Fabulous Performances: Sayaka Shoji – Tchaikovsky : Violin Concerto in D major op.35 (YouTube Viral – 2,429,203 [posted: Oct 14, 2011]


Sayaka Shoji is the first Japanese and youngest winner at the Paganini Competition in Genoa in 1999.
She was born into an artistic family and spent her childhood in Siena, Italy. She studied at Hochschule für Musik Köln under Zakhar Bron and graduated in 2004. Her other teachers have included Sashko Gawrillow, Uto Ughi and Shlomo Mintz.

Zubin Mehta has been her strong supporter. When Shoji auditioned for him in 2000, he immediately changed his schedule in order to make her first recording with the Israel Philharmonic possible in the following month, then invited her to perform with Bavarian State Opera and Los Angeles Philharmonic. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

New at euzicasa: Valentina Lisitsa – Franz Liszt – Hungarian Rhapsody No 12

[Quelle: Servus TV]

“The summer has finally arrived to Paris: balmy 30 degrees, sweaty tourists…. It is even more amazing that the moment music begins sounding all those people who a minute ago were hurrying along busily , those people suddenly stop in their tracks and dive into the magic of sound, like it was a cool pool. Enjoy this short report for http://www.streetpianos.com and next time you suddenly hear piano sounds on a hot summer day on a street – it’s not an aural mirage , it’s for real – come and join in !” Continue reading

WordPress.com: Should “Settings” Be Your Choice? (Please take part in this important survey)

I have recently experienced some unwanted activity on my website. To be more specific, some of the followers have associated with you too, my very welcome and followers.

In today’s world ,  I should think that the most fundamental right as a blog administrator would be to decides, upon revising the content who will, or not be approved to become your blogging family.
As I requested several times and through different avenues, WordPress.com so far dismissed my requests to implement Setting choices, allowing us to decide who will, or will not follow us, based upon subject matter, interests, language, and so many other valid criteria in existence here at WordPress.com.  

At this time WordPress.com has no way to allow us the choice of moderating access, compared to Twitter, or even Facebook.

I think that Twitter services have a direct, easy to use, friendly way of empowering a member to freedom of association, and everyone of us is entitled to, without having o ask WordPress.com administration to do that for us upon request (which as I said earlier does not work, or even worse to have to directly contact such followers, which is beneath me (at least).

Here is how Twitter deal with this issue, at a immediate action of the twitter user (highlighted in yellow): 

Twitter v. WordPress Settings

Twitter v. WordPress Settings

Following is a Poll (my first) asking for your input in this issue, and the question is:

“Should the administrator of a WordPress.com be allowed to decide upon the membership at their site?”

Should you need further clarification on this matter, please feel free to comment, before voting! 

Thank you Friends! (as you can see this is NOT about you, it is about us all, I am sure you can too see why

Following is one example for the reasons I requested that word.press.com, allow for administrators’ settings. It would save time, and allow one the peace and tranquility of not having to interact with unwitty profane and vulgar characters!

Phylospher's Stone


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Hello World!

Air bridge overheadWelcome to: euzicasa.wordpress.com 

        This website is about art, artists and the way some of them  have influenced my whole life.
If at times the content may seem nostalgic, is only when it resonate in quality, in message and in power to influence human knowledge of one’s feelings.
        I am reminded of the little time we have to meditate upon the beauty around us, in an infinity of forms.
It is a duty, I think to share values, like leaflets over a monotonous life, and troubled civilization, away from the roll of coins that cannot buy neither a soul, nor that which makes us human.
        So happy trails, and I hope you too will find something in theses pages that you’ll like to share with others.

Thank You Friends,

George. Continue reading

Danee Robinson – Debussy’s 1883 “Mandoline”, L 29 (The poem of Paul Verlaine)

Danee Robinson is gifted with a pure, soprano angelic voice. She is an evolving presence in the world of classical music, and is getting more and more attention in the world of music, from an ever larger audience. 

