We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We do not know the virus death rates. I'll say it again.
We do not know death rates because we do not know infection rates in the US. We would have to do a mass involuntary screening of people on the street to know that. That will not happen. The only numbers we have is positive tests (on people already symptomatic and seeking tests) and deaths.
We do know death numbers (not accurately, because if you had terminal cancer but a corona pneumonia was the final thing, you're a corona death).
One easy piece of information might be interesting, though: number of deaths in, say, Boston for the week beginning April 4 in 2019, and the numbers for the same week in 2020.
We now know, with certainty, that we must reopen the economy.
Simply put while the various "lockdown" policies have produced a monstrous reduction in economic activity and likely removed an average of 90% or more of interpersonal contacts from the potential transmission space it's not going to do the job.
It has produced change. It has dropped R0 to about 1.5-1.6, more or less. Interestingly enough it dropped it to there irrespective of where you started from; CA never was materially above 2.0, NY nearly touched 3.0, and the national average was right near 2.5. Some of this may be due to testing suppression (if you change testing criteria it looks like your R0 moved when it didn't) but some is also likely due to population density and public transportation networks. It's also likely some is due to environmental factors (e.g. climate), although that's unproved. Not that the reason matters, when you get down to it.
But we all, irrespective of the approach, wind up in the same place, incidentally, where Sweden is and has been despite not forcibly locking down their economy -- that is, urging rather than ordering people to comply.
Materially more than another half-point of R0 reduction, which is what you'd need to drop it under 1.0, isn't going to happen. It's just not. Yet that's what has to happen in order to actually have cases decrease. That, or herd immunity has to be reached, which for a 1.5 R0 is about 33% of the population.
Unfortunately as soon as you release the constraints, even if you wait in lockdown until you reach 33% which would take about 8-9 months at R0 = 1.5, which we could not maintain without destroying the entire economy of the United States and likely the government as well you're back to needing 66% immunity and the geometric detonation you feared happens anyway.
. . . We now know that the health care system is spreading this virus and is a major vector source. Italy has admitted it.
. . . In addition half of all people with the virus have no symptoms at all and thus no way to know they were infected and potentially spreading it. Contact tracing is worthless with a virus that behaves this way because if I'm symptomatic, gave it to two people who you can trace but one of them gave it to someone else and both of them are asymptomatic, a 25% chance, there is no way to know who the second person is. This will happen often enough that even extremely aggressive and intrusive measures will not succeed.
Further, I am convinced that spread by health-care workers, including those who never become symptomatic, is where the detonations are coming from -- and there are a few "very light" areas right now where I've had such reports that I predict in 7-10 days have a high risk of exploding. If any of them do it will prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the health care systems are spreading this bug back into the community on a geometric basis.
Sorry, your R0 figures are very, very underestimated. And R0 actually changes over time in response to activities such as increased testing...And ummm contact tracing seemed to work pretty good in South Korea. Please stop posting/quoting BS, thanks!
I read that too a couple days ago and while he is a perpetual pessimist, his larger point is worth discussing: that the virus will, lockdown notwithstanding, eventually doing what viruses do - plow through the human race with your only defenses being immunity, vaccine (not yet), or cure (also not yet) or just plain dumb luck (not a good plan).
And that therefore we are just trading a temporary fix that accomplishes nothing in the long term, for vast and widespread economic damage.
Is he wrong? I don’t know. Anyone got insight on this specific idea?
If he’s right then we’re being lied to every day right now about the sacrifices we are all making.
Again you miss the whole point of flattening the curve. To prevent this virus from overwhelming the hospitals which would result in far more deaths and many months to years before our health care system would return to normal.
Interesting videos by Peter Robinson of Uncommon Knowledge and the Hoover Institution, they're on youtube sorry no link, Some questions to think about especially some of the unknowns that might take another couple weeks to really know more.
I agree that having comparable data for other dates would be very helpful in assessing how bad this really is. If the background death rate is 100 and now it's still 100 it would mean people's death certificates possibly say something different but the rate is the same.
Here's a link to an EU site that collects excess death data for 26 EU countries. Go to the last line on the first graph, All Ages. Scroll over and look at 2020, week 13 at the green line then look left at how much higher the green line was in past years.
Am I reading this correctly that the death rate now is still much lower than it has been in the past?