Mike Pence is Coronavirus czar, clearly not a Modello guy, and other politics discussion related to the virus

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How Has President Trump Handled the COVID Crisis?

  • He gave a powerful, dominant response. COVID is defeated.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yeah, he made some mistakes, but on the balance he did well.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3.6 Roentgens. Not bad, not great.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Trump did not help things and could have done better.

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Trump's response was an utter disaster and catastrophic in lives and treasure.

    Votes: 9 90.0%
  • Who cares. We all deserve to die.

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Maine Coon would have done better.

    Votes: 1 10.0%

  • Total voters
    10
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Sebastian

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Sorry about your memory loss!

I have some close family and friends anxiously waiting until their smell comes back.
Thank you. It is slowly recovering.

How long have your family and friends been sick, or since they lost their sense of smell?
 

Adam

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I don't disagree - leading lambs to the slaughter is not what I'm advocating. I hope this talk of a vaccine by "year's end/early 2021" bears fruit, but I'm skeptical. And we can't lock down indefinitely.

I'm attaching an article (not yet peer reviewed) passed along to me recently. It involves the work of Gabriella Gomes and Univ of Oxford on the concept that threshold of herd immunity may be found at levels of only 10-20% of the population rather than the often quoted rate of 60-80% cited by most epidemiologists. This is due to their work integrating the "coefficient of variation of susceptibility to infection" within the population into the the classic vaccination formula for herd immunity (1-1/R0 ), which just assumes everyone is the same.

A different way of looking at the same concept of population heterogeneity is introduced by famed mathematician Professor Carl Friston, a giant in the field of neuroscience. According to his mathematical model up to 80% of the population is not susceptible to Covid due to a variety of possible factors which we don't completely understand. The interview below is a detailed discussion of another way of looking at the reasons why herd immunity may occur at only 10-20% of the population being infected due to our heterogeneity of susceptibility to infection. Although Gomes' work is never discussed here it is clearly another way of looking at the same phenomenon with the same outcome. You have a population that is quite heterogenous in terms of susceptibility to infection and that is the reason you do not need to infect 60-80% of people to achieve the threshold of herd immunity. The threshold of herd immunity is defined as the number of people in the population who need to be infected so that there is enough resistance to further infection within the population to achieve a decline rather than an increase in new infections. That is what we have been seeing in NY, London, Spain, Wuhan... pretty much everywhere that the virus has hit and peaked and now is in decline.


The difference between his work and Gomes is that Gomes' model is theoretical and predictive, and based on integrating a variable for the Coefficient of Variation (CV) into the classic herd immunity vaccination formula and coming up with a number. Friston is looking at the data we have and trying to explain it, but both basically are meeting in the same place. This seems like a telling confirmation of a concept that is incredibly important in terms of social policy and predicting where we may be going from where we are.

So, again, most public policy has been based on the assumption that herd immunity requires 60-80%, but that is for vaccinations....not infections. Infections are not random and once you factor in the coefficient of variation of susceptibility to infection and integrate it into vaccination formulas you get herd immunity thresholds between 10-20%. That does, however, still require protective measures, otherwise you increase the R and get a new higher equilibrium; so it's likely important to continue with social distancing, masks etc.

I'm not posting this to suggest we can draw absolute projections/conclusions, but I do find it fascinating. This is a problem none of us have ever experienced in our lifetimes. We can only look at history and try to predict....but everything we do is just that...a prediction. My crystal ball certainly remains cloudy so I am trying to take things day by day.
Even if that is true. Which I sincerely hope. There is a practical issue; How do you ensure you get the right 20% immunized? I suppose you could just give it to the old and infirm like the flu shot. Also key frontline staff. But then little Jimmy a perfectly healthy 20 year old dies of it and there is public outcry because he wasn't given the vaccine. Then you have the issue that if it doesnt remove social distancing then nothing has really changed. Its theoretically achieving a goal f herd immunity but without achieving the real goal which is a return to normality. The virus is not in decline in london due to enough infections, it is due to the public following social distancing and wearing masks on public transport.

