It's only fair to share…

Cars have rear view mirrors so we can see what is behind us. However, when driving we need to mainly look forwards to where we are going. As the situation with Covid19 continues we also need to be mainly looking forwards. But we cannot ignore what lies behind us.

The Chinese Communist Government has much to answer for. I express no opinion as to whether the virus came from wet markets or whether it “escaped” from a lab. The final common pathway is that the Communist government was more interested in saving face than in being transparent. That they were aided and abetted in this by the WHO means a genuine international inquiry needs to be held. This has nothing to do with race, it has everything to do with finding out what actually happened and who knew what and when.

A pivot over the last two weeks is that increasingly people are interested in the economic and health costs of the response. There are still those who claim that any questioning of lockdowns “don’t care about lives lost”. On the contrary – the reduction in treatment of diabetes, heart disease and cancer may lead to greater loss of life than the virus itself. Yet these will be hidden in overall statistics and we won’t get a daily update.

Unemployment, loss of business and loss of homes has more than an economic cost. They all correlate strongly with poorer health outcomes. Again, this will be hidden.

The impact on young people who have disproportionately lost work will be considerable and may be long lasting. As against a government department that can just be re-opened after a shutdown, it is not that simple with business. A gym may reopen but how many members will choose not to return. Restaurants may reopen to find many people no longer have the income to afford to eat out. Many jobs in tourism may never return.

To emphasise again – there are health effects from poverty, unemployment and economic depressions. The longer businesses are shut or wound down, the less likely they recover and re-employ those stood down.

There is no correlation between severity of lockdown and cases or fatalities.

The question then is how we move forward? Looking at other countries provides clues. Sweden has managed to leave its economy largely intact. Its death rate per 100,000 people is below that of Spain, Italy, France and the UK and only slightly above the USA.

The total number of cases is not what matters. The case fatality rate is the key. John Ioannidis, the world’s foremost expert in assessing the usefulness of medical interventions claims the Covid19 virus is similar to an average flu. This is based on drilling into data. Keep in mind that both the numerator (number of deaths due to the virus) and denominator (total number of cases) in working this out with Covid19 are unclear.

It was very strange that you tube took down a video of two doctors from America discussing how doctors were being pressured to write Covid19 on death certificates even if there were other causes. Some random testing has shown up to 30% of the population having antibodies. The total number of deaths may be below what is claimed and the total number of cases far greater. If so, then the fatality rate far lower than presented.

In the USA New York and New Jersey account for over 40% of cases. One can see why some people in other states wonder why they are subjected to the same restrictions. In Australia the curve has been flattened to a pancake. There is adequate potential to test.

Viruses spread in a viral manner. There will not be a vaccine any time soon. The way forward is to, as best we can, protect and isolate the vulnerable and increasingly allow everyone else to get back to their lives.