COVID-19 Coronavirus current events

Mendel

Senior Member.
my state is famous for Lyme's Disease. Lyme is the town it was first discovered in.
Those were more innocent times. Today, there is an agenda behind calling this disease not by what it is, but by where it was discovered, and it's revolting to me.
 

Arugula

Member
But they could and they are letting us know they know it.
It's like if I said "I'm not going to, but I could dump your dog 3 states away because you let him bark all night."

While Tucker is a piece of work who often exaggerates for emotional effect, it does sound like a sort-of threat to me. (an illogical threat granted, they are complaining we are hurting their economy by banning tourism from all countries to China... so not selling us goods isn't going to help their economy much. )

But pointing out they could cut off our medical supplies isnt very friendly, in my opinion. I'm sure they were just venting though, everyone's tense these days.

That's fair. I just feel like the kind of saber rattling and the grandstanding over semantics that we're starting to see emerge is a cynical ploy to move the virus into the culture war as yet another wedge issue that divides Americans.
 

jonnyH

Senior Member.
China pays $26 million (12% of the total budget), while the US pays around $99 million (22% of budget).

I know I'm being pedantic here, and it makes no difference to the point you were making (the US pays more than China), but if $26m is 12% of the budget then the budget is about $217m and $99m is not 22%, it's more like 46%.

That said, the WHO's annual revenue is nearer $3,000m and their annual expenditure closer to $2,500m according to their audited financial statements 2018 (see page 15). That would make the Chinese and American contributions more like 1% and 4% of expenditure respectively if the figures you quote are correct.
 

Arugula

Member
I know I'm being pedantic here, and it makes no difference to the point you were making (the US pays more than China), but if $26m is 12% of the budget then the budget is about $217m and $99m is not 22%, it's more like 46%.

That said, the WHO's annual revenue is nearer $3,000m and their annual expenditure closer to $2,500m according to their audited financial statements 2018 (see page 15). That would make the Chinese and American contributions more like 1% and 4% of expenditure respectively if the figures you quote are correct.

You're right! That math doesn't add up at all haha. I was looking at the scale of assessments, attached (the dues based relative to population and wealth). I suppose the actual amount a country is invoiced ends up varying quite a bit. Regardless, I think the idea that "The WHO is funded by China and should be seen as nothing more than a Chinese disinfo propaganda mouthpiece that does the bidding of its communist masters for more cash." is a wild oversimplification.
 

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Agent K

Senior Member
China, US spar over origin of coronavirus
https://www.afp.com/en/news/15/china-us-spar-over-origin-coronavirus-doc-1pt57g3

A Chinese government campaign to cast doubt on the origin of the coronavirus pandemic is fueling a row with the United States, with a Beijing official promoting conspiracy theories and Washington calling it the "Wuhan virus".
The spat comes as China tries to deflect blame for the contagion and reframe itself as a country that took decisive steps to buy the world time by placing huge swathes of its population under quarantine.
With cases falling in China and soaring abroad, Beijing is now rejecting the widely held assessment that the city of Wuhan is the birthplace of the outbreak.
Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian went a step further on Thursday, saying on Twitter that "it might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan" -- without providing any evidence.
...
A video showing a US health official saying some flu victims were posthumously diagnosed as having had COVID-19 was among the top searched items on China's Twitter-like Weibo this week, with some users saying it was evidence the virus originated in the US.
Zhao posted the clip on Twitter.
...
The push to question the origin of the disease contradicts China's own initial assessment about the source of the virus, which has now killed nearly 5,000 people worldwide.
Gao Fu, head of China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in January "we now know the source of the virus is wild animals sold at the seafood market" in Wuhan.
...
But Beijing began sowing doubts in late February, when Zhong Nanshan, a respected expert affiliated with the National Health Commission, told reporters "the epidemic first appeared in China, but didn't necessarily originate in China."
...
The United States, meanwhile, has angered China by using language directly linking the virus to the country. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called it the "Wuhan virus", prompting Beijing to reject the term as "despicable" and "disrespecting science". US President Donald Trump started a televised address to his nation on Wednesday by speaking about the outbreak "that started in China".
Content from External Source
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
You're right! That math doesn't add up at all haha. I was looking at the scale of assessments, attached (the dues based relative to population and wealth). I suppose the actual amount a country is invoiced ends up varying quite a bit. Regardless, I think the idea that "The WHO is funded by China and should be seen as nothing more than a Chinese disinfo propaganda mouthpiece that does the bidding of its communist masters for more cash." is a wild oversimplification.
The mistake is mixing years. 12% and 22% are the rates of the assessed contributions for 2020, but your dollar amounts are for another year. And as I said previously, the assessed contributions are the smaller part of their budget.
image.jpeg
In previous years, US contributions to the WHO (assessed and voluntary) were an order of magnitude larger than those of the Chinese, because of the large amounts of voluntary contributions received from the US and US-based or US-led organizations.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
pandemic.internationalsos.com tracks the international health situation; their business model seems aimed at business travelers. They have a fairly extensive collection of worldwide information. Here's their current data on the US:

