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For all you people who early on who were so certain you knew what the mortality rate would be, it is currently around 5.5% in the USA. the USA has 4% of the world population and 20% of the cases. Lesson? Never try to out guess a pandemic.
Case Fatality Rate is not the same as the Mortality Rate, here is some info on what CFR is and isn't good for.

If CFR was the same as the mortality rate France's mortality rate would be at 18.43%.
 

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Out of curiosity, what's that based on? 'Cause if it's just current reported deaths divided by current reported cases there are several sources of potential error:
  • Cases are likely underreported, the degree of which can vary quite significantly depending on testing efforts,
  • Deaths are likely underreported, and
  • Deaths lag cases by 2-4 weeks, so you really need to use the reported cases from a few weeks ago as a baseline.
Can't find that page anymore but this should be close enough. From the CDC 6/19/20 pdf: " Based on death certificate data, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19 (PIC) decreased from 11.4% during week 23 to 7.1% during week 24 but remained above baseline. This is the eighth week of a declining percentage of deaths due to PIC, but this may change as more death certificates are processed, particularly for recent weeks."

I'm not trying to start a fight here but I can't really ascribe to any of this overreported and underreported causes of error because there is nothing I can do about that or the experts for that matter except guess. I am sure there are errors all over the place and with numbers this big 10 or 20K+ people one way or another doesn't matter for the point I am try to make which is people who thought that the mortality rate would be or was like the flu. In fact we will never know the true rate but we may come close if and when it is all over. For arguments sake dividing the little number by the big number gets you in the ballpark. I'm not writing a master's thesis, just a gross picture of this time period.
The amazing part is this is not spread out over a year but four months.
 

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Case Fatality Rate is not the same as the Mortality Rate, here is some info on what CFR is and isn't good for.

If CFR was the same as the mortality rate France's mortality rate would be at 18.43%.
Thanks mdwill for this post. Very informative and will have to read it twice to understand it all. Some of my knowledge is clearly lacking in the fine point of epidemiology reporting, but I still maintain as most people realize by now, this ain't no flu. Has any one ever heard of hospitals in such a mess during the worst winter flu season? I have not. Yet half this country says they would not get a covid vaccine if available.
 

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Thanks mdwill for this post. Very informative and will have to read it twice to understand it all. Some of my knowledge is clearly lacking in the fine point of epidemiology reporting, but I still maintain as most people realize by now, this ain't no flu. Has any one ever heard of hospitals in such a mess during the worst winter flu season? I have not. Yet half this country says they would not get a covid vaccine if available.
I find there is a lack of quality information all around mostly due to the media's news cycle. In that podcast Osterholm released yesterday he talked about how the news media is running with stories that haven't been peer-reviewed yet and reporting them as fact. Osterholm made the point many times that scientists need to approach topics where they don't have all the answers with data and show the public how they reached their conclusion over just saying this is how it is and I am a doctor. The former may have people disagree but they have the data to see how and why the recommendations are there and why they may change in the future but the latter causes distrust of science in the public.

You have the media not reporting medical studies accurately or being constant with what people should be doing, eroding the public's trust and then Bill Gates talks about tracking vaccine use and you get a portion of the population that freak out.
 

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This video is a great visual of my point on the public trust being eroded due to inconsistent reporting. Masks can be divided into three categories N95s (gold standard), Surgical medical masks, and non medical cloth masks(homemade or store bought). We have many studies that N95s work, we have mixed data on surgical medical masks, and we have very little data on non medical cloth masks but the data we do have is inconclusive to their effectiveness. When the news (and some medical studies) reports on masks they just say masks which isn't very helpful for determining if a target bought or homemade mask is a effective panacea or if they are just a placebo. The biggest issue isn't if people should wear them when shopping but if we are using ineffective masks as protection for people going into nursing homes and other vulnerable populations.
 

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This video is a great visual of my point on the public trust being eroded due to inconsistent reporting. ... Masks can be divided into three categories N95s (gold standard), Surgical medical masks, and non medical cloth masks(homemade or store bought). We have many studies that N95s work, we have mixed data on surgical medical masks, and we have very little data on non medical cloth masks but the data we do have is inconclusive to their effectiveness.
Somehow I doubt these people are scouring the available studies to judge how effective masks are. It looks very much to me like they're simply refusing to wear them on principle. There's an argument to be had over effectiveness, but what seems obvious to me is a failure to comprehend the nature of what's happening and a disregard for the safety of others. This just looks to me like another display of "rugged American individualism" which I read as just a polite way of saying "it's every man for himself".
 

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This video is a great visual of my point on the public trust being eroded due to inconsistent reporting.
So a video of a police official telling...and demonstrating...to people that they should ignore the current medical consensus on mask wearing....and social distancing....leads you to conclude our problem is due to inconsistent reporting?
 

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Somehow I doubt these people are scouring the available studies to judge how effective masks are. It looks very much to me like they're simply refusing to wear them on principle. There's an argument to be had over effectiveness, but what seems obvious to me is a failure to comprehend the nature of what's happening and a disregard for the safety of others. This just looks to me like another display of "rugged American individualism" which I read as just a polite way of saying "it's every man for himself".
I do agree that those people are not reading or reviewing any medical studies but the point I was trying to make at the start was that the media and some experts are presenting information that could change as empirical fact. I think that can erode the public's trust when they have to change that information due to how it is presented. What I would like to see is more reporting like this, we know X for a fact, we think Y for these reasons so we are recommending Z currently and this is why.
 

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So a video of a police official telling...and demonstrating...to people that they should ignore the current medical consensus on mask wearing....and social distancing....leads you to conclude our problem is due to inconsistent reporting?
I would disagree that there is a medical consensus on non-medical cloth masks but that's not how it's being reported and then it becomes a political issue and in some states the ordinances are selectively enforced. They are not right but I can understand why they act the way they do.
 

