March 13, 2020

"I would recommend that people minimize social contact, and that means limiting all social engagements. That includes intimate gatherings among friends."

"I think the exception is if two households are in strict agreement that they are also going to reduce all outside contact and then those two households socialize together, to support one another. I can see social and mental-health advantages to that kind of approach."

From "The Dos and Don’ts of ‘Social Distancing’/Experts weigh in on whether you should cancel your dates, dinner parties, and gym sessions" in The Atlantic.

I've highlighted what one of 3 experts said.

The other 2 were less restrictive. One said, small gatherings "are probably okay as long as nobody has symptoms, respiratory symptoms." The other calls small gatherings "a gray zone" and recommending "not sitting very close, trying to keep distance. Wash your hands; avoid touching your face.... routinely disinfect... doorknobs, the bathroom faucets, those types of things... practicing good hygiene."

264 comments:

1 – 200 of 264   Newer›   Newest»
Inga said...

In order to make the two family agreement work, you’d have to have supreme confidence and trust that the other family is holding up their end of the agreement. How would you know if they slipped up and got exposed if you’re not living with them in the same home?

John Borell said...

Why do the markets tank? Why are people confused?

In part, because three "experts" give different opinions on what we're supposed to do.

Are we supposed to stay home or not? Can we go to a restaurant or not? Work or not?

Well, guess we're left to our own to figure this out. So we all have to become experts now.

Shouting Thomas said...


This epidemic is unlikely to be as bad as the H1N1 epidemic in 2009. The Democrat dominated media didn’t hype that because Obama was president. The media fabricated hysteria over Coronavirus is another Get Trump gambit.

Automatic_Wing said...

This epidemic is unlikely to be as bad as the H1N1 epidemic in 2009. The Democrat dominated media didn’t hype that because Obama was president. The media fabricated hysteria over Coronavirus is another Get Trump gambit.

Have you been following the goings on in Italy? I don't recall anything like that happening in 2009.

Now, explain why what's happening in Italy can't happen here.

Leslie Graves said...

Shared pods of socially-isolated families could be a good solution for neighborhoods with school-age kids. If the kids aren't in school, they'll probably still go outside (I hope so anyway) and then they'll end up socializing.

I haven't heard about daycares closing (although that seems inevitable), but the shared-family-pods concept could work here too so that parents who all of a sudden are working from their homes and can't take their toddlers to daycare could trade off babysitting with each other.

Fernandistein said...

one [expert] said small gatherings "are probably okay as long as nobody has symptoms, respiratory symptoms."

If you don't like that expert you can keep a different expert or two.

Mass gatherings
"The [Britannic] government believes that banning large gatherings is one of the least effective measures a country can take, reducing the peak of the coronavirus by less than 5%. The virus is just as likely to spread within a smaller group such as those watching football in the pub as it would in a large crowd.

Scotland has taken a different decision, banning events of more than 500 people from Monday to free up emergency services."

FullMoon said...

Oh, great, first, the Navy runs out of soap and toilet paper, now this..

First case of coronavirus traced to Marine putting hands in pockets

Howard said...

Shouting Thomas suffers from Trump induced dementia.

Bay Area Guy said...

Minimize human interaction? You mean we get to comment here even MORE with a bevy of stupid insights and irrational observations?

Yes!

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

The Democrat who nearly became governor of Florida limited his social interaction to a few close friends and look what happened to him:


Peter Schorsch
Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate @AndrewGillum was involved in an incident at a Miami Beach hotel in which police identified three small baggies containing suspected crystal meth, multiple sources close to law enforcement confirm to @Fla_Pol.

Howard said...

They should court-martial that Jarhead. I understand the Corpse allows hands In pockets these days, but they need to ex post facto this particular cock-up

Inga said...

If it could happen in Italy, it most certainly can happen here. Something I wrote in response to a friend who is still denying the seriousness of the Covid19 pandemic.

1. It’s in the corona family, BUT that doesn’t mean it’s the common cold. This is SARS-COVID19, it’s not simply a cold in the corona family. It shares genetic material to the SARS virus which has a very high mortality rate.

2. The mortality rate for seasonal flu is .1% The mortality rate for Covid19 is as high as 3.4%. That is more than 30 times more deadly than the seasonal flu and most definitely more than the common cold. NO COMPARISON. The Spanish Flu that killed 50 million people world wide in 1918 had a mortality rate of under 5%. The Spanish flu lasted 15 months. Think of that.

3. This is a NEW virus, never seen before on this earth before December 2019.

4. It appears to be much more contagious than the common cold or seasonal flu as the droplets can live longer on surfaces.

5. The common cold and seasonal flu do NOT have the high rates of pneumonia even with people over age 65.

6. Also comparing the death rate to the yearly death rate of the seasonal flu isn’t accurate. This virus just started in December 2019 in China, it hasn’t even been a full year for Coronoavirus. This is just beginning in earnest in the US.

7. The ONLY reason the new Covid cases in China are dropping is because of strict forced quarantine. If not for the quarantines, there would be FAR FAR more cases and more deaths. If we think as Americans that it won’t spread the way it did in China, without quarantines and closings, think again. Look at Italy.

Don’t be foolish and downplay what this thing is. Learn from countries that have had huge outbreaks and how their hospitals and health care systems and equipment like ventilators have been overcome. Watch some documentaries, learn something. Don’t be selfish and complain that your favorite venues and activities have been cancelled. Your life and those of the vulnerable people in your life are more important, aren’t they? Those who stick their head in the sand won’t see what’s coming.

tcrosse said...

From the Telegraph's Rome correspondent:

With Italy under lockdown and millions of people stuck at home, some have come up with a novel way of maintaining community spirit - by belting out songs and ballads together from their balconies.

Communal singalongs have taken place across the country, from Rome and Turin to Naples, Siena in Tuscany and Cagliari in Sardinia.

Most of the songs were Italian but in Turin, people danced on their balconies to the Macarena.

Barking dogs and shouting kids provide an accompaniment to several of the video clips.

Sixty million Italians have been in lockdown since the beginning of the week, as the government tries to contain the spread of the virus.

The advice is that people should stay indoors as much as possible. The only valid reasons for venturing out are to go to work, buy food or collect medicines from a pharmacy.

Going for a short walk or a run is permissible but people are ordered to stay at least a metre away from each other.




Roughcoat said...

Sorry, but I cannot avoid touching my face. I tough my face continually. It itches.

Kevin said...

The news has gone from wall-to-wall inclusivity to wall-to-wall distancing.

It's the modern Hokey Pokey.

daskol said...

We need to keep in mind that the main objective of all these measures is to slow the spread so that treatments and vaccines can be developed so that we can drastically reduce the risk of serious illness or death among the most vulnerable. There is an extent to which this objective is advanced by lower risk populations getting the virus, at a rate that doesn't overwhelm our health systems (which should not happen given that most younger, healthy people can treat themselves with Tylenol and Advil). At risk people should enforce strict social isolation, but we do as a society want to develop some herd immunity if that's possible with this virus. So extreme social isolation over a long period of time for everyone is likely to be counterproductive to that. For most people, get it, get over it and get on with life (just not all at once) is the best that we can hope for. So I'm not sure about the extreme social isolation recommendations except for a very short period of time (couple of weeks?) or for the higher risk populations. But I'm no expert.

daskol said...

That's what the UK says they're doing.

Achilles said...

Roughcoat said...
Sorry, but I cannot avoid touching my face. I tough my face continually. It itches.

This is what the facemasks are actually for.

stevew said...

Works for me, all the panicked people are staying home. Gonna have this place all to myself but won't have to be a shut in to get it.

