COVID-19 SCIENCE

The incompetent mismanagement of Covid-19

By Dr Juergen Ude | October 6th 2021
This second part of three parts compares the performance of two of Australia's States to demonstrate how ineffective pandemic management characterized by irrational knee jerk reactions is instead of sound science. This applies to all countries. Contrary to the "talk" there has been no effective science used. Not even the data can be trusted.

Most, leaders throughout the world have not learned that intelligence and real-world science, tampered with common sense and honesty is the only way to manage pandemics. Instead, most leaders following academic health advice, out of its depth in the real world, have essentially managed the pandemic with kneejerk reactions and misinformation caused by experts distorting reality with conclusion jumping.

By highlighting the folly of kneejerk reactions, in combination with a desire to better manage the pandemic than others, future pandemics may be managed more intelligently and less academically with strategies that consider all objectives, whilst maintaining realistic perspective, not just one (saving lives to protect our loved ones).

Part B - Victoria versus NSW

Victoria is in the unenviable position of having the longest lockdown in the world. We were told this was necessary to save lives and reduce hospital overwhelming.

The Victorian government repeatedly explained that covid decisions were driven by Health Advice, based on science and data. Allegedly super computers were used day and night running Artificial Intelligence algorithms and Machine Learning Predictive Analytics to inform decisions.

Common sense dictates that there was no science. If there was then why was the science hidden. If there was sound science then every country, state and province would use the same strategy and the performance would be the same. The reality, which has been explained several times, is that pandemic management is soft science, needing a different approach. Conventional science does not work which is why effectively the pandemic management was about knee jerk reactions and outdoing others for some personalities.

The outdoing others mentality, invariably resulting in disproportionate responses, is the worst possible way to manage a pandemic. People get hurt as have Victorians.

In this part we will compare the effect of Victoria's harsh strategy with that of NSW.

Cases

Case paranoia

We are case paranoid because cases are equated with deaths, without any regard to perspective. Death paranoia started with high deaths in Italy, and other countries in Europe, and later the USA and South America. The deaths numbers were accepted as true deaths instead of questioning them. To assume numbers are correct is incompetent. Numbers mean nothing, they are just numbers. It does not mean there were no deaths, but disputed is the cause of death. As early ago as March 2020 the comprehensive Covid Analysis report pointed out that reported covid deaths are meaningless because they are only deaths where someone was tested positive.

https://www.bisnetanalyst.com/knowledge-center/covid19-science/COVID19Analysis.pdf

(updated to December 2020)

A positive test result, at or close to death, does not indicate causality and to assume so, as has been done till September 2021, is scientific incompetence. Similarly high excess deaths in some countries are numbers and no evidence of covid causality. There are strong reasons to believe that the high excess deaths maybe related to incompetent treatment and hospital management in those countries. Instead of questioning the excess deaths, searching for other explanations, such as human factors, the science community in general showed its incompetence and bias.

The remainder of this section will demonstrate incompetence in understanding some basic sampling concepts.

NSW started restrictions June 26th 2021 and went into full lockdown August 14th 2021.

BIS.Net Analyst Change Analysis used in Covid-19 analysis
Figure 1 Cases for NSW since beginning of pandemic. The orange line is when restrictions started, mainly in Greater Sydney and the red line when full lockdown was implemented.

(Please note that restrictions for greater Sydney made no difference. It took one month after full lockdown for an effect to appear. The time is too long to conclude lockdowns worked). Many in the science community seem to have forgotten that for flu and common cold outbreaks we have the same waves. Cases come down by themselves. In 2020 Australia was the only country that implemented lock down after the peak was reached. Cases were already coming down without lockdown. Victoria in 2020 did not need Lockdown Stage 4, cases were also already coming down. A Victorian model used to prove that lockdown stage 4 worked was flawed.

Victoria fearing NSW high cases went into FULL LOCKDOWN at the base of the curve, August 5th 2021 as shown below.

BIS.Net Analyst Change Analysis used in Covid-19 analysis
Figure 2 Cases for Victoria since beginning of pandemic to 6th of October 2021. Red line is full lockdown.

