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Messages - pileus

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1
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: June 18, 2020, 06:50:04 AM »
Here in Florida cases are surging and the move back towards BAU is only worsening the situation.  From the beginning I’ve feared a dire scenario for the state given older/unhealthy demographics.  It could be the beginning of a very difficult stretch.

2
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 31, 2020, 02:55:06 PM »
Quite an effort to keep track of sam’s various projections for the US death toll.  25 million, 5 million, 12 million.

We have Dr. Fauci now using a range of 100-200k.  You would expect him to not be the type to exaggerate, so perhaps this is on the low and uncertain side.

Despite some of the generalizations here that the US population is flouting guidance and society is operating BAU, a large number of Americans have been under some degree of physical distancing and/or stay at home orders.  There is some evidence in a few larger metros of case growth slowing.  Too early to draw conclusions, and yes that spreads out the effect over time until there is a vaccine.

I’m in an urban area of Florida, and expect a very bad April and May due to demographics and slow adoption of measures across the state.  Even so, in the absence of data or facts I wouldn’t expect the catastrophic tolls statewide or nationally that some here are pushing.

The future is constantly in motion. As events change, as new data comes in projections (these are neither forecasts nor predictions) do change.

People get hung up on numbers. In catastrophes, projections form a key tool in assessing where things are headed so that experts, decision makers, and all of the emergency managers, planners, responders can prepare and work to CHANGE conditions to reduce the future projected impacts.

Do NOT ever make the mistake of thinking that any of these projections are cast in stone. The only projections that are close to that are the near term projections that account for the lag time between infection and confirmation. Even these have large uncertainties. And don’t think of those as uncertainty bounds. This isn’t statistics, and we have nothing like a representative or full sample assessment. The larger the base of information, the closer the projections are likely to be.

Also, do NOT allow your emotions, wants or desires to enter into this. Doing so if you have any influence at all gets people injured and killed.

Sam

I sincerely appreciate your thoughtful contributions to this thread.  For whatever reason, you appear to be seeking the extreme and worst case scenarios in your projections and prognostications.  All of the legitimate modeling produces results nowhere near your projections for the US, and we are seeing trends in some large metro areas suggesting a slowing rate of new cases.

Even so whether the toll is 82k or 200k or 500k that is still a tremendously horrific outcome for the US given the state of technology and biomedicine.  I would also think there is an undercounting of actual deaths and deaths indirectly related to COVID or “hidden,” such as fatal cardiovascular events that are actually due to the virus.  Even so, the US is highly unlikely to see these seven figure death tolls being casually offered here.

Of course predictability and confidence is upside down right now, so you may end up being validated, but I am highly skeptical.

3
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 26, 2020, 04:49:11 PM »
Look at trumps approval ratings.

Half of US citizens are fanatic members of this GOP death cult. Half! But you need >80% of the population to dismiss the president's message.

Where is this optimism coming from?

A US president by default tends to get benefit of the doubt and majority support in times of crisis/war/disaster.  See Bush after 9/11, elder Bush at the beginning of Desert Storm, etc.

Some of this support will erode as the recession/depression deepens and more people are directly impacted, but Trump is unique that he is indeed a cult figure, and 90% of his support (about 40% of US adults), will never abandon him.

4
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 26, 2020, 04:41:25 PM »

While this and your subsequent post are an interesting exercise in speculation and maths it has no basis in reality or fact.  There is no legitimate modeling that forecasts this level of impact, even with a complete lack of preventative measures.

Beyond that, a primary flaw in your assumptions is that somehow all states and the entire US populace will blindly follow the directives of Trump to return to normal.  He has no control over state governors and localities, nor businesses and other organizations.  Red state governments may indeed follow his commands, but most states and organizations will ignore him and take measures to protect their people.

Will certainly check back on this in five weeks.  I do not expect the US body count to be as you predict.

I tend to agree with this, at least for this first go round.  What I can't get my head around is what is going to happen after the numbers start to improve, and Americans, weary of isolation and broke, begin to come out and mingle. Will the virus re-surge? Will the next bump be smaller? Will we be caught in cycles of this? These are all unclear to me, but I don't think we will see cataclysmic death tolls over the next weeks. I hope.

