Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Coronavirus data, and some cautious conclusions - and an apology to Aesop

Ignore the hype.  The data are not hype, and the hype is not data.  This is the most important thing to know about the Coronavirus:

This is the weekly US COVID deaths as reported by the CDC.  Even with the shift from "dying from COVID" to "dying with COVID" to "dying in the same Zip code as COVID" (like the Florida buy killed in a motorcycle accident whose fatality is included in the graph here), we see that deaths are way, way down and dropping further.  The data are clear on this.

This is the second most important thing to know about the Coronavirus:

This is the US All Cause Deaths.  You can see the annual spikes during the winter Flu season.  This year is definitely not "just a bad flu season" - deaths are significantly up from two years ago (which was a bad flu season).  The dashed line is all cause deaths minus Coronavirus deaths but again you see the deaths dropping.  The last three dots are most recent reports which are incomplete and which will be adjusted upwards in the future as it can take 8 weeks for all deaths to be reported.

Data are from here, which is worth a read in full.

And this is where I was wrong and Aesop was right - this was not just a bad flu.  The data are crystal clear on that.

However, the data did not justify shutting down the economy.  The data did not justify preventing you from saying goodbye to Grandma on her deathbed.  The data did not justify prohibiting public gatherings at funerals.  The data did not justify shutting down Sunday church.  The data did not justify shutting down the schools.  The data don't justify mandatory mask wearing.  The data don't justify the hype.

The data do justify intelligent measures to protect vulnerable populations.  The data do justify additional health care resources to make sure the hospitals - and their employees - do not get overloaded.  There are probably a couple others that could go here, but I'd be pretty surprised if it's more than a couple others.

But we are not governed by Philosopher Kings, which means that we get the worst of both worlds - we get forced infection of vulnerable populations, we have great stress in the health care system, and we have Autocratic tyranny that would have had the Russian Tsars scribbling notes.

In a younger and more vigorous age of this Republic, the politicians who imposed all this useless misery on the population would have been horsewhipped through the public square.  The data don't say that, but we can figure that out all on our own.


dakotared said...

Interesting bit of data and yet I must disagree. From totally mathematical standpoint of statistics it was just a bad flu. 20-25K in one year is a lot. Stretch it out over 330M and statistically its just a bad flu. A really bad one for the old and sick. This is from someone who is both but has continued taking care of patients because I love doing it.

Keyser Soze said...

@dakotared Except it is not over.

I think it's going to be around for months...perhaps a couple of years, and we will have hotspot flareups in metropolitan cities for some time. My gut tells me that our infection rate is 10-20% in the US, but I could be persuaded one way or the other by *good* data, which we do not have. Just deaths.

About three months ago I concluded there is an inevitability to all of this. The die has been cast. There isn't much that can be done to minimize deaths any further, aside from preventing them from overloading the medical staff.

On the low end I expect we shall have a few hundred thousand who don't make it. Others who suffer long term and perhaps permanent organ damage.

Perhaps deaths and morbidities can be alleviated through treatment to minimize the infection. HDCQ+zinc, or other ionophores like green tea+zine, eating well, sleeping enough and getting plenty of Vit C and Vit D can also curb serious cases.

Mike Rowe recently verbalized most of my conclusions at this point:

Like every other outbreak, this too shall pass. Take care of you and your own.

Glen Filthie said...

All we know for sure is that the numbers are crap. That, and if this truly were a lethal pandemic, our countermeasures are woefully inadequate. No, the stupid masks and the neurotic Karen’s aren’t helping.

Our best numbers peg survivability at around 99.95. It’s just the flu.

Ted said...

Massachusetts has a Data "Dashboard" but they keep adjusting the scales so any casual viewer with misinterpret the data to conclude that the situation is worse than it is. Then as a last resort, they also change the criteria for the data elements. There is no consistency in the data presentation. There is only one reason to play those sorts of games.

The data in whole does not confirm the story they are trying to present. So find a piece of the data that sort of does.

It's the same thing with the constant media focus on presenting the number of cases. It's a very big number and it's always presented in a manner as if somehow eventually the number of cases will start to go down. But, of course, since it's a cumulative statistic it will never decrease.

Unknown said...

As a Paramedic in NC and an ER worker, I have to say we are seeing many patient with COVID symptoms and we are just over half the year done. By the end of December this is going to be more than a bad flu, maybe not much more, but more. And something most people are not thinking about, the flu virus and Covid have many of the same symptoms, how are we going to tell them apart (as a practical matter) in the fall when flu season starts and compounds the problems in the Hospitals.

