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99% drop in flu rates, 7000% increase in Covid 19 infections, what gives?



  • Registered Users Posts: 31,008 ✭✭✭✭Lumen

    Thinking logically, the safety measures taken thus far should show the same results as we are seeing in flu cases.

    Not necessarily.

    Analogy: masks and distancing -> building a 4ft fence to keep dogs out. Flu is a terrier, Covid is a greyhound.

    The 4ft fence might keep out 99% of terriers but only 50% of greyhounds.

  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭Arbitrary

  • Registered Users Posts: 31,008 ✭✭✭✭Lumen

    This means that influenza can spread faster than COVID-19.

    Faster, not necessarily further. The reproduction rate and timing of symptom onset w.r.t infectiousness is more important.

    Also, that was written in March 2020 so does not account for the increased transmissibility of alpha and then delta.

  • Posts: 6,192 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    I never even knew they could test for flu tbh.....i never known anyone to be tested,just sent home with lemsips/some over countet stuff and told to basically sit it out with plenty fluids

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,136 ✭✭✭✭is_that_so

    The body recognises flu' even if some people need an immune boost to fight it better; COVID was novel.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭Arbitrary

    The numbers are way down, the data is irrefutable.

    Okay, but if all these safety measures implemented work to dramatically decrease the number of flu cases. Both viruses are spread in the same manner, yet measures implemented are only effective for one and not the other.

    Can you please explain the science behind your dog analogy so I can better understand, thank you.

    The spike we saw with the delta variant at Christmas, does not add up. It spiked over a very short time and subsequently decreased steadily over time, if the virus is consistently infectious, numbers would not come down. Numbers spiked while the lockdown took place.

    Something stinks.

  • Posts: 6,192 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    Im not disputing the numbers of flu being down ,just ive never known someone to actually been tested for it,even before covid?

    The delta varient wasnt there at xmas,1st being picked up here in may......the uk varient at xmas,likely peaked around 28/29 december imo, (testing etc collasped and couldnt test everyone)....i remember lads being told before xmas to contact their close contacts themselves to get tested,it was fairly rampent by time workplaces closed for xmas,our work party for closing (23rd) was cancelled as noone would go,due to perception it was rampant locally (anyone remember the infamous ramsgrange funeral of wexford now?).....

    .at one stage 1 in 10 people in tramore were positive/close contacts.....the spike was occuring before being locked down,in hindsight "saving xmas" was worst decision made in irish politics in last 50 years

  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭Arbitrary

    Correct, my mistake. I guess I just have one of those gut feelings that not all is normal. The data supports my feeling. These spikes in transmission rates are suspicious and if it turned out to be like a case of the Ice Cream factory in China, it would certainly explain the strange and inconsistent data we are seeing being recorded.

    Stay safe my friend.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    When you look at it though, and it’s something that’s being constantly pointed out by various building, environmental and air handling system experts - the SARS-Cov-2 virus is very capable of airborne transmission. The method of combatting it is most likely air filtration: use of excellent ventilation, FFP2 masks indoors, especially where air quality can’t be managed, and adequate ventilation and HEPA filtering where it is needed like busy classrooms, pubs, theatres etc

    We’ve put incredibly effective systems in place around hand sanitising, surface cleaning, mild social distancing, non filtering masks to stop sneezes / coughs spreading. Those measures are fantastic for flu, colds and droplet transmission of respiratory viruses like influenza. They have some impact on SARS-Cov-2 but we seem to be in denial about the fact it’s airborne.

    If you look at Germany for example, they mandate not just any mask, but a FFP2 minimum standard, which actually filters the virus out of the air you breath. We are going around with cloth and paper masks that are only a bit effective. They can’t filter the air you because they’re not filters.

    FFP2 masks typically use special materials that capture small particles using electrostatic charges on the filter surfaces as are often easier to breathe through than layers of simple fabric.

    It’s nuts that we don’t have filters in every classroom. They should be as common as radiators at this stage. We aren’t in a situation where this virus is going to just go away in a few months and we’re not really putting the long term measure we’re likely to need in place.

    Even if it does go away eventually, we will have massively improved indoor air quality by adding systems to filter and improved ventilation. So it’s not a waste long term anyway. You’d have less transmission of other viruses and massively improved air quality for asthmatics and all sorts of allergies and so on.

    I don’t understand why this isn’t being discussed more seriously. It’s like we are all in collective denial about it.

    My niece’s school for example hasn’t even implemented the CO2 monitors to show when air quality is low in classrooms and they are both very cheap and easy to do. It’s no more complex than a room thermostat, yet they’re open and the devices aren’t in place. It’s mind boggling, head buried in the sand stuff.

    We can’t just keep taking crude social measures, closing social spaces down and limiting social interaction. We should be able to deal with this with technical measures far more than we are doing.

    It’s an endemic virus at this stage and we live in highly technology societies, with plenty of resources. We can’t just default to crude lockdown approaches anymore. That was understandable in the initial emergency as we responded an outbreak of an unknown pathogen, but we know a lot more about it now and we need to adapt the environment to keep us safe.

