No Minister

Troubles in Another Pacific Paradise

It’s very difficult to compare New Zealand with other nations around the world when it comes to coping with the Chinese Lung AIDS disease.

You really do have to look at developed island nations. Iceland, Japan, Britain, Australia, Taiwan for starters before we get into the murky world of developing nations like PNG, Indonesia and so forth. And of course Australia is often counted as a mini-continent rather than an island.

But there’s one place here in the Pacific that tends to be forgotten because it’s part of a much larger nation.

Hawaii!

The 50th state of the USA, having joined in 1959, it has 1.4 million people, not counting the US Military and hordes of tourists, on which a big chunk of its economy depends.

The island state did what New Zealand and many other nations did: full lockdown. Tourism vanished of course and any other visitors were told to quarantine for the usual 14 days. But Hawaii went further, jailing a few people for violating lockdown orders. Moreover there has been a mandate in place requiring mask-wearing indoors since April and now even outdoors.

And the results? Well after what looked like success in April cases are now surging again. The following chart even adjusts for testing, which has been running at a lower rate than the rest of the US.

So did the state take the brakes off? Did people get pissed off and start mingling again? Nope.

Hawaii’s mobility score of shoppers and travelers has essentially remained flat, at unprecedented low levels. There never has been a true reopening, yet cases are surging. The state’s mobility score is much lower than the U.S. average.

USA (blue line). Hawaii (yellow line)

Sure, they still have a low death rate, the lowest in the Union – so far. But what’s happening with case numbers now shows that their initial decline must have been due to factors other than government mandates. At some point one has to stop talking about “luck” and study what that “luck” might be. Not to do so is unscientific.

Something has recently changed in those other factors and there’s nothing the government can do about it – which us why they’ll likely try and impose even harsher lockdown measures. Meantime Hawaiians have nothing to show for their lockdown but a badly damaged economy and lives lost anyway while the virus does what viruses always do.

I’m going to quote a key point made by Swedish epidemiologists in an interview covered here back in April:

  • Getting out of the lockdowns will be the big challenge since the question is around which restrictions can be lifted, followed by watching for upticks in cases and deaths at each stage, with increases met by what? Reinstating the restriction?

Written by Tom Hunter

August 15, 2020 at 4:34 pm

27 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Like when the then-British Home Secretary Jim Callaghan was implored to send in troops to keep the peace in the Troubles in Northern Ireland in 1969, “You don’t understand. Sending the army in is not the problem. The real difficulty will be getting them out”.

    Kimbo

    August 15, 2020 at 5:23 pm

  2. We get it, Tomas. We get it. No matter what isn’t done, it will never be too little for you.

    FFS, why do you think Hawaii is doing so poorly? It’s part of the Country being destroyed from within by the Great Orange Cheeto.

    Meanwhile, our Governor is full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes on getting kids back to school, while my little County is experiencing new cases every day. We are now near 500 active cases. That’s a tenfold increase since the end of May.

    Maybe you’d like to talk to my friends and neighbors at CRIT, where just today they have reported 2 more deaths. Maybe if they’d taken your “advice”…. No, they have done what they believe is best for their people. But sure, feel free to come over here and lecture them about being more like Sweden and increasing that death toll.

    But you’re OK, aren’t you Tomas? You live on an isolated little cow ranch, in the country with just about the world’s best record for handling this disease, you really just can’t handle a smart, intelligent, young woman being so god darned capable at her job.

    Anne Tiffa

    August 15, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    • Meanwhile, our Governor is full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes on getting kids back to school,

      Among other governors. You’re behind the times as usual. Seems Democrats are having changes of heart on this matter compared to two weeks ago and the American Pediatric Association is recommending kids get back in school so that they don’t suffer permanent psychological damage from isolation and turn into misanthropic mongs that can be picked off by Antifa.

      Arizona I think you said you’re in – aside from those trips to Seattle to spend that huge fortune you’ve made that allows you to just cruise the world, according to you anyway.🙄🙄🙄🙄

      So, let’s see now…

      Daily cases peaked back in early July. Decline since then (7 day moving avg)

      Deaths peaked late July (7 day)

      And the death toll is half that of the NY, NJ, etc, etc. You’re lucky Cuomo wasn’t running the place. Probably would have packed you off to a retirement community quick smart.