Victoria did not want to get as many cases as NSW because of its death paranoia and hence locked down immediately. As can be seen its cases are not yet coming down. Its performance based on cases alone has not been affected by its much harsher lockdown. It seems to have made it worse.

However, all this is irrelevant because case reporting is unscientific and incompetent. This is because for a given prevalence, cases are dependent on test numbers which MUST be factored in. NSW had much higher test numbers than Victoria inflating their case numbers.

When factoring in test numbers and plotting percentage of positive cases amongst all tests performed (also called case positivity) we obtain the following charts.

BIS.Net Analyst Change Analysis used in Covid-19 analysis
Figure 3 Percentage of positive cases relative to number of tests for NSW since beginning of pandemic
BIS.Net Analyst Change Analysis used in Covid-19 analysis
Figure 4 Percentage of positive cases relative to number of tests for Victoria since beginning of pandemic

Case positivity explained

Consider a beverage manufacture producing millions of cans of soda in a day. At the end of the day the quality manager needs to estimate the number of defective cans in the batch. The batch can be seen as the population and the defective cans as cases. He decides to take 100 samples and finds 5 cans defective. At the daily production meeting he then reports that the batch had 5 defectives. Everyone laughs and he is dismissed. Why?

Because he was incompetent. The 5 defectives came from the sample only. The same applies to covid cases. The reported numbers are only from the people that tested. There are many more in the population just as there are many more defective cans.

Imagine if the quality manager sampled twice as many cans in another batch and obtains twice as many defective cans plus or minus due to sampling error. Does that mean the batch has twice as many defectives (cases)? No! The percentage is the same. Once you multiply the percentage by the batch size, we will get the same estimate. Industry will report on percent defectives not numbers. Case positivity is very similar. It estimates the underlying population cases.

Of course, it is not that simple. When sampling the quality manager must take random samples from throughout the batch.

When we report cases, we are as incompetent as the above quality manager. Each day's cases are not new cases, but already existent and yet we get excited. This is no different than a quality manager taking 100 samples today and obtaining 5 defective cans and when he resamples the same batch next day, he obtains around another 5 defective cans thinking defectives have increased. They have not increased at all. The batch has 5% of defective cans and if the batch size is one million cans there are 50,000 bad cans in the batch. Number of defectives and case numbers completely underestimate the actual defectives and cases.

Unfortunately, Covid testing is not designed to estimate the infections in the population. Reliable prevalence estimation has been ignored in the pandemic and shows again how amateurish and incompetent our health advice is. Decisions are based on meaningless numbers.

Victoria's performance based on cases

Figure 4 (above) shows that Victoria has a serious problem if and only if it remains case paranoid.

The percentage of infections are rising linearly. Not so in NSW. NSW is coming down. The reason is not due vaccination and protests according to our analysis.

It is very possible that Victoria's strategy of meeting outdoors is the cause because wind may spread the virus further and face masks do not stop transmission of viruses. They just stop droplets from being spread. Another reason, or additional reason maybe that Victoria who has a reputation of extreme measures may have increased cycle numbers for PCR testing to ensure we catch all cases just to be sure, but at the expense of false alarms. The truth as real-world scientists we dont assume and instead admit we dont know the reason.

The takeaway is that Victoria, with longest lockdown in the world, in the name of saving lives of our loved ones, at a disproportionate cost has the worst performance. The maximum percent that NSW has reached is 1% whilst Victoria is 2.5% and going up at this time.

Case positivity is an estimate of prevalence or percentage of cases in the population. Thus, if case positivity is equal to 1% and tests randomly taken from throughout the population then one percent of the population is infected.

For NSW which peaked at around 1% an estimate of infections in the population is approximately 8.6m*1/100 = 86000.

For Victoria which still has not peaked, based on the current case positivity of 2%, the current estimate of infections in the population is approximately 6.6m*2/100 = 165000.

