March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

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AnotherFairportfan
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:17 pm

Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas reported record numbers of new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. Arizona saw an increase of 2,392 cases since Monday, while Florida saw a bump of 2,783 new cases, Oklahoma reported 228 new cases and Texas had 2,622 new cases. Texas, following another concerning trend, has reported a record number of hospitalizations for the fourth straight day Tuesday, marking 2,326 hospitalized coronavirus patients in the state.

The upward case trend across several states comes as all 50 states work to ease restrictions.

Florida crossed the 80,000 case mark Tuesday, while Arizona’s weekly average of daily cases has nearly tripled compared to two weeks ago. President Donald Trump is set to host a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this week, despite the spike in cases. Vice President Mike Pence lied about Oklahoma’s coronavirus data on Tuesday and said that the campaign will be taking some safety precautions, including temperature checks.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by jwhouk » Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:55 am

I kinda already heard about this.

Over a thousand new cases per day over the last week here in AZ.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:39 pm

Yep
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:49 pm

By Jenny McGrath | DigitalTrends | June 16, 2020
{note caveats i've BOLDED}
Flushing a toilet creates a “toilet plume” that can stick around in the air well after the flusher leaves and could contain particles of the coronavirus, according to researchers.

Researchers at Yangzhou University found the particles remain airborne long enough that the next person to use the bathroom could inhale them, according to the study in the journal Physics of Fluids. Researchers used computer simulations to trace where particles could travel once a toilet is flushed.

The study found that between 40% and 60% of particles may rise above the toilet seat, spraying over three feet into the air.

It’s not clear if people can contract the coronavirus this way, though another study found the virus in patients’ fecal matter. There are no confirmed cases of the virus spreading from feces to a person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Scientists also do not know how much risk there is that the virus could be spread from the feces of an infected person to another person,” the CDC says on its website. “However, they think this risk is low based on data from previous outbreaks of diseases caused by related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).”

Also, “no studies have yet clearly demonstrated or refuted toilet plume-related disease transmission, and the significance of the risk remains largely uncharacterized,” according to a 2013 review of toilet plume research.

The Yangzhou University researchers still recommend people take precautions, both at home and in public restrooms, by closing the lid before flushing, cleaning the seat, and washing your hands after flushing.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Alkarii » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:02 pm

At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that just looking at someone with the virus will spread it.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:15 pm

Alkarii wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:02 pm
At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that just looking at someone with the virus will spread it.
Back in the earlies, someone postulated a mutant form of HIV infection that they called "Hearing AIDS" - it was transmitted by listening to assholes.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Dave » Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:26 am

AnotherFairportfan wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:15 pm
Alkarii wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:02 pm
At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that just looking at someone with the virus will spread it.
Back in the earlies, someone postulated a mutant form of HIV infection that they called "Hearing AIDS" - it was transmitted by listening to assholes.
I'm reminded a bit of an SF novel I read years ago. One alien race mentioned in it, had had a very turbulent history... their civilizations had collapsed repeatedly and violently when they reached a certain size, in spasms of mania, fanatic religious war, and other forms of extremism. The diagnosis (by the other species in the area) was that this race's nervous-system design lacked a "meme suppressor". They were biologically programmed to be uncritical followers, and suckers for a smooth line of talk or an attractive idea. Sort of an intelligent version of the stereotypical lemming, as it were. They were unable to not listen to assholes (and demagogues of all sorts).

They were helped, pitied, but not allowed to set up any off-world colonies larger than a certain size (well below the threshold when dangerous memes could run wild througout their social consciousness).

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:33 am

Sounds sort of like Crazy Eddie.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by jwhouk » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:01 am

All I know is, 11 of the last 12 days Arizona's numbers of new cases were in the thousands - and Tuesday's total was over 2,500.

The total number of cases (39,685) is more than that of the city of Apache Junction (the city on the far east side of the Valley).

And between the two ZIP codes where I live, over 600 cases (612 to be exact).
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Dave » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:10 am

The BBC has published an article which looks at the coronavirus death rates, using the "excess deaths" metric I mentioned a few days ago... comparing actual deaths this year, with "expected" death rates based on historical records.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-53073046

Among other things, the information suggests that the U.S had hit the point of 100,000 excess deaths by early May. This would include
  • Deaths caused by coronavirus infection, and reported as such.
  • Deaths which occurred due to coronavirus infection, but reported as due to other cause (eg. pneumonia, or heart attack or stroke due to blood clotting), or "unknown".
  • Deaths caused indirectly. This would include people who had some other illness or medical emergency (e.g. heart attack) but couldn't get medical aid in time because hospitals were closed or overloaded it because they were afraid to go to a hospital. It would include people who committed suicide after being laid off during the lockdown, or who fell ill from malnutrition or lack of required medication after losing income. It would include people who died as the result of trying dangerous "protection" techniques (e.g. drinking lots of alcohol or gargling bleach).
It would not include the number of deaths wrongly or mistakenly reported as being due to coronavirus. That's one of the nice things about this method... it looks only at the actual numbers of deaths, not at the reported causes.

