COVID-19 Discussion (No Politics)

There were some states in some regions of the country that somehow didn’t seem to have learned the lessons that could have been learned or should have been learned when New York City and other big cities got hit. And that is to do some fundamental public health measures. I want to really be explicit about this, because whenever I talk about simple things like uniform wearing of masks, keeping physical distance, avoiding crowds (particularly indoors), doing things outdoors to the extent possible with the weather, and washing hands frequently, that doesn’t mean shutting down the country. You can still have a considerable amount of leeway for business, for economic recovery, if you just do those simple things. But what we’re seeing, unfortunately, is a very disparate response to that. And that inevitably leads to the kind of surges that we see now.

But I have to tell you, Elisabeth, I was stunned by the fact that in certain areas of the country, even though the devastation of the outbreak is clear, some people are still saying it’s fake news. That is a very difficult thing to get over. Why people still insist that something that’s staring you right in the face is not real.

Zero leadership.

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I also see a slight inflection point in a few states I follow more closely and hope that it continues. It’s a glimmer of hope. But may be short lived. Unfortunately, people see we have flattened a curve and then let up. We need to crush the curve. Bury it.

Thanksgiving worries me. I just don’t think enough people who will override their wants of gathering and sacrifice the time together with what we need. In addition, with many college kids heading home and finishing the semester remotely, I fear a dark December. The virus is everywhere now, not focused in pockets. Outbreaks are all over. It’s partially just random timing where a new fire will spread.

It also ticks me off we are in apparently in leadership limbo (if not all out negligence) for the next 2 months.

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18 deaths today, but hey some hospital beds opened up

:persevere:

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Maybe someone smarter than me can comment on this study (looking at you DataUte and UtahFanSir):
Danish Mask Study

With regard to the Danish Mask Study, I have a few thoughts:

  • The difference cited between the control group and experimental group is that the exp group was encouraged to wear masks in addition to social distancing when outside, the control group was only encouraged to social distance.

  • There was not a statistically significant difference found. In layman’s terms, there is not enough evidence from this study to claim that encouraging mask wearing (in the presence of social distancing) vs. not encouraging mask wearing affects the likelihood of contracting the disease.

  • No-maskers might be inclined to point at this study to back up their claims of “masks don’t make a difference”. This is a fallacy. The study doesn’t compare mask wearers vs. non mask wearers. It compares those who are encouraged to wear a mask vs. those who are not encouraged to wear a mask. There was no reported attempt to verify if people actually wore masks or not.

  • In today’s world, it would be foolish to assume that the participants would have no other influences relevant to the study. To assume that the control group (not encouraged to wear masks) had no chance of hearing from other sources that they should wear a mask for protection is quite a leap. If you are trying to determine whether encouragement to wear a mask prevents you from getting Covid, doesn’t it make sense to ensure those in the “not encouraged to wear a mask” group don’t get encouragement from some other source?

I am not terribly impressed with this study. The whole point of a designed experiment is to control all groups with respect to the variable being studied. In this case, the variable being studied is the mask recommendation. If no effort is made to prevent that recommendation from other sources, then what is the point?

I hope The Salling Foundations, who funded this study, didn’t pay a lot.

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ditto. Good analysis. Holes all over the approach, analysis, and conclusions you can make based off of them. Closer to click-bait science.

This was aimed at looking if recommendations made a difference (from what I can tell - not if they actually did wear a mask - those that were recommended to wear one could not if they chose and those that were not recommended could wear one if they chose). Stated in the limitations: “no assessment of whether masks could decrease disease transmission from mask wearers to others.” So you can’t really say anything on whether masks work or not from this study - the only intervention was to recommend them to wear a mask (and a few other instructions on how, etc.). And even then, there was no statistical significance (although they claim that you could still infer something).

Although the two groups were randomly assigned, the group was not randomly selected. They recruited through ads and private and public companies. So there could be a self selection bias of the population they started with.

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Also, both social distanced. That is a key point. Since aerosol transmission is primarily how Covid19 spreads, social distancing is paramount. Better if not best to completely avoid confined space (think your home at Thanksgiving). A box store is fine, wear a mask, keep distance. A closed in bar, no. If everyone wore a mask inside, assuming the room had adequate ventilation, that minimizes contracting Covid19 and transmitting it. It does not prevent it. Not precisely getting the point of the study. Wear a frickin’ mask, exercise social distancing, avoid closed in spaces with inadequate ventilation. Even when I am with someone outside, I keep 8 feet of space between us, and I wear a mask.

