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Messages - dnem

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1
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 08, 2020, 04:58:45 PM »
I think that explains part of it. I also think a lot of type A, hard-driving personalities are actually finding life LESS stressful. It is probably a combination of both.

"After their conditioned has worsened" would not explain this; it would have to be "after they had died."
But a lot of people with heartburn, and anxiety etc. show up at ERs worried they are having an MI. Those people are likely staying home more.

2
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 08, 2020, 04:43:10 PM »
This is quite an interesting story relevant to the discussion of excess deaths not directly due to CV:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/06/well/live/coronavirus-doctors-hospitals-emergency-care-heart-attack-stroke.html

Where Have All the Heart Attacks Gone?

The hospitals are eerily quiet, except for Covid-19.

I have heard this sentiment from fellow doctors across the United States and in many other countries. We are all asking: Where are all the patients with heart attacks and stroke? They are missing from our hospitals.

Yale New Haven Hospital, where I work, has almost 300 people stricken with Covid-19, and the numbers keep rising — and yet we are not yet at capacity because of a marked decline in our usual types of patients. In more normal times, we never have so many empty beds.

What is striking is that many of the emergencies have disappeared. Heart attack and stroke teams, always poised to rush in and save lives, are mostly idle. This is not just at my hospital. My fellow cardiologists have shared with me that their cardiology consultations have shrunk, except those related to Covid-19. In an informal Twitter poll by @angioplastyorg, an online community of cardiologists, almost half of the respondents reported that they are seeing a 40 percent to 60 percent reduction in admissions for heart attacks; about 20 percent reported more than a 60 percent reduction.




3
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 08, 2020, 02:01:14 PM »
The spread of COVID-19 is based on 2 factors ..
                                   
          1. How dense the population is , and
         
          2. How dense the population is .. b.c.

It took me a few seconds to figure out what you meant :)

This is a very clever quip (and I stole it and put it on FB), but here in the US and all over the world, there are billions of people whose circumstances make it incredibly difficult to self isolate. But there are also a lot of people who are just too dense to.

4
Policy and solutions / Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« on: April 07, 2020, 08:43:34 PM »
Sorry El Cid. Tone can be hard to pick up sometimes. I think of myself as a realist too, and that's why I'm not very optimistic about the future. But I do hope there is some re-examination of globalism after this.

You said: "What I actually meant was that the world has been extremely interconnected for thousands of years and pandemics swept thru Eurasia quite quickly many centuries before capitalism and globalisation and disrupted trade and economy heavily."

I'm sure that is true and rare commodities have surely moved across continents for a couple of thousand years. But the complexity of modern supply chains makes them far less stable in the face of disruptions than the spice trade, or salt or what have you.  In the past, commodities moved because they were not available everywhere.  Since the rise of globalization, capital now moves freely around in search of the cheapest inputs of materials and labor. It is both dehumanizing and a disaster for the environment.  Layer on top of that the financialization of everything, which did not exist in ancient supply chains and IMO you have a much less stable, much more vulnerable world.

Stay safe.

5
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 07, 2020, 08:34:38 PM »

Oh El Cid, I knew you'd come 'round!   ;)

Seriously though, I don't think "Earlier pandemics caused economic disruption" is a particularly compelling refutation of my thesis, which is "Rampant globalism has made the world economy more vulnerable than one with simpler, more local supply chains." I, for one, sincerely hope that relocalization is part of the recovery process from this pandemic (as the Le Monde piece stipulates). You can continue to root for more globalism and consumerism.

No, you misread my meaning. I believe that globalisation will be reduced due to COVID and the trade war - and that is good. However, consumerism will not end because people are ... people and that is not good but is a fact of life: people will always crave for more. If you knew me, you would know that my personal needs are pretty humble and very far from the box you put me into. But I am a realist not a dreamer.
 
What I actually meant was that the world has been extremely interconnected for thousands of years and pandemics swept thru Eurasia quite quickly many centuries before capitalism and globalisation and disrupted trade and economy heavily.

Sorry, I thought you were being sarcastic. I responded on the lessons thread if you're interested...