The limitation is that if there were another new-and-never-seen-before cause of ten of thousands of deaths worldwide in 2020 (say, a plague of invisible vampire frogs) it couldn't separate out coronavirus deaths from frog deaths. The BBC study implicitly assumes that we have just a single cause (the virus pandemic) of excess deaths this year.

At a quick glance, it looks as if most Western countries have a total "excess death" number around 20% higher than the officially-reported "deaths due to coronavirus" numbers.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Warrl » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:00 pm

The limitation is that if there were another new-and-never-seen-before cause of ten of thousands of deaths worldwide in 2020
Well, there was another new cause of deaths - the economic oppression of the lockdown, where willing buyers and willing sellers of goods and services were told not to associate with each other for reasons not related in any way to the potential transactions.

In fact, here in the US wealthy people are being criticized for harming the economy by not eating out in restaurants that were closed, not going to entertainment events that were canceled, not traveling to places that weren't accepting travelers, not buying new clothes for all these activities that they aren't doing, and so forth. (See, it's the rich people's fault. Not the fault of the people that ordered the closures.)

A hospital in metro San Francisco reported they had gotten a year's worth of attempted-suicide cases in a month - outnumbering the actual and suspected covid-19 cases over that period.

I've read of a couple cases where hospitals had shut down cancer-treatment wards to save capacity for covid cases, and then when the covid cases didn't materialize and they couldn't get permission to reopen anything, laid off the staff of the cancer-treatment wards... and patients who had been held stable with regular treatments, died for lack of treatment.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Dave » Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:34 pm

Warrl wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:00 pm
The limitation is that if there were another new-and-never-seen-before cause of ten of thousands of deaths worldwide in 2020
Well, there was another new cause of deaths - the economic oppression of the lockdown, where willing buyers and willing sellers of goods and services were told not to associate with each other for reasons not related in any way to the potential transactions.

In fact, here in the US wealthy people are being criticized for harming the economy by not eating out in restaurants that were closed, not going to entertainment events that were canceled, not traveling to places that weren't accepting travelers, not buying new clothes for all these activities that they aren't doing, and so forth. (See, it's the rich people's fault. Not the fault of the people that ordered the closures.)

A hospital in metro San Francisco reported they had gotten a year's worth of attempted-suicide cases in a month - outnumbering the actual and suspected covid-19 cases over that period.

I've read of a couple cases where hospitals had shut down cancer-treatment wards to save capacity for covid cases, and then when the covid cases didn't materialize and they couldn't get permission to reopen anything, laid off the staff of the cancer-treatment wards... and patients who had been held stable with regular treatments, died for lack of treatment.
Yup, you're quite correct - and I did mention this sort of thing in the third bullet ("deaths caused indirectly").

The excess-death number tells us how many more deaths there were (in the world with the coronavirus) than there probably would have been if the coronavirus never existed.

It doesn't address how many deaths there "might have been," if the coronavirus was here, but if we had reacted differently (more or less lock-down, more or less social distancing, etc.).

It's not a means for making moral, political, or social judgments about alternatives. It's just a good means of figuring out the true impact of what actually did happen.

In practice, we're about to find out what the excess-death counts will look like in an America in which a lot of the lock-downs are relaxed so we can "open back up". There are plenty of predictions (based in part on what happened in the Spanish Flu pandemic a century ago). We won't know the truth for months yet.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Atomic » Fri Jun 19, 2020 2:50 am

One thing that bothers me is the lack of context for all the COVID huffing and puffing. Ok, yes, it's dangerous, but so is Influenza. Whatever the "We Need Lockdown" arguments may be, they should also consider the related consequences of other, known diseases out there. What's the current Flu infection / illness/ fatality rate and among which groups? I haven't seen any of this in the news and I haven't dug into it either. How can anyone make an informed decision with no basis for comparison? Once again, the media are selling us the news rather than giving it to us.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:17 am

Reports i've seen from various knowledgeable sources {i.e., epidemiologists and disease experts} say that COVID-19 has a fatality rate anywhere between ten and thirty times that of seasonal flu.

Part of that is that, like the 1918 flu, it can set off a "cytokine" storm in which the body's immune system attacks itself.