Travel Restrictions

International Restrictions:

  • US nationals who have travelled to China's Hubei province in the past 14 days are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine, while foreign nationals who have been to China and Iran in the 14 days prior to arrival will be barred entry, with certain exceptions.
  • From 2 March, the US extended its entry ban to foreign travellers who have travelled to Iran within 14 days of their arrival in the US.
  • From 13 March, entry is suspended for 30 days for non-US nationals who have been in the Schengen Area of Europe at any time in the 14 days prior to their arrival to the US. Affected countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
  • From 16 March, entry is suspended for 30 days for non-US nationals who have been in the UK or Ireland.
  • US nationals will be allowed to return after 'appropriate screening'.
  • Permanent residents will also be allowed to return, as will immediate family members of US citizens. A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3, E-1, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4, and NATO-6 visas will also be accepted for entry into the US.
  • All travellers who are permitted to enter, arriving from China (excluding Hubei province), Iran, Ireland, Schengen Area countries or the UK, should expect heightened screening measures and must stay home for 14 days after their return.
  • The states of Florida, New York and Pennsylvania have asked those returning from travel to China, Iran, Italy or South Korea to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • All flights from China are being re-routed through 11 airports: Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW); Daniel K Inouye International (HNL); Detroit Metropolitan (DTW); Hartsfield-Jackson International (ATL); John F Kennedy International (JFK); Los Angeles International (LAX); Newark Liberty International (EWR); O’Hare International (ORD); San Francisco International (SFO); Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA); Washington Dulles International (IAD).
Internal Restrictions:

  • At least 40 states have declared a state of emergency or public health emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • California State: six of the nine counties in the San Francisco Bay Area (including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Mateo) will be placed under a shelter-in-place directive, requiring residents to stay home from 00.01 (local time) on 17 March until 7 April, except for essential needs; essential businesses and services will remain open during this time. This shelter is a legal mandate and is enforceable by police authorities, violation (non-essential movement) would be a misdemeanor offense.
  • New York state: The National Guard has been deployed to the city of New Rochelle, where state authorities have established a ‘containment area’. Gatherings within the designated area are restricted, with residents being provided additional resources by health and state officials.
  • Arizona state: All schools are closed through 27 March.
  • Similar measures have also been taken in 33 other states (including Arkansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania) until at least the end of the month.
Content from External Source
Daily Summary
United States: 1,916 additional cases were reported, bringing the total number to 5,723 cases. The states with the highest number of confirmed cases include New York (1374), Washington (909), and California (455). In addition, there have been 21 new COVID-19 associated deaths, including the first death each in Texas, South Caroline, Indiana and Nevada, bringing the total number to 97 deaths in the country.
Content from External Source
I am surprised to see the situation in the US escalate that quickly.
 

Arugula

Member
The tech world is buzzing about Chloroquine (an common, existing Malaria drug) being a potential treatment for the virus, and today President Trump announced the FDA will set up a clincal trial.

The drug has apparently had some success in Chinese trials:

Chloroquine data from Covid-19 trials


Data from the drug’s studies showed ‘certain curative effect’ with ‘fairly good efficacy’.

According to Sun, patients treated with chloroquine demonstrated a better drop in fever, improvement of lung CT images, and required a shorter time to recover compared to parallel groups.

