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Covid-19 still raging.

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, June 15th, 2020 - 25 comments
Categories: covid-19, health, International, us politics - Tags:

It looks to me like we’re about to see a second wave of infections in the US digging deeper into the smaller cities and regions. I’m expecting to see the same kind of thing to happen in other countries. But for the moment a focus on the well documented cases in teh US,

While we’re incredibly lucky to have the workable leadership during a crisis (ie it wasn’t the dithering National party), it is worth looking elsewhere to to look at what actually works. But the US is like a smorgasbord of differing jurisdictions with differing approaches.

Looking at the the daily roundup article from the Washington Post “As coronavirus infections surge nationwide, 21 states see increase in average daily new cases“, just look at the states where it has been happening the fastest.

Alabama, Oregon and South Carolina are among the states with the biggest increases. Alabama saw a 92 percent change in its seven-day average, while Oregon’s seven-day average was up 83.8 percent and South Carolina’s was up 60.3 percent. Hospitalizations have risen as well. For example, Arkansas has seen a 120.7 percent increase in hospitalizations, from 92 cases to 203, since Memorial Day.

None of those states have been heavily hit to date. But it now looks like the virus has managed to get a substantial foothold into some of the less densely populated states far from the international transport hubs.

But there are also indications that even in those states that were hit earlier, the less populated urban centres and counties are now becoming hotspots.

Washington state health officials warned Saturday that coronavirus transmission is increasing in the eastern part of the state. Benton, Franklin, Spokane and Yakima counties are of greatest concern and could see “increasingly explosive growth” in cases and deaths if the current rate of transmission continues.

You can see the same happening in other countries. The most obvious, after 50 days virus free..

Beijing’s biggest meat and vegetable market was shut down after the discovery of a cluster of coronavirus cases, raising the prospect of a second wave of infections.

There were dozens of people who tested positive, most were asymptomatic and were only picked up in testing.

When you look at what works. Well this is pretty obvious. @01:20pm “Maryland fines two dozen nursing homes for covid-19 reporting failures”.

Maryland has fined at least two dozen nursing homes for failing to provide information on covid-19 cases and deaths to state health officials, violating an executive order issued by Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in April.

Compliance with reporting, which stood at about 50 percent before the fines began, had jumped to 98 percent by Saturday, said Fran Phillips, Maryland’s deputy secretary for public health.

Maryland is currently in the first 18 states with high levels of cases. Many have come from the aged care sector.

The numbers are pretty depressing – especially when you look at single day figures.

A dozen states hit their record-high seven-day-average of new cases: Alabama, Oregon, South Carolina, Florida, Alaska, Oklahoma, Arizona, Nevada, Arkansas, California, North Carolina and Texas. Five states reached new single-day case highs Saturday: Alabama (888), Alaska (29), Florida (2,581), Oklahoma (225) and South Carolina (785).

Florida in particular will be interesting. It is gearing up for the Republican convention in August.

An increase of coronavirus cases in counties with fewer than 60,000 people is part of the trend of infections surging across the rural United States. Health experts worry those areas, already short of resources before the pandemic, will struggle to track new cases.

But on the good news

In New York, meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Saturday reported the hard-hit state’s lowest number of new coronavirus deaths since the pandemic’s start. “We have tamed the beast,” he declared at a news conference.

Contrast that with New Zealand. There is an Op-ed “As the pandemic rages on, I’m grateful to be in almost-normal New Zealand“.

This week, as New Zealand celebrates being covid-19 free after 1,504 cases and just 22 deaths and almost-normal life resumes inside the country, I am still grateful — to be able to hike again, to travel around the country again, even to take the train to work again. But, as at the beginning of this journey, that feeling is tinged with sadness. As we talk to our loved ones and read the daily headlines from the United States — with at least 111,000 deaths — we’re reminded that the pain and struggle back home are far from over.

25 comments on “Covid-19 still raging.”

  1. Stunned Mullet 1

    More that the first wave is washing through other areas in the US than an actual second wave.

    Not sure having a swing at the Nats serves any purpose as their response, led by the MoH, would have been nigh on identical.

    • Andre 1.1

      … as their response, led by the MoH, would have been nigh on identical.