      Tom Hunter

      August 15, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    • American Pediatric Association

      Does such a body exist?

      As a good American, I try to follow the lead of my President. It seems it’s OK for kids to go to school, but NOT OK for people to vote in person. But we can’t have postal votes, either. All the USPS letter collection boxes in my region have been, or are about to be, removed.

      Anne Tiffa

      August 16, 2020 at 12:10 pm

  3. All I can say is CDS and TDS seem to a linked disease. I should notify the MOH that we have 2 cases here in NZ. (Covid Derangement Syndrome and Trump Derangement Syndrome have the same gnome) . The inability for rational analytical thought.

    I of course visited the Hawaii State of Health and read some material which is of interest to the informed reader, who make up the majority of this site.

    Covid is treated as Influenza type disease and is reported in that table along with all the other flu types.
    Covid first entered their stats in Week 2 of 2020.
    The death rate from the flu which is a 40 week average is 5.1%, unchanged except for seasonal vaiations.
    The infection rate and death rate, 33 cases is concentrated in Hawaii County

    Unfortunately I could not find the death rate for the flu (by all types) by age of population.

    I would assume that like most US countries run by the Democrats that it has been allowed to get into the rest homes.

    They had a warning on their site CDS and TDS combined can be dangerous to your blood pressure

    rossco01

    August 15, 2020 at 7:06 pm

  4. Gustavo Frink

    August 15, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    • The photo above is probably a graveyard in New Jersey (1798 COVID-19 deaths / million pop).

      Other possibilities include New York City (1691 COVID-19 deaths / million pop), Massachusetts (1278 COVID-19 deaths / million pop) or Connecticut (1249 COVID-19 deaths / million pop).

      And yes. They’re all run in detail by Democrats.

      Trump wanted to quarantine the states of New York and New Jersey months ago but it got howled down as being an unconstitutional measure typical of a dictator.

      I reckon he should have just quarantined the whole East Coast of the USA.

      Tom Hunter

      August 15, 2020 at 7:44 pm

  5. I had hoped that people might be interested in debating and/or developing arguments as to what these factors are that are now pushing the case surge in Hawaii. The answers might be applicable to other parts of the world, although we know that every virus pandemic affects different populations in different ways. For example Africa seems to be doing pretty well, despite being a developing Continent with often low levels of health care and government control. Why?

    Still, why have mysteries when we have politics.

    Tom Hunter

    August 15, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    • Ok Tom I will have a crack.

      There is nothing magical or secret about Hawaii.

      As in all other countries the virus must follow a natural progression. You can see that in the UK and Sweden stats posted here before.

      Obviously you can play with the stats on the entry point, but ultimately the “natural” infection rate gains a foothold and you follow the curve documented in the 1830’s or when ever by someone famous who gave it a name.

      It then peaks and falls away like the UK and Sweden, after 2-3 months (the death rate that is.)

      I call it the “The Herd Immunity Policy”

      That is because when it gets to around 20% of the population you have herd immunity.

      Ultimately we are “fucked” according to the extremist views but if you look at the Hawaii stats 5.1 % of the population infected with the “ordinary” flu die anyway.

      As I mentioned before we are substituting one death cause for another death cause

      As the total death rate wont increase beyond the normal rate of 5.1% of those infected, except for nomal variation.

      Ergo: NZ let it rip, and we should be at the bottom of the death rate by say late Dec or late January.

      rossco01

      August 15, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    • I had hoped that people might be interested in debating and/or developing arguments as to what these factors are that are now pushing the case surge in Hawaii.

      It’s almost as though it were more complicated than “this state is run by libtards whereas this other state has appropriately conservative governance” or something. Eventually, universities are going to turn out a shit-ton of research on this subject, the results of which will be intensely disputed (by other researchers, I mean – it will also be intensely disputed by the likes of Rossco01, but that’s background noise) but will probably have better evidence for one explanation than for the competing ones. Unfortunately, that’s way off in the future and the current evidence is so lacking that we end up talking about luck.

