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Messages - pietkuip

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Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: September 18, 2020, 04:03:19 PM »
In my town of Minneapolis, no kids are going to school, few are physically going to universities, restaurants are mostly empty, if they are even open. Almost no one I know, except health care workers, are regularly going in to work. People are, though, as they should be, going to parks and other wide-open spaces more when they can.

And from what I hear, Mpls is not abnormal in this: A relative recently traveled through downtown DC and said it was eerily dead.

Chicago Metro Status...

Schools did not open, including colleges and universities. Restaurants are open and empty. Bars are closed. The expressways during rush hour are post apocalyptic with a few cars traveling over the speed limit when they would normally be bumper to bumper. My one hour commute takes 35 minutes. Meetings are all virtual. There is nothing that could be described as 'normal' but I suppose it could be considered eerily 'peaceful'.

Life in Sweden is comparatively normal. Schools are open, universities too, restaurants have customers. There are some restrictions (the maximum of 50 people in gatherings is limiting many events) and many people still work a lot from home. See this video from a shopping center in Gothenburg:

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: September 02, 2020, 04:45:06 PM »
The virus has a massive R0 value, so as soon as our dystopian mask wearing culture stops, and people start trying to gather again and not wear masks, the number of infections sky-rockets again.

Masks are rare in Sweden, the weather is getting chilly, schools and universities started, yet the virus is not sky-rocketing here. I do not think anybody understands why.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: September 02, 2020, 12:10:58 PM »
I'm still wondering if th Neanderthal genes are having an impact on physical responses, seems like regional differences in severity may be linked to those or perhaps to the virus genes incorporated into our genome.
I have not heard much about it, but now I found (by looking for citations of the paper by Zeberg and Pääbo) this article by Dave Dalton who does not have an affiliation:

Why people of Bangladeshi origin are most at risk of dying from COVID-19 in the UK, i.e., why they carry the highest level of those six deleterious Neanderthal-inherited genes

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 25, 2020, 11:15:47 PM »

I disagree, the change and mortality spike historically happen around 10/1. Late September will be when transmission explodes, and mortality follows as that is also when Vit D is plunging (and it bottoms out seasonally population-wide by mid-October).


You did not notice the misleading scaling?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 22, 2020, 10:30:25 PM »
Anyway, how does anyone explain (other than seasonal effects, whatever those may be) that an R of minimum 2,5 in Feb/March is now apparently only 1,1-1,3 in Europe with basically ZERO effort (I mean, we are back to shaking hands, kissing each others cheeks, mass events, everything)?

One explanation is that it is due to immunity among the people that spread the virus. The most susceptible people with many contacts already had it. So the people that are out and about and see many others either already had it or they are not that susceptible.

The theoretical herd immunity thresholds are calculated for vaccination, which is a bit random, it requires 70 % or so. When the virus itself does the immunization, that threshold is expected to be lower. Possibly much lower.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 22, 2020, 10:16:15 PM »

That is not a serious analysis when he takes excess data from
Those percentages are calculated over unclear periods. I am not sure Sweden had fewer excess deaths than Switzerland.

FT not a reliable source ?!

Graph there does seem to indicate Sweden has data to June 23rd and Switzerland to June 28th. Close enough for most purposes?

Unclear how the FT got the percentages.

The numbers are an integral, I suppose. For Sweden 5 500 excess deaths which fits with lab-diagnosed deaths here. For Switzerland 1 900.

Similar population size, so Sweden had more deaths per capita.

As I am sure he is aware, but it did not fit with the story that Lewis wanted to tell.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 22, 2020, 01:01:07 PM »
Nic Lewis has now updated his analysis.

