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Coronavirus - discussion of what ifs and hypotheticals

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dahobbs said:

In the alternate world where we do nothing, is the right time to decide after the virus ends millions of lives and completely collapses the economy? Isn't it a bit too late by then?

To me, it is about balancing risks based on known information. The economy of the world can survive short term disruptions while we gather more information. The economy of the world is going to have a much harder time surviving a worldwide, uncontrolled outbreak that kills 1%  to 3% of the world's population (10 to 30 million people) and hospitalizes another 10% to 15% (700 million to over a billion). 

You make good points in general and have brought up good points in this thread, but the bold part is the type of sensationalist bits of information that get causally tossed around that cumulatively causes more harm than I think people realize.  There is simply no scenario where 1-3% of the world's population dies from this pandemic.  The infected mortality rate (not CFR or confirmed case mortality rate) is likely 1% max, and there is evidence to suggest that it is much lower than that.  In the article crimsonlonghorn linked, it gives the example of the one  situation where an entire closed population was tested (the Diamond Princess cruise ship):  "Projecting the Diamond Princess mortality rate onto the age structure of the U.S. population, the death rate among people infected with Covid-19 would be 0.125%."  But lets's assume that the actual mortality rate is 1%.  To kill 1% of the world's population, everyone on the planet would have to contract it within the next 12-18 months before we get any preventative measures or treatments in place.  100% infection rate within 18 months is not a remotely plausible scenario.   

Edited by Axiom of Choice

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4 minutes ago, Axiom of Choice said:

You make good points in general and have brought up good points in this thread, but the bold part is the type of sensationalist bits of information that get causally tossed around that cumulatively causes more harm than I think people realize.  There is simply no scenario where 1-3% of the worlds population dies from this pandemic.  The infected mortality rate (not CFR or confirmed case mortality rate) is likely 1% max, and there is evidence to suggest that it is lower than that.  In the article crimsonlonghorn linked, it gives the example of the one  situation where an entire closed population was tested (the Diamond Princess cruise ship):  "Projecting the Diamond Princess mortality rate onto the age structure of the U.S. population, the death rate among people infected with Covid-19 would be 0.125%."  But lets's assume that the actual mortality rate is 1%.  To kill 1% of the words population, everyone on the planet would have to contract it within the next 12-18 months before we get any preventative measures or treatments in place.  100% infection rate within 18 months is not a remotely plausible scenario.   

I'm against sensationalizing it, but I'm also against not discussing the numbers because they might scare people. This is the thread for cold reflection (you said so yourself). Obviously I was using a worse case scenario, but that is kind of the point of this analysis: what is the worst case scenario in each situation. Even worst case, the economy will survive short disruption (long term is different matter). There is a decent chance it wouldn't survive worst case of doing nothing. Even if you cut my worst case numbers in half,  the economy and world order would have a very tough time recovering. 

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26 minutes ago, Axiom of Choice said:

The reason this extremely simple take is not used in any other area is because it is useless.  For example, it’s possible that  more deaths from automobile accidents occur in the US this year than from the coronavirus.  Everyone wants to reduce car accidents deaths, but what is the best way to achieve this?  Here is what your take would look like if one were to advocate halting all driving to reduce car accidents: 

Automobile accidents are accidents.  Everyone who drives an automobile can cause an accident whether it kills them or not, and these accidents can harm other people.  So everyone should stop driving to protect the more vulnerable.  My grandmother happens to be one of the vulnerable who could be injured.  Are you saying you want my granny injured just so some chronic masturbators can drive around town listening to Kpop and vaping ganja?  What monster would advocate such a thing?  The good of the herd in this one singular aspect I am considering is more important than anything, ever.  The end.  Kaput. 

This is probably the worst analogy in the history of conversation.

Good god, man.

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I hate pulling a Derka and quoting myself, but I really am curious as to what people imagine a plausible alternative solution would be.  Would anyone argue that our society is mature and mindful of the big picture enough to not follow my hypothetical:

16 hours ago, aggie08 said:

- Tell everyone over 55 to work from home and isolate themselves. Everyone living in their household under 55 also self-quarantines.  (55 chosen as the youngest age that any children would likely be of adult age and hopefully out of the house.)

- Have others deliver them essentials (food and medicine) where possible.

- Everyone else carries on as normal, taking precautions where possible (6' rule, go home if sick, lighter staffing, etc.).

- Susie Public is pissed that their boss is being protected by the government, but her and her kids aren't.

- Some of the olds say, "Fuck this, I'm healthy. If other people can go out, so can I."

- People shame the olds that dare visit a grocery store.

- A few dozen or so people under 55 die anyway, leading to outrage that further steps weren't taken, the government caves, and we're where we are now...just a few weeks later.

 

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15 hours ago, F250 said:

As a young man, I spent a considerable amount of time in the late 90's working on Y2K projects. I  remember all of the old timers working as consultants because no one understood COBOL. I used to talk so much shit to those old dudes. "Why you guys so tired? I've been working over 24 hours straight, took an hour off to bang my girlfriend. Dude check out my website, Object Oriented, Bitches!, you should definitely invest in pets.com fuck your pension."

Hope those guys avoid the Covid if they are still around.

 

 

Trust me, they are still out there...some not as old as you might think.  I am NOT one of them. I used to work in an office with a bunch of them.

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6 minutes ago, TexArcher said:

This is probably the worst analogy in the history of conversation.

Good god, man.

Your argument was bad and so when analogized to anything it will look bad. That is the point.  

If you read the OP and my other posts on the thread, you would know that I've at least done some amount of review on the topic and am familiar with the basics.  But your comments are "so you want us to explain you the basics??" and "communicable diseases are communicable," and other statements one would expect from someone who is merely frustrated and not actually attempting to engage honestly. But I thought you might move past the customary initial venting of frustration and go to genuine discussion.

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1 hour ago, Dahobbs said:

In the alternate world where we do nothing, is the right time to decide after the virus ends millions of lives and completely collapses the economy? Isn't it a bit too late by then?

To me, it is about balancing risks based on known information. The economy of the world can survive short term disruptions while we gather more information. The economy of the world is going to have a much harder time surviving a worldwide, uncontrolled outbreak that kills 1%  to 3% of the world's population (10 to 30 million people) and hospitalizes another 10% to 15% (700 million to over a billion)

Just stop.  

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16 hours ago, aggie08 said:

I am curious to see how people envision the logistics working. This is how I see it going:

- Tell everyone over 50 to work from home and isolate themselves.

- Have others deliver them essentials (food and medicine) where possible.

- Everyone else carries on as normal.

- Susie Public is pissed that their boss is being protected by the government, but her and her kids aren't.

- Some of the olds say, "Fuck this, I'm healthy. If other people can go out, so can I."

- People shame the olds that dare visit a grocery store.

- A dozen or so people under 50 die anyway, leading to outrage that further steps weren't taken, the government caves, and we're where we are now...just a few weeks later.

I haven't thought out a detailed policy, but what you have here is something close enough for discussion purposes.  As to your potential pitfalls (the last four points given), those are risks of the current plan anyway.  People are already pissed the government is not doing enough and that will be the case in every scenario.  Many old people are going out now and will continue to do so; this will probably ramp up as time goes on.  A dozen or so people under 50 are very likely going to die in either case.  Of course this happens every year during cold and flu season, but we don't shut everything down.  I don't think we should capitulate to public outrage at every turn and descend into mob rule.   

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The world's banks have 250 trillion in outstanding loans....

The world's banks have 10 trillion in capital on hand....