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What I would like to see is more reporting like this, we know X for a fact, we think Y for these reasons so we are recommending Z currently and this is why.
What I would like to see is government officials, from the president down to governors, mayors, and police chiefs saying. "We are not scientists, or doctors, so we will turn over the discussion of how citizens should prepare for this pandemic to those who are."

For the paid news/infotainment industry, I would like them to shut up, and turn their time over to scientists and doctors to have hours long panel discussions about this public health threat.
 

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What I would like to see is government officials, from the president down to governors, mayors, and police chiefs saying. "We are not scientists, or doctors, so we will turn over the discussion of how citizens should prepare for this pandemic to those who are."

For the paid news/infotainment industry, I would like them to shut up, and turn their time over to scientists and doctors to have hours long panel discussions about this public health threat.
I agree with this 100%
 

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"Perhaps of more practical importance right now is a study that followed up 37 asymptomatic people who had positive PCR tests. This showed they had detectable levels of the virus for longer that those who had symptoms. Asymptomatic people are therefore likely to be more contagious. We also know that pre-symptomatic people, those in the early days following infection with Sars-CoV-2, are also highly contagious. Because we are often not aware that we are infected, measures to ensure social distancing and face covering are crucial when it comes to protecting others."

 

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I do agree that those people are not reading or reviewing any medical studies but the point I was trying to make at the start was that the media and some experts are presenting information that could change as empirical fact.
Well of course, because this is a brand new virus that we're still learning about. Do they couch every last article in "it's believed" or "studies suggest"? No. But I doubt that the people who believe that everything is fake news would pay attention to such fine distinctions anyway. Perhaps I'm giving them too much credit, but it seems to me that the majority of people appear to be able to comprehend the uncertainty of the situation and be able to absorb new ideas as they become available.

Take the issue of "social distancing", for example. I've seen articles about studies that try to assess the way risk changes with distance. Yet it's obvious to me that there isn't a magic line that's safe, it's merely a question of degree. The way I like to think of it is as if you're trying to avoid inhaling the fumes emanating from a cigarette smoker. The amount of smoke you get obviously declines with distance, and the direction of the wind is a major factor. There isn't some magic line that the smoke stops at, and airborne virus particles will behave similarly.

In other words, what people need is to a little common sense. It frustrates me deeply to see that so many people appear to lack it.
 

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Take the issue of "social distancing", for example. I've seen articles about studies that try to assess the way risk changes with distance. Yet it's obvious to me that there isn't a magic line that's safe, it's merely a question of degree.
And what many do not appreciate is that your level of safety does not go up linearly with distance. Being 12 feet away is 4 times as good as being 6 feet away, not twice...even without taking the effect of gravity into account.
 

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What I would like to see is government officials, from the president down to governors, mayors, and police chiefs saying. "We are not scientists, or doctors, so we will turn over the discussion of how citizens should prepare for this pandemic to those who are."

For the paid news/infotainment industry, I would like them to shut up, and turn their time over to scientists and doctors to have hours long panel discussions about this public health threat.
The discussion should primarily be had among subject matter experts and those recommendations are what we should be hearing. That said, policy has to be made by decision makers, not subject matter experts, because SMEs have a myopic view of a problem and will not weigh their perspective on the issue with other concerns.
 

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Well of course, because this is a brand new virus that we're still learning about. Do they couch every last article in "it's believed" or "studies suggest"? No. But I doubt that the people who believe that everything is fake news would pay attention to such fine distinctions anyway. Perhaps I'm giving them too much credit, but it seems to me that the majority of people appear to be able to comprehend the uncertainty of the situation and be able to absorb new ideas as they become available.

Take the issue of "social distancing", for example. I've seen articles about studies that try to assess the way risk changes with distance. Yet it's obvious to me that there isn't a magic line that's safe, it's merely a question of degree. The way I like to think of it is as if you're trying to avoid inhaling the fumes emanating from a cigarette smoker. The amount of smoke you get obviously declines with distance, and the direction of the wind is a major factor. There isn't some magic line that the smoke stops at, and airborne virus particles will behave similarly.

In other words, what people need is to a little common sense. It frustrates me deeply to see that so many people appear to lack it.
I understand that it's a new virus and information will be changing, here is an example of what I mean. I believe it is this study that has a letter by multiple scientists asking that it be removed because it's methodology is faulty but the media has already reported it as fact. I have seen a study using a SEIRs model be used to push masks and that is just bad science. I read the studies, listen to the subject matter experts, and see the faulty science being reported as fact so maybe I am biased to giving the general public to much understanding in this.
 

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I understand that it's a new virus and information will be changing, here is an example of what I mean. I believe it is this study that has a letter by multiple scientists asking that it be removed because it's methodology is faulty but the media has already reported it as fact. I have seen a study using a SEIRs model be used to push masks and that is just bad science. I read the studies, listen to the subject matter experts, and see the faulty science being reported as fact so maybe I am biased to giving the general public to much understanding in this.
Clearly, there have always been poor studies. Sometimes it takes decades to be corrected. In this case, the studies were called out in days. The good news is that the preponderance of work is showing that masks and social distancing are the quickest, cheapest, and easiest means for individuals to protect others, and themselves, while still offering some hope of restarting our economies. More high tech measures are in the works, but still many months away.

 

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The discussion should primarily be had among subject matter experts and those recommendations are what we should be hearing. That said, policy has to be made by decision makers, not subject matter experts, because SMEs have a myopic view of a problem and will not weigh their perspective on the issue with other concerns.
Absolutely. Sadly, decision makers have, for the most part, only been interested in hearing from economic experts, while ignoring experts in the sciences for too long.
 
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