The new Corona virus, should we worry?

GophersInIowa

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But that's the problem with the media reports of 'cases'. They'll go on and on about how cases are reaching highs that we haven't seen in months, but fail to mention how the CFR has significantly dropped. They also fail to mention how a large portion of these could be false positives, especially with asymptomatic cases. They need to keep driving the fear based narrative....
I agree the media likes to be dramatic. Doesn’t mean the trend isn’t concerning.
 

KillerGopherFan

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But that's the problem with the media reports of 'cases'. They'll go on and on about how cases are reaching highs that we haven't seen in months, but fail to mention how the CFR has significantly dropped. They also fail to mention how a large portion of these could be false positives, especially with asymptomatic cases. They need to keep driving the fear based narrative....
CFR is falling. And the number of daily tests continues to go up dramatically. Of course we will identify more cases.

EDA27A2D-E202-4191-AE87-8825A8D49D7B.jpeg
 

CutDownTheNet

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I very much support your campaign for more targeted and smart approaches to this whole thing, but I do have to ask, has your view on this strategy changed at all given the White House outbreak? Presumably, they were testing everybody new who came in contact with the President, yet likely a single event (and probably person) infected 30(?) people.

From a numbers perspective, would I be wrong to assume the higher community spread the higher the chance that the virus sneaks into a LTCF?
> I do have to ask, has your view on this strategy changed at all given the White House outbreak?

No, not at all. If anything, this reinforces my position. The Pres gets tested, well apparently not every day but every 2-3 days (well, at least before he got infected). Having detected it within, say, about 1.5 days of infection time (along with, of course, excellent treatment) is a strong causal factor in the good result and quick recovery he had. I was earlier arguing for a somewhat expensive once-per-week testing in LTCFs. Now with cheaper and faster antibody tests, I argue for 2X per week testing. That's President caliber testing, giving you early detection, and even with normal treatment that can cut deaths in nursing homes and LTCFs by a factor of maybe 10.

> From a numbers perspective, would I be wrong to assume the higher community spread the higher the chance that the virus sneaks into a LTCF?

Absolutely, that would be true.

Since the seniors are isolated in nursing homes and LTCFs, the only vector for infecting them is new admissions plus nursing and other staff that work there. You handle the former by giving fast tests to new admissions and don't let them in unless they test negative (and retest them when they get there).

For the staff that work there, they are going in and out of the facility on a daily basis. When not there, they are either at home (interacting with family = potential sources of infection) or else out and about in public (grocery shopping and otherwise interacting with the public who are hopefully wearing masks).

The probability of a staff member being infected is thus proportional to the level of infection in the greater community. So the greater the community spread, the higher the chance that a staff member gets infected, and an infected staff member is the major source of infecting the nursing home or LTCF.

So test the staff at the same frequency of the patients and at as high a test frequency as is financially feasible. New tests will be only about $25 per test, and the claim is they will get that down to $5 eventually.

The state should just pickup that cost so that LTCFs don't have to raise their prices, and family don't have to choose between a cheaper facility in which grandma/grandpa might die sooner due to Covid, and a more expensive facility that tests adequately for Covid.
 

CutDownTheNet

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This sounds more like a public education campaign and suggestions than mandates with teeth. The Swedes are on balance probably more sensible than Americans. They didn't mention any new school closures in the article.


“Unlike in other countries, however, there are not expected to be fines or legal consequences for people who decide not to follow any new advice. Bitte Brastad, the chief legal officer at Sweden's public-health agency, said the rules were "something in between regulations and recommendations."”
How nice to live in a country that can make rational suggestions, and low and behold, rational people do the rational thing (with no need to politicize it).
 

CutDownTheNet

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Thanks for mentioned GOF research. Had never heard of it before, Googled it, and learned something new.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK285579/

Subbarao emphasized that such experiments in virology are fundamental to understanding the biology, ecology, and pathogenesis of viruses and added that much basic knowledge is still lacking for SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Subbarao introduced the key questions that virologists ask at all stages of research on the emergence or re-emergence of a virus and specifically adapted these general questions to the three viruses of interest in the symposium (see Box 3-1). To answer these questions, virologists use gain- and loss-of-function experiments to understand the genetic makeup of viruses and the specifics of virus-host interaction. For instance, researchers now have advanced molecular technologies, such as reverse genetics, which allow them to produce de novo recombinant viruses from cloned cDNA, and deep sequencing that are critical for studying how viruses escape the host immune system and antiviral controls. Researchers also use targeted host or viral genome modification using small interfering RNA or the bacterial CRISPR-associated protein-9 nuclease as an editing tool.


