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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Discussion

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Criminal stalking charge?  By Florida standards, that's a squeaky clean record!  🤣  

It didn't stop them from hiring her until she chose not to play along with the juking of COVID-19 stats.

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35 minutes ago, tonycpsu said:

Criminal stalking charge?  By Florida standards, that's a squeaky clean record!  🤣  

It didn't stop them from hiring her until she chose not to play along with the juking of COVID-19 stats.

We'll see. I'm interested to see how this plays out. I wouldn't be surprised either way. But if there's truly a conspiracy to suppress data surely there is more than one disgruntled employee who can speak to it (preferably not an alleged felon).

She also seems to be singing a slightly different tune here.

https://twitter.com/npa2think/status/1263106960964157440/photo/1

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1 hour ago, fletch44 said:

We'll see. I'm interested to see how this plays out. I wouldn't be surprised either way. But if there's truly a conspiracy to suppress data surely there is more than one disgruntled employee who can speak to it (preferably not an alleged felon).

She also seems to be singing a slightly different tune here.

https://twitter.com/npa2think/status/1263106960964157440/photo/1

Well she was the creator of the states database. Any proof outside of a random guy on Twitter, especially an extremely right wing random guy?

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28 minutes ago, daynlokki said:

Well she was the creator of the states database. Any proof outside of a random guy on Twitter, especially an extremely right wing random guy?

Proof of what ? I'm not the one making the extraordinary claim. She's a disgruntled, terminated employee with a  checkered past. I'm not saying that automatically means she's lying but I'd like to see someone corroborate her story before I get my pitchfork. Is that too much to ask ? Especially after she sent this email Saturday titled "uhm...uh oh?"  to her co-worker where seems to indicate her comments to the media were misconstrued. 

 

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Posted (edited)

One potentially disgruntled employee's word would not be enough to carry an accusation much less serious than this one.

The reporter who got this info should have said "oh, that's interesting... I wonder if I can corroborate this." Instead, we get a wild accusation printed and flung around as if there's weight to it, hoping it sticks. And we wonder why people don't trust the press.

Edited by Hanghow
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8 hours ago, fletch44 said:

Proof of what ? I'm not the one making the extraordinary claim. She's a disgruntled, terminated employee with a  checkered past. I'm not saying that automatically means she's lying but I'd like to see someone corroborate her story before I get my pitchfork. Is that too much to ask ? Especially after she sent this email Saturday titled "uhm...uh oh?"  to her co-worker where seems to indicate her comments to the media were misconstrued. 

 

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Proof of legitimacy of that email. A random extreme right winger is who you voted for it. Where’s your proof an easily faked document isn’t fake? I could make that email on my computer in two minutes. 

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Well, I think we can move past the Rebekah Jones thing... there's a mess with reporting in multiple states, including Florida, as well as the CDC. Any discussion of testing just got much more difficult.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/05/cdc-and-states-are-misreporting-covid-19-test-data-pennsylvania-georgia-texas/611935/

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I don't think it's a huge leap to say that many states are likely skewing their numbers one way or the other. If there's something to be gained by doing something shady, people will be willing to do it.

 

To me the important stat to track is really hospital capacity. The whole intent of these "shelter-in-place" orders was to slow the spread and flatten the curve. If hospitals are able to keep up and not push their limits, then the goal has been achieved. Restoring to some level of normalcy is the next step. People need to be smart about it (therein lies the challenge), and there is going to be some trial and error, but it seems like we have some sort of handle on it provided we take the basic precautions we all know and love.

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53 minutes ago, Hanghow said:

Well, I think we can move past the Rebekah Jones thing... there's a mess with reporting in multiple states, including Florida, as well as the CDC. Any discussion of testing just got much more difficult.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/05/cdc-and-states-are-misreporting-covid-19-test-data-pennsylvania-georgia-texas/611935/

What a sht show. 

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51 minutes ago, 2ndCitySox said:

I don't think it's a huge leap to say that many states are likely skewing their numbers one way or the other. If there's something to be gained by doing something shady, people will be willing to do it.

 

You're right, of course, but I think it's important that we don't accept this as the normal state of affairs.  As a PA resident, it sickens me to know that the results that have allowed many counties (including my own) to reopen are compromised.  Gov. Wolf has done a lot right, but this is a huge mistake.