The world has 1 quadrillion in derivatives.....

In a couple weeks to months when the defaults start to hit the banks, governments will be begging young people to go back to work and catch the virus to build immunity.  We haven't even scratched the surface of where this is going.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, RollLeft said:

Just stop.  

I think you've misunderstood. I'm not saying that will happen. I'm saying it is a possible scenario. If that scenario were to occur, any action would be too late. I took the worst case scenario to demonstrate the problem of proceeding as if the worst case scenarios (based on available data) are impossible. We simply don't know enough right now to know the relative likelihood of that event or even an event of half that magnitude. The safest course is to allow a short term disruption to the economy that we know is survivable until we have more information rather than face the unknown risk of an event that wouldn't be survivable. Again, if this pops up again and we have the benefit of knowing more, I think Axiom's proposal could make a lot of sense. 

Edited by Dahobbs

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1 hour ago, Axiom of Choice said:

I haven't thought out a detailed policy, but what you have here is something close enough for discussion purposes.  As to your potential pitfalls (the last four points given), those are risks of the current plan anyway.  People are already pissed the government is not doing enough and that will be the case in every scenario.  Many old people are going out now and will continue to do so; this will probably ramp up as time goes on.  A dozen or so people under 50 are very likely going to die in either case.  Of course this happens every year during cold and flu season, but we don't shut everything down.  I don't think we should capitulate to public outrage at every turn and descend into mob rule.   

Here is an interesting discussion on the benefits of lockdowns.

Here is a paper by Yaneer Bar-Yam, the guy talking with Taleb in the video. I am interested to hear your thoughts on the paper because I believe your math kungfu is much better than mine.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Axiom of Choice said:

I haven't thought out a detailed policy, but what you have here is something close enough for discussion purposes.  As to your potential pitfalls (the last four points given), those are risks of the current plan anyway.  People are already pissed the government is not doing enough and that will be the case in every scenario.  Many old people are going out now and will continue to do so; this will probably ramp up as time goes on.  A dozen or so people under 50 are very likely going to die in either case.  Of course this happens every year during cold and flu season, but we don't shut everything down.  I don't think we should capitulate to public outrage at every turn and descend into mob rule.   

You are vastly underrating the fatality rate for those under 50.  Even under the assumptions in your OP, you're still talking about at least 75,000 people. (200 million * .25 * .149% cfr). Here are the numbers for the age groups and the CFRs per the Imperial College:

Age Males (million) Females (millions) Total CFR Weighted CFR Number Infected (25%) Fatalities 
5 10.13 9.68 19,810,000 0.002% 0.000188% 4,952,500 99
5-9 10.32 8.88 19,200,000 0.002% 0.000182% 4,800,000 96
10-14 10.66 10.22 20,880,000 0.006% 0.000595% 5,220,000 313
15-19 10.77 10.32 21,090,000 0.006% 0.000601% 5,272,500 316
20-24 11.2 10.65 21,850,000 0.008% 0.000830% 5,462,500 437
25-29 12.02 11.54 23,560,000 0.008% 0.000895% 5,890,000 471
30-34 11.19 10.94 22,130,000 0.150% 0.015767% 5,532,500 8,299
35-39 10.79 10.77 21,560,000 0.150% 0.015361% 5,390,000 8,085
40-44 9.8 9.92 19,720,000 0.600% 0.056198% 4,930,000 29,580
45-49 10.26 10.48 20,740,000 0.600% 0.059105% 5,185,000 31,110
               
TOTAL     210,540,000   0.149723% 52,635,000 78,807

 

To further illustrate:

Quote

Glendora man, 34, dies from coronavirus; recently visited Disney World in Florida: Report

https://www.foxla.com/news/glendora-man-34-dies-from-coronavirus-recently-visited-disney-world-in-florida-report

Edited by Dahobbs

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, F250 said:

Here is an interesting discussion on the benefits of lockdowns.

Here is a paper by Yaneer Bar-Yam, the guy talking with Taleb in the video. I am interested to hear your thoughts on the paper because I believe your math kungfu is much better than mine.

 

 

Thanks for sharing.  I read through it; it provides lots of useful information and analysis.  I'll provide more comments later tonight.  

 

26 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

You are vastly underrating the fatality rate for those under 50.  Even under the assumptions in your OP, you're still talking about at least 75,000 people. (200 million * .25 * .144% cfr). Here are the numbers for the age groups and the CFRs per the Imperial College:

Age Males (million) Females (millions) Total CFR Weighted CFR Number Infected (25%) Fatalities 
5 10.13 9.68 19,810,000 0.002% 0.000188% 4,952,500 99
5-9 10.32 8.88 19,200,000 0.002% 0.000182% 4,800,000 96
10-14 10.66 10.22 20,880,000 0.006% 0.000595% 5,220,000 313
15-19 10.77 10.32 21,090,000 0.006% 0.000601% 5,272,500 316
20-24 11.2 10.65 21,850,000 0.008% 0.000830% 5,462,500 437
25-29 12.02 11.54 23,560,000 0.008% 0.000895% 5,890,000 471
30-34 11.19 10.94 22,130,000 0.150% 0.015767% 5,532,500 8,299
35-39 10.79 10.77 21,560,000 0.150% 0.015361% 5,390,000 8,085
40-44 9.8 9.92 19,720,000 0.600% 0.056198% 4,930,000 29,580
45-49 10.26 10.48 20,740,000 0.600% 0.059105% 5,185,000 31,110
               
TOTAL     210,540,000   0.149723% 52,635,000 78,807

Could you provide the link from where you got this table?  I think the number would be much lower than 75,000 for the under 50 group.  Those numbers seem extremely inflated.  For one, to my knowledge there has not been a single coronavirus related death reported in any 1st world nation for someone under the age of 25.  Yet his chart shows that over 1,000 people below the age of 25 will die in the US alone.  What is that estimate based on?  If you look at Italy and South Korea's confirmed coronavirus related fatalities, the under 50 group is only 8 out of the 1083 total, or .74%.  So if 25% of Americans get the virus, and even if 1% of that number dies (which I think is still a high estimate on total infection fatality percentage), and if the age group impacts are similar to Italy and South Korea's confirmed numbers, then this comes out to about 6,000 deaths in the under 50 group.  Based on the best data we have, virtually none of them will be below the age of 25.  .    

Edited by Axiom of Choice

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Posted (edited)

Here's an article written by a Stanford professor of Medicine and Epidemiology that has many of the same thoughts as the OP. 

 

https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

 

Found some of these captions to be the most interesting.

 

Quote

Flattening the curve to avoid overwhelming the health system is conceptually sound — in theory. A visual that has become viral in media and social media shows how flattening the curve reduces the volume of the epidemic that is above the threshold of what the health system can handle at any moment.

Yet if the health system does become overwhelmed, the majority of the extra deaths may not be due to coronavirus but to other common diseases and conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, trauma, bleeding, and the like that are not adequately treated. If the level of the epidemic does overwhelm the health system and extreme measures have only modest effectiveness, then flattening the curve may make things worse: Instead of being overwhelmed during a short, acute phase, the health system will remain overwhelmed for a more protracted period. That’s another reason we need data about the exact level of the epidemic activity.

 

 

Edited by deac_tracy

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, F250 said:

Here is an interesting discussion on the benefits of lockdowns.

Here is a paper by Yaneer Bar-Yam, the guy talking with Taleb in the video. I am interested to hear your thoughts on the paper because I believe your math kungfu is much better than mine.

