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Re: COVID-19

Post by horsewoman »

OMG now this stupid video is leaving the German language area... This guy is an anti-vaxer and a conspiracy theorist. There are several rebuttals by people who know a lot more about viruses than him (my links are in German, so they will not be of much use here).

If we get a curfew this idiot is the culprit, since people share this video and organise Corona Partys, treating the whole thing as a joke! It's unbelievable. Stay the fuck home and take this seriously! Of course, our politicians will drive Europe's economy against the wall because the pharma industry as not enough revenue this year. Tin foil hats anyone?

Sorry, rant over. This video triggers sensible Germans by now.
Last edited by horsewoman on Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by classical_Liberal »

Some rural US updates. In N.D. we now have 19 confirmed cases. The state population is only 700k. So that's about 27 per 1m, less than the total US numbers. We are testing more liberally now, with drive though centers opening up in the only three large population centers of 100k or more. Not as liberally as our neighboring state MN, who has apparently burnt through most of their testing ability and may have to change tactics.

All restaurants, bars, movie theaters, etc are ordered close at of noon tomorrow. They can still offer take out services if so desired. The malls have been closed since last week. No sporting events or the like for at least the past week already, when we had only 3 cases. Schools never came back from spring break and most districts are now setting up online education for the remainder of the school year. I'm still going to work (obviously), and I would say traffic levels are at about 50% normal, which is a pretty good indication because pretty much everyone drives around here. No regulations about leaving home though, and the retail chains like walmart and costco are still open, but with reduced hours.


@Jin+Guice or anyone else who has close friends dependant on service/entertainment/retail industry jobs.

Given all the dire economic statistics about people living paycheck-to-paycheck and not having even $300 for an emergency. Plus the fact that these folks tend to be the most vulnerable to such economic circumstance, what are their plans for interrupted work? It seems to me any economic stimulus getting to them would be too late. Even unemployment takes awhile. When someone's entire social network in is the same situation, I would imagine it exacerbates the problems as those who may have helped out, no longer can.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by ertyu »

From a Bergamo hospital:

At least in addition to this there aren't crowds sitting against the wall amongst dead bodies, as there were on the Wuhan video posted earlier. In fact, even though this is comparatively crowded, it seems to me leaps and bounds beyond what most countries and hospitals are likely to manage in a state of similar overwhelm.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by Zanka »

Regarding the numbers of infected people. Most countries (in europe at least) are only testing the cases that need hospitalization. And if the number of hospitalizations is 20% you can just make your own calculations.

But, if you also factor in that most people do not go to the hospital on day 1, but rather on something like day 7 from starting feeling symptom, you can adjust your number even more. And then you can add the incubation period of average 5 days or whatever and you understand that any official number is just so uncertain and not a representation at all about how Spread the disease is.

When a country like Italy has 3000 cases confirmed one day it is actually saying that 15 000 got infected around 12 days ago.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by IlliniDave »

Ego wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:38 pm
The contrarian opinion from Stanford epidemiologist John P.A. Ioannidis ... able-data/

Has anyone seen a good rebuttal?
I posted the same link a little while back. I'd guess the author is pretty solid in his "science", at Stanford they usually are. jacob commented a few posts back although not a rebuttal per se. My take is sort of similar. Sharpened pencils on the statistics would have helped a month or six weeks ago maybe and would be useful down the road when people try to figure out what really happened. But the time for elegant solutions seems to be past.

A sister facility of the megacorp whose facility I work in (not my employer) is located in the Bay area. When the shelter in place came down they managed to convince the powers that be that they were a "critical industry" or something like that, and got an exemption after one day and were back to work*. I suspect most of the big corps that make all the right contributions could play that card if they wanted. Half measures like that will probably tip the balance towards a bad overall outcome. Here in Alabama the only curbing of business activity has been voluntary on the part of business with the exception of some of the federal gov't presence.

Since we can only guess at the true extent of the situation and trajectory, I, being conservative by nature (conservative in the personality sense rather than political), would say shut it all down now and eat the economic consequences. Instead a significant subset of our leaders are more interested in pointing their political fingers at each other. I suspect we'll see a lot of toothless pronouncements. We might luck out and get a summertime reprieve, or we might not.

I did see a segment on youtube taken from a verboten news source that reported on some doctors in France that had success treating serious covid-19 cases with a common anti-malaria drug. US officials are supposedly aware of it. Some trial anti-viral drugs have been anecdotally attributed to recoveries here (deployed due to the new "compassionate use" policies presumably). I just don't know that we'll have the time to sort through all of that.

ETA, in their defense, a small minority of their workforce could probably be justifiably deemed critical.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by J_ »

Jacob made a clear way to calculate what the number of casualties will be, see above. It is not the number of official infected people what gives insight but the number of deaths. You can vary with Lombardian numbers (death rate very high) or Korean numbers (death rate low) and with the days of doubling time in Germany at the moment <3!

