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Help the Fight Against COVID-19

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Donnie B.

Experienced
the milder "S" or the more deadly "L".
If you note the dates on most of the articles talking about two strains, they are usually 2-3 weeks old.
I just googled both the CDC and WHO sites and there's nothing about it making any headlines.
Also hasn't been brought up or asked about in the daily briefings by NYC or DC.
 

GlennO

Experienced
Fourth day with new infections rate going down in Italy
This has been reported in the Italian press in the past couple of days, but it turns out to not be true. Yes, the numbers this week look encouraging compared to the numbers from last week, but no, the number of new infections has not gone down 4 days in a row. From worldometers.info:

During the press conference, Protezione Civile officials were asked to clarify what the "change in active cases" ("incremento delle persone attualmente positive") really represents, after our website had raised the issue of Italian media reporting the change in active cases (a lower number) rather than the change in total cases (a higher number), incorrectly representing it as "newly infected" when, in fact, it represents the "change in active cases"

Newly infected, meaning the number of people who have tested positive to the virus in the last day, corresponds to the number Worldometer has always reported, which is the change in total cases in accordance with the international standards set by the WHO and followed by all countries. An important figure which can be compared to newly recovered, as we do in our charts.

The change in active cases (what most Italian media incorrectly label as "newly infected") is the result of the following formula: (newly infected) - (new deaths) - (new recoveries).
 

Toopy14

Fractal Fanatic
This has been reported in the Italian press in the past couple of days, but it turns out to not be true. Yes, the numbers this week look encouraging compared to the numbers from last week, but no, the number of new infections has not gone down 4 days in a row. From worldometers.info:
Italy's new cases;

March 19-20, new cases 5,986
March 20-21, new cases 6,557
March 21-22, new cases 5,560
March 22-23, new cases 4,789

March 23-24, new cases ‭5,249‬
March 24-25, new cases 5,210
 

creativespiral

Inspired
Very true. The problem is, different countries have different ideas of what a critical/serious case" is, or differ in their ability to find critical cases, and some countries don't report it at all. Deaths on the other hand are universally understood (although there is still some ambiguity about attributing a death to COVID-19) and almost all countries report that. The sad fact is, that's pretty much the only worldwide statistic that holds up to close scrutiny at the moment, especially in the US where testing has been so poorly administered.

View attachment 65427
Yeah, the deaths curve gives good information as well... though, I would still contend that "Serious/Critical Cases" curve gives the most actionable intelligence for how things are looking on a day to day basis, and how our actions are affecting Covid-19. With deaths, we may take an action (quarantine/lockdown), but the results of that action may not be evident in the curve for 10-20 days after the action is taken... because of timing between contracting the virus and death. With Serious/Critical cases, that delay until action meets updated information on the curve is less... ie: we may take an action (quarantine/lockdown), and within 5-10 days we may see the curve of critical/serious cases ease. That is the primary reason I would say its the "best curve" to monitor on a day-to-day basis to understand the causality of our actions to deadly effects of the virus.

You are right that for both the critical/serious cases, and the deaths reported that there is variance from country to country. But we can't have perfect data in a rapidly changing situation like this... so we have to evaluate which data gives "slightly better" situational awareness. Deaths curve and Critical/Serious are definitely preferable to total cases.
 

hippietim

Fractal Fanatic
Sorry, but wherever you got this info is incorrect. If there was even a hint that the virus was airborne we'd know by now. And not just via
the internet. No more daily briefings. No more live cable news. No more grocery stores and gas stations open. Normal radio stations
would have signed off. You would see zero traffic on the highways except for emergency hazmat vehicles and not a single country
would be reporting lulls in new cases - which we'd only be hearing over AM emergency broadcast stations. And the infected numbers
would be in the tens of millions by now.

In the entire history of recorded medicine only one virus has ever been discovered to infect via airborne transmission - the measles.
Trust me, it is not aerosol. You simply can not believe half the stuff you read these days.
New England Journal of Medicine:
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2004973

National Institute of Health:
https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/new-coronavirus-stable-hours-surfaces
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
The WHO has been as incompetent as the various governments in this whole thing but today they actually said the right things:

WHO Press Briefing:

"We understand that countries are trying to assess when and how they will be able to ease these measures.

The answer depends on what countries do while these population-wide measures are in place.

Asking people to stay at home and shutting down population movement is buying time and reducing the pressure on health systems, but on their own, these measures will not extinguish the epidemics.

The point of these actions is to enable the more precise and targeted measures that are needed to stop transmission and save lives. We call on all countries that have introduced so-called "lockdown" measures to use this time to attack the virus. You have created a second window of opportunity. The question is: how will you use it? There are 6 key actions that we recommend:

1. expand, train, and deploy your health care and public health workforce

2. implement a system to find every suspected case at the community level

3. rump up production capacity and availability of testing

4. identify, adapt, and equipt facilities you will use to treat patients

5. develop a clear plan and process to quarantine contacts

6. refocus the whole of government on suppressing and controlling COVID-19

These measures are the best way to suppress and stop transmission so that when restrictions are lifted, the virus doesn't resurge.

The last thing any country needs is to reopen schools and businesses only to be forced to close them again because of a resurgence"
 

Donnie B.

Experienced
Tim, those tests are checking the viability of the virus when dispersed via an aerosol propellant.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerosol_spray

A sneeze or cough is in no way the same thing. I mean they are for a very short period of time
until gravity takes over and the mucus spray drops to a surface(s).
 