Ted said...

and the second graph may actually eventually will show that is a Bad flue. It may eventually show that total deaths over time are normal. The early big spike maybe offset by a later deeper dip in the weekly totals. But the results won't be clear for 12 months.

McChuck said...

A standard flu year has 30,000 - 60,000 deaths. We know the 150,000 number is completely bogus, and reality is probably closer to 100,000. But still, we're only at the 1998 level of flu. Which was a bad flu. When we had a lot fewer people here in the country.

Except that everybody who gets the flu is miserable. 80%+ of the people who get the Killer Cold barely notice any symptoms at all. And it, with very rare exceptions, doesn't kill children.

Aesop said...

Yes, a standard flu YEAR has XX,000 deaths (and it's more like 20K typical, 50K bad). You're looking at death data for mainly 1/4 of a year, for a disease going into a second (of God alone knows how many total) wave, before noting that the drop in trauma deaths during the lockdown means that spike is commensurately higher than it looks. And deaths are always 2-4 weeks in the future, until this hits 0 cases.

Other than that, I have little quibble with Borepatch's assessments.
You're getting the worst of both worlds, as redstate "just the flu,bro" @$$holes fight to become NYFC and out-stupid Gov. Clowno and Mayor DeBozo, while the bluestate f**ktards are doing their level best to crash the economy to make things bad for OrangeMan, when they're not ignoring mask-free protests, and jamming infected people in convo homes full of those already in God's waiting room.

That dual-party Gilligan Effect will probably kill 2-3X the initial spike by year's end, and in CA, FL,TX, and now MS, healthcare systems are heading for reefer vans of corpses only slightly slower than in the first wave in NYFC.

In SoCal, we're at nearly 2 months of full hospital/full ICU/full ER 24/7.
We're a little bit better at treating the worst Kung Flu cases, so people don't die intubated as much, they just spend 3 months on their face getting 50L/min of O2 in the ICU.

In all of March, I saw maybe 5 Kung Flu cases, personally. I see 10+/wk, currently, and they're SICK. (And no, Glen, the death rate still runs 3%, not .05%; stick to what you know. Whatever that is.) That's great for the other 97% who get it, and the 50% mostly asymptomatic, but dead is dead.

The people dying now are the heart attacks and traumas, because the ERs are closed, and ICU beds are all full.


And with the increase in case numbers of sick patients, and the ongoing shortage of PPE, health care workers are getting sick too. We've sent multiple nurses and docs home, and we're short every night, despite killer $$ incentives, because everyone's burnt out now, and you can't spend the money if you end up in ICU. Or dead, whether from COVID, or falling asleep behind the wheel after pulling an 80-hour week.

(I remind one and all that the average age of nurses in the US is around 50, well within the sweet spot of people whom Kung Flu jacks up severely.)

And given the lack of common sense observed over this, the same thing is going to happen in every state, just over different time frames.

So wherever you live, you'll be getting your state's $#!^burger, and this PITA situation will drag on and on into next Spring, with all likelihood.

If you like your pandemic, you can keep your pandemic. Just keep gatheting up in bars, at parties, at dumb@$$ riots, and wear your mask under your chin, and keep spreading it around until it gets to every nook and cranny of the country.

Like we're seeing, every day.

Aesop said...

BTW, L.A. County's chief medical officer gave the daily COVID briefing for that county:
Record single-day Kung Flu deaths for the county yesterday(91), and among hospitalized patients, 1/3 are 65+, 1/3 are 35-64, and 1/3 are 18-34. So much for this thing "only affecting old people."
Yet another case of Hopeium stocks crashing and burning.
Sell short.

Oh, school-aged kids don't get that sick from this?
So we should open schools like normal??
Lemme know WhoTF you think is spreading it to everyone, and has the poorest record for hand-washing, mask-wearing, and basic hygiene, in every pandemic since Noah's Flood.
I'll wait over here while some folks work that one out their ownselves.

Meanwhile, keep the brats at home.

Bonus Points: Public schools, the teachers who work there, and hence the anarcho-nannystate loving unions to which they belong, get $0 for no kids present, so every day you homeschool, you gut the core constituency of the DemoCommunist Party, defund their candidates, and help sabotage the progenitors of every dopey-assed retarded civilzation-wrecking idea in American history since 1865.

Opening retail with minimal restrictions, and shutting down public schools for the next 2 years straight should be somebody's campaign slogan and policy plank, just like shutting down foreign worker visas. Parents realizing most kids can get their day's schoolwork done in 3 hours instead of 7 has been a real eye-opener for a lot of people regarding how bassackwards and dumbed down most state schooling is.