How to describe in words her presence in the universe that’s larger than any imagination, the universe of music:

‘I am therefore I sing’

I feel  her  message  throughout her musical career, in her album “Canto di Gioia” (Song of Joy) on stage, and in this beautiful interpretation of “Mandoline”, composed by Claude Debussy, in 1883, for piano and soloist on the poem of Paul Verlaine. A composition exuding youth, and its capacity of playfulness, freedom and happyness…Of love everlasting. Continue reading

Horoscope♉: 04/12/2020


You could be overwhelmed with information today, Taurus, as you receive more phone calls and email messages than you can possibly answer. Be clear about your priorities and stick with them. Otherwise, you’re likely to spend the day being batted around the court like a tennis ball. Take a lot of deep breaths throughout the day and make an effort to keep your temper in check.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Holiday: Annual Bottle Kicking and Hare Pie Scramble

Today’s Holiday:
Annual Bottle Kicking and Hare Pie Scramble

This 700-year-old event is the highpoint of the local calendar in the small village of Hallaton in Leicestershire, England. Opposing teams from Hallaton and the neighboring town of Medbourne scramble to maneuver two out of three small wooden beer kegs across a goal line. The event begins when the local rector blesses the Hare Pie—originally made of hare but now of beef. After handing out slices to some of the villagers, he scatters the remainder on the rectory lawn, where people scramble for it. Then comes the contest for the beer-filled kegs. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday: Lanford Wilson (1937)

Today’s Birthday:
Lanford Wilson (1937)

One of the founders of the “off-off-Broadway” theater movement, Wilson began writing plays in 1962 and helped found the Circle Repertory Company in New York City in 1969. His plays frequently address themes of decay, solitude, and loss and are known for their realistic dialogue in which monologue, conversation, and direct audience address overlap. His Pulitzer Prize-winning Talley’s Folly (1979) depicts a man and woman falling in love, but some critics believe it is really about what? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History: Sidney Poitier Becomes the First African American to Win Best Actor Oscar (1964)

This Day in History:
Sidney Poitier Becomes the First African American to Win Best Actor Oscar (1964)

The first African American to achieve leading man status in Hollywood, Poitier began acting with the American Negro Theatre in New York City and made his film debut soon after. He won acclaim on Broadway for his role in 1959’s A Raisin in the Sun and, in 1964, became the first African American to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his role in Lilies of the Field. Many of his films address issues of race, yet some have criticized his choice of film roles for what reason? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day: Jane Austen

Quote of the Day:
Jane Austen

What have wealth or grandeur to do with happiness? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day: Jean Duvet

Article of the Day:
Jean Duvet

Born in 1485, Duvet was a French engraver and goldsmith. His most famous works are two dozen engravings in a series depicting scenes from the biblical Apocalypse. Published in 1561, the engravings do not depict space or proportion realistically. Rather, they have a distinctive style that is crowded, urgent, and intense, as every available space is filled with detail. Duvet, whose printmaking style is often compared to that of William Blake, began his career copying prints by what artists? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Idiom of the Day: have (one’s) head in the sand

Idiom of the Day:
have (one’s) head in the sand

To refuse to acknowledge or deal with problems, danger, or difficulty, especially in the hopes that they will resolve themselves. The phrase is a reference to ostriches, which were believed (incorrectly) to hide their heads in the ground at the sight of approaching danger. Watch the video…

Word of the Day: wallop

Word of the Day:

Definition: (verb) (Informal) To beat soundly; strike hard.

Synonyms: whack, wham, whop

Usage: The chef was so enraged that I feared she might wallop me over the head with her frying pan.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Watch “All That Jazz – The Opening” on YouTube

Watch “All That Jazz Bye Bye Life” on YouTube

Horoscope♉: 04/11/2020


In future years, you might remember today as one of the best days of your life, Taurus. Romance should be going beautifully. You could exchange deeply felt words of love with your partner. The future looks bright, and you should be full of enthusiastic plans for pursuing what you really want to do. You should also be feeling especially strong, energetic, healthy, and ready to try anything. A journey could be coming up soon.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Holiday: Vlöggelen

Today’s Holiday:

As practiced in the eastern Netherlands village of Ootmarsum, the Vlöggelen, or Winging Ceremony, is believed to be the remnant of an ancient spring fertility rite. It is a ritualistic dance through the cobbled streets led by eight unmarried men, linked to form a human chain that advances slowly, “like birds on the wing.” The dancers enter the front doors of shops, inns, and farmhouses to the melody of an old Easter hymn with so many verses that the dancers must read the words pinned to the back of the person in front of them. Later, the men fetch firewood for a huge bonfire that night. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday: Herbert Jeffrey “Herbie” Hancock (1940)

