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Messages - KiwiGriff

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The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: May 13, 2020, 03:36:55 PM »
"Swear words are to language what potent spices are to food."

Nicely put. Of course, some of us like us a bit more potent spice than others  ;D

I keep a jar of cayenne pepper powder next to the salt and pepper and us it only slightly less than the other two. So...frequently, but of course never in huge doses.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 18, 2020, 11:18:38 AM »
I saw this argument over at reddit, had to share it with you.

As of this moment, there have been 12,199 C19 deaths in NYC.

NYC population is 8.4 million people. So if the IFR of C19 was  0.1% then everyone in NYC already got it and then some. No one else should die of C19. Sadly that is not the case.

The forum / Re: Who would like to take over the ASIF?
« on: April 10, 2020, 01:23:49 PM »
my role will be to moderate BL .. :) .. b.c.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 04, 2020, 05:17:35 AM »
As this virus cripples Western culture and begins to ruin our lives, let's not forget where it came from:

Wuhan, China - almost certainly from the Wuhan Institute of virology. 

This was a human error.

Please just fuck off with that bullshit.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 03, 2020, 06:36:49 PM »
Yes, if it means that my children and grandchildren have a better chance.

OK, boomer. They brainwashed you hard.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 02, 2020, 08:31:12 PM »
1 million and counting . As I said on page 1 .. this is far more contageous than SARS . b.c.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 01, 2020, 11:11:55 PM »
Not long ago Sweden and Denmark had similar coronavirus deaths per million ratios but after today's figures Sweden is pulling away.

Sweden 24 deaths p.million (last three days 36,34,59 deaths)
Denmark 18 deaths p.million (last three days 5,13,14 deaths)
Many have questioned the Swedish laissez-faire strategy and for good reason as your figures point out.

My guess is Sweden is aiming for a herd immunity with limited economic consequences and they trust their efficient health care system to handle the peak of the epidemic. I sincerely hope they are right
They can't. ICUs and hospital beds per habitant are comparable to the rest of Europe. It's a relatively big population. They will suffer a lot of government-caused pain, and COVID will become the first cause of death for a few weeks as it has happened in other countries. Hospitals will be swamped, we already know what happens then.

You don't have any clue how the Swedish health care system works that's for sure. This is a prime example of someone not having a clue about something just pulls a random graph or table from the internet and draws a grossly incorrect conclusion from it. It happens all the time on climate change denial forums and it certainly happens here as well.

In many other countries you are admitted to hospital for things that are handled by the primary care system in Sweden. This has resulted in fewer hospital beds per capita.

Now, the big question is, does this mean anything in regard to the current Covid19 outbreak?

For ICU capacity certainly the answer is a big YES. This is very important. All countries are increasing capacity in this regard. Sweden is no exception, it's been doubled and by next week it will be tripled. No upper limit has been set, capacity will be increased as much as possible by all means possible.

Now, the question is down to the "hospital beds" capacity. What kind of treatment is given? Can it be done from home? Can the primary care doctors and nurses administer the necessary treatment while the patient remains at home, or by a daily visit to a primary care facility? Can necessary treatments be performed in nursing homes?

As I said in a previous post, I think it's currently impossible to draw any conclusions or know what's right or wrong in the middle of the outbreak. Each country has it's own health care system, maybe vastly different from another country even if the number "hospital beds per capita" is identical.

I know one thing though, and that is that I'd hate to live in a country where media, fear, internet experts or populist parties get to decide how to handle the Covid-19 situation. That would be a true nightmare.
But look, let’s imagine the number of beds, hospitals ICUs are same order of magnitude, even double per person. Exponential growth doesn’t care! You have double doctors, nurses, beds, whatever..., that gives you three days more. And in another three/four extra days you have to double the beds, and in three days more, you have to build tent hospitals, and in three days more you have half your health personel infected by Covid. Exponential growth of uncontrolled covid doesn’t care about the Swedish system finesses.

I hope to be wrong

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 01, 2020, 08:21:32 PM »
Not long ago Sweden and Denmark had similar coronavirus deaths per million ratios but after today's figures Sweden is pulling away.

