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posted by martyb on Monday May 04 2020, @02:12PM   Printer-friendly

2020-05-03 Roundup of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV2, Coronavirus) Stories

total_count 3,565,120
total_deaths 248,245
total_recovered 1,153,956
active_count 2,162,919
active_mild_count 2,112,878(98%)
active_serious_count 50,041(2%)
closed_outcome 1,402,201
closed_deaths_count 248,245(18%)
closed_recovered_count 1,153,956(82%)

Biologists Invent a New Way to Fight Viruses with Llama Blood and Molecular Super Glue

Biologists invent a new way to fight viruses with llama blood and molecular super glue:

For more than 20 years, researchers have tried with limited success to engineer antibodies into new treatments for bacterial and viral infections. Now, a team of scientists has come up with a new approach: fastening together tiny antibodies from llama blood with a type of bacterial super glue. The interconnected antibodies protect mice from two dangerous viruses, and they could subdue other pathogens.

The new work has been able to bypass a lot of the hurdles that stymied previous attempts, says protein engineer Jennifer Maynard of the University of Texas, Austin. I think this will be a very general technology that will be useful for infectious diseases and for cancer.

[...] The study shows that the small antibody approach is possible and gives new opportunities to optimize it, Wichgers Schreur says. Researchers still need to answer several questions before they can think about testing the strategy in people, he says, such as whether they can produce sufficient amounts of the linked antibodies. He adds that the approach could work against other types of viruses, but it probably won't be ready in time to fight the coronavirus causing the current pandemic.

Original Submission

First Drug Known to Work Against SARS-CoV-2 Imaged in Action

First drug known to work against SARS-CoV-2 imaged in action:

Just this week, we had the first promising report of a drug that appears to improve the recovery time of patients suffering from COVID-19. Hot on the heels of that announcement, a scientific journal has released a paper that describes how the drug interferes with the virus. While there's no real surprises in what has been revealed, it provides key details of how SARS-CoV-2 can be blocked.

[...] Remdesivir, which saw a large clinical trial produce promising results, is a drug that's designed to target one of these virus-specific vulnerabilities. The coronavirus genome is encoded using the chemical RNA, as opposed to the DNA used for our genome. In fact, there's nothing about our cells that requires them to make an RNA copy of an RNA molecule. As a result, the coronavirus genome encodes proteins that do this RNA-to-RNA copying, called an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Remdesivir was designed to look like one of the building blocks of RNA in the hope that it would bind to an RNA virus' polymerase and inhibit it.

That said, this drug was designed with the intention of inhibiting the polymerase of a different virus (Ebola), so it wasn't guaranteed to work against coronavirus. And our cells need to make RNA copies of DNA, a process that's similar enough that remdesivir could interfere with that, too.

Still, tests in cells had been promising enough to drive testing in humans. While that testing was starting, a group of Chinese scientists decided to look into how remdesivir actually works. To do so, they decided to figure out how the drug interacted with the coronavirus RNA polymerase at the atomic level. And that requires a technique to determine where all the atoms in the protein and drug are.

Original Submission

NIH Abruptly Cuts Coronavirus Research Funding, Alarming Scientists

NIH abruptly cuts coronavirus research funding, alarming scientists:

Researchers expressed alarm this week after the National Institutes of Health abruptly cancelled funding for a long-standing research project by US and Chinese scientists to examine how coronaviruses leap from bats to humans, potentially causing devastating pandemics such as the one we are currently experiencing by a coronavirus genetically linked to those found in bats.

The funding cut could set back critical research into preventing such disease spread, scientists say. They also expressed dismay that the decision was prompted by unfounded conspiracy theories and what some see as a wider attempt by the Trump administration to deflect criticism of its handling of the pandemic by blaming China for unleashing the disease.

The NIH has not provided a clear explanation for its move to cancel the funds, which occurred April 24 and was first reported by Politico Monday, April 27. However, in emails exchanges published April 30 by Science magazine, it is clear that the NIH was motivated by conspiracy theories that allege without evidence that the virus was somehow released by Chinese researchers in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the pandemic began.

The grant that is now going unfunded is titled Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence, and it was written by EcoHealth Alliance, Inc., a non-profit based in New York that collaborates with a leading Chinese researcher who studies bat coronaviruses in Wuhan. The NIH initially funded the work in 2014, providing $3.1 million for five years. The NIH then renewed the grant in 2019 after the work received an outstanding peer-review score, according to Science.

Original Submission

Florida Man Stalks Beach as Grim Reaper to Protest Reopening Amid Pandemic

Florida man stalks beach as Grim Reaper to protest reopening amid pandemic:

Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis, announced on Friday that state parks will soon reopen, even as the coronavirus pandemic continued and Death himself stalked the beaches of the Sunshine state.

In fairness, the Grim Reaper in question was actually Daniel Uhlfelder, a lawyer and campaigner for public beach access who put on a cowl and wielded a scythe in an attempt to alert Floridians to the dangers of reopening their economy too soon.

As footage of a socially distanced interview with a TV reporter at Miramar Beach in Walton county went viral, Uhlfelder told CNN: "We aren't at the point now where we have enough testing, enough data, enough preparation for what's going to be coming to our state from all over the world from this pandemic.

"I know how beautiful and attractive our beaches are. But if we don't take measures to control things, this virus is going to get really, really out of control."

Original Submission

Dossier Lays Out Virus Case Against China

Dossier lays out virus case against China:

China deliberately suppressed or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus outbreak in an assault on international transparency that cost tens of thousands of lives, according to a dossier prepared by concerned Western governments on the COVID-19 contagion.

The 15-page research document, obtained by The Saturday Telegraph, lays the foundation for the case of negligence being mounted against China.

It states that to the endangerment of other countries the Chinese government covered-up news of the virus by silencing or disappearing doctors who spoke out, destroying evidence of it in laboratories and refusing to provide live samples to international scientists who were working on a vaccine.

Original Submission

Surviving COVID-19: A Disease Tolerance Perspective

There is an interesting editorial in the most recent release of the journal Science Advances questioning the heavy virus-focused approach in attacking the COVID-19 virus outbreak. I know there are some who frequent this site who are much smarter about these things than I, and I thought it would be an interesting topic for discussion.

The editorial is written by Janelle Ayres of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. She describes the race to find new antiviral solutions to combat this virus and she notes that should an effective solution be found, it will be effective for the fraction of infected patients that develop mild cases of COVID-19 by shortening their length of infection and for reducing transmission to other hosts. However, for those whom progress along the downward spiral (pneumonia, respiratory failure, etc.), their fate depends upon how their body responds to the virus. The need here is to keep them alive until their body can work through the infection. While hospitals are scrambling to find respirators, beds, and other equipment to keep patients alive, the scientists are focusing on antivirals and not on the drugs that promote physiological function during the infection.

There is no scientific or public health reason for why we have not developed such therapeutics. It was described more than a decade ago that the infection defense response relies on essential mechanisms for survival that limit damage to the host and promote physiological function, rather than targeting the pathogen. These mechanisms are called disease tolerance mechanisms encoded by the host's cooperative defense system and are essential for survival following infections and operate to achieve the same goal as supportive care. The cooperative defense system also encodes antivirulence mechanisms that neutralize pathogen and host-derived pathogenic signals that cause damage.

One of the advantage therapeutics has is that there is less of a chance for drug resistance to occur because the therapeutics target the host and not the virus.

The simple explanation for this disconnect is that the perspective for combating infectious diseases shared by scientists is incomplete. The fields of immunology and microbiology have focused on understanding strategies to kill the infection, which has provided us with some of the most important innovations for global health: vaccines and antimicrobials. However, while this perspective is valuable, it is not enough. Instead of asking "how do we fight infections?", we might start asking "how do we survive infections?". To understand the answer to this question, we must approach infectious diseases at the molecular, cellular, organ, physiological, and organismal levels. We have an understanding of the mechanisms of disease pathogenesis for COVID-19 related pathologies, and now, we need to understand the mechanism that restore normal function in the body and how we can drug these pathways for COVID-19 treatment.

Journal Reference:
Janelle S. Ayres, Janelle S. Ayres. Surviving COVID-19: A disease tolerance perspective [open], Science Advances (DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc1518)

Original Submission

"They're Writing COVID on All the Death Certificates": NYC Funeral Directors Doubt Legitimacy

"They're Writing COVID On All the Death Certificates": NYC Funeral Directors Doubt Legitimacy of Deaths Attributed to Pandemic. - Global Research:

Project Veritas today released another video featuring conversations with funeral home directors and their staff throughout New York City questioning the number of deaths officially attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In late April, a Project Veritas reporter spoke with Michael Lanza, the director of Staten Island's Colonial Funeral Home.

To be honest with you, all of the death certificates are writing COVID on it, they re writing COVID on all the death certificates, Lanza said.

