go for science fiction comedy and innovate popular science. Sci Psi Guy's non-fiction material will focus on the fact that science proves that minds create reality, and all the associated consequences. Sci Psi Guy's fiction material will be science fiction that's funny, philosophical, positive and generally non-violent. Some of the articles on this current site will migrate to the new site, after being updated and rewritten, but others won't, so please go ahead and download anything you want to keep.

I hope to see you there! :-)

p.s. With regard reporting on the coronavirus, I'm happy I warned everyone in late January about the magnitude of its threat and offered advice as to how to prepare for it. From this point on, I would recommend people watch Chris Martenson's daily videos.

Covid-19 - Alarm fortnight and lung damage

Over a month ago, in an earlier blog, I created a coronavirus timeline, based on the scientific evidence I had gathered up to that point. The timeline assumed that the coronavirus would spread at roughly the same rate through every country in which it had become established, or endemic. According to the timeline, here in the UK, the first half of March would be Anxiety fortnight, in which panic buying would begin, and people would start wearing masks. There would also be 384 deaths and 2,500 cases of infection by this weekend. As of this morning, we have 24 deaths and 1200 cases, but the numbers of dead have been doubling daily recently, and the numbers of infected roughly every two days, so the model is about a week too soon. The spreadsheet, interestingly, also predicted that the virus began in China in early November. Latest reports now back up this idea.

The spreadsheet also predicted panic buying, but it doesn't match everything that is happening here in the UK since people here haven't began wearing masks in large numbers. This is partly cultural, but mostly because our government has been telling the public that masks don't help. This is untrue scientifically, as several scientific studies show that wearing a mask, particularly a respirator, can greatly reduce the risk of contracting an aerosolised disease (such as Covid-19), particularly in a contained environment. This health and safety executive report details the benefits of wearing such masks. The advice also makes no sense practically, as the government is also saying how much nurses and doctors need masks. Encouraging the public to make their own masks out of cotton is better than the current government strategy. Read More...

Covid-19 - Case, case, cluster, cluster, boom!

So far in the Covid-19 pandemic, the British government's response has been absolutely woeful. I don't think they could have done a worse job of containing the virus's spread through the UK if they'd tried. Here's a selection of reports, just from today, showing what our leaders have been saying. First off, a BBC report which includes the official advice:

Dr Harries (Britain's Deputy Chief Medical Officer) said cancelling big outdoor events like football matches would not necessarily be a decision supported by science.

"The virus will not survive very long outside," she said. "Many outdoor events, particularly, are relatively safe."

This is patently bad advice, scientifically. It is true that viruses don't last long outside, especially due to ultraviolet light smashing the virus particles, but according to this report, you can be standing fifteen feet away from a person infected with Covid-19, who's shouting or singing for an hour-and-a-half, and you can breathe in his air-droplets and thereby contract the disease. One infected person therefore stands a good chance of infecting dozens of people at one match. This is why New Zealand authorities warned everyone standing near an infected person who went to a Tool concert in Aukland to watch for symptoms (which unfortunately is also too lenient; they should have all been self-isolated). Read More...

Covid-19: False-facts and scientific facts

We are now half-way through Anxiety fortnight, here in the UK, according to the timeline I created roughly a month ago. The Anxiety fortnight, in my timeline, involves deaths from the disease rising to double figures and the beginning of panic buying. I've been tempted to modify the graph since early February, in order to increase its accuracy, but I've decided to leave it alone, as it is seems to be fairly accurate so far.

Here's a reminder of how the virus was spreading a month ago, shown on this John Hopkins live feed on the 8th February.


As you can see, nowhere in Europe had reached 16 cases at that point. A month later, Italy has nearly 6,000 cases and 200 dead. Italy is therefore a fortnight ahead of us in the UK, timeline-wise. France and Germany are approaching 1,000 cases, which puts them roughly a week ahead of us. The UK currently has 273, which is roughly correct for my timeline graph.

Panic-buying is now occurring through Western Europe. For some bizarre reason, toilet rolls are the main target item. This has come as a surprise, as toilet rolls are hardly a critical survival item; neither are they in short supply. It shows that panic-buying can be more an indication of Western cultural mentality than intelligent prioritisation. It's only poo, people; toilet rolls are not going to save your life!


