COVID19 Factors We Should Consider/Current Events COVID19 Factors We Should Consider/Current Events - Page 58

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  1. #571
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    A hospital doesn't become "overwhelmed" in a discrete catastrophe. It is overwhelmed when it cannot provide a reasonable standard of care due to triage and rationing.

    US hospitals are already overwhelmed in that non-emergent surgeries are being cancelled, sometimes by state order. Many surgeons are twiddling their thumbs alongside retail workers and gym owners.

  2. #572
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    In this thread, we've been discussing what interventions, if any, the government should take to reduce the spread of coronavirus, especially when we observe tradeoffs on the economy.

    I noticed that we've linked a projection for the economic damage of current interventions taking place in the USA. The Goldman Sachs report predicts a -3.8% hit to GDP.

    As a point of comparison, I thought it might be helpful to also project the economic damage if the US took no action to reduce the spread, as proposed in this thread.

    As it so happens, The Times also wrote about this subject today. They link to this paper by Eichenbaum et al that is reasonably understandable to a layman like me. It uses a Value of Statistical Life as a variable. Based on a VSL of $9.3m and a high-end estimate of ~2.2m deaths given no government intervention, the authors would predict a -5.5% hit to GDP.

    I think this is important because in this view, we should be expecting a serious hit no matter what we do, just because the virus is destructive. But the authors do find that government interventions can push GDP down further.

    And interestingly, the authors do recommend interventions that would push the predicted GDP hit further to -12.3%, at the benefit of reducing deaths by 500k. One rationale they pose for this is that in the long run, the reduction hours worked (which I presume is a proxy for economic output) is permanently reduced in the do-nothing case by 0.65%, but only 0.53% in the intervention case.

  3. #573
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Their worst case scenario is 1,382,926, which at the current overestimated mortality rate of 0.012% is 16595 dead people by April 30. Flu season kills 30000. But it's time to shut down the planet.
    What do you think the model will predict for May 15?

  4. #574
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Another excellent article, thanks.
    +1 to this ^ There's one opinion in particular that I think is worth highlighting because the closing sentiment is a theme of this thread and I had the exact same epiphany about social media hours before reading the article AND, most importantly, I just want to make sure you all don't forget that Jews really are the Master Race (see that's a hilarious choice of words because ... bah, nevermind...):

    "Italy is known for its enormous morbidity in respiratory problems, more than three times any other European country. In the US about 40,000 people die in a regular flu season and so far 40-50 people have died of the coronavirus, most of them in a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington.

    In every country, more people die from regular flu compared with those who die from the coronavirus.

    …there is a very good example that we all forget: the swine flu in 2009. That was a virus that reached the world from Mexico and until today there is no vaccination against it. But what? At that time there was no Facebook or there maybe was but it was still in its infancy. The coronavirus, in contrast, is a virus with public relations.

    Whoever thinks that governments end viruses is wrong." (Dr. Yoram Lass, former Director General of the Health Ministry of Israel)
    More articles like this one, please.

  5. #575
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrunoLawerence View Post
    But you do also agree that the number of deaths is also going up as well.
    Yes.

    Being that you seem to be using the flu for your baseline for comparison, do you honestly think that we are measuring/diagnosing every case of the flu?
    No. We don't diagnose every case of anything.

    Undiagnosed cases of the flu would also need to be accounted for in these types of comparisons that you are continually making.
    Flu numbers are modeled, i.e. guessed. They are also undercounted.

    I am also certain that we also have patients currently dying in the hospital with the cause of death being "respiratory failure" who could also easily have covid that is diagnosed.
    And you also have cases in the hospital who die WITH COVID19, not from it.

    These also need to be accounted for. All of this affects the math.
    Yes. the death rate is actually much lower fro COVID19 as a result.

    But simply, trying to extrapolate the math as you are attempting to do this early on is pointless.
    But destroying the economy on the basis of bad data is just fine.

    This is why epidemiologist use statistics and modeling. Those extra buttons on the fancier calculators exist for a reason.
    Thanks for clearing this up.

    Also, thanks for your condescending hand washing comment. I am certainly glad we have a certified strength coach helping us out on this one.
    The rates of effective handwashing are well under 50%. Sorry about your colleagues. You undoubtedly are very conscientious.

    Quote Originally Posted by lazygun37 View Post
    What do you think the model will predict for May 15?
    I don't know. Neither do they.

