Conspiracy Theory -what is so different between Flu & Covid 19?

I for one am not offended by your comment. There are a few on here who may/will be as you have just put the same questions as another poster did. Your “thinking” is quite correct in a lot of peoples view and cannot be solved by mathematics be they linear or exponential. I dont normally join the conspiracy theorists, but this virus appeared almost from nowhere, no one knew about its make up. The speed at which it spread doesnt necessarily infer it is natural but more so a mutated example which was released or escaped. So it does give food for thought that this virus isnt normal. My thoughts are now tending towards it being a bio weapon experiment that went very wrong. I could be wrong and i do sincerely hope i am.

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But surely, if there was reason to suppose that the NHS was in danger of being overwhelmed for whatever reason, action would be taken? And indeed is.
We vaccinate against flu.
We have compulsory vaccination against a whole range of contagious diseases.
Not sure about the UK government but the French government invests in public health campaigns - Pour votre santé bougez plus, etc.
The pattern is that when a serious risk has been identified, we try to take effective action.
The point here is that a serious risk has been identified and we don’t have any other action to take apart from social distancing.

For the umpteenth time - it is not about those who would die anyway.

It is about those who will die if the NHS (or the French health service, or the America one, or the Italian one) is swamped.

Figures vary a bit but 5-15% are ill enough to need hospital and ventilatory support and will survive if they get it but die if they do not.

These are not people who “would die anyway”.

Just at the moment I am not in the front line of this but fully expect to be if it worsens - and as I’m over 55 I am firmly in the “could die of it” camp - generally I like to keep my chance of death to a minimum so I’d really like people to take it seriously and comply with the movement restrictions.

I have to come to work and i will have to expose myself Covid19 positive patients if we don’t get a lid on it (with whatever PPE the NHS can scrape together).

Comments to suggest it’s “just like flu” or “not too bad” or “why all the panic” do not do my blood pressure any good.


And hypertension could be bad if you get CV

The fact that the markets have not stopped expanding well beyond the usual 8 to 10 years and debts are enormous across the globe especially in USA leads me to think that this is a grand excuse (by the nasty people in control) to pull the plug, take out the profits and then let the masses deal with the result. Then they can get the trillion dollar offers from government to bail out and start again on a merry journey watching the ordinary people even MORE tied down with “emergency measures” and now the military are (clearly) being involved the “war” is something we should all assist in helping. Who can say “No thanks sir, I will continue as ever” without being called a nasty antisocial non-isolationist?
Sorry to come up with such a nasty idea which could severely disrupt the master plan, but I don’t believe ANYTHING I read or hear these days, unless I can PROVE it myself, and you Mr Rimmer have done a very good job of supplying EVIDENCE which none of the readers will check, being as gullible as most are. Enjoy the sunshine - that is REAL!
(Economist and scientist stranded in Europe)


I would recommend that you read more about the difference between this corona virus and the common flu virus. A simple comparison at the very beginning of this pandemic will not do. Hopefully we will never able to say to you “just do nothing and wait and see”.

Sounds to me like someone has been reading too much John Ward. Yes, we don’t know much about it. Yes, the mortality rate is low. Yes, lots of Italians die every year. However this time there is something that is genuinely clogging up a number of otherwise well organised health systems. That’s not normal.

This, at about three minutes explains it in very clear and simple terms.

If anyone is interested in an expert opinion then this article makes for an extremely interesting
The author is a qualified individual and raises really important statistical questions

This kind of mirrors my thinking in my OP.

The two basic points being made - firstly that there are many mild cases of Covid19 which are not being tested so the true fatality rate is lower then headlines and that deaths due to seasonal flu tend to be under-recorded are both fair.

But seasonal flu does not cause ITUs to overflow with critically ill people - which Covid19 is doing in Italy, New York and London right now and it does not kill young, healthy people nearly as often as Covid19 has.

Dr Lee is correct in as much as he says we do not yet understand the epidemiology of Covid19 and it might be a while before we get the full picture, he might even be right that it won’t be as bad as the full blown doomsday scenario but his interpretation is based on the same sort of evidence-free assertion that he is criticizing in his article.

You can’t simultaneously have it that the data is unreliable and  say “here is my much more reliable interpretation of the data”.

Paul Flinders I think you need to re-read the article he is not saying he has a correct answer he is saying, we could be inferring a lot from a limited data set, which due to the criteria of collection could be significantly skew the results.