He discusses the important papers by Aguas et al on the importance of differences in behaviour, and also the one by Tkachenko et al. On developments in Sweden, he says:

"I will end with a follow up to my June 28th article focusing on Sweden. In it, I concluded that it was likely the HIT had been surpassed in the three largest Swedish regions, and in the country as a whole, by the end of April notwithstanding that COVID-19-specific antibodies had only been detected in 6.3% of the population.[11] I also projected, based on their declining trend, that total COVID-19 deaths would likely only be about 6,400. Subsequent developments support those conclusions. Swedish COVID-19 deaths have continued to decline, notwithstanding a return to more travel and less social distancing, and are now down to 10 to 15 a day. According to the latest Financial Times analysis,[12] excess mortality in Sweden over 2020 to date was 5,500, or 24%. That is only about half the excess mortality percentage for the UK (45%), Italy (44%) and Spain (56%), and is also lower than for France (31%), the Netherlands (27%) and Switzerland (26%), despite Sweden not having imposed a lockdown or shut primary schools."

That is not a serious analysis when he takes excess data from
Those percentages are calculated over unclear periods. I am not sure Sweden had fewer excess deaths than Switzerland.

There are huge regional differences in Sweden. Right now, number of cases in my part of the country (Växjö in rural Southern Sweden) is rising steeply. Three close friends of my daughter tested positive last week. Schools have just started, the university will start, students are having their parties on campus, there is not much distance in cafés in the city.

The "plan" seems to be to keep calm and carry on. I don't disagree, but it would be better to discuss it.

The graph shows number of detected cases as a function of week number.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 21, 2020, 05:04:25 PM »

A more relevant statistic is that deaths in the first half of this year were 10 % over the average of the five previous years.

Is there a zero missing? And likely the "1" is also wrong.

(Yes I'm very bad in simple math, but I can abstractly diagonalize unbounded operators on infinite dimensional Hilbert space :) )
I'm currently on slow connection, so I won't check for excess mortality...
Here is a paradigmatic screen shot of all European countries in the system, week 25 (incl. those without significant excess mortality) which includes the super flu mortality year 2018.

That graph of yours is the excess deaths. This year about twice as high as 2018.

So the first half of this year 10 % excess deaths in Sweden. The year 2018 it was about 5 %. That was a year when no borders were closed, without mask hysteria, etc, etc.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 20, 2020, 10:59:08 PM »

Sweden Records Highest Death Tally In 150 Years In First Half of 2020

Sweden recorded its highest death tally in 150 years for the first half of 2020, according to the country's official statistics office.

This was also true in the first half of 2018.

Population more than doubled since 1869. That was the third year of a famine:

A more relevant statistic is that deaths in the first half of this year were 10 % over the average of the five previous years.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 18, 2020, 09:20:15 AM »
Sweden's Covid-19 Strategist Under Fire Over Herd Immunity Emails

The main problem (other than lack of humanity) with this approach is the huge unknown of how long immunity lasts.

It is human to let humanity behave like humans.

Of course cases will rise now when the universities and schools open again. But I guess that the virus will burn through the student body within two months, certainly for the students living on campus here. The problem should be over at the time when my course starts in October.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 16, 2020, 01:26:26 AM »
Not "just a preprint"  ;)

SARS-CoV-2 was Unexpectedly Deadlier than Push-scooters: Could Hydroxychloroquine be the Unique Solution?

(zinc  can be  added  to  improve  the  flavor,  but  is  only necessary  if  the  study  fails  to  provide  any significant effect)

In the control group, two participants out of four died from an accident (a whopping 50%, the two other  participants  survived  without  accident).

Can we publish anything right now? I think that the  question,  it  is  quickly  answered,  and  peer-review  has  never  been  a  scientific  method anyway [15].

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 13, 2020, 10:04:00 PM »

I'm posting something in the Lessons thread that explains why this leads to totalitarianism. The bullies of the techno-meritocratic superiority complex fanclub are not going to like it (Martin Gisser, Blumi, Arch).

This is where I got really dismayed. :(

Critics of Sweden's Coronavirus Strategy Call for More Restrictions

Critics of Sweden's coronavirus strategy have called for more protective measures to be put in place ahead of a potential second wave of the virus once the summer is over.

