COVID-19

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slowtraveler
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Re: COVID-19

Post by slowtraveler »

I think this is way overblown. I know tons of people who've had fever, diahrrea, and cough simultaneously since this started. In Thailand, they simply weren't testing much in January. Why would they want to deter tourism?

I met entire families who got it. Everybody from Grandma to the newborns to the distant cousin's was coughing a storm for about 5 days. They eat shared bowls of sticky rice and local frogs, rats, chicken, fish, or mushrooms with their hands. Of course everybody gets sick when their offspring come home from working in Bangkok.

Even 70 year olds in a rural village didn't get serious symptoms. Considering how widespread this is, I don't think mortality rate is even .7%.

This quarantine thing is like killing an ant with a sledgehammer.

And still, my ultra careful self is under a 2 week self quarantine on the infinitesimal chance I'm wrong and this disease is an old people killer. But it's not what I saw. Dozens of people sick, mostly 40+ who've accumulated health conditions from cancers to chronic bronchitis to liver/lung flukes. And nobody needed even hospitalization.

This could just be an attempt for a country to change the geopolitical landscape or to let us get a sale on stock.

Tyler9000
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Re: COVID-19

Post by Tyler9000 »

Ego wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:43 pm
The new coronavirus may already have infected far more people in the UK than scientists had previously estimated — perhaps as much as half the population — according to modelling by researchers at the University of Oxford.

If the results are confirmed, they imply that fewer than one in a thousand of those infected with Covid-19 become ill enough to need hospital treatment, said Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology, who led the study. The vast majority develop very mild symptoms or none at all.
Thanks for sharing that. Very interesting.

classical_Liberal
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Re: COVID-19

Post by classical_Liberal »

Ego wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 1:43 pm
...
Agreed, interesting.

What we really need is a mass produced antibody test. This would allow folks to go back to work and start the economy back up, if shown to have antibodies. It would be invaluable in healthcare, because folks with antibodies could staff the COVID-19 units/hospitals without using all the airborne PPE.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03 ... s-pandemic

thrifty++
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Re: COVID-19

Post by thrifty++ »

NZ has 205 cases now. But for some reason the govt is reporting both the confirmed cases and the probable cases and lumping them all in together.

Im partly wondering whether the govt is doing this because we have introduced some very extreme measures and there is a desire for backing.

Hopefully this quarantine works. The govt has commented that they think the cases will probably run into the thousands before they drop.

The good thing is that not one of those cases is or has been serious or critical. There have been people in hospital but I think that's just the triaging system. The govt wants to avoid people going to GP clinics so GPs are directing them to hospitals. People are asked to call the GP first or someone meets you at the entrance wearing full gear asking about your symptoms before letting you in. Most GP consults are now being done by video conference.

Partly the large number of tests is due also to an aggressive testing regime. Whereas I notice in lots of countries reporting less cases they seem to have lots of deaths and serious/critical cases - so they are only touching the tip of the ice berg.

Will
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Re: COVID-19

Post by Will »

@slowtraveler: I would be very careful with mistaking anecdotal evidence for statistical facts, this can be deadly with this disease.
@ego: I have a very hard time connecting the hospital overload in Italy (and now also in Spain?) with the claim that half the population in the UK could already be infected. In the Netherlands hospitals are rapidly filling up and they're expecting they will be full around the beginning of next week. This would mean that some factor must be dramatically different in the UK. Mutation? Until we know this I think it is dangerous to assume that 'this time it's different'.

The US and the UK are going through exactly the same phases as we had in our country, and Italy as well in theirs. Coupled with the lack of decentralized response in the US, we have no reason to believe that COVID-19 will not hit the US and the UK as hard as it did in mainland Europe.

7Wannabe5
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Re: COVID-19

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

The metro Detroit hospital system which keeps its own statistics announced that it is almost at ICU capacity already. There are many rural counties with at least a few positive tests. We are finally locked down, but I am very concerned about the situation two weeks from now. We may end up as the red-headed stepchild after NYC.

