Coronavirus March

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Bulletin 15April 2020 : coronascript15April.pdf

Bulletin 10April 2020 : coronascript10april.pdf

 Bulletin 31 March 2020 : bulletin31mar.pdf

Bulletin 28 March 2020 :bulletin28mar.pdf

Bulletin 27 March 2020 : bulletin27mar.pdf

Bulletin 26 March 2020 : bulletin26mar.pdf


The things matter over the next few weeks:

define the compartments and appoint leadership

enforcing the isolation

food to the poor to boost them


early treatment




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  • This is me answering Toby Chance of the DA in SOWETO,  a man for whom I have the greatest respect, he is a Cambrige trained economist and I have dealt with him as far back as 1986 when we had similar conversations about the impending HIV infection. I am  blind copying my response to Toby to an important list of decision makers. If you don't wan't to follow this conversation mail me and I will take you off the list, otherwise you are welcome to listen or comment

    More info


    16 April 2020


    That is what I feared about the DA proposal if it is based on Dr Karim's data.

    1) Dr Karim is wrong! If he is wrong then Steenhuizen is wrong and the DA is wrong. As a  scientist I trust that Dr Karim  would be very happy for me to prove him wrong. (I  will copy this to him again now I have written to him three times and he does not answer)

    2) Notwitstanding 1) above the DA  CANNOT be working off his data - and if you are - please release the workings openly,  becuase I cannot beleive that Karim's  data is telling him that a relaxing of the lock down makes any sense. While R0 is effectivley = Re - not even a post grad college kid would agree with that.

    3) Notwithstanding 1) and 2) above I believe that imediately empowering the DA to run the Western Cape independently will save hundreds of thousands of  Capetonian lives. I wish you well in hte SOWETO region, I wish all humanit well inther pakces, but we msut first each focus on our own comaprtments. In a perfect world it only takes 21 dyas to eradicate Coronavirus. The delay is caused by the vectors.

    3) Toby, in terms of your comments about the economy. I am like you, an economist.  I have spent much of the last 90 days linking the epidemilogical models to simple CGE models. You soon come up againt this question - WHAT IS AN AFRICAN LIFE WORTH? We will keep arguing this without resolution, until we all choke on our ventilators. It is better to measure what is the effect of constricting GDP on African Lives. So far my conculsions (bearing in mind Runde's weight of argument)  is that in an African context,  restricting GDP kills more than COVID 19 - just slower. (Citation needed) This means that at the point that Re differs significantly from Rzero - we will have to make these decisions. It is inevitable and it will be a dark day, but fortunately it is not today.  We have more pressing problems, our deaths are now 34 and rising faster than ever. We are a few weeks away from 500. .

    From what I can see, Karim is dealing with a SIR model (while it is a good entry point to understand the maths, I  rejected this in early march after examing around 40 cases of northern countries). You cannot get to what I am saying unless you understand Vectors and how they propogate the virus. A SIR Model so does not explain how China contained (contained - not beat) coronaviris in WUHAN. Look to Dengue to understand the epidemiology of coronavirus and in particular the effect of the economy. The jump off point is to replace mosquitos in the vector with economic agents.

    Right now for the economy - here is a terrible analogy - think Andries Pretorius in 1838 pouring oil on mosquito pools. Anything to stop the deaths, we will get the wagons moving later.

    I have put it in laymans terms. in the document attached.(includes the technical refences and source code of my workings)   Now read my document (3 pages) on the "Flattening"  and replay Karim's monday interview on ETV. And then make a decision as to who is right. I would hope that Dr Karims ego is big enough to change his mind when there is so much at stake.

    I know that this a data sparse decision matrix, however two days later and I am already being proved right - We are not flattening.  We had a record deaths day. We are now seeing the effect of the second outbreak, This will get bigger this week. We are not imume- we are not special - we are increasing rapidy and we are squadering our fortunate early stage advantage.

    I will happily defer to Dr Karim on COVID 19, but I challenge his understanding of coronavirus in the strongest terms. None of us are experts, because we have never faced this before.