Writing in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, Goran K. Hansson, the general-secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and Economist Lars Calmfors called for a change in the country's strategy towards the virus, one that has seen it shun a lockdown in favor of largely voluntary measures.

"It is now time to review the corona strategy," Hansson and Calmfors wrote in an op-ed Tuesday. "The beginning of autumn may be crucial for the corona pandemic's continued development in the country. A real retake is needed for the continued infection control strategy so that the spread of infection is kept down while waiting for both better treatment methods and vaccines," they said.

Sweden has seen a far higher death toll than its neighbors, with almost 5,800 deaths. The critics said the number of fatalities represented a "national catastrophe" for Sweden and called for more cost-effective measures, including quarantines for travelers from countries with a large number of infections, and face masks in public environments.

That was a strange opinion piece. Calmfors is an economist, retired now. He was the main economic authority in favour of Sweden adopting the Euro. I think most people are happy now that that did not happen. But the guy is still often asked for supposedly neutral expert opinion.

They did not really "call for" anything, just suggested to consider such measures like quarantines. Which should not help much as there is still quite a bit of virus around here. Yesterday, my daughter told me that three close friends of hers had it (symptoms and positive tests).

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 13, 2020, 08:52:04 AM »
On obesity:

Obesity is a major risk as it rarely walks alone. With it comes high blood pressure, a major risk factor, cardiovascular problems (another one), diabetes, etc. So, yeah, a bad lifestyle and poor diet are major problems and likely the most important risk-factor

I am not a medical doctor, but it seems that the fat itself plays a big role in severe covid.

The fat is associated with a chronic low-grade inflammatory reaction of the immune system:
(just a random reference, I did not really read it)

It seems that that is a factor in the cytokine storms that kill.

I should get rid of some of that fat...

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 08, 2020, 01:57:00 PM »

So, what is it about India - after weeks and then months of prophecies of pending doom - that causes the IFR to be so low, given the lack of medical facilities and dense demographics? A lack of obesity? Plenty of Vitamin D? A population that doesn't panic because it accepts death as a part of life?

India has problems with its statistics, it seems.

Glaciers / Re: Alpine Glaciers
« on: August 07, 2020, 10:15:02 AM »
Mont Blanc glacier in danger of collapse, experts warn
Italian mayor orders roads closed and homes evacuated over fears ice will break away
Italian authorities have closed off roads and evacuated homes after experts warned that a portion of a Mont Blanc glacier is at risk of collapse.

Stefano Miserocchi, the mayor of the town of Courmayeur, said “public safety is a priority” after experts from the Fondazione Montagna Sicura (Safe Mountains Foundation) in the Aosta Valley said up to 250,000 cubic metres of ice was in danger of sliding off the Planpincieux glacier on the Grandes Jorasses peak.

“This phenomenon once again testifies that the mountain is in a phase of strong change due to climatic factors, therefore it is particularly vulnerable,” Miserocchi said in a statement. ...

It did not happen last year, but now they are evacuating again.
A time-lapse video compressed to six seconds:

Video from a helicopter:

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 04, 2020, 09:07:16 AM »
Tests: 2.5% of Italians Had COVID-19, Far More In the North

About 1.5 million Italians - 2.5% of the population of Italy- may have already contracted coronavirus, nationwide antibody tests indicate, according to the Associated Press. But officials said Monday that huge geographic variations in the results confirmed a nationwide lockdown was “absolutely crucial” to preventing the country's south from getting slammed as badly as its north.

Officials would say things like that.

But Sweden also has enormous regional disparities in covid rates. Here in the South of the country we hardly had any (so far). Sweden did not have a lockdown. There only was an official advisory not to travel further than about one or two hours travel, which was generally adhered to, for example around the Easter and Ascension Day weekends.

That advisory was retracted at the beginning of summer (no catastrophic spread since then). The advisory to work from home as much as possible will remain in force for the rest of 2020.

