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More evidence that it's not stay-at-home orders that hurt the economy but rather the virus itself. It seems that if you really want to encourage the economy then what you really need to do is to make [email protected] sure to suppress the virus:

Coronavirus surge in states that rushed to reopen is hurting economic growth
In mid-May, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey ended the state's stay-at-home order and proclaimed the state ready for "the next stage of economic recovery." Little more than a month later, that recovery is under serious strain as local coronavirus cases spike, causing some reopened businesses to close again and consumers to retreat homeward.

States now seeing explosive growth in coronavirus cases are also taking an economic hit, with indicators such as restaurant bookings, consumer spending and small business activity pointing to a slowdown, according to Deutsche Bank economists.
 

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I just listened to this podcast, which lays out the what is actually known about masks, and the mechanisms of virus spread.


It is not encouraging. It reinforces my desire to avoid indoor public spaces, and my wearing an actual respirator, and eye protection when forced to do so. As I said earlier, I am not arguing for homemade masks. I am arguing for a federal government driven mass production of N95 level masks to be given to all Americans, along with instruction on proper fit, and use.

The US more than doubled aircraft production immediately following Pearl Harbor, and before the end of the war annual aircraft production was up almost 5 times what it was prior to the war. Despite austerity measures in all areas of normal life, the GDP grew by 50%. Yet today, due to neoliberal ideology, we can't get our government to direct production of simple devices like swabs,and masks.

Better treatments, and somewhat effective vaccines will help, but as for getting back to "normal"...it seems that is pure fantasy. This virus does not have an ideology, and it will not respond to gestures.
 

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As I have been saying for some time, if you want to know the actual death rate for COVID-19, you can't do better than Iceland.

population 340,994
cases/M 5,287
deaths/M 29
tests/m 169,000

We are looking at 0.54% fatalities.

New Zealand isn't quite as perfect for a test case, because of the very few cases, but still better than most.

population 5,002,100
cases/M 304
deaths/M 4
tests/m 73,655

We are looking at 1.31% fatalities.
Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County) where I live has 155 total deaths across 1,928,000 people. Better than Iceland. 40% less than the regular flu season. Unlike you, I'm going by deaths per capita instead of CFR (3.7%), since the number of cases is non-standard, subjective and unreliable.

Increasingly I've been enjoying outdoor and indoor restaurant dining. As we reopen, the dashboard shows our number of cases per day has jumped from ~30 to ~120. However, the number of hospitalizations is stable (hospitals nearly empty), and most days there are no deaths. In a few days or weeks we'll see if hospitalizations resume.

There are a lot of questions around the vaccine. I'm hoping our current luck is explained by weakening strains and herd immunity, although it could just be explained by affluence and habitual cleanliness.
 

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Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County) where I live has 155 total deaths across 1,928,000 people. Better than Iceland. 40% less than the regular flu season. Unlike you, I'm going by deaths per capita instead of CFR (3.7%), since the number of cases is non-standard, subjective and unreliable.

Increasingly I've been enjoying outdoor and indoor restaurant dining. As we reopen, the dashboard shows our number of cases per day has jumped from ~30 to ~120. However, the number of hospitalizations is stable (hospitals nearly empty), and most days there are no deaths. In a few days or weeks we'll see if hospitalizations resume.

There are a lot of questions around the vaccine. I'm hoping our current luck is explained by weakening strains and herd immunity, although it could just be explained by affluence and habitual cleanliness.
I would also say that the hospitalization and death rates have a lot to do with the age of the people contracting it currently. Covid ran through the nursing homes early on and now a younger group is contracting it. As long as the younger group doesn't pass it along to elderly that were isolated from it we should see a lower death rate and hospitalization.
 

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Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County) where I live has 155 total deaths across 1,928,000 people. Better than Iceland. 40% less than the regular flu season. Unlike you, I'm going by deaths per capita instead of CFR (3.7%), since the number of cases is non-standard, subjective and unreliable.