      Ya reckon? Leading into the introduction of the alert levels, all I remember from the Nats was "tax cuts" and "bonfire of regulations", then very late in the piece a meaningless stunt petition and inconsistent scattershot swipes at what the government did.

    • mickysavage 1.2

      Are you sure?  Chris Penk's book tends to give it away.  And Bojo and Trump have shown what right wing ideologues are capable of and Scomo was saved by state leadership.

      • tc 1.2.1

        Yeah and scomos mob are looking to pull away the federal rug for a middle class focused 'rennovation' rescue.

        The liberals  detest giving money out and the states keep schooling him on how proper leadership works.

    • observer 1.3

      If we're going to play counter-factual then we need to start with the facts of the 2017 election result.

      The government would have been National-NZF-ACT. Perhaps English would have retired after 1 or 2 years, so Bridges would be PM. Jami-Lee Ross would be a senior Minister, all best buddies and nobody would be "useless". Seymour would be a Minister. (Alternatively, the government would have fallen apart when JLR, Bridges, Collins, NZF and ACT revealed how much they hated each other – which we now know is true). Health Minister? Jonathan Coleman.

      A public health response depends on the public accepting it. The 4th term National (plus incompatibles) would have lost all its credibility. Like Boris Johnson, they would say the words, but the public wouldn't listen.

      For the record: before Covid-19 Ardern's approval was over 60%, multiple polls. That's why the messaging worked. Trust matters.

      • Stunned Mullet 1.3.1

        Coleman's been gone for years hasn't he ? Not sure who the shadow health person is although it's unlikely they would be any worse/better than the current Minister as the talent pool currently in Wellington is the worst in my memory.

        The public response to lockdown was informed by the publics fear from what was happening overseas which would've existed regardless of who was in government.

        • observer

          Coleman's been gone for years hasn't he ?

          But in your alternative history National won the election. So they're all still there, unless they saw the writing on the wall and started escaping in 2017-19, as the polls turned nasty.

          To change that you're going to have to create alternative vote counts and alternative people. Then it's just "if auntie had bollocks" … and we can all do that (what if Labour had no Winston, etc, etc).

          • Stunned Mullet

            The alternative history … as you will note was started by the author of this article.

            Also not sure if you're bored with this …. but I certainly am.

            • lprent

              Nope. Your assertion was that National would have followed ministry of health health advice.

              My assertion was that would appear to be unlikely based on statements by National leaders on when to change levels and when to open borders, and the fact that one of them asserted that the director-general of health was lying to him. Perhaps you should check these facts – in case you were too frigging lazy to notice them at the time.

              I’d also say that based on the actual evidence of suppression of the disease while supporting an economy through transition, rather than spurious unsupported and probably unsupportable suppositions and fantasies as you are doing, that the Labour led government did a pretty good job of weathering a major health crisis. You only have to look at the complete screw-ups by Trump and Johnson to see how not to do it. Even the aussie experience with their dithering and late responses by ScoMo was only really alleviated by the states doing their own corrections for the failures of federal policy.

              Personally I think that you’re just giving a good impression of a fool living in la-la land, smoking some of that good ganja, and running a fantasy that bears no relationship to reality.

              • Stunned mullet

                Personally I think that you’re just giving a good impression of a fool living in la-la land, smoking some of that good ganja, and running a fantasy that bears no relationship to reality.

                Oh well, personally I think you're are fatuous old know it all high on self opinion and hypocrisy….. such is life

              • NZJester

                The right loves to point to the Australian policy being more lax than New Zealands but having similar results as proof that the policies implemented here in New Zealand went to far. The one big fault with this assertion is that in those states following those more lax policies the infection rates are higher, and in the states where they actually implemented stricter state policies the infection rates have been going down. If you study Australia State by State instead of as a Country as a whole on what policies where enacted in each of them you can clearly see that the ones enacted here are more similar to those Australian states with the lower infection rates.

                • In Vino

                  Sorry, but those are facts which Stunned Mullet does not wish to be informed of.

                  You must be another ' fatuous old know it all high on self opinion and hypocrisy'.