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3 minutes ago, lolcopter said:

So stay home

 

Me staying home does nothing about what others are doing. I thought we were past this juvenile notion that your actions in a pandemic only affect you and not others, but apparently not.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, tonycpsu said:

 

Me staying home does nothing about what others are doing. I thought we were past this juvenile notion that your actions in a pandemic only affect you and not others, but apparently not.

staying at home is all you can do. if enough people feel the same way as you, they will stay at home and thereby lessen the spread. maybe stop being less concerned with what everyone else is doing and concentrating on what you can control. you guys come in here and crap on Florida for some completely fabricated BS story when PA has way worse numbers anyway. maybe if and when FL tops your own states numbers you can start a petition to tell other people what to do

https://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2020/05/merrill-most-of-slowdown-occurred-due.html

Quote

One of our core views is that both voluntary and mandated social distancing have significant impacts on the economy. A new academic paper out of the University of Copenhagen and CEBI quantifies the effect of each kind of social distancing on consumer spending during the COVID-19 pandemic. ...

Let us start with the facts. The outbreak began at the end of February in Denmark and Sweden. … Since then the two countries have diverged significantly in terms of health care outcomes. As of May 18, Denmark had 95 deaths per million people, while Sweden (363 per million) has had among the highest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world.  This difference points to a large healthcare benefit from lockdown policies. What about the economic costs?

The paper finds that consumer spending dropped by 25% in Sweden and by 29% in Denmark. The 4pp difference between the two declines quantifies the cost of lockdown policies. While 4% of consumer spending is not trivial, it is a small share of the total decrease in consumer spending. Therefore the data indicate that most of the slowdown occurred due to voluntary social distancing rather than lockdown policies.
...
If the paper’s results are applicable to other countries, they have important implications for the economic outlook. … Even as restrictions are lifted, consumer spending will likely remain highly impaired, with services getting hit the hardest. Ending lockdowns might also limit the activity of more vulnerable people, further delaying the recovery.

In summary, the economic downturn has been primarily because of the virus, not the policy response.

Edited by lolcopter

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4 minutes ago, lolcopter said:

If the paper’s results are applicable to other countries

 

That may or may not be the case.  What we can say pretty definitively is that it's not applicable to the United States:

Strong Social Distancing Measures In The United States Reduced The COVID-19 Growth Rate

Quote

State and local governments imposed social distancing measures in March and April of 2020 to contain the spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These included large event bans, school closures, closures of entertainment venues, gyms, bars, and restaurant dining areas, and shelter-in-place orders (SIPOs). We evaluated the impact of these measures on the growth rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases across US counties between March 1, 2020 and April 27, 2020. An event-study design allowed each policy’s impact on COVID-19 case growth to evolve over time. Adoption of government-imposed social distancing measures reduced the daily growth rate by 5.4 percentage points after 1–5 days, 6.8 after 6–10 days, 8.2 after 11–15 days, and 9.1 after 16–20 days. Holding the amount of voluntary social distancing constant, these results imply 10 times greater spread by April 27 without SIPOs (10 million cases) and more than 35 times greater spread without any of the four measures (35 million). Our paper illustrates the potential danger of exponential spread in the absence of interventions, providing relevant information to strategies for restarting economic activity.

 

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oh great, more projections. because those have never been wrong

spoiler alert: most of those restrictions are still in place, regardless of state or "reopened" status

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2 minutes ago, lolcopter said:

oh great, more projections. because those have never been wrong

 

Projections involve the future. If you'd bothered to read the study, or even the abstract, it's clear that these are not projections, but results from things that already happened.

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4 minutes ago, tonycpsu said:

 

Projections involve the future. If you'd bothered to read the study, or even the abstract, it's clear that these are not projections, but results from things that already happened.

reading it right now, all emphasis mine. good stuff, thanks for sharing

Quote

We found no evidence that bans on large social gatherings influenced the growth rate. The point estimates for banning gatherings were statistically insignificant (p>0.56 in all cases). However, the 95% confidence intervals included reductions of up to 3–6 percentage points, so the lack of evidence of an effect should not be misinterpreted as clear evidence of no effect. Also, the lack of a statistically significant reduction in the post-treatment period could potentially be due to an upward (though not statistically significant) pre-treatment trend. However, results from the aforementioned event study with separate variables for each day showed that the pre-trend disappeared four days prior to implementation.