Air conditioning: our plague-helper

The Black Death killed 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia, peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351. It is estimated to have killed 30% to 60% of Europe's population. In total, the plague may have reduced the world population from an estimated 475 million to 350–375 million. In other words, it killed approximately 100 million people.

At the moment, Covid-19 is spreading across our planet. According to the latest scientific evidence, it infects around 60% of the population, once it becomes established in an area. Of those who are infected, 2% to 4% die. Due to the prevalence of cheap air travel, it is likely that Covid-19 will reach 90% of the world's population. Very few people nowadays, on this planet, live in isolation. If we use these figures, then we obtain the following number of dead around the world once Covid-19 has swept around the globe: 84 to 168 million people. Therefore, according to what we know, Covid-19 might kill a much smaller percentage of people than the Black Death, but Covid-19 is projected to kill as many people, in total, as the Black Death.



The Wuhan Coronavirus - Critical period in the UK

I wanted to write another blog entry today to remind people of what I said in this earlier blog-post, written on Saturday, that this week and the next few weeks are a critical period in the spread of the virus in the UK. Children are coming back from half-term and many of them have been abroad, particularly to Italy. There is a very good chance that the virus is now spreading silently through several clusters in the UK. Because the virus has an incubation period of several weeks, during which the person concerned is infected but not showing symptoms, no one can see what's happening. What's worse, because there are no obvious symptoms amongst many of the carriers, no one is alarmed. People aren't wearing masks or avoiding crowded places. This means that the virus will spread very rapidly until the country switches to taking full precautions.

I would therefore recommend that people avoid crowded places from this week onwards, whenever possible. I would also recommend that people act as if the virus is spreading through the population. In other words, everyone should wash their hands after every outing and not touch their face. It is difficult at the moment, in the UK, to wear a face-mask, as it's not common practice yet, but a snood or scarf could be an alternative; it is better than nothing. Please don't wait for our government to give out this advice. They seem more concerned about avoiding panic than actually warning people of the danger. I can understand that they don't want chaos but I feel they're erring way too far the other way, towards outright misinformation.

I know that it is difficult for many people to change their habits and take precautions when everything looks normal but it is definitely better to be safe than sorry. Covid-19 is a monster; it is incredibly good at spreading through a population and causing great suffering. In order to remind everyone of how fast the virus is spreading, here is the John Hopkins coronavirus update screen I captured on the 13th February, roughly a fortnight ago:



The Wuhan Coronavirus - An Ominous Future

What will be Covid-19's effect on us all? At the moment, the mainstream media here in the West is definitely not being truthful about the dangers of the virus, or what it will do to the people of Earth. Instead, our Western media is trying very hard to make it look as if everything is business as normal and that there's nothing to worry about. There are several possible reasons for this, as I mentioned in my previous post. Whichever they are, not everyone has been taken in by our media's charade. Here is a lengthy comment from a youtube user called Jeff, who is talking about this YouTube video on the outbreak in China, and the dilemma China faces of whether or not to send its workers back to offices and factories:

I'm a former analyst/broker with Merrill Lynch. Let me break down the hard truth for you...

China is OVER. DONE. DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200. They will most likely not return to anything resembling normal output until at least the 2nd quarter of NEXT YEAR. Why? Glad you asked. On Jan. 24th, there were 483 recorded cases of COVID-19 in the entire world. Now, less than a month later, there are over 75,000, with 2,000+ deaths. IN LESS THAN ONE MONTH. The only reason the "New Case" number is declining is because they have locked down 760,000,000 people. The majority of cases and deaths are out of Hubei province, 61,682 as of this writing. The province with the next highest number of cases is Guangdong, with 1,331 current cases. That disparity is only because China has effectively implemented martial law, allowing no private cars on the road in Hubei, and allowing only one person per household to go out for supplies and food every three days. Read More...

