The key value is and always was hospital beds. The hospitalization rates mean even at the magical 80% double-vaccinated mark hospitals will be overwhelmed, forcing states to flatten the curve for months and stand in the street banging tin pots at 9pm each night to say thanks to strung out health workers. We don’t need modeling to know this, it happened already in places like the UK, Spain and Italy. It only took a few percent of the population to get infected and hospitals were overwhelmed.
It’s just maths. There are 12,000 active cases in Sydney now — so a mere 0.15% of the NSW population is infected — but hospitals are already running out of beds. Cancer surgery is being rescheduled.
These first generation vaccines are not remotely good enough. Even most of the pro-vax modelers admit we have to vaccinate more 90% of the whole population (really 95%, they say) and in that scenario, there are still thousands of deaths and ongoing restrictions. If the vaccines stopped transmission it might be different. But the leaky sort only halve it. Even the 100% vaccinated cruise ship still spread the virus. …
The solution is profoundly right wing: it’s hard borders, state rights, free speech and free choice — the right to pick the treatment we want with our doctor. But bizarrely, at the moment, the conservative party in Australia has become the best friend of Big Pharma and Big Bureaucrats while The Labor Premiers are fighting for hard borders and state rights. …
Modeling schmodeling. Actually the models are simple and ok; it’s the assumptions you have to worry about.
There is a battle of models going on as well, as various Governments in Australia try to figure out what to do next. All of these models start from the one-eyed Vaccines-Will-Save-Us-Kemosabe! point of view. But it’s eye opening to follow the calculations which mostly show that infecting the nation at 70 or 80% vaxed is reckless.
The only model that doesn’t is the Doherty institute’s, and it’s a fantasy model. But that’s the one Scott Morrison is betting the house on. All the models assume there is no other treatment and no one does anything to raise Vitamin D or Zn levels. So all the models are flawed, but we can still learn something from them.
The Grafton ANU modelling concludes that the toll from playing games with novel viruses could be quite high:
“And assuming 80 per cent vaccination coverage for only those over 16, as per the National Plan, there could be approximately 25,000 fatalities and some 270,000 cases of long COVID.
Buried quietly is modelling from The Burnet Institute, which suggests that fully 45% of these deaths will be among the vaccinated population. …
Gold standard state, or “do as Sydney does”.
No one wants to copy the pain that the people of NSW are going through. Who can blame the smaller states? We almost suspect that what Berejiklian and Morrison are most afraid of is that clean states will show how wrong and incompetent the NSW approach is.
What if the ACT, Victoria, or New Zealand get back to zero? Won’t that make the “gold standard” state look like chumps.
Most of Australia is living with freedom, not the virus. “Living with the virus” means long lockdowns in NSW. Who wants that?
Wondering what your chances of being hospitalized or dying of covid are?
Here’s a table we rarely see. There are a lot of caveats –see below.
CHR – Case Hospitalization rate. IFR – Infection fatality rate.
Deaths may be higher because…
- They don’t include deaths related to long covid, or an “overshoot of herd immunity” which I think means a surge that overwhelms hospitals where death rates rapidly rise. They don’t include deaths due to non-Covid causes, such as suicides, undiagnosed cancers, or people avoiding hospitals because they are afraid of catching Covid.
- These estimates only consider immediate acute Covid deaths. But in the first wave of the UK epidemic, people who survived and left hospital were subsequently four times as likely to be readmitted to hospital and eight times as likely to die than a matched control group.  In other words, deaths can lag illness by a long time.
- The next mutation escapes the current vaccines.
Deaths may be lower if…
- Australians have higher levels of Vitamin D, maybe lower levels of comorbidities or high risk genes, or they might get scripts to use antivirals. These are not even mentioned in the paper.
- The death rate due to Delta is lower than estimated here. The death rates are estimated from Canadian data which estimates that Delta is 2.3 times as deadly as the original Wuflu. The hospitalization rate is likely be to be twice as much as the Alpha strain, which was already 1.5 times higher than the original, based on English and Scottish data. The hospitalization rate for Delta is thus three times higher than the original Wuhan Flu. It’s bad. The Delta variant pumps up the viral load faster, so it swamps immune systems faster and spreads more easily. That explains the higher hospitalization rate, and it’s hard to believe it won’t also increase the death rate — but it may not increase it by the same ratio. ..
Is it worth it?
All these deaths, the sickness, and the experimental vaccines is to allow us visit friends overseas, and let in tourists to help our tourism industry. It also means Qantas can make more money, and we can accept mass immigration that most Australian don’t want (and which pushes down blue collar wages, and pushes up house prices). It also means we can take in Chinese paying students to universities. “Yay”.
Obviously the West has totally failed to stop the Chinese Bioweapon. It is now a given that we’ll all get it or one of its descendants eventually. But there is a huge difference between getting this mutation now — without any respectable approved treatments and with 30,000 deaths — and getting a different mutation a year from now — with a suite of antivirals and / or the second generation of vaccines (which might be so much safer).
Monoclonal antibodies may make travel possible without a vaccine. So may a combination of antivirals, like the way we treat AIDS. The next mutation may get nicer like Spanish Flu did, or it might not.
What they are trying to do is distract Australians from the real debate, which is about borders and antivirals.
The world is on target for covid deaths to exceed Spanish flu deaths by the end of this year. But of course there are a lot more people now, and Spanish flu killed healthy people in their 20s and 30s.