Coronavirus - Time to Reflect on the Initial Reactions (1 Viewer)

Steve R.

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The Coronavirus has swept through the the US. My apologies to those on this forum from other areas of the world for being US focused. As with any impending crises, the breadth and scope, of the pandemics impact is not immediate known. Obviously, reducing human interactions and increasing sanitary precautions is appropriate. The Coronavirus has an apparent "lag-time" of a couple of weeks. We are apparently now over that "lag-time" so we can begin to assess if the preventive measures have worked and if we can begin to relax them. That debate is now emerging nationwide.

Two Americas: Lockdown Left vs. Re-open Right

In mid April, some states began to re-open. This these actions were met with open hostility by many left-leaning media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Atlantic. Here is one (April 21, 2020) alarming (opinion) headline from the Washington Post meant to scare the public. Georgia leads the race to become America’s No. 1 Death Destination

Evidently, a number of actions taken to re-open the economy in several states have not led to massive increases in death. Consequently, the left wing opinion writers, if they truly believe in data and science should be apologizing and rethinking their viewpoints.

As for the left abusing science, the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, has improperly proclaimed
"Los Angeles will ‘never be completely open until we have a coronavirus cure’, mayor says " Mr. Garcetti seems oblivious to the scientific fact that a cure may never be found. Making such an obviously premature prediction is wrong.

Then there is the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, who sent people infected with Coronavirus back into nursing homes containing elderly, the vulnerable population that needs protection.
Coronavirus spreads in a New York nursing home forced to take recovering patients. "“It’s reckless and careless,” said the granddaughter of a 96-year-old man whose family withdrew him from a Long Island nursing home." Again, we have another executive leader, who has claimed to followed the data and science, making the Coronavirsus pandemic worse.

It seems, based on the number of recent stories, that the gloom and doom predictions are turning out to be incredibly false and those whining the most about adherence to the data and science, are hypocrites. Many in the media need to publish "corrections". Time to start re-opening the economy.
 

Isaac

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I have actually read a lot of articles claiming just the opposite - that the places where the stay orders are the strictest and longest have seen their death rates go down the most, and some - some - of those who reopened the fastest have seen their cases go way up. I'll admit this is how it goes with media, though. This is why I force myself to read both CNN and FOX every day. I hope the middle ground becomes evident to me in some miraculous way. What about Trump's "stay calm, it'll go away" statements back near the beginning? Now on that I'm really just teasing don't take it too seriously - because I realize he couldn't have known, nobody knew for sure what was going to happen.

I agree with you on Cuomo's nursing home fiasco definitely seems to stink. Frankly, I like Trump's guidance that was given a few weeks ago. After a few weeks of seeing cases going down, then start to reopen. Some states forged ahead of this, even, but I don't think it's because they were so smart - if they were successfully, I think they got lucky, cuz nobody knows with this cotton pickin' thing.
 

Jon

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that the gloom and doom predictions are turning out to be incredibly false
What were the predictions and where is the evidence that they were false? The lockdown changed the infection rates and therefore the outcome, as I see it. If the argument is, "Deaths were much lower than was predicted", did that prediction include lockdown measures? Is there new evidence that has emerged later that has altered the decision factors? You cannot use hindsight data to say the process for making decisions was false.

Regarding hypocrits from the advisors, we have them over in the UK too. Do X, while in private, they do Y, including our top scientific advisor who was caught having secret liaisons with his married mistress.

Maybe it is possible that the models predict X number of deaths. But the models have parameters that give a range of possible outcomes. Then a politician can say, 'We did better than the models predicted, aren't we great!"
 

The_Doc_Man

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Steve, on a fine point, I will agree with Mayr Garcetti's idea that we will never be completely open until we have a cure. And even though I'm not a virologist, I know enough about diseases in general to imagine that we might never find a cure. But even if we do find a cure, SHOULD we ever be as wide open as we previously were?

This question is tied in to one fiction writer's philosophical musings. Randall Garrett, in the story Unwise Child, offered this thought: "Education is an inelastic collision." If you consider the physical properties of collisions, elastic collisions leave the colliders unchanged. Inelastic collisions include deformation. In the mental equivalent, if an educational experience doesn't change us, did we learn anything? When all of this pandemic dies down so that it is about like the other flu strains that we typically see, what will we say that we have learned?

We have seen the terrible cost (in lives as well as disrupted business) of being unprepared for a serious pandemic. If we at least learn enough to be more and better prepared - in supplies, vaccines, and ATTITUDE, then perhaps the victims didn't die in vain. If people start taking a more prepared attitude (including more attention to "saving for a rainy day"), perhaps we can weather a future outbreak with less painful disruptions. If we learned nothing, we flushed tens of thousands of lives down the toilet.
 

Jon

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One other point, is that when you are dealing with compounding numbers, tiny differences in estimated percentage rates can compound up into huge differences in final outcomes. It is the nature of such things. I blame the math!
 