No mask advisory so far. The Health Authority does not want to dilute the message to stay home when sick.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 03, 2020, 07:06:06 PM »
Outside of the UK and Spain, its quite hard to spot any excess mortality in the under 65s at all. There are blips, but even in countries with major outbreaks like France and Belgium, if you don't know the blips coincide with COVID outbreaks, they'd be taken for natural variation.

That was surprising for me, but yes, it EuroMoMo shows that too:
France has a bit of a peak for 45 - 64 year olds, at z = 9.5.

But this looks like an effect of the fact that deaths in this age group come in small numbers. It is easier to see such effects the larger a country is. Or for Europe as a whole. And then one sees that the cumulative number of excess deaths in Europe in this age group is now thrice as high in 2019. Or double as high in 2018. (Unclear to me what baseline is.)

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 02, 2020, 11:22:24 AM »

One thing though, I believe a lot of transmission takes place in big family events (e.g. 500-guest weddings) and in schools and university classes. 

I do not think it is the classes. It is the students partying. And when the study year starts, there is a lot of partying on campuses. It will be less this year than usual, but it seems unavoidable that the virus will spread when students return.

I am happy that I am not scheduled to teach until the end of October. By then we will know. I expect a rise in cases (we have had only very few in this part of Sweden). And I expect that in-class teaching will be canceled then.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 01, 2020, 11:32:31 AM »
Welp! (from the 'back to normal' department)

One of the first ships to resume cruising is having a COVID outbreak

On second thought, maybe it was too soon.
Norwegian expedition cruise company Hurtigruten late Friday said four crew members from the 535-passenger Roald Amundsen were admitted to the University Hospital of North Norway in Tromsø, Norway, earlier in the day after the vessel docked in the city.

Link >>

Hurtigruten is not like the vacation cruises. A large part is also similar to public transport. In some ways it is comparable with the ferries across the Baltic Sea where many passengers are truck drivers, in the summer vacationers, and they are party boats because of tax-free booze. It is the last part that is problematic now (but similar to parties in holiday resorts now).

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 31, 2020, 05:06:29 PM »
Hospitals were overrun in Italy and in New York City. The worst-hit zip-codes in New York had mortalities of about 0.6 % of the population.

You are overestimating mortality by an order of magnitude. (And hospitals do not make that much of a difference. Not an order of magnitude.)

20% of New York population got the Virus, from your calculation 0.6%, 20% x 5 for the whole population is 3% CFR.

Apples and pears, it is tiresome.

Mortality in New York City was quite spotty. Only few zip-codes had a mortality of 0.6 %, and in those neighborhoods many more had the virus.

NY City as a whole had a population fatality ratio of about 0.2 %.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 31, 2020, 04:17:48 PM »
Did 5 till 10 % of the population die in Lombardy?

Did 100% of the Lombardy population got exposed to the virus?

You were the one saying that the virus "truly ran freely through the population" in Lombardy, giving that as an example of your absurd fatality percentages. It is incredible, after half a year.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 31, 2020, 04:13:57 PM »
You are overstating fatalities by an order of magnitude.

Nope. Check the numbers of regions where it truly ran freely through the population (i.e. Lombardy, some provinces in the Netherlands or GB, etc).

It might be true if medical facilities are not overrun the fatality rate would be around 1%, the problem is when hospitals are full or run out of oxygen, then moderate patients die without treatments, people not even in intensive care will die in large numbers without oxygen support/medication shortages, raising the death rate to over 10%!

Hospitals were overrun in Italy and in New York City. The worst-hit zip-codes in New York had mortalities of about 0.6 % of the population.

You are overestimating mortality by an order of magnitude. (And hospitals do not make that much of a difference. Not an order of magnitude.)

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 31, 2020, 03:53:51 PM »
You are overstating fatalities by an order of magnitude.

Nope. Check the numbers of regions where it truly ran freely through the population (i.e. Lombardy, some provinces in the Netherlands or GB, etc).

Did 5 till 10 % of the population die in Lombardy? in Brabant? in England?

How strange that I missed that.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 31, 2020, 03:24:37 PM »
Back to normal? Back to normal, Bbr??