    Important thing for every policy maker to understand about Coronavirus

    Econometrics - this is the first time in recent human history when a virus has had such a devestating effect on the economy - our epidemiological models fall short. I have spent the last 90 days studying the epidemilogy, I doubt many Epidemiologists have studied the econometrics of this event.

    Domain - Corona viris does not follow "National" rules. A pocket as small as 4,000 can have devastating results. the bigger the  COMPARTMENT, the harder it is to enforce policy. A Central One sgtrategy fits all will not work. Thsi is the experience of China vs Iran

    Vectors - transmission us not a homogenous number. R zero in Khayalitsh ia not R zero in Constantia.

    Delta - the delay between stages  S - E - I - R

    Re the effective rate of transmission, while not relevent right now is the final arbiter - NOT R zero.

    Beta the innfection rate of an individual a carrier, can be modified by perimter,social distancing and w qaurantine.

    Nu the death rate is not homogeneous over compartments.

    Constricting GDP Kills. In a Runderian weighted argument - the kill rate is greater (But slower) than COVID 19. 

    Testing is importnat, but has little benefit unless  Beta is first restricted.

    The virus is restricted by four main  factors - social distancing, cleaning, perimiters, quarantine. They are loglinear additive. The effect is siimmilar to a COBB-DOUGLAS production function with a rapidly increasing tech effect similar to a two week  version of  Moore's Law.

    Insummary the above means that every compartment must be dealt with  by a compartment Tzar.  We are each that Tsar of our own bodies. I have been locked down for nearly 6 weeks (3 weeks longer than the rest of you) . The last meeting I went to was with Guy Harris six weeks ago. I live in a wider   COMPARTMENT of  500 that has an early infection from a traveller. We acted rapidy and now have had  ZERO infections for 4 weeks. We are still exposed, but not as exposed as South Africa.


    Here is why it is important

    1) We may think we are locked down - we are not. More than testing,  we need perimiter management - COMPARTMENTS.

    2) We did one very good thing -   we closed the Europen border early (An thereby expelled the carriers that were in SA). We need to carry on that same policy TODAY - lock down the provinces, Lock down the regions, lock down the wards, dedensify the urban funnels

    3) No more important "Essential workers moving between compartments" spreading the virus. Essential workers must be confined to their place of work. This is the lesson of Europe. ESSENTIAL WORKERS ARE THE VECTOR! Our heros are killers.

    4) Severly restrict taxi use.


    Please consider this statement very seriously :

    I understands what happend in Germany and South Korea. (PEOPLE IN SUVS DOING DRIVE BY TESTING at a cost of R 1,000 per test)

    When we try to do the samething in South Africa - WE SPREAD THE VIRUS!

    What do we do next?

    Having been in opposition to the ANC Government for 25 years -their underlying s decision making is dominated by central control. The ANC are never going to listen to this strategy and they are unlikely to listen to the DA in time.

    We cannot save the country from the ANC  policies, BUT WE CAN STILL SAVE THE WESTERN CAPE.

    Let us focus in what is achievable - COMPARTENTALISE THE WC and let us deal with this locally rather than follow a centralised one-stratgey-fits-all.

    Hundreds of thousands of capetonian lives depend on this. How do we get it done?


    Coronavirus South Africa
  • Bulletin March 31 2020

    Copeman Academy

    Mathematical economist. Philip Copeman has been studying the Coronavirus since 1 February 2020 across 80 country data sets. His conclusion leads us to reexamine our policies. World response to the virus has been driven more by "the need to display good intention" rather than a pragmatic way to minimize death. Leaders and responders are intoxicated by taking the role of "heroes" that they become ineffectual and sometimes even destructive.

    What the data says - Beyond killing vulnerables (it is a voracious killer of vulnerables) , this virus can't go anywhere as and is soon "beaten by the herd." It is like fighting a fire, the fire engines and sirens have little effect. The virus blows itself out against the immune system. If you quarantine it or use social distance it is tough for the virus to live in a closed community beyond 21 days. It survives by our own weakness to allow it access to new populations, but ultimately even this not enough. It cannot survive long term in human populations - it can kill 1% of humanity if we allow it to move freely.