Jon

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Doc, I am playing Devils Advocate today with everybody so I will chip in again. Did we find a cure for Spanish Flu that infected 400 million worldwide? Did we full open up again after that? Q.E.D.
 

The_Doc_Man

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No, and thus we became doomed to honor another old adage: Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
 
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Steve R.

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In my original post, I forgot to include the concept that the "lock-down" could adversely affecting the health of many people who have have avoided seeing doctors, postponement to certain surgeries, dialysis, mental health, long-term conditions, etc. The Wall Street Journal had this headline: Medical Lockdown Will Cause a Disease Surge. Unfortunately, I was unable to read the article as I do not have a subscription.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Coronavirus cases, deaths projected to rise as Georgia reopens.
Other models show that if Georgians return closer to their pre-pandemic ways, the state could experience a devastating, exponential spike of infection similar to those in hard-hit areas such as New York City. One created through a collaboration between Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Georgia Tech and Boston Medical Center projects that if restrictions end, cumulative deaths will most likely creep up through July, then skyrocket well beyond 10,000 the next month if residents stop sheltering in place after May 25.
Yes, death will still continue, but will they spike up or slowly drift down? Only time will tell.

See this graphic: https://www.google.com/search?q=georgia+coronavirus+deaths+chart

But my point, is the gloom and doom hysteria for Georgia began around April 20th. If one allows approximately two weeks for the virus to manifest itself, the spike in deaths (if a valid assumption) should be starting around now.

I have actually read a lot of articles claiming just the opposite - that the places where the stay orders are the strictest and longest have seen their death rates go down the most, and some - some - of those who reopened the fastest have seen their cases go way up. I'll admit this is how it goes with media, though. This is why I force myself to read both CNN and FOX every day.
Slicing and dicing statistical data is a favorite hobby of those promoting an agenda. Good to view more than one source of information.

We have seen the terrible cost (in lives as well as disrupted business) of being unprepared for a serious pandemic. If we at least learn enough to be more and better prepared - in supplies, vaccines, and ATTITUDE, then perhaps the victims didn't die in vain. If people start taking a more prepared attitude (including more attention to "saving for a rainy day"), perhaps we can weather a future outbreak with less painful disruptions. If we learned nothing, we flushed tens of thousands of lives down the toilet.
A valid rationale hope that will unfortunately vaporize over time. Hurricane Katrina exposed what happens in the name of getting prepared. (As you live in New Orleans, so you would have a better perspective.) As a very short summary, levee improvements were proposed and budgeted. But over the years, I guess because there wasn't a real visible problem for politicians to "fix", the funds that were supposed to be used for levee improvements were siphoned off to address other emergencies. The net result, the levee improvements were not fully made. Hence the disaster of Katrina.
 

Jon

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But my point, is the gloom and doom hysteria for Georgia began around April 20th. If one allows approximately two weeks for the virus to manifest itself, the spike in deaths (if a valid assumption) should be starting around now.
I have a different view on that. The hysteria is perhaps less correlated with reality than other factors, such as media reporting, and not understanding the data. Take deaths. People seem surprised when there is a lockdown and then deaths are not falling. There is always a lag. I had a quick look at the Georgia data and the hysteria does not seem to coincide with the peak of infections, only with the highest death toll on that day. So, you can have a lockdown, the infections are falling, but the deaths are rising due to it taking nearly 3 weeks for the infections to lead to death. I say look only at the current infection trends if you want to see if things are going according to plan, not the death trend. It lags.
 

Anakardian

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The infection rate lags about 2 weeks as well.

Only if you test everyone, every day, and get the result in time to act upon it, will the infection rate be known.
Many people do not have symptoms that they notice but are still able to spread it.

All you know from the death rate is how many weere infected about three weeks ago based on the assumed deathliness.
Since that is the only really solid data point, it is what you have to work with.

Also keep in mind that if you completely stop it in an area, you will be open for a re-infection of the area. This means you will be back to the starting point with lockdowns etc.
 

The_Doc_Man

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The net result, the levee improvements were not fully made. Hence the disaster of Katrina.

Speaking from the local perspective, the REAL problem (with respect to the narrow focus of your comments) was that lax inspections failed to identify levee areas needing fixing in the first place. While playing the woulda-coulda-shoulda game can lead to lively debates, we will never know how much less damage would have been done with good inspections leading to good repairs leading to stronger levees.