The Wuhan Coronavirus - Fatalism, Greed, Stupidity or Evil

Since the coronavirus appeared in Wuhan, late last year, government responses to the virus threat, around the world, have been varied. China, after an appalling initial response, has locked down their country. They have introduced draconian measures to control the virus's spread and also mobilised huge resources, including dousing large areas of their cities with disinfectant. This is extreme but understandable. By comparison, what's not been understandable is the reaction of Western countries to the virus's threat. This has bordered on the bizarre. For example, to quote from this article in the Guardian newspaper:

'Asked on Friday if the new cases put the crisis at a tipping point, the World Health Organization director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the, “window of opportunity is narrowing, so we need to act quickly before it closes completely”.

Tedros goes on to say:

“This outbreak could go in any direction,” Tedros said. “If we do well, we can avert any serious crisis, but if we squander the opportunity then we will have a serious problem on our hands.”

These comments are surreal. The window of opportunity to contain Covid-19 was at the beginning of the year, in early January, when the virus was only present in Wuhan. If all flights to China had been stopped then, and the city sealed off, then the virus might have been contained. Today, with 760 million people locked down in China, major outbreaks in Singapore, South Korea and Japan, and outbreaks of unknown size in India, Iran, Thailand, Philippines and other countries, it's clear that the window of opportunity to contain this virus is so far gone, it's a piece of history.


The Wuhan Coronavirus - The plot thickens

I've often thought, over the years, that there's only a fine line between ridiculous and obvious. Conspiracy theories are a classic example of this issue. For weeks now, intelligent people on the internet have been pointing out that it's an astonishing coincidence that the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus is so close to a biohazard lab. As I explained in this previous post 'Did it come from a lab?' and then again in this post, 'the military and the scientists', I agree that it's a very suspicious connection. I think, probability-wise, that the most likely scenario for the emergence of such a potent and virulent disease as the coronavirus is that it came from a lab. This coronavirus is incredibly good at spreading itself and causing havoc. It has a high infection ability, a long incubation period and a significant mortality rate. To be honest, it's about as powerful a virus as you can make if you wanted to make a disease that spread through a country, one that avoided protection measures, and ended up crippling that country.

It is certainly possible that the coronavirus came naturally from bats, but a virus of that power should have hit the Chinese people long ago, since they've co-existed with bats for millennia. Somehow, for the virus to be a natural creation, it must have mutated very recently, into its current, super-infectious form, and then jumped across to humans. The odds of this happening are extremely low. By comparison, the odds of someone making the virus in a lab, in a 'gain-of-function' experiment, according to my earlier research, is, I think, much higher. This is especially true, considering how many biohazard labs exist, and how many 'gain of function' experiments are going on.

The Wuhan Coronavirus - Prof Ferguson Update

A week-or-so ago, I blogged about Professor Ferguson's epidemiological analysis of the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak (which is now called Covid-19, a title so bland, it could have only come from the World Health Organisation). Prof Ferguson's leads a team at the Imperial College in London who are modelling the epidemic's behaviour. I was impressed with Prof Ferguson's earlier assessment and, once again, he gives out some alarming data with his dry, low key delivery. Here is the video:

What I found most interesting about this video was that as soon as any of the interviewees came close to coming up with actual predicted numbers of fatalities, calculated by their models, the interview ended. I could be reading too much into what I saw, but the total lack of predicted numbers of fatalities, in the interviews, was hard to miss, especially from a team whose job is to produce those numbers.

We can calculate these numbers ourselves, if we want to. According to Prof Ferguson's two interviews, the numbers of infected double every five days, 60% of the population will get the virus, 6% will be hospitalised and 1% will die. There is a lot of margin for error on these numbers, since we can't trust the Chinese reports and the epidemic has only recently entered other countries, but if those numbers are accurate, then here in Britain, over half a million people will be dead by June.


The Wuhan Coronavirus - Theory vs Evidence

Today, I thought it would be a good idea to see if Professor Ferguson's estimate, that the coronavirus numbers double every five days, matches recent data. Five days ago, I blogged about the true reproduction rate of the disease, compared to numbers quoted in the press. In that blog, I included a John Hopkins live update screen, displaying the official numbers of infected. Here is the screen-grab, again, from the 8th February:


And here is the screen-grab from this morning, the 13th February:



The Wuhan Coronavirus - 24 day incubation period?

