Testing will produce more COVID-19 cases … but so what?

As testing for COVID-19 increases our knowledge base increases – but knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Until a week or so ago, when tests were not as common, they were rationed to those who were most likely to test positive. The testing was to confirm illness and a treatment path.

Now we’re expanding testing in Australia so we have a better understanding of its prevalence.

Consider this, randomised testing (as explained on 21 April) shows very high results for asymptomatic infection:

Nearly one third of 200 Chelsea, Mass residents who gave a drop of blood to researchers on the street this week tested positive for antibodies linked to COVID-19, a startling indication of how widespread infections have been in the densely populated city.

Sixty-four residents who had a finger pricked in Bellingham Square on Tuesday and Wednesday had antibodies that the immune system makes to fight off the coronavirus, according to Massachusetts General Hospital physicians who ran the pilot study.

The 200 participants generally appeared healthy, but about half told the doctors they had had at least one symptom of COVID-19 in the past four weeks.

This is also the same in the town of Gangelt in Germany:

A team at the University of Bonn … found that two per cent of the population currently had the virus and that 14 per cent were carrying antibodies suggesting that they had already been infected – whether or not they experienced any symptoms. Eliminating an overlap between the two groups, the team concluded that 15 per cent of the town have been infected with the virus.

The truth is that evidence from around the world shows that when testing increases, the prevalence of COVID-19 is shown to be greater than we first thought.

More testing = more cases.

The more tests done, the more cases are confirmed.

So in Australia, when more randomised tests are done there is the risk that it will suddenly spike the number of cases. Based on what we  know so far, what are the chances the government won’t overreact?

Earth Day, meh

The first Earth Day was held in 1970.

Remember, this soon after the Summer of Love when people did a lot of drugs.

Behold the 13 predictions of Earth Day 1970:

  1. “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”  — Harvard biologist George Wald (wrong)
  2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner (wrong)
  3. “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”New York Times editorial (wrong)
  4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich (wrong)
  5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”— Paul Ehrlich (wrong)
  6. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day (wrong)
  7. “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter (wrong)
  8. “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine (wrong)
  9. “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt (wrong)
  10. “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”— Paul Ehrlich (wrong)
  11. “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt (wrong)
  12. “[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.”Newsweek magazine (wrong) 
  13. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt (wrong).

To find out why so many of these predictions were wrong, read this from the Smithsonian.

Richard Pusey- scumbag

On Wednesday, four police officers were killed when a truck smashed into thier police car after a traffic stop.

The man they stopped was Richard Pusey.

Here’s this piece of crap in action:

Here he is when he made his national television debut on A Current Affair:

This will play out before the courts so who knows what will happen but know this, police said on Thursday that Richard Pusey, 41, of Frankston was on bail for unlawful assault and theft charges and was due before Collingwood Neighbourhood Justice Centre later this month.

He was also on summons to appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court to face a charge of criminal damage in June.

Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton this morning confirmed the Porsche driver had tested positive to drugs in the lead-up to the accident and, in a staggering revelation, said he took photos from the fatal scene after the crash which later appeared on the internet.

“It disgusts me,” Mr Ashton said.

According to the Daily Mail (which probably stole the information from somewhere else):

Pusey has at least 13 previous charges, beginning in 2007 when he was convicted of speeding 70 km/h over the limit and fined $210.

The following year he was jailed for eight months, with half of it suspended for two years, and $346 compensation for intentionally causing injury.

An assaulting police charge from the same incident was dropped.

Fast forward to 2014 and he was convicted and fined $2,000 plus $2,500 in costs for carrying out work without a building permit.

In 2016 he was ordered to do 60 hours of community service for stalking.

Pusey committed three crimes in 2017. He was fined $500 for contravening a safety intervention order, and fined $200 for driving with a suspended licence.

The same year he was fined $500 for emitting excessive noise from his house.

A year later he was convicted and fined $750 for using a carriage service to menace, and a charge of intentionally damaging property was dropped.

Shirley MacLaine (b 1934 and some besides)

Enjoy this moment joking about her “little brother” Warren Beatty.

She is a magnificent performer – a great dancer, and as this song shows, she could deliver one helluva song. If you have a streaming service, listen to the whole concert. It is truly great.

Of course, you’ve seen her in Steel Magnolias, but catch Postcards from the Edge as well, taken from the book by Carrie Fischer.

Her Oscar speech was rambling but had a great few opening lines. Watch from 2’55”.

 

Barbra Streisand (b 1942)

But no one likes her.