Sweden 24 deaths p.million (last three days 36,34,59 deaths)
Denmark 18 deaths p.million (last three days 5,13,14 deaths)
Many have questioned the Swedish laissez-faire strategy and for good reason as your figures point out.

My guess is Sweden is aiming for a herd immunity with limited economic consequences and they trust their efficient health care system to handle the peak of the epidemic. I sincerely hope they are right
They can't. ICUs and hospital beds per habitant are comparable to the rest of Europe. It's a relatively big population. They will suffer a lot of government-caused pain, and COVID will become the first cause of death for a few weeks as it has happened in other countries. Hospitals will be swamped, we already know what happens then.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 11:36:43 PM »
Probably the most accurate representation of infection to test ratios  and death rates to resolved cases is the numbers from Korea ...

No. Iceland is where you go for data. They already tested more than 3% of the total population, far more than anywhere else.
Data here:

1086 cases
30 hospitalized (ie. 3% hospitalization ratio!)
10 intensive care (= 1% needing intensive care!)
2 dead ( = 0,2%)

This tells you that there are many more mild and asymptomatic cases than previously believed and both mortality and hopsitalization ratio is much lower than envisioned by most people...

Of course, with extensive testing to find early cases, there may be 2-3 weeks mean time from diagnosis to death.  Take current deaths divided by total cases of 2-3 weeks ago, and the case fatality rate is far higher than that.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 28, 2020, 08:44:33 PM »
Crude, rude, blunt, and my sentiments precisely... you have been warned.
Stay the *$&#% at home!


Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 27, 2020, 12:17:27 AM »
Be very careful with trump fanatics. They think themselves immune to the disease or think of it as the flu. They will not protect themselves. They may be highly contagious.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 26, 2020, 10:22:13 PM »
Weekly expert survey in the USA:

How many people will die in the U.S. due to COVID-19 this year?

The expert consensus is that COVID-19 will cause 246,000 deaths [in the USA] in 2020, higher than last week’s estimate of 200,000 deaths. The consensus estimate ranges, though, between 36,000 and 1.1 million. That’s quite a span


How many total COVID-19 infections were actually in the U.S. on March 23?

The expert consensus is that the real number of cases [in the USA] was somewhere between 83,000 and 1.8 million, with 362,000 being the most likely number.  In other words, they thought that only 9 percent of all cases had been reported


—— for the US ——

With just two additional days of growth at the current growth rate of 1.31x/day, plus 12 days from infection to confirmed count status and a 5% death rate of those confirmed (who definitely are a part of the CFR analyzed group), and taking the yesterdays confirmed count today as 83k - the death toll is 180k.  I choose 5% not 4.5% as we are already seeing hospitals going into saturation. That is an under estimate already.

There is no way any additional controls are likely in the next two days that will mean anything. Instead Trump is trying to assert control to go the other way - to less restrictions. 12 of the 18 “experts” predict a death toll for the year of ~180k or less. So they are wrong and we can discard them from further consideration.

If we have just seven more days with current policies rather than two, so through next Thursday, then the committed death toll is at least 700k. That then exceeds the remaining six “experts” opinion. And we can discard them as well. There is zero chance that we will go into a total lockdown quarantine in the next week.

So then, just how much is this “expert” opinion worth?


Addenda. Even if the growth is actually slowed to 1.25x/day in the US, that just adds 5 days to reach 180k dead, and another 6 to get to 700k dead.

Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: March 26, 2020, 06:11:21 PM »
Well Tom, my country lost 2/3 of its territory after WW1, tearing apart many families. Then came the Bolshevik takeover in 1919, then the country was invaded by surrounding states, then came hyperinflation in 1920-1921, then the economic collapse of 1929-33, then we became allies of the Germans and lost 10% of our population during WW2, while the Soviets took away everything they found (food, factory-equipment, etc. We started to rebuild from scratch. Then came another Bolshevik takeover and people were sent to gulags. Then came the revolution of 1956 which was brutally supressed by Russian tanks, we fought them with Molotov cocktails, but noone came to help, so we lost. Another 200 000 people left the country. Then came happy times: you had food, and you could live without war. Of course you could not travel, or vote or say anything bad about the Party. Then came 1989 and we fell into a huge economic depression (same size as 1929-33), lost 30% of GDP in 4 years, with 20-30% unemployment. Oh, and then there was the crisis of 2006-13, when for 7 years there was no growth in the country, with a government bond and FX crisis.

