10 times as many cases as reported, is this accurate?

Yes, I spent several hours the last couple days reading up on her and her work. Including another one of her responses from interview linked above:

Alastair: So you think that the New Zealand approach, eradicating the virus, is both functionally silly and also immoral?

Well, I don’t know whether I’d go so far as to say it’s immoral. It seems to be very short-sighted, how can it possibly keep the virus out?

I think the smugness, the self-congratulation with which it’s presented is misplaced. The self-righteous attitude is completely ridiculous. If it turns out that the rest of the world, through herd immunity or vaccination, manages to reduce the risk of infection, then what New Zealand will have done would be tantamount to not vaccinating your own child. Just waiting for everyone else to vaccinate their children and then go “ok it’s all safe now”.

You already saw the last part, but there’s the whole thing in context for you.

On Victoria, it’s an example of what she talks about when stringent lockdowns happen before there has been wide spread. If the virus hasn’t been eliminated, it starts to spread once people again start interacting. In principle, that is.

…in context that doesn’t look like science to me. Does “smugness” and "self congratulations sound like science to you? Do you really think the additional context makes what she said sound better?

How will we keep the virus out? By doing what we are doing. Has she not read the news? Argument from incredulity is not science. Its a fallacy.

Well no shit. Really? If the virus is still around it will spread when people interact? STOP THE PRESSES!!! Victoria didn’t seek elimination. They, like the rest of Australia and most of the rest of the world had a suppression strategy. And in most of the rest of the world the suppression strategy works. It has dramatically flattened the curve and dramatically lowered the death rate. Gupta posits it isn’t the lockdown that has done this, but because the virus was more widespread than most people think. So again, how does that explain Victoria?

The numbers in Victoria are not extraordinary. They are what you would expect if the virus had an outbreak unchecked for a couple of weeks. The numbers reflect a failure in managed isolation, of surveillance testing, of the “free market.” But the numbers say nothing of lockdown itself and I don’t know why you seem to think that they do.

She’s saying that in Victoria it was never widespread. And that, just like in New Zealand, it didn’t get a chance to become widespread, when the mitigation measures were in place. So people didn’t get exposed. Yes, I know all of this should sound ‘stop the presses!’ obvious. I don’t get why you are asking about it.

…she said this? Or are you arguing this?

No it was never widespread. It still isn’t widespread. What would be the advantage of allowing things to get widespread?

People not getting exposed isn’t a bad thing. People not getting exposed should be the goal in a pandemic. People not getting exposed means people don’t get sick. It means that people don’t die. It means that people don’t have to live with a lifetime of long-term effects. Not getting exposed means parents and grandparents and loved ones don’t die in isolation and alone. Not getting exposed means our economy can essentially get back to normal.

Not getting exposed sounds like a good thing to me. Why are you trying to paint “not getting exposed” as a bad thing? Do you think Victoria is wrong to go into lockdown?

You don’t get why I was asking about what it was that you said? Because what you said isn’t extraordinary, and what you said doesn’t say anything at all about Gupta’s theory. How do the numbers in Victoria support Gupta’s ideas? How different would the numbers be if there hadn’t have been a lockdown in place?

That’s an understatement. This is the lady who revised her original UK numbers of 1 out of a 1,000 IFR in March to between 1 in a 1,000 to 1 in 10,000 in May, and even said that they were likely closer to the latter. Being generous and taking the midpoint of the two,1 in 5,000, would require the following based on the current death count:

  • The UK population to increase by 350% overnight
  • The entire new population of the UK to have coronavirus
  • No one having any sort of innate immunity
  • No more deaths going forward

Yeah, she’s full of shit.

…my apologies for my massive understatement :smiley: Oh dear, not good at all.

Pretty sure she was talking about a global IFR there. She did give the caveat, when asked about the fatality rate in New York, that she didn’t want to be seen as weaseling out of the estimate, but she made the point that an IFR is a linear combination of different rates in different population sets, with some being more vulnerable than others (and she gives the example of the cruise ship with its own). On the day of the interview, I guess the UK was already right at 0.0005 of its entire population deceased.

So, if her guess of 0.0005 were to be ballpark close, I suppose she’d be saying that around 1.4 billion would have been infected by today.