Supplemental exhibit 3 shows estimates for the restaurant-and-entertainment-related businesses and school closings.20 Closing restaurant dining rooms/bars and/or entertainment centers/gyms led to statistically significant reductions in the growth rate of COVID-19 cases in all time periods after implementation (p<0.05). The estimated effect was 4.4 percentage points after 1–5 days, 4.7 after 6–10 days, 6.1 after 11–15 days, 5.6 after 16–20 days, and 5.2 after 21 or more. Prior to implementation, policies related to businesses showed no effect on the growth rate, again passing the “placebo” test.

In contrast, we found no evidence that school closures influenced the growth rate. The point estimates were never close to statistically significant (p>0.37 in all cases), but the 95% confidence intervals meant that we could not rule out reductions of up to 4–5 percentage points.

Quote

At the same time, we urge caution about taking the specific numbers of cases averted too literally. Simulations that use estimated parameters to predict outside the range of observed policy variation are inherently subject to a high level of uncertainty that is difficult to quantify. Moreover, had policymakers not taken action and COVID-19 had continued to spread throughout April in the manner depicted by our simulations, voluntary social distancing by individuals and businesses would have likely increased as panic over the rising death toll and hospital overcrowding across the country mounted. In technical terms, the Census-Division-by-day fixed effects would have evolved differently than what we observed. This would have likely offset at least some of the additional predicted cases—though, because of the lag to impact, it is unclear how much of this offsetting could have occurred before the end of our sample period.

Relatedly, testing shortages would likely have prevented official case counts from reaching the numbers presented in our simulations. However, this is largely a semantic distinction, as these infections would still be severe enough to warrant testing in the absence of a shortage. If anything, not being confirmed as a COVID-19 case could lead to inadequate treatment.

As striking as our counterfactual estimates are, they still are not worst-case scenarios because they account for at least some voluntary social distancing. Even without any government restrictions, supplemental exhibit 420 illustrated a 14.3 percentage point drop from the peak growth rate to the end of the sample period. The most plausible explanation is responses of individuals and businesses to information about the severity of the pandemic and federal guidelines.

14.3 > 6.1

Quote

CONCLUSION

We estimated the separate and combined impact of four widely adopted social distancing policies. Both SIPOs and closures of restaurants/bars/entertainment-related businesses substantially slowed the spread of COVID-19. We did not find evidence that bans on large events and closures of public schools also did, though the confidence intervals cannot rule out moderately sized effects. Interestingly, two recent papers on the effect of social distancing restrictions on mobility found the same pattern as we did in terms of which restrictions mattered and which ones did not, suggesting that null effects of gathering bans and school closures on case growth are at least plausible.7,8

Our contribution was to provide credible empirical evidence on whether US social distancing measures worked as intended in flattening the curve. Estimating other important benefits and costs from social distancing, including the total lives saved and economic harm, was beyond the scope of our study. Other work has attempted to estimate job losses, simulate effects on the overall economy and economic growth, or estimate distributional consequences from current and past pandemics.1,6,2831

Nonetheless, we provide important information about benefits of social distancing for policymakers to consider as they decide on strategies for restarting economic activity. For instance, our results argue against returning to partial measures such as school closures and restrictions on large gatherings, while removing the restrictions that prevent the redirection of social activity to other settings. At issue moving forward is whether cases averted simply turn into cases delayed, and a premature return to light measures would make this more likely. At the same time, our results are not informative about the effectiveness of intermediate measures, such as lifting a SIPO but requiring masks in public or opening restaurants at reduced capacity. Further research is needed as gradual, untested steps toward reopening are taken across the country.

 

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4 hours ago, lolcopter said:

staying at home is all you can do. if enough people feel the same way as you, they will stay at home and thereby lessen the spread. maybe stop being less concerned with what everyone else is doing and concentrating on what you can control. you guys come in here and crap on Florida for some completely fabricated BS story when PA has way worse numbers anyway. maybe if and when FL tops your own states numbers you can start a petition to tell other people what to do

https://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2020/05/merrill-most-of-slowdown-occurred-due.html

Florida tops about 40 states in numbers...

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Interesting article I saw  -  https://www.aier.org/article/how-a-free-society-deals-with-pandemics-according-to-legendary-epidemiologist-and-smallpox-eradicator-donald-henderson/

"Part of the problem is that as economists, historians, and political philosophers people are telling us to stay in our lane and not comment on medical matters. In general that is good advice. But there is a problem. The computer scientists and theoretical physicists who dreamed up this lock down haven’t really had serious medical training either and they sure haven’t stayed in their lane. They certainly have cared very little for the economic implications of their plans.

Where do we turn for competent commentary on the medical aspects of quarantine and lockdowns? Where is our credentialled and experienced expert who can provide weighty evidence that this is the wrong course?