6
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 07, 2020, 06:27:12 PM »
With respect to the response to the CV crisis, this is certainly true. But the point of the Le Monde piece (and my point in posting it) is to stand back and look at the global economic model that has made "the system" so unstable in the face of this pandemic.

I totally agree. And the same evil system caused the dire economic consequences of the Spanish Flu, the Black Death and Justinian's plague. We must do something about it!

Oh El Cid, I knew you'd come 'round!   ;)

Seriously though, I don't think "Earlier pandemics caused economic disruption" is a particularly compelling refutation of my thesis, which is "Rampant globalism has made the world economy more vulnerable than one with simpler, more local supply chains." I, for one, sincerely hope that relocalization is part of the recovery process from this pandemic (as the Le Monde piece stipulates). You can continue to root for more globalism and consumerism.

7
Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: April 07, 2020, 03:41:20 PM »
We had a crystalline clear day yesterday here in the US mid-Atlantic coastal region. Last night Venus shown as clear and bright as I can remember.

8
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 07, 2020, 03:38:42 PM »

In less than two months, the coronavirus pandemic has already been reshuffling the cards of economic globalization. The continuous lengthening of supply chains and the international division of labour for more than thirty years, as well as their just-in-time operation, are now perceived as sources of danger that are difficult to bear and justify.



Nationalism is the real danger. Nationalism has turned what should have been a coordinated global response into a circus.

With respect to the response to the CV crisis, this is certainly true. But the point of the Le Monde piece (and my point in posting it) is to stand back and look at the global economic model that has made "the system" so unstable in the face of this pandemic.  What I call the "neoliberal project", or globalism, has created a global system that is almost exquisitely configured to become unstable under this threat.  The system where capital chases the cheapest sources of labor and materials no matter where on the planet is the issue.  That has more to do with the global corporate hegemony than it does with nationalism.

9
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 07, 2020, 01:19:48 PM »
Anyone who thinks this can be accomplished in the US is delusional:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/07/opinion/coronavirus-smart-quarantine.html

The United States needs to adopt smart quarantine as soon as possible. It will require us to endure new and difficult challenges. But the long-term benefits — fewer infections and deaths, a quicker return to work and “normalcy” — will far outweigh the short-term hardships.

In a smart quarantine, anyone in a family who is not well — and if you’re sheltering in place, whomever you are with is considered “family” — must get tested and be separated from the family until results return. While awaiting results, the separated family member can move into temporary accommodations overseen by medical professionals and be tested.

Those that test negative remain in quarantine in their accommodations, and if they test negative again at 14 days, they can return home, where they must continue to shelter in place. Those that test positive leave their temporary accommodations and enter a more formal Covid-19 recovery facility. Most of these people will recover and will be sent home in about two weeks after testing negative at least twice. People who get worse will be sent to an acute care facility.

10
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 06, 2020, 05:06:32 PM »
Here's a translation in English of an op-ed published 2 weeks ago in Le Monde. I thought it does a good job of linking the larger crises of our time caused by the rise of the Neo-liberal project and the current CV crisis.

 « Relocalization is no longer an option but a condition for sustainable social & economic systems »

In less than two months, the coronavirus pandemic has already been reshuffling the cards of economic globalization. The continuous lengthening of supply chains and the international division of labour for more than thirty years, as well as their just-in-time operation, are now perceived as sources of danger that are difficult to bear and justify.

The pharmaceutical industry, which has relocated entire sections of its production apparatus to the extent that 80% of the active ingredients of medicines are now imported from China and India, compared with 20% thirty years ago, is cited as an example of sector that need to be relocalized. The term "relocalization" is now used in all speeches, including by those who have been working continuously, for years, to deepen neo-liberal globalization in the name of lowering costs.
They all speak about “relocalization” but without questioning the very content of investment and production choices. Should we add to the cost competitiveness criterion, which has guided the choices of investors for years, only the sole criterion of "risk competitiveness", as is now evoked? Or should we question the very content of these productions, the financing process, the ecological impacts and the quality of the jobs they provide ?