Today's blog entry is a quick one, with good news and bad news. From this point on, I'll only post articles if there is something I can add to the coronavirus issue that I haven't seen elsewhere. Chris Martenson, who runs the YouTube channel Peak Prosperity, has been posting excellent videos nearly every day on the coronavirus. I would recommend that readers subscribe to his channel. If, in the future, he suddenly goes rabid, I'll warn everyone, but that seems unlikely. Here is his summary for today's video:


In this morning's video from Chris, he draws our attention to a new scientific study that indicates that the incubation period for the virus may be as long as 24 days (which is bad news). Fortunately, he also states in the video that 80% of people who contract the disease only get mild symptoms (which is good news). In the video he posted yesterday, he agreed with my recent speculation that the Wuhan coronavirus may be as infectious as measles. The comment in the summary above, that it spreads via droplets and aerosols, indicates a very measles-like transmissability.


The Wuhan Coronavirus - Plotting the data

So far in the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic, it's been difficult to get reliable information about the virus's behaviour. The Chinese government have been releasing numbers of the infected and those who have died, but many observers believe these numbers are fictitious. Unfortunately, many Western sources haven't been giving an accurate assessment of the epidemic either. There has been a lot of downplaying of the virus's threat. This may be because the establishment don't want the economy to be disrupted. There is also the possibility that China has been influencing Western institutions to play down the issue and praise China's efforts. For example, this NTDTV video report on YouTube states that the Chinese government leaned on the World Health Organisation to delay declaring the coronavirus as a pandemic:

It's always good to know something about any news source and NTDTV is no different. Their full title is New Tang Dynasty TeleVision and they are funded and associated with the Falun Gong movement. Falun Gong was a peaceful, spiritual movement founded in China in the 1990's. It grew in popularity but then fell foul of the Chinese government. Possibly a million Falun Gong members were arrested and incarcerated. It's therefore clear that a Falun Gong television station would be happy to broadcast evidence criticising the Chinese government. This doesn't necessarily mean that they will distort their evidence. Instead, it is probably the opposite; they are one of the few organisations that will broadcast accurate information about what is going on in China, and what the Chinese government is doing.


The Wuhan Coronavirus - Plant-based anti-virals

So far in my articles about the Wuhan Coronavirus, I've been focussing on the threat of the virus. I think this has been important, not only because of the virus itself, but also because of the complacent and downright misleading behaviour of the Western media. Fortunately, this is starting to change. Today, Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, in an interview with the Sunday Times (its website is subscription based), warned of the virus's dangers, its fast spread and what it'll do to an overloaded National Health Service. A short version of his interview is available on the Mirror newspaper's website and on the Daily Mail. This warning has come very late but, nevertheless, it's good that he's spoken out.

Today, I'm going to focus on what possible remedies are available to combat this virus. There is no vaccine for the virus and so there's nothing that will cure any of us of the disease. Several companies are working on a vaccine but this could take a year or more, even if they do succeed in making one. It is very difficult to make a vaccine for any coronavirus, due the virus's mutability; that is why there is no vaccine for the common cold, in any of its forms. This doesn't mean that we should give up the idea of taking any medicine to combat the disease, if we get it. There are compounds that can suppress the virus's spread in our body.

For example, several compounds are used to slow the spread of the HIV virus; these are known as anti-virals. Some labs are already testing HIV anti-virals on the Wuhan coronavirus to see if that will help those infected. Unfortunately, these anti-virals are not made in large amounts and they are expensive. They're therefore effectively useless to the general public in any country once the Wuhan coronavirus spreads beyond the first thousand cases. Read More...

The Wuhan Coronavirus - Misinformation

I often quote Guardian articles in my blog posts, because the Guardian newspaper can be an excellent source of reliable information. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case, particularly when it comes to its opinion pieces. To demonstrate this problem, I thought I should comment on a Guardian article published this morning, entitled 'Misinformation on the coronavirus might be the most contagious thing about it'. I can understand that the Guardian may be concerned about misinformation being spread about the coronavirus. The coronavirus epidemic is bad enough without people spreading rubbish ideas. Unfortunately, I soon found that the Guardian article, written by Adam Kucharski, contains its own misinformation.

