Bill Gates

Has lots of mates.

He can set the table at a roar

With his plans for there to be less people than there were before.


If you grab Dr Fauci

By the hand he gets grouchy

Coz he wants to stay clean

And doesn’t know where you’ve been.


I wouldn’t quite say that George Soros

Gave me the horrors.

But it might be wiser

If he wore a visor.

{for more about this admirable literary genre, see here.}

From an interview in Spanish with Cardinal Antonio dos Santos Marto, Bishop of Leiria-Fatima

¿Cómo es posible que algunos clérigos (incluyendo algunos altos cardenales) continúen creyendo que el coronavirus es un “castigo de Dios”?

Afortunadamente no hemos escuchado esta expresión aquí entre nosotros, en Portugal, al menos públicamente. Esto no es cristiano. Sólo lo dice quien no tiene en su mente o en su corazón la verdadera imagen de Dios Amor y Misericordia revelada en Cristo, por ignorancia, fanatismo sectario o locura*.

{How is it possible that some clerics (including some high cardinals) continue to believe that the coronavirus is a ‘punishment from God’?

Fortunately we have not heard this expression here among us, in Portugal, at least publicly. This is not Christian. Only they say it who do not have in their minds or hearts the true image of the God of Love and Mercy revealed in Christ, through ignorance, sectarian fanaticism or insanity.}

Last time I was in Fatima I was struck by how the old and the new basilicas confront each other across the esplanade, as representatives of two different religions.  I went into the new one during Sunday Mass and there was a bishop preaching, who I presume was this man.  It is one of those churches where the seating slopes down toward the stage sanctuary.  Lacking the gift of tongues I was blessedly unaware of what the sermon was about.

It is clear that the Catholics of Leiria-Fatima should keep this modernist prelate out of the old basilica where the bodies of Francisco and Jacinta repose, since he has no part in the message of Fatima.  Normally it is the cathedral itself from which the faithful should exclude a clearly heretical bishop, but in this case it would probably receive more publicity if they made it the basilica.

I stated my own view strongly. …he saw only one side, I another. …He said something like ‘Who are the laity?’ I answered (not in these words) that the Church would look foolish without them.

In a comment below Thomascordatus asked me what I think about this video recorded by microbiologist Sucharit Bhakdi.

My first reaction is that as the former head of the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, Prof. Bhakdi must know about what he is talking. According to Aelianus, that is the German in me. On the other hand, as a sort of scientist myself, I know that even renowned professors have been known to tell utter nonsense about a topic related to their field. Here are my thoughts:

It is true that we cannot know the true mortality rate, because we do not reliably know the number that is infected (which leads to overestimates, because those seriously ill are far more likely both to be tested and to die). It is also true that the mere presence of a virus infection in a person who then dies does not prove that they died FROM that virus. As is the case with influenza, it seems we will only be able to estimate Covid-19-related deaths after the epidemic is over, namely through ‘excess mortality’, i.e. deaths beyond the background mortality.

These arguments, however, do not explain away the fact that a number of regions experience a surge of severe respiratory illness that requires ICU care, to such an unprecedented extent that hospitals in these regions (first Hubai, later Lombardy, the northeast of France, Madrid) are utterly swamped . There must be some reason for this, and if a large number of these patients tests positive for SARS-CoV-2, this seems to indicate some causality.

So we have an easily spread virus (easily spread particularly since (still) asymptomatic patients can transmit it) in a population with little if any immunity against it. I have not yet heard any experts who claim that it will not infect the majority of people (although I stand to be corrected). Even if the proportion of infected people requiring ICU treatment is much smaller than current infection number suggest: As long as the virus spreads exponentially (which it appears to do, and what you’d expect it to do), the number of these cases should also increase exponentially. In Italy, currently 0.1% of the population have been tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Even if this underestimates the actual infections by a factor of 100, there would still only be a 10% infection rate and rapid growth of infections as well as severe cases should still be expected. Incidentally, according to this, while 22.7% of Italian tests were positive as of 20th March, this was true only for 3.9% of tests in Germany (15th March) or 5.3% of tests in the UK (20th March). In all cases, tests were restricted to probable cases (symptoms and/or close contact to infected person), so the proportion in the general population should be far lower.