So tell me more about the Greatest Depression :) my people will not be easily surprised

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 24, 2020, 03:12:40 AM »
Your prognostications are particularly alarming, yet they also seem particularly probable. :P


I hope like all hell that you were one of the very early cases & that you've developed an immunity that will last your (natural) lifetime.
Acting as if this is true could sign your, and your families death warrant.

Stay Isolated, Stay Calm, Stay in Touch.

You might have won the lottery, and you may never find out that you have won, if it happens to be true.

Mine aren’t meant to be alarming at all. They are projections not predictions based on the current trends. Those change possibly dramatically based on choices made by various leaders.

The point of them is not alarm. Though if they aren’t alarming, then you aren’t reading them right.

The point is to highlight where we are, where we are headed, and what is possible from here given a range of choices.

For a lot of people unfortunately that future look is not something they are used to or know how to deal with. Instead they view it as either now, or as desire. There is no desire here at all. If there were it would be to slam on the brakes as hard and as fast as possible!

These are simply tools. They portend great ugly terrible things. We should I would hope want to avoid those terrible paths. However, the decisions required to do that often conflict with certain beliefs and desires, or with human nature and human limitations.  In those cases, the answers though they might result in vastly better outcomes may simply not be available or achievable.

Often too we encounter the limitation that people want or need to see these numbers become facts before they are willing to act. They want to believe that somehow these will not come to pass thereby spaing them from having to make difficult decisions.

But rather than help, due to the inherent delays and lag times involved, that delay assures disaster. Sigh.


Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 23, 2020, 02:06:32 PM »
'The people who wrote that' is literally the fucking Lancet, Archimid! There is no better authority in the whole fucking world.

What is wrong with you? Why are you so anti-expert, anti-science?

I can see why you see a contradiction here. Because you can't possibly see a difference between someone walking on the street and someone literally surrounded by infected people in a closed environment. Go figure.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 22, 2020, 02:23:10 PM »
Humans: How could we possibly cut our CO2 emissions?

Nature: Need training? Check out this virus i made.
Been thinking that myself as well. The planet is fighting its own virus, humans.

Science / Re: The Science of Aerosols
« on: March 21, 2020, 03:42:00 AM »
S E A   R E S E A R C H   S O C I E T Y ' S   A P P E A L   T O
T H E  G O V E R N M E N T S  W O R L D - W I D E  :


Global Circulation Models (GCMs) are computer models of the world's atmosphere based on observations and assumptions if there are no direct information available. World emissions shutdowns are a novel opportunity to learn about how climate system responds under different circumstances that cannot be normally experimentally checked. It is vitally important for the world's governments not to shut down meteorological measurements. Indeed, efforts must increase to use opportunity to test and search regional responses of the highly unusual situation. World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and national meteorological organisations must quickly come up with new research proposals to gain every possible bit of information as this helps to understand how world's climate will respond as the world moves towards ZERO emissions. It is a tremendous tragedy if this unique opportunity to find more about how our atmosphere operates is lost. We do not foresee many situations like this rising when large world regions turn their lights off one after another. Modelling SO2, N2O, O3, CFC, CO2, CH4, CO shut downs.

Sponsors, please look at serious proposals to make research offers right now!
Let's make something positive happen out of this coronavirus calamity.

Veli Albert Kallio
Vice President, Sea Research Society
Environmental Affairs Department

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 20, 2020, 02:15:12 PM »
Glad I wasnt the only one who misread that... I just figured it out before I posted my response lol

I'm not surprised we aspies have our problems picking up sarcasm.  ;D ;D ;D ;D

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 20, 2020, 01:31:19 PM »
Actually I'm not doing anything about the fruit and vegies, I've done my own research via facebook and I am now a virus pandemic denier;

Let's look at the facts:
  • There were worse pandemics in the Middle Ages and this one isn't as bad as the Black Death that killed half of Europe in the 14th century. That proves that pandemics are a natural event so we can't do anything to stop it.
  • It's all caused by Milankovitch cycles
  • Viruses are a natural part of the environment so let's not do anything.
  • Meaningful action will cost too much so let's not do anything.
  • They're not doing anything in (insert 3rd world or Asian country of choice) so it's pointless for us to do anything.