Today’s Birthday:
Herbert Jeffrey “Herbie” Hancock (1940)

Hancock is a jazz and funk pianist, composer, and bandleader who emerged as part of Miles Davis’s group in the mid-1960s. An early adopter of electronic instruments, he became involved with funk and disco in the 70s, while continuing to tour with jazz groups, such as that of Wynton Marsalis. He won an Academy Award for his original score of the 1986 film ‘Round Midnight and has won 14 Grammys, including “Album of the Year” for a work that paid tribute to what fellow musician? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History: Liberian President William R. Tolbert Is Killed in Military Coup (1980)

This Day in History:
Liberian President William R. Tolbert Is Killed in Military Coup (1980)

Liberia was founded in the 1820s by former slaves from the US, and tensions between the Americo-Liberian minority and the indigenous majority have persisted since that time. On April 12, 1980, a group of soldiers led by Samuel Kanyon Doe stormed the executive mansion, killing Americo-Liberian President William R. Tolbert and 27 other government leaders. Doe, a member of the ethnic Krahn tribe, then declared himself president. How had a rice scandal seriously undermined Tolbert? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day: Charles Dickens

Quote of the Day:
Charles Dickens

The world would do well to reflect, that injustice is in itself, to every generous and properly constituted mind, an injury, of all others the most insufferable, the most torturing, and the most hard to bear. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day: Pyotr Stolypin

Article of the Day:
Pyotr Stolypin

Stolypin was the prime minister of Russia from 1906 to 1911 under Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia. Stolypin instituted agrarian reforms that improved the welfare of peasants, reasoning that as a landed class they would be more loyal to the tsar. At the same time, he was ruthless in suppressing the growing revolutionary movement and executed hundreds in 1906 and 1907. He was, in turn, assassinated by a revolutionary. What did Tsar Nicholas reportedly say to Stolypin on his deathbed? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Idiom of the Day: have (one’s) hand out

Idiom of the Day:
have (one’s) hand out

To be in request, demand, or expectation of benefits, such as welfare, especially when undeserved or unneeded. Watch the video…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day: tomfoolery

Word of the Day:

Definition: (noun) Foolish or senseless behavior.

Synonyms: lunacy, craziness, folly, indulgence

Usage: Having had enough of our tomfoolery, the teacher sternly warned us to settle down and behave.

12:00: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Watch “Amazing Grace – Best Version By Far!” on YouTube

Watch “Pope Francis’ five cries amid the pandemic” on YouTube

Watch “Pope Francis’ five cries amid the pandemic” on YouTube

Horoscope♉: 04/10/2020


Are you considering moving to a new residence, redecorating, or making some home improvements, Taurus? If so, this is a good time to do it. These types of projects promise to go well, so don’t let doubt get in your way. Explore every possibility, consider all the pros and cons, and then if it looks like it’s going to work, go for it!: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Holiday: Caitra Parb

Today’s Holiday:
Caitra Parb

In the Hindu festival of Caitra Parb, held in Orissa, India, people fast, dance, and hunt. Heads of the families pay homage to their forefathers in the presence of the village priest, or Jani, and family members put on festive new costumes. Animal sacrifice plays a prominent part in the celebration, which also signals the beginning of the mango season. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday: Charles Evans Hughes, Sr. (1862)

Today’s Birthday:
Charles Evans Hughes, Sr. (1862)

Hughes was an American statesman and jurist. He served as governor of New York and as a Supreme Court justice before losing the 1916 presidential race, one of the closest in US history. It has been reported that, on the night of the election, Hughes went to bed believing he had won. According to the story, a reporter later called and was told that “the president is asleep,” to which he responded, “When he wakes up, tell him he isn’t the president.” What did Hughes do after losing the election? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History: Buchenwald Concentration Camp Liberated by American Troops (1945)

This Day in History:
Buchenwald Concentration Camp Liberated by American Troops (1945)

Buchenwald was one of the first and largest concentration camps in Nazi Germany. As US forces closed in on the camp near the end of WWII, the Nazis began evacuating its prisoners, forcing them on “death marches” during which an estimated 13,500 were killed. On April 9, inmates at the camp used a makeshift radio transmitter to inform the Allies about the evacuations and beg for help. What did the prisoners do when they received word that the Americans were coming to liberate them? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day: Herman Melville

