932 thoughts on “Covid-19 Updates”

  1. Florida numbers, roundly:  49,000 tested positive/9,000 hospitalized (ever)/2200 died. So about 20% of cases are hospitalized, and about 20% of hospitalized don’t recover.  The death rate among people tested positive is over 4 percent.

    Connecticut cases, roundly, 39,000 tested positive/3600 died.  So almost 10% death rate among those tested positive.

    Note in Switzerland’s statistics the number who died are over 5% of the number tested positive.

    For some reason I see 1% death rate in many discussions but I don’t see it borne out in statistics.  You can say some deaths were wrongly attributed, and some people did not get tested, but then again some newly diagnosed people will probably die, too:  I think the data don’t support 1% mortality.

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  2. Jojo:
    For some reason I see 1% death rate in many discussions but I don’t see it borne out in statistics.

    Without knowing the criteria being applied or the makeup of the population being tested, it’s difficult to draw any inference from the number of tests compared to the number of deaths.  If “cases tested positive” includes only people who presented themselves to a physician or hospital with apparent symptoms and subsequently tested positive, then there may be a substantially larger number of people who contracted the disease and were completely asymptomatic or had only mild symptoms and were never tested.  Data from Iceland and Italy suggest that as many as 50% of people infected are asymptomatic.  If you add in the mild cases (which seems to be the case for a large majority of people under 60), that means the number tested positive is only a fraction of the total infected, and consequently the death rate among all those infected may be lower than you get by dividing deaths by positive tests.

    The only way to get a real handle on the case fatality rate is to test a broad sample of the population for antibodies, which tells whether a person was infected, regardless of the severity of symptoms.  But this is just getting underway, and some reports indicate the tests may be less than reliable for estimating actual prevalence of antibodies.

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  3. The view here is many people have had a mild form of the disease so 4% of those testing positive is not a true number. People are told to not to get the test unless they have severe symptoms.

    It is great to see around 200 plus recover daily!

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  4. John Walker:

    Jojo:
    For some reason I see 1% death rate in many discussions but I don’t see it borne out in statistics.

    Without knowing the criteria being applied or the makeup of the population being tested, it’s difficult to draw any inference from the number of tests compared to the number of deaths.  If “cases tested positive” includes only people who presented themselves to a physician or hospital with apparent symptoms and subsequently tested positive, then there may be a substantially larger number of people who contracted the disease and were completely asymptomatic or had only mild symptoms and were never tested.  Data from Iceland and Italy suggest that as many as 50% of people infected are asymptomatic.  If you add in the mild cases (which seems to be the case for a large majority of people under 60), that means the number tested positive is only a fraction of the total infected, and consequently the death rate among all those infected may be lower than you get by dividing deaths by positive tests.

    The only way to get a real handle on the case fatality rate is to test a broad sample of the population for antibodies, which tells whether a person was infected, regardless of the severity of symptoms.  But this is just getting underway, and some reports indicate the tests may be less than reliable for estimating actual prevalence of antibodies.

    Yes, I hear and understand that reasoning, and I don’t find it reassuring or even reasonable, considering we do not seem to have anything like solid evidence that vast numbers of people have no adverse symptoms or so mild they never got a test.  The number of people who have tested positive is not a perfect “denominator” but it’s a lot more solid than the number of people who maybe possibly mighta coulda had it.  The number of people who tested positive is about as good a gauge as we can get of the people who had it severely enough to seek medical attention.   And like five percent of them died.  I think that’s a more appropriate measure of mortality.

    Solid evidence that half of us have had it with mild or no symptoms would be significant and reassuring IF we knew that conferred some degree of immunity.  But we don’t know that yet either.

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  5. Jojo:
    The number of people who tested positive is about as good a gauge as we can get of the people who had it

    Actually, NY has been doing antibody testing.    The numbers I saw showed that at that time in NYC, 21% of the population tested positive for WuFlu antibodies.    That calculated out to a mortality rate of less than .90% which is under the mortality rate of the flu.

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  6. The seasonal flu mortality doesn’t include people who didn’t know they had it, or it would be much lower. I found a somewhat helpful Washington Post article from a few weeks ago which differentiated between the case fatality rate and the infection fatality rate. The case fatality rate for Covid 19 is on the order of 5 percent. For the seasonal flu it is something under 1 percent. They are not close in that regard.