The steroid drug that shows strong indications of reducing fatalities in severe cases acts to ameliorate that.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Warrl » Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:56 pm

AnotherFairportfan wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 8:17 am
Reports i've seen from various knowledgeable sources {i.e., epidemiologists and disease experts} say that COVID-19 has a fatality rate anywhere between ten and thirty times that of seasonal flu.
If an epidemiologist says something like that, I'm inclined to trust it.

However, if an epidemiologist says "the fatality rate is such-and-such" and then the reporter compares that to the flu fatality rate, I'd be mistrustful.

Why?

Because the fatality rate among PROVEN flu cases is far higher than the fatality rate among ESTIMATED flu cases. (I.E. they don't actually test everyone for flu who has some of the symptoms during the flu season - just the most severe cases and maybe some medical staff and the like. Most people with the flu just observe that they are sick and stay home for a few days after which they resume their normal lives, without ever even calling a doctor. And the "estimated cases" number tries to include those people.)

Similarly, we know there are a lot of people who got covid-19 and either never showed any symptoms at all, or had only very mild symptoms and stayed home for a few days after which they resumed their normal lives. But we don't yet have a good foundation of data for an estimate of how many such people there are. What we're sure of is the number of people who showed up for medical care with similar symptoms... in other words, the severe cases. (And we didn't even test all of them.)

So it would be really easy to compare the fatality rate among severe covid-19 cases against the fatality rate among estimated flu cases - a seriously incorrect comparison.

I would expect an epidemiologist to get that right.

I would not rely on a journalist to get it right.

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by lake_wrangler » Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:18 am

I haven't listened to the news much, lately, but it looks like shopping centers are now open again. There are still cases of Covid-19 around, but not as dramatically high, if I understand correctly.

One passenger I have on the bus late in the evening on weekdays works at a hospital in Montreal (I'm guessing as a nurse...) Tonight, she told me that their hospital finally sent home the last of their COVID-19 cases today. Now, she gets to enjoy her first weekend off in 4 months!

Now that stores, restaurants and bars are open again, she expects that we will soon see a second wave of cases soon enough, though.

People are starting to relax a lot. Many are still wearing masks, but a lot more aren't. Social distancing seems to be a foreign concept to many, if you look at people on the street. (Hugs and kisses all around, for many couples... ) They've made extra space on sidewalks (by using physical barriers to encroach on streets), and some people do take advantage of that, but many more are starting to walk fairly close to each other regardless.

We're also getting a lot more people on the busses, now that more people are working. Many are wearing masks, many others are not. Today, as I was about to get settled on the buss, relieving a colleague, a lady who had gotten off the bus came to tell me we need to make everyone wear masks: they are talking, and breathing, and so close to each other! ( :roll: )

I tried to remind her that the company is only recommending wearing masks, that it was not mandatory. But she kept insisting...

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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by AnotherFairportfan » Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:47 am

One of Steve and Helen's co-workers tested positive for the virus yesterday.

So Helen decided that even though it had been more than a year since they saw her, they shouldn't go with me and Kate to visit Kate's 90-year-old mother who {along with Kate's brother Collins and his wife and daughter} had driven up from Columbus GA to visit us, since her health is pretty fragile and they might be carriers, even though they have no symptoms.

Yet, anyway.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Typeminer » Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:45 pm

I work for the publishing office of a biology research society. Some of the editors and editorial board members, aside from their credentials as researchers, are practicing physicians doing COVID rotations in major university-affiliated hospitals.

I'm not a biologist. I'm an overwound proofreader. But I've been at this a while.

This is anecdotal, but it's anecdotal from crosstalk among people who are reviewing research from all over the planet, some of them also on the front lines in treatment

Fauci knows of what he speaks. The society gave him an award in appreciation.

It's too soon to know what the real course of the pandemic is right now. It will be another year before we have enough data to know what is happening today. Consider all current information to be tentative.

This is the first wave. It's only the first wave.

There will be an upsurge in infections from premature reopening, recent protests, and upcoming mass gatherings.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by jwhouk » Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:28 pm

6,355.

That was the number of new cases of COVID in the state of Arizona.

Yesterday.
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Re: March 12, 2020 (aka COVID-19 thread)

Post by Warrl » Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:51 pm

It's too soon to know
THAT is what I think we need to hear more of. IMHO there has been far too much certainty on every side of this argument.

Seriously, I've seen the results of a small test group, with no control group, cited as proof positive that a certain drug works in certain sorts of cases.

And then I've seen others point out the scientific inadequacies of such a test, yet turn around and cite a DIFFERENT small test group that excluded those sorts of cases, with no control group, as proof positive that the same drug is of no use in any cases.

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