    Take a look for yourself and try your own policies: Simple Sir Model 


    This model ignores Coronavirus symptom delays  and Nu refers to deaths, not vaccines (Same thing from Corona's point of view.)

    This will not really make sense unless you understand COMPARTMENTS. A country with a population of 60 Million is 6,000 compartments of 10,000. So yes we do have the potential to get 6,000 outbreaks over time , but if closed they will each die off in around 21 days. (The damage is huge, but not sustainable).

    SWAT Analysis

    Coronavirus has great weaknesses

    1) Coronavirus cannot stand up to the defense of the human immunity system. In a closed population of healthy unuder 60 year old hosts it is beaten over 99% of the time and in 21 days it is rendered impotent. (needs citation)

    2) Coronavirus cannot live outside the body of a mammal for more than a few hours. Even under favorable conditions it does not live in the open for more than two days. (needs citation)

    3) While we are not certain of the exact figures, and while possibly not zero, it does appear that once recovered, the chance of catching the virus agains are very low if not near zero (needs citation).

    4) A single isolated individual is a deathtrap for the virus. It cannot live past 21 days.  There are only two outcomes - death to the host or death to the virus (needs citation)


    Coronavirus has one great strength

    It is highly contagious. While this contagious period is very short, in the contagious period it is virulent. Beta is as high as 3.0, can be 4.0 in urban slums.  (needs citation)


    It provides two great threats

    In certain vulnerable groups (broadly categorized as those with medical conditions associated with age) it can have a fatality of 15% (needs citation).

    Humans are social animals and while the solution is clear that if everyone self isolates for 21 days the virus in humans dies, such is our lack of love for our own species and our own individual desire to socialize,  that we will break this isolation and alow the virus to replicate.


    There are opportunities

    By establishing who are the  "recovered", we can put them back to work as soon as possible and get on with the business of growing GDP. Any community that can do this faster than the general global population stands to gain massive market share.


    Problems with the WHO data

    Most of the work around the SIR models is based on the WHO data, best augmented and presented by Johan Hopkins. There are three data sets presented by reporting group that confirms, deaths, recovered.

    This confirms completely underestimate the infectious population. They do not count the vast majority of cases that show no symptoms and do not report. The majority of transmissions re done before a carrier knows they have the virus

    Testing positives is helpful in tracing but has two problems. It gives us no indication of recovered and is temporary. Tow days after a test, a host can become a carrier. Unless the testing is continual it loses value.  Under current costs, only the wealthiest nations will be able to successfully run such campaigns.

    However, death data is reliable and much can be inferred from death data using population pyramids.

    Currently, there is no reliable field data on the effect of coronavirus on HIV and TB hosts. Getting this information is now urgent.

    Policy For South Africa

    Coronavirus is much more contagious than is coming out in general reports. Washing your hands and staying 1.5 meters away from people is not enough. As important as this would be not to Sneeze or "shout" when in the presence of others. We need to face this practicality: it is not possible to maintain the social distancing required to isolate individuals in urban townships. Vulnerables should be removed from urban slums and placed in isolation with a distance of greater than 1.5 meters.

    We should focus on developing capacity to confirm "recoveries".  Testing positives will not have the same success  as the Asian countries, because we will not be able to bring down beta in the same way that they have.

    All deaths and all recoveries should be tested for HIV to establish the effect on HIV populations.

    We should limit the contact of "essential services" to vulnerables. They could well be making the problem worse. (needs citation)

    By opening up "virus zones" - eg at Universities and industrial sites to educated volunteers, and particularly to recovereds, we can begin to bootstrap our economy. The virus areas would have to be quarantined to hosts entering these areas. Persons entering these areas should be fully informed that the fatality rate of entering is below 1%  for non vulnerables, but is not zero. These hosts carry similar risks to those of health workers. The  virus will stabilise rapidly in these areas (as little as 100 days)


    Remains unchanged, possible deterioration due to further day of lock down violations, hard to quantify or even estimate until bigger samples are measured.. Can expect a rise in recoveries as travelers resolve into recovered or deaths.

    The front line is now local transmission in urban densely populated areas. Assuming an "Unseen" penetration of 9 this is now about 500.

    SIR Model
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