Calls for relocalization and economic recovery cannot, in fact, hide the intrinsic unsustainability of the global production system : in the report "Global Resources Outlook to 2060", the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that natural resource extraction will have to increase by 111% (150% for metals and 135% for minerals) to fuel a global annual growth rate of 2.8% by 2060. Even relocalized and re-boosted to fit with a new revisited form of protectionism, such an economic model is nonetheless unsustainable and undesirable.

The coronavirus crisis appears to be a symptom of an ill-organized world, which can only encourage the proliferation of uncontrollable events with a systemic destabilising dimension. Without being the root cause - which lies in the soaring inequalities and a financial bubble inflated by the central banks over the last ten years - the coronavirus is setting a dramatically unstable world economy on fire. What will happen when the climate disruption and ecological collapse documented by scientists produces its full effect, i.e. as early as tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, at the latest?

The fact that most of the economy and its financing is entrusted to the financial markets and multinational companies alone, making short-term financial profitability alone the main decision criterion, is a factor that deepens and worsens unfavourable situations such as a health crisis. In addition to increased financial fragility, social, ecological and fiscal dumping, as organised by three decades of neoliberalism, has clearly reduced the resistance and resilience capacities of our economic, social and, as we can see, health systems.

In the same way as the responses to climate change should be, health, economic and social measures to deal with the coronavirus pandemic should be based on mandatory international solidarity. On the contrary, there is a proliferation of national, not to say nationalistic, measures, often contradictory to each other, consisting of organising competition for access to medical equipment (masks, screening tests, breathing machines) and pointing to the danger posed by neighbouring China or Italy or the responses provided by other countries.

The need to relocalize activities in order to reduce our ecological footprint and generate sustainable and quality jobs, through international cooperation and solidarity, should guide the structural choices to be made in the coming weeks. Relocalizing is no longer an option but a condition for sustainable social & economic systems, as well as of people. It is time to reduce the flow of capital and goods and to shrink the impact of economic sectors that are toxic to the biosphere (fossil fuels, chemicals and agro-industry, electronics, etc.).

Forgetting one of the terms of the equation would be tantamount to aggravating one or the other of the sources of global destabilization currently at work: ecological emergency, migration, wars and geopolitical tensions, the rise of authoritarianism, the slowing down of world trade, uncontrolled debt and financial markets, health crises, are all interdependent dimensions of globalization which we must try to address jointly.

Fire-fighting forces know this: when fire breaks out, it is necessary both to fight relentlessly to limit its spread and, at the same time, to ensure that it cannot rekindle, fuelled by secondary sources and adverse external causes. While the banking lobbies have continued to erode the already inadequate prudential measures put in place after the 2008 crisis, they are taking advantage of the current crisis to resume their undermining work. Yet it is the public regulations that allow them to navigate in bad weather that should be strengthened.

History is not written. It is full of moments when unforeseen events, wars, political shocks or social movements have accelerated ongoing processes or allowed unpredictable shifts. It is our collective responsibility to shift the world towards solidarity, sustainability, reduction of inequalities, in a nutshell, towards a liveable and desirable world. This will require our societies to take power out of the hands of the business barons, the techno-scientists and their political representatives.

Maxime Combes, Geneviève Azam, Thomas Coutrot, Jean Gadrey, economist & Christophe Aguiton sociologist, all members of Attac France.

11
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 06, 2020, 01:33:31 PM »
And then there's this from the "Nextdoor" site in my neighborhood, in response to a post complaining about the lack of social distancing compliance the poster is witnessing among older residents:

"Because they're not stupid like young fools. They're old and wise and know this is just crap. You know why? Because they lived through government bullcrap for numerous decades. We know that the government is pushing some other twisted lie to take away some more rights from us.. "

Nextdoor is a neighborhood based email listserv platform. Not sure if it is international or not. 

12
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 06, 2020, 01:25:04 PM »
I am asking if anyone else is concerned about these aspects..... as in anything longer than 4 months down the track. Everyone I know thinks I am being stupid but then they only look ahead a few weeks anyway and they were all surprised at how fast the numbers grew even though I told them in January that this would happen.