The percentage of patients with negative viral nucleic acid tests was also higher with the anti-malarial drug.

Chloroquine has so far showed no obvious serious adverse reactions in the more than 100 participants in the trials.
Content from External Source
https://www.clinicaltrialsarena.com/news/coronavirus-covid-19-choroquine-data/


Here's an explainer about how a Chloroquine & Zinc treatment would work:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7F1cnWup9M&feature=youtu.be&t=92
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Sacramento County, next to where I live, is instituting a "stay at home" order starting midnight tonight. You can go out for "essential activities" which includes:
https://www.saccounty.net/news/latest-news/Pages/SacCountyHealthOfficerIssuesCOVID-19Order.aspx

Essential activities are defined as:
  • Engaging in activities or perform tasks essential to health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members, such as, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home.
  • Obtaining necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as food and other grocery and cleaning products.
  • Engaging in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined, such as walking, hiking, biking, running or equestrian activities.
  • Performing work to provide essential products and services at essential businesses and government entities as well as other nonprofit organizations.
  • Caring for a family member or pet in another household.
  • Attending private gatherings of not more than six nonrelatives in a home or place of residence. Social distancing should be practiced at all times at such gatherings.
Content from External Source
Nice you can still go out for a bike ride. I think a lot of people hear about there orders, and think it's some kind of total lockdown. But you can still go out to the store, and still go out to exercise. Yout can even go round to a friend's house.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I'm not sick, but I just had a 'telemedicine" consult with my doctor (using doxy.me). She said it was her first one ever, and the clinic is closed to non-emergency visits. This all is going to be a huge push in the adoption of remote medicine.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
This all is going to be a huge push in the adoption of remote medicine.
I don't know how remote it could possibly be (after this crisis anyway), I would think liability insurance would go through the roof if drs aren't checking you hands on.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I don't know how remote it could possibly be (after this crisis anyway), I would think liability insurance would go through the roof if drs aren't checking you hands on.
Well, you can't get a full physical, that's for sure. But I think there will be a push to integrate things like FitBit and Apple Watch health monitoring (activity, plus and blood oxygen), and eventually some other things like smart scales and blood pressure monitors. There was no need for me to come in for this consult.
 

derwoodii

Senior Member.
Bayer employee fired after refusing to obey 14-day quarantine order


https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202003/17/WS5e70dce6a31012821727fda4.html


Bayer, a German chemical and pharmaceutical company, dismissed an employee on Tuesday who refused to undergo a 14-day quarantine at home after returning from abroad to Beijing, the company said on its official Weibo account on Tuesday.

A video of the woman, who declined to abide by quarantine rules during the novel coronavirus outbreak, triggered the anger of netizens.
Content from External Source
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIxemsojWdQ


Bayer China fires employee(Australian citizen) for breaking coronavirus quarantine rule in China
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/italy-s-coronavirus-death-toll-overtakes-china-s-n1164121

...427 deaths in the last 24 hours... Italy
Content from External Source

https://singularityhub.com/2016/04/05/how-to-think-exponentially-and-better-predict-the-future/



What is exponential growth?
Unlike linear growth, which results from repeatedly adding a constant, exponential growth is the repeated multiplication of a constant. This is why linear growth produces a stable straight line over time, but exponential growth skyrockets.

Here’s another way to think about it: imagine you are going to walk down a road taking steps a meter in length. You take 6 steps, and you’ve progressed six meters (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). After 24 more steps, you’re 30 meters from where you began. It’s easy to predict where 30 more steps will get you—that’s the simplicity of linear growth.

However, setting anatomy aside, imagine you could double the length of your stride. Now when you take six steps, you’ve actually progressed 32 meters (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32), which is significantly more than the 6 meters you’d move with equal steps. [63 meters, actually] Amazingly, by step number 30, doubling your stride will put you a billion meters from where you started, a distance equal to twenty-six trips around the world.