Ann Althouse said...

"Sorry, but I cannot avoid touching my face. I tough my face continually. It itches."

Isolate yourself close to a sink. Wash your hands before touching your face and wash them again afterwards.

This will probably give you the incentive to change your behavior.

Touching your face isn't an attractive thing to do, so why not use this opportunity to cure yourself of the habit.

If your face itches for other than psychological reasons, adopt some better skin care habits: wash your face with a mild cleanser and use moisturizer.

daskol said...

Better article on UK's herd immunity strategy.

tim in vermont said...

Restrict orgies 8 or less participants.

Shouting Thomas said...

What more proof do you need that this is a Get Trump gambit?

The complete idiot, commie stooge, Inga, pretends to be an expert.

Any questions?

FullMoon said...

OK, now I am taking it personal.

"Goodguys 38th All American Get-Together Cancelled Due To COVID-19 Virus Concerns

It is with great disappointment that we must announce the cancellation of the Goodguys 38th All American Get-Together, originally scheduled for March 28 & 29, 2020 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. The decision is based on the mandate we received yesterday from the County of Alameda prohibiting mass gatherings on county facilities stemming directly from the rising health risks associated with the COVID-19 virus.


While this is disappointing news for local automotive enthusiasts, our business partners across northern California and our staff, the health and safety of our event attendees and community cannot be compromised. Our hope and goal is to reignite our Bay Area event season the weekend of May 30 & 31, 2020 right back here in Pleasanton with the 27th edition of the Goodguys Summer Get-Together. "

Francisco D said...

Sorry, but I cannot avoid touching my face. I tough my face continually. It itches.

The more I am told not to touch my face the more it itches.

Is picking my nose OK?

Inga said...

“The complete idiot, commie stooge, Inga, pretends to be an expert.”

Every single thing I said in my comment about Covid can be found by googling, use your fingers for something else than to pick your nose.

FullMoon said...

Any questions?

Yeah, what the heck happened to you guys? Years ago Inga was doing her best to entice you and Ritmo. Now she disgusts you both..

Paddy O said...

If anyone was wondering what the world would be like if introverts ran everything, now we know...

stevew said...

In the US as of noon today: 1,629 confirmed cases, 41 deaths. The number of daily new confirmed cases has fallen from a high of 79 last Saturday to zero yesterday. All that self-isolation and quarantining is working. China reports people are rapidly returning to work.

At this rate they'll be playing baseball again in a week or two.

tim in vermont said...

I am kind of disappointed that I can’t argue with anything Inga said in that post. We have certain cultural factors that make it likely that it will expand slightly more slowly, but a difference in rate that may only be of academic interest. One of them is that we drive to work isolated in cars rather than mostly using mass transit and our houses are bigger and we live fewer to a house. But these factors will likely only slow it.

I hope that it is alarmism, but I can’t think of very many rational evidence based theories that it is undue alarmism. The only glimmer I have seen is that perhaps there are a lot of false positives with these tests, as one study has shown, which might mean that we don’t really have a large number of unsymptomatic people running around spreading it. But that’s more likely to be. wishful thinking.

Gotagonow said...

I would recommend reading EA Poe's, "Masque of the Red Death", a 9 page short story available free online. A story of elite's sequestering themselves from the riff raff and partying like it's 1349.

tcrosse said...

"Sorry, but I cannot avoid touching my face. I touch my face continually. It itches."

Use a clean plastic fork.

daskol said...

Kinda puts a new spin on the old "a pack or a herd" saw.

Achilles said...

I fell bad for the jackals that want this to kill lots of people so they can get rid of Trump.

It just isn't going to happen.

You are succeeding in tanking the economy though.

And when Corona Virus doesn't even come close to killing 12000 people like Swine Flu did while Biden was Vice President Trump is not going to let it go quietly. It doesn't seem like it will even kill 1000 people which is how many people died before Obama declared emergency and noticed it.

And then people are going to start comparing and contrasting how people acted in 2009 vs. how they are acting today.

I love how the same media who called this Wuhan Virus or Chinese Coronavirus not even 2 weeks ago says it is racist to say that today.

You people are so obvious.

tim in vermont said...

Somebody said this morning that we could make it go away in a week if it looked like it was going to force the cancelation of the election.

Browndog said...

If your cheek itches, don't scratch it. You'll get corona virus and kill your family.

If your didn't want your cheek to itch you should have been moisturizing.

If you head, thigh, or shoulder itches, itch it. Don't be a moron.

Got it.

daskol said...

To the extent that social distancing is successful in this country, there's going to be a mini baby boom in a little over 9 months.

Shouting Thomas said...

Stats on the 2009 H1N1 epidemic that, as I recall, excited little media attention:

“As of mid-March 2010, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that about 59 million Americans contracted the H1N1 virus, 265,000 were hospitalized as a result, and 12,000 died.”

From Wikipedia.

tim in vermont said...

I think instead arguing with trolls, I am going to dive into Geitner’s book Stress Test, if only to understand what policymakers are thinking.

narciso said...

Geitner, the one who could have prevented the collapse of lehman bros but didnt.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

My son's girlfriend when home from school today with a fever. Almost certainly not coronavirus, but whatever it is, my son will most likely have it. Being immune-compromised, I want no part of it.

Shouting Thomas said...

The stage for this media hysteria was set when Netflix aired the documentary “Pandemic” about six weeks ago.

As you might recall, Netflix has deep financial connections to Obama and the DNC.

“Pandemic” was an apocalyptic documentary obviously meant to excite fear and hysteria. It also fed the notion that a phalanx of highly paid “experts” (Democrats, of course) properly in the employ of the state could insure against any breakouts of disease.

The leftist media planned, in partnership with the DNC, to push this hysteria as its last ditch weapon to Get Trump now that the Russia collusion hoax and impeachment failed.

Inga said...

OK, Shouting Thomas. You’ve convinced us, it’s all a set up to get Trump.

bagoh20 said...

Right now the virus is pretty much limited in scope to China, Korea, and Western Europe. Everywhere else, the numbers are much lower despite the virus starting in the problem countries at roughly the same time as here. I'm not sure exactly what, but the U.S. has been doing something right. The early China ban was certainly crucial, and the European one likely will be as well.

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...

Isolate yourself close to a sink. Wash your hands before touching your face and wash them again afterwards.

This will probably give you the incentive to change your behavior.

Touching your face isn't an attractive thing to do, so why not use this opportunity to cure yourself of the habit.

If your face itches for other than psychological reasons, adopt some better skin care habits: wash your face with a mild cleanser and use moisturizer.



You need to video tape yourself Ann.

But self awareness is not your thing and lecturing is.

People are just not aware how much they themselves touch their face. Everyone does it.

This is what facemasks are actually about. They keep you from inadvertently touching your mouth and nose and they make you aware of touching your eyes while also keeping you from infecting other surfaces.

bagoh20 said...

Map of the spread, if you trust the NYT:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/coronavirus-maps.html

Michael K said...

Bad news for Howard.

The CDC and FDA screwed up the COVID 19 response for months.

the New York Times!—concluded:

The Seattle Flu Study illustrates how existing regulations and red tape—sometimes designed to protect privacy and health—have impeded the rapid rollout of testing nationally, while other countries ramped up much earlier and faster. Faced with a public health emergency on a scale potentially not seen in a century, the United States has not responded nimbly.


Gosh, this might harm the attempt at Impeachment II.

Shouting Thomas said...

OK, Shouting Thomas. You’ve convinced us, it’s all a set up to get Trump.