    Quote Originally Posted by bearalift View Post
    In this thread, we've been discussing what interventions, if any, the government should take to reduce the spread of coronavirus, especially when we observe tradeoffs on the economy.

    I noticed that we've linked a projection for the economic damage of current interventions taking place in the USA. The Goldman Sachs report predicts a -3.8% hit to GDP.

    As a point of comparison, I thought it might be helpful to also project the economic damage if the US took no action to reduce the spread, as proposed in this thread.

    As it so happens, The Times also wrote about this subject today. They link to this paper by Eichenbaum et al that is reasonably understandable to a layman like me. It uses a Value of Statistical Life as a variable. Based on a VSL of $9.3m and a high-end estimate of ~2.2m deaths given no government intervention, the authors would predict a -5.5% hit to GDP.

    I think this is important because in this view, we should be expecting a serious hit no matter what we do, just because the virus is destructive. But the authors do find that government interventions can push GDP down further.

    And interestingly, the authors do recommend interventions that would push the predicted GDP hit further to -12.3%, at the benefit of reducing deaths by 500k. One rationale they pose for this is that in the long run, the reduction hours worked (which I presume is a proxy for economic output) is permanently reduced in the do-nothing case by 0.65%, but only 0.53% in the intervention case.
    These predictions will undoubtedly come true.

    Why are the homeless people not dying?

  6. #576
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    The economy was not going to "die." The economy needed a nap, or maybe even a good night's sleep, but death does not happen to a functioning capitalist economy unless socialists take it by force. As others have said here, food for thought.
    Sure, but we don't have functioning capitalist economies in the West, we have mercantilist economies run by state or state group enabled cartels. The thing got so bad that a socialist economy such as China's was decades ahead in fiscal, monetary and growth policies. As I said, it is lucky for everybody in the West that the whole thing has already tanked China's growth, and as more of the US closes down, the effects of non-consumption of goods will push their GDP even lower. What we are gonna be seeing in the coming months and years, regardless of various state interventions, will be the first ever recorded case of market self regulation, because the global sinking of GDP and threat of revolutions will make expensive projects like wars less likely - wars are essentially the ultimate way to stop market self regulation, as was shown so many times in the past. This means that the ruling class is facing financial extinction, because the money they were basing their status on is losing value daily, and there is no way for their representatives in power to help them. Of course, normal businesses will be the first ones to take the hit. You guys think you got it bad, at least 80 percent of young people in my country, even the ones with a university degree, are financially dependent on seasonal work in the hospitality industry. Savings? Ha! Brace yourselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovan Dragisic View Post
    ... what you have is Western economies having to be bailed out by China in the best case scenario..
    China is currently incapable of bailing anyone out. They are struggling heavily with all of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by spacediver View Post
    ... [hospitals]They're essential to the health of our species.
    I think all great historical figures have said that. Julius Cesar, Charlemagne, Ghengis Khan, Sun Tzu, George Washington, Isaac Newton and many others all recognized the world would stop without 21st century style hospitals.

    Many of my ancestors managed to live to 90 without any hospitals or modern medical care. Has our genetic quality weakened so much in such a short time?


    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva Kaul View Post
    I previously linked to an article by doctors at Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, which has been overwhelmed. Ventilator shortages lead to the most painful triage decisions, but the shortages in PPE and space are probably more significant.

    Actually, Cuomo provided concrete numbers for the number of additional hospital beds, N95 masks, and ventilators that are needed. You can evaluate whether his requests were legitimate within 2-3 weeks.

    Your article says mechanical ventilators are not available. It does not say the virus has put them to use, creating a shortage. It sounds like they did not have any of the machines in the first place.

    That is exactly what I stated: He provided generalities and requests based on projections. He was unable to cite specific incidences of hospitals or clinics that currently have shortages. (He really should have, because Musk's help really could have benefited New York).


    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva Kaul View Post
    US hospitals are already overwhelmed in that non-emergent surgeries are being cancelled, sometimes by state order. Many surgeons are twiddling their thumbs alongside retail workers and gym owners.
    So, it is currently irrational panic based on unproven projections that has overwhelmed the system, instead of the actual virus?

    Rip was right. Your posts are stupid.

