about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.
Click here for the policylab ap provide by (of all places) the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in collusion with the University of Philadelphia.
Here's the projection of the estimated R under 5 scenarios.
Sunday, 3 May 2020 at 19h 22m 17s
Those flu deaths
Turns out, Flu deaths are based upon statistical estimates, not hard data.Click here for the article in Scientific American.
The 25,000 to 69,000 numbers that Trump cited do not represent counted flu deaths per year; they are estimates that the CDC produces by multiplying the number of flu death counts reported by various coefficients produced through complicated algorithms. These coefficients are based on assumptions of how many cases, hospitalizations, and deaths they believe went unreported. In the last six flu seasons, the CDC’s reported number of actual confirmed flu deaths—that is, counting flu deaths the way we are currently counting deaths from the coronavirus—has ranged from 3,448 to 15,620, which far lower than the numbers commonly repeated by public officials and even public health experts....
The question remains. Can we accurately compare the toll of the flu to the toll of the coronavirus pandemic?
To do this, we have to compare counted deaths to counted deaths, not counted deaths to wildly inflated statistical estimates. If we compare, for instance, the number of people who died in the United States from COVID-19 in the second full week of April to the number of people who died from influenza during the worst week of the past seven flu seasons (as reported to the CDC), we find that the novel coronavirus killed between 9.5 and 44 times more people than seasonal flu. In other words, the coronavirus is not anything like the flu: It is much, much worse.
[SOURCE:Jeremy Samuel Faust | Scientific American |28 April 2020 ]
Saturday, 2 May 2020 at 23h 50m 0s
Oh but I thought
I thought that COVID didn't affect children?
Saturday, 2 May 2020 at 19h 41m 16s
I make a comment on a neighborhood blog
Wow. You guys are still arguing about this. Honestly, as spirited as the above discussion is, none of us are going to "solve" this problem by arguing on nextdoor. This is the residue of a dysfunctional political economy.
Now before you pull the typical SF parochial response, I was born on 6th and Geary in 1969. The old French hospital.
Rigid people see the world through the prism of their own existence and only want to justify their ideology rather than remain open minded and introspective of potential confirmation bias.
In order to calm your ideological nerves, we have to niggardly spend our collective tax revenues mitigating the anti-social effects of our economy by filtering it through banks, corporations, large & small firms/businesses, and wealthy investors, thinking they are supposed to be incentivized from tax cuts. What actually happens however is that we inefficiently address our social dysfunctionalism, and at great cost, because only a fraction of the "incentives" ever "trickles down."
Rather than seeing the homeless problem as the canary in coal mine of our economy dysfunction, we blame them, or moralize them, or get upset because of the results like drugs/violence/decrepitude/filth. This is a distraction from the larger reality.
They say that Government doesn't produce wealth, and that is supposed to be the grand motif behind which this ideology becomes justified. This is not only wrong, but also a complete misunderstanding of government's role in the first place. Government investments and various agencies lower the capital costs of businesses and increase the ability of entrepreneurs and small investors to remain profitable. Doesn't that indirectly "produce wealth" ?
Also: reducing the upfront costs of young persons, addressing mental health and drug issues early saves lots of money in the future down stream. Even if only 5% of the homeless can be saved, that is still a cost benefit on the initial investment. This why I say the moral reaction is a distraction from the larger macroscopic issues.
Furthermore, the role of government is to manage society and balance out the innate tendencies of society to slide towards oligarchy, which stymies wealth creation and funnels the profits of the economic system into fewer and fewer hands while creating the establishment of an aristocracy.
Sadly this is an ideology that is well funded by those who benefit of course, and that is why this bunk ideology is so permissive. It wants to seize your mind and make you vulnerable to it's propaganda.
Unfortunately even well-meaning good people can succumb to these deceptions.
Saturday, 2 May 2020 at 19h 15m 43s
I'm sick of these stupid ideological battles with rigid people
Rigid people who only want to justify their ideology rather than remain open minded and introspective of potential confirmation bias. Here's what I want to say to these people.
In order to calm your ideological nerves, we have to niggardly spend our collective tax revenues mitigating the anti-social effects of our economy by filtering it through banks, corporations, and wealthy investors, thinking they are supposed to be incentivized by tax cuts. What actually happens however is that we inefficiently, and at great cost, address the underlying conditions that are supposed to be ameliorated.