As is your habit, Inga, you’ve just lied shamelessly.

A couple of posts up I acknowledged the severity of the H1N1 epidemic, and I’ve said that Coronavirus is no more, and probably, less destructive.

The only difference is the hysteria drummed up by the Get Trump Democratic press.

Morkoth4682 said...

Is anyone else feeling like this hysteria is being pushed to eleven-sees !1!!111!1! to justify back-door implementation of martial law? They are deploying National Guard across the country and some cities / states are forcing neighborhood quarantines... I'm all for us being careful with this virus, but the response is getting completely out of control, and is being egged on by everyone who hates Trump, hoping and praying somehow he catches / dies from it, or it causes the melt-down of the US Economy and keeps him from getting re-elected... Its flipping ridiculous...

Yancey Ward said...

If you want to stop touching your face, put razor blades on your fingers.

bagoh20 said...

Of course the virus was not designed to hurt Trump, but the coverage certainly is. After seeing all the previous media attacks on Trump, for much less serious issues, which all failed at hurting him, the idea that they would be fair on this one is just dumb. They are happy as shit about it. That seems harsh, but we are talking about people who were openly hoping for a economic collapse of their own country for just that reason. If coyotes are endlessly circling your sheep fence everyday, and suddenly some sheep go missing, you don't attribute it to high winds.

Michael K said...


3. This is a NEW virus, never seen before on this earth before December 2019.


Inga, most of your comment was correct but this is not,. This virus is found commonly in bats. One theory of origin that I find persuasive is that the lab in Wuhan was studying this virus as part of a study about why bats are not harmed. Either an employee was infected, or the bat was sold to the "fresh market" or some other vector allowed the virus to escape into human population. It might have been modified genetically in some way to enhance transmission, perhaps accidentally.

stevew said...

If we had all, or most, of the facts we wouldn't have anything to argue about. As Nicholas Negroponte says, "We don't argue facts, we look them up".

Here's some facts: I've been bouncing around the Northeastern US for the last several weeks. On planes, in hotels, in meetings with plenty of other people. I'm not ill, I don't have COVID-19. No one I know and no one I've been with over this time is ill, with the virus or anything else. Means nothing of significance to anyone but me.

Here's another fact: we don't know how contagious the virus is. We don't know how lethal, in general, it is. We do know that people that are older and those with compromised health seem to be especially vulnerable.

Given the numbers and what we do know, I'm signing on to the Shouting Thomas "Defeat Trump" conspiracy theory. That makes as much sense to me as anything else.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Blogger daskol said... We need to keep in mind that the main objective of all these measures is to slow the spread so that treatments and vaccines can be developed so that we can drastically reduce the risk of serious illness or death among the most vulnerable.

Yes. We are just trying to buy time until there are some medical solutions.

On the other hand...there is something to be said for allowing the spreading of mild infections to create herd immunity in the long run. Of course, we don't really know if that WILL work because the incidence of re-infection (not becoming immune) is unknown.

The anti vaccination people seem to be OK with allowing or purposely infecting their children with measles and chicken pox. Are they of the same mind with this CV19? I doubt it. Hypocrites.

It is all one big crap shoot right now.

Jupiter said...

"However, Vallance said the government’s approach was aimed at broadening the peak of the epidemic, and allowing immunity to build up among the population."

Just to be clear, the way immunity builds up in the population is, everyone who gets the disease and doesn't die is immune. So, the immunity builds up while the population builds down. At some point, they meet.

bagoh20 said...

"The CDC and FDA screwed up the COVID 19 response for months."

A valuable lesson for those who believe in government as some kind of magical entity that only helps us. Conservatives know that government has valuable functions, but they also see the costs, and on top of what it costs.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If you want to stop touching your face, put razor blades on your fingers.

Wear Michael Jackson style white beaded fabulously glittery gloves. That will make you pay attention to your hands....along with everyone else looking too. Be safe....be fabulous!!!

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

"Either an employee was infected, or the bat was sold to the "fresh market""

Well, you can't just throw away good protein like infected bats or fetal parts.


Eleanor said...

I'm having a few friends over to dinner tomorrow night. It's Pi Day, and we've celebrated every year for a long time. Chicken pot pie will be served at 6. Bring wine. You can drink it or wash your hands with it. Your choice.

Inga said...

“A couple of posts up I acknowledged the severity of the H1N1 epidemic, and I’ve said that Coronavirus is no more, and probably, less destructive.”

Dr. Fauci has said that Covid19 is 10x more deadly than H1N1 or seasonal flu. Is he part of the media trying to scare people? If the mortality rate is actually 3.4% then Covid is more than 30x more deadly than H1N1 or seasonal flu. Did you seriously not hear anything that Trump’s OWN scientists have said, you think you know better than they do?

H1N1 has a mortality rate of .2%. Seasonal flu has a mortality rate of .1%. Covid has a mortality rate of anywhere between 1 and 3.4%. Do the math. The scientists have.

bagoh20 said...

It's not the whole face. Just don't touch the orifices. I mean seriously, stop playing with yourself.

bagoh20 said...

We have no idea what the mortality rate is yet until we get a good handle on the asymptomatic numbers, which is certainly the biggest group.

Shouting Thomas said...

@Inga,

The math is that flu epidemics end with warm, humid weather.

Which is coming to the northern hemisphere in 6 weeks.

My prediction: Coronavirus ceases being even a noticeable issue by mid-May, by which time the Democratic Party media will be pretending it never happened and will have moved on to the next Get Trump scheme.

Once everybody figures out that this panic was wildly manipulated by the Democratic media, the stock market will quickly rebound to around 25,000.

rhhardin said...

Goffman says picking your nose is socially acceptable but if somebody comes into the office you're expected to stop.

Jupiter said...

I'm trying to figure out how this is supposed to work. We all stay in our houses for three weeks, and then everyone who had it is over it, and it's safe to go back to normal? That doesn't sound quite right. What if someone went outside during those three weeks, so they got it, like, at the end of week two?

So then, the alternative is, we all stay in our houses until everyone who goes outside has had time to get it and die, or get over it. Seems like that could be a long time.

I understand there might be a vaccine, in a year or two. How effective do you think it will be? The flu vaccine can be as high as 30% effective.

rhhardin said...

They artifically lower the infection count by starting with patient zero instead of patient one.

rhhardin said...

The theory is to get the infection rate to less than infecting 1.0 other people. If that happens, the disease dies a gradual natural death, declining exponentially instead of growing exponentially. It doesn't end suddenly, but dies away.

Achilles said...

bagoh20 said...
Right now the virus is pretty much limited in scope to China, Korea, and Western Europe. Everywhere else, the numbers are much lower despite the virus starting in the problem countries at roughly the same time as here. I'm not sure exactly what, but the U.S. has been doing something right. The early China ban was certainly crucial, and the European one likely will be as well.

New deaths and new cases in Korea and China have been falling for days now.

US cases are flat. It is going no where in the southern hemisphere.

Only Europe is having trouble at the moment. Trouble means they might have as many people die from Corona Virus this year as they had die from the flu. Unlikely though.

People are going to be forced to admit the Health care systems in several European countries are garbage compared to the US health care system.

Oh and about those open borders...

Shouting Thomas said...

I’m not dismissing the possibility that the Coronavirus is a genetically engineered bio-weapon.

The Chinese, you might remember, are ripping the internal organs out of screaming, living, un-anesthsized people and selling those organs for profit.

If I had told you in 2016 that the Democrats were rigging their own primaries, that Obama ordered spying on the Trump campaign in an attempt to undermine him, and that the FBI would lie in FISA court to justify that spying, you would have told me I was crazy, wouldn’t you?