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Bankai
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Re: COVID-19

Post by Bankai »

Harari on possible consequences of current pandemic:

https://www.ft.com/content/19d90308-685 ... V9z-10e6JY

IlliniDave
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Re: COVID-19

Post by IlliniDave »

My state of residence (Alabama) is seeing it's first shelter-in-place orders rolling out at the municipal level. My city has not taken that step yet.

SIAP. Not actionable but interesting. Temps in my area are supposed to get into the 80s this week and frankly I'm hopeful that covid-19 has seasonal susceptibilities--I just can't root for natural disasters, even ones that would confirm my paranoid speculations.

https://news.yahoo.com/early-studies-su ... 00097.html

jacob
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Re: COVID-19

Post by jacob »

It takes a median time of 5 days before symptoms appear. Those needing hospitalization will need around 5 days before the disease has advanced far enough to require it. If they move into an ICU, they will spend 5 days there on a ventilator. And if they get terminal, it will take 2 days to die as the virus attacks the heart. That's 17 days between infection and death. Those who die today are thus on average those who were infected 17 days ago---around March 8th. The doubling time in deaths is 3 or 4 days using a policy of social distancing that is half-assedly followed. The harsher the policy, the longer the doubling time.

Therefore, for each person, who dies today, there are 2^(17/4)=19 persons who will die 17 days from now. On April 10th.

It is these 19 deaths that PRESENT measures are intended to prevent. Not the person who just died.


Therefore everything will seem like an overreaction until you shift from anecdotal/present-mode thinking into future-mode thinking. Fundamentally, humans are just terribly bad at comprehending exponential feedback, especially if it comes with a delay. In particular, if only half measures are taken in the present, a linear-thinking mind might conclude that we've solved half the problem. That it's all proportional and we can do some kind of trade off. However, given the exponential relation, it has only delayed the problem by a short time.

In FIRE circles, it's generally understood, that a dollar saved today will throw off way more interest than a dollar saved 30 years from now. Therefore it's better to start now! With an epidemic, it's the same except the timescale is not 30 years but 30 days. Being early is better than being extreme, but since people and their leaders can't/couldn't figure out how to be early, then extreme it is.

Jin+Guice
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Re: COVID-19

Post by Jin+Guice »

@slowtraveler: The death rate is not necessarily what's scary about this disease. When estimates were at 3.4% that was scary, but if the estimate is 1% under "normal" conditions, I'm not sure we'd be shutting everything down. 1% of everyone is a lot, but everyone won't get sick. What's causing everyone to panic and governments to shut things down is the high rate of hospitalization. This coupled with a high infection rate is causing hospitals to be overrun which increases the death rate for this disease and also creates a scenario where those who need care for other life threatening conditions may not be able to get it.

jacob
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Re: COVID-19

Post by jacob »

+1

COVID19 is a threat multiplier. It increases mortality-rates for everything. It even makes non-lethal problems worse. Now is not a good time to get a tooth ache, for example. What we're trying to avoid is going back to having a 1860s-style health care system for a while. One of the reasons is that we don't have a population with a constitution/overall health to deal with that.

Seppia
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Re: COVID-19

Post by Seppia »

jacob wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:16 am
What we're trying to avoid is going back to having a 1860s-style health care system for a while.
Which is precisely what happened / is happening in Lombardy right now.
Some cities (Bergamo/Brescia/Cremona) have been there for 10 days, others (Como, Milan) just a couple days.

Spoke with my dad again yestarday night, hospital in Como where he works went from "we're getting ready but everything is totally under control" to "we have shut down EVERYTHING that is non life-saving and we used every extra square meter available for COVID patients, so when a new one comes in we have to play god and decide who to attach to the respirator" in about a week*.