So is it possible that experiments were being done for academic purposes? Sure, it is possible.

If credible evidence comes out that academic G/LoF experiments on CoV were being conducted at the Wuhan lab and that an accident occurred, I may be inclined to believe it.

Until then, it's just RW water cooler talk.
The Gain of Function research is still a controversial thing, both here and abroad. It is a two-edged sword. On the one hand it is useful to understand the various viruses better and thereby be better equipped to make treatments and vaccines for them. On the other hand, a lab might just create something worse than black death and there is some small probability that such might escape into the wild.

The US banned GOF research for a while, and more recently unbanned it. Such research was never banned in China.

Then, of course, even if there's a (shall we say) "regular" ban on GOF research, you can still be sure that Defense related bioweapons research will carry on GOF research regardless of what public policy is. The US has bioweapons research programs, no doubt on that. So does China. Part of (not all) the Wuhan lab was run directly by the Peoples Army. That doesn't prove they were doing bioweapons research there, but if you are a gambling man, it might be a good bet.

That and a bunch of other factors (stirred in an Occam's Razor pot) are why I think that it's now more likely to be a release from the Wuhan Lab than any other explanation. But like you say, it's just a good topic for water cooler talk at this point.

I've collected a few sources in a notes file. When I get a chance, I'll try to collect them and post a summary with some links. That will enhance the water cooler talk.
 

CutDownTheNet

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I think Atlas is way to heavily leaning on the point that masks might not be as great as we might hope. I'd like to keep his input into the conversation, and I'm not in favor of sensoring him, but I'd like some additional members on the commission that can temper his too-strong peddling of his personal point of view (which I consider it to be at this point, as he has offered no conclusive evidence that masks are a total failure).
 
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Pompous Elitist

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Of course. It’ll never get as bad as early on when looking at deaths. Still doesn’t mean hospital and death rates aren’t certain to go up shortly.
Dr Osterholm was on at least one weekend talk show (and the nightly news tonight) saying the next 6-12 weeks will be the darkest days yet. He and IHME are predicting the fall surge will be worse than the spring. I’m not convinced ...but anything could happen.

I look around at my little burg of SoCal, notice all the (many) private parties, see all the kids and families crowded into the parks, playing in private leagues, see all the shoppers, the open restaurants and salons and am not seeing a large surge. Cases are flat. Hospitalizations currently flat and at the lowest level since March. I find this reassuring. That doesn’t mean a resurgence isn’t coming or we won’t see mini surges. There are plenty of susceptible still out there, but the virus seems to be finding it harder to find new hosts.
 

CutDownTheNet

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The left and the media are hyperventilating in an attempt to make people believe Covid is getting worse and causing more deaths. It is not. And soon, we’ll have therapeutics that are available to the most vulnerable and vaccines for those who choose to take it.

View attachment 9848
Deaths going sideways for the last three weeks, in spite of increasing cases. This skew between death seriousness and case seriousness is due to a couple factors:
  • We are testing more, and as we do so, we are finding a larger fraction of the infected, so that the number of infected per nominal case (the X-factor that I've called it before) is gradually going down. That means that to a certain extent, just because cases are going up, does not mean that infections are going up at the same slope.
  • Yet infections are still going up somewhat after you factor out the first point, above. That difference in slopes (between growing infections and flat deaths) is explainable by several more factors, the first being that as time goes on, the mix of people getting infected gets younger on average as younger people tend to go back to work while older people are more cautious and may hide-out more.
  • The last factor changes more slowly over time, but we are getting better treatments, gradually, as time goes on (in spite of no vaccines yet). Witness the cocktail of monoclonal antibodies that Trump received. This means that even if the first two factors stabilize over time to generate (what we're seeing now as) sideways motion in daily death rate, we can expect slight reductions in death rate over time, even with cases/infections sloping upward. Or, equivalently, if cases/infections go upwards at an even higher slope, we still might maintain sideways motion of daily deaths.
This is why I expect more-or-less sideways motion of daily deaths over the near future - possibly as long as from now to the end of the year (although any seasonal growth due to winter coming might propel the curve back upwards again).
 
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Pompous Elitist

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CDTN, how would you describe the European arc, in mathematical terms? When might the US and Europe intersect?



F80C003E-E204-43E0-8E34-3E787236012F.jpeg
 

Pompous Elitist

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> I do have to ask, has your view on this strategy changed at all given the White House outbreak?