The error in the Guardian article is related to a big problem that's been occurring since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic; the repeated downplaying of the dangers of the disease by our mainstream media. This has been going on even though several scientific papers have been coming out that describe how the virus actually operates. I've already talked about this problem in an earlier blog article but I guess I have to mention it again. In Adam Kucharski's article, he states:

'In disease outbreak analysis, we can measure the transmission of an infection by looking at how many additional cases each infected person creates on average during each of these steps. We call this the “reproduction number”, and for coronavirus, we estimate it’s about 2 for a typical infected case in China.'

Mr Kucharski does not supply any scientific references to back up this claim. He may be focussing the article on misinformation 'epidemics' on popular media but there is much evidence that this value of around 2 simply isn't correct. It's a very surprising thing to do by an 'Associate Professor and Sir Henry Dale Fellow in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine'. It makes no sense for Mr Kucharski to criticise others in his article for sloppy research and get his own key numbers wrong. To show how important the reproductive number is for a disease, here is a short video from Scientific American:


The Wuhan Coronavirus - Professor Neil Ferguson's analysis

A few days ago, I made some calculations in a blog article about the Wuhan coronavirus. I estimated that the number of infections was doubling every three days. I then expressed shock at the consequences of this rate of spread, for it meant that the current number of people infected in China should be around one million. If those numbers were correct, then the numbers of people infected, worldwide, by the beginning of March, if the disease didn't slow, would reach one billion. It's very hard to psychologically accept such an outcome. In our world, we are used to things carrying on as normal, with no great changes. If science tells us that something is happening that will turn our world upside-down, our natural reaction is to very sceptical, ignore it or dismiss it. Unfortunately, this is not rational. Once we've worked something out, using facts, science and logic, we must take action to deal with it. If we don't, we're just sheep.

Even at the time I wrote those numbers down, I worried that I was being alarmist. Estimating a three-day doubling period could make me look like some sort of doomsday merchant. Fortunately, a far more qualified person has given his calculations about the spread of the coronavirus. Professor Neil Ferguson, who works at the Imperial College in London, is a senior epidemiologist. He has been studying the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. He has been using complex modelling to predict how it will continue. He gave this YouTube interview on the 5th of February, in which he discussed what he had worked out so far:


The Wuhan Coronavirus - What is the cost of lies?

Britain now has its third person on British soil who is infected with the Wuhan coronavirus. This person was in Brighton but has been taken to London by ambulance and will 'probably be admitted to the Royal Free hospital in north London', according to this Guardian news report. Also in the news, Dr Li Wenliang, the Wuhan doctor who warned the public in December about the coronavirus but was silenced by the Chinese authorities, has died from the disease. His death has sparked large outpourings of grief and anger in China, especially because the authorities censured his attempts to warn people about the disease.

Here in the West, we are not as heavy-handed as the Chinese when it comes to civilians putting forward views different to the mainstream message. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean we won't punish whistleblowers. Often, the tactic by the people in power in the West is to attack independent voices as 'fringe', 'crank' or a 'conspiracy theory'. The veracity of that person's actual opinions aren't assessed; they are simply dismissed.

For example, Chris Martenson, who has been producing daily videos on the coronavirus epidemic, through his Peak Prosperity YouTube channel, has reported that he had his Wikipedia page deleted because, to paraphrase the criticisms of editors, he 'peddles in conspiracy theories'. As far as I can tell, Chris's articles have all been well-researched and grounded in reliable facts. The man himself, according to his video, has a PhD and authored a paper in Nature, so he clearly has a good grounding in biochemistry. Here is his video on the matter:


The Wuhan Coronavirus - On the frontline

Much of our media attention, particularly here in the West, is now on the international spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. Our preparations to deal with this plague are still woeful, particularly here in the UK. For example, our Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, advised that, 'Britons returning from China will not be quarantined and should instead remain at home and call medics if they experience symptoms.' This advice is both ridiculous and criminally incompetent, considering the infectiousness of the Wuhan coronavirus and its death rate. Hancock's advice means that anyone returning from China, whose number of infected are estimated by international studies to be ten times the official values, simply have to monitor themselves and phone the doctor if they get symptoms!