That’s the surprising, unintuitive power of exponential growth.
Content from External Source
 
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Agent K

Senior Member
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/italy-s-coronavirus-death-toll-overtakes-china-s-n1164121

...427 deaths in the last 24 hours... Italy
Content from External Source
https://singularityhub.com/2016/04/05/how-to-think-exponentially-and-better-predict-the-future/



What is exponential growth?
Unlike linear growth, which results from repeatedly adding a constant, exponential growth is the repeated multiplication of a constant. This is why linear growth produces a stable straight line over time, but exponential growth skyrockets.

Here’s another way to think about it: imagine you are going to walk down a road taking steps a meter in length. You take 6 steps, and you’ve progressed six meters (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). After 24 more steps, you’re 30 meters from where you began. It’s easy to predict where 30 more steps will get you—that’s the simplicity of linear growth.

However, setting anatomy aside, imagine you could double the length of your stride. Now when you take six steps, you’ve actually progressed 32 meters (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32), which is significantly more than the 6 meters you’d move with equal steps. [63 meters, actually] Amazingly, by step number 30, doubling your stride will put you a billion meters from where you started, a distance equal to twenty-six trips around the world.

That’s the surprising, unintuitive power of exponential growth.
Content from External Source

Use log scale. Reported U.S. cases increasing tenfold every 8 days.
1584678159563.png

Deaths are increasing at a slower rate, though the slope increased a bit.
1584678236938.png
 
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derwoodii

Senior Member.
today i did cross city drive Mornington to Daylesford typically this trip is a grueling 3 plus hour stop start on arterial & fwys chore... today i would estimate 30 to 50 % less traffic and generally no traffic snarls..
 

Rory

Closed Account
I've received a few forwarded messages of advice the last few days from well-meaners. One was a well-known video by "Dr" Dan Lee Dimke telling people to blow their faces with hairdryers. This has been debunked by Snopes and other places:
No reputable medical professionals or institutions recommend people breathe hot air to kill the coronavirus. Contrary to what the video states, viruses don’t make you sick by congregating in your nasal cavities. They make you sick on a cellular level via mechanisms not easily stopped by something as simple as hot air.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/hair-dryer-coronavirus/
Content from External Source
Another one I received (from unrelated people in the US, Mexico, and the UK) was a 4 minute 24 second voice message that begins "The Chinese now understand the behavior of the COVID-19 virus, thanks to autopsies that they have carried out." None of them seem to know where it came from, though a video of it on youtube (with full text in the description) says it came from a friend of a colleague of the narrator, out of Dr Negrin Hospital in Gran Canaria.

Seems pretty bunkum, but the main takeaway were things like "drink hot liquids" and "wash your hands every twenty minutes", which I suppose are harmless.

The hairdryer guy, by the way, on his own (very strange) website has at least posted this:
This procedure presented in this video is NOT a cure for coronavirus! It has not yet been endorsed by any health authority. It should be ONLY be considered as one more layer of prevention IN ADDITION TO ALL OTHER PRECAUTIONS recommended by the CDC, WHO, or other health authorities – including hand washing, social distancing, coughing and sneezing into a sleeve, avoiding contact with others who display symptoms, getting tested for COVID-19 if fever and other respiratory symptoms develop, and seeking immediate medical advice if tested positive for COVID-19, or if symptoms persist or worsen.

https://future-world.com/mcatalog/stop-covid-19-now/
Content from External Source
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
The Guardian has a story about a woman who sent a message from her hospital bed that then went viral on social media.

In the video, which has been viewed tens of thousands of times, Langston said: “If anyone is thinking of taking any chances, just take a look at me. I’m in the intensive care unit. I can’t breathe without this. They’ve had to sew that into my artery. I’ve got a cannula, another cannula and a catheter.”

As well as supportive messages, the family were flooded with people questioning the authenticity of the video, partly because Tara Jane did not make specific reference to coronavirus. The messages came from as far away as the Philippines. Langston said: “My daughter was getting upset as were Jane’s sister and friends. People having arguments on Twitter saying it’s not real and it’s fake. I was getting messages from people telling me to prove it.”

