Disappointed in Low Carb gurus and covid-19 (and the Dunning-Kruger effect)

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #81

Well that’s the thing, @PaulL. People are looking at this without fully appreciating just how catastrophic it may well get.

People back in June here in Australia were behaving as if we were over this thing, and now we have an outbreak that’s out of control.

Perhaps we will get a brilliantly effective treatment or vaccine in the next 6-12 months. But perhaps we won’t. And if we don’t, this thing could get orders of magnitude uglier. We’re only at 17 million infected worldwide; it’s mind-blowing to think of all those human bodies that the virus only sees as fuel.

People aren’t thinking that way. They’re thinking that this has been going on for so long and they want it to end.

The virus doesn’t care that we are frustrated. It just wants to replicate. And it has only gotten started.

(Edith) #82

Not to belittle the possible coronavirus implications, but even the Spanish flu became less viral over time.

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #83

Edith, so did the Black Death, and it killed 1/3 to 1/2 of the world’s population at the time. I’m not sure what your point is?

(Doug) #84

Edith, there certainly are effects. Yet no economies are “closed down,” as with a switch being thrown from “On” to “Off.” In the U.S. for example, things are much closer to 100% than to zero. It’s also not true that governments can entirely choose between having the economic effect of the virus and not having it. The one study I’ve seen found that only about 25% of unemployment was due to stay-at-home orders and the like.

The markets were reacting and people’s behavior was changing, regardless of what a gov’t did or did not do. Unemployment, per se, does indeed cause trouble. Suicide rates rise a little, for example.

The suicide rate in the U.S. averaged 13.6 per 100,000 people in the 25 years prior to 1929.

1929 = 13.9 (the rate for the year actually went down after the stock market crash)
1930 = 15.6
1931 = 16.8
1932 = 17.4

1932 had the highest rate, and this was without all the social programs that the administrations of Franklin Roosevelt, etc. later brought in. This was before the social ‘safety-net’ programs - Social Security, unemployment, welfare, etc. Lately, the U.S. rate has been pretty steady at 14.2.

Overall mortality tends to go down, however, during economic slowdowns. Quite a few countries that clamped down hard on the virus, early on, such as Thailand, Norway, South Korea, Denmark, etc, have overall death rates below normal.

Greece has been an economic disaster for a long time, and I think it boils down to “less healthcare means more deaths.” That’s no surprise, and the article you linked to bears that out.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #85

@gabe obviously you’re not going to be convinced by evidence. So enjoy your hysterical paranoia, others share it with you. This is not the black death or bubonic plague and making such a comparison only illustrates just how hysterical your reaction is. Carry on.

(Edith) #86

Well, I’m comparing it to the Spanish flu because the similarities are much greater than comparing it to the bubonic plague.

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #87

Exactly, Doug. Taiwan never even locked down and their domestic economy is doing rather well considering. NZ wasn’t as prepared, had a hard lockdown for a couple of months, and their economy is now doing quite well too. Compare this with Australia, which has so far been almost comically inept in handling this thing in my view, and the US is orders of magnitude worse even after all the focus on “reopening the economy.”

The key to getting the economy back on track is to get the virus under control. You can’t have consumer confidence if people are afraid to do normal stuff.

@VirginiaEdie, your point was that storms eventually pass. I think that’s a rather banal point to make. The question is, how do you minimize the damage during the storm?

(bulkbiker) #88

Please don’t conflate Spanish flu (between 20-50 million dead of a far smaller global population) with COVID which has so far added about 4.6 extra days worth of deaths worldwide (690k) We are 6 months in and its nowhere near as bad.
If you want to panic and be fearful then that’s fine but the poverty from the economic chaos resulting from the various governmental overreactions will be far worse (and that’s assuming there isn’t a “big plan” behind it all).


You’ve followed the immunity conversations happening around COVID? It doesn’t seem like we need COVID-19 specific antibodies to fight off the virus, and it’s likely that the virus has been in circulation since last fall. There are 18 million confirmed cases worldwide. That =/= 18 million cases total, and it definitely doesn’t mean only 18 million people exposed to COVID. All of which might be why known cases are rising but deaths are dropping.