Excellent. Then what is causing the UK to suck so horribly when it comes to the IFR?

Is it the lockdown? Would fewer people have died if everyone was touching, sneezing, and fucking in the streets in a massive orgy of social space invasion?

Do you think that perhaps it’s the fact that healthcare is so expensive in the UK that no one can afford it?

Could it possibly be due to overzealous inbreeding by people who didn’t have this mythical immunity that is somehow unique to the UK?

Or perhaps, Sunetra Gupta is simply full of shit. I’ll let you decide (you already have).

She suggests vulnerability has to do with factors like age, lack of previous exposure or innate immunity, and so on.

You still think all those curves don’t look mostly the same?

Damn, I forgot you were that dude or I would have not replied to you in this forum as I have already determined that that was wasted effort.

For the general audience, SayTwo believes that the curves of the two countries in this chart look mostly the same. Even if you make the y-axis logarithmic so it at least has a curve at all, it still isn’t even remotely similar looking. Keep in mind that this is a self-proclaimed math teacher making such statements. That is why I told myself to start ignoring him in this forum.

Also for the general audience, if Sunetra Gupta is even close to right, and we’ll be generous and go with the 1 in 5000 midpoint number, then even if the entire globe had already contracted the coronavirus (yes, everyone, including the supposed immune), the following countries have already surpassed the IFR that she thinks is likely:

San Marino
Sint Maarten
Isle of Man
Channel Islands
North Macedonia

I will note that I see similarities. They all appear to have vowels and consonants in their name, although Kyrgyzstan barely gets in, depending on your take on “y.” They also all appear to have fewer than fifty letters in their name and populations greater than zero.

Sunetra Gupta is full of shit.

Just out of curiosity what do find so horrible about her research, published in such rags as Nature towards a universal influenza vaccine?

What do you find objectionable about statement in that second article that point prevalence of antibody positivity may very well significantly underestimate the number of those who have been infected and the number with some degree of immunity? While the studies are few and small subsequent research seems to bear her suspicion out, with a large fraction of samples from before the epidemic having, as she suspected, T-cells that respond specifically to SARS-CoV-2 (demonstrating the cross-reactive immunity she speaks of) and possibly as many people developing specific T-cell response without specific antibody responses as measured by the current tools, as have antibody responses documented. Her statement in that article end of May that the epidemic is mostly done in the U.K. is not inconsistent with the curve since then either … but, as they say, winter is coming … so we’ll see.

Reading the context and what gets written by the few self-identified Kiwis have exposure to, it doesn’t sound so inaccurate.

Surety may be misplaced.

…did I use the word “horrible” or “objectionable?”

This response says a lot about you, and says nothing at all about what the few " self-identified Kiwis" have said here. Gupta didn’t present a scientific argument in favour of her claim that if the rest or the world vaccinated, that New Zealanders would not vaccinate with the rest of them.

No, you used those two items as examples of why you rolled your eyes. So to be precise, why does her Nature publication level work and her potentially prescient speculations about the limitations of antibody point prevalence numbers and the possibility of cross-reactive T-cells from other human HCo-Vs, make you roll your eyes?

Re vaccinations, Gupta said no such thing. I disagree with her specific point but that was not it. It was an analogy to vaccine refusers feeling they don’t need to take the defined risks of getting vaccinated because they will, by herd immunity, get the benefits of others having become immune. I think she is mistaken because in her speculative future there is still some level of SARS-HCoV-2 out there forever and the New Zealand approach would (barring a safe effective and widely available vaccine) need to maintain their relative isolation and suppression forever, lest it spread and eventually have the swing at bat that leads to a widespread local epidemic. No freeloader path is open. They win the bet that a vaccine will come before they tire or fumble, or they have the same fraction of cases at some point.

To the degree you accept that such is the bet made, I understand that you are very sure that the former will occur and consider the latter as an impossibility. Me, I don’t know.

…I’m allowed to roll my eyes if want to fucking roll my eyes. I’m rolling my eyes right now. In boredom. Cross-reactive T-cells from other human HCo-Vs are boring. Are you bored yet?

She said exactly that thing.