I'm off to to promote my theory.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: March 19, 2020, 07:27:10 AM »
and for the umpteenth time you think that it's your call to decide what's appropriate and what not.

And you are deciding what i'm allowed to see appropriate and doing the exact same thing you find wrong with me. This is odd. Logic is not your thing, is it?

also you think it's your call to decide what is who's call. I know this dynamics for 65 years, since i came out of kindergarden, it's seen through and ultimately disqualifies even the better content.

So you are saying you had 65 years to learn about media competence and failed. Because you are the one spreading fake news and conspiracy theories on this very forum.

you and a bunch of vice-versa self flattering individuals are playing it so nice and friendly while in fact being so dogmatic, presumptuous and hypocritical.

Yes, i try to be nice to nice people. And when someone is bullshitting i'm telling them. There are words to describe this, like honesty, or integrity, or consequent. The words you are using don't apply - at all!

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: March 18, 2020, 05:03:59 PM »
No, i'm proposing nothing. I call them a shitty source because they are. And they shouldn't be linked in a forum like this. This ain't Facebook.

Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: March 15, 2020, 10:44:06 AM »
This is really epic (meaning that on a stupidity scale of 1 to 100, at least 200):

Trump's happy tweet:


This guy is an absolute idiot, I am always amazed at the things he says

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 15, 2020, 08:18:10 AM »
One thing I wish would stop is arguing over numbers


I find it amazing that people who stated awfully wrong things before feel entitled to question anything at all (looking at you El Cid).

Overwhelmed? Are you serious? If they have 10 000 (and allegedly they had 2-3 k a few days ago) cases, then at most 1000-1500 are serious and 500 requiring serious hospitalization. You don't overwhelm Italy with that many cases. That is not a valid explanation.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 10, 2020, 12:51:35 AM »
I called my sister in B.C. to discuss preparedness, mostly concerning our aged, vulnerable parents who live near her.
The information available in this thread both motivated me to call, and provided me with assurance that I was taking the right step and I was able to provide useful, rational advice.
I've never done anything like this before.
It was almost like being an adult.
I'm 60. ;D

Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: March 09, 2020, 03:58:32 PM »
"...recession rather than an outright depression"

Awwww, how very comforting! /sark

"When your neighbor loses their job, it’s a recession.
When you lose your job, that’s a depression!"

The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: March 09, 2020, 03:12:30 AM »
Peace and goodwill to everyone . just because .. :)

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: March 04, 2020, 02:16:40 AM »
Automotive News (@Automotive_News) 3/3/20, 7:30 AM
BMW reveals Model 3 fighter in near-production form

ValueAnalyst (@ValueAnalyst1) 3/3/20, 8:39 AM
@Automotive_News  Literally no one cares.
[Image below.]

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: March 02, 2020, 05:06:08 PM »
I have done my outmost to not be guilty for this existential mess we're in, and set a good example for others and then you mock me.

I mock you for mocking others who are working hard (whether they realize it or not) to improve “this existential mess we're in.”  You chose your solution, others chose theirs.  Luckily, the world is made up of different kinds of people.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 02, 2020, 04:36:05 PM »
edit:  blum it happened again  :-X . No matter how many times i re-read my post, dyslexia always gets the better of me.

The ones judging you based on that are fucking morons anyway. Who cares?   :)

Also: Grammarly FTW! Just try it, the basic version is good enough and for free.

Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: February 28, 2020, 03:46:08 AM »
Cheers Tom .

 context .. Tom asked ' will it affect the somewhat precarious global economy ? ' reply 7 COVID-19 back on 25.01.2020 .

. it already seems clear that COVID-19 is even more successful as an economic virus and is exposing every weakness however carefully hidden . That , and it's menace to humanity directly , make a global recession or depression increasingly certain .

just to cheer everyone up I'd probably have called this thread ' The Really Great Depression '  b.c.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: February 25, 2020, 02:06:14 PM »
In my age group, if I test positive, what's my chances?