Now, I wonder if my thinking is still right...... is a lockdown possible for more than four months without gaping holes appearing in society?

Rodius, I very much agree.  The standard line is that once you put out the first big fire, you can "re-open society" with a strong program of testing (both antibody and virus), quarantining the infected and "releasing" those positive for antibodies, and using contact tracing to snuff out any transmission chains that sneak through.

This is no doubt true, and can be done well.  I think it will be very, very challenging, for many nations.  I have grave doubts about the US's ability (with current "leadership") to get such a program up and running.  Some places will do it well, others will struggle for many, many months. My niece lives in Shanghai. Most places are open but as people enter public places they have personal barcode which is scanned.  If a person turns up positive, they use the geolocations of their scans to immediately contact every person that came close to them.  Sounds straightforward but something like that is much, much (much!) easier in a centrally planned society like China than in a country like the US.

13
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 06, 2020, 01:15:23 PM »
The bbc link about care homes in France is from March 31 and outdated now.

From Worldometers:
France: on April 3 the French Government reported 17,827 additional cases and 532 additional deaths from nursing homes that had not been reported previously. On April 2, it had reported 884 additional deaths.

14
Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: April 03, 2020, 01:48:25 PM »
Exactly. All I'm saying is that the criminal lack of preparedness is having the same effect as if they could not have seen it coming. Of course they should have.

15
Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: April 03, 2020, 01:35:33 PM »
Yeah well if governments, health care systems and economies get caught with their pants down as if it was utterly unexpected, it might as well be.

16
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 03, 2020, 01:30:14 PM »

ABSOLUTELY. This is what I keep telling everyone. Even without a vaccine, once the first wave is beaten back, using widspread testing+contact tracing and caution this thing can be contained.

A lot of people keep stating this as if it's easily done. It CAN be done, but I have very little confidence that we will do a good job of it here in the US.  Here's a twitter thread by the US Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.

THREAD ON THE PATH FORWARD: 1/ Other countries taught us we cannot turn the corner on coronavirus w/o a comprehensive system of TESTING, TRACING, and QUARANTINE. The Trump Administration has zero plan to stand up that system nationally. That's frightening and it must change.

2/ The first step is to test widely. That might not mean testing the asymptomatic. But it certainly means aggressively testing anyone with symptoms, doing it quickly, and getting the results quickly. That's not happening now, and Trump has no plan to ramp up.

3/ 2nd step is to quickly trace back & find everyone the infected person was in physical contact with. That takes personnel, effort and expertise. Other nations didn't just leave it to the individual to do it alone. But again, Trump has no interest in creating this capacity.

4/ Finally, all those people must be quarantined. But for the disabled, elderly, or people that have to go to work, quarantine is really hard. Taiwan paid people to quarantine. Maybe we don't do that, but there must be a system of supports in place to make quarantine feasible.

5/ And it's madness to require every state, or every country, or every city to become overnight experts in TEST, TRACK, AND QUARANTINE. This is complicated, nuanced public health policy. And having thousands of different, conflicting systems makes no sense either.

6/ The Trump Administration either has to implement a national program, or develop and establish a program and then fund the states to implement it. But right now, Trump isn't doing either, and worse, doesn't seem to care about or understand the danger of inaction.

https://twitter.com/ChrisMurphyCT/status/1245532642101145602?s=20

17
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 03, 2020, 01:21:48 PM »
This is a very interesting article about market distortions being caused by massive CV-related behavior changes. In the US there have been persistent shortages of toilet paper and other paper products (what we call napkins (paper to wipe your mouth at the dinner table) and paper towels). The almost universal explanation has been that consumers are "hoarding" these products. This is not the reason. The reason is that BCV, paper mills made a fixed mix of commercial products and domestic products. The products are produced, packaged and shipped differently. Demand for the commercial products (used in office building lavs, sports stadiums, theaters, etc. etc.) has dropped dramatically. Demand for the domestic products sold in stores to consumers has surged. The mills cannot quickly retool their product mix and shortages of the domestic product have developed.