  8. #578
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    After all of that, I want to clarify again that I do believe this pandemic can be serious. There is a chance hospitals could be overwhelmed. If you have risk factors, you should take extra precautions. But, the data do not in any way justify the illogical, destructive, totalitarian measures that are currently being imposed. Furthermore, even if the disease were as deadly as the media/political scientists claim, the measures being implemented would not prevent the hospitals from being overwhelmed or prevent everyone from being exposed.

    And finally, the emerging question is: For what price are you willing to sell freedoms?

  9. #579
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearalift View Post
    In this thread, we've been discussing what interventions, if any, the government should take to reduce the spread of coronavirus, especially when we observe tradeoffs on the economy.

    I noticed that we've linked a projection for the economic damage of current interventions taking place in the USA. The Goldman Sachs report predicts a -3.8% hit to GDP.

    As a point of comparison, I thought it might be helpful to also project the economic damage if the US took no action to reduce the spread, as proposed in this thread.

    As it so happens, The Times also wrote about this subject today. They link to this paper by Eichenbaum et al that is reasonably understandable to a layman like me. It uses a Value of Statistical Life as a variable. Based on a VSL of $9.3m and a high-end estimate of ~2.2m deaths given no government intervention, the authors would predict a -5.5% hit to GDP.

    I think this is important because in this view, we should be expecting a serious hit no matter what we do, just because the virus is destructive. But the authors do find that government interventions can push GDP down further.

    And interestingly, the authors do recommend interventions that would push the predicted GDP hit further to -12.3%, at the benefit of reducing deaths by 500k. One rationale they pose for this is that in the long run, the reduction hours worked (which I presume is a proxy for economic output) is permanently reduced in the do-nothing case by 0.65%, but only 0.53% in the intervention case.
    OY, beralift--this is exactly why we don't let children run with sharp objects like statistics and percentages. First of all, there's a reason that the paper cited by the NYT wasn't published in any peer-reviewed journal--its complete horseshit. There are so many things wrong with the assumptions that the paper makes (using EPA metrics for toxic waste?! wtf...), most of which are beyond the scope of this thread and the lay reader. You'll just have to trust me here (I do have a PhD in Economic Geography, fwiw)--that paper is garbage. It makes all sort of wild assumptions, like people will automatically shelter in place even without gov't intervention because the big bad common cold has reared its ugly head again just like it does every year, that wouldn't even pass muster with a high school debate team. So that number they give of 5.5% is totally fucking meaningless and hyper-exaggerated.

    Moving right along. The GS report is somewhat more interesting, if only because what it shows is a 10% drop in GDP for April ALONE, followed by a -24% dip in Q2! Keep in mind this is a macro-economic perspective, meaning if their predictions are correct (that's a big if, mind you) 0% of small business will survive Q2. All that will be left to pick up the pieces in Q3 are mega corporations. So long WFAC; sayonara SSLA; arrivederci any business that doesn't have a market cap of half a billion dollars to withstand this blow. GS also assumes that everything will turn around in Q3 meaning that all this bullshit will be long gone by July 1st. That's a big assumption considering even thought death rates have basically stagnated in this country already, dickheads in power continue turning the screws on the economy even more.

    To address Rip's quip, the irony is that homeless people are almost completely insulated from this type of shit because they already had nothing to lose. There's something for both of us to look forward to in Q3...

  10. #580
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    By way of a summary, here are, in my view, the most serious problems surrounding our governments' responses:

    • There are absolutely no reliable statistics about the virus's case-fatality ratio. This is because, where extensive testing has been done, the vast majority of positive cases are either totally asymptomatic or present a very mild illness. The only sensible extrapolation is that huge numbers of people who have not been tested already have the virus either without knowing it at all, or without requiring any medical intervention whatsoever. The only closed environment which might feasibly provide a estimate for the mortality rate is the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where 1% of those who tested positive died, and that is in a totally unrepresentative sample in which the overwhelming majority of the population were elderly.

    • The published death figures are also unreliable in absolute terms because no causality is being established. Note that the media are (typically) careful to say that a certain number of people have died 'after testing positive for the virus.' We have no indication of whether the virus was the leading cause of death or whether there were other contributing factors. In short, we do not know whether these people died 'with' the virus, or 'of' the virus. In Britain, under the Emergency Coronavirus Bill passed at the beginning of this week, doctors have actually been relieved of any responsibility to perform an inquest into the death of a patient who tested positive for COVID-19. This means we simply do not know how lethal the virus is even in patients considered to be the most vulnerable to it. It is even feasible that no more people have died because of the virus than otherwise would have died from other concurrent factors.