Quote of the Day:
Herman Melville

No man can ever feel his own identity aright except his eyes be closed; as if darkness were indeed the proper element of our essences, though light be more congenial to our clayey part. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day: Operation Gladio

Article of the Day:
Operation Gladio

In 1990, Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti exposed a clandestine NATO “stay-behind” initiative in which cells of agents secretly remained in various nations after WWII, purportedly to conduct sabotage and organize and arm resistance groups in the event of a Soviet invasion. Implicated in multiple bombings, murders, and false-flag operations across Europe, the CIA-backed Operation Gladio was condemned by European Parliament and disbanded. What activities may have been sponsored by Gladio? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Idiom of the Day: get (one’s) ears lowered

Idiom of the Day:
get (one’s) ears lowered

To get a haircut, especially to a length that reveals one’s ears. Watch the video…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day: soothsayer

Word of the Day:

Definition: (noun) One who claims to be able to foretell events or predict the future; a seer.

Synonyms: forecaster, predictor, prognosticator

Usage: My mother does indeed sometimes send for a soothsayer and question him, but I give his prophesying no heed.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Horoscope♉: 04/09/2020


Your energy is probably pretty low today, Taurus. You won’t feel like socializing, nor will you feel like staying in and reading or watching TV. Chances are you won’t know what to do with yourself all day. Under these circumstances, the best thing to do is find a distraction. Go work out, read a thrilling book, go to a funny movie. Get your mind off your lethargy and it could well disappear.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Holiday: Galveston Island FeatherFest

Today’s Holiday:
Galveston Island FeatherFest

Begun in 2002, the Galveston Island FeatherFest is intended to celebrate the “birds and natural heritage of the Upper Texas Coastal area.” Some 300 species of birds are found on Galveston Island in the springtime as they stop off during their migration north. The FeatherFest allows bird enthusiasts the chance to go on field trips to photograph and watch the birds. Prominent environmental writers, naturalists, and artists are the leaders of these field trips. Seminars, workshops, and lectures on the wildlife in the community are also available, and a FeatherFest Photo Contest is held. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday: Hugo Grotius (1583)

Today’s Birthday:
Hugo Grotius (1583)

Grotius was a Dutch jurist, philosopher, and writer. He enrolled at the University of Leiden at the age of 11 and became a lawyer at 15. Among his key legal treatises is the first definitive text on international law, On the Law of War and Peace, which prescribes rules for the conduct of war and advances the idea that nations are bound by natural law. In 1615, he became involved in a religious controversy that extended to politics and was eventually imprisoned. How did he escape? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby Is Published (1925)

This Day in History:
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby Is Published (1925)

Considered to be Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby is a devastating critique of the American Dream and materialism at the height of the Roaring Twenties. It is the story of a bootlegger, Jay Gatsby, whose obsessive dream of wealth and lost love is destroyed by a corrupt reality. Today used as required reading in many high schools, the book has been cited as the paragon of the Great American Novel. Why did Fitzgerald dislike the title, and what did he want to call his novel? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day: Aristotle

Quote of the Day:

Men regard it as their right to return evil for evil—and, if they cannot, feel they have lost their liberty. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day: The Congreve Rocket

Article of the Day:
The Congreve Rocket

After the British first encountered rocketry in the 1790s in India during the Mysore Wars, Sir William Congreve was asked to develop a similar weapon for Britain. He created the Congreve rocket, which was guided by a long pole, much like a bottle rocket—and was similarly unpredictable. Still, its relatively long range of 2 miles (3 kilometers) was unprecedented, and it had a major impact on the development of modern warfare. What famous American song was inspired by Congreve rockets in action? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Idiom of the Day: have (one’s) druthers

Idiom of the Day:
have (one’s) druthers

To have one’s choice or preference; to have things the way one would like them to be; to have one’s way. Usually formulated as “if I had my druthers…”. Primarily heard in US. Watch the video…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day: mutable

Word of the Day:

Definition: (adjective) Capable of or tending to change in form or quality or nature.

Synonyms: changeable

Usage: The concierge warned me that the island’s mutable weather patterns could interfere with our plans for an outdoor wedding, but our big day turned out to be sunny and mild.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

I was transformed into a rock of salt, because I questioned Your power.

I was transformed into
a rock of salt,
because I questioned
Your power.