For me, it is the very real risk of overwhelming the health care system that makes it sensible to slow down the spread of SARS-CoV-2 at this point. A Spanish report of 22nd March looks at the age distribution of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections, of deaths among these, and of treatment in the ICU. Of the infected, 62% were younger than 60; of the deaths, only 3.3%. However, 32% of the ICU patients were younger than 60, and the majority of these, apparently, did not die. In fact, hardly any of the over 80-year-olds, who made up two thirds of the fatalities, had been treated in the ICU at all. This indicates to me that having sufficient ICU capacity for all severe cases will save lives, and that especially among younger people, among whom it is far more likely that any acute severe respiratory illness is actually caused by SARS-CoV-2 and who would not ‘have died anyway from something else’.

Related to this, I have not found out where Prof. Bhakdi gets his number of 99.5% of infections of whom he says that they may be ‘infected’, but they are ‘not ill’. The only numbers I found are from a WHO report based on data from 55924 confirmed infections up to 20th February. Of these, 80% were ‘mild to moderate’ – which, however, does include pneumonia, unless it requires hospitalization. A proportion of 88% had a fever, about two thirds a dry cough. This may not be dangerous, but I still would not say that they are not ‘not ill’. The same report speaks of 13.8% of ‘severe’ cases, which means ‘dyspnea, respiratory frequency ≥30/minute, blood oxygen saturation ≤93%, PaO2/FiO2 ratio <300, and/or lung infiltrates >50% of the lung field within 24-48 hours’, and 6.1%  ‘critical cases’, namely ‘respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multiple organ dysfunction/failure’.

It is open to debate which measures will buy us the needed time to spread out the cases requiring ventilation, to increase production of needed materials and, if possible, intensive care capacity, without causing more harm socially, economically and regarding other health conditions. I just think ‘this is all utterly unnecessary’ is not correct.


O.K. Some numbers from Germany:

  • From 2001/2002 to 2017/2018, influenza caused 7.800 annual deaths on average, and 25.100 deaths in the worst season.
  • Germany has 28,000 intensive care places. With 0.34 per 1000 inhabitants, this is apparently one of the highest relative numbers worldwide.
  • During the influenza season, influenza patients require araound 60% of ventilator capicity, although this may reach up to 90% in a bad season.

So: yes, influenza is a real problem, even in a country with a good health care system. But: Covid-19 IS considerably worse.

Just an extremely rough calculation: Deaths from Covid-19 show textbook exponential growth in most European countries. In Germany, currently the country with the lowest case fatality rate among the major affected European countries, doubling time of Covid-19 deaths is 5.5 days, based on the past 10 days. If this continues, we will exceed 68,000 deaths within less than two months – which is well before the peak of the epidemic. The number of 68,000 deaths in Germany assumes mortality rates will remain at their current low level – which they won’t, as by that point, hospital capacities will be well exceeded.

Or bit more exactly: Modelling by the Robert-Koch-Institute, using reasonably optimistic parameters, estimates that at the epidemic’s peak, between 3.5 and over 10 million people in Germany will be infected simultanously – depending on the seasonality of the virus and whether a proportion of people (one third) has a pre-existing immunity. At that point, between 40,000 and 1.125 million intensive care places will be needed. If no measures are taken, between 250,000 and 350,000 persons are estimated to die from Covid-19. In a country with very good health care. Using very optimistic disease parameters.


It is debatable how reasonable it is to close churches BEFORE restaurants. And of course it must be possible to have children baptized. And confessions taken. And Masses to which the public is not admitted still need to be said (I have my doubts that this really happens in Germany, but that is not a fault of the evil oppressive state). Of course there should be a stronger spiritual response to this crisis from the clergy. And of course not being able to attend Mass, especially during Lent and Easter, IS a great tribulation and sorrow. But whatever the motivation of the decision-makers might be, I believe prohibiting all larger congregations of people, including during Mass, is an eminently reasonable decision at the moment.


Bishop Schneider speaks.

And Chris Ferrara makes a reasonable request: “Show me the numbers that justify worldwide panic and suspension of civil liberties over a virus that has not killed even a tiny fraction of the people who are dying of the flu all over the world right now.”

See the whole article.