Increasingly I've been enjoying outdoor and indoor restaurant dining. As we reopen, the dashboard shows our number of cases per day has jumped from ~30 to ~120. However, the number of hospitalizations is stable (hospitals nearly empty), and most days there are no deaths. In a few days or weeks we'll see if hospitalizations resume.

There are a lot of questions around the vaccine. I'm hoping our current luck is explained by weakening strains and herd immunity, although it could just be explained by affluence and habitual cleanliness.
CFR doesn't tell you anything, other than how many people report symptoms, and how many are already dead. It says nothing about the number of actual cases, or lethality. If the IFR is close to Iceland's 0.54, then the US is overlooking cases by an order of magnitude, as the CDC is now suggesting. While it is encouraging to find the infection death rate is much lower than some feared, it means we are a very long way from herd immunity, if it exists.

Assuming a IFR of 0.54, and an optimistic 60% infected to achieve herd immunity, we are looking at 198.6M infected, and over 1 million dead. For comparison, the CDC figures we had 34,200 deaths from influenza last year. I suggest we mandate cremation. It would help the natural gas glut.
 

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Our county has a CFR of 0.0084, and deaths per capita one third of Santa Clara County's. Does this suggest a diet of lite beer, beef jerky, energy drinks and opioids is the answer?

What it actually reflects is that we have no nursing homes, prisons, hospitals, stadiums, arenas, large factories, or cities, and the churches had the good sense to close for the last three months.
 

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CFR doesn't tell you anything, other than how many people report symptoms, and how many are already dead. It says nothing about the number of actual cases, or lethality. If the IFR is close to Iceland's 0.54, then the US is overlooking cases by an order of magnitude, as the CDC is now suggesting.
As I said, CFR doesn't tell us anything. The 0.54% Iceland number you are quoting is CFR (deaths/cases). IFR is even less useful, as it is CFR times a butt-extracted factor. The concept of IFR just makes us dumber.

While it is encouraging to find the infection death rate is much lower than some feared, it means we are a very long way from herd immunity, if it exists.
I don't think we have any idea how far we are from herd immunity. Worldwide COVID deaths are still on a linear increase and will definitely exceed the seasonal flu by the end of July. However, in the US and Europe, the death rate has plummeted since mid April, and the world will follow.

we are looking at 198.6M infected, and over 1 million dead. For comparison, the CDC figures we had 34,200 deaths from influenza last year.
CDC reports exponentially decreasing COVID death rates across the US, about to fall below 100 per day, so reaching 1 million deaths would take 30 years. To find out if it's thanks to masks or herd immunity or something else, we have to test re-opening while monitoring hospitalizations. There is a striking lack of qualitative knowledge coming from health officials.
 

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However, in the US and Europe, the death rate has plummeted since mid April, and the world will follow.
I'm expecting the US death rate to start climbing in a week or two. There's a 2-3 week lag between diagnosis of COVID19 and hospitalizations, and another 2-3 week lag before deaths start to occur. We're seeing the hospitalizations going up steeply in the states that have experienced record new case rates for a week or two, the deaths are sure to follow. Hopefully they won't be as numerous as they were in April, but with the current trajectories it's starting to look like the sunbelt states might well repeat what happened in New York and New Jersey.

The lag between cause and effect means you need to anticipate what's going to happen next and take action today to control the results which won't make themselves known for another 2-3 weeks. Unfortunately a lot of state governors aren't doing that - in fact they're not even reacting quickly when the effects start to make themselves known. That means there's another 2-3 weeks worth of growing cases in the pipeline that are already incubating in the population and there's not a [email protected] thing anyone can do about them.

We need leadership that's scanning the road 2 to 3 intersections ahead instead of trying to steer by looking in the rear view mirror.
 

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I'm expecting the US death rate to start climbing in a week or two. There's a 2-3 week lag between diagnosis of COVID19 and hospitalizations, and another 2-3 week lag before deaths start to occur.
One would think that, but once again the virus is not cooperating. Arizona has been reopening for 6 weeks, so let's look at that.

Santa Clara County, CA had 5.4 new cases per 100,000 people today. One death today.
Arizona had 8.6 new cases per 100,000 people today. Zero deaths today.