You say that Government doesn't produce wealth, and that is supposed to be the grand motif behind which your ideology becomes justified. Which is not only wrong, but also a complete misunderstanding of government's role in the first place. Government investments and various agencies lower the capital costs of businesses and increase the ability of entrepreneurs and small investors to remain profitable. Doesn't that indirectly "produce wealth" ? Furthermore, the role of government is to manage society and balance out the innate tendencies of society to slide towards oligarchy, which stymies wealth creation and funnels the profits of the economic system into fewer and fewer hands while creating the establishment of an aristocracy.
It's an ideology that is well funded by those who benefit of course, and that is why this bunk ideology is so permissive. It wants to seize your mind and make you vulnerable to it's propaganda.
Saturday, 2 May 2020 at 16h 17m 58s
Cool info graphics on COVID
Click here for information is beautiful. It's an awesome site if you are a stat nerd like me.
Friday, 1 May 2020 at 0h 31m 15s
Now this is sarcasm
Sometimes truth can be spread effectively by the subtle use of sarcasm, Jonathan Swift style.
Friday, 1 May 2020 at 21h 31m 44s
I wrote a letter to editor today
My local monthly district newspaper has an ancient state politician who ran against Diane Feinstein for Mayor back in the day. He gets to publish his opinion every month, often an opinion that is out of touch with a large segment (if not majority) of the residents of my district.
And it's not even good writing. He tends to basically toss into his articles whatever he got from scurrilous highly partisan sources, and thinks sprinkling his sentences with bits of poised erudition makes his arguments reasonable, rather than a fumigation technique, to prop up his tossed about ideas -- which tend to wither upon any close scrutiny.
Out of respect I didn't call him out by name.
I was saddened after reading the recent Commentary in the May 2020 issue.
However one feels about affirmative action, no reader comes away having a better understanding of the issues or policy choices after reading the column. Instead the reader is bombarded with legislative jargon, lots of strung together aggrandizing sentences and quotes, including a quotation by Edmund Burke and some obscure comment from some unnamed “college student” in the Dartmouth Review. Honestly it’s not clear how Burke’s statement about “justice” applies towards having an understanding of affirmative action, except as a sophistic embellishment that the vague premise is supported by one of the great legal scholars in history. I guess. Burke said so, so that’s that.
Okay fine, but then we are told the absentee ballots are bunk because the author culls some statement Jimmy Carter made from a 2005 Commission, which we are assured is legit because? Because Carter is not a Republican or a “bone spurs” President? Really? Oregon and Washington State have been doing absentee ballots for years without problems. And why not source more recent bodies of research other than a politically appointed Commission in 2005 or some random quote from a politician who wrote something in the Wall Street Journal. You don’t stir the pot of research with a toothpick.
How about recent studies by the Brennan Center, or MIT? Why did you also contemporaneously ignore the largest study to date on vote-by-mail — written about in the 16 April 2020 Washington Post? That study was done by Daniel M. Thompson, Jennifer Wu, Jesse Yoder, and Andrew B. Hall from Stanford University with the conclusion that there was no partisan advantage.
You are a Californian. You know about Stanford University. How come you gotta reach way back to the Bush administration and use some random politician’s quote to contrive a slanted argument?
Friday, 1 May 2020 at 15h 49m 32s
From 2008 until now.
The WEI is an index of real economic activity using timely and relevant high-frequency data. It represents the common component of ten different daily and weekly series covering consumer behavior, the labor market, and production. The WEI is scaled to the four-quarter GDP growth rate; for example, if the WEI reads -2 percent and the current level of the WEI persists for an entire quarter, one would expect, on average, GDP that quarter to be 2 percent lower than a year previously.
The WEI is a composite of 10 weekly economic indicators:
railroad traffic originated (from the Association of American Railroads),
the American Staffing Association Staffing Index,
wholesale sales of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel,
and weekly average US electricity load (with remaining data supplied by Haver Analytics).
All series are represented as year-over-year percentage changes. These series are combined into a single index of weekly economic activity.
For additional details, including an analysis of the performance of the model, see Lewis, Mertens, and Stock (2020), “U.S. Economic Activity during the Early Weeks of the SARS-Cov-2 Outbreak.”
This index has been developed by Daniel Lewis, an economist in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Karel Mertens, a senior economic policy advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and James Stock, the Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University.
The index is not an official forecast of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, its president, the Federal Reserve System, or the Federal Open Market Committee.
This is an interview with Anders Tegnell, chief epidemiologist at Sweden’s Public Health Agency.