ADD ON: One thing that Katrina did was expose the incredibly bad drainage infrastructure managed by the New Orleans Sewage and Water Board. They have had some heads rolling because of "dead-head" cronyism and civil service protection of those who should never have been placed in charge of something that could so negatively affect so many people. The current N.O. administration went through that department with a weed whacker to get rid of useless imployees including some found to be sleeping on the job. The refurbished NO S&W B is working on a massive rebuild of the city's drainage canals which is estimated to take over a decade. They are working on crumbling water mains that were, in some places, over 100 years old. We are finding all sorts of things that have been clogging our drains. Like whole cars that got swept in and, based on their VIN and other data, were probably there as the result of Katrina's flooding. We were finding them 14 years after the fact. Just unblocking the drains has helped the drainage rate though we still have a ways to go.

 
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Steve R.

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Hurricane season has started a bit early here. A lot of rain, but not much else at this time. The relevance of the images below, in terms of COVID-19, models (even if in general agreement) give different results. What is also very informative, is the bottom graphic from NOAA which shows the cone of probability. As time progresses, not surprisingly, the cone of probability expands.

Currently, much of the COVID-19 focus is on whether to return to "normal" business or to maintain "remain in place" for reasons of safety. Models are being used to make those decisions. But, like the images below, there is an implications to the degree of uncertainty over whether a a particlular decision is apprpriate or not. So a lot of times of find those sanctimoniously claim to be following he holy grail of "the science" to be blowing smoke. As for Tropical Storm Arthur, the severity of the storm and the models tell me that I don't need to immediately rush out and buy survival supplies. Of course, I need to reiterate the obvious disclosure that one should always be reasonably prepared.


storm_01.gif
115829_5day_cone_no_line_and_wind.png


PS: Like COVID-19 Tropical Storm Arthur came out of "nowhere", in the sense in wasn't even in the anticipated weather until a couple of days ago. Weather, as with a pandemic, can emerge anytime. Unlike COVID-10, Tropical Storm Arthur is projected to move away from population areas, so it won't have a major adverse effect.
 
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Steve R.

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On May 16th, I commented on several articles that hysterically proclaimed that reopening the economy would result in a massive spike in COVID-19 infections. So far, reopening the economy has not resulted in a massive spike of COVID-19 infections.
But my point, is the gloom and doom hysteria for Georgia began around April 20th. If one allows approximately two weeks for the virus to manifest itself, the spike in deaths (if a valid assumption) should be starting around now.

Slicing and dicing statistical data is a favorite hobby of those promoting an agenda. Good to view more than one source of information.

It is now two weeks since my post and over five weeks from the April 20th doom and gloom predictions from commentators who appear more interested in espousing an agenda than in basing there comments on science and facts.

Below is a recent graph of the new cases in Georgia. There has been no spike following the April 20 comments that there would be a spike in infections and death. I haven't gone back to see if any of these commentators, anticipating wholesale deaths, have issued any apologies and/or corrections. If one claims to make predictions based on science and facts, and they are proven wrong, a correction is in-order.

1590929202228.png


Below is an image taken from the Washington Post, of May 31, 2020, showing Covid-19 deaths. The chart headline, while true, is misleading. It is a cumulative total and could have been rewritten, as the graph shows, that new cases of deaths are declining as time progresses.

1590929380242.png
 
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Steve R.

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Well, you knew this had to be coming: "Protests threaten to become coronavirus 'super-spreader' events". Now we have to wait again for several weeks to see what actually happened.

Dark Humor: Prior to the protests, you could be considered a threat to society and arrested for a variety or health reasons, such as violating social distancing guidelines or keeping your business open. Now the rioters are closely packed (no social distancing), violating curfew, destroying businesses, looting etc. And the very same people who previoulsy would have you arrested have now have done an about face and don't enforce the law!
 

AccessBlaster

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This will be a good case study, if the science wasn't so politically skewed like everything else.

I am curious to see if COVID-19 is actually spread by close contact or like others have claimed you actually have to touch your eyes nose ears or mouth with your own fingers.

It feels like the world economy was intentionally tanked to make room for the new superpower who's been lurking patiently.

Okay, tin foil hat has been removed! 🤠
 

kevlray

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I expect a rise in the number of cases. I am waiting hear how many people got infected at the pool party at the Lake of the Ozarks over the Memorial Day weekend. I have heard that at least one person has been infected.
 

kevlray

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Not to be cruel, but will mother nature affect the looters and vandalizers more harshly?
 

Steve R.

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The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the economy being shut-down. As we got into May the economy began to open up. Today, the unemployment rate figures were released. Astoundingly, and I do mean astoundingly, fell to 13.3% and the economy added 2.5 million jobs. Neither myself, my wife, nor the reporters we were watching believed this. It was too incredible. Still scratching our heads.

Jobless rate drops unexpectedly to 13.3% in May as coronavirus shutdowns end

A background reason for this posting, a lot of people were claiming that this or that had to be done because of there respective models. Well, it seems that the models the economists were using, if the figures just reported are valid, were totally wrong. The consensus of economists was that continued job losses (estimated at a loss of 8 million jobs) would be reported in May. Instead, the economy added jobs. The consensus estimate by the economists was way off.
 
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