- a coin toss if it will be severe (~40%)

- a roll of a single die if it will be critical (~15%)

- a roll of the dice if it will be terminal (~8%)

Statistics in the 'Game of Life'


... This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this. ...

300 - (2006)

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 23, 2020, 07:05:36 AM »

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 19, 2020, 08:55:34 AM »
What is needed is real disagreement of facts to point to an issue, combined with plausible motives, and then credible evidence.

Didn't you get the memo, Sam? We are now living in a post-factual world. Plausibility and evidence are low-order issues. Party affiliation and clicks on social media are the real currency!

That said, i really appreciate your intelligence, logic, and reason in every single post of yours. Just don't make the mistake you would reach normal people that way.

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 11, 2020, 09:27:32 PM »
Well, this is a scientific forum and fighting conspiracy theories and xenophobia is imperative no matter the thread topic.

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 10, 2020, 07:34:28 PM »
Damn, we can't eat them anymore?

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 10, 2020, 07:30:32 PM »

... “Notice how the coronavirus cases we’re seeing abroad are in the settings of the rich, such as cruise ships and ski resorts and business conferences? That probably means cases are going undetected among the poor.”

It also means that the wealthy who are traveling all over the world are the source of the spread to other countries. We need to quarantine the rich.  8)

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: February 10, 2020, 07:29:49 PM »
piss on your package and leave outdoors for several weeks . Repeat the piss taking daily ..

Arctic sea ice / Re: "Stupid" Questions :o
« on: February 10, 2020, 03:10:38 PM »
... who knows

So, you don't?

Tom included the 'unless that would damage it' part on purpose i guess.

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 08, 2020, 06:23:54 PM »
On Cruise Ship Quarantined In Japan, Any New Cases Would Reset The Isolation Clock

People who are quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess in Japan have been wondering how long their isolation would last. On Friday, a health official gave an answer they might not like: the quarantine will be extended every time a new case of the Wuhan coronavirus is confirmed on the ship.

Those cruise ships will provide excellent data. Perfect laboratories to study how this disease develops. The age distribution will be a bit skewed to pensioners, but they should be basically healthy. And there is a lot of younger staff, also in good health.

It is unfortunate for those on board, but in a month or so we will know what the death rate really is.

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 08, 2020, 05:10:00 PM »

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 08, 2020, 03:56:26 AM »

截至 2020-02-07 17:33 全国数据统计

34,598 确诊 + 3,401 较昨日
27,657 疑似 + 4,214 较昨日
  6,101 重症 + 1,280 较昨日
     723 死亡 +      86 较昨日
  2,052 治愈 +    510 较昨日

As of 2020-02-07 17:33 National Statistics
the data shows

34,598 Confirmed + 3,401 compared to yesterday
27,657 Suspected + 4,214 compared to yesterday
  6,101 Severe      + 1,280 compared to yesterday
     723 Deaths      +     86 compared to yesterday
  2,052 Recovered +   510 compared to yesterday

Johns Hopkins
34,831 Confirmed
    723 Dead
 2,063 Recovered

It is important to remember that these numbers are hospital admissions. It is also important to note that the confirmed numbers may be limited by the testing delays. And it is especially important to remember that temporarily, each of these numbers represents populations (cohorts) that start at differing points in time. We have crude estimates of what those are. We do not have confirmation of that. And to further complicate issues, the timeframes are not fixed, but rather each are instead distributions. We do not have good data on what those distributions look like. They are likely to be close to log normal in character. But we do not know what they actually look like.

We have estimates that it takes 1-3 days from admission on average to be tested and hence confirmed. We have estimates that the average time to death from confirmation is about 5.9 days. But, that has a brand distribution. We also have estimates that it takes an additional 3-9 days to confirm a person as recovered. That number is much less certain.

Since the growth is exponential in the number of patients, it is essential to know these parameters to estimate the lethality of the disease. But that isn't enough. We need to know how that works in terms of age, gender and other factors.

Alternatively and better, we need a case study of a broad cross section of people to identify what the ultimate outcomes are.