What data I’ve seen doesn’t support your fears, but I think that you should have the right to act accordingly. If you believe that going out for a coffee will put your organs in danger, you should definitely stay inside!

I just wish that policy makers were more focused on protecting those that we’ve seen are vulnerable - we have enough data now to know who those people are - and then open up the rest of the society. What you call “economic” concerns are human concerns and are hitting the most vulnerable segments of society - the poor and our children in particular. Just on the immunological front, we’re looking at a generation of children who have had a relatively long time with much reduced exposure to microbes of all sort. That spells disaster down the road for them.

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #90

Profoundly disagree. The death rate stands at 6% of resolved cases globally. You’ve (@Madeleine and @MarkGossage) given me unproven assertions but no evidence, no facts at all. You’ve said:

  • The economic impact will be worse than the impact of the virus – according to whom? I know of nobody saying this
  • “What data I’ve seen doesn’t support your fears” – we have no idea about the long-term effects of contracting this virus, and the news is increasingly worse, not better.
  • " It doesn’t seem like we need COVID-19 specific antibodies to fight off the virus, and it’s likely that the virus has been in circulation since last fall." – No idea what any of this implies. Infection rates are growing fast.
  • “Please don’t conflate Spanish flu (between 20-50 million dead of a far smaller global population)” – you’re comparing, with perfect hindsight, the total number of dead of the Spanish Flu with our situation at the VERY BEGINNING of Covid. Conflate I will.
  • "and then open up the rest of the society. " – they’re running this experiment in the US. If anything, the results of “opening up” are far, far worse than rolling lockdowns have been.

Besides which, none of us ever argued for endless lockdowns. We needed a short, sharp, extreme, draconian lockdown to strangle the virus at birth. Instead, we had worldwide dithering, worrying about “jobs” and “the economy” and “freedom” – all of which are now worse off in the long run because of the lack of decisive action right at the very start.

(bulkbiker) #91

Looked at any economic markers recently… huge unemployment and never before seen drops in GDP?

Disagree completely, the virus is reducing in both hospitalisations and deaths. More testing obviously leads to more cases (plus increases the absolute number of false positives)

See above// testing is growing fast so more “cases” are being found but fewer people are dying and being admitted to hospital ever wonder why that might be?

OK fine be afraid… be very afraid …

Look at Ivor’s work on the differing styles of virus progression in different regions and comparisons of lockdown and no lockdowns and you’ll see that lockdowns make little to no difference.

However you seem to want to be fearful.

(Gabe “No Dogma, Only Science Please!” ) #92

Look, I don’t want this thread to get any more animated than it already has. I think we disagree with each other. There is excellent reason to be cautious, if not fearful. I understand that you do not agree with me on that.

The trouble is, people who say with great confidence that the virus death rates are dropping (they may or may not be) or that lockdowns didn’t work (they did; look at New Zealand) or that this virus isn’t that big of a deal are really telling you that they aren’t afraid to advertise their unwarranted hubris.

This virus has been around for a matter of months, whichever way you slice it. Imagine if someone told you in 1918 that the flu wasn’t a big deal really, it hasn’t killed all that many people, we get flu every year, the economic consequences would be disastrous, we can’t change our lives because of it. (The Spanish Flu then ended up killing 50-100m people, and was followed by the Roaring Twenties, so such economic fearmongering was beyond misguided.)

Or imagine if someone had told you in 1981 look, there’s this AIDS thing, but it seems like only gay people get it, so you’re probably safe.

These are statements of ignorance made out of sheer arrogance.

We need to have some humility. We know very little about this thing, but we do understand how pandemics work – and they get really damn bad really damn quickly when people get complacent.

With all due respect, I no longer have time for “low carb experts” who’ve been irrationally militant about covid. They have disqualified themselves, imho, as a serious source of information, and in my view they’ve problematized everything they ever said about any subject as a result of their radical behaviour on this issue. I suspect quite a few LCHF/keto folks are reconsidering their association with them, having them at conferences in the future, and indeed are probably regretting having had them on their podcasts/youtube channels in the past.