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Re: COVID-19

Post by Jason »

A family in NJ has lost four members in a week after having dinner with someone who was associated with the state's first Corona death. No one had underlying health issues. One was old. They are tied to Yonkers Race Track. Being that there is a doctor in the e-house, I will ask if there is genetic susceptibility factor. I mean, damn, three siblings and their mother taken out? ... virus.html#

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Re: COVID-19

Post by CS »

High BMI is a health issue. That picture says everything about that. There could be underlying high blood pressure and undiagnosed diabetes (not uncommon).

There was a slight difference in outcomes by blood type according to some Chinese study... it wasn't huge, a few(7? percent). Not hugely strong results. (great language there, eh?)
“People of blood group A might need particularly strengthened personal protection to reduce the chance of infection,” wrote the researchers led by Wang Xinghuan with the Centre for Evidence-Based and Translational Medicine at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University." ... hina-study

They could also share habits, like taking Ibuprofen, which is associated with poorer outcomes.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by CS »

"While it is too soon to know who is more susceptible to the new coronavirus strain, there are many well-studied genetic variants that impacted SARS susceptibility – as well as with other viruses." ... -and-more/

That said, my family lost three people quick to the 1918 pandemic (Father, Mother and Son - the father being my great-grandfather, the son my grandfather's brother)
Last edited by CS on Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by AnalyticalEngine »

In calculations of "deaths vs the economy," I would argue that the traumatic way COVID-19 kills people is going to encourage governments to use more draconian measures to contain it vs letting it burn and save the economy.

What I mean by this is that COVID-19 doesn't just take away 1% of the population painlessly, in their sleep, and without burial logistical nightmares. Rather, it will crash the entire hospital system, thereby forcing relatives to watch as the virus kills grandpa, infects mother, kills mother, infects daughter. Now grandpa and mother have to go to the mass burial because the hospital crashed and daughter can't come because she's still quarantined in the basement. Hospital staff now suffer PTSD from having to triage cases for months on end and let people with other treatable conditions (heart attack, etc) die. Healthcare workforce is now impaired due to mental strain, flight from the profession, and massive deaths from healthcare workers. Healthcare system is now damaged for several years due to the impact on the highly trained staff.

The populace can also see COVID-19 as a clear threat and demand the government do something. The loss of life due to economic consequences is more diffuse and harder to imagine, and therefore will be discounted.

So decisions to fight COVID-19 are less about fearing death and more about fearing the horrible and socially traumatic way COVID-19 will kill its victims.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by JuliusFC »

Germany's fatality rate of 0.3% is amazingly low compared to other countries ( and they have one of the highest numbers of confirmed cases. Have they just gotten lucky because so far people are skewing younger? Or is it because they are doing some things right: more testing, already having more ICU beds + respirators per capita (and getting even more), and a (perceived, at least) cultural tendency towards efficiency and not dicking around. I'm sure it's probably a combination.

It troubles me that the country I live in seems to be copying its approach to this from countries where things aren't working rather than where they are. Being two weeks or so behind Europe, we have a crystal ball actually showing us our future, and we just don't seem to be taking advantage of any of the lessons learned.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by IlliniDave »

Was just listening to the local NPR. Seems my community now has a dive through testing center that reportedly opened today. Tests performed with written MD referral only. 400 total tests available initially, metro area ~ 300K population. I expect we'll see a "spike" in new cases from the uptick in testing. First day under a "public health emergency" declared by the mayor. Nothing really new or unique except restaurants and bars can't serve on-premises. Schools have been closed for over a week. Gatherings of 25 or more banned unless 6' spacing can be maintained between anyone in attendance. Better than nothing I guess.

I'm on my first work-from-home day today, first full one, anyway. It's awful. I can't do what they really pay me to do because it requires lab environments. Just trying to be a cooperative employee/good citizen and doing some of the dry ancillary paperwork things at home.

I spoke with my boss, she and her daughter are doing okay in quarantine despite the daughter having decided to go on a cruise last weekend. She (my boss) has some health issues that probably put her at significant increased risks, so I'm concerned for her.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by thrifty++ »

NZ closed its borders to everyone, except citizens and residents, for the first time ever in history.

39 confirmed cases.

NZ is probably best placed out of anywhere in the world to stamp the virus out completely. However I fear that is not going to happen, There are far too many people not taking this seriously. I fear we will become just like Europe.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by ToFI »

I don't get why western governments are not focusing on the most effective measures?
Italy did an experiment in a small town where they managed to reduce the infection rate to 0. They achieved this by lots of testing even for asymptomatic cases. and there are lots of asymptomatic/mild cases. That's the reason only testing severe cases won't work.