The modeling appears to indicate that even with comprehensive physical distancing and other measures, the embers will be there and flare up as soon as restrictions are relaxed, until there is a vaccine in distribution (~18 months) and/or there is a large part of the population with antibodies from exposure and survival.  Neither extreme measures nor the stop/start approach are frameworks that work well with the “American way,” so that presents challenges and risks beyond the obvious.

The US seems to have lost its chance to get in front of this due to systemic failures, primarily at the federal level.  No leadership on physical distancing and closures, and no comprehensive testing and tracing program.

Still, these projections of 25 million deaths in five weeks are absurd and not grounded in any type of real data or science.  But the death toll will likely still be terrible, and more than it should have been had there been different leaders in place with more acceptance of science and expertise.

5
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 26, 2020, 12:39:27 PM »
The United States has apparently decided to try the most egregious solution. Let the maximum number of people die, while also passing legislation to rob the poor and give to the rich.

On the current course, expect in excess of 25 million American dead over the next five weeks, and a wrecked economy.

Spain just overtook China with the most cases. Tomorrow the US will overtake Spain. Within about 10 days, the US will have more than half of all cases globally and all hospitals will be in saturation then or shortly after. Expect the fatality rate to go well over 10% in the US.

The impacts will be very uneven. There is virtually no time left to do meaningful things. Instead, the moron in chief is whimpering at not being able to play with his friends, and trying to go precisely the opposite direction from that which is useful.

The catastrophe in the US won't have been bad luck. America will have been killed through gross incompetence and willful malice by its President, the Congress, many State governors, a Republican political party that is corrupt stupid arrogant and ignorant, Trumps followers who are a cult, and the corrupt media that supports their beliefs. They are committing joint suicide, while injuring and killing millions of their brethren, while never understanding a single thing.

America will be shattered and changed by this experience in wholly unpredictable ways. Welcome to hell.

Sam

While this and your subsequent post are an interesting exercise in speculation and maths it has no basis in reality or fact.  There is no legitimate modeling that forecasts this level of impact, even with a complete lack of preventative measures.

Beyond that, a primary flaw in your assumptions is that somehow all states and the entire US populace will blindly follow the directives of Trump to return to normal.  He has no control over state governors and localities, nor businesses and other organizations.  Red state governments may indeed follow his commands, but most states and organizations will ignore him and take measures to protect their people.

I unfortunately live in Florida, a state that is under the control of a Trump sycophant and the lords of big business.  The governor is making timid and terrible decisions, and it will contribute to horrific impacts on the 22M residents, a high portion of whom are elderly.  But even within the state larger cities and population centers have taken aggressive measures to implement closures and social distancing, so it will help offset the potential high end impacts.

Will certainly check back on this in five weeks.  I do not expect the US body count to be as you predict.

6
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 21, 2020, 01:56:13 AM »
There is much discussion here on human inability to think and be concerned about century or even decadal impacts of climate change, but as we are seeing now there is an inability or refusal to even think about possible impacts two weeks from now and change behaviors in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

Perhaps a mix of “it can’t happen to me” or “it’s really not that bad” along with a selfish perspective and unwillingness to modify behavior for the greater good.

7
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 20, 2020, 04:23:46 AM »
Can anyone report on how infection rates are going in Florida? I am assuming that the elderly are more likely to support Trump so his support will decrease as the death toll rises. State by state death rates in the USA will be interesting.

Some Florida metrics as of this evening US time:
3400 tested (population is 22 million)
423 positive
9 deaths
At least 19 elderly care centers with infections

We have the highest share of elderly in the US, the proportions are similar to Italy.  Yes they are more likely to support Trump but no they will not stop supporting him, even as they lay dying.  It is simply a cult.

Testing has been minuscule.  Officials moved slowly here to enact measures and restrictions.  Tourist season so $$$ is king.  The price will be paid in the coming weeks.  There will be horrific stories coming from Florida.

8
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 19, 2020, 03:10:21 AM »
This was inevitable.  State and local officials have slowed played the closure and quarantine process, as it is Spring Break tourist season.  Lots of oblivious people crowding together, and most will scatter back to various corners of the country.  I expect Florida may have Italy-like numbers and horrific stories in the coming weeks.