Let me introduce you to Donald A. Henderson (1928-2016). He was the twentieth-century’s most acclaimed disease eradicator. In particular, he is credited with ridding the world of smallpox. He was born in Lakewood, Ohio, son of a nurse and an engineer. He went to Oberlin College for undergraduate and graduated in medicine from the University of Rochester. He trained two more years at the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Communicable Disease Center, and moved to Geneva to head the World Health Organization’s division focussed on smallpox.

I encourage you to read his entire biography posted at Johns Hopkins, where he headed a brilliant epidemiological team.

In 2006, at the order of the Bush administration, some computer science programmers with a small group of public health officials began to resurrect a premodern idea of quarantines, closures, and measured lockdowns. This way of thinking is not just premodern; it turned the logic of modern medicine on its head. It was based on a theory that we should just run away from viruses, whereas Dr. Henderson’s whole life had been devoted to implementing the great discovery of modern virus theory that we need not flee but rather build immunity through science, either natural immunities or via vaccines."

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1 hour ago, Nefarious Industrialist said:

 

Hm...  Linking to a libertarian think tank is a bit on the nose for a "Nefarious Industrialist", no? :)

Ah well, let's see how long we have to read before we get to our first untruth...

1 hour ago, Nefarious Industrialist said:

The computer scientists and theoretical physicists who dreamed up this lock down

 

Wait, what?  Social distancing as a strategy to respond to contagion is as old as leper colonies.  Using state power to compel people to do it may not be compatible with the American Institute for Economic Research's world view, but it certainly wasn't "dreamed up" by "computer scientists and theoretical physicists".  This was an epidemiological response, developed by experts in infectious disease.

The rest is going to get a big "TL;DR" from me, as I've read more than enough "markets bad, individual choice good" in my day to know that when there's a bald-faced lie about the opposing view in the early going it's not going to end well  There is definitely a case to be made on the harmful economic effects of lockdowns, and that's a fine conversation to have here, but surely we can do it without bringing in people paid to come to the conclusion that anything that interferes with the smooth operation of capital markets is bad, no?

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23 hours ago, tonycpsu said:

 

You're right, of course, but I think it's important that we don't accept this as the normal state of affairs.  As a PA resident, it sickens me to know that the results that have allowed many counties (including my own) to reopen are compromised.  Gov. Wolf has done a lot right, but this is a huge mistake.

 

68% of deaths in PA are from nursing homes. 

https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/spl/full-list-pennsylvania-nursing-homes-coronavirus-cases-20200519.html

 
Assuming these numbers are even close to accurate, maybe your governor should allocate a good chunk of the state's resources to protecting these people, and open up the state (with restrictions) to allow less vulnerable people to get back to work and provide for their families? 
 
The multiple states that issued orders that instructed nursing homes to accept infected patients isn't getting near enough attention either. I'm sure the major media outlets will get around to reporting on it as soon as they are done checking Trump's tweets and counting how many people are at the beach.

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Nursing homes are where the oldest and sickest people live.  Of course they would be highly-represented in fatality numbers for this disease.  How is that surprising at this point?  Even Sweden, who has a much more robust social safety net than us, and pursued your "isolate the vulnerable" strategy as an alternative to shelter-in-place orders, has had nearly half of their COVID-19 deaths coming in elder care homes.

The numbers are similar in other US states as well -- 66% in Rhode Island, 60% in Washington, 40% in Texas, 41% in Florida,  What does it mean to "protect these people", in your view?  Pennsylvania, along with every other state I'm aware of, has limited visitation, ramped up testing, and isolated patients presenting symptoms.  What else would you do that isn't already being done?

I happen to think that the state of elder care in this country was a travesty before COVID-19 was a thing, so you'll get no argument from me that we should have better facilities and resources for them.  But this notion that somehow nobody thought of protecting them is simply false.  We knew from the outset that the old and sick were the most at risk, so forgive me if I'm not convinced by the sudden interest from people who routinely defund social services in this country to allocating resources for seniors.

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I'm just saying that perhaps it's time to ease the lockdowns when a considerable % of deaths are occurring at these facilities. I don't have the answer on how to protect these people. I would think anyone entering or leaving these facilities would need to be tested like crazy, as well as the residents themselves. I'm sure that's happening to a point and I know testing is being ramped up, but I don't think it's where it needs to be yet, specifically at these facilities. Also, not sending infected people to them would've been a good start. 

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