Tegnell: I don't know it well enough but it still seems to me that the Americans let coronavirus go too far before any real strategy came into place. One of the real big problems in the beginning was the lack of testing. I'm also not really sure how well the U.S. health system can change as dramatically as we in Sweden have been able to, for example. We have almost double the intensive care capacity that we had a couple of weeks ago. Being centrally organized and steered (as part of a state-funded system) allows for greater flexibility in changing the health system. I'm not sure how well that can be done in the U.S. with all the private actors and insurance firms. It may make it more difficult to handle this kind of situation.
The skinny: the health-care system in the United States is so balkanized and thread-bare that the United States would not be able to effectively pursue the same policy as Sweden, according to the chief epidemiologist of Sweden's Public Health Agency.
The idea of "herd immunity" is said to occur when 70% of the population has immunity, thereby giving the virus less people to infect. However, that depends upon there being immunity from this virus in the first place.
Some virus's are such that no immunity is possible -- like aids and the common cold -- because the virus mutates too quickly for the immune cells to produce reliable anti-bodies (which attach to the virus, preventing it from attaching to cell receptors). The flu virus also mutates regularly, and some strains are more deadly than others. This is why you have yearly flu vaccines. Virus's also tend to hide within the organisms they infect and can remain dormant (or in remission) only to resurface at a later date -- like the herpes virus.
Right now the science is not solid on there being a guarantee of any type of immunity. There have been reports of people being reinfected out of China and South Korea. I don't pretend to have any expertise on this issue. I just read. Here are some sources I feel are fair and reliable:
In South Korea, health officials are trying to solve a mystery: why 163 people who recovered from coronavirus have retested positive, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
The same has been recorded in China, where some coronavirus patients tested positive after seeming to recover, although there are no official figures.
That raises the question: can you get reinfected with coronavirus?
In South Korea, the proportion of cases that retest positive is low -- of the 7,829 people who have recovered from coronavirus there, 2.1% retested positive, the KCDC said Friday. It is not clear how many of the people who have recovered have been tested again.
From the Quartz link above:
One explanation could simply be that the tests administered to these patients weren’t sensitive enough to distinguish between an active infection and one from which a patient has mostly recovered. “What many people don’t understand is that PCR tests simply for the virus’ genetic material and it is not an assay for active virus,” says Richard Condit, a molecular biologist and professor emeritus at the University of Florida College of Medicine
As the body is recovering from an infection, it clears what Condit calls “virus litter”—inactive debris of viral cells—from the lungs. That litter can be coughed up into the throat, where clinicians take a sample, and a sensitive diagnostic test might mistake that debris for an active infection. It’s also possible—though rare—for a swab to pick up virus in the throat but for that virus to never lead to an active infection.
There could be other testing issues, too. False negatives are surprisingly common, notes Purvi Parikh, an immunologist at NYU Langone Health. Sometimes healthcare workers don’t collect enough material from a patient to get a clear answer; sometimes the test themselves vary so widely that a negative in one could be a positive in another.
Another possibility is that the amount of virus in the patients’ bodies dipped, then spiked again. “They could have had low levels [of the virus] that the test wasn’t picking up and started to replicate again,” says Brianne Barker, an associate biology professor at Drew University. Viruses can reactivate or resurge after a period of latency in the body, though it’s more common in other kinds of viruses—herpes, for example, and varicella, the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles. If SARS-CoV-2 could act similarly, the body may have some immunity when it resurges, meaning that a person may not be able to transmit the virus or that symptoms could be much more mild the second time around.
From the Reuter's link above:
Why, he asked, did tests say he still had the virus more than two months after he first contracted it?
The answer to that question is a mystery baffling doctors on the frontline of China’s battle against COVID-19, even as it has successfully slowed the spread of the coronavirus across the country.
Chinese doctors in Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December, say a growing number of cases in which people recover from the virus, but continue to test positive without showing symptoms, is one of their biggest challenges as the country moves into a new phase of its containment battle.
Those patients all tested negative for the virus at some point after recovering, but then tested positive again, some up to 70 days later, the doctors said. Many have done so over 50-60 days.
But regardless of all that, let's think about this. What meaning does "Herd immunity" have when a virus might reinfect fairly soon after recovery, or can remain dormant? That's a difficult question that I cannot answer, but it certainly must give pause to any knee-jerk turn towards the option of "herd immunity", I think. This is why we need science, and the schools that teach science, because not only do we need to know facts, but we also need to train our youth the understand how to ascertain or have access to reliable facts.