Lanza said DeBlasio might see inflated COVID death tallies as a way to bring more money to New York City.

Whether they had a positive test or didn't, so I think again this is my personal opinion, I think like the mayor and our city they re looking for federal funding and the more they put COVID on the death certificate the more they can ask from the federal funds.

The Staten Island funeral director said it did not add up to him.

I think it's political, so, I m going to turn around and say: You know, like, not everybody that we have here that has COVID on the death certificate died of COVID. Can I prove that? No, but that is my suspicion.

Original Submission

South Korean Scientists Doubt COVID-19 Reinfections

There have been worrying signs that it is possible to have COVID-19 reinfection, such that getting sick with the disease and recovering might not confer subsequent immunity to the disease as with other similar diseases. This would make controlling the spread of the disease much more difficult. However, further studies by Korean infectious disease experts seem to show that these reports of reinfection may be due to false positives, since the PCR tests South Korea uses for diagnosing COVID-19 infections also detect remnant RNA strands of the virus, which can persist in the body of a previously infected person for months without causing further disease. The Korea Herald reports:

South Korea's infectious disease experts said Thursday that dead virus fragments were the likely cause of over 260 people here testing positive again for the novel coronavirus days and even weeks after marking full recoveries.

Oh Myoung-don, who leads the central clinical committee for emerging disease control, said the committee members found little reason to believe that those cases could be COVID-19 reinfections or reactivations, which would have made global efforts to contain the virus much more daunting.

The tests detected the ribonucleic acid of the dead virus, said Oh, a Seoul National University hospital doctor, at a press conference Thursday held at the National Medical Center.

He went on to explain that in PCR tests, or polymerase chain reaction tests, used for COVID-19 diagnosis, genetic materials of the virus amplify during testing, whether it is from a live virus or just from fragments of dead virus cells that can take months to clear from recovered patients.

Original Submission

Top Chinese Cyber Spy Crashes Australian Press Conference to Defend Chinese COVID Origins

A Chinese official who was a cyber spy hijacked a press conference to defend China's position in the midst of Australia calling for an independent inquiry into the source of the COVID-19 virus. The Chinese official, Long Zhou, stated that "there is no absolute freedom in this world" while denying China had launched Cyber attacks. Australian officials have responded to this event by cancelling events with "Twiggy" Forrest and stating the costs for purchasing all medical equipment procured by the billionaire would be reimbursed. The fallout from Twiggy's decision to allow China to gatecrash a major media event is he will now find himself out in the cold with a source from Canberra saying Twiggy will find the door to Canberra is closed .

Original Submission

First Bit of Success from a Randomized Trial of a COVID-19 Treatment [UPDATED]

First bit of success from a randomized trial of a COVID-19 treatment [UPDATED]:

Update, 5:40pm ET, April 29: Additional data on remdesivir's effects from a separate study are described below the original article.

Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced the first potential treatment for COVID-19 had emerged from a randomized clinical trial sponsored in part by the National Institutes of Health. The drug, remdesivir, significantly shortened the recovery time for patients with COVID-19, triggering an ethical clause that allowed the placebo group to receive the real drug. Unfortunately, that cut the trial short before a significant effect on mortality was clear.

Fauci made the announcement while speaking to the press with President Donald Trump in the White House.

Remdesivir was originally developed to target a different virus: Ebola. It works by binding to the enzyme that copies the RNA genome of the Ebola virus. Since our cells don't need to make copies of RNA, the hope has been that we can find drugs that target the viral enzyme but not any that our own cells need. Testing had already indicated it was safe for general use, suggesting that remdesivir was successful in this regard. Unfortunately, it didn't clearly work against the Ebola virus, leaving it the very large collection of drugs that are safe but ineffective.

With the onset of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, remdesivir received renewed interest, given that the new virus also has an RNA genome and enzymes dedicated to copying it. While the drug wasn't designed specifically to bind these proteins, the overlapping biochemical needs of the Ebola and SARS-CoV-2 enzymes meant that there was a chance that the drug would be effective, leading to some early anecdotal reports of its use.

This appears to be the first report of a non-anecdotal test of the drug. Fauci said that the trial, conducted in the United States and various European countries, had enrolled 1,090 patients. Those participants were randomly assigned to receive the drug or placebo, and the primary measure of success was time to recovery—how quickly the patients could be discharged from the hospital or resume normal activities. By this measure, remdesivir was a significant success; those receiving the drug took an average of 11 days to recover; those on the placebo took 15 days. That's a 30 percent faster recovery, a result that's statistically significant given the size of the trial population.

[...] On the same day that Anthony Fauci announced the positive results of a large clinical trial of the antiviral drug remdesivir, the research journal The Lancet released a smaller randomized study of the same drug from China. In this study, the researchers had planned on a large-enough population of patients for their study design to have a high probability of producing significant results. But the severe restrictions in place in Wuhan cut the number of patients in their hospitals that met the study's selection criteria, leading to its termination with a small population (only 237 patients). Potentially confusing matters, the participants were allowed to continue some other untested treatments, including anti-virals and immune-system modulators.

[...] None of the results were statistically significant, but the researchers saw a result consistent with what Dr. Fauci announced today: those taking remdesivir reached clinical improvement faster than those in the placebo group. Had the trial involved more patients, it might have found a significant improvement here. Since the total number of people needing ventilators was even smaller, there was no chance of a significant result here.

Original Submission

First Randomized Trial of Remdesivir Suggests Antiviral Drug is Not Associated with Significant Clinical Benefits

First randomized trial of remdesivir suggests antiviral drug is not associated with significant clinical benefits, more research needed:

Although their study is the first randomised controlled trial (considered the gold standard for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions) of remdesivir, the authors caution that interpretation of their findings is limited because the study was stopped early after they were unable to recruit enough patients due to the steep decline in cases in China*. They conclude that more evidence from ongoing clinical trials is needed to better understand whether remdesivir can provide meaningful clinical benefit.

In the absence of any known treatment for COVID-19, remdesivir is one of a handful of experimental drugs undergoing clinical trials worldwide. It has only been available to patients with COVID-19 on compassionate grounds (the use of unapproved drugs when no other treatment is available). In the trial, all patients received standard care including lopinavir-ritonavir, interferons, and corticosteroids.

"Unfortunately, our trial found that while safe and adequately tolerated, remdesivir did not provide significant benefits over placebo," says Professor Bin Cao from China-Japan Friendship Hospital and Capital Medical University in China, who led the research. "This is not the outcome we hoped for, but we are mindful that we were only able to enroll 237 of the target 453 patients because the COVID-19 outbreak was brought under control in Wuhan. What's more, restrictions on bed availability resulted in most patients being enrolled later in the disease course, so we were unable to adequately assess whether earlier treatment with remdesivir might have provided clinical benefit."

He continues: "Future studies need to determine whether earlier treatment with remdesivir, higher doses, or combination with other antivirals or SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies, might be more effective in those with severe illness."

Remdesivir was originally developed to treat Ebola, and is designed to interfere with the way a virus reproduces, thereby stopping it from multiplying inside the body. It has been shown to successfully block SARS-CoV-2 from replicating in vitro, and had activity against other coronavirus infections like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and COVID-19 in animal studies. Case studies have also reported benefit in some severely ill patients with COVID-19, but until now, there have been no clinical trials of remdesivir, so its efficacy against COVID-19 in patients is unknown.

Original Submission

Tests in Recovered Patients in S. Korea Found False Positives, Not Reinfections, Experts Say

Tests in recovered patients in S. Korea found false positives, not reinfections, experts say:

SEOUL South Korea's infectious disease experts said Thursday that dead virus fragments were the likely cause of over 260 people here testing positive again for the novel coronavirus days and even weeks after marking full recoveries.

Oh Myoung-don, who leads the central clinical committee for emerging disease control, said the committee members found little reason to believe that those cases could be COVID-19 reinfections or reactivations, which would have made global efforts to contain the virus much more daunting.

The tests detected the ribonucleic acid of the dead virus, said Oh, a Seoul National University hospital doctor, at a press conference Thursday held at the National Medical Center.

He went on to explain that in PCR tests, or polymerase chain reaction tests, used for COVID-19 diagnosis, genetic materials of the virus amplify during testing, whether it is from a live virus or just from fragments of dead virus cells that can take months to clear from recovered patients.

The PCR tests cannot distinguish whether the virus is alive or dead, he added, and this can lead to false positives.

PCR testing that amplifies genetics of the virus is used in Korea to test COVID-19, and relapse cases are due to technical limits of the PCR testing.

As of Sunday, 263 people in Korea tested positive for the disease again after being declared virus-free, of which 17 were minors or teens, the National Medical Center said.