Glen Filthie said...

Yeah yeah yeah. Typical of you and the other gas bags and stupid old women, Aesop: if the science doesn’t work, cook the books and MAKE it work. Everyone PANIC!!! You can’t even handle the elementary math or grade 11 bioscience to make an intelligent opinion. If we were going through a pandemic - a REAL one and not one of your endless doomsday fantasies - trust me, we’d know it and there’d be no room for argument or disagreement.

The real take-away from the scamdemic is this, fellas: if we ever DO actually face a REAL genuine virulent pandemic...guys like Aesop, half wit polticos like his governor, chicken headed bints like Nancy Pelosi, their fart catchers at CNN... they’ll be the ones calling the shots. The guys you want to listen to have the PhD’s and are at ground zero. Look at what we’re seeing: the real doctors don’t agree. They are divided on the nature of the bug itself, treatment, and prevention. The guys that claim to know all about it are the media slobs at CNN and moron bloggers gullible enough to take them seriously.

Call me all the names you want, Aesop. At the end of the day, you can’t do math or science, and I am not afraid of your bogeymen. Give my regards to Don Lemon next time you guys are snoodling.

Roy said...

Okay, Aesop.

You are very good at telling us we are all wrong, wrong, wrong, and that we are all mere "Gilligan's" or "Toothless-Banjo-pickers-who-have-ruined-your-state."

Very well. Now assume for a moment that you have taken over in a coup and are now supreme dictator. So... What, EXACTLY, would you have us all do?

And while you cogitate on that, savor the thought that most places in this country are *NOT* southern California, with southern California mores and southern California political idiocy.

Eainsdad said...

Given that the hospitals get extra money for handling COVID patients, and given that hospitals have been documented as listing people who died of gunshot wounds to the head and heart attacks as COVID deaths, what makes you think those "hospitalizations" are actual COVID hospitalizations?
What percentage of the total "hospitalizations" are *not* COVID related?
I bet it is vanishingly close to zero.
Magically close to zero.
Almost as if all of the hospitalizations are being recorded as COVID so the administration can make that money.

Aesop said...

1) I took great pains to point out NOT to panic, times without number. You could look it up.
2) Thanks a pantload for being the BEST online Gilligan EVER (c).
If you didn't already exist, I'd have had to invent you, but you're so much better on your own than a fictional character as to make the effort pointless.

1) I have never, not even once, accused "everybody" of being Gilligans;
nor accused "everybody" of being your toothless banjo-playing kinfolk that have ruined my state. That latter honor only belongs to about 10M of your actual toothless banjo-playing kinfolk who live *here* in Califrutopia.
So you're already behind the curve a wee bit on reading comprehension,
and you get a 15 yard penalty for Double Strawman Fallacy, plus loss of down.
2) I answered your query some months back:
a) Wash your hands.
b) Wear a mask in public.
(An N95 if you want to protect *yourself* from everyone else, and can get them.
A surgical mask if you want to protect *everyone else* from your own coughs and sneezes, whether you're asymptomatically infected or not.)
c) Wash your hands after touching anything potentially contaminated.
d) If you're going to wear gloves, they're ALWAYS contaminated, so you have to take them off before you touch yourself, your stuff, or your body (unless you're a Gilligan Idiot, in which case, lick doorknobs and stripper poles, and pee on electric fences and the third rail on subways, to save time.)
e) Wash your hands immediately after you take gloves off.
f) Wash your hands before you eat, and before you touch your face.
g) Stop touching your face.
h) Stop touching your cellphone in contaminated areas (that would be anywhere in public, and possibly even at home.)
i) Minimize your time out and about among the (literal) unwashed during a pandemic, and among people like Glen who think Pasteur's Germ Theory was a clever hoax.
j) Wash your hands.

Clever readers will note a trend there.
Cogitate on the fact that even with Southern Califrutopia mores and political idiocy, and a governor (Gabbin' Nuisance, by name) we managed to have 1/10th the deaths statewide as NYFC, which has 1/8th their population.
Then cogitate on the fact that more than 1 person in 10 in the entire country lives within 1/2 a tank of gas from where I'm sitting, and that at least 3 in 5 lives in a similarly situated city or suburb anywhere else.
Then cogitate on the fact that nothing I laid out in a-j, above, requires you to become a communist, ass-rape the Bill of Rights, nor tank the economy; but that because some large number of your friends and neighbors were, are, and will be too f**king stupid to DO THAT 24/7/365, instead of choking this thing off in 2 weeks, -- *like we could have done in the first half of March with a mere thimbleful of common sense* - me, you, and everyone else are going to be eating this massive $#!^burger, coast to coast, for a year or more, and the number of people *killed* by this weak-ass low mortality bug is not even in the first 100 problems you're suffering or going to suffer because of it.