It was an analogy? No fucking way. REALLY?

It was a really fucking bad analogy. Refusing to die is not analogous to refusing a vaccine. Following best practice in a global pandemic, locking down, social distancing, reinforcing track and trace, and in the process keeping our death toll under 30, keeping the economy humming along (unemployment figures came out today and were much better than expected) is a good thing.

What is analogous to the anti-vaxxers are the people that think otherwise. That exposure to Covid-19 is good, that more exposure is even better, and that if we don’t let our guard down we are on the path to disaster. We would rather not do that. We can see what is happening in the rest of the world and we don’t want that here. If that comes across as “smugness” and “self congratulations” then that isn’t my problem.

We’ve already won the bet. Even the virus were to slip into the country and we had new outbreaks of community spread we are still better off having not lost as many people in the first go-around. We are much better off keeping it at bay. Nothing is gained by letting it in.

Except I’m not betting on the former. I’m not betting on a vaccine. I’m betting on the world we are living in is going to be the new normal for probably a long time. We need to adapt, not succumb.

You are allowed to roll your eyes, to find something objectionable or horrible, to not answer why you do, and to find whatever key basic science that may dramatically inform the course forward you want to be boring.

You can even be fucking while you roll your eyes … but your partner might not be too pleased.

Me bored? Not with T-cell interactions …

But you take care now!

An antibody study in Italy found that 2.5% of the population has been infected by coronavirus. That’s about 6x the reported cases.

Survey suggests 2.5% of Italians have COVID-19 antibodies, which would be 6 times more than the official count of cases

Only 2.5% of Italians have Covid-19 antibodies, government study shows


Applying your testing rate apples to apples bit …

Current test positivity United States is about 8% (cumulative about the same), so definitely finding more of the cases than when that rate was double digits; test positivity during the study period in Italy was averaging well below 1% (with cumulative test positivity under 4%). If they are finding 6 times positive on current antibodies than identified by testing, then the U.S. with much less extensive testing is definitely somewhere north of that.

I also wonder why they excluded those living in health care facilities (which clearly was the hardest hit population). Probably a small enough absolute number that even a percent Ab+ wouldn’t change the bottom line much though.

I am not questioning the tests themselves i nthe US, but I do wonder if the US system can double count.

Human nature being what it is, and if I were over there, then just getting one test and never getting another seems unlikely to me, I sure would want to be checked a few times over several weeks just to be sure.

People go out and about and may think that the are ok for now, but in time they are bound to think they ought to get another - especially if they suspect they have been in a risky location or have met someone who is cavalier in their precautions.

So - does the US system allow for individuals to undertake periodic testing, can it be gamed by going to different locations - especially across boundaries, in the UK we have people going to their GP and being advised of likely infection - and this will be reported back as an infection because Covid is a notifiable disease - but then those same people may well go to a testing centre and not notify them of the possible diagnosis and ask for a test - this could lead to double reporting.

Another likely sxcenario is that someone has covid, is tested as such, recovers and wants to confirm they are now clear so they would probably like to have that reassusrance that it has gone.

All those and more will drive people to seek tests on multiple occasions and I wonder if the testing and reporting system is able to cope with that and report accurately.

From what I can find (and I can’t find the actual white paper if there is one), it appears that the Italian study attempted to find a true representative sample (although they excluded nursing homes) of the population, so it should be somewhat accurate. In the US, on the other hand, the only survey I’m aware of that is based on solid sampling techniques are the “Community Level Seroprevalence Surveys” being performed by the CDC. Unfortunately, it is still underway, we have no results, and so far appears to be limited to Atlanta.

They have other methods which are further along, such as “Large-scale Geographic Seroprevalence Surveys”, but they warn that:

One limitation of these surveys is that people tested are not necessarily representative of the population for that area.

They also have the “Special Populations Seroprevalence Surveys”, which comes with the caveat:

Because they examine samples from a specific population, their findings cannot necessarily be applied to other populations.

So, no, we don’t have a good idea of the true positivity rate in America (yet).

One of the leading COVID-19 modelers has a new, not yet reviewed paper out.

Estimating true infections - Youyang Gu

(These estimates are 7-10x the daily reports of new infections)