The blobs are getting bigger

By May 7, 2020Science, Society

Ever since the self-imposed isolation caused by the rampant COVID-19 pandemic, I have been addicted to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus website1. It gives relatively up-to-date statistics for most, if not all, of the countries on the planet with regard to their number of COVID-19 cases and the number of deaths. There is also a running total of the world’s cases and the number of dead. It centres around a map of the world which has reddish blobs over each country or region, with the diameter of each blob somehow relating to the number of cases in that country or region1. At the risk of sounding ghoulish, it has been interesting, if disturbing, to watch the spread of the disease across the planet. When I first stumbled onto the website, Europe was clearly the epicentre of the disease, something which had been declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the middle of March2.

As the rate of increase of infection started to decline in Europe (except for the UK) the epicentre shifted to the US and, as the rate of increase there has started to slow, the blobs are now getting rapidly bigger in South America and Southeast Asia, and soon will in Africa1.

At the time of writing, there are 3,685,129 cases across the world, with 258,051 dead1. Of this, the USA, with 4.2% of the world’s population, has 1,204,475 cases, which is 32.7% of the world’s total, and 71,078 deaths, 27.5% of the world’s total number of deaths. While this is staggeringly awful, this is not where it will end. Proportions like this are pointless at this stage while the disease is still spreading, and are more an indication of the time it takes for the virus to spread around the world, rather than how badly a nation is doing. This is not to decrease the guilt that should be sheeted home to the Mango Mussolini and his entourage of incompetence for their disbelief of reality and their bungling of the response. That bungling is measured in lives lost.




  • Yes Minister says:

    While strictly speaking, it is not Australia’s place to criticize the US head of state, one has to wonder why the Donald has ANY supporters remaining, let alone the tens of millions who appear to believe he is the greatest thing since sliced bread. That said, I have difficulty comprehending the increased respect for SCUMMO, as well as other members of federal and state parliaments. Are we really that collectively deluded that we are prepared to forget the litany of ineptitude ?

    • admin says:

      I am stuck by the similarities between Trump and Morrison. The only difference is that Trump is inarticulate and I suspect has incipient (or advanced) dementia, whereas Morrison is as articulate as a race course urger or any other spiv. He could talk with his head in a bucket of wet cement, but when doing so he says very little. He lies whenever he thinks he needs to get out of answering a difficult question. Despite that, I consider Morrison is as reprehensible as Trump. The problem with the US as well as Australia is that there is a a cohort of people who are terminally gullible. When I was at University, a friend from Sydney and I had convinced a country lad from Victoria that, as per the Aunty Jack Show, that on the east coast of Australia, you could by fish-flavoured milshakes: flathead, whiting, flounder, etc. It was a few days before he worked out we were pulling his leg. Somebody had to tell him. There are a lot of people out there who you can convince of any ludicrous drivel, provided you keep a straight face. That is how Morrison sucks people in.

  • JON says:

    The answer to your question is YES, Yes Minister. The ignorance, apathy and lack of understanding of a good percentage of Australians on key issues has been apparent for years. For example it seems many have already consigned the political and administrative arrogance and ineptitude (I include the RFS “leadership” in that group) surrounding the bushfires to their wgaf bin. Part of the problem imo is the lack of a decent Opposition leader capable of connecting with people.

    Wrt Covid-19 numbers, I’m very skeptical. Numbers are obviously inaccurate, just how inaccurate we don’t yet know and we may never know. Countries have different ways of attributing and recording deaths and tests aren’t 100% accurate. Belgium apparently made certain assumptions wrt deaths which currently makes their numbers look terrible. Others are obviously understating both infection rates and deaths for political reasons or have no reliable (let alone transparent) system for collecting data. Based on some of the commentary currently around it will be many years down the track before credible data is available imo. Before that there will be the usual flood of letters and opinions based on the “wisdom” of hindsight from conservatives and some members of the public. The only redeeming feature of our march towards mediocrity is that we’re not the USA, where stupidity and ignorance are celebrated traits.

    • admin says:

      Yeah, I am also sceptical of the official figures, especially in the light of a study by the Financial Times, which looked at bald mortality rates and compared them to the historical average mortality rate. It shows that the official figures may be underestimating the deaths from COVID-19 by varying amounts. In Europe, the official figures stated that 77,000 have died of COVID-19, while the increase above 2015-2019 average mortality indicates that the 122,000 is closer to the real figure. The article is here:

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