    • Even if all the deaths attributed to it are indeed 'excess' deaths, we must recognise the fact that more people die each day who have tested positive for other coronaviruses than are projected to die after testing positive for COVID-19 under the current worst-case estimates. COVID-19 is not the only coronavirus, and it so far follows the pattern of other coronaviruses we are already familiar with, in that it coexists in humans and animals, causes mostly very mild respiratory disease, and severe cases are confined almost exclusively to elderly patients and those with underlying lung and heart conditions. As of the present time there is no indication that this virus is materially different from any of the other coronaviruses which are already present in humans across the world.

    • There is a long history of unfulfilled pandemic scares over the last few decades. In 1997, Bird flu was predicted to kill millions - it did not. In 1999, Mad Cow Disease and its human variant, vCJD, were predicted to kill half a million - in fact fewer than 200 died from it in Britain. In 2003, SARS was reported to have ‘a 25 per cent chance of killing tens of millions’ and to be ‘worse than AIDS’ - the final death toll was less than 800. in 2006, Bird flu was again predicted to ravage the world - it did not. In 2009, we were told that swine flu could kill 65,000 - it did not.

    • There is no indication that the draconian measures implemented in Italy and China have slowed the spread of the virus or saved lives. In fact, if the recent Oxford modelling, indicating that the virus has been around for much longer and is much more widespread than originally thought, is correct, then these measures had no hope of working in the first place because far too many people are already infected. And, as mentioned above, the published infection and death rates are utterly unreliable indicators of the success of any measure designed to combat the virus because they are unreliable measures of the spread of the virus in the first place. We should also point to nations like Japan and South Korea, who have not enacted such measures and appear to have performed similarly well. Northern Italy and China are also tremendous outliers due to their dramatically higher levels of air pollution which increase the likelihood that residents will be symptomatic when infected with a respiratory virus.

    • Our governments' reaction to the virus is not only disproportionate but profoundly dangerous. Large numbers of people have already lost their jobs. Many businesses have already closed with serious doubts that they will ever be able to re-open. Capital markets are performing worse than during the 2008 financial crisis. The consequences will be extreme and, crucially, interdependent. It is a false dichotomy to contrast economic consequences with patients' lives as many people are doing in defense of our governments' measures. We are frequently told that one of the greatest killers is poverty, and we are likely going to see a lot more of that once our economies have crashed through the floor. Not only that, but many people are apparently satisfied that these measures, however bad, are justified in order to protect the lives of the elderly. What they fail to appreciate is that thousands of elderly people die of various natural causes every day, but what keeps many other elderly people alive in the face of these natural causes is the social contact, social events, hobbies, exercise and training of which they are now deprived, shortening the lifespan of millions. On top of that are the dire effects on medical care: 'services to patients are reduced, operations cancelled, practices empty, and hospital personnel dwindling.' This is to say nothing of the political consequences, which so far have amounted to the handing over of many important liberties to the state under the guise of 'emergency powers,' with no restrictions on how those powers are to be used and for how long the state may maintain them. In Britain these include vastly greater powers of police detention for everyone, a lowering of standards and vital safeguards for those with mental illnesses or who rely on health and social care. Governments quite naturally distill fear into power, and many of the worst tyrannies of the last century came into being and sustained themselves on the basis of 'emergency powers' such as these, hastily rushed through nominally democratic channels, maintained long after the supposed need for them has passed, and justified through fear. Our representative legislatures, which are the manifestations of our shared traditions of liberty in Britain and the United States given concrete force, are supposed to prevent this distillation from going too far, but swept up in this panic they have abrogated their responsibilities so utterly that they can never again be viewed as a serious and important obstacle to the executive.

    • Given all these points, the question I think we must ask is this: If we had not discovered that this was a novel virus and had not given it a name, would anyone have even noticed its existence in the first place? Would anyone have rushed to buy all the toilet paper they could carry? Would anyone have called for businesses to shut and for entire populations to be placed under house arrest? This is not the Black Death. People are not coming out with horrible buboes and dying in agony within a few days. This is a virus we needed technology to recognise. Even the numbers of deaths and serious illnesses being officially attributed to the virus are so small that, had we not formally identified it, it is perfectly possible to imagine no one would have noticed anything was wrong.

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