Something equally crazy is going on here. The Deep State has not given up the battle with Trump. The DNC is allied with that Deep State.

Browndog said...

I understand there might be a vaccine, in a year or two. How effective do you think it will be? The flu vaccine can be as high as 30% effective.

Wait until the FDA approves a rushed vaccine and the government tries to enforce mandatory vaccinations.

Who's going to be the anti-vaxxers now?

Yancey Ward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Achilles said...

Jupiter said...
I'm trying to figure out how this is supposed to work. We all stay in our houses for three weeks, and then everyone who had it is over it, and it's safe to go back to normal? That doesn't sound quite right. What if someone went outside during those three weeks, so they got it, like, at the end of week two?

You are thinking for yourself.

Stop that. You need to panic and bleat like a sheep.

You are making the sheep feel uncomfortable with this this rational thinking thing.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader said...

If this turns out to be anything other than catastrophic the media is going to look like they were intentionally fomenting panic. Drudge has a link entitled “Coronavirus vs Constitution?” I haven’t read it and I’m not going to but it made me wonder, if the Constitution is up for changing...it’d be ironic if the media’s panic mongering resulted in the loss of its own protection.

Yancey Ward said...

"H1N1 has a mortality rate of .2%. Covid has a mortality rate of anywhere between 1 and 3.4%. Do the math. The scientists have."

I have written this before, but here are the facts- Inga- if we had studied and dealt with H1N1 epidemic in the exact same way COVID-19 is being done as I write this, H1N1 would have appeared to have a mortality rate above 3%, too, and the reason is very simple- that 0.2% number was calculated retrospectively after researchers had sampled the population to find out how many people had been infected overall. What is being done today it that we, and everyone else, is testing the people who are sick enough to show up in an ER- this will always bias the mortality rate higher than it really is. In short, the mortality rates in South Korea are going to end up being the best guess at the upper limit, and in a couple of years, once the pandemic has passed, we will probably find that the mortality rate is no higher than 0.5%, if that.

That is the unknown number here- the number of people who have been infected and/or recovered, but never diagnosed- that number is going to be a multiple of the people with test-confirmed diagnoses. It can only be determined by statistical sampling with either the a good randomized study, or retrospectively with ELISA tests to determine how many unvaccinated people have the antibodies.

However, the death toll is more firmly known number since anyone showing up with respiratory distress is being tested at this point, but even that number is going to be low because not everyone with pneumonia shows up in an ER.

In short, as testing expands, the denominator in the mortality calculation is going to rise more quickly than the death toll, this is already happening in the US, and it happened in South Korea, too. The Chinese numbers stalled out at about 3% because they used draconian methods to stop the actual spread, but even there the number of people actually infected is definitely a multiple of the 80,000 reported.

I am all for people taking this seriously, and altering their behavior, but I don't like seeing this mortality rate being tossed around without the necessary caveats.

Achilles said...

Inga said...

H1N1 has a mortality rate of .2%. Seasonal flu has a mortality rate of .1%. Covid has a mortality rate of anywhere between 1 and 3.4%. Do the math. The scientists have.


Just a reminder.

Inga is stupid. She has been wrong about every single thing for the last 4 years. Spectacularly so.

She is wrong about this too.

Then she will just move on to the next thing and be wrong about that.

daskol said...

Yancey doing the work of angels trying to explain to people why repeating that 3.4% death rate is wrong and dangerous. If you want to argue the media hyperventilation is not at all part of a strategy to diminish Trump, then people should drop the bullshit scary numbers. Take precautions, socially distance or isolate yourself. But stop telling people they're all gonna die: they're not, it makes you look foolish and as soon as it becomes obvious we're not all going to die, people will disregard even the sensible information on precautions.

daskol said...

I'll put the over/under on the global death rate, when we have it in retrospect, at .5%. And I'll take the under.

daskol said...

But that's just because I try to be an optimist.

daskol said...

Also, I think my wife and I had it last week, so like, I'm sort of an expert.

Jupiter said...

"The theory is to get the infection rate to less than infecting 1.0 other people."

Right. That's kind of like, the way to get rich, is to get your income to be greater than your expenditures. Works every time, if you can afford to wait long enough.

n.n said...

Abstinence is the first choice to mitigate progress that places human lives at risk in an environment corrupted through social contagion. Rational and reasonable protection is the second choice.

mockturtle said...

WHO had the mortality rate at 3.4% as of March 5. Have not seen updates.

Yancey Ward said...

One of the worst none-decisions at this point is not randomly testing the population to establish a base-line from which better policies could be developed. I would hope that if we really do have the ability to test a million samples, some of them are devoted to establishing some basis for dertermining the actual numbers of infected at a point in time rather than relying on testing just the people who self-select for testing.

South Korea has come the closest to determining this number, but it still the case of the large sample being self-selected.

Browndog said...

Somebody suggested we rely on the actual numbers instead of models.

Crazy idea.

mccullough said...

Experts recommend avoiding sex during The Panic. And wash your hands before you masturbate. Or you will go blind.

Inga said...

I said that the mortality rate was anywhere from 1 to 3.4% we all have discussed or heard of the argument which is valid that these mortaly rates may go down with more testing. That is sort of a DUH by now.

Inga said...

“WHO had the mortality rate at 3.4% as of March 5. Have not seen updates.”

Ask Shouting Thomas or Achilles, I’m sure they know better.

Michael K said...

Maybe Howard should read this explanation of why the test kits were not available.

Ruins a good theory, though.

There's a massive shortage of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) test kits in the U.S., as cases continue to skyrocket in places like Seattle and New York City. This is largely due to the failure of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to distribute the tests in a timely fashion.

But it didn't have to be this way. Back in January and February—when cases of the deadly disease began aggressively circulating outside of China—diagnostics already existed in places like Wuhan, where the pandemic began. Those tests followed World Health Organization (WHO) test guidelines, which the U.S. decided to eschew.

Instead, the CDC created its own in-depth diagnostics that could identify not only COVID-19, but a host of SARS-like coronaviruses. Then, disaster struck: When the CDC sent tests to labs during the first week of February, those labs discovered that while the kits did detect COVID-19, they also produced false positives when checking for other viruses.


Nah, Trump hate is too much fun.

daskol said...

You're giving a range that has a top and a bottom but both the top and the bottom are fractions that suffer the same problem, which is a lack of a denominator.

Browndog, a model would actually be very helpful at the moment. The numbers we're getting from WHO are just a simple sum of all the people who've tested positive and all the people who've died. The death rate from the disease caused by the virus needs to be figured on the total number of infected people, not just those who've been tested. They're garbage numbers. Repeating them makes you look dumb.

Michael K said...

nga said...
“WHO had the mortality rate at 3.4% as of March 5. Have not seen updates.”

Ask Shouting Thomas or Achilles, I’m sure they know better.


Fauci said the most recent estimate is 1%.

Browndog said...

When are people supposed to start dying?

Are they waiting to be tested first?

Browndog said...

Fauci said the data shows the death rate at 2.5-3.4%, but "we" think it's closer to 1%.

That was a few days ago.

Yancey Ward said...

One piece of data that will be illuminating in the coming weeks is what percentage of critically ill recover and how many die. Only China is deep into this phase of the epidemic- their critical numbers are still at 4K out of 13.5K active cases, but their deaths have long declined to single digits/day. If you trust the Chinese numbers, then it is likely that they won't have more than about another 100-200 deaths going forward. For the US, this critical list number has been low for a while, so either the US is doing a better job of treating this illness than has most of the other countries, or people are dying at home- being a US citizen, I am guessing that the people aren't dying at home.

daskol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
daskol said...