The recent concern seems to be that ICU bed occupancy has slowly climbed from 65% full to 88% full since April. Disturbing as reported, right? There are 1693 ICU beds in Arizona. The 88% are occupied almost entirely by non-COVID patients. Now isn't that a very different problem? The concern now seems to be speculatively what if hospitalizations were to surge from COVID, and they are estimating 600 beds needed.

We need leadership that's willing to test the waters more aggressively. We have wasted 8 weeks in Silicon Valley with extremely slow reopening, and 60% of regular flu deaths.
 

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he 0.54% Iceland number you are quoting is CFR (deaths/cases). IFR is even less useful, as it is CFR times a butt-extracted factor. The concept of IFR just makes us dumber.
Iceland has clearly slowed the virus almost to a standstill, so it is possible to argue that the death rate may have changed substantially, had they let it run unimpeded through the entire population. However, they know who has the disease, and who does not among their population to a finer resolution than any other nation.. Their most recent was 2 new cases 2 days ago.. They position is unique.

They are in the top 10% of countries for cases/M
They are in the top 5% for test/M

Pretending that they are as ignorant as we are as to the state of their nation is disingenuous.


 

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Santa Clara County, CA had 5.4 new cases per 100,000 people today. One death today.
Arizona had 8.6 new cases per 100,000 people today. Zero deaths today.
First of all, cherry picking. Low cases or deaths in a few particular places doesn't mean there aren't real problems elsewhere.

Secondly, I'm seeing 4 deaths for June 29, which happens to be the weekly cyclic low. Overall, deaths in Arizona have been rising steadily for months and are now running at close to 30 a day. Now perhaps 30 a day is "acceptable", I'm not going to argue where on the spectrum it falls. But given the really sharp increase in case counts over the past few weeks I'd be very concerned about the trajectory of that daily rate.

The recent concern seems to be that ICU bed occupancy has slowly climbed from 65% full to 88% full since April. Disturbing as reported, right? There are 1693 ICU beds in Arizona. The 88% are occupied almost entirely by non-COVID patients. Now isn't that a very different problem? The concern now seems to be speculatively what if hospitalizations were to surge from COVID, and they are estimating 600 beds needed.
That's a very interesting web site, thanks for the link.

I guess I'm not seeing the relevance of a lot of ICU beds being used by non-COVID patients. You've got a certain capacity and the need to house COVID patients is growing rapidly enough to threaten to swap it. Experience with COVID means that the mere fact of these patients needing ICU in the first place means that significant percentage are going to die soon, and it'll be that much worse if you overtop the system and can't even accept new patients. It's a bad situation either way, and so you need to staunch the flow.
 

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I guess I just don't see the good news here. I do see the US dead versus recovered percentage continues to drop...now at 10%...as I would fully expect. I am arguing that Iceland's 0.54% death rate is a floor for a country with a great health system, and a healthy population, and that means that the US, at best, is on track for over a million dead, unless we get very lucky with new treatments, and vaccines. Given our actual health system, and the poor health of our population compared to Iceland's, I suspect it will be somewhat worse.

You could make the case that healthy, wealthy folks are at little risk, and that a million or more dead will be an acceptable cost of doing business. But if you think the Brazilian economic model is the way to go, you may want to put some of your money in security, and armored vehicle stocks

Great documentary, by the way.

 

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It's strange to fixate on Iceland as a benchmark for the rest of the world. It's remote, has a small population, frozen climate and is exceptionally isolable. Maybe comparing it to Hawaii would allow you to more effectively hate on the US. Let's see: 17 deaths in Hawaii, that's 44% the deaths per capita as Iceland. Keep digging and good luck.
 

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It's strange to fixate on Iceland as a benchmark for the rest of the world. It's remote, has a small population, frozen climate and is exceptionally isolable. Maybe comparing it to Hawaii would allow you to more effectively hate on the US. Let's see: 17 deaths in Hawaii, that's 44% the deaths per capita as Iceland. Keep digging and good luck.
Hawaii could be a great benchmark. It is an island too, and they put a 14 day quarantine on anybody coming onto the island back on March 21st...meaning they both know who, and how many have come in with the virus. Sadly, that is about where the comparison ends.