Keatley shrugged at the messages accusing her sister of lying. “Everyone’s going to have an opinion or conspiracy theory,” she said.
Content from External Source
Richard Langston, Tara Jane’s husband, said unfounded online claims that a widely shared video in which she described her experience was bogus had made the experience even more upsetting. “It made me question humanity,” Langston said from his home in Middlesex, where he is self-isolating with his children. “How could people be that negative? It just doesn’t make sense.”
Content from External Source
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...-warning-of-woman-with-covid-19-shared-online
 

Agent K

Senior Member
Richard Langston, Tara Jane’s husband, said unfounded online claims that a widely shared video in which she described her experience was bogus had made the experience even more upsetting. “It made me question humanity,” Langston said from his home in Middlesex, where he is self-isolating with his children. “How could people be that negative? It just doesn’t make sense.”
Content from External Source
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...-warning-of-woman-with-covid-19-shared-online

A polar opposite story
"Her Facebook Friends Asked If Anyone Was Actually Sick. She Had an Answer."
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/19/us/politics/coronavirus-heaven-frilot-mark-frilot.html
Frilot, a 43-year-old oil-and-gas analyst, occupied one world, the rest of her community in Kenner, Louisiana, another. She saw her friends making jokes on social media about the coronavirus — eye-roll emojis, Fox News talking points, Rush Limbaugh quotes writing off the threat. And then one person asked if anyone really had this thing.
Frilot had an answer to that.
“I have been seeing a lot of posts about people taking this virus lightly and joking about it,” she began in a Facebook post. “Mark has tested positive for the coronavirus.”
... Today, Frilot’s husband of 12 years remains quarantined in the ICU, hooked up to a ventilator...
Crises are only political until they are personal...
After Frilot shared her husband’s experience, she saw social-media musings about the virus as a liberal plot to tank the stock market come to a halt, toilet-paper jokes no longer rack up likes. Several people have called her “to pass on to me that everyone has been awakened,” Frilot said. “Because everyone knows Mark.”
Cheryl Pitfield, 61, a close friend and former co-worker of Frilot’s in the oil and gas industry, remembered reading it for the first time. “I just got chills,” she said. For Pitfield, before seeing her friend’s post, it didn’t seem like there was a face to the virus. “Now there is.”
She quickly sent a screenshot to friends in a group chat. “Oh my gosh,” Pitfield summed up the reaction, “this is real.”
...Like many in the area... she is a supporter of Trump. She, and many of her friends, she said, believed that the coronavirus was a political stunt and media-induced hysteria.
“We kept kind of joking about it, like, ‘Oh, this is crazy! This is not going to affect us, why is everyone so wigged out about it?’ And then it did,” she said. Reading about Frilot, she added, put it into perspective for her.
On Facebook, Kathy Perilloux shared a similar conversion. Before March 16, Perilloux’s page was almost solely posts questioning the severity of the virus. March 10: “Hurricane Corona …. HYPE …. sigh,” she wrote. (“I stole that from Rush, but I was thinking the same before he said it!!!!!” she added in a comment.)
Then Perilloux commented on Frilot’s post: “Your story puts a real face on a real danger, that’s what had been missing.” She hasn’t posted anything else about the pandemic.
Content from External Source
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
A medical worker from Louisiana describes the impact it's had on him and his hospital and his patients. I decided against quoting his description of the symptoms, because it is fairly graphic, but the whole article is worth reading anyway. https://www.propublica.org/article/...ilure-from-covid19-even-in-his-young-patients

Reading about it in the news, I knew it was going to be bad, but we deal with the flu every year so I was thinking: Well, it’s probably not that much worse than the flu. But seeing patients with COVID-19 completely changed my perspective, and it’s a lot more frightening. This is knocking out what should be perfectly fit, healthy people.
“I have patients in their early 40s and, yeah, I was kind of shocked. I’m seeing people who look relatively healthy with a minimal health history, and they are completely wiped out, like they’ve been hit by a truck. This is knocking out what should be perfectly fit, healthy people. Patients will be on minimal support, on a little bit of oxygen, and then all of a sudden, they go into complete respiratory arrest, shut down and can’t breathe at all.”
Content from External Source
I was wondering why he doesn't mention Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), but I expect they either don't have these machines on his ward, or not enough to matter.
 

derwoodii

Senior Member.
most of Australia will enter a form of community lock down today or this week

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-22/coronavirus-lockdown-what-it-means/12079242

What business will be closed?