That's also a garbage number from Fauci. At other points in his statement, notably describing the utter failure of the testing effort in the US, Fauci explained why the numbers are garbage.

Shouting Thomas said...

Notice that the left has flipped overnight.

Prez Trump ran on border and immigration law enforcement.

Democrats fought every step of the way, insisting on open borders and sanctuary cities.

And, now, Democrats blame the president for inadequate border and immigration law enforcement.

Nonapod said...

I've decided that I'm no longer going to engage in speculation regarding this situation, as difficult as that might be. I have my own feelings about what's really going on, but I don't think expressing them would be useful at this time. Maybe in another week or two I might change my mind depending on how things evolve.

On a somewhat related note, I will say that I am a little surprised that the Johns Hopkins site no longer appears to be putting up accurate numbers. At the time of this post for some unexplained reason they have the current confirmed cases for the USA at 1,268. For reference, early this morning they had it at 1,700++, now it's much lower. Meanwhile the Worldmeter site has the current count at 2,018.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Michael K ... don't cloud the issue with facts! HOW DARE YOU!
Anywho... this cuts the nuts off the "Buy Cheap Items From China" argument. Melamine in pet foods etc.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I wish I could show you guys a picture of the swap meet in Mesa, Arizona today. Thousands of retired snowbirds milling around without a care in the world. This sure seems like it’s turning into a red state normal / blue city pants wetting thing.

Yancey Ward said...

Browndog, Fauci going off the the RoW numbers outside of China, Italy, and Iran, but that 1% guess is still based on the assumption that a large fraction of everyone infected is getting tested- this will surely not be the case, especially given the stigma that becomes attached if the result is positive.

The US had run about 8500 tests as of last Tuesday, and at the rate they were being run, by today it is probably above 16,000. So, make it 2 tests per confirmed case- the policy right now is to retest positives, that is about 20-30% positive rate for the people showing up with the symptoms and the connections to other confirmed cases (though that caveat is changing as tests become more available, and people without obvious connections get tested). What this tells me, at least, is that the infected population is much higher than the reported number of 1992 as I write this. This is also the reason that the health officials have started to admit openly that the infected pool is much larger than their reported confirmed cases. At this point, I assume at least a million Americans have been been infected since the first of the year. This is why I think random sampling is an absolute must- the policies you develop depend greatly on that number- what you do for 10,000 infected is greatly different than if it is 1 million+.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Browndog said...
Somebody suggested we rely on the actual numbers instead of models.

Crazy idea.


Yes, it is. Rely on the actual numbers for what?

Should any doctors bother to show up at the hospital tomorrow? Why? We don't have any actual numbers for how many sick people will be at the hospital tomorrow. If you want to assume that you need the same number of doctors tomorrow that you needed today, fine, that's your model.
If you want to plan for the future, in any way, you need to use a model.
I want people to be planning for the future.

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

In South Korea, the place that has done the most testing and is fourth-highest in infections, the death rate is .6%. The "serious case" rate is currently .9%. Approximately 140,000 tests, 7979 confirmed cases for an infection rate of 5.7%. To answer Inga's question - why are we not like Italy? - is because we are very much unlike Italy in almost all of our particulars. The closest we are similar to Italy is a lot of Americans have Italian forbears. In terms of population density, age, hospital access, etc. we are far different from Italy and much closer to South Korea.

The best response is to forcibly isolate high-risk individuals and let the rest of us get infected and immunity. At that point, we can then let the high-risk individuals out of isolation.

Me? I'm still waiting for WWIII. Inga promised we'd have it and it's about 2 months late.

Jim at said...

SEATTLE (AP) — Amid all the fears, quarantines and stockpiling of food, it has been easy to ignore the fact that more than 60,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus spreading around the globe.

Easy to ignore the good news? Gee. I wonder why that is?

Having spent time as a member of the media, I'm a bit more hesitant to criticize them than most. But to somehow pretend they haven't been actively and aggressively screaming about the worst-case scenario for more than three weeks now is just a bit much to take.

Freeman Hunt said...

We are not South Korea. There they have an aggressive testing program and track down all contacts. We don't have that. The second the healthcare system becomes overwhelmed, the death rates start going up. The point of social distancing is to prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.

TestTube said...

Prediction:

The number of US Congress members (Senate and house) who die from COVID-19 will be ZERO. This will be despite a higher than average infection rate and an average age of Congress members greater than that of the general population.

Which explains the petty politics, useless legislation, and point-scoring.

THEY have GREAT health care.

Michael said...

If you are at home and have showered and your nose itches and you wash your hands after scratching it you are a very dim person. Very dim indeed.

BUMBLE BEE said...

I'm also inclined to think Chairman Xi is Jerking the world's chain on this. Oil price war and all. Ashes, Ashes we all fall down. The people who told us we don't need all that ammo have bought all the toilet paper!

Francisco D said...

This sure seems like it’s turning into a red state normal / blue city pants wetting thing.

Here in suburban Tucson, we had a well attended community meeting where I shook many hands and got to know my neighbors. It was an important issue that we were dealing with.

If you never hear from me again, well, I guess you will know why.

Kidding aside, I cannot be critical of the different efforts of people and institutions. We will know what worked and didn't work by the summer.

Yancey Ward said...

Going forward, here are the things I am looking at:

(1) China has 4000 critically ill, how many of them are dead a month from now.

(2) Does the lockdown in Italy stop the spread like it did in Wuhan (apparently stopped- a caveat).

(3) Does Italy's critical list continue to die at a high rate.

(4) Does the critical list for the US rise from its low level, or does it rise over the next 2 weeks.

(5) Does the CDC eventually give us an estimate of infected, but not tested. This, in my opinion, is the most critical number for actual policy.

Achilles said...

Michael K said...
Inga said...
“WHO had the mortality rate at 3.4% as of March 5. Have not seen updates.”

Ask Shouting Thomas or Achilles, I’m sure they know better.

Fauci said the most recent estimate is 1%.

Because anyone with a room temperature IQ or better can easily infer that only those who are seriously or critically sick will be diagnosed early on.

As the tests become more available after removing Obama's stupid feather-bedding regulations in place at the CDC more people will be tested who had mild or moderate cases and didn't know it.

BUMBLE BEE said...

The speed with which we've lost the right of free assembly should wake a few folks out of their stupor.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Achilles for the win! More people will OD this year than Corona out! Fatal AND hospitalized.

Yancey Ward said...

Another thing to watch is this- what happens in China as they ease the lockdown?

I wouldn't count on getting a vaccine to this disease- no one really has found one for SARS or MERS that reached the clinical trial stage, but part of this was because the epidemics died out, but it also isn't as easy to develop a vaccine for these types of Coronaviruses as it is for influenza. At some point, we may have to make the decision to let the disease run through the population if a vaccine remains 12 months away 6 months from now.

Char Char Binks said...

"The Spanish Flu that killed 50 million people world wide in 1918 had a mortality rate of under 5%. The Spanish flu lasted 15 months."

Spanish Flea was arguably worse, but was only on the charts for seven weeks in 1965, and peaked at number 27.

Browndog said...

Should any doctors bother to show up at the hospital tomorrow?

What the hell are you talking about?

Do doctors show up to treat real patients, or patients he's supposed to have based on a computer model?

Further, I said nothing about planning for the future. I'm talking about where we stand today.

Lurker21 said...

This is serious.

Andrew Gillum didn't take the advice and look what happened to him.

Yancey Ward said...