No, not at all. If anything, this reinforces my position. The Pres gets tested, well apparently not every day but every 2-3 days (well, at least before he got infected). Having detected it within, say, about 1.5 days of infection time (along with, of course, excellent treatment) is a strong causal factor in the good result and quick recovery he had. I was earlier arguing for a somewhat expensive once-per-week testing in LTCFs. Now with cheaper and faster antibody tests, I argue for 2X per week testing. That's President caliber testing, giving you early detection, and even with normal treatment that can cut deaths in nursing homes and LTCFs by a factor of maybe 10.

> From a numbers perspective, would I be wrong to assume the higher community spread the higher the chance that the virus sneaks into a LTCF?

Absolutely, that would be true.

Since the seniors are isolated in nursing homes and LTCFs, the only vector for infecting them is new admissions plus nursing and other staff that work there. You handle the former by giving fast tests to new admissions and don't let them in unless they test negative (and retest them when they get there).

For the staff that work there, they are going in and out of the facility on a daily basis. When not there, they are either at home (interacting with family = potential sources of infection) or else out and about in public (grocery shopping and otherwise interacting with the public who are hopefully wearing masks).

The probability of a staff member being infected is thus proportional to the level of infection in the greater community. So the greater the community spread, the higher the chance that a staff member gets infected, and an infected staff member is the major source of infecting the nursing home or LTCF.

So test the staff at the same frequency of the patients and at as high a test frequency as is financially feasible. New tests will be only about $25 per test, and the claim is they will get that down to $5 eventually.

The state should just pickup that cost so that LTCFs don't have to raise their prices, and family don't have to choose between a cheaper facility in which grandma/grandpa might die sooner due to Covid, and a more expensive facility that tests adequately for Covid.
Good post, but I’d argue the average LTCF worker is very likely to be the younger, more social low hanging fruit/early infected thus removing them from the pool of susceptible earlier in a surge. The flip side is facilities are now more likely to allow yayhoo family members that upset the Apple cart/lines of defense to some extent. How to balance the desire of LTCF to see family with the need to protect the many other residents? Perhaps paying families $250day to care for their family member in their own residence would be a better strategy than paying rapacious capitalists the same to provide the very worst care anywhere.

Of course there will be exceptions on the low hanging fruit staff and testing (and moreso proper PPE and techniques) will help keep outbreaks more contained
 
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BarnBurner

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But that's the problem with the media reports of 'cases'. They'll go on and on about how cases are reaching highs that we haven't seen in months, but fail to mention how the CFR has significantly dropped. They also fail to mention how a large portion of these could be false positives, especially with asymptomatic cases. They need to keep driving the fear based narrative....
That is not the narrative to which GII subscribes.....
 

MplsGopher

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The left and the media are hyperventilating in an attempt to make people believe Covid is getting worse and causing more deaths. It is not. And soon, we’ll have therapeutics that are available to the most vulnerable and vaccines for those who choose to take it.

View attachment 9848
Once vaccines are widely available to any American who wants one, and they're proven effective, I'm fine opening the country back up.

At that point, it's your own fault if you choose not to get the vaccine.

(if you're one of the incredibly unlucky, very few who are at risk for severe illness and can't take a vaccine, I don't know what to say to you. Hopefully the virus will be eradicated from the face of the Earth, like polio)
 

MplsGopher

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There is potentially a big problem with comparing this current wave/surge to the one in spring: we weren't testing nearly enough people back then.

For all we know, the true number of people being infected in March/April was 10x (or more??) higher than the numbers we have.

If that's correct, then it would help to explain why the deaths aren't nearly as high in this fall surge, compared to spring. The other pieces are the number of older/vulnerable folks getting infected, and the availability of life-saving treatments.
 

MplsGopher

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The Gain of Function research is still a controversial thing, both here and abroad. It is a two-edged sword. On the one hand it is useful to understand the various viruses better and thereby be better equipped to make treatments and vaccines for them. On the other hand, a lab might just create something worse than black death and there is some small probability that such might escape into the wild.

The US banned GOF research for a while, and more recently unbanned it. Such research was never banned in China.

Then, of course, even if there's a (shall we say) "regular" ban on GOF research, you can still be sure that Defense related bioweapons research will carry on GOF research regardless of what public policy is. The US has bioweapons research programs, no doubt on that. So does China. Part of (not all) the Wuhan lab was run directly by the Peoples Army. That doesn't prove they were doing bioweapons research there, but if you are a gambling man, it might be a good bet.

