On Lockdown

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Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

"Initially I downplayed the increase in cases as simply a byproduct of increased testing"

That explanation was a calculated, orchestrated lie promoted by Republican leaders, beginning with the president. It was easy to disprove immediately, by looking at the increase in the percentage of positive results rather than the increase in the total number of positives. This was immediately pointed out to the administration, but they and their surrogates continued to repeat their lie.

The US is now an extreme outlier relative with respect to most of the rest of the world, clustering with a few other countries whose leaders behaved similarly to Trump. So if you are looking for real infomation, I think you should completely ignore anything that the current US administration says.

There has also been bad info from WHO.

I think the contact-tracing studies such as the ones I've mentioned here are the best sources of information about the mechanisms and risks of contagion.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 6:52 pm
"Initially I downplayed the increase in cases as simply a byproduct of increased testing"

That explanation was a calculated, orchestrated lie promoted by Republican leaders, beginning with the president. It was easy to disprove immediately, by looking at the increase in the percentage of positive results rather than the increase in the total number of positives. This was immediately pointed out to the administration, but they and their surrogates continued to repeat their lie.

The US is now an extreme outlier relative with respect to most of the rest of the world, clustering with a few other countries whose leaders behaved similarly to Trump. So if you are looking for real infomation, I think you should completely ignore anything that the current US administration says.

There has also been bad info from WHO.

I think the contact-tracing studies such as the ones I've mentioned here are the best sources of information about the mechanisms and risks of contagion.
I was hoping for some real info rather than politics. Personally I don't believe anything until I filter and analyze it, and preferably only when it has additional corroboration. The "increased testing" hypothesis did seem reasonable, especially when the number of deaths was still dropping, but now I am not so sure.

So, any real info? Mechanisms and risks of contagion are another (nearly orthogonal) subject entirely. Are we seeing a "second wave", and how bad is it? I honestly don't know what data to trust.

Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

The "increased testing" hypothesis did seem reasonable, especially when the number of deaths was still dropping, but now I am not so sure.
The increase in the positive test rate is fairly widely reported, for most states. Now, as you say, the death rate (after the expected time lag) is also going up again. I'm confused by your uncertainty.

Sorry about my language above, but I don't think it is "politics" to call out deliberate spreading of misinformation on this subject by this administration.

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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:20 pm
The "increased testing" hypothesis did seem reasonable, especially when the number of deaths was still dropping, but now I am not so sure.
The increase in the positive test rate is fairly widely reported, for most states. Now, as you say, the death rate (after the expected time lag) is also going up again. I'm confused by your uncertainty.

Sorry about my language above, but I don't think it is "politics" to call out deliberate spreading of misinformation on this subject by this administration.
The news reports all state that the death rate is now "surging". I don't see this in the data. I see a slowly-growing "blip" compared with the previous peak, and only in a few locales. There certainly seem to be a couple places where the growth is worse, such as AZ, but overall I don't see any data that would give me a lot of concern over re-opening. In fact I'd say "we won" based on the data, yet folks are panicking and cowering (again).

Any time political subjects are mentioned, unless it is to say "so and so said this, and that is not true based on this" where there is actual scientific proof that what was said was incorrect, then this is just another political statement.

Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

"so and so said this, and that is not true based on this" describes what I said.

I can't speak to whether we should be worried or not, but there is now a fairly rapid rate of increase in the percentage of positive cases. If we were "winning", then the percent would be decreasing. These tests are for active infection, not for antibodies. We would expect the percent of people testing positive for antibodies to slowly rise as the virus goes through the population. We should not expect the percent of active cases per capita to go up at all; it would be going down if we were winning. And the final proof that something is wrong is the new increase in death rates.

The US curve looks very unlike that of the countries which have this thing under control.

Edit: Here is a source of percent change of rate of positive results, per state. Some states are fine, others not so good. It does look like there is a lot of noise in the data. A week or so should clarify the situation considerably
https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/tracker/overview

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:35 pm
"so and so said this, and that is not true based on this" describes what I said.
You forgot the most important part..."where there is actual scientific proof that what was said was incorrect". Your "percentage of positive results" narrative does not scientifically support the claim.
Lou Jost wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:35 pm
I can't speak to whether we should be worried or not, but there is now a fairly rapid rate of increase in the percentage of positive cases. If we were "winning", then the percent would be decreasing.