This basic issue is afflicting other supply chains as well.  It is hard for producers to retool not knowing how long this huge shift in demand patterns will persist.

https://marker.medium.com/what-everyones-getting-wrong-about-the-toilet-paper-shortage-c812e1358fe0

18
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 02, 2020, 07:22:00 PM »
Does anyone know how and when the current day's data is updated on https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ ?

I know that they move today's data to yesterday at midnight GMT but during the current day is the data updated at any set intervals or just when they pick up reports or....?

I suggest just ignoring ignorant or off-topic posters. Give them no oxygen.


19
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 02, 2020, 01:56:12 PM »
Very interesting graphics in this article about how Americans have responded to CV by staying put, or not:
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/02/us/coronavirus-social-distancing.html

This does not bode well for very large swaths of the country.

20
Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: April 02, 2020, 01:38:50 PM »
This is an interesting backgrounder that is, while one year old, quite relevant to the current economic predicament and the responses we are seeing:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-03-21/modern-monetary-theory-beginner-s-guide
Warren Buffett Hates It. AOC Is for It. A Beginner’s Guide to Modern Monetary Theory


Imagine what this graphic from the article would look like now!


21
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 02, 2020, 01:31:37 PM »

Now……. Is this a situation that can last as is?



I think the exit strategy has to be switching to mass test, contact trace and isolate. Gradually lift restrictions once the testing infrastructure is in place to stamp on new outbreaks. Essentially what the Asian countries that have kept in under control so far are doing. And if the outbreaks following an easing are too big, the hammer has to come down again for a month or two and the test, trace, isolate infrastructure get built up further.

This is theoretically correct.  After getting over the first big hump, you have the tiger by the tail. Then what? You still have a dangerous virus and a mostly naive population. The program you outline is the most logical path forward.  It will, IMO, pose massive challenges to the economy and to the social structure of a country like the US that so deeply values individualism.  Doing the program well implies a high degree of communal purpose and shared responsibility.  It also requires strong, competent central planning. I am deeply skeptical that the US can accomplish it.

22
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 01, 2020, 08:23:52 PM »
It continues to strike me that declarations of "light at the end of the tunnel", much less "victory" because areas have "flattened the curve" seem very premature to me.  Until there is widespread immunity, either through a vaccine or acquired immunity, slowing the spread of the virus is more of a stalemate than a victory. The virus is still there, and there is still a huge pool of possible hosts.

Here's another article that clearly explains why "flattening the curve" is not a solution and just gives us a breather to really tackle the problem:

https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/01/navigating-covid-19-pandemic/

Imagine you are in a small boat far, far from shore. A surprise storm capsizes the boat and tosses you into the sea. You try to tame your panic, somehow find the boat’s flimsy but still floating life raft, and struggle into it. You catch your breath, look around, and try to think what to do next. Thinking clearly is hard to do after a near-drowning experience.

You do, though, realize two important things: First, the raft is saving your life for the moment and you need to stay in it until you have a better plan. Second, the raft is not a viable long-term option and you need to get to land.

In April 2020, the storm is the Covid-19 pandemic, the life raft is the combination of intense measures we are using to slow the spread of the virus, and dry land is the end to the pandemic.

The U.S. is still in the clambering-into-the-life-raft phase of responding to Covid-19, and thinking clearly about what to do is still difficult. This confusion has made it hard to appreciate two facts: One is that social distancing combined with scaling up testing, production of medical equipment, and other countermeasures are essential and must be replicated across the country, intensified, and continued. The other is that if these measures have the desired effect of reducing the number of new cases accumulating each day, they provide only a temporary solution.

23
Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: April 01, 2020, 01:32:23 PM »
I posted something about this a while back (PCV19) and got pilloried here for somehow being in the pocket of the global travel industry.  That was a complete misreading of my point then, and will be a complete misreading now if that's what you think I'm saying.

I dispair for the 100s of millions to perhaps >1B people around the world that rely on the infusion of hard currency into their economies coming from tourism and travel. The industry itself is an unsustainable nightmare, but that does not diminish the reliance on it of huge numbers of vulnerable people all over the world.