Original Submission

A Close Look at the Frontrunning Coronavirus Vaccines as of April 28 (Updated)

A Close Look at the Frontrunning Coronavirus Vaccines As of April 28 (updated):

There's plenty of news on the coronavirus vaccine front, so let's have a look. If you need some details on the different sorts of vaccines in general, here's the background post, which should help this one make sense. This is a rapidly advancing field, with a huge number of programs. Some of the players are doing a lot more than they're talking about, while others (as is always the case) are talking much more loudly than their actions really justify. The signal/noise isn't great, but this will be an attempt to make sense of the landscape as of today.

Update: I should put in the links to the larger vaccine lists, as I did in the earlier post. Here's a good overview of the coronavirus vaccine world in a recent Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. The official WHO list is here, and at BioCentury they have constantly updated open-access summaries of the vaccines and other therapies that are in the clinic and the ones that are still preclinical. They ve also recently published this excellent overview of vaccine issues in this area.

[...] So by my count, the biggest and most advanced programs include two inactivated virus vaccines, three different adenovirus vector vaccines, two mRNA possibilities, a DNA vaccine, and a recombinant protein. That's a pretty good spread of mechanisms, and there are of course plenty more coming up right behind these. You cannot do the tiniest search for such information without being inundated with press releases about companies working on coronavirus vaccines — not complaining here — and moving on to smaller companies would make this post multiple times longer. I ll update as more news comes out and add in more companies and candidates.

Original Submission

Trump Admin Threatens to Sue States that Don't Lift Pandemic Orders

Trump admin threatens to sue states that don't lift pandemic orders:

The Trump administration is threatening to sue states and municipalities whose pandemic orders infringe on people's rights or cause "undue interference with the national economy."

"I am directing each of our United States Attorneys to also be on the lookout for state and local directives that could be violating the constitutional rights and civil liberties of individual citizens," US Attorney General William Barr wrote yesterday in a memo to all 94 US attorneys' offices. The Barr memo said that "even in times of emergency, when reasonable and temporary restrictions are placed on rights, the First Amendment and federal statutory law prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers." The memo is available at The Washington Post website.

Barr's memo is not just aimed at protecting members of religious groups. He continued:

Original Submission

Researchers Crack COVID-19 Genome Signature

Researchers crack COVID-19 genome signature:

Using machine learning, a team of Western computer scientists and biologists have identified an underlying genomic signature for 29 different COVID-19 DNA sequences.

This new data discovery tool will allow researchers to quickly and easily classify a deadly virus like COVID-19 in just minutes a process and pace of high importance for strategic planning and mobilizing medical needs during a pandemic.

The study also supports the scientific hypothesis that COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) has its origin in bats as Sarbecovirus, a subgroup of Betacoronavirus.

The findings, Machine learning using intrinsic genomic signatures for rapid classification of novel pathogens: COVID-19 case study, were published today in PLOS ONE.

The "ultra-fast, scalable, and highly accurate" classification system uses a new graphic-based, specialized software and decision-tree approach to illustrate the classification and arrive at a best choice out of all possible outcomes. The entire method uses a new graphic-based, specialized software to illustrate a best choice out of all tested possible outcomes.

Original Submission

Doctor's Note: Why Do We Get Fevers?

Doctor's Note: Why do we get fevers?:

One of the most prominent symptoms of COVID-19 is fever. So, if you are running a temperature, you should stay at home and self-isolate. When we get a fever, we usually respond by trying to bring our temperature down - usually by taking paracetamol.

But evidence suggests that a fever may be part of your body's strategy for fighting an infection rather than just a by-product of the infection.

What is a fever?

It is normal for your body's temperature to fluctuate throughout the day, and it is often highest in the evenings and lowest in the mornings.

A fever is usually defined as a temperature above 37.5 degrees Celcius (99.5 degrees Fahrenheit), but the temperature you read can vary depending on where you take it from.

When taken in the mouth, the average body temperature is usually between 36.5C (97.7F) and 37.2C (98.96F) but, taken in the armpit, it can be 0.2C to 0.3C (0.36F-0.54F) lower.

During the pandemic, there has been a shortage of thermometers, and without one, it can be difficult to determine whether you have a fever.

To assess whether you might have a fever without the use of a thermometer you can use the back of your hand to feel your forehead, check in the mirror for a flushed face, observe for chills, muscular aches and weakness and assess for dehydration from a fever by checking for darker, more concentrated urine.

Original Submission

Anti IL-6 for Coronavirus Patients: Does It Work, or Not?

Anti IL-6 For Coronavirus Patients: Does It Work, or Not?:

It's been looking for some time as if these coronavirus infections need a biphasic approach to therapy an antiviral approach earlier on, and for those in serious trouble, perhaps a shift to immune modulation as the body's reaction to the virus starts doing even more harm. That post goes into some detail on possible therapies targeting IL-6 for this purpose, and today we finally have some clinical data on the idea. Prepare yourself, if you are one of the many people who haven t had experience with investigational therapies but are watching to see how things play out with the pandemic. Because this is another one of those cases that will make you wonder what's going on.

There's an antibody against the IL-6 receptor from Roche/Genentech, tocilizumab (brand name Actemra), and this morning came preliminary word from France that the CORIMUNO-TOCI trial had produced positive results. This was in patients who had moderate to severe disease but were not in the ICU: 65 got standard of care, and 64 got standard of care plus tocilizumab (but note: the trial, although it has a control group, was open-label). The press release says that both deaths and the need for later ventilator support were significantly reduced in the treatment group, with no more adverse effects than in the control group.

The French team is also studying tocilizumab in patients in intensive care, and they re looking at another approved antibody to the IL-6 receptor as well, sarilumab (brand name Kevzara) from Sanofi and Regeneron. These two drug are both given for rheumatoid arthritis, with the same mechanism of action, but every antibody is a different beast. For example, tocilizumab is given i.v. and sarilumab is subcutaneous, so they have different pharmacokinetics right from the start.

And those results are certainly going to be interesting, because we have the results of a separate study on sarilumab this morning where it was shown to be almost completely ineffective. There had been an earlier report from China of efficacy for the drug, albeit in a small trial without a control group and if there's one thing that people should take away about drug discovery from this whole pandemic experience, it's that small uncontrolled trials cannot prove anything. All they can do is to point to something that might be interesting to study for real, and you should be ready for most such signals to turn out to be noise.

Original Submission


Original Submission

Related Stories

2020-06-15 Roundup of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV2, Coronavirus) Stories 153 comments

World-wide data as of: 20200615_140637 UTC:

total_count 8,028,325
closed_count 4,584,407
closed_deaths_count 436,277
closed_deaths_percent (10%)
closed_recovered_count 4,148,130
closed_recovered_percent (90%)
active_count 3,443,918
active_mild_count 3,389,380
active_mild_percent (98%)
active_serious_count 54,538
active_serious_percent (2%)
total_deaths 436,277

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(1) 2
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @02:38PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @02:38PM (#990218)
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @02:45PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @02:45PM (#990226)

      What about the stapler? [yahoo.com]

      • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by Runaway1956 on Monday May 04 2020, @03:09PM (1 child)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 04 2020, @03:09PM (#990240) Journal

        Bunch of yay-hooos want to access my device.

        Your data, your experience

        Yahoo is part of Verizon Media. Click 'I agree' to allow Verizon Media and our partners to use cookies and similar technologies to access your device and use your data (including location) to understand your interests, and provide and measure personalised ads. We will also provide you with personalised ads on partner products. Learn more about how we use your data in our Privacy Centre. Once you confirm your privacy choices here, you can make changes at any time by visiting your Privacy dashboard.

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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @02:40PM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @02:40PM (#990221)

    It's all Trump's fault. It doesn't matter that the death rate on a per capita basis in the UK, France, Netherlands, Sweden, and Italy (or that Germany minimizes the death count by attributing death to underlying conditions while the US maximizes the death count by attributing death to covid) is worse than that in the US, America is a toxic wasteland beyond compare and it is all Trump's fault. We must beat this drum hard so we can elect a geriatric segregationist with a rape allegation and dementia.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @02:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @02:49PM (#990228)

      The party confirm. [youtube.com] Sing after me:

      Arise, ye who refuse to be slaves
      With our flesh and blood, let us build a new Great Wall...

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Monday May 04 2020, @05:44PM (6 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday May 04 2020, @05:44PM (#990332) Journal

      We must beat this drum hard so we can elect a geriatric segregationist with a rape allegation and dementia.

      We already did.

      • (Score: 0, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @06:45PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @06:45PM (#990378)

        Yep, you sure did! Do you really expect him to beat Trump?

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @07:39PM (2 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @07:39PM (#990403)

        elect a geriatric segregationist with a rape allegation and dementia.

        We already did.

