Coronavirus (COVID-19) data

05 April 2020

I highly doubt that social distancing and lockdowns do any good. Italy and Spain have been on lockdown for 3 weeks, and the number of deaths has not gone down. The incubation period of Covid is being said to be between 1 to 14 days, and even if you assume 14 days, after the 14th day, the number of deaths should fall off considerably if your social distancing/lockdown procedures are working.

The theory that Covid transmits through exhaled droplets (of saliva or mucus when someone coughs, sneezes or talks) from direct human-human contact is not proven, and is probably false. Viruses have a thousand other ways to get into a person (food, pests (cockroaches, mosquitos, spiders, ticks, fleas, flies, etc), bacteria (which can contain virus), animals, etc. and a combination of these (e.g. you eating food contaminated by the eggs of a tick)). Or it may just be lying around on furniture, cutlery, decoration objects etc. which are circulated around all over the world-like dust (virus particles are harmless themselves until they find a host. Viruses are like seeds; lifeless until they find a place to grow). It is not as simple as someone sneezes or coughs on you and you get the virus. A tiger today was tested positive for Covid (in Bronx, NYC) (See news item here). A few weeks ago a couple of dogs tested positive for Covid in Hong Kong (Note here). A cat in Belgium has also tested  positive for Covid (Note here). All this shows that the virus is probably everywhere-the more animals we test, the more we will find its existence in all animals, including household pests like cockroaches, mosquitos, spiders, etc., and the animals humans eat: pigs, chickens, cows, goats, etc.. How did all these animals get Covid? Clearly there's more to this than humans spitting saliva/mucus.

Before Covid, how many times did someone actually sneeze or cough on your face? Probably never. We have already been doing that kinda social distancing, enough to keep viruses and germs at bay.

If you look at data of deaths, you will find that the "clusters" are not the biggest metropolitan cities; they are often much smaller cities (e.g. Bergamo in Italy, which is just 50 km away from Milan, has far more fatalities per capita than Milan). If Covid were to transfer via exhaled droplets, the infections would be the highest in big cities, where there are many more people per sq km, and many crowded avenues like metro stations, bus stations, stores, bus stations, theaters, stadia, etc. giving more chance for the droplets to hit someone vulnerable. Clearly Milan has far more contact frequency than Bergamo, and the very fact that Bergamo has more deaths per capita than Milan shows that there's something else going on-maybe a food, pest (e.g. a bunch of infected cockroaches) or another animal which is only present in Bergamo but not in Milan. The map of infections looks very much like infections from food e.g. E Coli, which is known to reside in lettuce (which was a constant problem with Chipotle restaurants in US for some time), for example. The very local nature of these infected clusters, and the fact that they are not in the biggest cities of the world, show that it is unlikely that the virus is transmitting via exhaled droplets.

In other words, if the virus spreads mainly via droplets, within a country the number of deaths must be proportional to the size of the city or state's population. I say within a country because the rules etc. (e.g. how deaths are assigned a cause, how social distancing is policed) are similar inside a country. The virus has taken a lot of deaths in New York, whereas very few in California and Texas. This shows that it is a local specific to New York phenomenon. Within New York, many small cities have more deaths than larger ones (just like in Lombardy, Italy) and that again shows that it is a local problem, and not a flying droplet cause.

Also, if virus did transmit from exhaled droplets, you would have most couples get it, because they live and breathe together. There are many examples where only one of the couple has the virus. That also shows that even if you are quite close to someone and exposed to exhaled droplets, you don't necessarily get the illness.

In summary, as medical research will dig into this more, they will probably find out that the original conclusions which forced such drastic measures as shutdowns, quarantines etc. were ill-conceived; that the transmission was not direct human to human in most cases, and there were numerous other ways the virus transmitted.

Update (21 April 2020): 
Got some additional confirmation that social distancing/lockdowns is a failed strategy from the Covid infection data of inmates at the State prison in Ohio (USA). There are about 73% of inmates infected at this facility, around 1900 people. See note here. The goal of lockdowns is basically to house arrest the population, to make it like a prison-very low interaction between residents (inmates). However, if this worked to reduce infections, the prison population would not get infected, certainly not such a large percentage of them.