If I am in charge, I'll do this:

1. Test, test, test. Let's say test kit costs $200 each. It's much cheaper than the stimulus package. and no need to lock down.
2. Isolate infected people and track them. Even offer meal delivery etc.
3. Force domestic manufacturers to re-tool to make face mask, sanitizers, gloves, ventilators etc. and mandate everyone to wear face mask. In 1918 pandemic, regular people wore face masks!

It's such no-brainier thing to do but many western government are so slow to react.

What I do personally:
We have 19 reported cases in our City. I'll assume anyone I see is potentially infected. Actual cases number is a lot higher than reported number due to asymptomatic/mild cases. The infection curve is shifted by around 10 days between reported case number vs actual case number. Look at Italy's progression,we should have 1000 cases in our city. This number also match what the medical officer said that people don't think we are safe because we have only 19 reported cases. Our city can be just 1 month behind Italy. Italy is sending army trucks to move the dead bodies because local hospital/crematorium ran out of capacity!

I will only go out to essential things like: grocery shopping once a week. When I go out, I'll wear safety eye glasses which fully cover the eyes and also surgical face mask and vinyl glove. So 50 face masks will last me one year. 50 face masks cost just $50. I still use re-usable bags but I'll dis-infect it with bleach solution after shopping. once I return home, I'll immediately wash hands with soap, take shower and change cloth. and wash the cloth with hot water immediately.I am doing the best I can to reduce death.

I bought face masks from china.It's too late to order from China by regular mail which takes 1 month to arrive. Case number is doubling every few days. If order from China now, international express delivery service(1 to 3 days) is needed. Once initial supply has arrive, then order once a month to replenish.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by wolf »

I just read about young people celebrating spring break in Florida. Crazy :shock: With a behavior like that, how could you stop the virus?!

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Re: COVID-19

Post by Jean »

Were are you going to find those tests?
In my village, people seem to be taking it seriously. Paradoxicaly, It's much more lively than usual, because you can ear a lot of children playing outside (while still staying away from each other) instead of being at school.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by George the original one »

ToFI wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:36 pm
1. Test, test, test. Let's say test kit costs $200 each. It's much cheaper than the stimulus package. and no need to lock down.
2. Isolate infected people and track them. Even offer meal delivery etc.
3. Force domestic manufacturers to re-tool to make face mask, sanitizers, gloves, ventilators etc. and mandate everyone to wear face mask. In 1918 pandemic, regular people wore face masks!
For the USA:
1. Inadequate testing supplies. Even ramping up private testing, we're going to be stuck for awhile only testing people who show symptoms.
2. Due to 1, infections have/will outstrip the ability to trace contacts.
3. Political ideology. "States should be creating the market so manufacturers retool to meet demand, not the federal government".

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Re: COVID-19

Post by Ego »

black_son_of_gray wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:05 pm
ETA: From N.N. Taleb

My own review is "Ioannidis mistakes absence of evidence for evidence of absence /recommends to buy insurance AFTER the harm when we now have evidence".
Is this true? Is there a complete absence of evidence?

Why have so many coronavirus patients died in Italy? ... ied-italy/
According to Prof Walter Ricciardi, scientific adviser to Italy’s minister of health, the country’s mortality rate is far higher due to demographics - the nation has the second oldest population worldwide - and the manner in which hospitals record deaths.


But there are other factors that may have contributed to Italy’s fatality rates, experts say. This includes a high rate of smoking and pollution - the majority of deaths have been in the northern region Lombardy region, which is notorious for poor air quality.
Smoking seemed to play a role in China and now in Italy.

WRT air quality, it feels as if we in SoCal have had nonstop rain for the past month so I expect the air quality of the west this fall to be terrible during fire season at the time the second wave is predicted.
Last edited by Ego on Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by black_son_of_gray »


I believe that is Taleb's point: Even if you only have a hint/whiff of evidence that things could be really bad, you have all the evidence you need to invoke the precautionary principle. Waiting until you have robust evidence for statistical purposes means that by default you've already missed your window of opportunity to avoid the worse outcomes.

I've been thinking about the fire season too. So many ways it makes me uneasy: poor air quality = worse lung health (for the recovering and the newly infected), already a shortage of masks, even more strain for already stretched-thin first responders...

ETA: Taleb also talks a lot about how tails (e.g. fat tails) do or do not manifest well in statistical analyses.

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Re: COVID-19

Post by Ego »

@black_son_of_gray, Understood, but we've had data from China (for a month now?) which has been confirmed from Italy as to who is most at risk. Moving forward would it be possible to do a strict quarantine on those most at risk coupled with testing for all so that the economy can at least partially function?

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