Since you asked.

Aesop said...


I'll take that bet.

I personally treated and admitted 4 new COVID admissions last night.
Three went to moderate telemetry care, and one went to the ICU.
I see the chest x-rays of all of them, and monitor the fact that they have bilateral multi-focal pneumonia (look it up), a type and clinical presentation we NEVER saw before COVID, because, in fact, 99.9999% of all pneumonia I've seen for only 25 years of ER nursing is generally only in one spot, or on only one side, not everywhere in both lungs simultaneously.
I also see seemingly healthy people, even in their twenties, with oxygen saturation numbers that look like numbers from 70-year-old lifelong smokers with emphysema. Like I've been seeing for months, only since this pandemic hit here.
I suppose those clever bastards could have all been faking it, right?

Meanwhile, about half of the admissions I see are non-COVID.
(For any Common Core Math grads out there, that would be +/- 50%.)

SOME hospitals are alleged to be getting money for COVID patients.
(If you knew that the amount alleged covers maybe 10% of the cost to hospitalize and treat each case, you wouldn't be swinging that weak reed around like a samurai sword of "Gotcha!" In short, you're basically showing how much you don't know about healthcare. I'm not being mean about that, just telling you the truth.)

SOME hospitals doesn't equal ALL hospitals.
You should maybe familiarize yourself with Venn diagrams, and Logic 101, and get back to me.

On the day people like Rush Limbaugh had their "Aha! GOTCHA!" moment, when some f**ktard in Florida classified ONE death from a motorcycle crash as a COVID death, 900+ other people died from Kung Flu. This is the same level of moronity that has BLM protesters yapping about 1 (of about 9, annually, nationwide) unarmed black men shot in police custody annually out of 2-3 million contacts with law enforcement, while ignoring the thousands of blacks killed by OTHER BLACK PEOPLE, IN THE HOOD, and then claiming recockulously that "black lives matter." Even if Limbozo isn't better man than to stoop to such nonsense, you should be.

If you want to extrapolate ONE case of anything as equalling the other 99.91% of cases, EVERYWHERE, because Reasons, I wish you a lot of luck keeping the Second Amendment in play when ONE f**ktard anywhere goes on a shooting spree.
You might want to re-think your hypothesis just on that basis.

But if not, let's examine your contention that 1,000,000 doctors and 2,000,000 nurses, plus tens of thousands of respiratory therapists, lab workers, radiology technicians, and another 1,000,000 hospital administrators, insurance clerks and executives, and every one in any level of government health care -local, city, county, state, and federal- are ALL IN ON THIS FIENDISH PLOT TO HOODWINK EVERYONE ELSE, AND NOBODY'S BLOWN THE WHISTLE ON THIS YUUUUUUUUUUGE CONSPIRACY...but, you, at home, from your computer, have cracked the case all on your own.

And while you're up, tell us that chemtrails are not the natural byproduct of hydtocarbon combustion at altitude, but rather Bigfoot and Elvis riding unicorns through the sky to poison the Loch Ness Monster and make humanity sterile, right after you win the Powerball lottery on every draw for six months running.

The two are roughly mathematically equivalent likelihoods.

"Magically close to zero", as you put it.

So, let me know how much you wagered, and I'll tell you where to send my money.

Or, you could maybe try a more workable hypothesis.
I'll magnanimously spot you Dealer's Choice on thay, m'kay? :)

LSP said...

"the politicians who imposed all this useless misery on the population would have been horsewhipped through the public square."


Roy said...

"...your toothless banjo-playing kinfolk that have ruined my state."

Well, that's the nub of it, Aesop. This is the internet. You think you know me, but the reality is that you no more know me than the man on the moon. It just so happens that some of my kin folk *are* banjo pickers. None of them are toothless, and *NONE* of those banjo pickers live in California. Right now, they wouldn't move there for anything because, to them, California is so ate up with dumb-ass that it has become almost unlivable by anyone but a card-carrying communist.