Funnily enough, I even wrote a post almost identical to this thread back in May: Really disappointed with the amount of anti-science nonsense coming out of some LCHF/keto folks … and little has changed since then!


@gabe You’re wasting your time with MarkGossage because he always plays games and never takes anything seriously. He doesn’t see how this virus is different from the flu and how far we’ve come with hygiene. Many people will die from organ failure down the line.

I was infected and still have symptoms of organ damage.

(bulkbiker) #94

As a gay man who was around in the 1980’s then…
Then, as now, I took responsibility for my own health and any risks that I chose to take were mine and I would happily have borne the consequences. I’m still here!

(bulkbiker) #95

If you want to tag someone you need to put the @ in front of their name but if you just want to be passive aggressive then…

(Gregory - You can teach an old dog new tricks.) #96

I think this is a great take away…

This pandemic is changing the the way we live; economically, socially and scientifically.
Regardless of what has happened in the past, the present is what we have to live with.

The LCHF gurus have always had a limited audience when they were espousing good nutritional science. I don’t see why they would have a bigger following if there is now some bad science thrown in.

No one in authority listens to them with regard to nutrition, why should they start listening to them regarding this pandemic.

The politicians are going to follow their political noses no matter what. National policy will only have a scientific basis incidentally.


Gabe, this was only part of what I wrote. The full sentence was

I think our challenge right now is doing both of these things, not just one of them.

Honestly, if there were a way to do this I would agree with you - in fact I spent a fair amount of time in my circle of friends arguing for exactly this approach - but by the time the virus was in circulation it seemed the main (and only realistic) goal was to flatten the curve. That didn’t mean fewer deaths from the virus; it just meant slowing down the spread of something that had already made it to every continent by then so that hospitals wouldn’t be overwhelmed.
Unfortunately we would have needed those kinds of lockdowns before we had fully recognized the virus. It now looks like COVID has been in Europe since the late fall (here’s a case of a French man whose late December swab has since discovered to be positive for COVID 19 but hadn’t been traveling abroad, which means it was already in circulation in France by then).

Here’s one thing you can read if you’re interested in knowing more: exposure to previous corona viruses seems to offer some protection against this one.

Mostly, I have started to tune out health officials who don’t mention metabolic health (which unfortunately is most of them). Insulin resistance starts to reverse incredibly quickly with diet and lifestyle changes, and there are definitely measures that folks can take that reduce their likelihood of having a poor outcome if - or more likely, when - they encounter this virus.


From today’s Newsweek article on cases in Europe:

New COVID-19 cases in Sweden vs. Europe in past 14 days

Source: World Health Organization (as of August 2)

  • Sweden: Down 46 percent
  • The Netherlands: Up 205 percent
  • Belgium: Up 150 percent
  • Spain: Up 113 percent
  • France: Up 72 percent
  • Germany: Up 59 percent
  • Finland: Up 160 percent
  • Denmark: Up 81 percent
  • Norway: Up 61 percent
  • U.K.: Up three percent

I promise this isn’t to start a new Sweden argument! it’s just to look at the curves that a new-ish virus will generally show as it passes through a population. Numbers in the US aren’t going up (wait for the rest of the sentence!!); numbers in some regions of the US are spiking, whereas numbers in the areas that have already been hit have been declining since their peaks in the spring. The states that show rising hospitalizations in the US were barely affected in the spring and they’re currently in the middle of their peak of the wave. (This is not to minimize the tragedy of the deaths… it really sucks…). Based on what we see of most viruses, you would expect a resurgence in the north in the fall and winter but hopefully on a much smaller scale, and the Sweden data above points to some reason for reassurance on this point.


This really stinks - I’m sorry to hear it. The flu can also cause organ damage but I would hope that this is reversible with time (and presumable good nutrition etc). Have you gotten any guidelines about this?


You’re being condescending and there’s no reason why I would have had to tag you.

Still playing mind games. :wink:

It was definitely covid and it is reversible with time and fasting+ketogenic+walking exercise and stress reduction. I’ll catch you guys later.