At the moment, it appears (and -only- appears) that there are a large number of people who have limited symptoms and do not report to hospital. As a result, it appears that the lethality of the virus is likely about 4% as measured on the whole population infected. It may be more. It may be less. It is clear that the disease predominantly kills people over 55 years of age, and predominantly males (70%).

We now have indications of several treatments that seem to either be effective or that help.

Key among these are:
1) Oseltamivir combined with HIV drugs Lopinavir and Ritonavir
2) Remdesivir
3) Galidesivir (? speculative ?)
4) Herbal combinations of extracts of Forsythia, Scute, and Lonicera
5) Others...



The forum / Re: Arctic Sea Ice Forum Humor
« on: February 07, 2020, 02:14:58 PM »

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 03, 2020, 11:48:50 AM »

That is actually not an unreasonable guesstimate. We are still missing a lot of basic information.

An early estimate by researchers at John Hopkins suggested that only 5.4% of those infected were being counted, subject to wide variation based on assumptions used in the model. We also know that the disease is predominantly hitting those over 55, who makeup about 20% of the Chinese population. If only half of those are sick enough to go to hospital, that would be 10%.

The data also suggest that the quarantine and related actions have reduced the growth rate of those confirmed infected from 1.45 fold per day to 1.20 fold per day. That is a model gamma of 0.182/day. That shift occurred beginning about 1/29/20 - 9 days after the quarantines began in Wuhan.

It takes on average 6 days to develop symptoms and 1-2 days to be confirmed. Let’s use 8 days total. Let’s also assume a median daily multiplier of 1.25 based on some of the earlier growth being at 1.40-1.45, and the most recent at 1.20. 8 days at 1.25 for 8 days is about a 6 fold increase in counts.

So multiply the current confirmed count daily increase 2,924 by 6 and by 10 and we get 175,000 If instead we use the 20% number, then we take 2,924 x 6 /0.20 = 88,000. If we use the 5.4% estimate, the total count of those infected approaches 325,000. In all of these cases, three quarters of those infected will have no symptoms - yet.

Just by using 9 days rather than 8, these guesstimates change to 220,000, 110,000, and 406,000 respectively. Given the uncertainties 500,000 isn’t an unreasonable upper estimate, especially when you compare those suspected in the last day versus those confirmed in the last day. That’s a ratio of 1.75, which us vastly greater than what we have been seeing.

The effects of the weekend on counting may play a large role and may make the reduction in the R0 as represented by the daily count multiplier non-viable. I.e. perhaps it should still be calculated at 1.35-1.4?  If so, the 6 fold factor I used above becomes 12-20 Doing that, the potential range for the number of those infected today becomes 300,000 to 1.4 million.

As I said at the beginning, we are still missing basic information. And because we are dealing with exponential equations, small differences in assumptions can have large impacts on estimates. And those have huge impacts on decision making and planning. Erring on the side of protection becomes vital.

But - - for economic, political and financial reasons there is a strong tendency to argue for only using information that has been proven - so-called “evidence based” factors. For slow moving systems this is perhaps justifiable. For fast moving systems (exponential in particular) it is essential to use a best judgement approach based on the potential consequences. Doing otherwise can and often does lead to tragic consequences precisely because the evidence is far delayed from the time it is needed for critical decisions.

This problem also shows up in many of the reports and papers estimates of the key parameters. And it shows key factors in how to interpret information. Take everything with a grain of salt.

If 100% of those showing symptoms go to the hospital, and 15% never show symptoms despite being infected, then the case fatality rate (correcting for the exponential growth issues) appears to be between 12% and 16%. However, if only 5.4% of people go to hospital, the true case fatality rate is closer to 0.75%.

But then too, if you are under 55 years of age, the CFR is essentially 0%, while if you are over 65 years the CFR is perhaps over 50%. So what exactly is the CFR telling us? Also, if the young never show symptoms despite being infected and transmitting the virus, what does this tell us about how to manage the disease and those potentially infected?

Even now, I certainly have far more questions than answers.


Consequences / Re: Qué se ficieron ?
« on: February 02, 2020, 01:40:48 PM »
Logic and reason takes you to the same place eventually.