        If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

        What really appears to be broken is our primary system, it consistently produces such garbage that the thought of voting for any of them is like a gut punch.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @10:01PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @10:01PM (#990456)

          It's not really the primary system. That was introduced to at least give a little bit of popular influence to decisions that would otherwise be made completely in smoke-filled rooms.

          What kills real democracy and choice in this country is First Past the Post and Winner Take All. The federal government only mandates everybody's vote be of equal strength. The actual mechanism is up to the states.

          I'm not counting on the established parties ever allowing such a change to happen in the US, but a switch from FPTP to Mixed-Member Proportional apparently happened in New Zealand.

          • (Score: 5, Interesting) by PartTimeZombie on Monday May 04 2020, @11:32PM

            by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday May 04 2020, @11:32PM (#990490)

            ...a switch from FPTP to Mixed-Member Proportional apparently happened in New Zealand.

            Yes, and the two major parties hate it because now they have to negotiate if they want to govern, and if they step out of line, the voters can destroy them. (We have destroyed several parties since MMP came in, and we'll do it again if we have to).

            A couple of terms after we switched, the incumbent decided we didn't really want MMP, and would much rather go back to the old system, because "stability" or some such nonsense.

            They couldn't legally change us back without a referendum, so they had one of their millionaire backers fund an anti-MMP campaign, but it didn't work and we kept MMP.

            It is a long way from being perfect, and in fact the leader of our conservative party has been caught selling electorates. He also has a Chinese spy in his caucus, but that might say more about him than about MMP.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @08:57PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @08:57PM (#990425)

        Remember, it is not allegation when accused confesses.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:04AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:04AM (#990538)

          Without corroborating evidence it sure as hell is!

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by captain normal on Monday May 04 2020, @08:18PM (2 children)

      by captain normal (2205) on Monday May 04 2020, @08:18PM (#990411)

      "rape allegation and dementia."
      Are you talking about the "Old Pussy Grabber" who can't remember what he said a couple of hours ago?

      --
      "If men were angels, government would not be necessary." James Madison
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:01AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:01AM (#990536)

        Biden's new campaign logo: https://i.imgur.com/Wqyqj1J.jpg [imgur.com]

        • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday May 05 2020, @03:03AM

          by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday May 05 2020, @03:03AM (#990556) Journal

          NIIIICEeeeee.

          I love that!

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @02:43PM (82 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @02:43PM (#990224)

    New York City [nyc.gov]

    • population: 8.4 million
    • cases: 168,845 (2% of population)
    • hospitalized: 42,909 (0.51% of population, 25.4% of reported cases)
    • confirmed deaths: 13,319 (0.16% of population, 7.89% of reported cases, 31% of hospitalizations)
    • probable deaths: 5,387 (0.06% of population, 3.19% of reported cases, 12.6% of hospitalizations)

    This is versus a normal death rate [ny.gov] of 53,806 (0.64% of population, vs 0.74% for the US as a whole [cdc.gov]) for all of 2017 in NYC.

    Also, the 3.4% overall worldwide COVID-19 mortality estimate is getting a little old [worldometers.info], but these NYC numbers would appear to be 2-3x higher, so either their reported cases are lower, or they're dealing with a significantly deadlier strain, or they've got really poor medical care.

    --
    🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 3, Disagree) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @02:52PM (6 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @02:52PM (#990229)

      Different cultures, different governments, different methods of coping with the challenges:

      https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/05/04/third-russian-doctor-falls-from-hospital-window-after-coronavirus-complaint-a70176 [themoscowtimes.com]

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday May 04 2020, @03:47PM (5 children)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Monday May 04 2020, @03:47PM (#990258) Homepage

        So, in California's case, filthy Mexicans. Good case for more strict border controls and defunding of sanctuary cities.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @03:52PM (4 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @03:52PM (#990261)

          Rando beano bashing triggered by the word Culture... is it already 5pm where you are?

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday May 04 2020, @03:56PM (2 children)

            by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Monday May 04 2020, @03:56PM (#990263) Homepage

            Mexicans don't wait until drinking hours to start being loud and nasty, and I don't wait until drinking hours to point that out.

            • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @04:12PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @04:12PM (#990274)

              Nice hat you were wearing at Vons yesterday!

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @04:18PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @04:18PM (#990278)

              La cucaracha, la cucaracha

              I bet your favorite part of Mexican music is the tuba, good rhythm for your step practice.

          • (Score: 5, Informative) by PartTimeZombie on Monday May 04 2020, @11:34PM

            by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday May 04 2020, @11:34PM (#990491)

            He might not be drunk, ET is terrified of anyone who is a little different to him.

            You know, Mexicans, New Yorkers, people who bathe regularly. People like that.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Aegis on Monday May 04 2020, @03:02PM (4 children)

      by Aegis (6714) on Monday May 04 2020, @03:02PM (#990233)

      Or maybe population density plays some role in the spread of a contagious disease....

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @03:30PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @03:30PM (#990250)

        I thought that was obvious: New York should be a study in near total infection. They're only reporting 2% of the population as "cases" which matches up with the global reporting of mild vs serious cases, NYC isn't reporting mild cases.

        If you follow the link in, you should find a nice animated graph (if you aren't afraid of javascript)... that shows that they seem to have "passed the peak" for new cases, admissions and deaths though there is some artificial down ramping due to incomplete reporting of the most recent data, even with that the peak seems to be past.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @05:30PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @05:30PM (#990324)

          I thought that was obvious: New York should be a study in near total infection. They're only reporting 2% of the population as "cases" which matches up with the global reporting of mild vs serious cases, NYC isn't reporting mild cases.

          I'd point out that only folks with severe enough symptoms to require medical attention and, starting in the last week or so, "front line" workers (EMTs, medical professionals, cops, transit workers, etc.) are currently being tested.

          The idea that only 2% of New Yorkers were infected before things shut down isn't all that believable, since millions ride (well, at least they used to, subway ridership is down 90% at this point) the subway, commuter rail lines and express buses which concentrated large numbers of people into small, confined spaces. I expect the number is much, much higher, since a single infected person could have infected dozens, if not hundreds, of other subway riders without ever knowing they were infected.

          And therein lies the rub when it comes to re-opening NYC. Since ~1.6 million people live in Manhattan's ~23 square miles, and that grows to more than four million on a normal work day, people are constantly cheek-by-jowl under normal circumstances.

          During rush hours, many subway cars aren't just standing room only, they're full enough that someone may need to let several trains pass by before boarding (not to mention the crowded platforms at high volume stations like Union Square), or just shove their way onto (generally with profuse apologies to other passengers) the first train they can.

          Even at only 50% capacity, social distancing is a pipe dream on subway cars and platforms.

          The goal is to get and keep the 'R' value [wikipedia.org] below 1 (i.e., each infected person, statistically, infects less than one other person), which will, if sustained, continue to reduce the number of new infections.

          Without widespread testing, contact tracing and almost universal self-isolation for both people who test positive and those who may have been exposed by them, Coronavirus cases in NYC will spike again, since a single infected person in several crowded subway cars each day could infect many others, each of whom can then go on to infect many others and so on.

          Moving millions (~5.7 million in fact [mta.info]) on the subway on a daily basis without such testing/contact tracing/self-isolation is a recipe for disaster.

          NYC Covid-19 data reporting site:
          https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data.page [nyc.gov]

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @07:44PM (1 child)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @07:44PM (#990405)

            Looking at the age distribution, it pretty clearly says: if you're over age 60 (and haven't contracted COVID yet) you need to just GTFO of NYC and similar places. Find a nice sunny spot with lots of space and pretty girls wearing masks to bring you drinks. Too bad Tahiti is closed to visitors.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @09:00PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @09:00PM (#990428)

              Looking at the age distribution, it pretty clearly says: if you're over age 60 (and haven't contracted COVID yet) you need to just GTFO of NYC and similar places. Find a nice sunny spot with lots of space and pretty girls wearing masks to bring you drinks. Too bad Tahiti is closed to visitors.

              Given that less than half of NYC households [edc.nyc] own a car, it's likely that many, if not most, of the folks you mention don't have access to private transportation to get to that "nice sunny spot" you mentioned. Because getting on a bus, train or plane might well expose them to any infected people in close quarters on the same conveyance. That made worse by the recirculated air in same.

              What's more, many don't have the financial means to pull that off either.

              Which means that many (if not most) of those over 60, can only stay at home as much as possible and hope that they don't get infected.

              Which is yet another reason why widespread testing/contact tracing/self-isolation is so critical.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @03:08PM (28 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @03:08PM (#990238)

      The censored doctors [washingtontimes.com] did a straight numerical comparison of the totals for flu and covid-19 without adjusting for the timeline. Covid-19 deaths for a month already equal seasonal flu deaths for a year, at the very least it's 12x more deadly.

      To avoid non covid-19 deaths we need to reopen wearing masks and with social distancing in place. I don't understand what the problem is here, there's no legal "right" to expose someone to a potentially fatal pathogen (it may only be a misdemeanor in CA [cnn.com]).