24
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: April 01, 2020, 02:44:35 AM »
It continues to strike me that declarations of "light at the end of the tunnel", much less "victory" because areas have "flattened the curve" seem very premature to me.  Until there is widespread immunity, either through a vaccine or acquired immunity, slowing the spread of the virus is more of a stalemate than a victory. The virus is still there, and there is still a huge pool of possible hosts.

This article in The NY Times suggests that many of the most successful countries to date are struggling with how to keep the virus from re-entering their populations.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/31/world/asia/coronavirus-china-hong-kong-singapore-south-korea.html

Why Asia’s New Coronavirus Controls Should Worry the World
After a surge in cases tied to international travelers, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and other places that seemed to have the epidemic under control have imposed stricter measures.


25
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 31, 2020, 06:18:45 PM »

26
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 01:41:39 PM »
This tweet has the latest charts from the Financial Times.

The FT graphics are free to read on their site:
https://www.ft.com/coronavirus-latest

These ones are similar but better:
https://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/

27
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 01:39:51 PM »
Article in The NY Times describing the uneasy truce that exists after successfully "flattening the curve." The article suggests that through strong measures and good compliance Seattle WA has pushed the R0 down to about 1.4.  Obviously that helps, but that will still allow steady growth that implies months and months of continued social distancing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/29/us/seattle-washington-state-coronavirus-transmission-rate.html

SEATTLE — The Seattle area, home of the first known coronavirus case in the United States and the place where the virus claimed 37 of its first 50 victims, is now seeing evidence that strict containment strategies, imposed in the earliest days of the outbreak, are beginning to pay off — at least for now.

Deaths are not rising as fast as they are in other states. Dramatic declines in street traffic show that people are staying home. Hospitals have so far not been overwhelmed. And preliminary statistical models provided to public officials in Washington State suggest that the spread of the virus has slowed in the Seattle area in recent days.

While each infected person was spreading the virus to an average of 2.7 other people earlier in March, that number appears to have dropped, with one projection suggesting that it was now down to 1.4.

28
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 01:39:17 PM »
Article in The NY Times describing the uneasy truce that exists after successfully "flattening the curve." The article suggests that through strong measures and good compliance they Seattle WA has pushed the R0 down to about 1.4.  Obviously that helps, but that will still allow steady growth that implies months and months of continued social distancing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/29/us/seattle-washington-state-coronavirus-transmission-rate.html

SEATTLE — The Seattle area, home of the first known coronavirus case in the United States and the place where the virus claimed 37 of its first 50 victims, is now seeing evidence that strict containment strategies, imposed in the earliest days of the outbreak, are beginning to pay off — at least for now.

Deaths are not rising as fast as they are in other states. Dramatic declines in street traffic show that people are staying home. Hospitals have so far not been overwhelmed. And preliminary statistical models provided to public officials in Washington State suggest that the spread of the virus has slowed in the Seattle area in recent days.

While each infected person was spreading the virus to an average of 2.7 other people earlier in March, that number appears to have dropped, with one projection suggesting that it was now down to 1.4.

29
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 29, 2020, 11:37:57 PM »
Ok, thanks for your honest responses, Sam. I will note that many voices in the media and among what I will called "the recognized experts" are advancing the narrative that getting to that first plateau is "great news" and evidence that there is clear light at the end of the tunnel. The standard narrative is that once the big first flush of cases subsides a bit and the daily multiplier starts dropping from say 1.4x to 1.2x, the "worst is behind us".

In no way saying this is right, only that it is very widely stated.

30
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 29, 2020, 10:26:26 PM »
Before this is done, it now looks like this virus will kill between 1.5% of the populations in countries like South Korea, and 4% of the world generally, except China, as the medical systems are destroyed globally, ERs are overrun, and the ICU treatment fails under the load. Sam

Ok, let me make my query more explicit. Italy has been at about 800 fatalities a day for the last 8 or 9 days. Italy has a population of about 60M. 4% of 60M is 2.4M. It would take 3000 days at 800 fatalities a day to reach 2.4 million.

So, is the current plateau a false one? Will something change to make the daily rate skyrocket in the future? That's what I'm asking.