 

 

There is nothing new in that article.  It is common sense and half the people on this board don't need a graph to explain exponential growth. 

The primary question, from my perspective, that needs to be asked and agreed upon as a society, in this country, is what amount of death is acceptable as a whole before our leaders begin to implement actions / strategies of social distancing then closing cities/businesses/schools?    

How we implement social distancing and to whom is less important to me than WHEN we do it.  It is known that the sooner we do it the more it costs our economy and yet the later we do it the more it costs lives.  WHEN should we trigger actions, imo, is the debate.  Also for everyone's sake it would be good if we did our best to leave emotion out of this conversation.  It is understood and known that no one wants to see any person die.  

That said it is unrealistic to start the conversation that no life should be lost.  It isn't realistic because everyone reading this, whether they like or not, already have a tolerance for death that is acceptable and certainly before it is on their radar.  For example up to 50,000 people die every year from flu and 99% of this board could give no shits.  That is 10,000 people a month, during flu season, who stop breathing and die without a peep from this board or our society at large.     

So if we are going to have a realistic talk about how to slow a pandemic we need to have an understanding about how many people actually die every day, week month per year and why and go from there.  Everyone already has a base of death tolerance for which we accept and don't realize.  2.8 million people on average die each year and we have 280 million people in our country.

So what is your mortality rate before you would trigger the actions we have taken thus far?

We we are still calculating the loss and money (billions? trillions?) to save lives from this virus. 

Lets assume that this virus at the end of the day costs 2 trillion.  I trillion in government handouts and 1 trillion of business and employment (lost job) losses. If we were to calculate the loss right now with 186 lives lost.  This country will have sacrificed and valued life at 2trillion / 186.  That is approx 10.7 billion per life.  

To avoid the argument with pro early interveners and concede the point that social distancing saved lives lets work off the premise that actions to date has saved, lets say, 1 million lives.  Will what we have lost, after this is over, in terms of our economy be worth a possible/arguable 1 million lives saved?  That is 2trillion/ 1million = 2 million per life in terms of dollars only.  What was given includes families without homes, kids moved to other schools, missed medical treatments, businesses lost and myriad other of sacrifices.

Its altruistic and ideal to say its all worth it but ask those who will lose and their families their view.  I don't know. 

I'll throw out a mildly informed opinion, only to this point, that i personally would be ok with the numbers of deaths equal to the flu or maybe all beds in the US being filled with pandemic people before we make such decisions as closing schools, stopping private enterprise and or turning our economy upside down.  Mortality rate acceptable to the masses is what the question is.

     

Edited by RollLeft

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22 minutes ago, Axiom of Choice said:

Thanks for sharing.  I read through it; it provides lots of useful information and analysis.  I'll provide more comments later tonight.  

 

Could you provide the link from where you got this table?  I think the number would be much lower than 75,000 for the under 50 group.  Those numbers seem extremely inflated.  For one, to my knowledge there has not been a single coronavirus related death reported in any 1st world nation for someone under the age of 25.  Yet his chart shows that over 1,000 people below the age of 25 will die in the US alone.  What is that estimate based on?  If you look at Italy and South Korea's confirmed coronavirus related fatalities, the under 50 group is only 8 out of the 1083 total, or .74%.  So if 25% of Americans get the virus, and even if 1% of that number dies (which I think is still a high estimate on total infection fatality percentage), and if the age group impacts are similar to Italy and South Korea's confirmed numbers, then this comes out to about 6,000 deaths in the under 50 group.  Based on the best data we have, virtually none of them will be below the age of 25.  .    

I created the chart based on the population numbers from here: https://www.statista.com/statistics/241488/population-of-the-us-by-sex-and-age/

And the IFR numbers from the Imperial College here: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf

I cannot say one way or the other whether someone under 25 has died, I'm not aware of a publicly available database that granular. I can find examples for those in their 30s, 40s, and 50s from news reports. That said, given the total number of cases so far, I don't think 0 deaths under the age of 25 would be statistically unusual given the fatality percentages for the age group. The sample size simply isn't large enough.  Remember, the projections we are talking about involve 200 times the current number of cases worldwide (the vast majority of which still haven't resolved). 

Actually, here is one under 25: 

A 21-year-old Spanish man who tested positive for coronavirus and leukaemia has died — reportedly making him the youngest person in Europe to be taken by the illness.

Francisco Garcia, who managed the junior team of Malaga-based club Atletico Portada Alta, was rushed to hospital with severe symptoms of Covid-19, Spanish newspaper El Mundo reports.

However, while in hospital he was also diagnosed with leukaemia, and doctors believe he would have survived the virus if he was not suffering from a pre-existing condition.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12317404

This would be the type of young person who would die from this disease. Their numbers are smaller, but not non-existent. 

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25 minutes ago, RollLeft said:

There is nothing new in that article.  It is common sense and half the people on this board don't need a graph to explain exponential growth. 

The primary question, from my perspective, that needs to be asked and agreed upon as a society, in this country, is what amount of death is acceptable as a whole before our leaders begin to implement actions / strategies of social distancing then closing cities/businesses/schools?    

How we implement social distancing and to whom is less important to me than WHEN we do it.  It is known that the sooner we do it the more it costs our economy and yet the later we do it the more it costs lives.  WHEN should we trigger actions, imo, is the debate.  Also for everyone's sake it would be good if we did our best to leave emotion out of this conversation.  It is understood and known that no one wants to see any person die.  

That said it is unrealistic to start the conversation that no life should be lost.  It isn't realistic because everyone reading this, whether they like or not, already have a tolerance for deaths before it is on their radar.  For example 30-50,000 people die every year from flu and 99% of this board could give no shits.  That is 10,000 people a month, during flu season, who stop breathing and die without a peep from this board or our society at large.   

So if we are going to have a realistic talk about how to slow a pandemic we need to have an understanding about how many people actually die every day, week month per year and why and go from there.  Everyone already has a base of death tolerance for which we accept and don't realize.  2.8 million people on average die each year and we have 280 million people in our country.

So what is your mortality rate before you would trigger the actions we have taken thus far. 

The reason i've wanted to wait to have this discussion is because we are losing biliions daily and the government is contemplating trillions of dollars of spending and ultimately the losses have yet to be finalized/calculated.

     

As I've said previously, focusing only on deaths misses the bigger picture: the overall strain on the healthcare system. Hospitalizations are the largest part of that, and, based on what we know with these disease, many many times more common than deaths. 

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24 minutes ago, RollLeft said:

There is nothing new in that article.  It is common sense and half the people on this board don't need a graph to explain exponential growth. 

The primary question, from my perspective, that needs to be asked and agreed upon as a society, in this country, is what amount of death is acceptable as a whole before our leaders begin to implement actions / strategies of social distancing then closing cities/businesses/schools?    

How we implement social distancing and to whom is less important to me than WHEN we do it.  It is known that the sooner we do it the more it costs our economy and yet the later we do it the more it costs lives.  WHEN should we trigger actions, imo, is the debate.  Also for everyone's sake it would be good if wettu did our best to leave emotion out of this conversation.  It is understood and known that no one wants to see any person die.  

That said it is unrealistic to start the conversation that no life should be lost.  It isn't realistic because everyone reading this, whether they like or not, already have a tolerance for deaths before it is on their radar.  For example 30-50,000 people die every year from flu and 99% of this board could give no shits.  That is 10,000 people a month, during flu season, who stop breathing and die without a peep from this board or our society at large.   