Remember Kant.

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: February 01, 2020, 01:02:33 AM »
Looking at the figures published by John Hopkins CSSE at

As I write, 204 out of 213 deaths took place in Hubei province, with 5806 confirmed cases out of 9925.
So, in the province, where the epidemy started the mortality is over 3%.

The second province in number of confirmed cases is Zheijang with 538 cases, but not a single death yet. How do you folks interpret this?

One of the difficulties with a fast moving virus like this is that the numbers can be very confusing until you remember that it is behaving mostly as an exponential growth curve and that there are time delays involved. Also, the parameters involved have ranges, and specific conditions in different areas can either mask the numbers, or make them look worse, or distort them in other ways.

Over time as various control strategies are employed, as people do various things, the basic parameters will or at least can change values. If the virus mutates, that can also have a large impact - though, so far that is not the case here.

More than this, non-obvious things like differences in age distributions, gender ratios, health status, other life style and disease factors (smoking, diabetes, ...) come into play and can have large importance.

Do not take any of what follows as correct, true, or valid for predicting anything. These are crude numbers and a very simple model to get a ballpark idea of what is happening, and to help answer Bernard's question - (tryin to make sense of the numbers).

Taking all of that, plus inherent randomness and other factors into account - the disease outbreak looks to be something like this:

1) The virus is spreading person to person.
2) The "average" contact transmission (R0) seems to be between 2 and 6 people infected by each person with the disease. The average R0 seems to be generally between 2.2 and 5.6 with an average from all of the available data of somewhere near 2.7
3) The growth of the number of people infected as reflected by "confirmed" infections was initially growing at about a factor of 1.32 per day. More recently it has averaged about 1.62 per day. Through the whole period factors in the range of 1.32 to 1.62 can reasonably match various parts of the data. Let's use a midpoint value of 1.42 (because it shows up a lot - but then too, so do 1.57 and 1.62).
4) Using that daily growth ratio and the R0, we can estimate the time from exposure to infectivity of the next generation - i.e. the generation time. Do that by taking the natural log of the R0 and dividing by the natural log of the growth factor - so ln(2.7)/ln(1.42) for example. In this case, that equals 2.83 days. That seems awfully fast. But then too, this is an "average" or more properly an equivalent behavior as the real distributions show. Another common pairing seems to be an R0 of 4.08 and a growth of 1.62 => 2.91 days per generation.

That now sets the basic form for the growth of the infected population. Even minor changes in those parameters can cause wild changes in the results. Do not rely on the results. They are cautions only. This is an exponential growth curve. So the trick then for this very simple (overly simple) model is to use the real data and various choices of parameters to best fit the parameters to the data, while also sanity checking that those make any sense. Even then, take the results with a huge dose of skepticism. This is an overly simple model.

Now, we have the basics, an Ro =2.7, A growth factor of 1.42/day, and a generation time of 2.83 days.

Next let's look at what we know from field reports. People apparently show symptoms about 5-7 days after exposure. Lets say that on average they go to hospital then. They get counted as "suspect cases". Over the next day, they are tested by PCR and the results return. They are either now cleared of having this virus, or they are confirmed. Given the size of the outbreak in Wuhan (Hubei), the vast majority of those are confirmed.

The confirmed population then is one day after the suspect count. I.e. it represents a population 1 day earlier in the growth and spread of the virus.

Next lets look at the people who died. We know hospitalizations last an average of 23.5 days. Using the data from the hospitals, we can estimate how far back in time their cohort of infected people was. One report put that at 6 days. Another suggested about 5.9 days. Let's say 6 days. So, take the count of those who died times the growth factor raised to the power of the number of days = 1.42^6 = 8.2 times the count of dead.

On January 29, the confirmed count was 8,650. The dead count was 170. And the survived count was 130. That report may still not show effects of the quarantine, and so should be good for our purposes.