I hope this doesnt come across as a personal attack I just find the ideas Friston discusses frustrating.
 

Kiddo

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Thank you. It is slowly recovering.

How long have your family and friends been sick, or since they lost their sense of smell?
It’s only been a couple weeks. They keep seeing that some people don’t get theres back and so they’re pretty worried.
 

Lee

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My cousin (only know her through her uncle) who is in her 30s and had no known underlying conditions got it around 6 weeks ago. It hit her hard and fast with high fever, body pains and breathing issues. She was in the hospital for like a week and bed ridden for a couple more. I heard she was doing well a week or so ago. Well now I hear she is back in the hospital and not doing well. I'm not sure what the current issues are but....
My Rabbi who dies 2 weeks ago at 44 had recovered but then had a fatal heart attack. The thickening of the blood caused by Covid was a contributing factor in his fatal heart attack.
 

Zeus69

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Even if that is true. Which I sincerely hope. There is a practical issue; How do you ensure you get the right 20% immunized? I suppose you could just give it to the old and infirm like the flu shot. Also key frontline staff. But then little Jimmy a perfectly healthy 20 year old dies of it and there is public outcry because he wasn't given the vaccine. Then you have the issue that if it doesnt remove social distancing then nothing has really changed. Its theoretically achieving a goal f herd immunity but without achieving the real goal which is a return to normality. The virus is not in decline in london due to enough infections, it is due to the public following social distancing and wearing masks on public transport.

I hope this doesn't come across as a personal attack I just find the ideas Friston discusses frustrating.
LONG POST ALERT
No sense at all of being attacked. I'm trying to comprehend all of this as I go...

What I took from the article after reading it twice and admitting some is still over my head - herd immunity based on CV at 10-20% is not for a vaccine….it's based on coefficient of variation of susceptibility to infection and it’s because the virus does not infect everybody equivalently….it infects the most likely to be infected first ….the one’s most susceptible and then they are taken out of play so it has to climb the ladder.

Herd immunity for vaccination is based on the formula 1-1/R0 because vaccinations are delivered at random. Natural infections do not, however, occur at random (those most susceptible/exposed are more likely to get it and become immune), so the folks at Oxford and Gomes integrated the variable "CV" into the vaccination formula to account for that.

The virus appears to be in decline wherever it has hit 10-20% saturation. Even without lockdowns and masking policies, Stockholm is looking like NYC.

46553CD8-440E-40B7-BA4E-A2B0B829E74C.jpeg


In Texas and Florida and wherever it hasn’t hit as hard it will likely keep going until it reaches saturation; and when you hit 10-20% you should see it go down like it has in other places where this has happened.

I mentioned London because they’ve hit 17% saturation.


And here are the maps of new cases and deaths. Same as what you got in NYC.




When I’ve had the opportunity to speak more with my epidemiologist friend (tough to pin down), he mind dumps a lot of information… My brain works a bit differently than these folks, so I’m trying to distill it for other lay people like myself. Also, I’m not saying that I'm convinced that this is how things will play out…