So if we are going to have a realistic talk about how to slow a pandemic we need to have an understanding about how many people actually die every day, week month per year and why and go from there.  Everyone already has a base of death tolerance for which we accept and don't realize.  2.8 million people on average die each year and we have 280 million people in our country.

So what is your mortality rate before you would trigger the actions we have taken thus far. 

The reason i've wanted to wait to have this discussion is because we are losing biliions daily and the government is contemplating trillions of dollars of spending and ultimately the losses have yet to be finalized/calculated.

     

I believe the paper emphasizes that the When should be immediately.

Here is a link to a paper that he authored with Taleb where they discuss economic costs being greater through delay rather than taking a wait and see approach.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, F250 said:

I believe the paper emphasizes that the When should be immediately.

Here is a link to a paper that he authored with Taleb where they discuss economic costs being greater through delay rather than taking a wait and see approach.

 

 

That is obvious, but at what cost to the rest of the country?  

Edited by RollLeft

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3 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

As I've said previously, focusing only on deaths misses the bigger picture: the overall strain on the healthcare system. Hospitalizations are the largest part of that, and, based on what we know with these disease, many many times more common than deaths. 

Agree, the question is foolish because it assumes we know all of the variables involved to calculate a number. The danger with C-19 is there are so many unknowns yet it is spreading fucking fast.

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3 minutes ago, RollLeft said:

That is obvious, but at what cost?  

What are you asking? Did you even read the paper?

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

As I've said previously, focusing only on deaths misses the bigger picture: the overall strain on the healthcare system. Hospitalizations are the largest part of that, and, based on what we know with these disease, many many times more common than deaths. 

Death is not the big picture?  Is there a bigger picture than life or death?  Its been you who has been crying about the mortality rate of Covid19 being so much higher than the mortality rate of the flu.  That is why this virus is even being discussed.   

Are you now arguing that everyone who gets this is hospitalized?  Its the only way what your talking about makes sense. 

Flattening the curve so there is less strain on the healthcare system is only a issue if people are dying.  So again we are back to mortality rate and at what it costs the rest of the country to flatten the curve.    

Edited by RollLeft

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, RollLeft said:

Death is not the big picture?  Is there a bigger picture than life or death?  Its been you who has been crying about the mortality rate of Covid19 being so much higher than the mortality rate of the flu.  That is why this virus is even being discussed.   

Are you now arguing that everyone who gets this is hospitalized?  Its the only way what your talking about makes sense. 

Flattening the curve so there is less strain on the healthcare system is only a issue if people are dying.  So again we are back to mortality rate and at what it costs the rest of the country to flatten the curve.    

Maybe we are talking past each other.

Not everyone who gets this is hospitalized, but a much larger percentage are hospitalized than die (between 10x and 100x more hospitalizations than deaths). 

What I'm saying is that in order to understand the full health and economic impact of the disease, you have to look beyond the the fatality rates for the disease itself. Fatality is part of the impact, but not the entire impact. There is still a cost for those that don't die, but require hospitalization. And, the economic cost associated with that group is actually greater than the cost associated with only the deaths.  And at some point the amount of resources expended on the hospitalizations exceeds what is available in the healthcare system, resulting in deaths for reasons other than the direct fatality rate of the disease. I think that last point is what you're alluding to, but I'm not sure. 

Flattening the curve would be critical even if no one was dying from the disease itself because of the large percentage of folks that require hospital care. I'm not sure why you think otherwise. 

 

Edited by Dahobbs

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WSJ Editorial:

Quote

Rethinking the Coronavirus Shutdown

No society can safeguard public health for long at the cost of its economic health.

By 
The Editorial Board

Updated March 19, 2020 7:40 pm ET

 

Financial markets paused their slide Thursday, but no one should think this rolling economic calamity is over. If this government-ordered shutdown continues for much more than another week or two, the human cost of job losses and bankruptcies will exceed what most Americans imagine. This won’t be popular to read in some quarters, but federal and state officials need to start adjusting their anti-virus strategy now to avoid an economic recession that will dwarf the harm from 2008-2009.

The vast social-distancing project of the last 10 days or so has been necessary and has done much good. Warnings about large gatherings of more than 10 people and limiting access to nursing homes will save lives. The public has received a crucial education in hygiene and disease prevention, and even young people may get the message. With any luck, this behavior change will reduce the coronavirus spread enough that our hospitals won’t be overwhelmed with patients. Anthony Fauci, Scott Gottlieb and other disease experts are buying crucial time for government and private industry to marshal resources against the virus.

***

Yet the costs of this national shutdown are growing by the hour, and we don’t mean federal spending. We mean a tsunami of economic destruction that will cause tens of millions to lose their jobs as commerce and production simply cease. Many large companies can withstand a few weeks without revenue but that isn’t true of millions of small and mid-sized firms.SUBSCRIBE

Even cash-rich businesses operate on a thin margin and can bleed through reserves in a month. First they will lay off employees and then out of necessity they will shut down. Another month like this week and the layoffs will be measured in millions of people.

The deadweight loss in production will be profound and take years to rebuild. In a normal recession the U.S. loses about 5% of national output over the course of a year or so. In this case we may lose that much, or twice as much, in a month.

Our friend Ed Hyman, the Wall Street economist, on Thursday adjusted his estimate for the second quarter to an annual rate loss in GDP of minus-20%. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s assertion on Fox Business Thursday that the economy will power through all this is happy talk if this continues for much longer.

If GDP seems abstract, consider the human cost. Think about the entrepreneur who has invested his life in his Memphis ribs joint only to see his customers vanish in a week. Or the retail chain of 30 stores that employs hundreds but sees no sales and must shut its doors.

Or the recent graduate with $20,000 in student-loan debt—taken on with the encouragement of politicians—who finds herself laid off from her first job. Perhaps she can return home and live with her parents, but what if they’re laid off too? How do you measure the human cost of these crushed dreams, lives upended, or mental-health damage that result from the orders of federal and state governments?

Some in the media who don’t understand American business say that China managed a comparable shock to its economy and is now beginning to emerge on the other side. Why can’t the U.S. do it too? This ignores that the Chinese state owns an enormous stake in that economy and chose to absorb the losses. In the U.S. those losses will be borne by private owners and workers who rely on a functioning private economy. They have no state balance sheet to fall back on.

The politicians in Washington are telling Americans, as they always do, that they are riding to the rescue by writing checks to individuals and offering loans to business. But there is no amount of money that can make up for losses of the magnitude we are facing if this extends for several more weeks. After the first $1 trillion this month, will we have to spend another $1 trillion in April, and another in June?

By the time Treasury’s small-business lending program runs through the bureaucratic hoops—complete with ordering owners that they can’t lay off anyone as a price for getting the loan—millions of businesses will be bankrupt and tens of millions will be jobless.

***

Perhaps we will be lucky, and the human and capitalist genius for innovation will produce a vaccine faster than expected—or at least treatments that reduce Covid-19 symptoms. But barring that, our leaders and our society will very soon need to shift their virus-fighting strategy to something that is sustainable.

Dr. Fauci has explained this severe lockdown policy as lasting 14 days in its initial term. The national guidance would then be reconsidered depending on the spread of the disease. That should be the moment, if not sooner, to offer new guidance on what might be called phase two of the coronavirus pandemic campaign.

 

That will surely include strict measures to isolate and protect the most vulnerable—our elderly and those with underlying medical problems. This should not become a debate over how many lives to sacrifice against how many lost jobs we can tolerate. Substantial social distancing and other measures will have to continue for some time in some form, depending on how our knowledge of the virus and its effects evolves.