Let's think about this statement for a minute. Let's assume you let it run freely, and no one cares about contracting it (well, this is utterly delusional from the beginning because most people would change behavior anyway because they don't want to die, but assume it as a theoretical, ok?) then you have 5-10% of people dead. 
You are overstating fatalities by an order of magnitude.

One could even be luckier than that if one one lived in a slum:

The study also found that a large section of people had been infected and survived with no or little symptoms, leading to a low fatality rate in these areas - one in one thousand to one in two thousand. This also lowers the city-wide death rate from Covid-19.

And more women were found to have been exposed to infection by the virus in both slum and non-slum areas.

more on:

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 30, 2020, 03:55:52 PM »
I don't understand, they found RNA, which is obvious with infected people around.

But did they find actually infectious virus? Am i missing something?

Yes, they cultured the virus in cells.

But that was with just two of their samples.

The article is not easy for me to read. Yes, RNA in many places, but PCR is very sensitive. There were large variations in the data. And Dr. Nouri did not help much.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 30, 2020, 01:47:45 AM »
One of our local prisons, FCI Lompoc, has almost all of its inmates having tested positive. Four have died so far, there are still inmates in ICU.

This is important news Bruce.

1) 90% of 997 inmates tested positive. 90%. Basically everyone. Say goodbye to dreams of "4 out of 5 have T-cell resistance and don't need antibodies"

2) 4 died out of 997. That is 0,4%. And this populations has very likely fewer old people than the normal population, so true IFr is definitely higher than 0,4%. Say goodbye to dreams of "0,05% IFR" ant the like.

Some more data than those four deaths:

"In American jails and prisons, more than 100,000 people have been infected and at least 802 inmates and correctional officers have died."

This was higher than I had expected for the age group. Lack of exercise maybe, maybe Vitamin-D insufficiency.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 29, 2020, 12:01:16 PM »

Interesting. This is for a population that is younger and less obese. And they must have immune systems that are constantly exposed to all kind of pathogens.
And possibly because they live mainly outdoors, or in very airy shacks:
... one big one is tied to a bar in Hillegom. Interestingly enough the bars there had to close the windows and doors at 23 hrs to reduce noise and all the cases in the cluster are from 23 hrs or later so closed spaces are indeed bad.

Also interesting, the connection to the hour of closing windows of that bar in Hillegom.

But people in slums live close together, that is why so many get contaminated. It is the infection fatality ratio that seems much lower than in other populations. It would be interesting to know exactly why. It might be their immune system, because it is the immune reaction that kills.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 29, 2020, 10:27:41 AM »
The study also found that a large section of people had been infected and survived with no or little symptoms, leading to a low fatality rate in these areas - one in one thousand to one in two thousand. This also lowers the city-wide death rate from Covid-19.

And more women were found to have been exposed to infection by the virus in both slum and non-slum areas.

more on:

Interesting. This is for a population that is younger and less obese. And they must have immune systems that are constantly exposed to all kind of pathogens.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 27, 2020, 10:48:50 AM »
In Spanish.

Prevalence study determines that 25.3% of the population of Lima and Callao would be infected with Covid-19

The excess mortality shows how many deaths Peru suffered before it got there.

(But they are four weeks ahead of the US in compiling statistics.)

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 26, 2020, 01:31:03 PM »
As always, a very good episode of TWiV this Sunday.

If you don't want to watch the whole thing, watch at least the part where they debunk the filthy Trump/Pompeo lies about the Wuhan lab starting at minute 48:30. It can't be mentioned enough just how blatantly POTUS and his goons are trying to manipulate the public. And how fucking stupid it is to believe them even a single word.

I am watching. Daniel Griffin is great with his clinical observations and stories from real life. I was amazed by how a covid patient was given antibiotics for the virus by some physician in New York. How can medical people still do that over there?