Some points:
  1. Infection fatality rate keeps going down as we find out how many people are actually infected. We have about 2.6 million 'cases" in the country but more infected people than that in NYC alone. CDC says that the number of infected is at least 10X times the cases documented.
  2. Young people for the most part don't go to the hospital and don't get that sick from this. As they spread the virus amongst themselves (primarily) the death rates per population infected (the IFR) will continue to go down. The fact that death rates in general are going down is encouraging.
  3. The most important data to look at is EXCESS death rate beyond what you would normally expect. For example, if you normally expect 100K Americans to die in June from all causes...how many actually did die? Was it many more than that? You can attribute that to Covid. Those rates are also going down nationally now. The expectation is that they will bump up with the current spread but when all is said and done you need to subtract those expected to die anyway from those who actually did, and look at excess death rates like an actuary would.
  4. The curves you see in NYC are the same as what you see in places where the virus achieved a saturation of 10-20%. Places that locked down early ....before the wave hit were just likely wasting their time. Like hiding indoors when the rain clouds are 500 miles away. You won't get wet but you wouldn't have anyway.
  5. Not likely we will see the curve pick up in NY as it did in March/April with re opening. We may see some bumps and some new cases in clusters but nothing like what we saw two months ago. Also optimism that if there is a second wave in the fall/winter in NYC it will be smaller than the first wave, and by a significant amount. Had we suppressed the first wave very effectively there would be greater risk of a larger second wave, but the virus is spreading now unconfined and it will likely lead to less risk of a second wave if/when that happens.
  6. Interesting that across the USA cases are up in a big way but deaths are down. That tells you that testing is a big factor. From NY Times: IMG_0075.png
  7. In the past we would typically see case death ratios of 3-10% from most places but this one....269 deaths for 38753 cases is 0.7% (CFR). That means testing has been ramped up tremendously or that the virus has become less deadly. Now if it's true as the CDC says that there are 10X as many infections as cases it means the IFR is under 0.1% (~ 0.07% nationwide). That is very good news. Less than 1/1000 die from this. Encouraging based on the original numbers we were hearing and what was used for modeling by Neil Ferguson at Imperial College. Youyang Gu’s Machine Learning model (https://covid19-projections.com/) predicts 190K deaths by Oct 1st.
  8. The virus is past containment in the U.S. Hopefully the discussion about herd immunity kicking in at 10-20% is accurate because an effective vaccine in the short term is still a bit like buying lottery tickets.
  9. It's either pay me now or pay me later. If you don't get enough people infected now you will have a second wave. Treatments like Remdesivir and Dexamethasone are nice if you get sick but have very little effect on the shape of death curves from a population standpoint. Who gets sick and when they get sick shapes the big picture.
  10. Every plague has come and gone throughout time and this one will too.

He also linked me to the following article, which is an interesting read (can’t recall if it had been posted on RCF in past):

 

Sumac13

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KI4MVP

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deaths down 12% today vs same day last week. Cases still up.
 

MediumBaller

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The same politicians, public health officials, and media members who wring their hands about 20somethings going to bars continue to say nothing negative about protests/rallies of thousands of people. This strategy of picking and choosing which mass gatherings are acceptable and which aren't based on their political usefulness would be humorous if it wasn't so infuriating. They're living in a fantasy land if they think they're going to get people to stay home and stop gathering again (to the extent they ever did in the first place).

 
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Sebastian

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The same politicians, public health officials, and media members who wring their hands about 20somethings going to bars continue to say nothing negative about protests/rallies of thousands of people. This strategy of picking and choosing which mass gatherings are acceptable and which aren't based on their political usefulness would be humorous if it wasn't so infuriating. They're living in a fantasy land if they think they're going to get people to stay home and stop gathering again (to the extent they ever did in the first place).

There is no evidence the protests have resulted in spikes. Oddly enough.

There is plenty of evidence regarding bars and other gatherings.

There are probably two reasons for this, in my opinion: 1) People going to bars, and partying, are probably not wearing masks, or social distancing, and 2) Protests tend to be outside.

I think indoor proximity is the real killer in this equation.

That and all the young people making out and fornicating.

https://www.npr.org/sections/corona...-tell-about-cluster-spread-of-the-coronavirus
 

DJTJ

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The things that keep me up at night...

If you don’t wear a mask but own a gun because you fear being murdered by a robber... do you realize more people died of COVID in six months then more homicides reported in the last ten years?

You won’t wear a mask to protect you from something considerably more likely to occur than your home invasion murder jerk off dream scenario.
 