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @03:32PM (27 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @03:32PM (#990252)

        Covid-19 deaths for a month already equal seasonal flu deaths for a year, at the very least it's 12x more deadly.

        Love your math. Flu is seasonal, as we suspect COVID also is. Both numbers should tail off significantly (in the northern hemisphere) until late October.

        My interpretation of your data is that COVID-19 is something less than 12x more deadly, not 12x at the very least.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by HiThere on Monday May 04 2020, @04:03PM (6 children)

          by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 04 2020, @04:03PM (#990265) Journal

          There's no particular reason to suspect that COVID is seasonal. I suppose there could be in some places, if, e.g., people huddled together in air-conditioned hives to avoid the heat, or heated hives to avoid the cold. But that's about the limit of the reason we have.

          The predictions of an especially bad fall/winter is because that's also the flu season, and getting both at once would be exceptionally unpleasant.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @04:56PM (2 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @04:56PM (#990302)

            There's no particular reason to suspect that COVID is seasonal.

            Here's one: https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/does-sunlight-really-kill-covid-19-heres-what-doctors-say [health.com]

            It’s true that UV light can decrease the viability of viruses (including the new coronavirus) on surfaces

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday May 04 2020, @10:30PM (1 child)

              by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 04 2020, @10:30PM (#990464) Journal

              Yes, but...how much light has how much effect? IIUC, it isn't by a significant amount. There *is* a reasonable argument that if the surfaces are hot, the particles won't stay infectious very long. And it *MAY* be true. But how much of the spread is via surfaces rather than some other means? Most statements seem to concentrate on particles floating in the air.

              --
              Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @11:20PM

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @11:20PM (#990487)

                Most statements are politically-motivated rather than science-based; we'll find out when the seasons change.

                --
                🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday May 04 2020, @05:08PM (2 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 04 2020, @05:08PM (#990311) Journal

            There's no particular reason to suspect that COVID is seasonal.

            Aside from variations in covid infections by climate (with cooler climates tending to have a faster rate of infection than warmer climates)? And knowing that covid survives better in the colder, drier conditions of winter than it does in the warmer, more humid conditions of summer. To the contrary, there's plenty of indication that covid is seasonal.

            • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday May 04 2020, @10:33PM (1 child)

              by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 04 2020, @10:33PM (#990467) Journal

              Well, Georgia is performing an experiment to tell whether you are correct or not.

              --
              Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Immerman on Monday May 04 2020, @04:12PM (8 children)

          by Immerman (3985) on Monday May 04 2020, @04:12PM (#990273)

          > Flu is seasonal, as we suspect COVID also is.
          Do we? I understand the southern continents have been having problems with it to, and they've been in summer. It does seem to be less contagious there, but it's so contagious to begin with that "less contagious" is still comparable to the flu during flu season.

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @04:59PM (7 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @04:59PM (#990306)

            Just because something is seasonal does not mean it falls to zero in the off season - seasonal variations can mean the difference between epidemic and mild to moderate nuisance. Also, pre-lockdown those southern hemisphere cities were just as connected by air travel to the rest of the world as everybody else...

            Anyone who takes "sunlight kills viruses on surfaces and in the air" to mean "I'm gonna go sunbathe and cure my COVID" deserves the Darwin award they may be receiving.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Monday May 04 2020, @06:26PM (6 children)

              by Immerman (3985) on Monday May 04 2020, @06:26PM (#990365)

              It usually means it falls pretty close though.

              Flu isn't usually a problem because flu season ends just as its exponential growth is starting to really build momentum. If it didn't we could expect most people to catch it every year, instead of averaging around 5%, And we could expect 10-20x as many total people (600+ thousand Americans/year instead of the usual 30-60k). It still spreads in the off season, but environmental conditions make it less contagious so that the contagion rate drops from about 1.5 new infections per contagious individual, to well under 1. And once you fall below 1 you no longer have exponential growth, and the total number of active cases rapidly trends toward 0.

              As for international spread - that actually doesn't matter that much beyond the initial infection. Once you have a handful of unquarantined local cases of an infectious disease you're facing your own exponential growth curve, which tends to rapidly outpace the international flow.

              It's not like Australia was able to just ban international travel and they were fine - COVID was still spreading fast enough within their population to be an issue during the summer. But it did mean that their lockdown and other precautions were far more effective than in the northern hemisphere, where the base contagion rate has been much higher. Now we're seeing the seasons starting to change though - and if they don't manage to stamp it out completely before then, it'll start being a much worse problem, just as it has been for us in the north.

              Likewise, we in the north will be getting a bit of a respite - it's going to get a lot easier to control the spread, but if we stop taking precautions it's still going to spread like a bad flu season that never ends.

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @07:47PM (5 children)

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @07:47PM (#990407)

                It's all about the R value - if your R is greater than 1.0, you've got an exponentially growing pandemic, below 1.0 it tends to die out naturally. Seasonal flu hovers around the 1.0 mark, a bit over during cold season and a bit less in the warm months. It's not a big difference in infectious potential, but it's a highly significant one.

                --
                🌻🌻 [google.com]
                • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Monday May 04 2020, @09:22PM (4 children)

                  by Immerman (3985) on Monday May 04 2020, @09:22PM (#990438)

                  Right. And available evidence puts the best estimates of R-value for "summer COVID" far enough over 1 to be a problem, while "Winter COVID" is well over 2

                  Technically that is seasonal variation, but while the flu varies between bad gone so that there's a "flu season", COVID will probably fluctuate between bad and worse - without precautions there will be no "COVID season", it'll be a year-round problem.

                  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @09:31PM (3 children)

                    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @09:31PM (#990444)

                    And available evidence

                    Available to whom? So much political posturing, distortion of the numbers in both directions for various motives - teasing the truth out of that is pretty well impossible.

                    I do believe (most of) the trailing numbers like admissions, deaths, and they're showing pretty clear "past the peak" behavior now- not that we can't get a Denver bounce, but hopefully the vulnerable are taking care of themselves and mostly being taken care of when they can't to protect them from a bounce.

                    The Georgia governor's message was a little muddled, but I believe the right thinking was behind it: "for 90%+ of the population life goes on as normal now, shelter in place if you're vulnerable." Who knows? it _might_ work.

                    --
                    🌻🌻 [google.com]
                    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Immerman on Monday May 04 2020, @10:25PM (2 children)

                      by Immerman (3985) on Monday May 04 2020, @10:25PM (#990460)

                      You're right that statistics are clouded by many factors, but it seems to me we have two groups - the public health experts saying it's serious, with an R0 value in the 2-3.5 range, and politicians and pundits saying it's not. I know which group I trust more.

                      >they're showing pretty clear "past the peak" behavior now

                      Right - in the face of dramatic efforts to artificially lower the R0 value. Remove the effort, the R0 value goes back up, and we're no longer past the peak.

                      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @11:18PM (1 child)

                        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @11:18PM (#990484)

                        The question is: are the efforts still being expended in the correct places for the elderly and otherwise vulnerable, time will tell.

                        --
                        🌻🌻 [google.com]
                        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @11:54PM

                          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @11:54PM (#990496)

                          are the efforts still being expended in the correct places for the elderly and otherwise vulnerable

                          What efforts? Suspending state nursing home inspections? Prohibiting family visits to conveniently hide problematic conditions inside? Judging by the numbers, the "efforts" aren't yielding any results to write home about. At least my state hasn't had to clean up an abandoned nursing home filled with dead and dying livestock yet.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @04:25PM (9 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @04:25PM (#990283)

          Love your math. Flu is seasonal, as we suspect COVID also is. Both numbers should tail off significantly (in the northern hemisphere) until late October.

          The first Spanish flu outbreak was in the Summer and there's limited and conflicting data for sars2 transmission.

          My interpretation of your data is that COVID-19 is something less than 12x more deadly, not 12x at the very least.

          It's not my data and you're overlooking that we've already slowed the transmission rate with social distancing and lockdowns. For reference, CDC estimates for seasonal flu over the last decade vary between 12,000 and 61,000 while NYC alone has reported around 25,000 Covid-19 deaths. The UK has an average of 17,000 yearly and recent record of 28,300 seasonal flu deaths in 2014/15 while their current hospital death toll from covid-19 28,700. All considered, where does your guesstimate now lie if we reopened tomorrow without taking any measures to reduce transmission?

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday May 04 2020, @05:21PM (8 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 04 2020, @05:21PM (#990318) Journal

            The first Spanish flu outbreak was in the Summer

            And yet we have stuff like this [nih.gov]:

            It has never been clear, however, where this pandemic began. Since influenza is an endemic disease, not simply an epidemic one, it is impossible to answer this question with absolute certainty. Nonetheless, in seven years of work on a history of the pandemic, this author conducted an extensive survey of contemporary medical and lay literature searching for epidemiological evidence – the only evidence available. That review suggests that the most likely site of origin was Haskell County, Kansas, an isolated and sparsely populated county in the southwest corner of the state, in January 1918 [1]. If this hypothesis is correct, it has public policy implications.