On Sunday night, Mr Morrison announced a crackdown on public venues.
From midday on Monday, the following businesses will be closed:
  • pubs
  • clubs
  • cinemas
  • casinos
  • nightclubs
  • indoor places of worship
  • gyms
  • indoor sporting venues
What businesses will be left open?

Under the new measures, cafes and restaurants will be able to operate, but only to offer take away and delivery services.
Hotels will be allowed to continue operations in an accommodation capacity.
  • supermarkets
  • banks
  • petrol stations
  • pharmacies
  • convenience stores
  • freight and logistics
  • food delivery
  • bottle shops
  • hairdressers and beauticians
huh Im surprised about hair beauty suspect its over looked mistake or this is Hitch hiker guide golgafrinchans planning
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
hair beauty suspect its over looked mistake
it's probably a "size of crowd" issue. usually the lady in the chair next to you is about 5 feet away. maybe 4 feet. but normally hairdressers have like 20 people in there at most at any given time. at least around where I live. ?

bottle shops are liquor stores? my state has liquor stores listed under "essential businesses". :)
 

Agent K

Senior Member
it's probably a "size of crowd" issue. usually the lady in the chair next to you is about 5 feet away. maybe 4 feet. but normally hairdressers have like 20 people in there at most at any given time. at least around where I live. ?

As they teach in sex ed, it's not just the number of partners you've had, but the number of partners your partner has had.
Sorry to treat hairdressers like lepers, but the San Francisco order says, "You cannot go to a nail salon or get your hair cut by a stylist or barber."
We'll end up looking like this
 
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Agent K

Senior Member
A contrarian view from John Ioannidis, the author of Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

"A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data" by John Ioannidis, March 17
https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17...e-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/
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... This evidence fiasco creates tremendous uncertainty about the risk of dying from Covid-19...
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%... 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%.
...
Flattening the curve to avoid overwhelming the health system is conceptually sound — in theory... 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
...
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.
Content from External Source
He didn't address the situation in Italy at all.

David Gorski's response
Source: https://twitter.com/gorskon/status/1240311947083595782
 
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Agent K

Senior Member
A contrarian view from Paul Offit, the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/DrPaulOffit/posts/680515489366995

March 15
Which will do more harm, the virus or the fear of the virus?
...
Although people are more likely to die from COVID-19 than from influenza, they are far more likely to catch influenza. Therefore, they are far more likely to die from influenza...
Italy has reported roughly 2,000 deaths from COVID-19 and, as a result, has shut down the country; only grocery stores and pharmacies remain open. Italy has a population of 60 million, about one-fifth of the U.S. population. If we suffer an equivalent proportion of deaths, then 10,000 Americans will die of COVID-19, about one-half to one-fifth of the number of deaths from influenza.
Not everyone, however, is at equal risk of dying. The virus primarily kills the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases, which explains the situation in Italy, where 25 percent of its population is more than 65 years of age; in the U.S. it’s 16 percent. Wouldn’t it make more sense, then, to ask people who are elderly and infirm to stay away from crowds, thus lessening their chances of contracting the disease. Also, to ask people who are sick with respiratory symptoms to stay home. Focus on common sense things like washing hands several times a day and standing clear of people who are coughing or sneezing.
The federal government can also help by making it easier for businesses to allow people who are ill to stay home.
In 2009-2010, the world suffered an influenza pandemic caused by swine flu; about 203,000 people were killed by the virus; 12,000 in the United States. The novel coronavirus has killed about 6,000 people to date; 62 in the United States. It doesn’t make sense to shut down our entire way of life to try and stop a virus that is unlikely to harm healthy people and will be far less devastating than the influenza epidemics that we experience every winter and the influenza pandemic we experienced ten years ago. Let’s take common sense measures to stop the spread. The precautionary principle dictates caution to prevent harm. But the precautionary principle also dictates that you don’t cause harm in the name of preventing harm. It will take years to recover from the draconian measures that we are currently instituting.
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Mick's response on Facebook
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Offit ignored the fact that the coronavirus can be spread by people who don't show symptoms, so telling the sick to stay home wouldn't work. And he talked about the coronavirus death toll as if it's settled and not growing. Italy's demographics don't explain why its fatality rate is twice as high as Japan's.