    The infection fatality rate for Covid 19 may possibly be under one percent, based on some antibody testing, as Ed K says. That is the one percent statistic I hear. I also note that John Walker above mentions antibody testing may be unreliable. (All information about this virus seems unreliable,)

    But one percent is still double or quadruple the seasonal flu infection fatality rate, per the WaPo. And of course Covid19 also seems to be more contagious than the flu. A one percent infection fatality rate for an infection you get is way worse than a half percent infection fatality rate for an infection you don’t get.

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  7. I wonder if it would be good to do a post about what we know about this virus and what is conjecture about it. People have been told so many things that have not proved to be true.

    I am afraid the doctors have reverted to the old  standby of “Operation was successful. The patient died.” This was before they realize that their efforts cause more harm than good at times.

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  8. This is today’s update for Switzerland [PDF], published at 06:00 UTC on 2020-05-23.  This report is updated every day, but always has the same URL: you need to look at the document to see whether today’s update has been posted.  Summary:

    • Cases tested positive: 30,725 with 18 new since yesterday
    • Deaths so far: 1641 up 3 since yesterday, 58% male, 42% female, median age 84
    • Tests administered: 367,037, of which 10% were positive, 46% male, 54% female
    • Median age of those tested positive: 52
    • Total cases hospitalised: 3923, 60% male, 40% female, median age 72
    • Cases per 100,000 population: 358, unchanged from yesterday

    Here is the chart of cases reported per day since the first declared case.

    Switzerland: COVID-19 cases through 2020-05-23

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  9. Two pieces of information suggest the establishment is now realizing that medical personnel are a significant transmission vector.

    First, virtue signaling retail establishments have been letting medical personnel, first responders, etc. shop during the hours reserved for senior citizens and the immunocompromised. But Massachusetts has made this illegal.

    Second, on entering a Yale New Haven Hospital/Health facility you are now asked whether you have been discharged from a hospital in the last two weeks.

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  10. Jojo:
    people who didn’t know they had it, or it would be much lower. I

    Hi Jojo.    My understanding is that the influenza fatality rates published by CDC include an adjustment for just this case v infection fatality rate

    “the rates are adjusted to correct for under-detection of influenza. ”

    Now, IMO, both the CDC and the Washington Post have a spotty track records so there at least two grains of salt here to be taken here.     CDC at least claims to be adjusting for this.    Time will tell.

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  11. John Walker:
    This is today’s update for Switzerland [PDF]

    Here is the chart of cases reported per day since the first declared case.

    Switzerland: COVID-19 cases through 2020-05-23

    That is a good trend.

    I wonder why it is so good. And why Japan’s is so good. The article on Japan linked above had some theories but….nobody really knows. Florida’s looks something like that except it levels out about the second week of May. You want the curve to level when it’s rising not when it’s falling.

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  12. Jojo:
    All information about this virus seems unreliable

    Yep.

    This is new to human transmission.  Wuhan Virus itself is over six months old.  We only learned that it exists four months ago, and our first data point (Diamond Princess) is less than three months old.  All our information is so new that no competent scientist would say it is reliable.

    We are doing the best we can.

    We are way below the histrionic projections of the fearmongers, but I don’t think either the fearmongers or the naysayers can be trusted.  The Virus is clearly deadly.

    And we ought to be completely open by now.  I am truly disappointed in the vaunted American supply chain that still has me looking at empty shelves where N95 masks belong.

    We bought a bottle of hand sanitizer from a big display in front of the doors at Kroger.  It was from a no-name “boutique” distillery, and looked like a bottle of cheap vodka.  It was 80% PGA, with enough peroxide added to keep people from trying to drink it.  It had no thickener, so it is as thin as water.  The first time I went to use it I managed to pour it all over myself.

    Better than nothing.  But not better than my bottle of isopropyl alcohol.

    Why, over two months later, don’t we have the products we need in order to implement the recommended protocols to prevent spread of Wuhan Virus?

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  13. Ed K:

    Jojo:
    people who didn’t know they had it, or it would be much lower. I

    Hi Jojo.    My understanding is that the influenza fatality rates published by CDC include an adjustment for just this case v infection fatality rate

    “the rates are adjusted to correct for under-detection of influenza. ”

    Now, IMO, both the CDC and the Washington Post have a spotty track records so there at least two grains of salt here to be taken here.     CDC at least claims to be adjusting for this.    Time will tell.