If you assume that South Korea is the best random sample we have, then it is likely at least 1/2 million South Koreans have been infected since the start- and this is me being generous with the assumption that 80% of the positives were identified by contact relation.

Like I wrote in comment almost two weeks ago- the "confirmed number" serves two purposes in a political sense- a low number breeds false security about spread while breeding panic about mortality. Wider spread testing in the US is going to change both those numbers over the next two weeks.

Yancey Ward said...

To be honest, at this point, I would volunteer to be infected and isolated for two to three weeks, just to get it over with.

Nonapod said...

Yancey Ward said...but it also isn't as easy to develop a vaccine for these types of Coronaviruses as it is for influenza.

Regarding Coronaviruses, if we're unable to develop a vaccine there may be potential for some sort of monoclonal antibody therapy for COVID-19, which I guess would require harvesting antibodies from recovered cases.

Francisco D said...

Look on the bright side, Folks.

The coronavirus is helping us conduct an exercise for the future when someone launches a truly nasty biological weapon.

Freeman Hunt said...

It has been really bizarre to follow a story before it was covered or talked about much in the United States.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

WHO had the mortality rate at 3.4% as of March 5. Have not seen updates.

Isn't this the mortality rate of only those who have been admitted to hospitals and actually diagnosed with the virus???

That sample group also is skewed to the elderly and people who are already ill, or compromised in health. How many healthy people who have gotten sick, recovered and not been reported are we not counting?

If there are many more people out there who have gotten infected but have had mild cases and recovered the "mortality rate" would be much much lower. As it is, we have NO IDEA how many actual cases are existent.

Dave Begley said...

Should I distance myself from the Althouse blog?

Don't answer that question!

Michael K said...

but it also isn't as easy to develop a vaccine for these types of Coronaviruses as it is for influenza.

There is supposed to be one available for clinical trial in a couple of weeks. The ability to sequence the genome may have cut out a lot of the delay. We will see. The flu vaccine problem is the mutation rate of the virus and that may be a problem with COVID 19, too.

Yancey Ward said...

Nonopod,

Yes, that is a more likely outcome. I know they treated Ebola patients this way, sometimes with actual plasma harvested from people who had developed acquired immunity the hard way.

Browndog said...

Yesterday I was listening to the Will Cain show on ESPN. He's a lawyer turned sports radio guy. A very clear headed, matter of fact kind of guy as opposed to opinionated.

Anyway, he interviewed a number of experts. Great interviews. Specific questions and let them answer in full without agenda pushing follow-ups. Then he interviewed what he called his friend. He's an Italian soccer reporter for ESPN that lives in Italy, and all his family lives in Italy.

He asked him the conditions, how they were coping. The Italian reporter said they have everything they need, the stores are all stocked, and everything is fine.

Then Cain asked him what he fears most. He replied he didn't have any fears, but the older people in his family were afraid to have to go to the hospital because they didn't have any "breathing machines" as he put it, and that's why everybody is dying.

Earlier in the week Italian health officials said they may have to stop treating the elderly. That tells me they already have. Because they don't have ventilators.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yancey Ward said... To be honest, at this point, I would volunteer to be infected and isolated for two to three weeks, just to get it over with.

LOL.. Yancey just took the very words out of my mouth.

I just got back from making a bank deposit for our business, looked at all the hand sanitizer, talked a bit about the craziness.... and told the teller this exact thing.

Just get it over with already. She said yep. Get sick. Get well. Get immune.

Roll the dice and hope to not be in that small percentage.

tcrosse said...

Blogger Dave Begley said...
Should I distance myself from the Althouse blog?


No, just be sure to wash your hands. And don't touch your face.

Yancey Ward said...

If you want to avoid the disease, according to the CDC, you should move to Alabama, Idaho, Alaska, or West Virginia.

tcrosse said...

Get sick. Get well. Hang around the inkwell.

daskol said...

Be sure also to fly with a bomb in your bag, because the odds of there being two bombs on the plane are astronomical.

Nonapod said...

Yes, that is a more likely outcome. I know they treated Ebola patients this way, sometimes with actual plasma harvested from people who had developed acquired immunity the hard way.

Yeah, the only issue is that any treatment or therapy involving antibodies from recovered people is that it may prove to be both expensive (esp. if the do monoclonal) and ify, so my guess is that it would be reserved only for very dire cases (ie people on death's door). In general obviously a vaccine would be far more ideal as a general purpose solution.

Yancey Ward said...

I made a joke about it earlier today, but now serious question- do the Tuesday primaries happen or not?

walter said...

Yancey,
FWIW, there has been reported reinfection, eliciting worse symptoms.

Inga said...

“In South Korea, the place that has done the most testing and is fourth-highest in infections, the death rate is .6%. The "serious case" rate is currently .9%. Approximately 140,000 tests, 7979 confirmed cases for an infection rate of 5.7%.”

The female scientist at the briefing said that South Korea had some error in their positivity rate in their tests. They have new tests now that reflect a lower positivity rate. This is interesting as it may show that the current mortality rate under the old test may actually go up. So to make it simple, less actual cases with the number of deaths, the mortality rate will go up from current numbers.

Yancey Ward said...

Immune-compromised people, Walter, are always prone to reinfections. Isolated cases like this are to be expected.

Browndog said...

daskol said...

Be sure also to fly with a bomb in your bag, because the odds of there being two bombs on the plane are astronomical.


lol.

Yancey Ward said...

Keep hope alive, Inga.

Fernandistein said...

Touching your face isn't an attractive thing to do, so why not use this opportunity to cure yourself of the habit.

Why would I want to be attractive? I have enough problems already.

But self awareness is not your thing and lecturing is.

Yup. Face-touching is subconscious. As others have mentioned, if you want to stop doing it, wear gloves, or better yet, something over your face.

‘Don’t touch your face,’ warn public officials seconds before touching their faces

Calypso Facto said...

"do the Tuesday primaries happen or not?"

Not in Louisiana, for starters.

Yancey Ward said...

Looks like the market ramped into the close today. Probably a dead cat bounce, but a big one.

Looks like I will have to wait to allocate any more cash to stocks. Way up on the week for the 10% I did allocate, but will be patient- something I wasn't 12 years ago.

Inga said...

“Keep hope alive, Inga.”

Keep accuracy alive Yancy, I thought you were a stickler for accuracy.

Yancey Ward said...

My next target for allocation is a 19K Dow.

walter said...

Ok, Yancey..I don't know your age. Age typically diminishes immune response such that standard flu shots are adjusted.

Yancey Ward said...

I am, Inga, just making fun of your sudden interest in it. However, you overlook the point that the false positive rate applies to the deaths confirmed to COVID-19- remember, most respiratory deaths in South Korea over the time period are not COVID-19 related. If the true number of infected goes down, the number of COVID-19 related deaths will also fall by roughly the same factor.

Paul said...

Get a grip folks. They did a study on the ones infected on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship (Fox News.) Because of the quarantine everyone was tested and watched. All cases, mild or severe, were noted. None missed!! Lots of older people on those ships!

So what was the upshot??? .5 PERCENT DEATH RATE!! Yes that is 1/2 of one percent death rate!!

Yes we treat it as a huge crisis... but it isn't.

Git a grip.

Paul said...

Get a grip folks. They did a study on the ones infected on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship (Fox News.) Because of the quarantine everyone was tested and watched. All cases, mild or severe, were noted. None missed!! Lots of older people on those ships!

So what was the upshot??? .5 PERCENT DEATH RATE!! Yes that is 1/2 of one percent death rate!!