But no society can safeguard public health for long at the cost of its overall economic health. Even America’s resources to fight a viral plague aren’t limitless—and they will become more limited by the day as individuals lose jobs, businesses close, and American prosperity gives way to poverty. America urgently needs a pandemic strategy that is more economically and socially sustainable than the current national lockdown.

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, RollLeft said:

Death is not the big picture?  Is there a bigger picture than life or death? 

Your point here is based on a different line of discussion than the purpose of this post, but I am using it to tie back to some of the points I was making in earlier posts.

Much of the focus is on preventing deaths.  That seems to be the only currency given any value in this discussion.  Hospitalizations and excessive strain on the health care system are also mentioned, but those are seen as negatives insofar as they translate to increase in fatality rates.  It goes without saying that deaths are terrible and we should strive to avoid them.  But I think the better way to frame the discussion is on minimizing lost time and also one the quality of that lost time.  There are lots of ways to lose time other than death.  All of us only have a finite amount of time on this earth and we each want to make the most of it.  It is just a fact of life that some parts of our life are far more valuable to us than others.

To give some examples, would you trade all the experiences of your spring semester of your junior year in college and go hole up in your apartment for an extra three years in a retirement home at the end of your life?  How much time would we would have to add on to the end of your life for you to trade one of your seasons of little league?  These are the times and experiences that are going to be lost for many younger people that we can never give back.  Death is not the only finality in play here.  

Also, when we talk about lost money, some people view it as insensitive and even immoral to talk about money in life and death situations.  But depending on how long we go on with this grand social distancing experiment, what could likely happen is that many working people will lose their jobs and potentially be set back many years.  I know one single working mother who has worked two jobs for years to save up money for a house.  She has already been let go from one job and is at risk to lose the other.  If that happens, she will have to live on her savings and will burn through the money she has saved.  This will cost her thousands of hours of her time and set her back a few years into getting into a house.  I also have two friends who have spent several years and many thousands of hours of their time to build up small businesses.  It is a very real possibility that they lose all of this.  Why should we not take the the thousands, potentially millions of impacts like this into consideration?    

In essence, we are siphoning time from younger people to add it to people near the end of their life.  What I think is immoral is to not even consider the time cost we are asking millions to pay (in many cases not asking, but forcing).  Ultimately, maybe this is all truly worth it as the toll of the pandemic would be too great and this is the right sacrifice for society to make.  Form what I have read, I'm not so sure.  I see lots of frightening headlines and summaries of studies, but when I actually get the raw data from the studies (which is much more difficult to access) the information is not nearly as scary.   

Edited by Axiom of Choice

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Posted (edited)

Here is another good one. 

Will The Costs Of A Great Depression Outweigh The Risks Of Coronavirus?

https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/19/will-the-costs-of-a-great-depression-outweigh-the-risks-of-coronavirus/

Quote

What if the real scenario is one of these: 1) We plunge the nation into a depression that kills many businesses and addicts millions to welfare, in a nation that has already pledged more welfare than it can afford for at least the next three generations. Because of this depression, many people die due to poverty, lack of medical care, and despair. Millions more transform from workers to takers, causing a faster implosion of our already mathematically impossible welfare state.

2) The nation quarantines only at-risk populations and those with symptoms, like South Korea has, and ensures targeted and temporary taxpayer support to those groups, goes nuts cranking out ventilators and other crisis equipment such as temporary hospitals using emergency response crews, while the rest of us keep calm, wash our hands, take extreme care with the at-risk groups, and carry on.

Why would the entire nation grind to a halt when the entire nation is not at a severe risk? I would rather have a flu I am 99.8 percent likely to survive than the nation plunged into chaos indefinitely because we pulled the plug on our economy during a stampede.

At the very least, Congress should wait a week or two, while half the nation or more is home, to see how the infection rates look as millions of test kits go out. The worst-case scenario they are predicating their actions on may not be the one we’re facing. Prudence suggests a measured, wait and see approach to policy until we have better information, not chucking trillions of my kids’ dollars out the window “just in case.”

 

And another one:

Questioning the Clampdown

https://www.wsj.com/articles/questioning-the-clampdown-11584485339?redirect=amp#click=https://t.co/Kb0dE0k4B1

Quote

The cost to Americans of the economic shutdown is vast. What are they getting for their money? Essentially less excess demand for respiratory ventilators and other emergency care than can currently be supplied.

This demand will come largely from the elderly and chronically ill, who would be competing for these resources with the usual large number of old and ill people already suffering from acute respiratory distress as a result of routine flu and cold infections. A silver lining will be fewer cold and flu victims overall thanks to social distancing to fight Covid-19.

Some number of respiratory deaths will be avoided (really delayed since we all die) but we’ll be spending a lot more than we’ve ever been willing to spend before to avoid flu deaths. Eighty-three percent of our economy will be suppressed to relieve pressure on the 17% represented by health care. This will have to last months, not weeks, to modulate the rate at which a critical mass of 330 million get infected and acquire natural immunity. Will people put up with it once they realize they are still expected to get the virus? Wouldn’t it make more sense to pour resources into isolating the vulnerable rather than isolating everyone? Basically aren’t we really just praying that summer will naturally suppress transmission and get us off the hook of an untenable policy?

Quote

The U.S. may or may not be a test case of a large continental country where hot spots of contagion shock other places into buttoning up and hunkering down, curbing excess local demand for intensive-care beds. But the cost will be astronomical. Essentially we are killing other sectors indefinitely to manage the load on the health-care sector.

Understandably, politicians believe faith in government requires avoiding Italy-like scenes. But turned on its head here is the 50-year-old “QALY” revolution: the idea of measuring the burden of disease and benefit of health care based on “quality-adjusted life year,” typically valued at $50,000 to $150,000. In the present instance, the cost isn’t just medical intervention (e.g., ventilator use) but the cost of an economywide shutdown to limit the number of candidates for ventilation at any one time. I don’t know what the figure is, but the QALY value we are placing on avoiding Italy-like deaths is surely a high multiple of any figure previously considered realistic.

Quote

Even the fuss over testing is a bit overdone. Nowhere in the world has there been enough testing to detect most coronavirus cases amid millions of seasonal colds and flu cases. This problem exists in China, Europe and the U.S. A British estimate is that 12 people have the virus for every one found by testing. In any case, testing becomes a tad mootish now if the goal is to isolate even young and healthy people.

 

Edited by crimsonlonghorn

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Good discussion here that I have tried to have with others and it falls flat.  Most people seem to be stuck on a couple of different feelings:

1) the government isn’t doing enough and we need to spend more, do more, people are dying!!! (without understanding the context of how many people die a day normally)

2) this is just the flu, we shouldn’t be doing any of this (without understanding how contagious this apparently is or the strain it will cause on hospitals etc)

there isn’t any middle ground with your everyday person. People are weak and we do seem to be catering to the elderly and sick maybe 10% of the population? to the detriment of the other 90%. Natural selection and whatnot.....

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If I may reframe the question: Does one have a moral duty to care for others?

Hobbes - Probably. Human nature is to satisfy our needs. Caring is a choice. We should be fair to others only because it allows us to seek our desires.

Kant - Yes. Rational beings are morally obligated to care for others and provide what they would want for themselves. Human must strive for preservation of lives and the full development of others. Since health is a required to fulfill humanity's moral imperatives of preserving life and full development of individuals, rational beings in a society must necessarily seek and provide for the health of others and ourselves. 