If people returning from China follow Mr Hancock's advice, then an infected person, whose showing no symptoms, could basically turn up at Heathrow Airport, wander around for days and, if they feel in the mood, then stay at home. Since the incubation period is up to two weeks, by the time that person suffered symptoms, then went to a hospital, was tested and then found to be positive for the virus, he or she could have infected literally a hundred people. Read More...

The Wuhan Coronavirus - the military & the scientists

In Wuhan, China, the Chinese government has completed the construction of a new 'hospital' to treat people infected with the Wuhan coronavirus. The construction of this 'hospital' was done at breakneck speed and was completed in little over a week. It is made from prefabricated units which have been fixed together, to create a huge, Lego-like building.

Unfortunately, this 'hospital' may not be a hospital at all in the normal sense, which is why I've been putting the word in quotes. The following video reports that the hospital seems to be under the control of the military, is staffed by soldiers and military medical staff, and is constructed so that those inside cannot move about freely, or leave. Unfortunately, such a setup will remind many readers of the human containment facilities in Xinjiang province. As one commentator states, if the 'hospital' is under military control, doctors inside it may be able to experiment on infected citizens and test drugs on them without normal legal approval.


The Wuhan Coronavirus - Three day doubling

Today, I wanted to get on with some writing. My confidence was boosted because last week, I received a writing prize, which is always nice! :-) Unfortunately, I'm finding it very difficult to think about anything other than the Wuhan coronavirus. I've written a blog post on this subject at least once a day for nearly a week now. I've had to do this partly because there is a lot to talk about, concerning the virus, and partly because it's developing so fast. As far as I can tell, based on the data so far, numbers of the infected are doubling every three days. It's very difficult to calculate an exact figure, because the numbers coming out of China are likely to be inaccurate as their health services are overwhelmed. For example, a Hong Kong University Study on the 2nd February estimated that 75,000 people had been infected, rather than China's official figure of 14,000. The doubling period might even be every two days but it seems that health measures and containment are reducing the spread, so I'm going to go for three days. Here is the latest John Hopkins real-time update:



The Wuhan Coronavirus - An immortal bug?

It looks as if the Wuhan coronavirus is as dangerous as recent medical reports have stated. The Chinese government may be releasing figures, such as 340 dead and 11,700 infected, but a lot of commentators now believe that these numbers are a gross underestimate of the true number of deaths, and infections. The following YouTube video, seemingly filmed in a hospital in Wuhan, indicates that people are dying every few minutes. Such a rapid death rate would fit an epidemic with the properties of the Wuhan coronavirus (reproduction rate of 4, incubation period of two weeks, death rate of 11%+).

It would not be a surprise if China did grossly underestimate fatalities. They were widely accused of doing exactly the same thing during the SARS outbreak. It is therefore sensible for everyone outside China to assume that thousands have died and possibly half a million or more are infected.

Unfortunately, there may be an extra aspect of the Wuhan coronavirus that very few people have, so far, talked about. It is the evidence that someone who recovers from the Wuhan virus infection does not eradicate the virus from their body. The following YouTube video, created by Peak Prosperity (Chris Martenson), reports on this extremely worrying development:


The Wuhan Coronavirus - The Event 201 simulation

In October 2019, approximately three-or-so months ago, a high-level seminar took place in New York. The seminar was sponsored by The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It was clearly a top-level event. Michael Ryan, from the World Health Organisation, gave an introductory speech. The purpose of the seminar was to simulate a global pandemic. A panel of fifteen senior people would discuss how best to deal with the pandemic. The four-hour seminar was split into sessions, each one simulating a meeting at three-month intervals during the pandemic. Each session began with an update on the virus's spread and expert advice on the options available to the committee. Full details of the event are still available on The Event 201 website. There is also a helpful Telegraph article describing Event 201, along with a Telegraph article describing the fictional coronavirus used in the simulation.


Here is the first session of Event 201, as a YouTube video:


The Wuhan Coronavirus - Did it come from a lab?