Let me remind you that the goal of the shutdown was to "flatten the curve". As Cuomo said, "we crushed the curve". Increase in cases and deaths is inevitable as we come out of shutdown, but as long as the peak doesn't bump up higher than the original peak(which it does not appear to be doing by any measure), we win. We beat it for now.

Unfortunately we don't know what will happen when the cold/flu season arrives. It may be that the virus has already burned through the susceptible population, but I do expect many more to die when winter hits. It's an unfortunate but inevitable outcome of the season.
Lou Jost wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:35 pm
Edit: Here is a source of percent change of rate of positive results, per state. Some states are fine, others not so good. It does look like there is a lot of noise in the data. A week or so should clarify the situation considerably
https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/tracker/overview
Thanks for that link but I find the data less than useful. It is just data, with no information.

Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

Your "percentage of positive results" narrative does not scientifically support the claim.


Trump, Pence, and their co-conspirators claimed that the surge in new cases was just due to increased testing.

This was disproven immediately by the fact that, in many places, it was not just the number of cases that was increasing, but the percentage of tested people who were testing positive. This indicates the infection rate in the population really is increasing.

"Flattening the curve" means the rate of increase of infections is decreasing.
Thanks for that link but I find the data less than useful. It is just data, with no information.
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree here. The site gives the percentage of tested people who test positive, state by state. The way that number changes is closely related to R_0, which is a key number.
"Increase in cases and deaths is inevitable as we come out of shutdown, but as long as the peak doesn't bump up higher than the original peak(which it does not appear to be doing by any measure), we win. We beat it for now."
Look at NY's curve compared to that of the rest of the US. "Winning" isn't just flattening the curve. Keeping the daily death toll near the peak value for any length of time would kill millions of Americans. "Winning" means doing what NY has done, make the curve drop to an acceptable level. I can't say what level is acceptable, but much of the rest of the world seems to have achieved a level which is allowing cautious re-opening of their economies while keeping R_0 well under unity.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:51 am
Your "percentage of positive results" narrative does not scientifically support the claim.


Trump, Pence, and their co-conspirators claimed that the surge in new cases was just due to increased testing.

This was disproven immediately by the fact that, in many places, it was not just the number of cases that was increasing, but the percentage of tested people who were testing positive. This indicates the infection rate in the population really is increasing.
Late breaking news is that the Florida labs are inflating the positivity numbers. The report is just a few minutes old, so not yet verified:

"Countless labs have reported a 100 percent positivity rate, which means every single person tested was positive. Other labs had very high positivity rates. FOX 35 found that testing sites like Centra Care reported that 83 people were tested and all tested positive. Then, NCF Diagnostics in Alachua reported 88 percent of tests were positive.

"How could that be? FOX 35 News investigated these astronomical numbers, contacting every local location mentioned in the report.

"The report showed that Orlando Health had a 98 percent positivity rate. However, when FOX 35 News contacted the hospital, they confirmed errors in the report. Orlando Health’s positivity rate is only 9.4 percent, not 98 percent as in the report."
Lou Jost wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:51 am
"Flattening the curve" means the rate of increase of infections is decreasing.
Nope. It means reducing the peak number of folks who needed hospitalization and ventilators so that the health system would not be overloaded. Nothing to do with rate of increase of infections, just reducing the peak number, which we did. Curve flattened. Job done.
Lou Jost wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:51 am
Look at NY's curve compared to that of the rest of the US. "Winning" isn't just flattening the curve. Keeping the daily death toll near the peak value for any length of time would kill millions of Americans. "Winning" means doing what NY has done, make the curve drop to an acceptable level. I can't say what level is acceptable, but much of the rest of the world seems to have achieved a level which is allowing cautious re-opening of their economies while keeping R_0 well under unity.
But all the shutdowns were supposed to do was flatten the curve. We did that. We won. Even if the curve goes as high as before, we still won because that is far lower than the many more who would have died had we let the virus peak naturally, completely overloading the system.