I was trasformed into
A cloud, a dark cloud
because I questioned
Your beauty.
I was transformed into
an perpetual wave,
Searching for your presence
everywhere upon the face of the Earth,
because… I questioned
You existance…

and now,
You have extended my search of You among
the furtherst away stars, and dark spaces in the Universe…
Will I find You?
Will I like You?

By George Bost.
(Copyright 2016)
Long Beach, California.



Watch “The Beatles – Let It Be / The long and winding road [HD]” on YouTube

Horoscope♉: 04/08/2020


Your artistic abilities could seem a bit blocked today, Taurus. You could be anxious to complete a half-finished project, but at this point you may have no idea where to go with it. Don’t panic! Do something else for a day or two and ideas will probably flow as if by magic. If you don’t have a tight deadline, there’s no rush to complete the work now. Give it some time!: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Holiday: Passion Play at Tzintzuntzan

Today’s Holiday:
Passion Play at Tzintzuntzan

The Penitentes, or penitents, are a lay brotherhood of religious flagellants who often participate in Passion plays dramatizing the events of the last days in the life of Jesus. One of the most complete and colorful Passion plays is the one staged in Tzintzuntzan in the state of Michoacán, Mexico. Performed in an olive grove near the church, the play begins at noon on the Thursday preceding Easter with a representation of the Last Supper and continues until midnight on Good Friday. The penitents wear black loincloths and face-coverings, carrying heavy crosses in imitation of Jesus. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday: Eadweard J. Muybridge (1830)

Today’s Birthday:
Eadweard J. Muybridge (1830)

Muybridge was an eccentric photographic innovator who left a vast and varied body of work. He is best known for his pioneering use of multiple still cameras to photograph the stages of motion. Hired by Leland Stanford to answer the question of whether there is a moment during a horse’s stride when all four of its hooves are off the ground, he developed a special shutter for his cameras and a method for triggering them sequentially. Why was he acquitted of murdering his wife’s lover? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History: The American Civil War Ends at Appomattox Court House (1865)

This Day in History:
The American Civil War Ends at Appomattox Court House (1865)

The first major engagement of the US Civil War was the First Battle of Bull Run, fought in 1861 partly on the farm of Wilmer McLean in Manassas, Virginia. A few years later, McLean moved to Appomattox Court House, a town which, coincidentally, would soon be the site of the war’s effective end. It was there that Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in McLean’s parlor. Why did Grant stop Union troops when they began to celebrate the victory? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day: W. Somerset Maugham

Quote of the Day:
W. Somerset Maugham

The philosopher is like a mountaineer who has with difficulty climbed a mountain for the sake of the sunrise, and arriving at the top finds only fog; whereupon he wanders down again. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day: Kumbh Mela

Article of the Day:
Kumbh Mela

Every 12 years, Hindu pilgrims gather at four sacred sites where, according to Hindu mythology, four drops of the nectar of immortality were accidentally spilled from a pot that the gods and demons were fighting over. During the festival, pilgrims ritually bathe in the river Ganges to wash away sins of their past lives and pray to escape the cycle of reincarnation. The Kumbh Mela is thought to be the largest periodic human gathering in the world. How many people attended the festival in 2001? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Idiom of the Day: have its/(one’s) day

Idiom of the Day:
have its/(one’s) day

To be at the height of or experience success or prosperity. Watch the video…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day: tactile

Word of the Day:

Definition: (adjective) Of or relating to or proceeding from the sense of touch.

Synonyms: haptic, tactual

Usage: Hannah’s velvet couch was such a tactile delight that she often chose to sleep on it rather than her bed.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Watch “Coronoavirus Free Breathing Exercises by Patrick McKeown” on YouTube

In the coronavirus pandemic, we’re making decisions without reliable data



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A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data

MARCH 17, 2020

A nurse holds swabs and a test tube to test people for Covid-19 at a drive-through station set up in the parking lot of the Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.PAUL SANCYA/AP

The current coronavirus disease, Covid-19, has been called a once-in-a-century pandemic. But it may also be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco.
At a time when everyone needs better information, from disease modelers and governments to people quarantined or just social distancing, we lack reliable evidence on how many people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who continue to become infected. Better information is needed to guide decisions and actions of monumental significance and to monitor their impact.
Draconian countermeasures have been adopted in many countries. If the pandemic dissipates — either on its own or because of these measures — short-term extreme social distancing and lockdowns may be bearable. How long, though, should measures like these be continued if the pandemic churns across the globe unabated? How can policymakers tell if they are doing more good than harm?