The Wuhan Coronavirus has now entered the Philippines, according to this Guardian report. A man from Wuhan entered the country, after travelling through several cities, and then came down with fever symptoms. The woman travelling with him also has symptoms but they have receded. Medical staff in the Philippines possessed a testing kit and were able to identify the disease as the Wuhan coronavirus. Unfortunately, as the reports make clear, not everyone around China has Wuhan virus testing kits. Indonesia and Myanmar do not, as yet, have any way of testing if someone in their country has the Wuhan coronavirus. This is extremely worrying because if the health authorities of those cannot even identify if someone has the virus, it becomes even more difficult for them to contain it.

The rapid spread of the virus, and its rising death-toll, show that it is uniquely dangerous. It is almost perfect in its ability to spread from person to person, without that person showing any symptoms, for weeks before finally triggering an immune reaction and symptoms. Once the illness is underway, the person concerned has to literally fight for their life. Unfortunately, at the moment, many people in the mainstream media are still declaring that less than 2% of those infected die from the disease. In fact, the latest medical evidence paints a very different picture. This epidemiology report describes an analysis of patients in Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital who had the Wuhan coronavirus in January. Of the 99 patients they were studying throughout January, 11 died of multiple organ failure. It's important to keep in mind that these patients were being given the highest level of care, and one-in-ten still died. Once hospitals are overloaded, during an epidemic, many people end up having to suffer the disease with no medical aid whatsoever. Read More...

The Wuhan Coronavirus - Worse than SARS?

I've been keeping a close watch, this week, on the latest news regarding the Wuhan coronavirus; it isn't good. The mainstream news, here in the United Kingdom, has been covering the issue but its focus has mainly been on Wuhan's quiet streets and the efforts of the British Government to repatriate British citizens stuck in Wuhan. They are portraying the epidemic as a problem that is contained in China. This message is perhaps one that the Chinese government also wishes to take, and the Western media is going along with that agenda.

This low-key attitude by our government towards the Wuhan virus is wrong, I think. There is no sign, here in the UK, that our government is going to perform any massive mobilisation of resources to prepare for a major pandemic. The British government has not pledged to issue surgical masks to people in the UK in preparation for the virus's spread, or supply 'pandemic kits' to households, or build any prefabricated hospitals in UK cities especially for the epidemic. Unfortunately, I think such measures would be a very good idea. China may be building two prefabricated hospitals in Wuhan at this very moment, but they may have left it too late for those two hospitals to be anything other than front-line pandemic 'war-zone' centres. The hospitals' late arrivals means that they will not be able to control and quell the epidemic. Instead, they'll be overwhelmed by the infected.

The reason I'm taking this alarmist line is because the Wuhan virus may be even worse than people believed. So far, during this epidemic, I've found that YouTube has been a better source of information on the virus issues than our mainstream media. Some of YouTube's videos on the issue are erroneous and misleading but there are qualified doctors posting on the issue too. One of them, Peak Prosperity, has been posting quality videos for over a week now. His latest video is particularly worrying: Read More...

The Wuhan Coronavirus - will it be a new Spanish Flu?

During December, 2019, in Wuhan, a large city in Central China, someone was infected with a virus that they probably contracted from a wild animal. The most likely location of this wild animal was the South China Seafood Wholesale Market in the city. This is not a surprise, as most infectious diseases that harm humans originate in wild animals, where they can circulate without killing their host. For example, the bubonic plague still circulates in wild animals in North America, which is why there are isolated incidents of a person in the United States and Canada dying from the disease after coming into contact with a sick, wild animal. This same contact between a person and an infected wild animal seems to have happened in Wuhan. This BBC article states that researchers think that the virus is closely related to a disease found in horseshoe bats. Unfortunately, Chinese wet markets, where large amounts of raw meat are sold, are allegedly notoriously for a lack of hygiene, and so it is easy for a virus to come from the wild animal and then circulate in the market, in spilled blood, pieces of meat etc, until it finds its way into a human.

The Chinese government seems to be making every effort to deal with the outbreak but some observers are concerned that it may be making the same mistakes that were made with the SARS epidemic of 2003. This video makes some pertinent comments about the differences between the official line and what's happening on the ground.