    Have to admit that I don’t cite the Washington Post often. Yes, at least two grains of salt because who knows what “adjusted to correct for under-detection” means. I believed the WaPo because I doubted the flu number includes people who didn’t know they had it. I still doubt it.

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  14. I raised the fatality rate issue because I am trying to get a common sense grasp of what we are dealing with, among a sea of unreliable statistics and theories. If I understand him, John Walker finds the clinical fatality rate meaningless. But I find the infection fatality rate- not meaningless, but not the only significant number, and it’s one we don’t really know for Covid19 and I suspect we don’t really know for the seasonal flu.

    The clinical fatality rate has a much more graspable meaning. It roughly means that nine percent of people who went to the doctor in Connecticut in the last two months and were diagnosed with Covid 19 are now dead. That doesn’t sound like the flu.

    What MJ Bubba said: “Neither the fear mongers nor the naysayers can be trusted.”

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  15. There are really two commingled factors at work.   How contagious is it?  And how lethal is it if you get it?     Instead of trying to tease out ‘how lethal is it if you get it’ we could just sidestep that and look at deaths per unit of population.   That metric blends the ‘how contagious’ with the ‘how lethal’.    Looking at CDC data for the 2017-2018 flu season, there were 61,000 Flu deaths.    Divided by 326,000,000 population and multiplying by say 100,000 gives 18.7 flu deaths per 100,000 population.    Current WuFlu Deaths are  98,000.   Divided by 330,000,000 and multiplying by 100,000 gives 29.7 deaths per 100,000.   And we aren’t done yet

    Now, 2017-2018 is impacted by the fact that there is a vaccine for influenza.    But 2020 has the lockdown.    Call that a wash?   That’ll leave me saying that WuFlu will be somewhere about  2.5 to 3 times worse than influenza.

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  16. Deaths per 100,000 from Covid19 is a good reference but it depends what time period and geographic area are used. It doesn’t tell you much about the disease itself, only how it’s affecting a given area at a given time.

    For instance Ed  calculated 29.7 so far for the whole US . But Connecticut’s number is about 103 so far (3600/35). New York City is about 192. Florida’s about 10. The contagious/lethal mixed drink  is a different beverage depending where you are.

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  17. Jojo:
    Deaths per 100,000 from Covid19 is a good reference but it depends what time period and geographic area are used. It doesn’t tell you much about the disease itself, only how it’s affecting a given area at a given time.

    For instance Ed  calculated 29.7 so far for the whole US . But Connecticut’s number is about 103 so far (3600/35). New York City is about 192. Florida’s about 10. The contagious/lethal mixed drink  is a different beverage depending where you are.

    All of Japan is 6/1,000,000 and definitely lower than that outside of Tokyo.

    From the video I put up about masks, if a big part of the population wears masks early it really kills the spread.

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  18. 10 Cents:

    All of Japan is 6/1,000,000 and definitely lower than that outside of Tokyo.

    From the video I put up about masks, if a big part of the population wears masks early it really kills the spread.

    That was a well done and kind of cute video but I took it as more to illustrate a point than as a scientifically accurate representation. We are all skeptical of models, these days. But it sure seems reasonable that when you are in a crowd and especially indoors masks would cut down on virus transmission.

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  19. Jojo:

    10 Cents:

    All of Japan is 6/1,000,000 and definitely lower than that outside of Tokyo.

    From the video I put up about masks, if a big part of the population wears masks early it really kills the spread.

    That was a well done and kind of cute video but I took it as more to illustrate a point than as a scientifically accurate representation. We are all skeptical of models, these days. But it sure seems reasonable that when you are in a crowd and especially indoors masks would cut down on virus transmission.

    Are you a Mask Denier? (I made this term up. Pretty good, eh?)

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  20. 10 Cents:

    Are you a Mask Denier? (I made this term up. Pretty good, eh?)

    No….I said the opposite? You just wanted to say Mask Denier didn’t you? Not bad. Except many Mask Deniers are the same people labeled Climate Deniers and they have had it with being labeled.

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  21. Jojo:

    10 Cents:

    Are you a Mask Denier? (I made this term up. Pretty good, eh?)

    No….I said the opposite? You just wanted to say Mask Denier didn’t you? Not bad. Except many Mask Deniers are the same people labeled Climate Deniers and they have had it with being labeled.

    I don’t like how people play rhetorical tricks to denigrate others. It works but it does not further the conversation in good ways.

    How is your daughter doing?

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