Vaccines or affordable treatments take many months (or even years) to develop and test properly. Given such timelines, the consequences of long-term lockdowns are entirely unknown.


We know enough now to act decisively against Covid-19. Social distancing is a good place to start

The data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable. Given the limited testing to date, some deaths and probably the vast majority of infections due to SARS-CoV-2 are being missed. We don’t know if we are failing to capture infections by a factor of three or 300. Three months after the outbreak emerged, most countries, including the U.S., lack the ability to test a large number of people and no countries have reliable data on the prevalence of the virus in a representative random sample of the general population.

This evidence fiasco creates tremendous uncertainty about the risk of dying from Covid-19. Reported case fatality rates, like the official 3.4% rate from the World Health Organization, cause horror — and are meaningless. Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. As most health systems have limited testing capacity, selection bias may even worsen in the near future.
The one situation where an entire, closed population was tested was the Diamond Princess cruise ship and its quarantine passengers. The case fatality rate there was 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death rate from Covid-19 is much higher.
Projecting the Diamond Princess mortality rate onto the age structure of the U.S. population, the death rate among people infected with Covid-19 would be 0.125%. But since this estimate is based on extremely thin data — there were just seven deaths among the 700 infected passengers and crew — the real death rate could stretch from five times lower (0.025%) to five times higher (0.625%). It is also possible that some of the passengers who were infected might die later, and that tourists may have different frequencies of chronic diseases — a risk factor for worse outcomes with SARS-CoV-2 infection — than the general population. Adding these extra sources of uncertainty, reasonable estimates for the case fatality ratio in the general U.S. population vary from 0.05% to 1%.

STAT Reports: STAT’s guide to interpreting clinical trial results

That huge range markedly affects how severe the pandemic is and what should be done. A population-wide case fatality rate of 0.05% is lower than seasonal influenza. If that is the true rate, locking down the world with potentially tremendous social and financial consequences may be totally irrational. It’s like an elephant being attacked by a house cat. Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies.
Could the Covid-19 case fatality rate be that low? No, some say, pointing to the high rate in elderly people. However, even some so-called mild or common-cold-type coronaviruses that have been known for decades can have case fatality rates as high as 8% when they infect elderly people in nursing homes. In fact, such “mild” coronaviruses infect tens of millions of people every year, and account for 3% to 11% of those hospitalized in the U.S. with lower respiratory infections each winter.
These “mild” coronaviruses may be implicated in several thousands of deaths every year worldwide, though the vast majority of them are not documented with precise testing. Instead, they are lost as noise among 60 million deaths from various causes every year.
Although successful surveillance systems have long existed for influenza, the disease is confirmed by a laboratory in a tiny minority of cases. In the U.S., for example, so far this season 1,073,976 specimens have been tested and 222,552 (20.7%) have tested positive for influenza. In the same period, the estimated number of influenza-like illnesses is between 36,000,000 and 51,000,000, with an estimated 22,000 to 55,000 flu deaths.
Note the uncertainty about influenza-like illness deaths: a 2.5-fold range, corresponding to tens of thousands of deaths. Every year, some of these deaths are due to influenza and some to other viruses, like common-cold coronaviruses.
In an autopsy series that tested for respiratory viruses in specimens from 57 elderly persons who died during the 2016 to 2017 influenza season, influenza viruses were detected in 18% of the specimens, while any kind of respiratory virus was found in 47%. In some people who die from viral respiratory pathogens, more than one virus is found upon autopsy and bacteria are often superimposed. A positive test for coronavirus does not mean necessarily that this virus is always primarily responsible for a patient’s demise.