    We also can’t just “give up” and “let it rip” which seems to be the alternative proposed by the anti-reality, head firmly up own rear brigade who just seem to be angry with a challenging situation and have gone into paranoid conspiracy theories for escapism.

    Proper inspection and design of ventilation, use of air cleaning systems, use of filters be they serious room air filters or proper masking, with actual filtration needs to be a big part of this.

    We’re just kidding ourselves otherwise.

  • Posts: 6,192 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    I was getting e350 a week to stay home at one stage,none of this is bleeding normal

    Yous raise a v.good point,i kinda dip in/out of info as regards it,otherwise it would melt your head

    But i think it was claimed,there was existance of 'superspreaders' people whom spread it much more than others.....

    1 person,home for xmas,infected like 150 people at a pub in tramore and it spread like fcuk then from there in the houses.....but then i know people who everyone got it in house off em,except person in bed beside em,while others spread it to noone in their house.........

    whole thing is weird as hell and beyond my level of knowledge,even on antedocal level deosnt make sense

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,683 ✭✭✭growleaves

    The claim that masks and social distancing have temporarily eliminated influenza is not believable.

    Social distancing was only barely known before last year. It was modelled on influenza pandemics in a handful of obscure studies. None of these studies reported that social distancing eliminated flu (which can't be eliminated, temporarily or permanently). That has never sat right with me, its the most obviously phony thing I've heard in the last two years and that's saying something.

    So there must be another explanation.

    One possible explanation is that flu cases are being counted as covid cases. (Vehemently denied but possible.)

    Another explanation I've seen, is that they aren't being counted as covid cases deliberately but rather that since there is a lot of cross immunity between respiratory positive stranded RNA viruses, and they all interbreed, exchange genetic material indiscriminately, there is no way to make a definite distinction between them - i.e. influenza cases are being counted as covid cases and vice versa because they lack very sharp distinguishing characteristics.

    No idea if this is true, I don't have the background to vouch for it. It sounds more true to me than 'We have totally eliminated influenza comrade with the masking and distancing of our citizens' explanation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,406 ✭✭✭Charles Babbage

    There is nothing mysterious about this. The Delta variant of Covid is spreading much more than the original one, because it is more infectious. Covid is more infectious than flu, the unusual measures which reduced Covid more or less wiped out flu. The usual practices of going to work even if you are unwell etc was much less common during Covid and so flu wasn't able to transmit in its usual ways.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,683 ✭✭✭growleaves

    @Arbitrary 'Thinking logically, the safety measures taken thus far should show the same results as we are seeing in flu cases. Something stinks and my spidey senses are tingling.'

    Most people seem to have sworn an oath to defend these 'measures' despite knowing little about them. Note: understanding and finding intuitively satisfying the simple cause-and-effect logic of social distancing isn't what I mean by knowing about something.

    As I've said social distancing was an obscure, hypothetical, unvalidated epidemic model - modelled on influenza pandemics. Rolling it out throughout the whole world simultaneously was, and must have been, to a large extent arbitrary.

    To then claim, without strong evidence or proof, that it has led to the total (temporary) elimination of influenza is not believable, though of course you can believe it if you want to.

    Finally, the ordinary people who are sworn to defend these measures will makes appeals to authority (credentialism and 'official' scientific position) and obscurantism and then get angry if you're still not on board.

  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭Arbitrary

    Then why have flu rates plummeted across the Western Hemisphere which has coincided with people wearing masks? Nobody said it completely eliminated influenza, with the CDC they recorded 130,000 cases during the year preceeding Covid 19, in the same sample recorded during Covid, they recorded 1,300. It's the same trend in all countries that implemented the wearing of masks. You agree the case in China of contaminated milk powder is cause for concern and warrants at the very least a thought, perhaps other food sources have been contaminated? It would certainly explain the data being recorded in developed countries regarding influenza and the erratic graphs we now see over the course of the Covid 19 pandemic.

    The evidence is the data recorded, I can't verify this data and how it was extrapolated, but it's there and plain to see and also irrefutable, assuming the data is accurate.

  • Registered Users Posts: 493 ✭✭BobHopeless

    I've no idea what's going on either but one thing I do know is you won't find the answer on Boards OP.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    It’s been sad to see once rational posters on this topic descend to full on baseless conspiracy.

    It is quite simple, R0 of influenza is about 1.5. Covid was 2-3 prior to more transmissible variants. Reduce opportunity for exposure by 50% and influenza will decline while Covid will still grow. Simple maths. Not a wide ranging conspiracy.

    Now we have a version with R0 of between 6 and 7. The uk evidence shows a reduction in transmission due to vaccination of 80% which is why we currently unwinding all restrictions

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,683 ✭✭✭growleaves

    @raind 'It’s been sad to see once rational posters on this topic descend to full on baseless conspiracy.'

