What we can learn from the countries winning the coronavirus fight


See how coronavirus is spreading around the world — and what lessons we can take from the countries beating the virus.

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0102030405060Number of days since the 100th case010k100k20k30k40k50k60k70k80k90kKnown casesUSItalyChinaUKS. KoreaAustraliaJapanSingaporeTaiwan

One good way to think about the exponential spread of coronavirus is to look at how long it takes for the number of cases in a country to double.

Let’s look at three different scenarios — one in which the number of cases doubles every two days, one where cases double every three days, and one where cases double once every week.

Initially, the differences might look small.

But as time passes the differences increase dramatically.

By week three, the differences are stark — and remember this example started from just one case. Not to mention, the coronavirus pandemic is predicted to run for months.

It’s for this reason that early intervention can have a huge impact. One single infection in the early days of the outbreak can easily scale into hundreds, perhaps even thousands over time.

The flipside, of course, is that every infection avoided early in the outbreak can have a huge positive impact.

What does that look like in the real world? Let’s look first at the source of the outbreak, China.

As you can see, in China the virus initially spread exponentially, with the number of known cases repeatedly doubling in less than two days during the early part of the outbreak.

But it now appears the country has reduced that growth, slowing new cases to a virtual trickle.

Now coronavirus is spreading much more quickly in other parts of the globe.

However, because outbreaks in each country started at different points in time, it’s difficult to compare exactly how, say, Australia’s growth rate compares to China’s in the early days of its outbreak.

So, let’s do two things to help make this a bit easier to understand.

Firstly, let’s narrow it down to a few key countries so we can make it a little easier to read.

And now, let’s change it so that we start tracking cases day-by-day from the moment when each country hit 100 cases. Instead of using the exact date, this brings each country onto roughly the same timeline.

But it’s still difficult to compare the early days of each outbreak, because they’re all so compressed down near the bottom of the chart. To aid with this, we’re going to change the vertical axis of the chart to a logarithmic scale. . . . .

Data shows coronavirus can only be controlled if 8 out of 10 Australians stay home


The success or failure of Australia’s coronavirus fight relies to a remarkable degree on just one thing, new modelling has found.

And that thing is whether individual Australians now follow official advice — and just stay home.

The data comes from a complex model of how COVID-19 could spread in Australia, which finds:

  • Coronavirus will continue to spread virtually unchecked unless at least eight in 10 Australians stay home as much as possible.
  • If that slips even slightly — to seven in 10 people — the fight to ‘flatten the curve’ will be lost.
  • It also suggests that school closures have little effect on controlling the coronavirus outbreak.


Where do these numbers come from?

Researchers at the University of Sydney have built what is effectively a simulation of the entire Australian population using information about where everyone lives, the number of adults and children in each house, how people move around their town or city, and other details such as the locations of schools and airports.

They then essentially add COVID-19 into that simulation, watch how it spreads — and can experiment with how different measures might change its growth.

It can model what might happen with different actions, but it does not necessarily represent what actually happens in the real world.

The modelling was created by the Centre for Complex Systems and the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity at Sydney University. It has been published online but has not yet been through a rigorous peer-review process.

However, the model was previously developed to map the spread of influenza in Australia and the same team published peer-reviewed papers on those results.



We Won’t Go Back to Normal Because Normal Was the Problem

Yes, ‘normal’ was the problem!

The Most Revolutionary Act

Li Zhong (China), Paintings for Wuhan, 2020.

Li Zhong (China), Paintings for Wuhan, 2020.

Dear F­riends,

Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

It is hard to remember that just a few weeks ago, the planet was in motion. There were protests in Delhi (India) and Quito (Ecuador), eruptions against the old order that ranged from anger at the economic policies of austerity and neoliberalism to frustration with the cultural policies of misogyny and racism. Ingeniously, in Santiago (Chile), during its wave after wave of protests, someone projected a powerful slogan onto the side of a building: ‘we won’t go back to normal, because normal was the problem’. Now, in the midst of the novel coronavirus, it seems impossible to imagine a return to the old world, the world that left us so helpless before the arrival of these deadly microscopic particles. Waves of anxiety prevail; death continues to stalk us. If…

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Finding your Joy

This looks really joyful to me!

My Messy Little Brain

Today is day one. Everyday is day one. Today I invite you to start making time for joy and happiness for yourself. You are the only person responsible for your happiness. It is only you who can hear your thoughts, and it is only you who can change them – and yes you can change them, zero magic required.

Anyone who knows me will agree that for the most part I am busy. Things got to the point of overwhelm because I was rushing from one thing to the next and then the next. Don’t misunderstand me, the very vast majority of what I have been rushing too or from were things that bring me enormous joy, training with my friends, practising yoga, teaching yoga, Jutitsu, coffee with friends, work, dinners with the ones I love, life admin (shopping, cooking, cleaning) etc etc.

Gaby Burnstein (who’s thoughts I love) talk…

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Why France is hiding a cheap and tested virus cure

This is a very long read, but probably quite interesting!

The New Dark Age

26 March 2020 — Asia Times

The French government is arguably helping Big Pharma profit from the Covid-19 pandemic

By Pepe Escobar

What’s going on in the fifth largest economy in the world arguably points to a major collusion scandal in which the French government is helping Big Pharma to profit from the expansion of Covid-19. Informed French citizens are absolutely furious about it.

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Could chloroquine treat coronavirus? 5 questions answered about a promising problematic and unproven use for an antimalarial drug.


An employee in Nantong, China, checks the production of chloroquine phosphate, an old drug for the treatment of malaria. Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

An Arizona man died, and his wife was hospitalized, after taking a form of chloroquine, which President Trump has touted as an effective treatment for COVID-19. The couple decided to self-medicate with chloroquine phosphate, which they had on hand to kill parasites in their fish, after hearing the president describe the drug as a “game changer.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of NIH’s National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, quickly corrected the statement, explaining that Trump’s comments were based on anecdotes and not a controlled clinical trial.

Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. @realDonaldTrump

I am a medicinal chemist who specializes in discovery and development of antiviral drugs, and I have been actively working on coronaviruses for seven years.

However, because I am a scientist and I deal in facts and evidence-based medicine, I am concerned about the sweeping statements the president has been making regarding the use of chloroquine or the closely related hydroxychloroquine, both antimalarial drugs, as cures for COVID-19. So let’s examine the facts.

What are chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine?

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