Coronavirus surfaces in 19 elder care facilities in Florida

https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2020/03/18/coronavirus-surfaces-in-19-elder-care-facilities-in-florida-1267712



9
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 17, 2020, 11:50:25 AM »
First reported case near The Villages retirement community in Florida.  I expect this to sweep through here like wildfire, due to the demographics and a mindset that is hostile to facts and science.

https://www.villages-news.com/2020/03/16/lady-lake-woman-confirmed-to-have-coronavirus/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lady-lake-woman-confirmed-to-have-coronavirus

Florida Retirees More Worried About the Stock Market than Coronavirus

https://mobile.twitter.com/Reuters/status/1239660208768471041

10
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 12, 2020, 01:02:54 AM »

11
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 02, 2020, 03:36:01 AM »
First unconfirmed report in Florida (Sarasota).  With the state’s high population of 65+, medical systems will be under enormous strain and the toll could be significant.

I’ve been warning my friends and loved ones here in FL to prepare, most have waived it off.

12
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 02, 2020, 12:10:10 AM »
Quote
But what does the data say? i.e. mortality rate by age group for those with confirmed infection.

In interviews I’ve seen, epidemiologists with knowledge of the data confirm that children have significantly fewer cases than older age groups.  Reason is unknown.

I have no qualifications or expertise to opine, but could it have something to do with the intensity of the immune system response?  The 1918 flu hit younger people hardest, and from the literature it was mostly due to an overwhelming reaction by the immune system in otherwise healthy people. 

COVID seems most problematic with olds and those with comorbidities who are unable to mount a sufficient immune response.  It seems not to trigger an intense response in youngs.

This is a sobering read on how COVID proceeds in the most critical of cases.  Also provides commentary on why it may not be intense for the youngest victims.

How this coronavirus kills its victims

https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-02-29/how-this-coronavirus-kills-its-victims

Quote
One possible explanation for this is that children have less-developed immune systems, he said. In this case, an immature immune system might prevent the body from triggering inflammation severe enough to result in pneumonia, septic shock and multiple organ failure.

13
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 01, 2020, 04:34:10 PM »
Quote
But what does the data say? i.e. mortality rate by age group for those with confirmed infection.

In interviews I’ve seen, epidemiologists with knowledge of the data confirm that children have significantly fewer cases than older age groups.  Reason is unknown.

I have no qualifications or expertise to opine, but could it have something to do with the intensity of the immune system response?  The 1918 flu hit younger people hardest, and from the literature it was mostly due to an overwhelming reaction by the immune system in otherwise healthy people. 

COVID seems most problematic with olds and those with comorbidities who are unable to mount a sufficient immune response.  It seems not to trigger an intense response in youngs.

14
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 01, 2020, 03:11:39 AM »
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51674743

Coronavirus: What are the chances of dying?

Researchers currently think that between five and 40 coronavirus cases in 1,000 will result in death, with a best guess of nine in 1,000 or about 1%.

That’s still about 20x the rate for regular flu.  Most people have no idea what’s coming.

15
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 29, 2020, 11:26:27 PM »
Over 50 patients and staff in a Kirkland, WA care facility are showing symptoms. 

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/one-king-county-patient-has-died-due-to-covid-19-infection/?amp=1&__twitter_impression=true

Seattle Times has also removed their paywall on COVID stories.

16
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 29, 2020, 01:47:30 PM »
This is a very informative and extremely timely read from the author of “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History.”  I am certainly going to pick up this book.

Although the article is from 2017, it could have been written yesterday with respect to what is transpiring in the US relative to communication and emerging failures of leadership (the least shocking development of all, however).

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/journal-plague-year-180965222/

Quote
What proved even more deadly was the government policy toward the truth.

Quote
Against this background, while influenza bled into American life, public health officials, determined to keep morale up, began to lie.

Quote
Across the country, public officials were lying. U.S. Surgeon General Rupert Blue said, “There is no cause for alarm if precautions are observed.”

Quote
People could believe nothing they were being told, so they feared everything, particularly the unknown. How long would it last? How many would it kill? Who would it kill? With the truth buried, morale collapsed. Society itself began to disintegrate.

Near the end of the article, the author John Barry adds this:

Quote
That is why, in my view, the most important lesson from 1918 is to tell the truth. Though that idea is incorporated into every preparedness plan I know of, its actual implementation will depend on the character and leadership of the people in charge when a crisis erupts.