And who did that to your home state of Cali-dumbass? My kinfolk, you say? Well, it just so happens that some of my kinfolk - none of them banjo pickers, I might add - did indeed move to California several decades ago. One of my brothers was stationed in San Diego while in the Navy, (as was I), and he met his future wife, fell in love with her, and lived there for over 35 years. She, on the other hand, had never lived anywhere else. He was, and still is, very conservative. As is his wife. As is their one, now adult, child. However, all three of them saw how stupid that state had become and how even a lot of the non-communists in that state had the attitude of being better than everyone else. (Gee, where have we seen that!) They got the hell out while the getting was good and moved to Nebraska. They sold their house in SD and have never looked back. They both loved California until it turned communist. Now they both love Nebraska - even the winters - because it's a lot freer place. Their daughter married and her and her family now live in west Texas. So that's four conservative votes that *left* California and two each added to Nebraska and Texas. So how's that working out for ya?

Then there's my aunt and uncle. He worked in the aerospace industry which took him all over the country. (He doesn't play the banjo either, and as far as I know, he still has most of his teeth. He is pushing 90 after all.) He settled in California back in the eighties. Him and my aunt and their three kids were all conservative Republicans. About ten years ago, they and two of their kids, now adults, decided they had had enough of the Calfruitopia attitude and stupidity and moved back home. So there again, that's a four vote conservative loss to California and a four vote gain to our home state. (One son is still there holding out for an eventual breakout of sanity. I hope he's not holding his breath.)

I get it, Aesop. You *hate* folk from Appalachia. (Thus the whole "toothless banjo pickers" trope.) Why, I'm not sure - and really don't care all that much as long as you stay in your neck of the woods and don't come near me - but from previous comments it seems to be based on one stupid movie named "Deliverance". A *stupid* movie. A product of California. (Yeah, I know it was filmed on location in North Georgia, but it was still a product of Hollyweird.) The irony is that banjo pickers, toothless or not, tend to be country, and therefore conservative folks. They would be your natural allies if you weren't such arrogant assholes. If they all moved to California en mass, they might even turn that place around.


Roy said...


Which brings me to your solutions for the epidemic. They seem to boil down to Wash your hands and wear a mask.

Oh, and don't touch your face. Go ahead. Try it. Try *not* to touch your face. Even people standing behind a podium at a news conference to harangue us about touching our face, cannot keep from touching their face - even while still on camera. It's a very human, semi-autonomous function - like breathing. If your eye itches, you rub it. If your nose itches, you scratch it. All without thinking about it. But I forgot. You southern Calfruitopians are above us mere "toothless banjo pickers" in the other 49.

As to the washing of hands and the wearing of masks, I tend to agree with you right up to the point where you start trying to impose this shit on everybody else because *YOUR* state spent all of its funds on fruitopia unicorn farts instead of medical infrastructure. Just because you folks did that doesn't mean everybody else did. (Full disclosure - you are NOT the only person on the internet that works in healthcare.)

The thing is, Aesop, you sometimes make a good point. The problem is that you can't seem to make *ANY* point without spewing invective and insults in all directions.

That, and you seem to take an unseemly joy anytime there is any bad news about this or any other (see Ebola) pandemic.

Aesop said...

Point taken, Roy: none of *your* relatives are the toothless, banjo-playing kinfolk to which I've ever referred.

Which begs the question of why you're so butthurt by a term that includes neither you nor yours. I'll leave it to you to work out what your own motives are, as it's clearly no further concern of mine.

As to wearing a mask, handwashing, and not touching one's face, it isn't any more a superpower than is not wetting yourself or pooping in your pants by grammar school. It's so not-hard to wash and mask repeatedly that I and most of 3M or so colleagues have been doing it daily for going on 6 months.

Despite your earnest opinion that it's nearly impossible to accomplish, much like the lifelong benefits of potty-training, I must therefore nonetheless recommend for those who find the prospect daunting, they do their level best to master it.

And pointing out that politicians and journalists - the two stupidest user-groups in Western civilization other than actual retarded people, by decades of repeated examples - have trouble mastering it, cuts no ice.

We managed to teach *doctors* to wear masks and wash their hands within only a generation or two, coupled only with professional ridicule, and regular beatings about the head and shoulders by way of reinforcing the lesson. Now, they're not only believers in the methods, but among its most ardent advocates.

Passing the habit on to people with only *average* amounts of ego and self-importance shouldn't be anywhere near as difficult, a century-plus onward in time. It's generally learnable by anyone who doesn't habitually put their shoes and socks on, in that order.
I thus urge everyone to give it a try.

But if it is, indeed, too hard for anyone to accomplish, I hope by all means they will let us know how serial lockdowns and rotating bouts of unemployment work out for them instead.

The beauty of the body's nervous system is that as a feedback loop, it accounts for the fact that some people can only learn that stoves are hot by grabbing one with both hands.