Here are the Answers and Scorecard for the Quick Quiz.
1 The Basic Model in Epidemiology is the SIR Model. S stands for:
Susceptible. SIR stands for Susceptible-Infected-Resistant. Resistant means immune. The model shows how people move from being susceptible to the infection, to being infected, to being immune. When sufficient people are immune, the epidemic ends due to herd immunity, which for Covid is about 60% to 70% of the population. Any response to an epidemic that ignores the SIR Model is at best unscientific, at worst stupid or diabolical. See Epidemiology for Dummies here.
2 The Norwegian Prime Minister has apologised to the Nation for:
Introducing the Lockdown. Following the 60-page report of the Norwegian Health Authority which showed that the lockdown made no significant difference to the outcome. See article on the report here.
3 The primary reason for differing death rates in different countries is:
Immunity level before Covid deaths were counted. Population density has an effect, but not at a national level. At this level, the degree of urbanisation is what matters, and this tends to be similar for industrialised countries (statista.com has this information.) Vitamin D deficiency is significant; this is not addressed on the website as there is plenty of information on the web about the importance of Vit D to the immune system. It is a part of the reason for coloured people in Northern climes having worse outcomes, since coloured skin is less efficient at making Vit D from sunlight. Vaccine-related viral interference has an impact; if you’ve had the flu vaccine you are more likely to do badly with a Coronavirus. See article here. Lockdowns make some difference, but are not the key factor, as shown by Sweden vs UK, USA vs Japan, Spain vs Portugal, etc. The key factor, immunity level before Covid deaths were counted, is explained for China here, and for countries close to China here. A further factor which has come to light since those articles were written is immunity to Covid provided by the Common Cold. This paragraph from the article on the Norwegian Health Authority Report covers it:
The interesting question here is where the pre-lockdown immunity came from. There are two possible sources. One is spread of Covid before it was noticed. Remember that without a test it is impossible to distinguish Covid infection from flu, pneumonia or cold. The other is that the common cold is caused by a range of viruses, including Coronaviruses, and therefore there is a possible mechanism for immunity here. Both Prof. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University and Dr. Wittkowski are convinced that there is indeed immunity from this source. See Prof. Gupta video interview here, and private emails between me and Dr Wittkowski here.
4 Historically, epidemics have been stopped by:
Development of herd immunity. No epidemic has ever been stopped by a vaccine; it is in the very nature of an epidemic that it is self-limiting, usually in weeks or months, while safe vaccines take years to produce and test. Nobody in the past has used either social distancing or lockdown of healthy people; and there is no scientific evidence behind either of theses, except that they may slow the progress of the disease. This does not mean that they save lives, but probably only that they delay deaths. Good hygiene can also slow things down, but the only answer to stopping epidemics is herd immunity.
5 The Media constantly report the latest death total because:
They want to scare us or they think it sells newspapers. Reporting the total death figure is truly a waste of space. This figure will rise until the very last death on the very last day of the epidemic. Hence reporting an increase during an epidemic is like reporting that the Sun rose this morning. If they said “113 died on May 31st, which is only 10% of the 1,172 who died on April 21st,” (those are actual figures) that would convey useful information about the progress of the virus. However, it would also reduce fear.
6 Social Distancing distance in Norway is:
One metre. Social Distancing lacks any good data to back it up, hence a wide variety of distances used by different countries, and a total lack of differential in the figure depending on whether you are indoors or outdoors. See Lie No. 10 in The Top Twelve Lies here .
7 New York has 29,918 deaths (1st June). Tokyo has:
Less than 1,000. Although Tokyo has nearly double the population of New York, the death figures are tiny: actually closer to 100 than 1,000. Tokyo never had a severe lockdown like New York. The colossal difference can only be explained by the immunity level before Covid deaths were counted. See again Why Countries Close to China did so Well here.
8 In Epidemiology, R0 means:
The average number of people infected by one infected person when nobody is immune. You say “R-nought.” The R is for Resistance, meaning immunity. Think of R0 meaning Resistance is Zero. As resistance increases, the effective R number will go down. So if a virus had an R0 of 2.0, and the population it was in was 50% resistant, the effective R would go down to 1.0. If R is 1.0 it cannot cause an epidemic, since the number of infected people will reach a constant number. When R goes below 1.0, the disease will die out. That’s how epidemics end.
Important Note. There are scare stories about Covid not making people immune. These are based on a few cases of notoriously unreliable tests or other diagnoses indicating a second infection in the same person. The idea of the body not creating immunity after contact flies in the face of everything we know about the immune system and viruses. The scare stories are exactly that: scare stories.
9 The UK Government’s estimate of deaths CAUSED by the lockdown is:
Not published. There was a leaked figure of 150,000 many weeks ago. The Government has never come up with a different figure, nor denied the 150,000. See article here. Also BBC just reported (1st June, here) that about 2.4 million people in the UK are waiting for cancer screening, treatment or tests. That’s just cancer. How many deaths will that cause?
10 Sweden avoided lockdown. The effect on the economy was:
It continued to grow. In spite of a large number of press reports saying Sweden’s approach had no benefit to the economy, echoing the reports about how many Swedes would die, it is now clear that Sweden still had First Quarter growth. See here.
The Top Twelve Lies article is also worth a read if you haven’t already. Here.
As far as scoring is concerned, there is a sad fact of something called the “Monkey Factor” in multiple-choice tests. Since each question here had just five possible answers, there is a 20% chance of someone with no knowledge at all getting the right answer. Hence a score of 2 out of 10 is not something you would tell your Mother about! Here’s the Score Card:
10 A star
7 B minus
6 C plus
4 C minus
2 Unclassified/Monkey Factor
0 Yes, it is possible!
Be encouraged! You are probably now qualified to educate others about the virus. Judging from many comments I see on Facebook, there are a substantial number of people who would actually manage the zero score. This is a tragedy for them personally and for the country as a whole. Anything you can do to enlighten people is not only worthwhile, but of vital importance in our current predicament.
Many thanks for taking part.