The US is in for a rough ride.  I mostly liken this to an “own goal,” as it’s largely self-inflicted.

17
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 29, 2020, 03:29:54 AM »
I think the situation is in a different state now. The main problem is no longer China. China seems to have things under control. The main problem is Iran. Iran has a massive problem and not even their central government knows the scope of it. People traveling from Iran must be quarantined.

Then there is Italy and Europe. I must assume relentless contact tracking is going on in Europe. Most cases and potential cases will be found and isolated unless the epidemic has grown out of a scale that can be mapped. Given the numbers released so far, that is unlikely.


The US has a bigger problem in its hands than it cares to admit. That one case of community infection was very likely leaked from containment. They are following droplet protection and sometimes not even that. Masks are scary. Sadly, this bug is airborne.

However, I refuse to think that the US does not have the capacity to trace and isolate cases once they appear.  So unless the trump administration actively suspended tracking of patients and just let this killer flu into the ecosystem, I think the US got this. If Trump thinks this is just flu and orchestrated the response to just let into the ecosystem as to not affect the markets, then we are truly Fd. Is he evil/stupid enough to do that? yes. But I don't think people that value their lives would let him.

Regarding the first bolded statement:  “Trump calls coronavirus a ‘hoax’ and uses it to justify border wall”  This from a rally speech in South Carolina.  Conspiracies, xenophobia and racism all wrapped into a few seconds.

Regarding the second bolded statement:  “Second coronavirus case of unknown origin confirmed in California, indicating virus is spreading in the state”

18
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 27, 2020, 12:41:32 PM »
sam, you are obviously adding a lot to this thread, but you are not grounding your assertions and assessments when attempting to counter the evidence of much lower fatality rates outside of Hubei.

Your case appears to rest heavily on speculation and a mistrust of “authorities” and a direct effort in other countries to “hide the truth.”

There are countries where this dynamic is possible or even likely, and we should except a high degree of gaslighting to continue in the US.  But there is no evidence that all countries with material caseloads would elect to make an individual or coordinated effort suppress either the number of infections or fatalities in public reporting.  And if much higher numbers of people are or end up dying in places like South Korea and Italy, that is not something that can be hidden from eventual news reporting.


19
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 27, 2020, 03:28:34 AM »
The more concerning issue relative to the US election is that the current administration cancels the election “for the benefit of the American public.” 

We can’t risk people gathering in public in large numbers all over the country, can we?

But that might be the only thing that gets complacent Americans off their collective butts and into the streets.

This virus really could be a Black Swan in more ways than one.

20
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 25, 2020, 03:48:26 AM »
Not sure if this has been posted, but a useful review of data from a large subset of victims.  No surprise that the elderly are at highest risk for the worst outcomes.

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/02/study-72000-covid-19-patients-finds-23-death-rate

Study of 72,000 COVID-19 patients finds 2.3% death rate

“Eighty-seven percent of patients were aged 30 to 79 years (38,680 cases). This age-group was the most affected by a wide margin, followed by ages 20 to 29 (3,619 cases, or 8%), those 80 and older (1,408 cases, or 3%), and 1% each in ages less than 10 and 10 to 19 years.

Of the confirmed cases, 1,023 patients—all in critical condition—died from the virus, which results in a CFR of 2.3%. The CFR jumped considerably among older patients, to 14.8% in patients 80 and older, and 8.0% in patients ages 70 to 79. Among the critically ill, the CFR was 49.0%.”


21
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 24, 2020, 05:39:49 PM »
Just a casual reader of the forum and find it a very useful place for all types of news, but must say the addition of that poll is quite odd and ghoulish.

Just my two cents.

22
Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 22, 2020, 04:13:12 AM »
It’s actually ok to be an atheist or none and not mock those who practice their version of faith, whether they are sincere or hypocritical.

I am a very content atheist, but understand and respect the need for more traditional spiritual outlets that draw multitudes.

23
This is one of Trump’s vocal cheerleaders, sharing his thoughts on the cryosphere.

24
Consequences / Re: Hurricane season 2018
« on: October 12, 2018, 02:29:14 AM »
Gotta say I’m pretty rattled here in Tampa after going through Irma last year and seeing what Michael has wrought in the Panhandle.  The pics and reports of impact speak for themselves.  It’s not hyperbole to say these intense cyclones we’ve observed globally over recent years are becoming routine, with the increasing amount of heat available in the tropical basins.

