On Lockdown

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Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

It's probably a "better safe than sorry" approach and I know NZ took a similar approach.
It is worth noting that in spite of this expansive definition of covid-caused deaths, NZ has succeeded in bringing this number down to near zero now, thanks to reasonable science-driven policies. In the end, this was the best approach not only for its people but also for its economy. In contrast, US daily deaths (by whatever measure) are approaching and in some places surpassing the daily deaths (by the same measure) at the virus' first peak. Brazil is even worse. These two outlier countries, the US and Brazil, have taken a strikingly similar and strikingly unusual approach to controling the virus, and it should be clear now that this kind of approach does not work as well as the less politicized, more transparent and science-driven approaches of most other developed countries.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

kaleun96 wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:36 am
ray_parkhurst wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:59 am
but indeed we don't know the actual overcounting number.
But as I say, it's not really important at this time. Whether it's 5% or 10% of the total doesn't change the fact that some states are doing far worse this month than they were last month. It will inflate the mortality rate for those that count in this fashion but given the diverse methods for recording COVID-19 statistics across the globe we're going to end up with an average that's probably a close approximation.
...
You can rationalize the data, but these stories about overcounting of some stats and undercounting of others, all pushing in the direction of the shutdown narrative, has the effect of undermining the public trust. Those who already believe we should stay shut down until the virus is completely eradicated, and that anyone not wearing a mask should be severely punished, likely don't have issue with the overcount since it supports their agenda. But those who are doubtful of whether we should have shut down at all, and that question the efficacy of masks to stop the spread of a virus that is only somewhat more deadly than a bad flu, are seeing the overcount as just one more reason to doubt.

As Rik pointed out earlier, we tend to listen to the people that we trust. Unfortunately, there has been so much mishandling of this pandemic that there is no one I trust: Trump? Fauci? the CDC or WHO? Johns Hopkins? All have given us demonstrably false and misleading narratives. It's somewhat understandable since the virus was "novel" and it was unknown how it would spread and who it would kill, and unfortunately while we do have more data on it now, those questions are still open. I think the Fog of War is still an apt sentiment.

Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

All have given us demonstrably false and misleading narratives.
I'm afraid you are right about most of that (I don't know about John Hopkins, but the rest yes). That's why it is so important to look at other countries and actually see what works and what doesn't. Earlier you said you don't care about what happens in those other countries, but we have a lot to learn from real examples. There are many countries that seem, at least at this moment, to be in good shape. Some of these countries, like NZ, have high transparency, and we can be confident that their success is real. These countries can show us what is effective. There are also many failures, though few are so bad as the US and Brazil. We can see what those have in common and we can conclude that, independent of what we may think about their politics, their approach does not work. This can help cut through the "fog of war".

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

The recent stories about the 6 "types" of CoViD-19 seems interesting. It highlights combinations of symptoms of increasing severity. Most interesting to me is that the lowest form, "flu-like", comes without a fever, and this means at least some percentage of folks would not be caught by temperature measurements but could still be contagious. They do have cough, so are identifiable externally, and they do have loss of smell (such a weird symptom!) so they would know they had it. In fact every one of the types includes loss of smell, so indeed a public education message to tell folks if they lose their sense of smell, they should self-quarantine, seems prudent.

Interestingly there is no correlation of these "types" to any strains of the virus. Would be useful to know the geographical and demographic aspects of these types as well, so that targeted messaging could be given. Isn't this the sort of thing the CDC and WHO should be doing?