Yes we treat it as a huge crisis... but it isn't.

Git a grip.

Leland said...

I recommend they buy a big inflatable bubble and move in.

tim in vermont said...

If I were younger and healthier heart wise and lung wise, I would probably act pretty normally, but be careful of the older people in my life and check in on them with phone calls. If I got it and became immune, I would volunteer at the hospital. But I am not, so I have to be more selfish to be less selfish.

tim in vermont said...

I still think valet parking should be banned until this is over. You get a valet who is in dozens of cars a day, gets sick and then infects dozens of cars a day. Lots of these Florida communities full of oldsters have valet parking and people who travel living there. I used it yesterday at a restaurant and after it was like ‘Why did I do that again?"

Yancey Ward said...

Aunty Trump,

My main concern is my mother who lives with me- she is 72 in May, and has health issues with Type II diabetes and such. I am always conscious about potentially bringing illnesses her way, so I have always practiced a lot of hand washing wherever I go. However, she is vigilant herself about getting all the preventative vaccines herself. I have been extra-careful the last 3 weeks, though.

daskol said...

I wish my wife and I could get our doctors to test us so we could confirm the mild flu-like illness we had late last week was COVID-19, instead of just strongly suspecting that it is in light of our contact just before falling ill with someone who has subsequently tested positive in a hospital. Then after our period of isolation--we have 9 days left if you count from last day of either of our symptoms--we could in good conscience move about freely and help out where people may be afraid to do so. We'll still probably do that if there's the need and opportunity. Any excuse to get out of the house soon will be welcome.

Curious George said...

"inga said...

Every single thing I said in my comment about Covid can be found by googling."

Our resident dullard thinks that because it can googled it has to be true. And being true means it has to be pertinent. Like quoting 1918 flue statistics. God is she stupid.

I'm amazed she can actually find her way back her every day.

Browndog said...

Some of these reporters at this press conference are vile.

CStanley said...

Get a grip folks. They did a study on the ones infected on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship (Fox News.) Because of the quarantine everyone was tested and watched. All cases, mild or severe, were noted. None missed!! Lots of older people on those ships!

So what was the upshot??? .5 PERCENT DEATH RATE!! Yes that is 1/2 of one percent death rate!!


I don’t know where those numbers came from but the total number of cases on that ship was 696 and so far there have been 7 deaths, which would make it about a 1.0 fatality rate. There are also still many open cases, with 32 in serious or critical condition, so the fatality rate may go up to as high as 5.9%.

It probably won’t go that high since some of the seriously ill may recover. But 0.5% is BS.

Michael K said...

However, she is vigilant herself about getting all the preventative vaccines herself. I have been extra-careful the last 3 weeks, though.

My wife and I are both relatively high risk, especially her. She smoked in spite of childhood asthma and now has a condition called High Ige immunodeficiency, for which she takes a lot of meds. Yesterday, we went to pick up some prescriptions and her medication for the pulmonary condition is out of stock.

Guess where it is made ?

Inga said...

“Our resident dullard thinks that because it can googled it has to be true. And being true means it has to be pertinent. Like quoting 1918 flue statistics. God is she stupid.

I'm amazed she can actually find her way back her every day.”

Says the dumb monkey. The dumb monkey apparently follows the Shouting Thomas model of reasoning. He knows better than WHO, the CDC and Trump’s own scientists. It’s good to have retards like the dumb monkey here, everyone has a role.


Inga said...

“I don’t know where those numbers came from but the total number of cases on that ship was 696 and so far there have been 7 deaths, which would make it about a 1.0 fatality rate. There are also still many open cases, with 32 in serious or critical condition, so the fatality rate may go up to as high as 5.9%.

It probably won’t go that high since some of the seriously ill may recover. But 0.5% is BS.”

Exactly right. I said the other day to Achilles who had the same argument regarding the cruise ship. The argument is fallible. The cases were not all recovered, some my still have been incubating.

Francisco D said...

So to make it simple, less actual cases with the number of deaths, the mortality rate will go up from current numbers.

Sorry Inga,

Mortality will certainly go up, but the mortality RATE will certainly go down.

Yancy, yours truly and others have explained this several times over the past few days.

Go back and try to understand before you argue the point.

Jim at said...

Someone is going to be so, so disappointed if the numbers don't turn out as she's hoping they will.

But by then, it'll be 'nevermind' and onto to something else.

tim in vermont said...

It’s just hard not to remember that when the CDC first got wind of this oubreak, the Democrats were full throttle resisting Trump with an impeachment for asking for documents from Ukraine regarding foreign interference in our elections.

rcocean said...

Would someone explain how 12,000 Americans Died in 2009-2010 of Ebola flu and no one cared. Especially some of the people getting hysterical now?

Thank You.

tim in vermont said...

Inga seems pretty solid on the logic of the epidemic here. I would just add that false positives may well have skewed the numbers and created a phantom cohort of “asymptomatic carriers” which are really everybody’s biggest fear. If that is overblown, this will be far more manageable.

rcocean said...

Trump has now called a "National Emergency" because there's no political downside to being excessively concerned. Everybody is panicking, and there's no point in trying to calm them down with facts. Just do something. Even if it isn't really needed.

You really wonder how this country won WW 2.

tim in vermont said...

I am happy to see some of the loyal Althouse opposition dropping the level of partisan politics, it separates the ones who are here to engage from those who are merely here to disrupt and troll or push propaganda lines they may or may not actually believe.

tim in vermont said...

"You really wonder how this country won WW 2.”

Baseball. We were really deadly throwing hand grenades into tight spaces.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

“Mortality will certainly go up, but the mortality RATE will certainly go down.”

Do you have any idea what you are talking about? I’ll try to make this simple for you.

The tests in South Korea showed TOO MANY positive results. They didn’t have as many actual cases of Covid as previously thought. The actual infection rate when divided by the deaths will show that the mortality rate will increase from the current mortality rate. I know it may be difficult to grasp when you’ve been drinking.

The more people tested, the lower the mortality percentage, that is what everyone is hoping for. However South Korea’s didn't have as many actual cases as they thought they did because their tests have been shown to provide false positives. Get it? So their ACTUAL mortality rate is higher, probably closer to Italy’s mortality rate.

Inga said...

“Inga seems pretty solid on the logic of the epidemic here. I would just add that false positives may well have skewed the numbers and created a phantom cohort of “asymptomatic carriers” which are really everybody’s biggest fear. If that is overblown, this will be far more manageable.”

Exactly.

narciso said...

seriously

CStanley said...

@ Inga- I generally agree with your calculation but I think Yancey above was saying that the number of deaths they’ve counted may have been similarly affected by false positives. I guess that’s true unless the deaths have already been confirmed by necropsy.

Inga said...

“@ Inga- I generally agree with your calculation but I think Yancey above was saying that the number of deaths they’ve counted may have been similarly affected by false positives. I guess that’s true unless the deaths have already been confirmed by necropsy.”

Don’t know if all suspected Covid deaths are necropsied. I suspect that some of the deaths are from other illnesses, but how many?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

“@ Inga- I generally agree with your calculation but I think Yancey above was saying that the number of deaths they’ve counted may have been similarly affected by false positives. I guess that’s true unless the deaths have already been confirmed by necropsy.”

Don’t know if all suspected Covid deaths are necropsied. I suspect that some of the deaths are from other illnesses, but how many?


All of which is to illustrate that we basically don't really know shit about what the true situation is. There is just too much muddled, inaccurate and false information to declare anything. Small sample sizes. Skewed samples. NO...ONE...KNOWS.