Take the 8,650 count of confirmed infected persons today and move it back in time 6 days by dividing by 1.42^6 = 1,055 people in the cohort those who died came from. Now divide 170 by 1,055. The result = 16.1% of the cohort dying. Take that with a huge grain of salt. We know from SARS that it's death rate averaged about 10%. MERS averaged about 40%. So 16% is not unreasonable. But this is a really tentative calculation based on lots of assumptions using exponential growth data. It would likely be safe to assume that the actual death rate is somewhere in the range of 10-20% based on these parameters.

We do not have (or at least I have not seen) good data on the average time from admission to being declared disease free. But we can work the problem backward to get an estimate. Take the current count 8,650. We need to move back X days to the cohort that the survivors came from. Take the survivor count of 130 and divide by the fraction surviving to estimate the original cohort they came from. 130 /(1 - 0.161) = 155. Now 8,650 = 155 * 1.42^X, solve for X = 11.5 days.

Now sanity check that. Is it reasonable that people take 5.5 days longer to be confirmed recovered than to die based on what we know? It is well within the 23.5 days. But that raises a question why on average people are still in hospital for 12 days longer than on average being confirmed to have survived. That might be reasonable to avoid spreading infections by assuring they are no longer contagious. I simply do not know if that is reasonable. The large time span with an intense need for beds makes me suspect that tis points to a serious flaw in the assumptions - an error of some sort.

Anyway, what you can see from this is that the estimate of those currently infected with pure exponential growth and no intervening factors would be about 1.42^7 = 11.64 times the current confirmed infected count. The count of those suspected to be infected should be about 1.42 times the infected count. The count of those who have died should be about 1/45th of the current confirmed count. And the count fo those who survived should be about 70-90% of the count of those who died (76% by the math in this example).

So now lets go back and think about this again. We aren't dealing with just one generation of people. The counts represent the time summed total of many different generations. To do this calculation more correctly (still an overly simple model), we would have to do all of those in parallel and add them. We would also need to do a stochastic calculation using the uncertainty bands for all of this. As you can see, even using this "simple" exponential growth model, the problem gets complicated quickly.

But the complications get worse. We have information now that this disease predominantly kills people over age 55. The precise data for that is also messy, as the death rate has to be calculated using this same messy exponential math (or more complicated models). It is all too easy to get that wrong. That can be confused by things like how long it takes for elderly people to succumb compared to younger people. The younger people who presumably survive longer before dying represent an earlier smaller cohort of people. If we estimate their death rate from current data, it will look like they are more resistant even if they aren't. Etc...

We also seem to be seeing a strong gender difference with 70% of the fatalities being male. That too may be caused by artificial biases. For example, if men have "better" access to health care, they may get earlier treatment, where the women might die at home and be counted later. Or, the men might be the ones going out into areas where they become infected, while the women don't. I do not know that any of these are true for this population. Nor do I mean to speculate that they are or even might be. I just mean to point out that fairly simple biases like these can make large differences in the short term results while the virus is spreading exponentially.

Once the quarantine went into effect, huge changes happened. People know to wear masks and use good hygiene practices to avoid spreading the disease. And these are societally mandated and enforced. Also, because of other factors, people are staying indoors and not frequenting the usual places. This dramatically reduces the opportunity for viral spread. But with an at least 2.85 day generation time and a 5-7 day time for appearance of symptoms, the effects of these changes won't be seen at the earliest until 5-7 days after they began. That is just about now.

Does this help?


Bearing all of that in mind. We still know far too little to be certain about much. We can be certain that it is a fast spreading lethal disease.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: January 30, 2020, 10:01:26 PM »
Do electric vans fit in here, or is there another thread for such things?

UPS has just announced an order for 10,000 EVans from UK based startup Arrival:

There's even more shock news too! Yours truly's somewhat smaller startup has been in conversation with Arrival for several months about our international standards compliant bi-directional charging stations:

UPS haven't got back to me with a number yet though!

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: January 30, 2020, 04:51:07 PM »
Surely you can fit a pail of "food" somewhere:

It just requires some flexibility with the term "food".

Consequences / Re: Chinese coronavirus
« on: January 30, 2020, 12:14:47 PM »
We are talking about a possible pandemic event.

Thousands of people will die. Millions maybe, who knows?

The amount of gewgaw we can sell during that time is of utter interest.

This is how brainwashed people have become. Markets, markets over everything.

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