However, based on cases, most cases are in the greater Sydney and greater Melbourne area. If test numbers, follow the same pattern we can say that an estimate of number of cases in greater Sydney is 4.9m*1/100= 49000 and for greater Melbourne 4.2m*2/100=105000.

Unfortunately, due to the amateurish management of the pandemic we have no accurate estimate of prevalence. However, we can be reasonably confident that -

NSW has greatly outperformed Victoria in terms of number of infections when taking test numbers into account.

But does it really matter? There are hundreds of thousands of flu cases each year. There are over 12 million common cold cases each year? The human virome has been estimated to have 340 trillion viruses in the body. The immune system handles it all.

So, it comes back to death and hospitalization paranoia.

Hospitalization

So, what are the important metrics. Hospitalisation is often used but hospitalization is a misleading metric because it depends on the perception of danger by human beings, which in turn is influenced by propaganda for covid. The panicking public will check itself into hospitals just be sure. Singapore has confirmed that most cases of hospital presentations are with mild and no symptoms and hence caused by panic.

This issue was only recently reported on the 29th of September 2021 and is very real. People panic when they obtain a positive test because the pandemic has been mismanaged though fear in the misguided belief it will get everyone to cooperate. The result is overwhelming if hospitals and unnecessary extra deaths.

Coronavirus: Victoria's hospital system under strain as ambulances queue at Northern Hospital (9news.com.au)

ICU admission is a different matter because these patients do not have mild symptoms but panicking members of the public can greatly exaggerate symptoms scaring even experienced Doctors who cannot take a chance to reject ICU admission for fear of being taken to court if wrong.

Comparing ICU cases between NSW and Vic is unreliable because it depends on too many factors.

Victorian hospitals seem to be "trigger happy" placing a significantly higher percent of patients on ventilators. Since August 21st NSW hospitals have placed 44% of ICU patients on ventilators and Victoria 64%. The reason for the difference has not been investigated thoroughly.

Ventilators could have resulted in unnecessary deaths if Victoria placed patients on ventilators when they did not need to? How many were caused by using insufficiently trained technicians especially at the onset of the pandemic when everyone panicked?

Comparing vaccination composition in hospitals between the states is too difficult at this stage as this is an unstable period.

According to the Victorian Chief Health Officer:

"Our numbers in ICU, the numbers of those hospitalised is not rising at the same rate (as active cases), and that's a very good sign in terms of what vaccines are doing now," he said.

Mildura to lockdown as two Vic towns exit (msn.com)

There is no relationship between ICU admissions and vaccinations and active cases making the statement meaningless.

Numbers need to better be understood if we are to effectively manage pandemics in the future. Consider a fully double vaccinated nation with a 90% hospital efficacy. The 10% that go to hospital will raise the number of vaccinated hospital admissions to 100%. Will we then say this is a pandemic of the vaccinated? As vaccination increases percentages of vaccinated people admitted to hospital will increase. On the 13th of September there were 11% of single dose vaccinated and 0% double in Victorian Hospitals. On the 8th of October this number has changed to 26% and 8%.

For interest as of the 9th of October 2021 about 85 percent of Victorians had a first dose and about 60% a second dose. Thus, at this date 25% of people have only one dose and 15% of the population are unvaccinated. Based on these figures using efficacy data from the Burnet Roadmap report we would expect the following make up for hospitalisation in Victoria's hospitals.

51% unvaccinated, 28% one dose, 21% double dose. So, half of hospitalized patients should be vaccinated. However, the actual numbers differ significantly for both Victoria and NSW. For Victoria the current break up is 66%, 26% and 8% respectively. For NSW the break-up is 68%, 5.2% and 4%. It was noted that these do not total 100%. If we adjust these numbers to total 100% the following numbers are attained. 88.1%, 6.7, 5.1 respectively

Some may say that the numbers are suspect and were manipulated to make the effectiveness of vaccines seem better than it is to encourage vaccination. Nothing will ever be achieved with conspiracy theories. A more feasible possibility is that the efficacy is better than thought, which is of course a good thing. However the research does not support his.