He's said some other odd things.

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I'm not sure what he meant by regional outbreaks. The pandemic is global, and has caused tens of thousands of cases and thousands of deaths. Epidemiologists predict that half the population will be infected if strong measures are not taken. Michael Osterholm said that the coronavirus is primarily spread by breathing, not fomites.
But Offit told "ZDoggMD" that the coronavirus spreads more like polio than like the flu, because various quarantine measures were able to stop the coronavirus but not the flu.
He also said that rotavirus, which causes diarrhea, is primarily spread NOT through the fecal-oral route (contrary to Wikipedia) but through respiration, which is why nearly every child in the world is infected with a rotavirus at least once by the age of five.

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A case fatality rate of 0.7% is seven times that of seasonal flu, and about a third that of the Spanish Flu in the U.S.

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It took him 26 years to develop the rotavirus vaccine, so he's skeptical that a new vaccine can be on the market within 2 years.

He made one good point, though I don't know where he got the 20% unemployment rate..
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deirdre

Senior Member.
He made one good point, though I don't know where he got the 20% unemployment rate..
the stimulus package guy has been saying that number
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but Offit is also forgetting that watching everyone die in droves around you (or your 36 year old husband while youve got 2 small kids at home) will increase stress related disorders and addiction etc too. Plus I personally think we will see an increase in American manufacturing, now that we've all had a bit of a wake up call re: how dependent we are on foreign goods whose production could be wiped out by the next virus.
(not to mention what an incredibly good pre-run this is for us. the next virus could be as deadly as SARS, target the young and have the long incubation period of COVID-19. now we get a chance to contemplate what did and didn't work during this outbreak.)
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
fecal-oral route
https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Steckbrief.html#doc13776792bodyText1 (someone said there is an English version, I haven't found it yet?)
Schmierinfektion: (a) Eine Übertragung durch Schmierinfektion/Infektion durch kontaminierte Oberflächen ist prinzipiell nicht ausgeschlossen. Welche Rolle sie spielt, ist nicht bekannt. Es wurden häufig Infektionsketten identifiziert, die am besten durch eine direkte Übertragung, z.B. durch Tröpfchen, erklärbar waren. (b) Es wurden bei COVID-19-Patienten häufiger PCR-positive Stuhlproben (3-5) identifiziert. Für eine Ansteckung über Stuhl müssen Viren vermehrungsfähig sein, dies konnte bisher in einer Studie gezeigt werden (6). Deren Daten weisen jedoch darauf hin, dass dieser Nachweis eher selten gelingt.
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Smear infection: (a) A transmission via smear infection/transmission via contaminated surfaces can't be ruled out on principle. Its impact [on actual transmissions] is unknown. Frequently, infection chains were identified that are best explained by direct transmissinon, e.g. via droplets. (b) Often, Covid-19-patients had stool samples that returned positive results on PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests (3-5). For an infection via stool, viruses must be able to reproduce, so far this has been demonstrated in one study (6). Its data indicates that this demonstration succeeds rather rarely.
The numbers in parentheses indicate references to literature listed at the bottom of the original page. The impression this conveys to me is that while Covid-19-infection via the fecal-oral route is theoretically possible, its practical impact seems low.

It's worth considering that the impact of an epidemic is judged via "excess mortality", i.e. how many people died (of any cause) compared to how many people we would have statistically expected to die under normal circumstances. This measurement encompasses non-Covid-19 deaths that occurred because the health system was overwhelmed. But it also includes the effect that due to the general social distancing rules, we're bound to have fewer traffic accidents or pub brawls or sports injuries. (It'll be interesting to see if domestic violence goes up.)