*I posted here the "spoke with mad dad, they are ramping up and getting ready", so you can do some retroreading if you want to look up the exact date

slowtraveler
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Re: COVID-19

Post by slowtraveler »

Every death now will cause 19 deaths in 17 days is inaccurate.

Thailand has not been through anything even close to that. They had 0 shelter in place mandates when I was there. All they had was a temperature check, more frequent cleaning, and more mask usage. What are deaths at now? 4. They had their first death a whole month or 2 ago. This is not anecdote, this is based on numbers.

With loaded trains, Asia style (so dense you can hardly walk and are touching people on all sides), a single passenger could infect at least the 4 people surrounding them in a single trip. A round trip with 1 transfer means 4*4 = 16/day. Doing this every day for a month means explosive numbers. And yet, deaths are shockingly low from a country that Chinese flock to. 4 death from 934 cases but because of nearly non existent testing, I would be surprised if the numbers are less than 9340. They had cases confirmed 2 months ago. Either this is not contagious or not nearly as deadly as we thought.

The Diamond Princess exhibits a death rate of 10/712= 1.4% with an average age of 62. This confirms the disease is overblown.

People are scared of the economic crash, not the virus everywhere I go. But a month or 2 of panic tends to surround this.

We are exceptionally paranoid here on this forum. It can serve us and keep us alive but I aspire to bring us more peace and him, lower stress with some numbers that look beyond the panic.

Yuval Noah Harrari wrote an article about possible impacts on surveillance from this.

https://www.ft.com/content/19d90308-685 ... V9z-10e6JY

7Wannabe5
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Re: COVID-19

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

It seems to me that there is a reasonably good correlation between current behaviors and subjective bias on variety of risk, even on this forum. However, the virus doesn’t and won’t much care about our opinions.

The calculations Jacob made are right on the money. Best analogy I can come up with is sourdough starter. I would also note that you can’t necessarily project forward/backward from very small numbers such as first case reported, because the virus is heterogenous in transmission. For semi-ridiculous example, let’s assume it only and always spreads through the behavior of hugging. Even if the average person hugs two other people each day, it may be the case that many people hug very infrequently (this forum) or much more frequently (kindergarten teachers.) So, first few cases could spark up without causing general conflagration, or first attempt at kombucha could fail, but eventually the virus will take hold of population and take off until the “sugar” of not yet infected bodies runs out.

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jennypenny
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Re: COVID-19

Post by jennypenny »

@slowtraveler -- I love Harari, but he's being too idealistic. From the article ... "Centralised monitoring and harsh punishments aren’t the only way to make people comply with beneficial guidelines. When people are told the scientific facts, and when people trust public authorities to tell them these facts, citizens can do the right thing even without a Big Brother watching over their shoulders. A self-motivated and well-informed population is usually far more powerful and effective than a policed, ignorant population."

I live near Philly on the border of NJ. Lots of friends and neighbors work in or near NYC. It's bad here and we're all under stay-at-home orders yet there are tons of people out. Friends and neighbors that I know are intelligent and well-informed -- many of whom work in Big Pharma near Princeton -- are ignoring the orders. Some think they are complying and will say that they are, but then mention how they 'popped out' for something they forgot at the grocery store, or drove to check on someone, or ran to Home Depot to get supplies for a project they are doing while they are stuck at home.

They aren't distrustful of the government or ignorant of the risks ... they are just humans, and humans (blindly) tend to do dumb things. I think non-compliance has more to do with cognitive biases and shortcomings than any of the idealistic or subjective reasons given in Harari's piece. I agree that we'll be stuck with most of the 'temporary' measures, but humans need guardrails.

------

My older dog is sick. The medicine isn't working and they need to do tests on her that require her staying at the vet. We don't know what to do. We have been strict in our quarantine and don't want to risk any contact at the vet's office. OTOH, she's losing weight fast and isn't going to be able to hold on until this has all blown over.