31
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 29, 2020, 09:00:41 PM »
There is a very slight glimmer of something, that the US rates appear to be slowing. The timing is right for this to be a reflection of the stay home efforts. This doesn’t fix anything. It only spreads out the damage, lessening the impact on hospitals (still catastrophic) while increasing dramatically the duration of the economic destruction.

Sam

This appears to be the case in several places.  Italy appears to have reached a peak in its new infections and new deaths. They are bouncing around a bit, but not increasing day over day.  Can you explain where you think it might go from here?  The health care system in Lombardia is deeply stressed, but not collapsed. I don't think other areas of Italy are far over capacity.  It seems like the hospitals should be able to now mostly keep up, and perhaps start to get some breathing room if the rates slow a bit more.

Obviously that leaves a long slog to go, but is catastrophe guaranteed?  Can you lay out a time line that you expect to see?

32
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 28, 2020, 07:50:02 PM »
Italy again posting near record, but essentially plateaued, deaths and new cases.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

33
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 28, 2020, 07:34:33 PM »
Once you beat the first wave and have a cheap, rapid test, the virus is in effect beaten.

Ain't it so?

Yes, after it is produced by the 100s of millions, distributed to 100s of thousands of locations, testers are trained and organized and you convince a recalcitrant, ill-informed, independent-mnded populace to conform.  Not gonna happen overnight.

34
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 27, 2020, 08:51:12 PM »
Worldometers reporting Italy posting 919 deaths today, eclipsing previous daily high of 793 six days ago.

35
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 27, 2020, 07:03:12 PM »
The current CFR in the U.S. is 1.5%.  That is based on the official number of deaths (1295) divided by those testing positive (85,435).  This is a straight forward number, and easily calculated. 

That assumes that 0% of the non-dead and non-resolved cases would be fatal. That is a low bound of the CFR. Currently in the US about 2/3 recover and 1/3 die of the cases with a resolution. That is the upper bound.

Your assumption also assumes that there will be no new cases, such that all the fatalities will be measured against current cases.  As cases subside, treatment will be more widely available, lowering the CFR.  I would call it an upper bound.

Sorry, that's silly. Of the identified cases, some people have died and some cases have resolved. Of the remainder, some amount more will die.  That in no way implies that deaths from existing cases will be measured as a percentage of all existing plus yet to be identified cases. It is likely that the mortality rate will go down after the epidemic peaks, hospitals are less stressed and treatment improves.

36
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 27, 2020, 05:28:28 PM »
The current CFR in the U.S. is 1.5%.  That is based on the official number of deaths (1295) divided by those testing positive (85,435).  This is a straight forward number, and easily calculated. 

That assumes that 0% of the non-dead and non-resolved cases would be fatal. That is a low bound of the CFR. Currently in the US about 2/3 recover and 1/3 die of the cases with a resolution. That is the upper bound.

37
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 27, 2020, 11:45:31 AM »
Very good data viz here. Log plots (switchable to linear) with lots of fine scale geographic detail and daily parameters by hovering over parts of the curves. Value plotted (cases, deaths etc.) switchable at the bottom of each panel.

https://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/

38
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 26, 2020, 12:52:15 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.

39
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 26, 2020, 12:23:38 PM »
New infections and deaths in Italy peaked four days ago and are trending essentially flat to perhaps modestly lower since.

What are we to make of these numbers? The death rate in Italy of 124/1M population would correspond to about 40,000 deaths in the US at this point in the outbreak.

40
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 25, 2020, 05:15:30 PM »
Soccer fans get pretty loud and do a lot of yelling in tight confines. Bad idea !

https://www.worldsoccer.com/features/did-atalanta-v-valencia-contribute-to-the-coronavirus-409342

Did Atalanta v Valencia Contribute To The Coronavirus?
“I’ll tell you what I think. That game, Atalanta v Valencia at the San Siro was a biological bomb. 40,000 Bergamaschi (people from Bergamo) all travelling together or at the same time to Milan, by bus, train or car…”

The speaker is Professor Fabiano Di Marco, Chief Physician at the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo, northern Italy. In an interview with Milan daily, “Corriere Della Sera”, Professor Di Marco confirmed the uncomfortable suspicion that the Atalanta v Valencia Champions League tie on February 19 in Milan may well have been a major catalyst in spreading the dread Covid-19 virus in Italy.