All we can do is to try not to get infected and stay home if you are sick.

narciso said...

oh apparently there is a case in racine Wisconsin,

pacwest said...

Blogger Dave Begley said...
Should I distance myself from the Althouse blog?

I think you should be okay if you wash your tennis shoes daily.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Browndog said...

What the hell are you talking about?

I'm talking about models, and why we us them, instead of actual numbers.

Do doctors show up to treat real patients, or patients he's supposed to have based on a computer model?

They show up to treat patients he's supposed to have, based on a model* (I don't know if it is a computer model or just a human-intuition one). After he is there, and a patient shows up, he treats the patient that shows up.

*Note, I'm talking ER, not scheduled surgeries, or on-call. I should have been more clear. My fault.

Further, I said nothing about planning for the future. I'm talking about where we stand today.

But for the fact that is most relevant, we don't know where we stand today. We know the number of dead. We know the number who have tested positive. We don't know how many actually have the disease.

And why do you care about any of those numbers, if you are not using them to make decisions about what to do in the future? Just morbid trivia?

tim in vermont said...

*All of which is to illustrate that we basically don't really know shit about what the true situation is.*

I know, I am having an irrational feeling that the worst is over, but I can’t support it with evidence, but it does oddly comfort me, which is where it is probably coming from. Humans are prone to both panic and irrational confidence. The Dutch should have panicked when they first saw so much wealth going into tulip bulbs, for example, but they didn’t, they were irrationally confident.

Crazy Jane said...

Many Italians were heavy smokers even in the 1990s. Also Chinese people. We may learn, after all this is done, how much a history of smoking cigarettes (or marijuana or meth) correlates with the likelihood of succumbing to a coronavirus.

Additionally, I hope our medical bureaucrats are considering whether some of the February deaths ascribed to the flu might have been caused instead by Covid 19.

Browndog said...

So, knowing the number of people hospitalized or dead from corona is irrelevant. The only relevant factor is the number of people that haven't been tested.

got it.

Browndog said...

Is no one curious if Italy has government healthcare?

Inga said...

“Is no one curious if Italy has government healthcare?”

Most people know they have a type of nationalized healthcare, so does South Korea.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Browndog said...

What type of government healthcare do most people know they have?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Browndog So, knowing the number of people hospitalized or dead from corona is irrelevant. The only relevant factor is the number of people that haven't been tested.

Not at all.

What is relevant is all of the information....which is probably impossible to get accurately.

How many people have been exposed.
How many of those people became sick
How many were hosptialized
How many didn't get sick at all
How many didn't report illness but were ill and recovered anyway. Invisible people
How many showed symptoms
How many didn't show symptoms
How many died.
How many recovered.
How many of those who died had underlying medical issues.

How sick did any of the above become on a sliding scale of 1 to dead.

What is the incubation period.
Can people be reinfected.
What is the composition of the groups above. Old, middle aged, young, babies
What is their overall health to begin with. Good, Great, Horrible, One foot on a banana peel already?

Running around with our hair on fire because 60% of the deaths in Washington State are linked to a specific nursing home already full of sick old people is crazy. We can predict anything from that and making drastic dangerous and destructive policy based on that is double crazy.

Note: Inga. You can link to places where you are quoting. Who knew

tim in vermont said...

Chris Hayes@chrislhayes
This is BIZARRE. Just a roll call of Big Important American Businesses.


So which is it? Trump fucked up by trusting the CDC? Or Trump fucked up by bringing in people who knew what they were doing?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Oops bad sentence .....We can predict anything from that and making drastic dangerous and destructive policy based on that is double crazy.

CAN'T predict. We can guess. But really know. Not.

tim in vermont said...

If the Stasi level contact tracing actually worked in South Korea. Privacy invasion that would be illegal in the US and only allowed if used against a Republican presidential candidate, then that also suggests that it’s not spreading as easily as has been feared. We still don’t know, but I am more hopeful that there are better possibilities in the mix of possible outcomes.

Achilles said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Don’t know if all suspected Covid deaths are necropsied. I suspect that some of the deaths are from other illnesses, but how many?

All of which is to illustrate that we basically don't really know shit about what the true situation is. There is just too much muddled, inaccurate and false information to declare anything. Small sample sizes. Skewed samples. NO...ONE...KNOWS.

All we can do is to try not to get infected and stay home if you are sick.


We do know how many people are dying and how many are sick though.

I expect this information to be hidden from the public soon as much as they can.

All these jackals acting as if we are all going to die and hoping for 1000's of people dying are sure looking wrong.

The sun is coming out soon. People are going to wonder just what the fuck is going on.

Especially douchey fucks like Jay Inslee who just shut down all schools for 500000 children over less than a day's worth of flu deaths.

Gk1 said...

People are missing the silver lining in all this. Slobby behavior that had gone unchecked is finally getting a much needed push back. Guys in the washroom really making an effort of washing their hands after taking a crap. People on BART not openly eating a fish burrito and oblivious to the smell and mess its making. A guy could get used to this.

What I can do without is the manic buying of TP and all flu meds and tanking of the economy. People need to get a fucking grip. If S.Korea and Taiwan were building funeral pyres to deal with all the dead I would worry. But their data sets and flu profiles suggest this is pretty mild. If you are in the at-risk group like the elderly take all due caution. The horror stories coming out of Italy have more to do with how ill prepared that govt. is to deal with this sort of crisis than the wuhan virus. Now off to enjoy a half empty gym!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Achilles. We do know how many people are dying and how many are sick though.

Do we?

Browndog said...

My only point is the facts on the ground are not matching the predictions. Testing doesn't slow the virus, keep you out of the hospital, and save your life.

Are we destroying our country because people are probably going to get sick, or hundreds of thousands are going to die?

Pick one.

Inga said...

“Note: Inga. You can link to places where you are quoting. Who knew”

Which comments are you referring to?

Francisco D said...

All of which is to illustrate that we basically don't really know shit about what the true situation is. There is just too much muddled, inaccurate and false information to declare anything. Small sample sizes. Skewed samples. NO...ONE...KNOWS.

Yes.

We figure out the mortality rate AFTER the situation runs its course. We can then get a better estimate of the number of people who contracted the virus (and survived). Right now that number is way low.

You cannot take small, extremely skewed samples and apply their percentages to the general population. That is why we have statisticians and epidemiologists.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Francisco D said...

Achilles wrote: We do know how many people are dying and how many are sick though.

No.

We may know how many people are dying but we are not even close to knowing how many people are sickened by the coronavirus. We only know about those who presented themselves for testing and/or treatment. That is a very highly biased sample that does not represent the general population.

Let's wait a few months to better understand the lethality of the virus because right now are numbers are:

Not ... even ... close.

rhhardin said...

So far, social isolation has made no difference in my life.

rhhardin said...

I always figure the immortality rate. 0%

Inga said...

“We figure out the mortality rate AFTER the situation runs its course. We can then get a better estimate of the number of people who contracted the virus (and survived). Right now that number is way low.”

The scientists calculate the fatality rate of a disease for better reasons than to give us something to argue over.

“Mortality Rates versus Case Fatality Rate (Ratio)
Case fatality rate is the ratio of deaths occurring from a particular cause to the total number of cases due to the same cause. It signifies the lethal effect of a cause or disease. It is calculated as follows:

An obvious differentiating feature of case fatality rate relative to other mortality rates is that the time period is not considered in the calculation. Case fatality rate is usually calculated for acute infectious diseases. Its usefulness in chronic diseases is limited, owing to the long and variable period from the onset of symptoms to fatal outcome (Gordis, 2014).”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/case-fatality-rate

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