COVID-19 Coronavirus current events

Mendel

Senior Member.
Article:
WASHINGTON — Of the flood of misinformation, conspiracy theories and falsehoods seeding the internet on the coronavirus, one common thread stands out: President Trump.

That is the conclusion of researchers at Cornell University who analyzed 38 million articles about the pandemic in English-language media around the world. Mentions of Mr. Trump made up nearly 38 percent of the overall “misinformation conversation,” making the president the largest driver of the “infodemic” — falsehoods involving the pandemic.

The study, to be released Thursday, is the first comprehensive examination of coronavirus misinformation in traditional and online media. [..]

The study identified 11 topics of misinformation, including various conspiracy theories, like one that emerged in January suggesting the pandemic was manufactured by Democrats to coincide with Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial, and another that purported to trace the initial outbreak in Wuhan, China, to people who ate bat soup.

But by far the most prevalent topic of misinformation topic was “miracle cures,” including Mr. Trump’s promotion of anti-malarial drugs and disinfectants as potential treatments for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That accounted for more misinformation than the other 10 topics combined, the researchers reported.

[..]

The study found that conspiracy theories, when lumped together, accounted for 46 percent of the misinformation mentions. Among those theories was one that emerged in early April suggesting that Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a respected voice on the pandemic, was exaggerating deaths or was a beneficiary of pharmaceutical company efforts to find treatments and vaccines. To look for such stories, they examined social media hashtags, including #FireFauci and #FauciFraud.

(Emphasis mine.)
 

DavidB66

Active Member
Among the many puzzles presented by the international statistics for Covid-19 is the large difference in death rates between The Netherlands and Belgium, neighbouring countries which seem to have much in common. The Worldometers table currently shows a death rate per million population of 375 in The Netherlands, but 864 (second highest in the world, after Peru, and ignoring little San Marino) in Belgium.
Part of the explanation may be that the Dutch figure is a serious underestimate. According to a Reuters report, based on a study by the Dutch Statistics office, the true figure of deaths among people who had tested positive for Coronavirus, or where Covid-19 was listed as 'the most probable cause of death', would be over 10,000 rather than some 6,400 as officially reported. The Reuters report is here:
https://in.reuters.com/article/us-h...in-first-wave-statistics-agency-idUSKBN26M4ZR
In some other countries, such as the UK, it is known that overall death rates during the earlier peak of the epidemic were higher than the rates attributed to Covid-19, but the Dutch report seems to go further than this, implying that a lot of deaths specifically identified as Covid-19 related are not so far included in the official death figures. In some other countries (the UK and France, I think) this was initially also the case, as deaths outside hospital were not included, but the figures were later revised to include them.
I don't know what effect this would have on the overall figures. Simply adjusting by a factor of 10/6.4 would bring the Dutch death rate per million up to 586, but this is probably too crude. It is still a lot lower than the Belgian figure, but there may be other factors to explain this.
In passing, I note that another puzzle is the very high death rates in many South American countries. There are now six of them with rates over 600. I have not seen much discussion of this. It would be easy to say, 'well, they are poor countries', but so are those in Africa, and death rates there seem much lower.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Among the many puzzles presented by the international statistics for Covid-19 is the large difference in death rates between The Netherlands and Belgium, neighbouring countries which seem to have much in common.
Belgium is half francophone and close to French regions that have been hit hard. If you look at the current ECDC map at https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/cases-2019-ncov-eueea , you can see that the Netherlands are also hardest hit in those areas that are closer to Belgium. The same page shows that 14-day case rates and death rates are comparable right now.
w38_39_COVID_subnational_Last_2week.png
The biggest risk for SARS-CoV-2 transmissions is geographical proximity to other infected areas -- Germany had its worst infections in the South, closest to Italy. Many EU institutions being based in Belgium may be another part of the puzzle.

My impression is that government and population response is a big factor in what happens with respect to Covid-19. I am not in a position to say how much Belgium had in common with similar countries, both in terms of Covid-19 response and public health system capabilities; but they've been the outlier in Europe, not the Netherlands, going back to April and May.
 

Oystein

Senior Member
The difference between Belgium's death count and her neighbors is this:

Belgium counts as "Covid-19" related deaths all deaths from respiratory illnesses that come with typical Covid-19 systems, even if the patient has not been tested and thus was not an official "case". The Netherlands and most other countries only count as Covid-19 those where the virus has been positively identified via test (generally PCR).
Belgium thus may have somewhat OVERcounted Covid-19 deaths, while the Netherlands and others would tend to UNDERcount them.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The difference between Belgium's death count and her neighbors is this:

Belgium counts as "Covid-19" related deaths all deaths from respiratory illnesses that come with typical Covid-19 systems, even if the patient has not been tested and thus was not an official "case". The Netherlands and most other countries only count as Covid-19 those where the virus has been positively identified via test (generally PCR).
Belgium thus may have somewhat OVERcounted Covid-19 deaths, while the Netherlands and others would tend to UNDERcount them.
Do you have numbers? I don't think you can overcount Covid deaths by much, you wouldn't count the "atypical" deaths (cardiac, liver etc.) as Covid without a pisitive virus test, and the pneumonia cases have the very typical lung scans. And I think most countries actually do accept these kinds of diagnoses now.

And Belgium doesn't just have a relatively high number of deaths, they also had a relatively high number of cases.

France was undercounting cases, and they're a neighbor of Belgium, so differences in bookkeeping do matter, but Belgium is still on the high end of the scale.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
There's a strong resurgence of the epidemic in Europe now that the weather has become colder.
Article:
Distribution of laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the EU/EEA and the UK, as of 17 October
novel-coronavirus-cases-EU-UK-2020-10-17.png
14-day COVID-19 case notification rate per 100 000, weeks 40-41
w40_41_COVID_subnational_Last_2week.png


In most countries, the situation is reminiscent of March/April, which is a bad thing going into the cold season.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
now that the weather has become colder.
is it that much colder? a serious question as i dont know europe weather. or their "opening" levels. (schools, businesses etc) and i'm curious.

i'm near NY. our numbers are going up again too but our weather isn't that much colder (mid 60s to 70s.. which they do say is the viruses favorite temperature). Restaurants were recently open to 75% -Oct 8th- but bars/clubs still closed. Casinos are open at 25% (which seems to be the hot spot section of our state right now, but that might just be a coincidence. they opened at 25% june 1st )

Schools did open (colleges seem a pretty big problem here). People are tired of isolating and all the constant safety measures. we had Labor Day early September. We only generally know where and who the outbreaks are affecting, unfortunately specifics are hard to find.

I am curious about weather because most of our summer was heat wave territory, so people were still inside in the air conditioning. although not in restaurants at all, school was closed, most businesses still in curb side pick up status.

Not that it matters, we cant shut down the economy forever. But here unfortunately the turn of weather coincides with businesses and schools opening. so it's hard to tell the main driver of increases.
 

derwoodii

Senior Member.
some joy down under in Victoria Melbourne the case numbers have dropped to level wherin Gov has relaxed some lock down rules. We can now travel 25 clicks go golfing swimming surfing fishing tennis kids returning back to school and service business opening up etc still need to wear approved mask and keep low group number but its looking better each day,,



https://www.theage.com.au/national/...ubble-meets-your-buddy-s-20201019-p566ie.html

One of the big changes announced by Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday was the expansion of the five-kilometre limit on travel for Melburnians to 25 kilometres.

No limit on time outdoors and outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people from two households were also among the new, less restrictive lockdown rules.

as apposed to many other country's right now as this meme attempt to illustrate.




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