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  1. “Thu, Mar 26, 2020
    A recent University of Oxford study warning coronavirus could have infected as many as half of the UK population has been slammed by several experts. The new model suggests the virus was circulating in the UK by mid-January.
    This is approximately two weeks before the first reported case and a month before the first reported death.
    It’s a little concerning that they’ve taken it straight to the media
    Dr Tim Colbourn
    This means coronavirus could have had enough time to have spread widely, with many Britons acquiring immunity.
    Sunetra Gupta, a professor of theoretical epidemiology who led the study, said testing was required to assess the controversial theory.
    She said: “We need immediately to begin large-scale serological surveys – antibody testing – to assess what stage of the epidemic we are in now,’ she said.” This a quotation from an article in the Express (UK), refering an earlier article in the Financial Times. The study was made by two science professors at Oxford University. The Express interviewed several disease-control “experts” who “slammed” the study, saying it was based on hypothetical assumptions, not hard evidence. I don’t have much faith in the “experts.”

  2. @ Bear Klein: Yearly deaths from influenza in the UNited State, according to CDC “estimates”–between 22,000 and 55,000.

    The CDC estimated that 80,000 Americans died in the 2018-19 flue season–which it characterized as an unusually bad year for flu, with 60% more cases than usual. However, it did not recommend then that the country be shut down.

    The CDC doesn’t compile exact figures for yearly influenza deaths–unlike the seemingly exact figures they have been publishing for coronavirus. However, if you read the fine print about the coronavirus illness and death tolls, they admit that these are also estimates, and they don’t have accurate exact figures.

    The media ignores this disclaimer when reporting the CDC’s figures.

    There is no scientific evidence that the new strain of coronavirus that a Chinese laboratory discovered in November-December 2019 is any more deadly than the four previously known strains of coronavirus that trigger the common cold.

    Most people who die of pneumonia and influenza probably also have cold viruses in their systems. And these more deadly illnesses sometimes develop from complications of the common cold, especially among the elderly and those with pre-existing serious illnesses.

    Most people have many different varieties of virus, including some that can be pathogenic, in their bodies all the time. Thus it is meaningless that many sick people and even those who have died “test positive” for the “novel” coronavirus.

  3. This doctor’s advice is good general advice for avoiding catching the flu or a cold, either of which could develop into pneumonia and prove fatal. The flu much more likely than a cold. But it is not specific to “COVID-19 disease,” and doesn’t even prove that such a disease exists.

  4. An article from the site “The Conversation,” reprinted on “The Local Italy” site, gives five reasons why Italy has been hit so hard by “the coronavirus” this flu season: A disproportionate number of elderly people because of Italy’s long life expectancy (84 years), the presence of very large numbers of foreign residents in Italy, including Chinese:a culture that includes a lot of hugging and kissing, even by people who are not relatives: less of a sense of “personal space” than in most countries, which leads people to stand very close to each other when talking; An exceptionally high population density, especially in urban areas, which makes “social distancing;” extremely difficult; lack of past experience with a crisis of this type in recent memory. https://www.thelocal.it/20200330/five-reasons-the-coronavirus-hit-italy-so-hard.

    I can think of some other, less savory reasons: the presense of large numbers of migrants and refugees from war-torn and/or extremely impoverished countries like Syria, Iraq and Libya, where sanitary conditions are poor, many people are uneducated, and both governments doctors are distrusted; the large number of these people who work in restaurants, food preparation, nursing homes and hospitals; and a high level of government corruption.
    Lies and conspiracies have been a way of life in Italy’s politics for generations. Lying for reasons that people believe are legitimate is more socially acceptable in Italy than in some other countries. In this case, the Italian government may be giving false or misleading reports to the EU and the world media about the number of “coronavirus” cases, in order to obtain desperately needed financial aid from wealthier EU countries such as Germany. It would be very easy to do this by simply attributing all cases of infectious ilnesses and deaths during an unusually bad flu season to “coronavirus” eve though many of them may be caused by other diseases such as pneumonia and influenza.

  5. Thank you, Shmuel, for your research. I must, however, STRONGLY disagree with your statement:

    “There is no scientific evidence that the new strain of coronavirus that a Chinese laboratory discovered in November-December 2019 is any more deadly than the four previously known strains of coronavirus that trigger the common cold.”

    I am a scientist, and I understand more than a little about what does and does not constitute “scientific evidence”. This evidence is not based on theories detached from reality, as your statement is. It is based on things that are obvious and irrefutable. We know that the law of gravity is valid, for instance, because we see that it functions in everyday life. Concerning COVID-19, we know that it is deadlier than other common viruses because it has been killing people at an incredible, exponential rate, world leaders are succumbing to it, health systems have collapsed because of it, and about 150 countries are virtually shut down because of it. Arguing against that, is like arguing that apples don’t actually fall from trees, but rather fly off into space.

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