It has a pretty diverse population and could look at genetic impacts on the disease, if they had a huge genetic research program like Iceland. Their population is 4.15 times as large, which would be great, but they have only done 29% as many tests per capita. They still have time to catch up, as they appear to have had only 12% as many cases per capita so far. There are 18 deaths in Hawaii as I type

Iceland
pop. 218,101
cases 1,842
deaths 10
tests/M 218,101
cases/M 5,398
deaths/M 29

Hawaii
pop. 1,314,000
cases 917
deaths 18
tests/M 63,973
cases/M 648
deaths/M 13
.
 

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Swedish COVID expert says the world still doesn't understand
...Tegnell has argued that the world is only in the first stage of dealing with a long, uncertain battle with Covid-19. That’s why Sweden’s strategy — keep much of society open, but train people to observe distancing guidelines — is the only realistic way to cope in the long run, he says.
I pretty much agree with this. We can't expect a miracle cure right away, so we need to adopt a strategy that we can sustain over a period of a year or more. That means finding a way to safely open up as much of the economy as possible - but it has to be safety first, and it has to be done with sound government policies that support that.

I'll give you just one example from my home province here in BC: each year thousands of migrant workers come into Canada to help with the harvest. These workers are housed in dorms that are, I assume, basically bunkhouses - perfect breeding grounds for COVID. As a result, there have been a number of sizeable outbreaks that have led Mexico to ban travel to Canada by migrant workers.

...except for BC. Why isn't it a problem here? Because when the first migrant workers were diagnosed with COVID, the provincial health authority saw the writing on the wall and did something about it. They consulted with the agriculture industry and set up hotel rooms where incoming workers could individually quarantine for 2 weeks upon arrival. A couple dozen works have indeed tested positive, but since they've been isolated it hasn't spread.

This is what our health system has been doing across all of the industries for the past few months - working with the stakeholders and developing guidelines for how to conduct business safely. As a result we've been reopening businesses for over a month now with no resurgence in cases, along with a death toll well below 1 per day. And now our movie industry, colloquially known as "Hollywood North", is set to open up as well.

That resurgence of cases may yet hit us, but the track record of our health system and our politicians is such that I think most of us here have a pretty high degree of confidence that it will be handled sensibly.

In my opinion this is the kind of thing that every jurisdiction should be doing, instead of the denial and wishful thinking that seems to have led to such a dramatic resurgence in cases in so many states south of the border.
 

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Our case count has been going up for several weeks. We just had a 27% jump in hospitalizations after being steady for over a month. Low actual number from a sparsely populated county, but still not what you want to see.
 

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Blood type may be less important than earlier data suggested...good news for me. But another bit of genetic variability may turn out to be worst. One third of women of European descent have it, and the father would need to have it too.


Current consensus of 1,300 scientists suggests IFR is about 0.6%.

 

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According to CDC data (below), COVID is basically over in terms of death rate.

In my county, reported infection rates have gone up by a factor of 10. It will be interesting to see what happens with the death rate in a week or two. I think it'll remain stable. Some of us our theorizing that the vulnerable are succeeding in protecting themselves, while the young are resuming their lives, accounting for the many new cases.

29794
 

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According to CDC data (below), COVID is basically over in terms of death rate.
Yeah, the declining death rate is definitely a silver lining to what's been happening thru late June in America. But it must be circumstantial, I haven't seen anything to suggest that vulnerable people have suddenly become invulnerable. And there are some states like Texas and Arizona where the death rate has been climbing for a few weeks.

I'd like to think that hospitals are getting better at treatment, and that some of the reported therapies are having an effect, but I haven't seen anything definitive yet. The next few weeks will be very telling. If we can somehow keep the death rate (and hopefully the long-term side effects) down even as cases spike then the good news may outweigh the bad.
 
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