And yes. Some people should listen to that section about the Wuhan lab.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 23, 2020, 05:39:13 PM »
When looking at world statistics, we have to keep in mind that both cases and deaths are vastly underreported in many places. My view is that underreporting is so vast that the statistics cease to be meaningful. Take India. Maybe 100 times as many cases as reported in places like Mumbai, and no mechanism/ability to count the dead in many places:

Not to speak of conflict/war-ridden countries/regions.

This also means that we should not interpret too much into the fatality ratios resulting from the publicized information in these regions, in neither direction.

Not Just India, it's happening now in the US.

We already Know China's data is horsecrap.

Sounds like France and Europe in general are also having challenges at this point.

The bureaucracies of France and Europe in general have of course good bookkeeping of the dead.

The BBC did a comparison between excess mortality and reported deaths with covid. That is a reasonable match for countries like France. There are large discrepancies in some countries in South-America.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 23, 2020, 12:44:49 PM »
I couldn't agree more, Pietkuip. There should be some Marshall Plan kind of effort about this.

Cancel that stupid 'Project Warpspeed' and concentrate on this, please.

It would not cost a Marshall plan.

It will be cheaper than the vaccines. And a much faster solution. And very safe.

The video that Rodius posted is excellent. It also shows that this test has been around for a while. I am not usually into conspiracies but sometimes I am starting to wonder...

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 23, 2020, 12:00:48 PM »
Agreed, Rodius. This test seems to be the way out of this mess.

Let's see how long it takes for it to be deployed widely.

The test needs to be mass produced to get to that kind of price.

This is quite clearly something that the EU or the US or China should do instead of squandering money on airlines etc. And then distribute a hundred free tests to every household.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 22, 2020, 04:15:41 PM »
What sort of person would be willing to sacrifice their own bodies for Trump's vaccine?

This is borderline misconduct.

It's barely been 6  months and these companies are already doing human trials?

No chance in heck that these pharmaceutical companies were able to evaluate the vaccine in controlled animal trials.

Modern day cannon fodder.

There is a race with China, which seems to have started several phase-3 trials on their military.

But there is not enough virus there, so South-Africa, India, Brazil, US are better for that.

Ethics committees will approve anything now.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 22, 2020, 03:38:06 PM »
There is this amazing podcast with Kai Kupferschmidt (one of the few very good science journalists in the world) about pandemics in general.

At the start a commercial for vitamins and stress mumbo jumbo. Then a slow intro. The interesting point was about cholera. And about the comparison with climate change.

Second half is about he came to be infected with HIV and about his sex life. It illustrates why people will take risks.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 20, 2020, 06:09:08 PM »
Hundreds of Swedes, mainly kids, got their lifes destroyed due to bad swine flu vaccines, pushed by big pharma and authoritarian Swedish powers.

Vaccinations are not mandatory in Sweden, so "authoritarian" is bullshit. I got that injection too, I was not forced.

The virus had a surface protein that is similar to a protein in the brain that helps to keep us awake. The vaccine triggered in some young people an autoimmune reaction to that protein in the brain.

Vaccines are supposed to trigger immune reactions, and it has been suggested that viral infections with H1N1 might also trigger narcolepsy.

There are always risks with vaccines. It is one reason why "big pharma" is not always that interested in this business.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 17, 2020, 03:24:50 PM »
It might be that Fauci had good intentions and was trapped in a difficult situation, but even if that is true, his good intentions meant jack shit when he let trump sabotage the response.

He lied about masks becasue Trump didn't want masking to interrupt the economy. 

Masks are not the way. Their effect is small, they are just a way to pack people closer together in order to save the economy.

There exists a fast simple test that would not cost significantly more than a mask. That would suppress the virus very quickly while keeping society going.

The US government or the EU could fund the production.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 17, 2020, 12:43:33 PM »
On Fauci.

Why is he being celebrated?

Watch the TWiV episode and see how he talks with other experts.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 17, 2020, 01:12:32 AM »
(why would there be fewer old people in jail? people die in jail because they get life sentences and rot there and men are 100% of the population).