MediumBaller

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There is no evidence the protests have resulted in spikes. Oddly enough.

There is plenty of evidence regarding bars and other gatherings.

There are probably two reasons for this, in my opinion: 1) People going to bars, and partying, are probably not wearing masks, or social distancing, and 2) Protests tend to be outside.

I think indoor proximity is the real killer in this equation.

That and all the young people making out and fornicating.

https://www.npr.org/sections/corona...-tell-about-cluster-spread-of-the-coronavirus
Covid cases among 20somethings have skyrocketed during June in Minnesota.

We've also seen in states like Florida and Texas, and in cities like Philadelphia, that increasing numbers of people in the 20-29 age group have been catching the virus. Houston is having a lot of cases right now and a few weeks ago there was a massive indoor funeral for George Floyd in Houston. It could be the case that this is because of bars, and I don't doubt that they're playing a part, but bars make easy scapegoats imho. Hating on the young, drunk hooligans is a time-honored tradition. A lot of the pictures I've seen of packed bars are on outdoor patios or other outdoor settings.

I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that protests have been spreading the virus. The 20-29 group is also the prime protest age group. We've seen several NBA players test positive after showing up to protests. Bars have been open in Indiana for over a month now, and it's been 8 weeks since we started opening. Our cases are lower than they were May 1st, and it's most certainly not because Hoosiers have been cautious. People have been acting like the virus doesn't exist, and you get dirty looks from people if you're one of the few wearing a mask. I don't think there's any definitive way to tell what activities are causing the spread, especially when contact tracers in places like NYC are being instructed to not ask positive people if they went to any protests.
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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It's silly to think that protests don't result in spreading the virus.

You're putting a ton of people in close proximity. That means any carrier who attends a protest is going to be exposed to more potential hosts than normal. That means the spread is increased.

There isn't any amount of hopeful or wishful thinking that changes these facts. You can argue if the increase is significant, but there is an increase.

That being said, there is obviously a difference between protesting and going to a bar. Your right to go to a local watering hole isn't protected in the first amendment. A politician attempting to shut down your right to assemble isn't going to go over well.
 

inliner311

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Covid cases among 20somethings have skyrocketed during June in Minnesota.

We've also seen in states like Florida and Texas, and in cities like Philadelphia, that increasing numbers of people in the 20-29 age group have been catching the virus. Houston is having a lot of cases right now and a few weeks ago there was a massive indoor funeral for George Floyd in Houston. It could be the case that this is because of bars, and I don't doubt that they're playing a part, but bars make easy scapegoats imho. Hating on the young, drunk hooligans is a time-honored tradition. A lot of the pictures I've seen of packed bars are on outdoor patios or other outdoor settings.

I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that protests have been spreading the virus. The 20-29 group is also the prime protest age group. We've seen several NBA players test positive after showing up to protests. Bars have been open in Indiana for over a month now, and it's been 8 weeks since we started opening. Our cases are lower than they were May 1st, and it's most certainly not because Hoosiers have been cautious. People have been acting like the virus doesn't exist, and you get dirty looks from people if you're one of the few wearing a mask. I don't think there's any definitive way to tell what activities are causing the spread, especially when contact tracers in places like NYC are being instructed to not ask positive people if they went to any protests.
Indiana hospital rate isn't good for the population of the state. It's basically half the population of Ohio and has just as many current hospitalizations. Minnesota on the other hand has less than half of the current hospitalizations of Indiana and they are similar size populations.

I do think protests do have some to do with the spike but I do also trust that the contact tracers are finding alot of links to bars. Bars are basically a big game of in person 6 degrees of separation. Add in loud music and everyone screaming or having to get within inches of each other to say anything, I understand why it is probably spreading hard in bars and clubs.

If you can remove the constant movement of a bar and get everyone to sit down like a restaurant, I think they can stay operation during the pandemic. People keeping to their group of friends they came with would probably help a ton.
 
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