25
The rest / Re: Mueller Investigation & Cohen Investigation
« on: July 19, 2018, 06:27:21 AM »
Remember the efforts by Kushner and Flynn to create a back channel to Russia?

A few weeks after Trump was given the info detailed in the NYT article, a senior Russian cyberintel officer was arrested on charges of treason.

In the ensuing months, a number of Russian officials succumbed to mysterious deaths.

Folks, it’s been in plain sight from the get go.

The effort to take Trump down is going to intensify, as is the vigor of his manic defense and gaslighting, and the circling of the wagons by his cult.

There is no way to predict how this will end.

26
Consequences / Re: Decline in insect populations
« on: October 29, 2017, 01:27:38 AM »
There are plenty of topics about humans persisting and surviving the deepening climate crisis, but what kind of world is worth living in that has lost much of its mega and microfauna, and is dominated by AI, rats, coackroaches, and jellyfish? Maybe a bit hyperbolic as spiders and ants have quite the net biomass, but it's really hard to see the appeal of Earth without all the other creatures, large and small.  It's ironic that we'll someday be wistful for what many long considered pests.  Part of the answer I suppose is that future generations born into the new Earth system only know what they know.  They will look at pictures of animals and insects and fish like we look at pictures of dinosaurs, as they enjoy their three square of soylent.

27
Consequences / Re: Decline in insect populations
« on: October 28, 2017, 10:32:19 PM »
In the 1950's I could go to our property line, clap my hands loudly over a vast field of milkweed, and watch the sky darkened as the Monarch butterflies arose in mass.
A few years ago a butterfly count in the same area found less than triple digits of Monarchs for the season.
They're planting milkweed on a slope a mile or so away in an effort to bring the butterflies back, but the results have been disappointing.
Terry

As a kid in the 70s I remember early summer drives through rural Maryland and Pennsylvania at dusk, and being amazed at the thick swarms of fireflies lighting up the farmland and fields.  It was magical. Took the same drive a few years ago and didn't see evidence of even one.

28
Consequences / Re: Decline in insect populations
« on: October 28, 2017, 09:19:08 PM »
Small creatures like this are always on the knife's edge of existence, but this one never really had a chance given its geographic range and the multitude of local threats.

Florida's most endangered butterfly may not have survived Hurricane Irma

http://www.placead.tampabay.com/news/environment/wildlife/floridas-most-endangered-butterfly-may-not-have-survived-hurricane-irma/2342661


29
Loong time since this thread was active, here's an update on Peru's tropical glaciers.  Elements of "places less liveable" and "tsunamis/landslides from glacier collapse" in this write up as well.

A flood of problems
Peru’s glaciers have made it a laboratory for adapting to climate change. It’s not going well.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/world/2017/08/07/perus-glaciers-have-made-it-a-laboratory-for-adapting-to-climate-change-its-not-going-well/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_peruglaciers-911pm-winner%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.6db060a2029e

LAKE PALCACOCHA, Peru

After a day of bright sunshine, a chunk of ice the size of a dump truck broke off the glacier on Mount Pucaranra a few weeks ago. It plunged into the lake below and kicked up a wave nine feet high.

Victor Morales, a small, catlike man with a tattered ski cap who is the lake’s solitary watchman, scrambled up to a stone hut on the side of the mountain and got on the radio. The wave had damaged an emergency drainage system meant to reduce the volume of the lake. But to his great relief, the earthen dam holding back the water was intact.

“It wasn’t a big avalanche,” Morales said.

Lake Palcacocha is a mile long and 250 feet deep, and the effect of a large avalanche would be similar to dropping a bowling ball in a bathtub. Modeling scenarios predict a 100-foot wave so powerful it would blow out the dam. Three billion gallons of ice water would go roaring down the mountain toward the city of Huaraz, burying its 200,000 residents under an Andean tsunami of mud, trees and boulders.

Lake Palcacocha is an example of the immediate threats Peru and other developing countries are facing from climate change. The country is especially vulnerable since it is home to 70 percent of the world’s “tropical glaciers” — small, high-altitude ice caps found at the earth’s middle latitudes. Their disappearance has made Peru something of a laboratory for human adaptation to climate change.

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