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Daily death tolls

  1. Ikonoclast
    April 2, 2020 at 12:53 am

    This graph raises some interesting issues.

    (1) Sth Korea’s death rate is proportionately much lower than most countries. Given that their infection rate is still significant but not as bad as Western countries we must investigate how they are saving people once people have caught COVID-19. Their infection control is also very good. Sth Korea learned from the the SARS epidemics and has maintained a high degree of epidemic preparedness. This has paid off.

    (2) Although China’s performance is clearly better than that of the Western nations, it’s figures are still scarcely credible.This is unless it has achieved the feat of limiting the virus to one province, Hubei. Eradication in one country still raises issue. More on this below.

    (3) The performance of Western countries has been almost uniformly abysmal. We have to look for common factors. The main common factors have been neoliberalism, the rise of anti-science, hoarding of wealth by the elites, the concomitant inequality and poverty, and the hollowing out of health, welfare and education spending. Along with this we can add the ignorance and lack of foresight of our governing elites.

    (4) This event signals necessary changes in Western political economy as (the reemergence of the central planning state to some degree (statism), high social spending and likely and hopefully a move towards democratic socialism. If the West does not move substantially and rapidly in this direction the West will collapse.

    (5) This event signals a geo-strategic watershed with the possible rise of China to complete economic, diplomatic and even military ascendancy over the entire globe. This would be a very bad thing. A uni-polar world, with only one genuine superpower, is always a bad thing for all other states and peoples, It is even worse when that country is an absolutist party dictatorship, as is China. The West should be under no illusions. China is not benign and like all superpowers has only its own interests truly at heart. China is not benign. Ask the Tibetans, ask the Uyghers, ask the Falun Gong / Falun Dafa adherents, ask the Chinese dissidents.

    (6) The West needs to become democratic socialist to meet this crisis and to remain a necessary check and balance against China becoming the globe’s sole superpower. Democracy and socialism are not in opposition, they are a natural fit. Capitalism is oligarchic and plutocratic by nature. This is why the Party oligarchs of Russia and China have found the progression to their brand of crony capitalism so natural. Their brand is Party-Oligarchic capitalism rather than the Corporate-Oligarchic capitalism of the West. But they are both Oligarchic Capitalist systems with the State suborned to the Party or the Corporations as the case may be.

    (7) “Eradication in one country” becomes a problem if all other countries have the virus endemically and that one country wants to re-open its borders and economy to the world, This is unless a vaccine is found, which might not be possible. China might not consider this a problem if it intends to stop supplying the world with product and become autarkic. Though one wonders how China would achieve energy and food security under this scenario.

  2. Helge Nome
    April 2, 2020 at 3:28 am

    Don’t have too much faith in these figures: The first casualty of war is the truth.

  3. Paul
    April 3, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    These numbers are basically meaningless unless we know the definitions and methods that produced these numbers.

    For example:

    Does the number reflect all people who died and who were tested positive for the virus or
    is it the number of people who died because of the virus (the virus is a major contributing factor to the death).

    How many people were tested for the virus? The more people are tested the more people will get a positive result. The less people are tested, the less deaths can be attributed to the virus.

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