    • Tricledrown 1.4

      Stunted Muellet given National wanted to open borders with countries that are still having untracked community outbreaks ,National Party fanboys and simple Simon were advocating the Swedish and Australian model.

      The Boris Johnston approach was far more likely.

      Trying to sanitize the National Pary prior to the election feeble as Nationals leadership as the polls reflect the former crying Wolf tactics a complete failure.

      Now National have to steal Labours let's do this.

      Nothing original now it's me too instead of moaning like spoilt brats.


      • Stunned Mullet 1.4.1

        As dear old Rob used to say I'm sure you'll be able to produce a link for you assertion that ..

        National wanted to open borders with countries that are still having untracked community outbreaks ,National Party fanboys and simple Simon were advocating the Swedish and Australian model.

        The Boris Johnston approach was far more likely.

        • lprent

          Try this from April 5th

          National leader Simon Bridges wants more businesses back in action if they don't pose a risk.

          "The longer we see the devastation and the job losses and the business going under, it's heart attacks, it's mental health issues," he told TVNZ's Q&A this morning.

          "If it's safe, if it's contactless actually, the fashion designers can sell their goods online, the forestry could get going, we've got agriculture going."

          But there's no sign of any changes.

          "A strategy that sacrifices people in favour of supposedly a better economic outcome is a false dichotomy," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today.

          That was exactly the Australian model at the time and pretty much remained it – I'm sure that even your piss-poor skills on looking up references to confirm that. I'm pretty sure that even Bridges wasn't stupid enough to have advocated the Swedish – so I haven't looked it up. Of course many of the more overt National party idiots like Mike the Moron did..

          You can also look at this and this.

          On trans-tasman travel Simon Bridges said this two weeks into the lockdown..

          Bridges is questioning the Government's decision not to include Australia in the list of exemptions.

          "I'd like a sense of understanding how they went through the process of deciding those places and then yet not Australia," Bridges told Magic Talk.

          "I personally expected travel [restrictions] – but not the Trans-Tasman. I think what we can say, though, is that having done the Trans-Tasman, the effects of that are going to be economically unbelievable."

          Basically you're one of those deluded idiots for whom the trite phrases following is particularly apposite. A typical conservative – more interested in wanking on myths rather than real history. From a reference of phrases from George Santayana

          Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

          • This famous statement has produced many paraphrases and variants:
            • Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
            • Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes.
            • Those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it.
            • Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them.
            • Those who do not know history's mistakes are doomed to repeat them.
          • There is a similar quote by Edmund Burke (in Revolution in France) that often leads to misattribution: "People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors."
  2. lprent 2

    Not sure having a swing at the Nats serves any purpose as their response, led by the MoH, would have been nigh on identical.

    Yeah right… This isn't apparent in the occasions when they have been trying calls to drop levels and open borders prematurely. Not to mention accusations of various officials lying to them.

    You might have forgotten those stupid lapses of judgement, but I haven't. It matches the kind of idiotic lapses of judgement that made the ChCh earthquake responses to be the long drawn out mess that is still going on a decade later.


  3. Poission 3

    Japan still problematic,with spike in Tokyo.Entertainment areas and younger vectors troublesome.


  4. Andre 4

    Cuomo claiming to have tamed the beast seems premature.

    I haven't found any good recent non-paywalled reports, but antibody testing suggests that at most only around 20% of NYC residents have antibodies and may now be immune. That's only enough to take a bit of an edge off of a second wave, nowhere near enough to return to anything vaguely resembling the pre-pandemic normal.

    • lprent 4.1

      From the reading I have been doing, I don't think that the antibody evidence is that useful. I'll skip the links as I'm working and don't have time to look them up.

      1. It doesn't look like many if not most people who had the disease and fought it it off without significiant symptoms display any of the type of anti-body reactions that is being tested for. They are fighting it off with just the initial static immune responses in the upper respiratory tract and maybe t-cells. In other words they never get to produce specific antibodies to be detected in blood work.
      2. There is some evidence that only the people with severe lung covid-19 symptoms or blood variants produce antibodies at all. That is a followup question because most of the testing has been done on people with symptoms, and even then there hasn't been any good studies yet on low on no symptoms and subsequent antibody results.
      3. The types of antibodies that they are looking for are also present for people who just had significiant corona virus common colds. Now there is evidence that having common cold confers some immunity to covid-19 – so that may not matter.
      4. There is a lot of evidence that the antibody responses to any corona virus don't seem to stick around for long. Typically just a few years. This isn't like smallpox with its >= 7 year immunity. It is more like 2-3 years. That is a wait and see.