Do some people live on a planet where old prisoners are released to nursing homes?!?! Like what??? Do you think they don't just leave them in there to die? lol

In most countries on this planet there are very few old people in jail. (Although I saw something about Japan, that old people go shoplifting etc to get convicted.)

Yes, in this country (Sweden) one can get convicted to a "life sentence" but it is rare, about ten or twenty per year maybe. And it is never really life: the average time in prison is about 16 years.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 15, 2020, 02:29:44 PM »
Here is a recent preprint:

That one has been debunked a lot, it's fake news.

Your Snopes thing is from February. The preprint was posted June 16.

The article does not mention sulfur emissions. Their main data source is observed working hours of the crematoria, and their list of references does not mention satellite data.

There are countries where many deaths don't get recorded. But China is a state with a functioning bureaucracy and records. Yet it is one of few organized countries that will not publish mortality data. (We have such data for Ecuador, Peru, South-Africa, etc.) 

It is a reason for me not to trust the official Chinese numbers at all.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 15, 2020, 01:16:14 AM »

We have no way of knowing just how many died in China, but one can rest assured it's obviously higher than the US death toll.

I would not be assured of that. But China is one of the very few countries that does not seem to publish any statistics about deaths or excess deaths.

Wuhan had similar problems as Bergamo and New York with burying the fatalities.

Here is a recent preprint:

Cremation based estimates suggest significant under- and delayed reporting of COVID-19 epidemic data in Wuhan and China

The estimates of cumulative deaths, based on both funeral urns distribution and continuous full capacity operation of cremation services up to March 23, 2020, give results around 36,000, more than 10 times of the official death toll of 2,524.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 05:48:48 PM »
And what greylib said about intubations and the panic-based outcry for more ventilators. That also caused a lot of unnecessary deaths. But all doctors are perfect and all they care about is helping people, so let's not go into that. Unity, everyone. Don't listen to the loons.

This is unfair.

How could doctors have known how to treat a new disease? They responded with standard treatment to symptoms.

It would have been nice if China had been a country where doctors could discuss easily and freely with colleagues from all over the world. That would have resulted in earlier improvements in treatment. But China is not really that kind of country and their medical people do not have that many international contacts.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 04:46:06 PM »
This Week i Virology

Interesting. I am now listening to the case of the patient who was reinfected.
His antibodies had even been used in treatment.


Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 01:05:14 PM »
Different governments, different lockdown solutions, but  all trending to less than 0.1% fatality. Maybe there’ll be a new exponential rise in a few months, but from the above graph, it’s looking less likely all the time.

Which makes posts like this one look a bit silly:
Quote from: Archimid
Without any medical care, IFR is somewhere in the 5% - 10% range.

Look at smaller regions: Bergamo instead of all of Italy. Or the zip-codes in New York where mortality rose higher than 0.5 % of the population.

The droplets dry out; the virus corpses are blown into the wind. People breathe them in.

Inactivated (i.e. dead) viruses can create partial immunity to influenza - possibly COVID-19 as well? If so, once the first storm has passed, people are breathing in those dead viruses, and gaining some sort of resistance. Probably not enough to avoid getting sick, but maybe enough to avoid getting dead. The more inactive virus lying around, the fewer deaths. It makes sense to my limited knowledge, but I'm no kind of an expert.

Interesting hypothesis! I have never heard of it, but I hope it is true.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 11:50:23 AM »
We pay for this with a covid death rate that is still higher now than in countries like the Netherlands that had a harder lockdown.

Isn't the general opinion in Sweden - also the government's - that the relatively high amount of deaths is due to the failure to protect risk groups, ie the elderly, better?

Other countries had similar problems with protecting care homes.

My point was that the current death rate in Sweden is still higher than in other countries that had higher peaks. Lockdowns helped getting death rates down quicker, I think I there is agreement about that.

So there is in Sweden a vocal crowd of scientists (physicists etc) that demands tougher measures: school closings, mandatory masks, mandatory quarantines, etc. The right-wing opposition also wants that.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 11:39:15 AM »
I still believe that what was possible in Sweden in not possible in many other countries. A low density of population is a major advantage. Even if hotspots are in cities, I don't believe that Stockholm and London or Paris have much in common regarding density.