[Philosophy wizards -  please correct my butchered attempt summarizing Hobbes v. Kant. Trust me - it will not hurt my feelings or offend me].

 

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16 minutes ago, washparkhorn said:

If I may reframe the question: Does one have a moral duty to care for others?

Hobbes - Probably. Human nature is to satisfy our needs. Caring is a choice. We should be fair to others only because it allows us to seek our desires.

Kant - Yes. Rational beings are morally obligated to care for others and provide what they would want for themselves. Human must strive for preservation of lives and the full development of others. Since health is a required to fulfill humanity's moral imperatives of preserving life and full development of individuals, rational beings in a society must necessarily seek and provide for the health of others and ourselves. 

[Philosophy wizards -  please correct my butchered attempt summarizing Hobbes v. Kant. Trust me - it will not hurt my feelings or offend me].

 

So.... are you saying the only way to care for someone right now is to isolate people and close down the economy? Does "care" entail only medical issues or are there other considerations that come into play when "caring" for someone? 

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This thread should be re-titled "The let's try to talk ourselves into believing that killing a large population of human beings is okay because we need money thread"

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Posted (edited)

I couldn't find that "one week behind Italy" chart that was going around last weekend, so I made my own. I can pretty easily guess as to why it's not as viral now - we may be finding more cases every day but the deaths that are happening in Italy are not happening in the USA. 

(Day 17 in Italy was March 11. In the USA Day 17 was March 19.)

There is something about Italy that is leading to a higher CFR. On day 17, their CFR was 6.6% and was trending higher to 8.3% today. The CFR in the USA as of Day 17 (yesterday) was 1.5% - with more total cases - and is trending the other direction. 

410459124_ScreenShot2020-03-20at07_25_06.png.0da53c4ffd8d37350ea664b0ea130e3b.png

 

The only hospitalization data I can find is this table from the CDC. It's illuminative in the sense that it confirms a large percentage so far have been hospitalized, but there's no way to tell what the criteria for hospitalization is (or was) compared to other illnesses and whether that comes from people being hospitalized early in the outbreak because it's still a novel disease. There also isn't time series data, so there is no way to know if the absolute number has stayed constant or not. The table says that it's inclusive through March 16th. Total cases in the United States has tripled since then due to more testing. Have hospitalizations tripled as well? I find it hard to believe that is has since otherwise if it were true the media would likely be reporting it sensationally that the "hospitals are filling up".

1635744830_ScreenShot2020-03-20at07_36_47.png.a639c94e9a649acb29436312e77aeacf.png

 

In short, I'm really growing cynical that this "crisis" really so bad as to shut down the whole economy like we have. We should be doing more to specifically protect people at high risk and doing less to isolate and shut down everyone else. 

Edited by crimsonlonghorn

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18 hours ago, Axiom of Choice said:

If you read the OP and my other posts on the thread, you would know that I've at least done some amount of review on the topic and am familiar with the basics. .

Don’t hurt yourself trying to pat yourself on the back for the “expert” analysis 

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9 minutes ago, BradInATX said:

This thread should be re-titled "The let's try to talk ourselves into believing that killing a large population of human beings is okay because we need money thread"

The pants on fire moralizing circle jerk is in the other thread. k thx bai

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1 hour ago, washparkhorn said:

If I may reframe the question: Does one have a moral duty to care for others?

Hobbes - Probably. Human nature is to satisfy our needs. Caring is a choice. We should be fair to others only because it allows us to seek our desires.

Kant - Yes. Rational beings are morally obligated to care for others and provide what they would want for themselves. Human must strive for preservation of lives and the full development of others. Since health is a required to fulfill humanity's moral imperatives of preserving life and full development of individuals, rational beings in a society must necessarily seek and provide for the health of others and ourselves. 

[Philosophy wizards -  please correct my butchered attempt summarizing Hobbes v. Kant. Trust me - it will not hurt my feelings or offend me].

 

That’s doesn’t really reframe the question. The issue in this thread as I see it is not, “Does one gave a moral duty to care for others?” I’d say it’s already implicitly answered that with a “Yes.”

The question is: What is the best way to care for others? You’ve defined care too narrowly by limiting it to health. You’ve arguably even defined health too narrowly by limiting it to physical health.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, crimsonlonghorn said:

... There is something about Italy that is leading to a higher CFR. On day 17, their CFR was 6.6% and was trending higher to 8.3% today. The CFR in the USA as of Day 17 (yesterday) was 1.5% - with more total cases - and is trending the other direction. ...

I don't know if your numbers are valid or not (testing being the clusterfuck that it is globally), but assuming that the premise is correct, and we discover that the difference is attributable to human choice (ie. for example, Italian citizenry smokes a lot [per capita] and have a larger percentage of compromised lungs), the issue harkens back to the questions I was asking in the morality of quarantine thread.  How much responsibility do smokers bear for their life choices which compromised their lungs and make them more vulnerable to this virus?  Is society at large morally obligated to socialize the costs (absorb the economic shock for extreme quarantine measures) to protect them from their (self destructive) personal choices?

Edited by bernorange

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48 minutes ago, bernorange said:

I don't know if your numbers are valid or not (testing being the clusterfuck that it is globally), but assuming that the premise is correct, and we discover that the difference is attributable to human choice (ie. for example, Italian citizenry smokes a lot [per capita] and have a larger percentage of compromised lungs), the issue harkens back to the questions I was asking in the morality of quarantine thread.  How much responsibility do smokers bear for their life choices which compromised their lungs and make them more vulnerable to this virus?  Is society at large morally obligated to socialize the costs (absorb the economic shock for extreme quarantine measures) to protect them from their (self destructive) personal choices?

I copied the numbers from the Worldometers site that everyone else uses, so it's as valid as anything else. 

Agree with your perspective on the smokers and the moral hazard of economically harming everyone else to protect them from their own choices. 

As far as testing goes, we should be testing random samples in each state every day to see the prevalence. This bullshit of only testing people who are already suspected is selection bias to the extreme, as far as evaluating outcomes. If you only test people who are sick, whatever the prevalence in that population, then every positive you see will be sick but won't be helpful in evaluating the effects on people who have it and aren't sick. 

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I am not a tinfoil hat kind of guy.  That said I just don't see how statewide lockdowns can last, beyond a week or so, barring the deployment of National Guard and some significant worst case interactions.

 

The state police don't have the staff to enforce the order.

 

People will start violating the lockdowns and I guess the state will have a really bad choice to make.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Dahobbs said:

I created the chart based on the population numbers from here: https://www.statista.com/statistics/241488/population-of-the-us-by-sex-and-age/

And the IFR numbers from the Imperial College here: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf

I cannot say one way or the other whether someone under 25 has died, I'm not aware of a publicly available database that granular. I can find examples for those in their 30s, 40s, and 50s from news reports. That said, given the total number of cases so far, I don't think 0 deaths under the age of 25 would be statistically unusual given the fatality percentages for the age group. The sample size simply isn't large enough.  Remember, the projections we are talking about involve 200 times the current number of cases worldwide (the vast majority of which still haven't resolved). 