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If we assume that case fatality rate among individuals infected by SARS-CoV-2 is 0.3% in the general population — a mid-range guess from my Diamond Princess analysis — and that 1% of the U.S. population gets infected (about 3.3 million people), this would translate to about 10,000 deaths. This sounds like a huge number, but it is buried within the noise of the estimate of deaths from “influenza-like illness.” If we had not known about a new virus out there, and had not checked individuals with PCR tests, the number of total deaths due to “influenza-like illness” would not seem unusual this year. At most, we might have casually noted that flu this season seems to be a bit worse than average. The media coverage would have been less than for an NBA game between the two most indifferent teams.
Some worry that the 68 deaths from Covid-19 in the U.S. as of March 16 will increase exponentially to 680, 6,800, 68,000, 680,000 … along with similar catastrophic patterns around the globe. Is that a realistic scenario, or bad science fiction? How can we tell at what point such a curve might stop?
The most valuable piece of information for answering those questions would be to know the current prevalence of the infection in a random sample of a population and to repeat this exercise at regular time intervals to estimate the incidence of new infections. Sadly, that’s information we don’t have.
In the absence of data, prepare-for-the-worst reasoning leads to extreme measures of social distancing and lockdowns. Unfortunately, we do not know if these measures work. School closures, for example, may reduce transmission rates. But they may also backfire if children socialize anyhow, if school closure leads children to spend more time with susceptible elderly family members, if children at home disrupt their parents ability to work, and more. School closures may also diminish the chances of developing herd immunity in an age group that is spared serious disease.
This has been the perspective behind the different stance of the United Kingdom keeping schools open, at least until as I write this. In the absence of data on the real course of the epidemic, we don’t know whether this perspective was brilliant or catastrophic.
Flattening the curve to avoid overwhelming the health system is conceptually sound — in theory. A visual that has become viral in media and social media shows how flattening the curve reduces the volume of the epidemic that is above the threshold of what the health system can handle at any moment.


The novel coronavirus is a serious threat. We need to prepare, not overreact

Yet if the health system does become overwhelmed, the majority of the extra deaths may not be due to coronavirus but to other common diseases and conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, trauma, bleeding, and the like that are not adequately treated. If the level of the epidemic does overwhelm the health system and extreme measures have only modest effectiveness, then flattening the curve may make things worse: Instead of being overwhelmed during a short, acute phase, the health system will remain overwhelmed for a more protracted period. That’s another reason we need data about the exact level of the epidemic activity.
One of the bottom lines is that we don’t know how long social distancing measures and lockdowns can be maintained without major consequences to the economy, society, and mental health. Unpredictable evolutions may ensue, including financial crisis, unrest, civil strife, war, and a meltdown of the social fabric. At a minimum, we need unbiased prevalence and incidence data for the evolving infectious load to guide decision-making.
In the most pessimistic scenario, which I do not espouse, if the new coronavirus infects 60% of the global population and 1% of the infected people die, that will translate into more than 40 million deaths globally, matching the 1918 influenza pandemic.
The vast majority of this hecatomb would be people with limited life expectancies. That’s in contrast to 1918, when many young people died.
One can only hope that, much like in 1918, life will continue. Conversely, with lockdowns of months, if not years, life largely stops, short-term and long-term consequences are entirely unknown, and billions, not just millions, of lives may be eventually at stake.
If we decide to jump off the cliff, we need some data to inform us about the rationale of such an action and the chances of landing somewhere safe.
John P.A. Ioannidis is professor of medicine and professor of epidemiology and population health, as well as professor by courtesy of biomedical data science at Stanford University School of Medicine, professor by courtesy of statistics at Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences, and co-director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS) at Stanford University.

About the Author

John P.A. Ioannidis





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MARCH 19, 2020 AT 12:04 PM

“I’m sitting at home after my office closed today and still wondering why my country’s economy is being destroyed by panic.”
“…and the death rate will turn out to be about what the flu is. It seems most likely.”
If you want to know why then read more of the readers comments and you will see why. The contagion factor is excluded from the authors analysis, which makes his theory just as incomplete as the missing data he complains about.
The contagion factor of this virus is far greater than influenza- so if you don’t take measures to slow the spread you get a higher death rate because you can’t treat all the sick at once. Italy versus China is an actual example of what happens- they are already surpassing China’s death rate even though their population pales in comparison (60 million versus 1.35 billion)


MARCH 19, 2020 AT 11:59 AM

In the same article that you use the Diamond Princess cruise ship as a case study for fatality rates, you estimate that 1% of the U.S population might be infected. The Diamond Princess cruise ship saw nearly 25% of the ship’s passengers infected. Perhaps multiple your “lost in the noise” 10,000 influenza-like deaths by 20+.