      For example Africa seems to be doing pretty well, despite being a developing Continent with often low levels of health care and government control.

      I always assume the countries that show up in the stats as worst affected by things like this won’t be the countries that are actually worst affected by it, rather the countries that have the best health administrations, governance and reporting infrastructure. Certainly seems to be holding true in this case.

      Psycho Milt

      August 15, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    • It’s almost as though it were more complicated than…

      Calling for lockdowns? Followed by more lockdowns?

      Reminds me of this timeless South Park piece from 2009 looking at the GFC. Just substitute word “Lockdown” for “bailout” as you watch.

      Tom Hunter

      August 15, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    • The US is like another planet, and what they call “lockdowns” there sounds more like a level 2 or at most 3 alert here. I live in New Zealand, and the evidence here at least is that lockdowns work if they’re applied properly and if the citizenry isn’t full of the kind of loons who’d start a culture war over face masks.

      Psycho Milt

      August 15, 2020 at 10:03 pm

  6. Lots of factors at play Tom – one is socio-economic of course

    If you are Nadia Lim in your bubble in idylic surroundings with your kids it\s not so bad but if you live in a 2 bedroom apartment with 9 other people not complying is a pretty tempting I’d guess

    In Melbourne the so called first wave hit the underclasses leaving the middle classes who were hunkered down pretty much unscathed – now the underclasses are more or less immune and it is the more well heeled that are showing up

    Another thing – natural selection is doing its thing. Lockdowns will favour variants of the virus with longer incubation periods for example.

    If Government fiat dictates a two week isolation then a variant that can hide for three weeks in an individual is almost certain to arise and prosper

    We are being misled by all these numbers an partial information – cumalitive totals quickly produce alarming looking numbers to scare te children

    Partial informantion is released – for example a guy in his mid twenties died of Covid recently and this is released to the breathless media who gleefully report young people can die from Covid-19. But what isn’t released is the guy was actually a long term tetraplegic who couldn’t even breath without a machine and highly susceptable to pneumonia as a result

    We are having a number done on us IMHO

    Andrei

    August 15, 2020 at 8:24 pm

  7. I always assume the countries that show up in the stats as worst affected by things like this won’t be the countries that are actually worst affected by it, rather the countries that have the best health administrations, governance and reporting infrastructure. Certainly seems to be holding true in this case.

    Not necessarily true Milt. The median age for those who succumb to COVID-19 is just over 80 and these people generally have other significant health issues

    The life expectancy of a Ugandan is 62 and the comorbidities that feature in those who are seen off by COVID-19 in the West are not commonly encountered in Uganda because people die from them quickly

    There just aint that many rest homes filled with dementia patients in Uganda who would be susceptable to a death by COVID-19…

    Andrei

    August 15, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    • If you think about it really hard, you might figure out why Covid-19 is mostly killing the elderly and chronically ill in the countries with the most advanced healthcare technology.

      Psycho Milt

      August 15, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    • Read my comment again Milt – see if you can get your head around what it actually says

      For the vast majority of people who contract COVID-19 21st century Western medicine is irrelevant because they don’t actually get very sick – in fact roughly 48% of those who test positive display no symptoms whatsoever and thus require no medical asistance

      99% of those who develop signifcant complications after contracting COVID-19 have other major health issues – it is all in the literature

      The West is very good at extending the human life span which means,,,

      …wait for it…

      … that in the West there is a larger pool of people susecptable to developing complications, often fatal, from Covid-19 than there are in Nations like Uganda, Indonesia or the Phillipines

      Andrei

      August 15, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    • The ICUs of Italy and New York saved large numbers of people who weren’t in their 80s and weren’t dying of something else already. In the world’s least-developed countries, most people in that situation don’t get put in ICUs or on ventilators, and their deaths are just deaths.

      Psycho Milt

      August 15, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    • The ICUs of Italy and New York saved large numbers of people who weren’t in their 80s and weren’t dying of something else already

      You know this – how?