Actually, here is one under 25: 

Thanks for providing the links.  A few points on the analysis:

  • Using these assumptions, the total number should be closer to 30,000.  It looks like you made a copy and paste error and applied the IFR rate of the 40 year old group to the 30 year old group and the IFR rate of the 50 year old group to the 40 year old group. 
  • The data and analysis this table was based on in the article you linked was cited as coming from a table in this study, which actually showed 0 deaths in children.  The 0.002% rate given is not backed by any confirmed fatalities.
  • The table is based solely on the data from China. I have not used data from China because the data from China is not as reliable for several reasons, one of which is that China changed the way they identified  coronavirus confirmed cases.  They switched to merely having the symptoms in line with coronavirus being sufficient for a confirmed case with out actual testing.  This caused a spike in cases, as well as a rise in fatalities in younger people.  In other words, a young person could die from pneumonia from any source and be counted as a coronavirus fatality.  The death rates given for younger people are very low in China, but they are still higher than all other countries who have better data based on testing.   

 

4 hours ago, washparkhorn said:

If I may reframe the question: Does one have a moral duty to care for others?

Hobbes - Probably. Human nature is to satisfy our needs. Caring is a choice. We should be fair to others only because it allows us to seek our desires.

Kant - Yes. Rational beings are morally obligated to care for others and provide what they would want for themselves. Human must strive for preservation of lives and the full development of others. Since health is a required to fulfill humanity's moral imperatives of preserving life and full development of individuals, rational beings in a society must necessarily seek and provide for the health of others and ourselves. 

[Philosophy wizards -  please correct my butchered attempt summarizing Hobbes v. Kant. Trust me - it will not hurt my feelings or offend me].

 

All philosophers in the western canon would claim we have a moral duty to care for others.   They would phrase this in various ways and put emphasis on different aspects, but none would advocate for selfishness.  Of those who have attempted to develop a rigorous framework of normative ethics, Ayn Rand is the only person who comes to mind who would advocate for selfishness, though she is not in the canon and I would argue is not even a philosopher.  

 

4 hours ago, crimsonlonghorn said:

There is something about Italy that is leading to a higher CFR. On day 17, their CFR was 6.6% and was trending higher to 8.3% today. The CFR in the USA as of Day 17 (yesterday) was 1.5% - with more total cases - and is trending the other direction. 

The reason the CFR in Italy is so high is because they are only testing extreme cases (so we get a strong selection bias) and the population is so old.  Some data on the first few thousand deaths in Italy:

""Patients who died with coronavirus have an average age of over 80 years, 80.3. The peak of mortality is in the 80-89 year age range. Lethality, ie the number of deaths among the sick, is higher among those over 80

"The picture is very similar to that given by previous statistics in Italy: the median age of the deceased is 80, the majority of victims are male, and they had an average of 2.7 pre-existing health conditions."

"Just three of those who died had no pre-existing health conditions, the data showed"

Also, CFR gets mentioned frequently in the articles because that data is easier to obtain.  However, in situations like Italy (and really most of the world), only the severe cases get tested.  The number needed to apply to the total population to get an estimate on impact is IFR, which is the estimate on the number of deaths divided by the actual number of infections.  This is harder to obtain and requires some extrapolation.  But taking the total number of possible infected (say 25% of the population) and multiplying by CFR is a useless and very misleading number.  The attempts at determining IFR that I have seen give estimates much lower than 1%.  In the study cited in the article Dahobbs linked, the overall population IFR was estimated to be 0.66%.  The data extrapolated for the Diamond Princess Cruise (although it is a smaller sample size) and applied to US demographics gives an IFR of 0.125%.

 

Edited by Axiom of Choice

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From Dr. Fauci today: "When you have something that's new and emerging, and you really can't predict totally the impact it may have... [reference to Italy and China] ... I don't think with any moral conscious you could think 'why don't we just let it rip' and let x percent of people die"

 

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2 minutes ago, Captainant said:

From Dr. Fauci today: "When you have something that's new and emerging, and you really can't predict totally the impact it may have... [reference to Italy and China] ... I don't think with any moral conscious you could think 'why don't we just let it rip' and let x percent of people die"

 

So the implication is that he has a moral compass and calculated that we should employ drastic measures to save X percent of people while destroying the economy with a direct consequence of Y percent of people dying.

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20 minutes ago, Axiom of Choice said:

Thanks for providing the links.  A few points on the analysis:

  • Using these assumptions, the total number should be closer to 30,000.  It looks like you made a copy and paste error and applied the IFR rate of the 40 year old group to the 30 year old group and the IFR rate of the 50 year old group to the 40 year old group. 
  • The data and analysis this table was based on in the article you linked was cited as coming from a table in this study, which actually showed 0 deaths in children.  The 0.002% rate given is not backed by any confirmed fatalities.
  • The table is based solely on the data from China. I have not used data from China because the data from China is not as reliable for several reasons, one of which is that China changed the way they identified  coronavirus confirmed cases.  They switched to merely having the symptoms in line with coronavirus being sufficient for a confirmed case with out actual testing.  This caused a spike in cases, as well as a rise in fatalities in younger people.  In other words, a young person could die from pneumonia from any source and be counted as a coronavirus fatality.  The death rates given for younger people are very low in China, but they are still higher than all other countries who have better data based on testing.   

 

  1. You are correct about the error. Thank you for noticing that. But, expecting only 25% of the population to be infected is unrealistic based on everything we know. 50% would still be conservative, and 75% would be the likely number in scenario where we didn't exercise significant social distancing measures for younger individuals. Btw, even under the 25% scenario, expected hospitalizations would be over 1 million in the under 50 age group alone. You really can't ignore that. 
  2. I think it is a justifiable estimate based on the limited sample size so far and the very low predicted fatality rate. Consider that only ~250,000 are known to be infected so far, the vast majority of those aren't resolved and thus could still end fatalities, and that children make up a VERY small portion of that number.  Even if the 250,000 were ALL children and all complete (i.e., either resolved or dead), we'd only expect 5 fatalities based on the predicted IFR. 0 is easily within the margin of error there. Simply put, our "study" is not adequately powered to detect those deaths. 
  3. No data is reliable at this point. It is all incomplete and all has tons of caveats. You can assert other data sets are based on better, but I really don't think there is much evidence of that. At least the data set used came from an actual study that went through some professional scrutiny. Using just raw numbers being reported elsewhere is hardly more scientific or reliable. And, if you're trying to determine a course of action based on incomplete data, you can't just pick the optimistic data set. If anything, you should base your actions on the worse case scenario reasonably possible based on the data. To do otherwise would be to risk severely underestimating the chances of a catastrophic or unrecoverable event. 

 

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9 minutes ago, bernorange said:

So the implication is that he has a moral compass and calculated that we should employ drastic measures to save X percent of people while destroying the economy with a direct consequence of Y percent of people dying.

No, the implication being that you can't risk a catastrophic/unrecoverable event when at least some evidence suggests its possible. We need to pick the measures that will give us a very high chance of surviving the worst case scenario suggested by the data AND that has as little direct impact as possible. There has never been the option of not severely damaging the economy. I really can't emphasize that enough. We do nothing, and the economy is destroyed by the number of deaths, hospitalizations, and associated consequences of an overwhelmed healthcare system. 

For instance, if you assume a 75% infection rate, value each death as a $250,000 cost, each hospitalization at $10,000, and then account for lost wages based on a 31k per average, the cost of doing nothing is an economic impact of at least $1.4 trillion in the US alone.  And, that doesn't include the value of non-economic activity, which, if we are doing a utilitarian analysis we need to do. 