The "curve flattening" doesn't change the total number of folks who will get the virus (ie the area under the curve). In fact it was SUPPOSED to spread the infections over time, and thus a natural outcome is that when the shutdowns are lifted, another peak will occur. Can't be avoided, no matter how long we stay shut down.

Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

"Countless labs have reported a 100 percent positivity rate..."

(Note, this is not Ray making the claim, but Ray quoting a news agency making the claim). "Countless" labs should raise red flags. The story goes on to cite exactly one such case. Maybe there are others, I don't know. But it is certainly possible that lab reports can be mistaken, and you are right to be skeptical to a certain degree. Might there be a roughly equal number of mistakes in the opposite direction?


You say that flattening the curve has nothing to do with the rate of infection:
Nothing to do with rate of increase of infections, just reducing the peak number
I am sure you know that the rate of infection is the slope of the curve. The only way to reduce the peak number is to lower the slope as the peak is approached. This is just math.
"But all the shutdowns were supposed to do was flatten the curve. We did that. We won. Even if the curve goes as high as before, we still won because that is far lower than the many more who would have died had we let the virus peak naturally, completely overloading the system."
Flattening the curve was the immediate goal, to prevent overloading the health system. The ultimate goal was to lower the curve enough that people felt safe to return to work and live their lives. The stated goal of the administration in the early days was to limit total covid deaths this year to 100k or preferably 60k. No one would think "we won" if the curve had leveled out at its peak of about 3000 deaths per day. In one year that would kill a million Americans.
The "curve flattening" doesn't change the total number of folks who will get the virus
Right. That's why flattening the curve is not sufficient. Look at any sensible country's curve compared to those of the US or Brazil. Or look at NY. Their curves have gone down to levels far below peak levels. That's the final goal.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:03 am
"Countless labs have reported a 100 percent positivity rate..."

(Note, this is not Ray making the claim, but Ray quoting a news agency making the claim). "Countless" labs should raise red flags. The story goes on to cite exactly one such case. Maybe there are others, I don't know. But it is certainly possible that lab reports can be mistaken, and you are right to be skeptical to a certain degree. Might there be a roughly equal number of mistakes in the opposite direction?
Could be but that would depend on the "why" of the false reporting.

I did just read that there were 22 labs which reported 100% positivity. Now THAT is something to raise red flags for sure, and that's apparently why the news people looked into it.
Lou Jost wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:03 am
You say that flattening the curve has nothing to do with the rate of infection:
I am sure you know that the rate of infection is the slope of the curve. The only way to reduce the peak number is to lower the slope as the peak is approached. This is just math.
Yes, of course, but that's not the rate of infection you're talking about, is it? If it is, then we won long ago. I think you're talking about the current rate. Only time I remember the "decreasing slope" being discussed was regarding the timing of the reopening. As I remember the criteria was set such that the slopes needed to decrease over a 2-week period, and then the phased reopening could begin.
Lou Jost wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:03 am
Flattening the curve was the immediate goal, to prevent overloading the health system. The ultimate goal was to lower the curve enough that people felt safe to return to work and live their lives. The stated goal of the administration in the early days was to limit total covid deaths this year to 100k or preferably 60k. No one would think "we won" if the curve had leveled out at its peak of about 3000 deaths per day. In one year that would kill a million Americans.
Unfortunately, this virus has created a lot of unnecessary fear in the population, so it may be a very long time until people feel safe again. Should we all just cower in our houses until then? Reminds me of the Pax.

I agree that if there were still 3000 deaths per day, that would be bad, but that's not where we are, so it is irrelevant.
Lou Jost wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:03 am
The "curve flattening" doesn't change the total number of folks who will get the virus
Right. That's why flattening the curve is not sufficient. Look at any sensible country's curve compared to those of the US or Brazil. Or look at NY. Their curves have gone down to levels far below peak levels. That's the final goal.
Our curves are far below the peak values, so we met the goal, we win!

Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

Unfortunately, this virus has created a lot of unnecessary fear in the population, so it may be a very long time until people feel safe again. Should we all just cower in our houses until then? Reminds me of the Pax.
No, we should take reasonable precautions. Other countries have done it and have reduced the risk enough to make people feel safe. The US and Brazil are among the very few countries which have failed, probbaly because many Americans still refuse to take reasonable precautions, and also because there has not been uniform federal guidance. .
I agree that if there were still 3000 deaths per day, that would be bad, but that's not where we are, so it is irrelevant.
It IS relevant; you claimed that it was enough to flatten the curve.
Our curves are far below the peak values, so we met the goal, we win!
Except that they are now rising again.

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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:20 pm
No, we should take reasonable precautions. Other countries have done it and have reduced the risk enough to make people feel safe. The US and Brazil are among the very few countries which have failed, probbaly because many Americans still refuse to take reasonable precautions, and also because there has not been uniform federal guidance.
Yes, I agree. Masks and temperature checks should be ubiquitous until well into next year, assuming the deaths continue to rise. But I see no reason for more draconian shutdown protocols as long as the death rates stay within previous bounds.
Lou Jost wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:20 pm
I agree that if there were still 3000 deaths per day, that would be bad, but that's not where we are, so it is irrelevant.
It IS relevant; you claimed that it was enough to flatten the curve.
Everyone expected that "flattening the curve" meant that the peak would be pushed out in time, and reduced in amplitude. The graphs to explain it to the masses were ubiquitous just before the shutdowns. I did not see any early discussion about how we would determine if we had passed the peak (I either missed it or was not privy), but I suppose the 2-week slope reduction criteria put in place around the time of the peak(s) was reasonable to identify the peaks and to trigger the reopening. Without the slope reduction, ie if the deaths had continued at 3000 per day, we'd still be shut down, and worse. We would not have "flattened the curve", and we would have lost. Luckily that is not the case.

Still, everyone expected a secondary peak after reopening. How could it not happen? The models predicted it. Your criteria that even upon reopening the slopes must continue to drop is not reasonable or achievable.
Lou Jost wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 12:20 pm
Our curves are far below the peak values, so we met the goal, we win!
Except that they are now rising again.
So what? It was predicted to happen, so let it happen. Don't freak out about something that was expected and accepted. All that will do is stoke more fear and prolong the collateral damage.

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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

Still, everyone expected a secondary peak after reopening. How could it not happen? The models predicted it. Your criteria that even upon reopening the slopes must continue to drop is not reasonable or achievable.
Do you not see that the US is an outlier? Look at the curves from other countries. Look at Belgium for example. New daily cases are a tiny fraction of what they were at peak. The cumulative curve of total deaths is flat. The latter is true for most European countries.
So what? It was predicted to happen, so let it happen. Don't freak out about something that was expected and accepted. All that will do is stoke more fear and prolong the collateral damage.
The kind of resurgence we are seeing now in the US is not inevitable. Just look at the curves from other countries.

At the very least we should freak out enough to begin taking preventive measures seriously.

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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:23 pm
Do you not see that the US is an outlier? Look at the curves from other countries. Look at Belgium for example. New daily cases are a tiny fraction of what they were at peak. The cumulative curve of total deaths is flat. The latter is true for most European countries.
So what? It was predicted to happen, so let it happen. Don't freak out about something that was expected and accepted. All that will do is stoke more fear and prolong the collateral damage.
The kind of resurgence we are seeing now in the US is not inevitable. Just look at the curves from other countries.

At the very least we should freak out enough to begin taking preventive measures seriously.
I don't care about what other countries are doing, Lou. They have different laws and can do things differently than we can, and that's not to say they can do them better.

I do agree on the preventive measures issue, though we need to stay within our Constitution. You can't force Americans to do some of the things that are routine in other countries. If that results in a higher death rate, so be it.

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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Smokedaddy »

Not that it's relevant but Intel Fab 42 has been going strong here in Chandler Az., 6-10's+ has been pretty typical for the last year but work is slowing down but not because of COVID.

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