There is also the panic factor. It has already been shown that the panicked public does overwhelm hospitals. It stands to reason that vaccinated people will feel more confident and not check themselves in. In other words, vaccination is not necessarily the only reason for less hospitalization, but also less panic.

Deaths

This analysis was performed on reported deaths involving which are somewhat dubious as there is no guarantee that the deaths are from Covid.

BIS.Net Analyst Change Analysis used in Covid-19 analysis
Coronavirus (COVID-19) at a glance � 4 October 2021 | Australian Government Department of Health

As of the 4th of October 2021, NSW had 432 deaths or 0.0052 percent of the population. Victoria had 873 reported deaths or 0.13 % of the population, in other words twice the percentage as NSW.

As of the 4th of October 2021, NSW had 62 deaths in nursing homes amounting to 14% of all covid deaths in NSW. Victoria had 661 deaths in nursing homes amounting to 75% of all covid deaths in Victoria and 49% i.e,. almost half of all covid deaths in Australia.

At the end of Victoria's last wave, deaths in Victoria's nursing homes were 73% of all of Australia's covid deaths.

Why? Greater infection in nursing homes, or administration of morphine?

There is now some anecdotal evidence that some, if not all, Victorian nursing homes administered morphine in residents just because they tested positive, not because they suffered with symptoms.

According to one person, apparently last year the grandmother of a friend rang from the nursing home saying she had the virus, but not one symptom. Yet the staff wanted to put her on morphine which her family stopped after finding out about it. However, two other patients, without symptoms were placed on Morphine and both died. The deaths were then recorded as Covid deaths.

This has been confirmed by a survey of over 1000 people, and an Age Care GP.

"This is the "pandemic plan" the nurse manager of a nearby nursing home (Vic) told me about in late March/ early April last year. I think there is an undisclosed "pandemic plan" which operates the way xxx has described."

This needs investigation because this plan, if true, may have killed people making the virus even less deadly. At this stage we make no allegation.

Conclusion

The following conclusion is based on information available until the 10th of October and findings should not be extrapolated into the future. No one knows what the future holds.

Without wishing to discredit the great state of Victoria, Victorian pandemic management has had no sound science attached and was characterized with knee jerk reactions. Victoria subjected its citizen to hardship and one can say cruelty to save lives and yet it has the highest deaths in Australia at this date, most of which came from nursing homes, making the virus less deadly then portrayed.

Victoria's hard line strategy only hurt Victorians and nothing else.

As of the 10th of October, 2021, Victoria with its harshest response in Australia and longest lockdown in the world has been significantly outperformed by NSW. Although NSW also resorted to kneejerk reactions they were not at the same extent as Victoria's. Victoria introduced many highly irrational responses in its endeavor to attain zero cases.

Eighteen months after many experts warned zero cases are impossible, Victoria has finally made the realization, which does not instill confidence in Victoria's health advisers.

There seems no end in sight with Victoria's incompetent pandemic management. Now little children may be cruelly forced to wear facemasks all day long based on evidence in the USA which has many flaws.

Forgotten is that children every year are used to getting a common cold up to 6 times a year. There is no evidence currently that Covid is more harmful to children than the common cold. Yet they are being taught they will die if they get infected. Where is conscience?

The topic of pandemic management will be discussed in Part C. Part A, still to be published will report on a Machine Learning study applied to our pandemic management.

Note

There is no evidence that the delta variant is as deadly and rampant as made out!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Juergen Ude has a certificate in applied chemistry, a degree in applied science majoring in statistics and operations research as top student, a masters in economics with high distinctions in every subject, and a PhD in computer modelling and algorithms. He has lectured at Monash University on subjects of data analysis, computer modelling, and quality & reliability.

Prior to founding his own company (Qtech International Pty Ltd), Dr Ude worked as a statistician and operations researcher for 18 years in management roles having saved employers millions of dollars through his AI and ML algorithms. Through Qtech International, Dr Ude has developed data analysis solutions in over 40 countries for leading corporations such as Alcoa, Black and Decker, Coca-Cola Amatil, US Vision and many more. Additionally he has developed campaign analysis software for politicians.