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:
  1. You are correct about the error. Thank you for noticing that. But, expecting only 25% of the population to be infected is unrealistic based on everything we know. 50% would still be conservative, and 75% would be the likely number in scenario where we didn't exercise significant social distancing measures for younger individuals. Btw, even under the 25% scenario, expected hospitalizations would be over 1 million in the under 50 age group alone. You really can't ignore that. 
  2. I think it is a justifiable estimate based on the limited sample size so far and the very low predicted fatality rate. Consider that only ~250,000 are known to be infected so far, the vast majority of those aren't resolved and thus could still end fatalities, and that children make up a VERY small portion of that number.  Even if the 250,000 were ALL children and all complete (i.e., either resolved or dead), we'd only expect 5 fatalities based on the predicted IFR. 0 is easily within the margin of error there. Simply put, our "study" is not adequately powered to detect those deaths. 
  3. No data is reliable at this point. It is all incomplete and all has tons of caveats. You can assert other data sets are based on better, but I really don't think there is much evidence of that. At least the data set used came from an actual study that went through some professional scrutiny. Using just raw numbers being reported elsewhere is hardly more scientific or reliable. And, if you're trying to determine a course of action based on incomplete data, you can't just pick the optimistic data set. If anything, you should base your actions on the worse case scenario reasonably possible based on the data. To do otherwise would be to risk severely underestimating the chances of a catastrophic or unrecoverable event. 

 

I agree with you that no data is perfect, but some data is clearly better than others based on how it was obtained.  You can find numerous articles addressing the poor methodology and data collection from China on this issue.  It's not merely a matter of using raw data from one place vs another.  We have better quality data coming out now from countries similar to ours in terms of infrastructure and medical care, so using that data should give us more accurate predictions.  I'm not using optimistic data to paint a rosy picture.  I'm using the better quality data from similar countries for the sake of accuracy.  

Regarding the 75% infection rate, what is that based on?  That number is incredibly high.  Even the Spanish flu, which was highly contagious and spread in a time that was ripe for transmission of infectious disease, had an infection rate around 50%.  

Edited by Axiom of Choice

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17 minutes ago, Axiom of Choice said:

I agree with you that no data is perfect, but some data is clearly better than others based on how it was obtained.  You can find numerous articles addressing the poor methodology and data collection from China on this issue.  It's not merely a matter of using raw data from one place vs another.  We have better quality data coming out now from countries similar to ours in terms of infrastructure and medical care, so using that data should give us more accurate predictions.  I'm not using optimistic data to paint a rosy picture.  I'm using the better quality data from similar countries for the sake of accuracy.  

Regarding the 75% infection rate, what is that based on?  That number is incredibly high.  Even the Spanish flu, which was highly contagious and spread in a time that was ripe for transmission of infectious disease, had an infection rate around 50%.  

I don't think you are using better quality data. You are using different data. And you aren't even using complete data for the data set you're analyzing (e.g., not all cases have resolved).

As to 75%, every public estimate I've seen has estimated greater than 50% of the population will be exposed. This thing is incredibly infectious, as should be obvious by now. For example, the CDC, or the earlier provided report from the Imperial College of London. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/us/coronavirus-deaths-estimate.html

I've yet to see a single reliable source that would lead me to believe that 25% is a reasonable estimate for any scenario that doesn't involve aggressive intervention/isolation. 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Dahobbs said:

I don't think you are using better quality data. You are using different data. And you aren't even using complete data for the data set you're analyzing (e.g., not all cases have resolved).

As to 75%, every public estimate I've seen has estimated greater than 50% of the population will be exposed. This thing is incredibly infectious, as should be obvious by now. For example, the CDC, or the earlier provided report from the Imperial College of London. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/us/coronavirus-deaths-estimate.html

I've yet to see a single reliable source that would lead me to believe that 25% is a reasonable estimate for any scenario that doesn't involve aggressive intervention/isolation. 

It is better quality data.  You can go review the methods of how the data was obtained and categorized if you are skeptical.   If we embrace the idea that we cannot make extrapolations from data because it is not "complete," then we should discard virtually all statistical analysis.  All studies of this type are going to based on data that is incomplete in some way.  The reason we have statistics is to make extrapolations based on what we do know.  We take the best data we have and go from there.  

As for the 75% number, you are saying that experts are claiming 50% of people will be exposed, making the assumption that everyone who is exposed will become infected, and then adding 25% for good measure?  

 

 

Edited by Axiom of Choice

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On 3/18/2020 at 9:10 PM, TexArcher said:

Okay.  Communicable diseases are communicable.  Everyone can pass this along whether it kills them or not, so everyone should be isolated to protect the more vulnerable.  The good of the herd is more important than whether these twits have an epic spring break or not.  The end.

What is the good of the herd?  I’m a man now- 41 damn it, but I remember being a kid and taught that the old and sick antelopes are the ones the lions eat and that’s for the good of the herd- nature working at its best. 

I don’t want my dad or MIL of FIl to die and they are at the top of the list for this thing.  But, I don’t want to see a Great Depression go try to prevent that either. 

Your post seems to presuppose that saving a few elderly people’s lives so they can see a couple to 20 more birthdays is more important than Johnny playing little league, Susy going to the prom, or you know, 130,000,000 Americans being able to go to their job. What his post, presupposes, is maybe that’s not more important. 

Mira a completely fair and legitimate argument. If the average age of death remains well into social security years but we have a second Great Depression I’m not going to feel like we made a wise choice. 

We kill 60,000 mostly young and healthy people a year, every year, on the roadways. A 30 MPH speed limit would probably bring that number to almost zero. And it wouldn’t cause an economic shit storm and all the other bad that comes from social isolation. But if you said let’s lower the speed limit to 30 so we can save 60,000 lives you would be hated by right thinking Americans of every stripe.

Everyone born into this world is terminal, the only question is how long. Where does your right to maintain your life compel me to restrain myself from taking advantage of my individual liberties and freedoms?  Traditionally only in the most absolutely extreme circumstances in this country. 

Maybe this qualifies and maybe this doesn’t- but this should be the appropriate conversation and test and it’s just something very few are talking about in the mainstream- everyone is focused on how can we save the most lives possible. And that’s not something we do in any other arena in American life- we implicitly acknowledge that freedom, liberty and commerce carries with it the certainty of some deaths but it’s worth it anyway. 

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On 3/19/2020 at 11:41 AM, RollLeft said:

Not having a conversation about this is going to do that, now?  If that is what you are trying to accomplish by this thread then you are late to the party. We should have had this conversation weeks ago.   Though at least half of this board would have shunned you.  The damage you described was fated when the decision was made, by those with actual power, to go down the path of self isolating and shutting down cities/businesses/schools of an entire country.  Our leaders have made monumental decisions based upon poor data, considering one primary perspective and asking very few questions about the overall impact of the lives of everyone, imo.  And yes we will have saved some lives, but at what cost?    

More than you know i want to have a conversation about this.  In my opinion now is not the time.  Why? Because it will be easier to say what needs to be said, especially for some on this board, after this all plays out.  Lets carry out the decisions that have been made and save some lives. 

Lets tally what was gained and lost later with better data and then make informed decisions on when/how we will draw the lines to do or not do this shit again.   Jmo.

 

Absolutely 100% agree. 

We guaranteed economic disaster when we started down this path, so we might as well give it a good 2 or 3 weeks shot at flattening the curve and saving some lives out of this thing since we are already paying the price, but there damn sure needs to be an accounting of the toll these measures took and their cost to do so, while we look at each other and decide if it was worth it 

Hint- it almost certainly wasn’t, but you are right- the time to have the conversation was 2 months ago or a month from now. 

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Posted (edited)

One of my biggest questions is 2 or 3 weeks from when?

Today, this Monday, Last Friday....

Edited by Incredulity

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