You can plan all you want, but some times shit happens anyway. :(

7Wannabe5
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Re: COVID-19

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@jennypenny;

Isn’t being ignorant of your own cognitive bias a good part of being “ignorant of risk?” Also, studies have shown that even the tiny percentage of the population that is capable of attempting to manipulate exponents can’t intuit the growth rate. So, they think/behave or behave/think in alignment with “in for a dime, in for a dollar.”

IlliniDave
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Re: COVID-19

Post by IlliniDave »

jennypenny wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:28 am

My older dog is sick. The medicine isn't working and they need to do tests on her that require her staying at the vet. We don't know what to do. We have been strict in our quarantine and don't want to risk any contact at the vet's office. OTOH, she's losing weight fast and isn't going to be able to hold on until this has all blown over.

You can plan all you want, but some times shit happens anyway. :(
I'd call and see if you can arrange a curbside pickup of sorts, at least avoids one of you having to go inside the office.

Alphaville
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Re: COVID-19

Post by Alphaville »

IlliniDave wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:18 am
I'd call and see if you can arrange a curbside pickup of sorts, at least avoids one of you having to go inside the office.
I got an email from our old vet (we no longer have a cat but somehow were still in the mailing list) saying this is how they’re working now.

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Ego
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Re: COVID-19

Post by Ego »

jacob wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:03 am
Therefore, for each person, who dies today, there are 2^(17/4)=19 persons who will die 17 days from now. On April 10th.

It is these 19 deaths that PRESENT measures are intended to prevent. Not the person who just died.
As someone who lost two very close family members to suicide as a result of the 2008 downturn I wish we could run this same calculation on the economic, health and life-expectancy impacts of the shutdown. And by suicide I mean shotgun in the mouth, brains blown all over the ceiling, watching the cleanup crew scrape them off with paint scrapers - kind of suicide. Neither would have been counted in official job-loss statistics as one owned a business and the other was in sales and never officially lost his job but his commissions all but disappeared.

I could post links to statistics about how much more psychologically fragile people are today than they were in 2008 but how do you factor that into the calculation? I could post links to statistics that show there are far more people in the gig/informal/self-employed economy than in 2008 but how do you factor that into the unemployment data. More people live alone today than they did in 2008 and have tenuous connections to family. More are self-described introverts and have no friends to lend a hand. And unlike 2008 when the world was still open and people could reach out for help, today they are experiencing the crisis in confinement.

At the moment we are making decisions with an eye on April 10th or this coming Easter Sunday. When we look back on this from April 2022 or Easter 2028 we will have more data and the benefits of hindsight to see the costs and benefits of that short-term thinking.

jacob
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Re: COVID-19

Post by jacob »

@Ego - Back of the envelope:

Suicides increases linearly with unemployment numbers. As an economist would phrase it, a 1% increase in the unemployment rate causes a 1% increase in the suicide rate. I do not know how instantaneous this effect is. Before coronavirus (BC?), tabor participation rate was 63.3% and the population was 327.3M, so 207.2M workers. Add an employment count of 3.5% or 11.4M. The number of unemployment filings just increased by 3M or so, so that's up by 3/11.4=26%. There are ~45,000 suicides per year, so adding 26%, we get an extra 11,800 suicides over the next year (or two?). In comparison, the expected death toll from not shutting things down is 327M*0.6*0.011 = 2.1M insofar 60% gets infected and we use the average death rate(*) of South Korea, Vo (Italy), and the plague ship. This is not counting additional deaths from an overloaded health care system.

However, these calculations are kinda tricky. Also consider how many lives are saved from avoiding car crashes during a lockdown? What the long term consequences of less air pollution are? It's a complicated matrix.

(*) I'd use twice that for an overloaded system.

Looking back, I think the perspective will depend on how early and severe the lock downs were. In places where they were successful, people will be wondering "why we had to kill the economy" since "nobody [they knew] died". In places there were too late or too lax, it will be remembered as something in between a domestic war and a depression with everybody knowing 1 or 2 people who died from it.

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