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus- ... t-12030652

Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

this means at least some percentage of folks would not be caught by temperature measurements but could still be contagious.
Ray, as we've discussed above, we already knew (according to most experts) that many people are completely asymptomatic and also contagious, or pre-symptomatic and contagious. That was one of the reasons why doctors and experts argued that we should all wear masks, regardless of whether we felt bad.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:47 am
All have given us demonstrably false and misleading narratives.
I'm afraid you are right about most of that (I don't know about John Hopkins, but the rest yes). That's why it is so important to look at other countries and actually see what works and what doesn't. Earlier you said you don't care about what happens in those other countries, but we have a lot to learn from real examples. There are many countries that seem, at least at this moment, to be in good shape. Some of these countries, like NZ, have high transparency, and we can be confident that their success is real. These countries can show us what is effective. There are also many failures, though few are so bad as the US and Brazil. We can see what those have in common and we can conclude that, independent of what we may think about their politics, their approach does not work. This can help cut through the "fog of war".
As I've said before, the broad range of responses within the US gives quite enough data that input from other countries is not needed. This is one of the good things about Federalism, which means the opposite of how it sounds. In the US, Governors have the power in these situations, and rightly so since the situation in each State is unique. We have 50 examples to look at, from coastal with high travel to and from effected areas such as China (CA) and the EU (NY), to low density rural with low external influences (eg WY) and everything in between in terms of climate and demographics. All are linked by the same over-riding legal principles, unlike other countries, which can often do things far more restrictive and are thus not good examples.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:00 am
this means at least some percentage of folks would not be caught by temperature measurements but could still be contagious.
Ray, as we've discussed above, we already knew (according to most experts) that many people are completely asymptomatic and also contagious, or pre-symptomatic and contagious. That was one of the reasons why doctors and experts argued that we should all wear masks, regardless of whether we felt bad.
Lou, as we've discussed above, those studies showing asymptomatic folks as contagious are very controversial, non-scientific, non-peer-reviewed and likely incorrect IMO. How many "CoViD Mary's" do you think there are? It's also only presumptive that pre-symptomatic folks are contagious, and more likely that they indeed had symptoms but simply ignored them. Certainly those with "flu-like" symptoms as described in the article I linked they might have thought little of it.

Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

those studies showing asymptomatic folks as contagious are very controversial, non-scientific, non-peer-reviewed and likely incorrect IMO. How many "CoViD Mary's" do you think there are? It's also only presumptive that pre-symptomatic folks are contagious
Trump appointee Dr Redfield, head of the CDC, in an interview with NPR, "said that symptomatic patients appear to be "shedding significant virus" up to 48 hours before their symptoms start.". Multiple studies document high virus loads in such people.

Contact tracing in China, and other data, shows that asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic transmission is possible:
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/7/20-1595_article

Your answer to any study that shows this is that the subjects were lying. I suppose sometimes they might be lying, but in the absence of more information, this looks very much like outcome-motivated reasoning.

Nevertheless, I agree with you that we don't really know how important this is.
As I've said before, the broad range of responses within the US gives quite enough data that input from other countries is not needed.
But the leadership at the top sets the tone, and the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of this leadership is not noticeable unless you look at other countries. I would hope that the US leadership itself is studying other countries, to see where the US went wrong and how to fix it. One small bright spot has been Trump's recent public debut of his mask. If he had done that early on and urged his followers to do it too, the course of this disease in the US would probably have been more like that of countries with more sensible leadership.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:48 am
Your answer to any study that shows this is that the subjects were lying. I suppose sometimes they might be lying, but in the absence of more information, this looks very much like outcome-motivated reasoning.

Nevertheless, I agree with you that we don't really know how important this is.
The WHO also said, and it was quickly retracted, that asymptomatic transmission is "very rare".

The CDC and the SG also told folks not to wear masks, as they were ineffective at containing the virus.

I really don't know who to trust. Bad data, bad advice, recalled studies, political motivations. I don't think that everyone in the study lied, but it may be a combination of lies, incompetence, poor analysis, and questionable external influences that give rise to these results. Or, you may be right, and significant pre-symptomatic transmission is possible. It certainly seems logical that the virus builds in body prior to symptoms showing, but to what extent can it shed before that first cough happens? Seems like some science might answer that, but for now it is probably best to be cautious and ask folks to wear masks.

I do see that the Federal govt has decided not to mandate masks. Wise move, as it makes more sense to let any such controversial decisions be made by the States. There is no need for a US-wide mask mandate, since 90+% of the US has no major problem. For the 10% of States or individual Counties or Cities with significant secondary peaks, it's best to let the Governors of those states decide how to handle the crisis.
But the leadership at the top sets the tone, and the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of this leadership is not noticeable unless you look at other countries. I would hope that the US leadership itself is studying other countries, to see where the US went wrong and how to fix it. One small bright spot has been Trump's recent public debut of his mask. If he had done that early on and urged his followers to do it too, the course of this disease in the US would probably have been more like that of countries with more sensible leadership.
I'm pretty sure the CDC is carefully monitoring the situations across the globe, and is making recommendations to the leadership as to best practices.

I was a bit shocked to see Trump in a mask. His recent tone sounds a lot like my position, ie that masks should not be forced, but that they are a good thing.

Lou Jost
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by Lou Jost »

There is no need for a US-wide mask mandate, since 90+% of the US has no major problem.