41
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 25, 2020, 11:50:48 AM »
Strong cumulative deaths data visualization from the NYT. Again, CV content in front of paywall there.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/21/upshot/coronavirus-deaths-by-country.html

42
Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: March 24, 2020, 11:44:26 PM »
They only have to be right once...

Very true. Same goes for the "deficits don't matter" folks. They will continue to be right until they are spectacularly wrong (IMO).

43
Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: March 24, 2020, 10:47:45 PM »
Tom, your gold bug sites are always going to say the sky is falling.  I'm quite bearish but you gotta take those sites with a big grain of salt.

44
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 24, 2020, 03:09:58 PM »
Tough article about how you cannot let your guard down:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/23/asia/hong-kong-coronavirus-quarantine-intl-hnk/index.html

Hong Kong appeared to have the coronavirus under control, then it let its guard down
Only a week ago, Hong Kong seemed like a model for how to contain the novel coronavirus, with a relatively small number of cases despite months of being on the front lines of the outbreak.

Now, however, Hong Kong is providing a very different object lesson -- what happens when you let your guard down too soon. The number of confirmed cases has almost doubled in the past week, with many imported from overseas, as Hong Kong residents who had left -- either to work or study abroad, or to seek safety when the city seemed destined for a major outbreak earlier this year -- return, bringing the virus back with them.

This is a pattern playing out across parts of Asia -- mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan -- that were among the first to tackle the outbreak. All are now introducing new restrictions as a sudden wave of renewed cases begins to crest.


45
Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: March 24, 2020, 02:38:36 PM »
We shall see one year from now who is right.

Fair enough. You may indeed be correct as we cannot know what will happen.  There is, however, clearly a non-zero risk that the finance system will not be able to stay stable. Creating fiat currency is not a panacea.

Dead cat's bouncing this morning, btw.

46
Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: March 24, 2020, 02:07:19 PM »
You can start calming down when you hear : "This time is different". I heard it in 1987, 1998, 2009 (every ten years basically). And now this:

"People will not forget this. This is not 911. It is not 1987."

It is.

Is your faith in the ability of the growth dependent global finance system to remain stable in the face of ANY events truly infinite?

47
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 23, 2020, 02:28:31 PM »
Yes, but only because we are so woefully unprepared for a pandemic compared to the asian countries. My wife is skilled at the sewing machine and she has been making them.

48
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 23, 2020, 02:17:22 PM »
test, trace and isolate and masks.

If you wanted to summarize the long NYT in 6 words those would be them.

49
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 23, 2020, 02:15:06 PM »
From the NYT article I reference:

Make masks ubiquitous

American experts have divided opinions about masks, but those who have worked in Asia see their value.

There is very little data showing that flat surgical masks protect healthy individuals from disease. Nonetheless, Asian countries generally make it mandatory that people wear them. In China, the police even used drones to chase individuals down streets, ordering them to go home and mask up.

The Asian approach is less about data than it is about crowd psychology, experts explained.

All experts agree that the sick must wear masks to keep in their coughs. But if a mask indicates that the wearer is sick, many people will be reluctant to wear one. If everyone is required to wear masks, the sick automatically have one on and there is no stigma attached.

Also, experts emphasized, Americans should be taught to take seriously admonitions to stop shaking hands and hugging. The “W.H.O. elbow bump” may look funny, but it’s a legitimate technique for preventing infection.

“In Asia, where they went through SARS, people understand the danger,” Dr. Heymann said. “It’s instilled in the population that you’ve got to do the right thing.”


50
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 23, 2020, 12:50:22 PM »
The New York Times published a long, interesting article last night laying out a blueprint for stamping out COVID-19, mainly relevant to the situation in the US. All CV content is in front of the paywall.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/22/health/coronavirus-restrictions-us.html

It is well worth reading.

The program laid out is not achievable with the current administration at the helm, IMO.

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