Thursday, 27 January 2022

Omicron: "’s misleading to quote a number that’s twice as soon and an order of magnitude higher."

"Radio NZ has a headline 'Omicron: Modelling Suggests NZ Could Face Peak of 80,000 Daily Infections,' and the report starts 'New Zealand could be facing 50,000 daily Omicron infections by Waitangi weekend.' This is technically correct, but in this context that is not the best kind of correct.
    "First, this is a model for infections, not cases. It includes asymptomatic infections (which are definitely a thing) and infections that just don’t get reported. The modelled peak for cases is a couple of weeks later, and about a factor of 7 lower. So 50,000 daily infections by Waitangi weekend, peaking at 80,000 a few weeks later means 425 daily cases by Waitangi weekend, peaking around 11,000 daily cases by late March, if we believe the model. Given that we have been seeing reporting of cases, not infections, for the past two years, it’s misleading to quote a number that’s twice as soon and an order of magnitude higher."

          ~ Thomas Lumley, from his posts 'How Many Omicrons?'


  1. The other factor that could be come important is how many people are discovered in hospital when they have Covid but were admitted for other reasons. Like the deaths from Covid, not just with Covid. From the British experience, there was near an order of magnitude difference between the two numbers.

    1. Yes. They are inflating the numbers. Imagine if we tested everyone for colds, which people often get 2-3 times a year, sometimes without knowing they had them. Imagine that we tested everyone twice a week for cold viruses, then labeled anyone as having tested positive for a cold as a 'cold death.' You would see 600,000 'cold deaths' a year in the USA.

      55-60 million people die annually yearly. Approximately 2.5 million have died per year of covid, even under these liberal definitions of 'covid death.' There were no excess deaths annually. The number of deaths worldwide held constant.

      A more honest way to assess the severity of the virus is by looking at excess mortality and attempting to tease out specific causes. In most western countries in the northern hemisphere in 2020 that was between 15%-20%, with the novel coronavirus which had a slightly more severe IFR to influenza, at 0.3%.

      This returned the USA, for example, to 1990 mortality levels. Around 2.4 million people have been dying every year in the US for a long time. In 2020 that went up to about 2.8 million.

      The virus is worse in "developed" countries because of seasonality and co-morbidities typically associated with obesity. Africa doesn't have a problem with this virus for both reasons (and potentially more, but I won't belabor the point).

      You can verify that yourself by going to and looking at cumulative mortality from covid for the past two years, across the entire globe.

      As for excess mortality in New Zealand, it did not hit until winter 2021. Guess what it's associated with?


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