Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Two plots I'd like to see are excess deaths compared to Covid deaths and positive tests compared to total tests over time. The FT did excess deaths, but is apparently above linking to sources/raw data. If the second ratio is stable over a period you could deduce that you are looking at a representative sample of the sub set of the population that you subject to tests. The first one should at least flag totally made up numbers. It is harder to hide a corpse than to invent a reason why it is there after all.

Absent good data I fall back to my priors: This is a problem that can only be solved by central planning in the medium term. Tourism is dead, restaurants are dead, travel is limited. Even more so than in the Great Depression the government unilaterally decides which business gets to stay a business and which closes. Who gets to work in which jobs and who doesn't. And most importantly who gets to keep or expand their social economic status and who doesn't. And here is the catch, vastly more than the nationalism, or "populism" that is usually blamed for the EU's ills. One of the core design principles of the EU is as a kind of Holy Alliance against socialism and for the protection of certain class interests that would feel threatened by any kind of rational planning. So we can't really do anything on the EU level since one nutty Austrian or Dutch can blow it up. And conversely the EU institutions are easily weaponized to rip pieces out of the corpse of Italy once the dust has settled. Like St. Sebastian, closer of Balkan routes of Austria is preening for having muddled through the prologue of the pandemic and Greater Depression (Bigly Depression? The Greatest Depression?) and vociferously objecting to any unconditional support for other European countries. Yet something like half the Austrian working class lives in those countries, so good luck with the second wave.
I apologize for getting a bit rumbly.

by generic on Tue May 19th, 2020 at 06:18:03 PM EST

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