      The median age for COVID-19 deaths in Italy was 81 years old and you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of people under 50 who died of this in Italy

      Furthermore – the majority of these deaths occurred in three regions with Tuscany being the hardest hit – while the numbers were relatively low in places like Calabria – I’ll get th official figures for you tomorrow if I get a chance

      Andrei

      August 15, 2020 at 10:14 pm

  8. The median age for COVID-19 deaths in Italy was 81 years old…

    Exactly, that’s my point. In a country where ICUs were working flat out and people struggling to breathe were put on ventilators, only the very old or already-ill died. That’s unlikely to apply in the world’s poorest countries.

    The fact is that we’re both right: developed countries have plenty of people who are only alive thanks to advanced medical technology AND the under-developed countries tend to have poor governance and reporting. To what extent either of these things affect the numbers is a matter of speculation.

    Psycho Milt

    August 16, 2020 at 6:20 am

    • No Milt – it is you who is no getting it.

      The COVID-19 patients in New Zealand are not gasping for breath and clogging up the ICUs they are hitting the ski slopes“!

      Andrei

      August 16, 2020 at 7:11 am

  9. There’s a lot more to come out about this. Right now we’re working on the basis that it kills the old and the immune compromised and is like the flu for the young. But not so fast, it appears that there might be some long term damage for the young. But the immediate problem is the old and the immune compromised – clearly they need special protection. Then what do we do next? How do we “get the troops out of Ireland”? That’s the challenge. Periodic lockdowns and waiting for a vaccine is not going to work. Yet here we are with an election looming, a PM “concentrating on Covid”and no plan. Perhaps there never will be a plan. I think David Seymour has a plan. Perhaps we need to ask him.

    Max Ritchie

    August 16, 2020 at 7:10 am

  10. I’ve just had a look at ACT’s website – it’s an economic plan, good value, but no help regarding the virus itself. Perhaps the Swedes have the right idea? Sacrifice some for the good of many. As one of the vulnerable I do have some slight reservations.

    Max Ritchie

    August 16, 2020 at 7:14 am

    • As one of the vulnerable I do have some slight reservations.

      Max; if the cancer don’t get you then cardio vascular problems will and if you avoid both there is always Alzheimers waiting in the wings…

      We are mortal beings

      The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

      Andrei

      August 16, 2020 at 7:22 am

    • And yet religious conservatives like Andrei are seldom as sanguine about death when it is euthanasia.

      Despite the not-unknown insight that we are mortal and being prepared to push along the useful discussion concerning the balancing of ALL the risks with the Covid lockdown, I’m not to sure your insights, including misapplication of the Scriptures are particularly logical or consistent, Andrei.

      Kimbo

      August 16, 2020 at 9:16 am

  11. Andrei: I think I know more about cancer and CVA than most, and Alzheimer’s for that matter, although the former personally and the latter professionally. There is no point in hastening to meet one’s Maker unless you want to. Delaying the inevitable is a good strategy and part of that is coping with this virus. Pre virus I avoided people with the bot, this is the same but at a different – hugely – scale. As well as personal caution it’ll require a Government plan and a multi-faceted one at that. Which seems to be beyond the capability of the current team of 30. If they can develop a plan (which seems doubtful) then Ardern’s communication skills will be very useful.

    Max Ritchie

    August 16, 2020 at 9:27 am

    • Yeah, can’t say Andrei’s pitch to drink his Kool Aid, perhaps inspired by reading too much Dostoevsky and Tolstoy and similar Russian fatalism, and appeal to folks like yourself, Max, to “take one for the team” was likely to be a winner with the target demographic.

      So for all the talk about herd immunisation and the inevitable deaths (and long term health damage to some that survive), no matter what the chosen strategy it will only work if there is sufficient widespread buy-in.

      So, Max, seeing you are our current polling sample, how would you feel if Ardern’s pitch was as per Sweden – let ‘er rip, but those like yourself who are most vulnerable stay as isolated as possible for as long as it takes?

      Kimbo

      August 16, 2020 at 9:47 am

    • I suddenly feel like I’m watching the old classic NZ play, Foreskin’s Lament and its cry of “Whaddarya?”

      Tom Hunter

      August 16, 2020 at 10:08 am


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: