Tuesday 19 May 2020

Why Do Reporters Listen To This Clown?

The "renowned" respiratory scientist, Zhong Nanshan, has made awful predictions as a government adviser on the Wuhan coronavirus and yet people are still listening to him. It is now the middle of May 2020, so we can look back and see just what he predicted:

1. On 29 January 2020 Zhong Nanshan said the Covid-19 infection rate could peak in early February. “I estimate that it will reach its peak in around the next week or 10 days [from 29 January], after that there will be no more major increases,” said Zhong.

It's important to note that Hong Kong experts, who have a great track record in modelling and managing disease outbreaks, quickly disagreed. Professor Gabriel Leung, dean of Hong Kong University’s medical school, is in sharp disagreement on the potential infection rate for the Wuhan virus. Furthermore, Leung's prediction (like others) was correct: “We have to be prepared, that this particular epidemic may be about to become a global epidemic,” he said.

2. On 2 April 2020 Zhong Nanshan said Covid-19 could be under control by end of April. “With every country taking aggressive and effective measures, I believe the pandemic can be brought under control. My estimate is around late April,” said Zhong.

Renowned respiratory scientist and a government adviser on the Wuhan coronavirus,
Zhong Nanshan believes the outbreak could peak in mid-February. FAIL!! Photo: SCMP

Gabriel Leung, dean of Hong Kong University’s medical school, is calling for strict limitations on population mobility during the outbreak. BOSS!! Photo: SCMP

Monday 13 April 2020

That's My Metrics

When a reporter asked Donald Trump: "What metrics will you use [to help determine when to open up the United States again after lockdown]?" ...

“Right here, that’s my metrics [points to his temple]. 
That’s all I can do.” 

Doesn't that just fill you with the greatest confidence? No!

Reading some of the comments (selected below) from the YouTube video provides further doom and gloom about this "leader of the free world", the POTUS:

Trump : "I didn't think of it until yesterday.  I said you know this is a big decision".
Everyone : *sigh

He will blame "the greatest minds" if anything goes off the tracks. Again "no responsibility."

“Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” – George Carlin

Trump says he'll consult experts on re-opening government, but decide himself | ABC News (YouTube) 10 April 2020

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Trump Touts Fake News, No Irony

Yet again, Donald Trump tells the world how to "feel" (specifically, how he "feels" about important issues of our time like Covid-19) rather than how to think.
“Take it. What do you have to lose?” — Donald Trump, about the use of hydroxychloroquine, an unproven anti-malaria drug for treating Covid-19
Trump just does not recognize scientific evidence or expert advice, even when they are literally in front of him.
Anthony Fauci with that familiar "look of despair" 
shared by those who understand how evidence works in medicine

Donald Trump’s top coronavirus adviser, Anthony Fauci, has warned again that there is no scientific evidence to support the use of hydroxycholroquine for Covid-19.

The following chart (Independent) is a great illustration how Trump touts misleading information (when others do it, he accuses them of creating fake news), which he simply backs up with his "gut feeling" about things.

If there is a silver lining to those of us in lockdown and social distancing, it is that Donald Trump continues to entertain ... and hopefully we can learn from his ignorance, improprieties and incompetence.

I love the Wiki tracker of Trump's false claims, which will have likely shot up in recent times (perhaps on a similar rate of trajectory as the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases in the US!).


Trump touts hydroxychloroquine as a cure for Covid-19. Don't believe the hype (Guardian)

Trump's quotes mapped onto a coronavirus graph shows president 'downplaying the threat' (Independent)

Friday 27 March 2020

Evidence shows men are more likely to die than women when infected with coronavirus

Men are more likely to die than women are from Covid-19, which is a coronavirus, because this has happened before in the time of SARS back in 2003. However, researchers are still trying to understand why there is this significant difference between the sexes when it comes to contracting coronaviruses.

In Italy, upward of 70% of Covid-19 deaths have been men. In South Korea, 54% of Covid-19 deaths have been men.

Back in 2003, the first published study by Hong Kong researchers about the disproportionate deaths by sex in coronavirus infections showed 57% of the 299 SARS deaths in Hong Kong were male.

What is of concern is that other countries, including the US and UK, have not published their fatality rates according to sex, which is difficult to understand. In fact, only six out of 20 countries have so far published such a breakdown for case numbers and deaths.


Here's why the coronavirus may be killing more men than women (CNN)

Here's why the coronavirus may be killing more men than women (Washington Post)

Men are much more likely to die from coronavirus - but why? (The Guardian)

Do Men Have a Higher Case Fatality Rate of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome than Women Do? (Free journal article)

Sex, gender and COVID-19: Disaggregated data and health disparities (Free journal article)

Measured reasoned voices amid coronavirus Covid-19 concerns

Among all the Covid-19 sensationalism and scaremongering and disease mongering, it is refreshing and heartening to identify people who are reasonable, sensible and have something worthwhile to share.

Dog in Hong Kong tests "weak positive" for Covid-19

Take the case of a dog in Hong Kong that tested "weak positive" for Covid-19, wherein local media and reporters attempted to create confusion and hysteria without knowing the science behind their headlines. Fortunately, there were a few calming voices that stood out (these are excerpts from this link).
Earlier in the day, Hong Kong veterinary surgeons called for calm after the “weak positive” case was announced. Dr Michael Bradley from Stanley Veterinary Centre said he thought it very unlikely that pets such as dogs and cats could be infected with the coronavirus, as very few viruses can jump between species.
“There is no need to panic. There is no evidence yet that the virus can infect dogs, cats or other domestic animals,” he said. “It’s possible that the dog had the virus due to environmental contamination. A dog can be an object that carries the virus the same way as anything else, like a tissue.”

“The dog tested weak positive from the nasal and mouth swab, not from a blood test. It’s quite possible that it is from the dog contacting the owner or being in the same environment with the owner,” Dr David Gething of Creature Comforts said.

Professor David Hui Shu-cheong, a respiratory medicine expert from Chinese University, also said that despite the pet’s weak positive result, it did not mean it had been infected. He added that no evidence thus far shows that dogs can be infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) or Covid-19.

Dr Florence Chan, secretary of the HKVA’s executive committee, said although what happened to the dog might appear to be a new development, it would be wrong to jump to conclusions.
“According to what we have on hand, the dog actually did not display any symptoms,” she said.

The World Health Organisation said there was no evidence that companion animals or pets such as dogs or cats could be infected with the novel coronavirus.


Coronavirus: quarantine recommended for pets of Hongkongers with Covid-19 as Pomeranian tests positive a second time (28 Feb 2020)

Tuesday 25 February 2020

Coronavirus Covid-19 Torn Song with Lyrical Modification

Check out this fantastic Lyrical Modification of the song Torn about the state of panic and anxiety caused by the spectre of Covid-19.

Home by a creative singer
(from Torn by Natalie Imbruglia)

So I'm kind of scared of being here
There's lots of talking,
Lots of singing
Without protective gear
So all your germs are in the air

Back during SARS I was just a child
Didn't seem to know,
Seem to care
'Bout the virus running wild
But now I'm freaking out alright

I sterlize, I sanitize
My hands are always frickin' dry
There's just so many things
That I can't touch

I'm torn
How do I use the lift?
How do I get the door?
I hold onto my bags
'Cause all the germs fall to the floor

And when I get the train
I'll stand using my core
Because I don't know who the hell has touched that pole before

I need to hibernate
I wanna go back home

So then I finally went out on the street
After days of being at home
And hiding in my sheets
But then I start to worry 'cause
There's nothing left at the grocery store
I can't find bok choy no more

There's just white people things
Like pasta, cheese and corn
Where the hell's the rice?
Why's it three times the price?
And when I ask the staff,
Let's say she wasn't very nice
There's dust in my eye
But if I touch it I might die
I think the only way to get it out is start to cry

I need to hibernate
I need to go back home

Related Post

Saturday 22 February 2020

Coronavirus Don't Panic Song

Social media has caused needless panic about the novel coronavirus that originated from Wuhan in China. Keep calm; there is no need to panic.

This is a lyrical modification of the original song titled Panic by The Smiths.

Sunday 9 February 2020

China coronavirus experts have egg on face

Here’s where it currently stands with the coronavirus (5 February 2020) ...

The latest figures show that 490 people have died in mainland China from the virus. According to the very reliable Johns Hopkins University tracker, there are now 23,680 confirmed cases in the mainland meaning the mortality rate from the virus is 2.07% nationally. 
Of the deaths, 479 have now occurred in Hubei province where the capital, Wuhan, is the eipicentre of the deadly outbreak. There have been 16,678 confirmed cases in the province making for a death rate of 2.87% in the province.


A week ago, on 29 January 2020, one of China’s top experts said the Wuhan coronavirus infection rate could peak in early February.

“I estimate that it will reach its peak in around the next week or 10 days, after that there will be no more major increases,” said Zhong Nanshan, the respiratory disease scientist who played the pivotal role in China’s fight against the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) coronavirus epidemic in 2002-03. (Reference link: 
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3048020/chinese-experts-say-wuhan-coronavirus-outbreak-will-not-last )

While stating that it is very difficult to make predictions about the infection peak for the new virus, Zhong said China’s efforts in early detection and early isolation were the right measures. “After doing these two things, we have enough confidence to prevent another peak,” he said.

The infection rate estimate by Zhong was echoed by Gao Fu, the director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. He said he was “optimistic” that the outbreak’s “turning point” could arrive by February 8 if current disease control protocol is maintained.

“If we stick to the current measures, we should see a turning point in the near future. Everyone predicts that the situation can improve by the time of the Lantern Festival [on February 8],” said Gao in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV on Tuesday.“I am personally optimistic, and I believe that [it will improve] earlier than this, but everyone must stick to the prevention and control measures.”


Professor Gabriel Leung, dean of Hong Kong University’s medical school, is in sharp disagreement on the potential infection rate for the Wuhan virus.

“We have to be prepared, that this particular epidemic may be about to become a global epidemic,” he said. The outbreak was expected to peak in April or May in five major Chinese cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou – before the number of infections could begin to gradually decline in June or July, Leung said. As many as 44,000 people could be infected in Wuhan alone, with only 25,000 likely to be showing symptoms at this time, said Leung, citing the team’s research.