      I suspect that so far the most effective way to reduce covid-19 in the human populations is changed behaviour. That does appear to be what is happening. Be interesting to see what happens to sports crowds over the next few decades.

      I’m not saying the Cuomo is right or wrong – I’d just say that we don’t know. What he is looking at is the number of new reported cases in a an environment of significant testing.

      Personally I’m betting that we’re not going to see significiant herd immunity developing. I think that this is more likely to be defeated the way that cholera was. Changed behaviour (cholera from sewerage and water systems, covid-19 from ?? )

  5. Adrian 5

    A conversation this morning with a brother in law who is currently working in Europe bought up the question of the worlds highest-on-population-basis death toll being Belgium. 

    Really? Why ?. Well according to him the Belgians are a bit too keen on the old thinning out the lingering tail scenario. He has Belgian family as well and the extended family are in a bit of a fight with a hospital and insurance company as an elderly male family member went in for a hip operation and during pre-op investigation found he also had cancer.

    Almost immediatly while still under heavy duty pain relief he was imposed upon to sign a release form and offered the Magic Syringe and that same day was dispatched to the great hereafter without even informing anyone in the family. Apparently this is very common in Belgium and is encouraged by the health insurance companies who pay the rest home/hospitals 4000 Euros to off the lingerers and the payments are mildly disguised as a medical procedure.

    The same dodgy dealing is responsible for their unusually high  Covid death rate the BIL's family informed him.


  6. RedLogix 6

    Further to my comment on Saturday.

    Along with a number of other large nations, the US response to COVID has been a monumental failure, for a number of reasons. The disease in now fully endemic and there is no hope of controlling it with any future lockdowns.


    There are only three bright spots on the horizon; one is the death rates are trending slowly down as doctors get better at treating it. (Also the wild versions of the virus may be mutating toward less lethality, but this proposition has yet to be proven.) Secondly we are better at reducing the R-rates with hygiene and distancing. Thirdly we are 3 -5 months down the track toward a vaccine program, but realistically it will be 2021 before we see mass rollouts.

    Over the second half of this year the infection rates across all the US states will converge and increase. Many states will not see a 'second wave', the first never really subsided … just an inexorably rising case rate. I'm predicting they'll get to a death toll between 500,000 to 1m.

    In the meantime riots will escalate in all the cities, and there is an election to be held that even in 'normal' times was always going to be fraught. Already there are early hints there will be mass resignations from police forces as morale collapses. Just weeks ago it would have been impossible to say this, but the US military is now about the only thing standing between the people and total chaos.

  7. Hooch 7

    It will be interesting to see how Covid19 pans out in Australia now and it’s effect on the trans Tasman bubble proposal. NSW and VIC pursued a suppression strategy while other states chose the NZ style elimination and appear to have succeeded. It’s hard to see the populations of virus free states accepting the risk from eastern states having done the hard work eliminating the virus. Likewise how can we expect NZ to accept that as well?

    ScoMo has come out and told the states they can’t have international arrivals until they open the internal borders, effectively forcing them to accept new infections because NSW and VIC couldn’t be bothered eliminating. I can’t see this playing out well. 

    A good article outlining the issues https://www.qt.com.au/news/covid-plan-b-no-one-is-talking-about/4026677/

  8. Sabine 8

    and considering this will continue to rage across the US as many can't afford to even go get a test -were they available and reliable

    Michael Flor, a Seattle resident, surprised doctors and family members when he recovered from a life-threatening coronavirus infection this spring.

    Then he got his own surprise ― a hospital bill for $1,122,501.04.

    Flor, 70, shared the 181-page document with The Seattle Times, which noted that he has insurance and Medicare coverage and so may only have to pay a relatively small amount of the whopping total


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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
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  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
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  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
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  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
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  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
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