Agree - compare it to pandemic flu if you will but not to seasonal flu.

Which is true, and his closing comment is reasonable enough but the overall feel of the article seems to be trying to downplay the risks that Covid 19 presents.

However I can do some basic maths as well - sticking with the comparison with seasonal flu for a second:

Flu deaths vary quite a bit year on year - the UK estimates are 2015-15: 28,330, 2015-16: 11,875, 2016-17: 18,009 and 2017-2018: 26,408.

OK, Covid at 759 deaths has some way to go but let us not forget that we recorded the first UK death on March 9th - less than 3 weeks ago. Yesterday 181 new Covid deaths were recorded.

Assume all of the 26,408 flu deaths occurred in the winter months - so that’s 26408/26 = 1000 deaths a week, give or take.

Italy recorded 68,000 flu deaths between 2013 and 2017 so similar numbers, maybe a bit less than the UK but as Dr Lee points out reporting is variable also remember the population of Italy is slightly smaller than that of the UK.

Currently we are still only testing those ill enough to need hospitalisation - despite Dr Lee’s assurances this group has much higher mortality - perhaps as high as 15%

Those people who died in the last 24 hours probably became symptomatic about 18 days ago (ref: The Lancet) - at that point (March 10 ish) there were under 100 new cases per day.

Yesterday there were 2885 new cases, 18 days ago 62, 46.5 times as many - or 5.5 doublings- that gives 3.24 days to double the number of cases - that’s in line with current estimates so my maths seems to be holding up so far.

The deaths will track new cases from 2½ weeks ago so over the next two weeks expect the daily death rate to accelerate - I truly hope it does not follow the maths because 46x181 deaths per day is rather frightening, but let’s assume it follows Italy’s figures and goes up to about the 900 a day mark.

Let that sink in - 900 a day, not the 1000 a week or so attributable to seasonal flu. In the past 2 weeks Italy has seen about 7 and a half thousand deaths - getting on for half of their annual seasonal flu total.

We can hope that the lockdown measures will work or that some other factor will reduce the number of new cases - Italy has seen static (ish) levels for the past week but still 5-6000 cases per day. The UK’s figures are still growing exponentially (but it takes probably 2 weeks for the lockdown effect to show through), cases in France are running 2-3000 per day and it is not yet clear that the lockdown is slowing things down but hopefully it will do so over the next week.

Do you still think it is less of a problem than seasonal flu? - certainly looks much worse in the short term.


I have a simple question, what happens when the exponential curve flattens out and the strict measures relaxed?
This virus will not go away, as a high risk person, am I destined to observe social distancing until a vaccine is developed?

Is it possible the virus will lessen when the weather gets much hotter?

There are mixed reports as to if hot weather may help or not

The truth is that no-one knows at the moment


From your comments, would you even understand!

The mistake is to assume that “nothing is done” about flu - most countries now offer vaccination programmes which are effective at reducing flu, if not preventing it entirely, in the most vulnerable groups (the young and the old).

So flu has, indeed, triggered an effort to reduce its impact, its more that it’s always been there so there is no “oh that’s a new, BIG, problem to address” as there is with SARS-Cov-2

Plus all those little problems with exponential growth, lack of immunity etc, etc.

Ah, I am not saying nothing is done about 'flu, it is, but with a figure of 26000 deaths in the UK alone last year i would question your statement “most countries now offer vaccination programmes which are effective at reducing flu, if not preventing it entirely, in the most vulnerable groups (the young and the old).” They do offer vaccination programmes but it most definitely does not prevent it entirely.
What I am saying is that 26000 deaths did not trigger the measures that covid 19 has with (at the time of my OP) had far fewer deaths. I know that the new virus is not the same as the 'flu virus but there are similarities in the transmission & effect on the human body, so what is known about THIS virus that has made most of the world shut down?
The long term effects of the shut down will have consequences that will go on for many years - psychological, economic, legal & political. There are plenty of people whose health & wellbeing will be adversly affected by the measures being enforced now & their numbers may well exceed those who are direct casualties of the virus. Don’t misunderstand - I realise the importance of minimising the spread of any virus & do not advocate breaking the measures currently in force.
Its just that with the inevitable damage to future society. in my opinion, this virus must be far more serious than the various & varying figures being thrown at us by governments & the media suggest.

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