One now sees how rural USA is being hit. It seems to me that cosmopolitan cities were often hit first, with subways fueling rapid transmission. Stockholm is an example where many residents have relatives abroad that come and visit. Oslo and Helsinki are not quite the same kind of international centers.

Regarding which policy was the best, I think that it is just too early to conclude anything, but one thing is sure, real scientific information is required if people should learn how to manage it.

Added  1: I believe that a hard lockdowns are the result of a panic attack at the government level. This is generally due to the fact that no actions have been taken in time in order to avoid the catastrophe.

Added 2 : Iran and Israel have a second wave of cases, but also of deaths In Luxembourg, we only have a second wave of cases. I wonder how it will continue. Also in Sweden. But again, Sweden might have the second wave later because people might be more often outside right now to enjoy the weather. At least when I was there during the summer 5 years ago, we lived mostly outside.

In Sweden it will be possible to tighten the official advice when the situation gets worse. That is difficult in many other countries now, there is some populist resistance growing in several places, also in Europe. Such panicky measures are not sustainable in the population.

Achimid: I was comparing the current death rate of Sweden (about 20 per day, maybe a bit less) with countries like the Netherlands or Belgium that had higher peaks. It is still higher here. Lockdown measures almost everywhere were too late to have much effect on the peak height.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 12, 2020, 10:37:37 AM »
You can definitely argue that lockdowns cause more harm than good.

Lockdowns are not optional. Lockdowns will happen when hospital services become overwhelmed. What happens to the IFR if hospital services are overwhelmed? It rises to almost match ICU rate. Your cars and malaria argument becomes obsolete by the sheer numbers of this virus without medical services.

It is false to assume that lockdowns are optional. The only real option is when to lockdown.

Sweden managed without a hard lockdown.

Very few things closed: universities and highschools converted to distance teaching; concerts, nightclubs, amusement parks were forced to stop operations; care homes had to exclude visitors. For the rest there was the official "general advice" which many people followed. Most churches did not have Sunday services.

Most restaurants stayed open, but few people went dining out. Hair dressers were open but there were very few weddings this spring.

We pay for this with a covid death rate that is still higher now than in countries like the Netherlands that had a harder lockdown. But I think the Swedish approach is more sustainable: socially, psychologically, culturally, and yes economically.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 11, 2020, 07:19:40 PM »
No, what I mean, is that in a relatively healthy population with an average demographic spread the IFR will be 0.2% at most, which is comparable to a heavy influenza season.

What is a healthy population? Arguably, it would be the population of a country with high longevity. Which means a country where there are many old people.

And those old people are at a high risk of dying with this disease.

It is one of the explanations for the high mortality in Sweden. A large proportion of the elderly got influensa vaccinations, which was one reason for the increase in life expectancy in recent years. Now there is a new virus for which there is no acquired immunity.

So I don't expect that it matters much how much pizza or veggies people are eating or how much exercise they make. Not for the average mortality in this virus.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 10, 2020, 06:42:25 PM »
It has now become clear that in a reasonably healthy population the IFR for SARS-CoV-2 is 0.2% at most. If it is higher than that it is because of demographics, environmental conditions and general population health (which is very low in most parts of the world), and these factors are heavily influenced by the global neoliberal system of endless growth.
New York City had zip codes with mortality over 0.5 % of the population. Maybe the population was older than average but so am I.

I am not convinced that masks are useful. I am deferring to the judgement of epidemiologists in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, etc. It is not something where "common sense" decides the issue. Nor does a comparison with a star.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: July 09, 2020, 01:32:42 AM »
The graph shows Texas with 98 new covid deaths today.
(Not today's final tally; now it stands at 107.)

Since Monday, deaths are also rising sharply in several other states. It will soon dominate the news: deaths of politicians, business leaders, actors, artists. And of healthcare staff of course.

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