It is such a small effort, and so sensible, and it seems to be the main thing that distinguishes successful and unsuccessful efforts. 90% of the country is not alright; the majority of states have higher numbers of new cases now than in April. As long as people move around in the US, even places that are currently fine should require masks, to keep their communities safe from the many irresponsible freedom-loving individuals who insist on travelling from other communities that are not fine.

A little while ago you said that it was not a matter of whether or not to wear masks, but for how long to wear them. For a moment we agreed, and I let out a sigh of relief. But now we are back to this.

Edited to add this in exasperation:

Masks aren't rocket science. Anybody can see for themselves that masks reduce the mass flow of air from our mouths, changing it to something more like passive diffusion. You can feel this with your hand, and see it if you inhale smoke and then talk with or without a mask. The smoke doesn't go nearly as far when wearing a mask. A virus that spreads by droplets or aerosols is going to have its R_0 significantly reduced by wearing a mask.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:31 pm
There is no need for a US-wide mask mandate, since 90+% of the US has no major problem.


It is such a small effort, and so sensible, and it seems to be the main thing that distinguishes successful and unsuccessful efforts. 90% of the country is not alright; the majority of states have higher numbers of new cases now than in April. As long as people move around in the US, even places that are currently fine should require masks, to keep their communities safe from the many irresponsible freedom-loving individuals who insist on travelling from other communities that are not fine.

A little while ago you said that it was not a matter of whether or not to wear masks, but for how long to wear them. For a moment we agreed, and I let out a sigh of relief. But now we are back to this.

Edited to add this in exasperation:

Masks aren't rocket science. Anybody can see for themselves that masks reduce the mass flow of air from our mouths, changing it to something more like passive diffusion. You can feel this with your hand, and see it if you inhale smoke and then talk with or without a mask. The smoke doesn't go nearly as far when wearing a mask. A virus that spreads by droplets or aerosols is going to have its R_0 significantly reduced by wearing a mask.
I've been very consistent with my position, Lou. I feel that wearing masks is important in order to ensure we minimize transmission of the virus, even if we don't know we are contagious, and if we do know we should not be out in public at all. But wearing masks cannot be mandated by the government (in the US) as it goes against our principles of freedom. Someone who does not wear a mask cannot be compelled to do so legally by the government, either State or Federal. Masks can be required by private institutions such as stores, which can deny entry if a mask is not worn, or by businesses as a corporate policy to keep their employees safe. I also expect "peer pressure" to exert a strong influence on compliance, but not to the point of violence of course.

In times of crisis (health or otherwise) Governors and the President do have executive authority given to them by Congress and the State Legislatures to order compliance to appropriate protocols such as shutdowns, social distancing, and wearing of masks, but those orders are only effective for limited timeframes. After that time the Congress or Legislatures must pass laws to continue the protocols, and to do that there must be sufficient justification that the potential damage to public health outweighs the violation of civil rights. It's not clear to me which States (if any) have justified passing such laws.

ray_parkhurst
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ray_parkhurst »

Lou Jost wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:31 pm
A little while ago you said that it was not a matter of whether or not to wear masks, but for how long to wear them. For a moment we agreed, and I let out a sigh of relief. But now we are back to this.
I've been very consistent with my position, Lou. I feel that wearing masks is important in order to ensure we minimize transmission of the virus, even if we don't know we are contagious, and if we do know we should not be out in public at all. But wearing masks cannot be mandated by the government (in the US) as it goes against our principles of freedom. Someone who does not wear a mask cannot be compelled to do so legally by the government, either State or Federal. Masks can be required by private institutions such as stores, which can deny entry if a mask is not worn, or by businesses as a corporate policy to keep their employees safe. I also expect "peer pressure" to exert a strong influence on compliance, but not to the point of violence of course.

In times of crisis (health or otherwise) Governors and the President do have executive authority given to them by Congress and the State Legislatures to order compliance to appropriate protocols such as shutdowns, social distancing, and wearing of masks, but those orders are only effective for limited timeframes. After that time the Congress or Legislatures must pass laws to continue the protocols, and to do that there must be sufficient justification that the potential damage to public health outweighs the violation of civil rights. It's not clear to me which States (if any) have justified passing such laws.

ChrisR
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Re: On Lockdown

Post by ChrisR »

The admin team have decided to close the discussion in the "On Lockdown" thread.
Sadly, we feel it has become troublesome beyond its value to the forum.
Chris R

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