MARCH 19, 2020 AT 11:50 AM

The author’s choice of influenza and cruise ship results as points of comparison as basis are… just as bad, if not worse, than proceeding with incomplete data.
There is a point to not having the data, but this article is irresponsible and biased against in its assumptions. Stating ‘we don’t know if these measures work’ isn’t completely accurate either, as we see first hand the difference between what happens in some instances as opposed to others (Italy’s death toll will surpass China’s).
For those touting this author’s expertise, know there are others with greater experience indicating otherwise. The author uses 1918 as a reference, so note Frank Macfarlane Burnet (more knowledgeable about influenza than this author ever will be) indicates the actual death toll from influenza was much higher, and that these viruses can mutate and come in multiple waves- the second wave in 1918 was far deadlier.
This author fails to take that into consideration, as well as the contagion factor. Th fact that COVID19’s viral shed factor is 1,000 times greater than influenza, and it’s peak shed is during incubation when many times there are no symptoms (as opposed to influenza, which peaks after it settles into the lungs).


MARCH 19, 2020 AT 11:49 AM

Why is this article’s main source of data the Diamond Princess when we have a much, much larger data set in South Korea? As of March 15th, South Korea had tested 248,000 people, and confirmed 8,162 cases, and recorded 75 deaths. That represents a case fatality ratio of 0.9%. If governments should base their policy decisions on a range of reasonable possibilities, it seems like the South Korea example, where they have conducted the most testing, should be the benchmark – not the Diamond Princess.

Mike Schwaller

MARCH 19, 2020 AT 11:49 AM

This is misinformation but the premise is right…we really do not know until better data is available.
The author selected the cruise ship as a reasonable system to make his argument, then listed confounding variables that make his points appear credible. These variables were presented like a subordinate clause. There are major epidemiologic flaws in his approach.
He could be right, but he is brave to make his assertions this early in the game based on this cruise ship.
We need draconian measures for at least 1 month until we have better data.


MARCH 19, 2020 AT 11:47 AM

Thank you for this article. It is the first one I’ve read lately that seems logical and unbiased. We had over 60,000 American deaths during the 2017-18 flu season, and yet confirmed American deaths from this disease are still under 200. I’m sitting at home after my office closed today and still wondering why my country’s economy is being destroyed by panic. It’s just the unknown factor I guess, along with media bias and politics. Hopefully more testing will be done on people who have only experienced mild symptoms, and the death rate will turn out to be about what the flu is. It seems most likely.


MARCH 19, 2020 AT 11:46 AM

Dr. Ioannidis, if you’re reading this pretty robust conversation:
several comments have alluded to preparedness of the health care system (everyone at our at-capacity university hospital seem to have fingers crossed).
Any idea how your colleagues at Stanford (particulary ER docs, intensivists, ID), as well as nursing, RT, etc (especially as it pertains to staffing) feel about preparedness?


MARCH 19, 2020 AT 11:31 AM

How about “Let’s do two things at once”?
First, social distancing, knowing that it’s (a) effective at ‘flattening the curve’ and helping health systems to better cope with the inevitable influx of severely ill patients, and (b) temporary, a society-wide acute care response that’s needed until…
Second, better data are collected to determine a more complete epidemiological profile of COVID-19. Especially now that China, South Korea, and others appear to be moving past their respective outbreak peaks, countries can move quickly to randomized serological studies to determine true mortality risk. From there, we can determine how much social distancing protocols can be eased and what pace, how many restrictions (re: travel, telework, retail, public gatherings, etc.) are still needed and for whom, and how much surveillance, public health, and medical capacity are needed to maintain watch for new clustered outbreaks.
It’s not that Team Ioannidis is right and Team Lipsitch is wrong, or vice versa. It’s that they’re both right.


MARCH 19, 2020 AT 11:25 AM

Love this article… while this seems to be hospitalizing people at an alarming rate, the fear and warnings issued are based on bad data. Hospitals need protected in order to provide standard care beyond just treating this virus but issuing a death rate between 3 and 5% when almost no one has been tested is irresponsible.
I am interested to know how many hospitalizations have occurred in the last 30 days for this virus compared to others to gauge how severe this is.
I tend to want to look at things from a place of intelligence rather than emotion.

Lylia Hoehl

MARCH 19, 2020 AT 11:51 AM

What a waste of time and materials to test everyone. If someone tests negative then comes in contact with the virus, they may then test positive.


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