    Well not quite. I've presented two possible alternative explanations, one of which would be deliberate lying ('conspiracy').

    I don't even consider that likely, I just never rule out lying because of how human nature is.

    I still don't find the 'reduced opportunity for spreading' explanation likely or convincing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭Arbitrary

    You're assuming a great deal. I'm not entertaining discussions about conspiracies nor do I want to.

    I want to discuss science, facts and all the data we have thus far. We have a case in China that is alarming to say the least. How it arose is worth investigating, no?

    You're all breezing over this and dismissing it as irrelevant while focusing on irrelevant numbers.

    Look at flu cases recorded data vs Covid data. The transmission numbers and infectious rates suggest that there is something else potentially going on. Other sources, like the case in China.

    Even with elevated transmission due to the R number, the numbers don't add up.

    The data speaks for itself. Refute the data please and attack the points, not the poster, a golden rule of

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,683 ✭✭✭growleaves

    @Arbitrary 'Then why have flu rates plummeted across the Western Hemisphere which has coincided with people wearing masks?'

    I've already provided my reasoning, which doesn't depend on the correlation of mask-wearing being a factor. Nor does the rest of your post contradict what I've written.

  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭Arbitrary

    I'm inclined to listen to the professionals.

    The reason, epidemiologists think, is that the public health measures taken to keep the coronavirus from spreading notably mask wearing and social distancing—also stop the flu. 

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,683 ✭✭✭growleaves


    This standard-issue explanation has been doing the rounds for six months.

    The second alternative explanation I offered was also hypothesised by a professional scientist.

    I can't believe you started a thread asking for explanations and then immediately turned around and did an appeal to authority I-trust-the-experts-thanks.

    So you're not willing even in theory to consider answers to your OP?

    You're a scam. Thanks for wasting everyone's time. Close this non-thread.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,842 ✭✭✭tabby aspreme

    I had a flu like dose this past week, got PCR test Wednesday to be sure, still not back 100%

  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭Arbitrary

    Um, okay, why are you getting so defensive? My hypothesis, which has supporting data has been put forward.

    The U.S. saw about 700 deaths from influenza during the 2020–2021 season. In comparison, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there were approximately 22,000 U.S. deaths in the prior season and 34,000 deaths two seasons ago.

    That is a staggering decline.

    What changes were implemented between both seasons that could scientifically explain this? I think you need to move on to another thread, why do you want this thread closed? Mods...

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,136 ✭✭✭✭is_that_so

    No contact between people is what happened, those most at risk were cocooned away and there was very little real scope for flu' to spread anywhere. TBH I can't see the reasoning behind the question and you'll be able to confirm whether that is true in a few months as flu' comes back.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,683 ✭✭✭growleaves

    I don't demand the thread be closed, I just see that you are a wind-up merchant so I say 'Close this muck'.

    You ask for discussion but then won't accept it.

    But whatever leave it open it makes no difference.

    I'm gone. Bye.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,680 ✭✭✭✭odyssey06

    None if your post sounds true to me, it sounds like misinformation utterly without foundation. You can't even vouch for it and provide any support for it.

    Why "must there be another explanation"?

    And you talk about the most obviously phony thing? When it's your posts in this thread that are so.

    Scamdemic nonsense that should be in the conspiracy theories forum.

    "To follow knowledge like a sinking star..." (Tennyson's Ulysses)

  • Registered Users Posts: 532 ✭✭✭Arbitrary

    Both recorded deaths and incidents plummeted, you're right, more data is always a good thing. It will be interesting to see.

  • Registered Users Posts: 216 ✭✭ohnohedidnt

    It would be interesting to see how many flu tests were done vs previous seasons. Nobody was going to doctors offices. Only the very sick with covid were going to hospitals, and if they tested positive for covid, which was the first test done, I wonder if they'd even bother testing for flu.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,683 ✭✭✭growleaves

    How can a hypothesis be 'misinformation'? It isn't information, it's a hypothesis.

    You can examine it, think about it. Maybe it's wrong or maybe one of the assumptions behind it is wrong.

    Don't spew robot words at me like 'misinformation'.

    As for my dissatisfaction with the standard explanation, that's my opinion. It feels intuitively wrong. I thought that's what the OP was saying as well.

    If *no one* is prepared to consider any other possibility, even in theory, then I might as well be writing in my diary or talking to myself.

    But this isn't much of a discussion. Basically it a restatement of a standardised taking point re the 'disappearance' of influenza.

    I find it hard to believe the OP hadn't heard the 'official' explanation already. He produced it instantly the moment he got a different answer.

    So we'll done chaps. Keep repeating to each other the same single talking point you're already familiar with. Thread of the year.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 27,680 ✭✭✭✭odyssey06

    They were testing for flu, there were influenza surveillance reports published here. It didn't pick flu up here or elsewhere because it wasn't circulating.

    "To follow knowledge like a sinking star..." (Tennyson's Ulysses)