            [...]

            That left the United States. Jordan [Dr. Edwin Jordan, editor of The Journal of Infectious Disease] looked at a series of spring outbreaks there. The evidence seemed far stronger. One could see influenza jumping from Army camp to camp, then into cities, and traveling with troops to Europe. His conclusion: the United States was the site of origin.

            A later equally comprehensive, multi-volume British study of the pandemic agreed with Jordan. It too found no evidence for the influenza's origin in the Orient, it too rejected the 1916 outbreak among British troops, and it too concluded, "The disease was probably carried from the United States to Europe [5]."

            Australian Nobel laureate MacFarlane Burnet spent most of his scientific career working on influenza and studied the pandemic closely. He too concluded that the evidence was "strongly suggestive" that the disease started in the United States and spread with "the arrival of American troops in France [6]."

            The Fall 1918 spread of an even more serious influenza strain was well documented. Again, typical seasonal behavior.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @05:45PM (7 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @05:45PM (#990334)

              The Fall 1918 spread of an even more serious influenza strain was well documented. Again, typical seasonal behavior.

              Summer flu is atypical [nih.gov] and Covid-19 isn't flu, we're using the comparison as something we are all familiar with. Seasonality is something we do not yet know [newscientist.com]

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday May 04 2020, @05:59PM (6 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 04 2020, @05:59PM (#990348) Journal

                Seasonality is something we do not yet know

                Given that we already see seasonality differences of the expected sort and covid viruses are known to survive better under cooler, drier conditions, I think we have demonstrated seasonality.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @06:34PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @06:34PM (#990371)

                  Remember back when the idiots at the WHO declared multiple epidemics but refused to call it a pandemic? Multiple epidemics is how seasonality develops. [smw.ch] We've not yet reached that point and the virus may mutate or disappear before we do.

                • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Monday May 04 2020, @09:27PM (4 children)

                  by Immerman (3985) on Monday May 04 2020, @09:27PM (#990442)

                  Except that seasonality typically implies a season when the number of cases starts diminishing because the virus can't spread as fast as people are recovering. And COVID has been spreading just fine in the summer. Not as fast as in the winter, but fast enough that it's not just going t go away like seasonal flu does.

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday May 05 2020, @03:07AM (3 children)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 05 2020, @03:07AM (#990557) Journal

                    And COVID has been spreading just fine in the summer.

                    Far less fine than it was earlier in the year in the Northern latitudes. For example, there was a much faster spreading of the disease in Europe than in India despite the more aggressive control measures and better health care systems.

                    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:19PM (2 children)

                      by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:19PM (#990687)

                      Yes, in the "off-season" it's easier to control, but it still spreads without control attempts. That's a huge difference from seasonal diseases which basically go away on their on once their season is over.

                      My big complaint is that almost everyone trying to portray this as a seasonal disease is trying to pretend COVID will go away when its season is over, and things will go back to normal, despite all available evidence indicating that is *not* what will happen.

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:49PM

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:49PM (#990713) Journal

                        Yes, in the "off-season" it's easier to control,

                        That's seasonality right there.

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:59PM

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:59PM (#990719) Journal

                        My big complaint is that almost everyone trying to portray this as a seasonal disease is trying to pretend COVID will go away when its season is over

                        Not hearing that myself. I've heard multiple mentions to some sort of fall rebound - just like the 1918 influenza.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2020, @04:30PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2020, @04:30PM (#990764)

          Did you consider that we might be in the off-season of COVID?

    • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Monday May 04 2020, @03:09PM (30 children)

      by richtopia (3160) on Monday May 04 2020, @03:09PM (#990239) Homepage Journal

      Antibody testing is suggesting 15-20% of the population has or has had COVID-19 in New York. Your deaths are probably accurate; an acute case of death is still very impactful.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @03:45PM (29 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @03:45PM (#990256)

        My best interpretation of the numbers is that COVID-19 is indeed serious, measures should be taken, I'm not complaining about the closures nor bucking for a speedier re-opening. However, the level of that seriousness? With current measures, it looks to me like COVID may elevate normal flu deaths in the US by a factor of 2-3. Speculating about what would have happened with no closures is just that, speculation - if the health care system managed to not become overwhelmed, it "looks" to me like worst case might have been 10x of normal flu, so, kudos to the head Cheeto and his team, they averted an overwhelming of the healthcare system (at least so far), and it seems like they reduced COVID-19 deaths by a factor of 3 or so. Not as impressive as South Korea which seems to have smacked down COVID-19 as effectively as the US and world managed to do with SARS back around 2003, but, hey, he's doing his best, right?

        Also, while I'm getting older and should be pushing for the "a human life is a human life" perspective, I look at the age distribution graphs and note that the vast majority of the acute cases of death are occurring in the 65+ population, and that is indeed impactful to them, but only a loss of ~10 years, so ~13% of a life lost - and from my mid 50s, I can already tell you that those last 10 years are far from the best 13% of your life. We should do all we can to protect them, but if I had to choose between 100,000 deaths in the 65-85 age bracket, or 50,000 deaths in the 15-35 age bracket, my choice would be clearly to save the youngsters. (Cue the hue and cry of COVID deaths all up and down the age spectrum: yes, they are happening, you can tell the individual stories, but below age 50 they are quite rare - falling far below the traffic fatality statistics [asirt.org].)

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Monday May 04 2020, @04:14PM (28 children)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday May 04 2020, @04:14PM (#990275) Journal

          Annual Influenza Deaths: [health.com]
          2017-2018: 61,000
          2018-2019: 34,200

          Covid-19 Deaths IN THREE MONTHS: 67,653 [washingtonpost.com]

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @05:10PM (27 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @05:10PM (#990312)

            So, your trend for THREE MONTHS with a linear extrapolation for the year would be 270,612, or 4.4x the 2017-2018 flu season. Nevermind that we are past peak and things seem to be getting "back to normal."

            Care to place a bet on whether or not COVID-19 deaths for the year exceed 183,000 in the U.S.? I'd take 2:1 odds on that, pay you $2 for a $1 wager, if U.S. COVID deaths exceed 183,000 for 2020. No fair if you're using New York style counting where every death is attributed to COVID, regardless of test results.

            There's still the possibility that the Red States radically reopen and reproduce the Denver Double Death hump: https://arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/5DSAC7ZS65CXLBOLJGAC7QD5UA.jpg [amazonaws.com] otherwise I'd offer 5:1 odds on the 183,000 number.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday May 04 2020, @05:38PM (2 children)

              by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday May 04 2020, @05:38PM (#990329) Journal

              Care to place a bet on whether or not COVID-19 deaths for the year exceed 183,000 in the U.S.?

              By the end of this calendar year? And ignoring the part where you get to cherry pick which deaths count (a.k.a. we'll using official numbers)?

              If so, I'll take that bet.

              • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday May 04 2020, @06:28PM (1 child)

                by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday May 04 2020, @06:28PM (#990366) Journal

                US daily coronavirus deaths reportedly projected to double to 3,000 by June [theguardian.com]

                Only takes about 38 days to go from 67k to 183k at that rate.

                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @07:00PM

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @07:00PM (#990383)

                  The real question here is: will every state essentially follow New York and infect more or less everyone - particularly in the assisted living facilities and other high concentrations of old folks. Miami isn't far behind New York, this nursing home: https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/over-100-residents-staff-at-miami-springs-assisted-living-facility-diagnosed-with-covid-19/2228019/ [nbcmiami.com] has 60 beds, but over 100 cases of COVID reported between staff and residents - if that kind of screw up happens across the country, I'll lose the bet.

                  Somewhere, there's a bean counter advising policymakers that letting 200,000 of our 1.5 million nursing home residents die of COVID this year will save X billion dollars of revenue over the coming decade. X being a number FAR smaller than the COVID response has cost us already. On the other shoulder is another advisor talking about the people that would be put out of work and facilities that would be rendered unprofitable as a result and how that X billion in care cost is directly injected back into the economy generating 4X billion in near term spending by the care givers.

                  --
                  🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @07:30PM (10 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @07:30PM (#990399)

              You're missing something.

              Things are not getting back to normal. Deaths are starting to gradually decline but only with us in an economically suicidal lockdown. This plague started with a handful of infections in China. All it takes is a handful of people to have it startup again. And thanks to asymptomatic carriers, there's no way we're getting really back to normal anytime in the foreseeable future. I would take your bet reasonably happily as you laid. If you let me count deaths of despair (people killing themselves due to lockdown driven economic despair) I'd take it for all I own. We're either going to get lots of deaths of despair as the economy dies due to prolonged lockdowns, or we reopen and get lots of corona deaths. Fun choice.