Hamsworld

Member
A lot of people here in Germany are again stunned and shocked about the latest statements from your gouverment. It´s like fighting fire with gasoline. It makes things worse even for other countries.
 

Dr. Dipwad

Experienced
Hmm.

The last thing any country needs is to reopen schools and businesses only to be forced to close them again because of a resurgence"
There's a certain, very qualified, sense in which I think that's wrong. (Possibly not the sense they meant it; so I'm going for clarity.)

It is certainly true that, by implementing social distancing and shelter-in-place, we are buying ourselves time.

But, time for what? Well, several things. Items 1-5, to be sure:
1. expand, train, and deploy your health care and public health workforce
2. implement a system to find every suspected case at the community level
3. rump up production capacity and availability of testing
4. identify, adapt, and equipt facilities you will use to treat patients
5. develop a clear plan and process to quarantine contacts
But we have to remember that a severe depression, if we're dumb enough to talk ourselves into one, will indirectly kill hundreds of thousands of persons annually. Economic downturns hurt. Unemployment really hurts. The memorable movie quote about this is here: ...between 2min 25sec and 2min 57sec. (The exact number may not be correct; there's no way to know; but it's something like that, something in that order of magnitude.)

If we go back to work, we kill people via coronavirus.

If we don't go back to work, we kill people via economic damage that's every bit as deadly, but not as visibly measurable.

So it's a balancing act. But we're operating on incomplete data, right? This means that decision-makers (and please, folks, remember, that's going to be state governors more than feds, since the latter are too distant from facts-on-the-ground) will sometimes guess too high, and other times guess too low. They're going to constantly guess wrong, either way, and then adjust week-by-week.

It will be safe in the aggregate, for healthy, fit persons from 20 to 35 years-of-age to re-enter public and start socializing, provided they only socialize with persons in that same group, and are not living with persons of less-safe groups.

By "safe in the aggregate" I mean: Some 0.1% of those people will get it and die; but the rest will be keeping the economy from crashing and indirectly killing a thousand times as many. It sucks, but that's the truth.

So this is where the balancing act gets tricky. Is 20-years-old the correct low end? Is 35 the correct high end? I don't know.

How soon do you start allowing such select groups back in? I don't know.

The state and local officials will make judgment calls. Some will be too optimistic, some will be too pessimistic.

The result is that some of them will get resurgences, and close down again.

That's what we should expect if they are playing the game as well as it can be played, since they can't play it perfectly on the first try with inadequate information.

If we don't see that, here and there, it means everyone's erring on the side of caution ...which sounds great until you remember all the indirect "hidden" deaths that'll cause over the next year.

There is no nice, convenient, pat answer here. It's an imperfect world.

That's the sense in which I disagree that "the last" thing we need is...yadda, yadda.

We want to not see much of that, it's true.

But if we don't see it happen here and there, then the whole country's probably killing more people than necessary.

P.S. I don't suppose there's any way I can say the above ^^^ and not have someone want to jump down my esophagus with their hair on fire. Sorry to stir up a hornet's nest. But I felt it important to state, however baldly, that we're comparing one death count against another. Everybody agrees you don't give up lives for dollars. But everybody should also agree that economic crashes don't just cost dollars, but also lives.

Still, remember: Testing will be increasing daily. Serum antibody tests will start to show folk who've already had it and recovered. THOSE folks are safe to go back to work...and it's NOT safe (economically) for them not to. Age ranges (like the straw-man suggestion I offered above) are just an inaccurate proxy or substitute for what we really want, which is: "Tell me who it's safe to send back, and get them back in public as fast as possible." The serum-antibody tests will be the gold standard...at least, within a given year, before the virus mutates enough to reinfect.

So, as the original WHO statement said: We're buying time.

I could foresee an app which allows doctors to register patients as having been tested and found to have had COVID-19 and recovered. They could then get an app with a QR code which could be scanned at bars, workplaces, etc., to allow them back into public.

Will it happen? Depends on how fast the timeline plays out. We might all be back to work before someone even comes up with such an app.
 
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GlennO

Experienced
A lot of people here in Germany are again stunned and shocked about the latest statements from your gouverment. It´s like fighting fire with gasoline. It makes things worse even for other countries.
You're talking about the US federal government? I wouldn't worry about that. Aside from providing economic stimulus, the US federal government has been reduced to almost complete irrelevance in this crisis. The CDC is no longer providing test results, is no longer doing press briefings, and has delegated testing to other organizations. The federal global pandemic office has been eliminated. Almost all measures to combat the spread of the virus have been implemented by state and local governments. The person speaking at the podium of the daily federal press briefing isn't involved in fighting COVID-19, so there's no need to be stunned or shocked by anything they say.
 
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FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Hundreds of thousands is a lot less than tens of millions. All evidence points to fatalities of tens, if not hundreds, of millions. People are massively underestimating the lethality of this disease. It's a SARS coronavirus. Those types of viruses are nothing to sneeze at, pardon the pun. They attack your lungs and kill you with astounding efficiency.
 

hippietim

Fractal Fanatic
Tim, those tests are checking the viability of the virus when dispersed via an aerosol propellant.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerosol_spray

A sneeze or cough is in no way the same thing. I mean they are for a very short period of time
until gravity takes over and the mucus spray drops to a surface(s).
I understand the distinction. In a normal environment with human propellants, it's certainly less than 3 hours. We've all seen the mist of a sneeze or cough linger - is it seconds, minutes, or hours - I don't know? The point is simply that it is not zero so be careful.
 
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