The RKI has included Covid-19 in its Influenza screening; as it spreads, it'll feature more in the weekly screening reports, and will give us an indication of how wide-spread it really is in the population.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
it's to highlight to readers the bits on the page you are referring to in your comment.
I did not refer to the bit beginning "in the medical sector", and it's irrelevant to the nature of the epidemology of Covid-19 that Dr. Paul Offit is discussing. I still don't understand why you highlighted it.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It's worth considering that the impact of an epidemic is judged via "excess mortality", i.e. how many people died (of any cause) compared to how many people we would have statistically expected to die under normal circumstances. This measurement encompasses non-Covid-19 deaths that occurred because the health system was overwhelmed. But it also includes the effect that due to the general social distancing rules, we're bound to have fewer traffic accidents or pub brawls or sports injuries. (It'll be interesting to see if domestic violence goes up.)
That's a measure of the impact that you can't really get until it's over - maybe long after. There are also things like increases in suicides due to the stock market crash, and the coming economic recession (or depression), and a variety of other effects on the uninfected.

Right now the picture is rapidly evolving, chaotic, with limited information, and not looking good. So the governors are faced with tough and unpopular decisions. Arguments that we are overreacting seem based on either assuming the current numbers won't get any worse or some hindsight overview that is not yet available. Those arguments are also made by people who don't have the same access to the intelligence briefings and experts that those who actually make the decisions have.

Metabunk 2020-03-23 09-36-01.jpg

New York City has about the same population (8.6 million) as the Lombardy region of Italy (10 million).
Lombardy vs. NYC.jpg
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Those arguments are also made by people who don't have the same access to the intelligence briefings and experts that those who actually make the decisions have.
I find that I have access to a lot of the same information that experts have. And I have access to broadcasts with experts on youtube. I can see the press briefings of the RKI and the WHO and enjoy a daily podcast with Germany's top virologist explaining the scientific view of the latest studies and data. I have the website of my local governments, national health authorities, the ECDC, and the WHO, who is also offering distance courses on Covid-19. Youtube doesn't ordinarily recommend that to me, but apparently the Johns Hopkins people also do events.

My impression is the same as in other cases where people go down rabbit holes: that they either do not seek out the information they have access to, or distrust it (or both), and that they do not understand the maths/science that gives us a good model to understand what is going on (in this case, exponential (better: logistic) growth); and that they instead trust bogus authority figures who (sometimes unintentionally) mislead them by telling them what they want to hear and what makes them feel better. This is only human, but also aggravating.

The situation in China has been well documented. The situation in Italy has been well documented and put paid to any feelings of distrust or superiority we had towards the data emerging from China.

This is not about access to information. This is about the openness of mind to accept what this information means for our future.

On a related note, I watched the WHO press conference just now, and the strategy Michael Ryan is pushing is to use the opportunity of the slowing of the spread to really make an effort to identify cases, isolate them, and quarantine contact persons. It's what worked for the countries who managed to get a grip on their situations, and it's the only way we currently have to really fight this virus.
 

Arugula

Member
It appears President Trump is signaling that he favors ending the guidelines put in place on for social distancing and business closures at the end of this month, despite COVID-19 cases still exponentially growing in the US.

Source: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1241935285916782593


President Trump is weighing calls from some Republican lawmakers and White House advisers to scale back steps to contain the coronavirus despite the advice of federal health officials as a growing number of conservatives argue that the impact on the economy has become too severe, according to several people with knowledge of the internal deliberations.

Loosening restrictions on social distancing would override the internal warnings of senior U.S. health officials, including Anthony S. Fauci, who have said that the United States has not yet felt the worst of the pandemic.

...

The 15-day period is set to end on March 30.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the president’s coronavirus task force, and other leading public health experts have told administration officials and Republican lawmakers that prematurely scaling back social distancing measures would hamper efforts to mitigate the virus and would devastate hospitals, according to the people with knowledge of the conversations, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private deliberations. More than 30,000 people in the United States have tested positive for the coronavirus, a number expected to significantly increase in the coming days and potentially overwhelm the nation’s health-care infrastructure.

...

Trump has begun canvassing his advisers, GOP senators and other allies about what his course of action should be, according to a senior administration official. He is worried about the impact of soaring unemployment numbers and severe economic contraction on his 2020 reelection bid, and fielded phone calls for much of the weekend from alarmed business leaders. He remains fixated on the plummeting stock market, is chafing at the idea of the country remaining closed until the summer and growing tired of talking only about the coronavirus, one person said.
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/poli...20ea0a-6cfc-11ea-a3ec-70d7479d83f0_story.html
 
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