That and a bunch of other factors (stirred in an Occam's Razor pot) are why I think that it's now more likely to be a release from the Wuhan Lab than any other explanation. But like you say, it's just a good topic for water cooler talk at this point.

I've collected a few sources in a notes file. When I get a chance, I'll try to collect them and post a summary with some links. That will enhance the water cooler talk.
I am forced to admit, yes I think it is more than zero percent likely that the US, China, and every other super power out there (Russia, EU, etc.) have a bioweapons program, at the very least to understand what the currently developed weapons are and perhaps work on antidotes for them should they ever be used.
 

KillerGopherFan

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Deaths going sideways for the last three weeks, in spite of increasing cases. This skew between death seriousness and case seriousness is due to a couple factors:
  • We are testing more, and as we do so, we are finding a larger fraction of the infected, so that the number of infected per nominal case (the X-factor that I've called it before) is gradually going down. That means that to a certain extent, just because cases are going up, does not mean that infections are going up at the same slope.
  • Yet infections are still going up somewhat after you factor out the first point, above. That difference in slopes (between growing infections and flat deaths) is explainable by several more factors, the first being that as time goes on, the mix of people getting infected gets younger on average as younger people tend to go back to work by older people are more cautious and may hide-out more.
  • The last factor changes more slowly over time, but we are getting better treatments, gradually, as time goes on (in spite of no vaccines yet). Witness the cocktail of monoclonal antibodies that Trump received. This means that even if the first two factors stabilize over time to generate (what we're seeing now as) sideways motion in daily death rate, we can expect slight reductions in death rate over time, even with cases/infections sloping upward. Or, equivalently, if cases/infections go upwards at an even higher slope, we still might maintain sideways motion of daily deaths.
This is why I expect more-or-less sideways motion of daily deaths over the near future - possibly as long as from now to the end of the year (although any seasonal growth due to winter coming might propel the curve back upwards again).
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bump up in deaths with some increases in cases. We’ve got a vast number of people that have co-morbidites, some if not many of which have brought on those co-morbidities themselves.

The general success and high standard of living in the US offers many people the opportunity to live in excess, like the excess of fast food and pleasure foods and long inactive work days that will cause co-morbidity without physical exercise. This more than other factors has contributed to the death totals.

Along with typical seasonal factors, there will probably be some increase in daily deaths until the vaccines begin availability. That is why it is shameful that the Democrats are instilling doubt in the availability of therapeutics and vaccines. They will be causing daily deaths totals to be increased and prolonged.
 

KillerGopherFan

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Once vaccines are widely available to any American who wants one, and they're proven effective, I'm fine opening the country back up.

At that point, it's your own fault if you choose not to get the vaccine.

(if you're one of the incredibly unlucky, very few who are at risk for severe illness and can't take a vaccine, I don't know what to say to you. Hopefully the virus will be eradicated from the face of the Earth, like polio)
I doubt it will be eradicated unless there is a worldwide effort to do so.
 

MennoSota

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How is India doing with their over 1 billion population in a country half the size of the US? They must be just bulldozing graves left and right.
 

Blizzard

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Hopefully the virus will be eradicated from the face of the Earth, like polio/
Umm. Polio hasn't been eradicated from the face of the earth.
 

balds

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Looks scary. As of today 12.6% of South Dakotas'a hospital beds are occupied with Covid patients and 20.6% of their ICU beds are occupied by Covid patients. Raw numbers, 304 Covid patients currently hospitalized with 60 of those in the ICU.
 

GophersInIowa

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Dr Osterholm was on at least one weekend talk show (and the nightly news tonight) saying the next 6-12 weeks will be the darkest days yet. He and IHME are predicting the fall surge will be worse than the spring. I’m not convinced ...but anything could happen.

I look around at my little burg of SoCal, notice all the (many) private parties, see all the kids and families crowded into the parks, playing in private leagues, see all the shoppers, the open restaurants and salons and am not seeing a large surge. Cases are flat. Hospitalizations currently flat and at the lowest level since March. I find this reassuring. That doesn’t mean a resurgence isn’t coming or we won’t see mini surges. There are plenty of susceptible still out there, but the virus seems to be finding it harder to find new hosts.
I think we’ll see more hospitalizations than the spring, but probably won’t get to 2k deaths a day or anything.
 

JimmyJamesMD

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Looks scary. As of today 12.6% of South Dakotas'a hospital beds are occupied with Covid patients and 20.6% of their ICU beds are occupied by Covid patients. Raw numbers, 304 Covid patients currently hospitalized with 60 of those in the ICU.
Love the scalability of graphs
 
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