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @07:54PM (8 children)

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @07:54PM (#990408)

                Sorry, I won't be paying AC for anything - contracts with ghosts are non-binding.

                people killing themselves due to lockdown driven economic despair

                Those will increase, but I wonder if there will be a net overall rise in suicides - offsetting factors such as being "allowed" to stay home and daydrink / toke / Netflix binge while cash comes in with Donnie's signature on it might just cure more suicidal depressives than the despair of not being "allowed" to go back to the daily grind just so you can barely afford the rent on your shithole.

                I think the major death numbers will be driven by how well the elderly isolate themselves, post restart. The 65+ age bracket certainly has a clear message: they're at 100x the risk of the under 45 age bracket, hopefully they've figured out how to protect themselves during the total lockdown.

                --
                🌻🌻 [google.com]
                • (Score: 3, Informative) by PartTimeZombie on Monday May 04 2020, @09:08PM (7 children)

                  by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday May 04 2020, @09:08PM (#990432)

                  ...the despair of not being "allowed" to go back to the daily grind just so you can barely afford the rent on your shithole.

                  Some billionaire keeps tweeting about how that's "freedom".

                  I'm sure he has my best interests at heart.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @09:22PM (6 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @09:22PM (#990437)

                    Only Jacinda Ardern has your best interests at heart, enjoy the transport bubble [bloomberg.com]

                    • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Monday May 04 2020, @11:20PM (5 children)

                      by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday May 04 2020, @11:20PM (#990486)

                      No idea what that article says about Jacinda, because I have no interest in giving Michael Bloomberg any money to read his propaganda.

                      Is he blaming Jacinda for sales of electric cars falling now?

                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2020, @01:01AM (4 children)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2020, @01:01AM (#990515)

                        No, it's an article from last year about Chinese EV dominance presented in my "transport bubble" framing to provide context for the actual concerns of people who understand the difference between wealth and money.

                        Been on first name terms with #40 for long?

                        • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday May 05 2020, @01:47AM (3 children)

                          by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday May 05 2020, @01:47AM (#990535)

                          Ok then. That almost makes sense I suppose.

                          I have no idea what a #40 is though. I do have some #8, but that's fencing wire.

                          • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Tuesday May 05 2020, @03:11AM (2 children)

                            by deimtee (3272) on Tuesday May 05 2020, @03:11AM (#990561) Journal

                            Jacinda is the 40th prime minister of NZ. It's one of the ways yanks refer to their leaders. I think they consider using first names to be either very familiar, or disrespectful. For a supposedly free bunch of rebels they sure have a lot of rules about how their Emperor President must be treated.

                            ps. Want to swap Jacinda for Scott the Dope? We'll even chuck in a Dutton as a bonus.

                            --
                            If you cough while drinking cheap red wine it really cleans out your sinuses.
                            • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday May 05 2020, @03:33AM (1 child)

                              by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday May 05 2020, @03:33AM (#990577)

                              Yeah, we consider calling someone by their first name to be normal social practice, and the last time I saw her at a shopping mall, she didn't seem offended when I asked "How's it going Jacinda"?

                              She smiled, and said "Not bad thanks" but she was full of baby at the time and looked really tired.

                              We have our own Scott Morrison type as leader of the opposition. Ours might be a bigger fool than yours, so no. You can keep yours, and we'll keep ours.

                              • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Tuesday May 05 2020, @04:06AM

                                by deimtee (3272) on Tuesday May 05 2020, @04:06AM (#990586) Journal

                                I don't know Simon, but that's a pretty high bar to clear.

                                --
                                If you cough while drinking cheap red wine it really cleans out your sinuses.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @10:08PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @10:08PM (#990457)

                Deaths are starting to gradually decline in areas where we think *this wave* has peaked, but only with us in an economically suicidal lockdown. Other areas of the country, especially suburban, and eventually rural areas will get their lashing from COVID-19, but it remains to be seen how well places with little medical infrastructure will handle hundreds of serious cases. The lockdowns may loosen in some areas, and in at least of few of those (Georgia comes to mind) we're going to see huge spikes in cases because some folks aren't paying attention to the epidemiological data, and don't care how many die.

                There. FTFY.

            • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Monday May 04 2020, @09:02PM (7 children)

              by captain normal (2205) on Monday May 04 2020, @09:02PM (#990429)

              Well we will start finding out in 2~3 weeks in places where there is reopening or disregarding of shelter in place and social distancing, ie---Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, Southern California, etc.

              --
              "If men were angels, government would not be necessary." James Madison
              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @09:25PM (6 children)

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @09:25PM (#990441)

                Jacksonville opened the beaches a couple of weeks ago, so far there's no detectable spike in cases as a result.

                --
                🌻🌻 [google.com]
                • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Tuesday May 05 2020, @04:13AM (1 child)

                  by deimtee (3272) on Tuesday May 05 2020, @04:13AM (#990587) Journal

                  The beach is pretty harsh environment for covid-19 really. Unless they were really crowded I don't think it's a high transmission environment. Closing the beaches was more about "no exceptions" than any real risk.

                  --
                  If you cough while drinking cheap red wine it really cleans out your sinuses.
                  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 05 2020, @12:20PM

                    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 05 2020, @12:20PM (#990644)

                    Yes, and no - the beach was opened up to sunset, so the light/heat factors weren't there. There was also significant crowding of people waiting for the opening, people from all over the state and adjacent state... we didn't go during the initial rush but we were there later, people were pretty well spread out, but the 6' distancing guideline probably got violated on us a dozen or more times in the space of 20 minutes, including on the "walkovers" where a mom, kids & dogs decided they needed to get on the walkover and push past us after we were 80% of the way across. Salt spray and strong breeze probably did help slow transmission.

                    --
                    🌻🌻 [google.com]
                • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday May 05 2020, @01:34PM (3 children)

                  by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Tuesday May 05 2020, @01:34PM (#990669) Homepage
                  Jacksonville appeared to open the beaches on 17th. And the slow and steady decrease in FL cases that took place during the latter half of April ended on May 1st, one of the first days reporting over 1000 cases in weeks, exactly 14 days later, which was followed by a sequence of days higher than the previous week's average. You can see the smoothed confirmed infections curve just begin to make an upturn then here: https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/florida . Got any explanations for that change in gradient? Increased 5G usage? Aliens?
                  --
                  Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
                  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 05 2020, @03:02PM (2 children)

                    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 05 2020, @03:02PM (#990720)

                    I'm thinking that people aren't drinking enough bleach - God knows the world would be better off if more of Trump's devout followers followed that advice.

                    Also: this particular Genie is out of the bottle, unless we're all going to crawl in a hole and have our food delivered to the door by people who take bleach showers for the next 18-24 months while we pray for an effective vaccine to be delivered (and that would be record-fast time for a vaccine), the general population is going to have to carry this virus through until we have natural immunity. Those New York graphs include age distributions, and they clearly show that the survival rates under age 65 are dramatically higher than over 65. Yes, young people do get the virus and die. Young people also die in car crashes, of various other diseases, and suicide - each in much higher numbers than COVID-19 would appear to be causing.

                    The politicians are having a hard time clearly communicating the message, but the message they're driving around here would seem to be: those at risk, elderly or otherwise compromised, are HIGHLY encouraged, ordered in some cases, to shelter in place and continue to protect themselves from exposure. The general population would seem to be reasonably safe to become exposed and thereby naturally immune, to the virus. Ultimately, this strategy should be more effective at protecting the elderly and otherwise at risk than everybody staying home for two years praying for a cure. I'm not advocating killing grandma in the name of the economy, I genuinely believe that grandma will be better off overall if the young people start moving back toward a more normal life sooner than later. The economy is fucked either way, actually it was fucked when Mr. Spray Tan's clan started pumping it with short term measures 3+ years ago.

                    On the one hand, Trump is an unmitigated embarrassment, in so many ways, including failing to lead the world and contain COVID-19 the way SARS was contained ~16-17 years ago. On the other hand, having failed to make the real difference that mattered, the US is performing (apparently in spite of our top leadership) - on a per capita basis - a bit better than Sweden and their "advanced social medicine". Trust me, I'd love to have Sweden's medical system instead of the US one, but both seem to be roughly equally as effective at handling COVID-19 in its current state, I'm guessing the slight margin that the US appears to be better than Sweden may be attributable to differences in reporting. Speculating about how things could have been different is just that: speculation. Oh, and don't overlook the continued unmitigated embarrassment of how our "business leader stable genius" Cheeto in Charge overpays for supplies, ineffectively distributes them, transparently funnels millions to suspicious receivers under the heading of COVID disaster relief, etc.