See the link above to Anthony Fauci’s comments. He addresses this in detail.

Thanks for posting and for DataUte’s reply.

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7 funerals and a wedding

This I’ll fated wedding in Maine in August with 55 people in attendance has led to 177 infections and 7 deaths.

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Some encouraging news:

Immunity to the coronavirus may last years, new research suggests

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/immunity-to-the-coronavirus-may-last-years-new-research-suggests/

I hate that its Huffington Post, but this short article addresses (based on a Lancet Journal article) something we all have asked about at one point or another.

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4,588 cases today. 17 deaths, 533 current hospitalizations

Stay safe everyone

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The only good news is that the percentage of positive tests has started to trend downward. But that’s grasping at straws, really.

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At this rate the remaining 3 million of us Utahns who haven’t had it already will all be infected within the next 150 days.

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Covid19 Update, November 21. US hospitalizations are surging, now 82,178. They are increasing at an average of 3,600 per day in the last seven days. Increased hospitalizations lead to higher recorded daily deaths, averaging 1,510 per day for the last seven and exceeding 2,000 on November 19 for the first time in months. New daily infections look like the rising flame end of a rocket headed to Mars, now over 12 million infections and yesterday breaking 200,000 new daily reported cases at 203,239. At the present rate of new infections, only 5 to 6 days are needed for each new 1 million new cases. We have turned a corner.

Here are a series of annotated charts showing that "we’re working on mass distribution of the virus,” given the corner we have turned.

The EU appears to have turned a corner. The US, not so much. I think we are seeing space now, stars, black skies. A corner has been turned.

CoVid19 Top 10 Deaths Country Nov 21

Significant revision and updating to the WorldoMeter data returns the US to the Top 10 in global Covid19 mortality. In a major remix since Wednesday, the US joins six European and three South American countries in this distinguished fraternity.

What we think we know:

Everything is rising and at an accelerated rate. A corner has been turned.

What we think we know and a forward look:

Even as more testing leads to more reported infections, the flawed straight across mortality rates declines at 0.02% per day, now at 2.14%. However, higher infections leads to higher hospitalizations leads to higher daily reported mortality. IHME made a significant upward revision to mortality for January 1st to nearly 340,000. My model also features higher mortality on January 1st of over 330,000. A corner has been turned.

Modeling to support the forward view.

Note the significant revision in the model toward higher Covid19 infections and subsequent mortality. See the modeled plateau in December for new infections, which may end up being another corner (not) turned.

Mortality:

The first chart in this series shows daily mortality – a lagging indicator – plotted against daily hospitalizations 14-days prior. The first trend to mid-June (red) features the steep learning curve by the medical community in treating Covid19 and saving lives. The mid-June to November trend (blue) features a nearly linear trend where mortality is related to degree of hospitalizations. The last seven days are shown in yellow data points. Note the steady and growing daily increase in hospitalizations, remembering that these seven days are two weeks prior. The current hospitalizations are over 82,000 and likely will lead to 2,000 and higher daily deaths over the next two weeks.

The second and third charts show different perspectives on mortality rate (MR). See the annotations.

A corner has been turned…into the dark end of the street. We are so lucky to have great leadership.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/health/covid-race-mortality-rate/

This coming week, be thankful for all we enjoy. If you are willing, please also take time to morn those who we have lost this year, and honor those front line warriors who are stressed to the maximum working to get us healthy and save lives. Consider giving them a break. They need it. Do what is best for We The People, help a brotha’ out.

We can turn a corner. We can respect other human beings, our fellow Americans, our community, by wearing a mask and observing appropriate social distancing protocol.

Be safe, stay safe.

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When the hospital first faced the pandemic in the spring, “I was buoyed by the realization that everyone in America was doing their part to slow down the spread,” Johnson says. “Now I know friends of mine are going about their normal lives, having parties and dinners, and playing sports indoors. It’s very difficult to do this work when we know so many people are not doing their part.” The drive home from the packed hospital takes him past rows of packed restaurants, sporting venues, and parking lots.

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Hold on to hope. Stay safe and well until this becomes part of our lives.

In the State of Utah last week, the # of deaths from COVID-19 put it on on equal pace with the #1 cause of death in the State in 2019 - heart disease.

That’s right, Utahns, COVID-19 is now tied for the #1 cause of death in the State of Utah (from a certain point of view).

Stay safe this Thanksgiving because that means it’s probably going to get a lot higher and become the #1 cause of death by a fair margin.

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Interesting article.

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