                    Explanations for why he and his ilk may win the coming elections? It must be the Aliens using the new 5G network for Jedi mind control of the weak minded...

                    Fear of the uptick in cases starting after the movement restrictions were eased? No, the trajectory still appears flat enough to stay within the capacity of the healthcare system. I do sincerely hope that those most at risk continue to stay out of harm's way, many won't - it's too bad that the fatalities will be too old to win Darwin awards, we've demonstrated in no uncertain terms how they could protect themselves if they chose to.

                    --
                    🌻🌻 [google.com]
                    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Wednesday May 06 2020, @08:08AM (1 child)

                      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Wednesday May 06 2020, @08:08AM (#991000) Homepage
                      Mostly agree with all that. However, I did notice this headline just now: "Florida Suffers Deadliest Day Yet", so that's more evidence the uptick I mentioned could likely be a real one, not just statistical noise. It all depends on the huddledness of your masses. I've seen shitty US media (i.e. pretty much all US media) use identical photos to demonstrate how crowds were failing to socially distance on reopened beaches on both coasts (nope, the Gulf of Mexico doesn't exist), and if two men say they're Jesus, one of them must be wrong. So basically I just presume everything's dewatermarked stock photos now rather than documenting the reality behind the news. As long as you're responsible, beaches are fine. The US is a very sparsely populated country - there's enormous opportunities for safely getting out and about.
                      --
                      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
                      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 06 2020, @12:12PM

                        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 06 2020, @12:12PM (#991031)

                        That photo of "LA Beaches" may well have had me in it (in Jacksonville) - we definitely had a drone fly-over while we were walking the beach.

                        Deadliest day yet, I would assume to be true and somewhat reliable evidence of an uptick. Our local and state new cases graphs appeared to be on a downslope a week ago and now are looking more like that was a temporary aberration - probably erased by the easing of restrictions.

                        To put it in "science" terms, if we can manage to segregate the vulnerable and keep them safe, letting the (mostly) non-vulnerable population contract and fight off the disease should effectively lower the R value, since you're building up large percentages of the general population who are temporary spreaders - maybe for 2 weeks or so - that then become immune. There's so much that's unknown, unknowable, untestable (or not practical to test) in this situation that the political/media messaging is guaranteed to be a clusterfuck fog of manipulation and un-truths. Given that, I'd rate the government actions of the last 3 weeks at: 7/10, could be doing much worse.

                        --
                        🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 2) by driverless on Tuesday May 05 2020, @01:24AM (3 children)

              by driverless (4770) on Tuesday May 05 2020, @01:24AM (#990523)

              So, your trend for THREE MONTHS with a linear extrapolation for the year would be 270,612, or 4.4x the 2017-2018 flu season.

              You've specifically chosen a flu season that was incredibly bad. Let me do the opposite: It's twenty times the 2011 flu season.

              You need to look at five or ten-year averages, not cherry-pick the one data set that supports your argument.

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:16AM (2 children)

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:16AM (#990541)

                a flu season that was incredibly bad.

                I specifically chose the most recent flu season for which data was provided. Also, a flu season which nobody even made much of a blip in the news about, much less threatened to shut down travel and business over.

                --
                🌻🌻 [google.com]
                • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday May 05 2020, @01:07PM (1 child)

                  by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Tuesday May 05 2020, @01:07PM (#990662) Homepage
                  DeathMonkey wrote:
                  2017-2018: 61,000
                  2018-2019: 34,200

                  You chose the 2017-2018 as an examplar, either knowing full well that it was an outlier, thus being disingenuous, or not knowing that it was an outlier, thus being rather ignorant of the field you're discussing.

                  When called on this choice, you justify yourself with: "I specifically chose the most recent flu season for which data was provided." How can you say that with a straight face when the evidence to the contrary is so near to hand?
                  --
                  Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
                  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:37PM

                    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:37PM (#990702)

                    How can you say that with a straight face when the evidence to the contrary is so near to hand?

                    I have a president that makes such stretches not only seem reasonable, but conservative, well informed and quite level headed ;-)

                    Perhaps he's behind this quote from the CDC (which used to be a reasonable source of information):

                    CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million – 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.

                    --
                    🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2020, @04:40PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2020, @04:40PM (#990769)

              How do you figure we are past peak?

              https://time.com/5800901/coronavirus-map/ [time.com]
              The chart "how has covid spread in your state?" shows all the lines going up on a log plot. That means we are still experiencing exponential spread, just slower than we were.

              "Still experiencing exponential spread" is decidedly NOT past peak in my opinion. Call me when we hit an inflection point.

    • (Score: 2) by Non Sequor on Monday May 04 2020, @04:06PM (2 children)

      by Non Sequor (1005) on Monday May 04 2020, @04:06PM (#990268) Journal

      The case mortality rate is always going to vary based on how many ventilators are needed versus how many are available (there are probably a vast number of other constraints to consider, but this is the obvious one). If 100% the population got COVID-19 at exactly the same time (maximum overlap of when they might need ventilators) the mortality rate could be in the 2-10% range (and note that's a number that's appropriate to compare to the 0.74% normal death rate). At a baseline, assume 80% of all infections are minimally symptomatic and don't get tested, 15% of infections are confirmed but not hospitalized, and 5% of infections result in hospitalizations, and assume that 80% of people who need to be hospitalized can't survive without some treatment. You can fudge those numbers up or down based on the uncertainties in some of them to get a range.

      If everyone who needed a ventilator could get one and doctors weren't forced to try to estimate who does and doesn't actually need one, a reasonable guess is that the death rate would be higher than the flu (because the symptoms are worse than the flu) but probably on the same order of magnitude.

      All considered, New York's numbers are not really an outlier compared to the other data. They are an urban center that did not impose lockdown measures quickly enough to flatten the curve to fit within their healthcare capacity. The entire Lombardy region has a COVID-19 mortality rate of 14,000/10m=0.14% which is similar to the 0.16% for the NYC population. Those numbers are obviously not complete and will continue to drift up.

      Areas that flatten the curve earlier and more effectively might experience death rates less than 0.1% this year because a smaller fraction of the population will get COVID and the death rate among those who do will be managed more effectively.

      What's a bit more squirrelly is this idea that people who have cleared the virus end up getting it again. I hope this is something coming from the quality issues with the testing.

      --
      Write your congressman. Tell him he sucks.
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @08:07PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @08:07PM (#990410)

        Other than Italy, has there been any real ventilator shortages yet?

        All in all, if I need a vent, I'd almost rather not get one - there's a lot of not-so fun after effects of surviving a severe case, and I've already got enough not-so fun after effects of surviving 55 years of "normal" life.

        What's a bit more squirrelly is this idea that people who have cleared the virus end up getting it again. I hope this is something coming from the quality issues with the testing.

        We're going to continue to deal with squirrelly test data for some time to come. First: virtually nobody was getting tested. Then: the Cheeto in Charge opened the floodgates to any and every zero experience startup who had the guts, spunk and moxy to accept federal incentives to try to make test kits. Compounded by: people who don't know what they're doing administering the tests and interpreting the results, political pressures to skew the data, etc. it will be a long time before anything resembling the true story is even knowable.

        Viruses evolve and mutate, the seasonal flu is the classic example and you can get that one year after year after year due to its adaptations that outpace your immune system's generalization capability. Luckily, most mutations should be in the less lethal direction, not more, and those less lethal varieties should boost the general population's immunity to closely related MORE lethal mutations that do crop up, hopefully keeping the R value of any more lethal varieties down below 1.0.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @09:05PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @09:05PM (#990431)

        Given the statistics of those dying on ventilators runs the gamut from 66%: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/928605 [medscape.com] to 86-97%: https://www.physiciansweekly.com/mortality-rate-of-covid-19-patients-on-ventilators/ [physiciansweekly.com] even the total lack of them could increase deaths by 50% at worst.
        In Israel, for one example, the peak number of people on ventilators was about 1% of the confirmed cases, tops:
        https://www.timesofisrael.com/coronavirus-cases-in-israel-rise-to-11145/ [timesofisrael.com]
        https://www.timesofisrael.com/only-38-new-coronavirus-cases-in-24-hours-as-death-toll-reaches-235/ [timesofisrael.com]
        From those observed facts, you can calculate the possible effect.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @04:25PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @04:25PM (#990284)

      Several points:

      1) Right now doctors are being advised to mark any probable case as a confirmed case, even without testing. So a large number of deaths unconfirmed deaths are being attributed to COVID. It's probably safe to say that many of these unconfirmed cases were indeed due to COVID, yet there are also likely plenty that were not due to COVID. So far as I know other countries have taken a more conservative approach to measuring deaths. So death rates in the US are going to be artificially inflated while, vice versa, death rates in other countries are probably also going to be somewhat artificially deflated.

      2) Fat. This virus, like all, tends to be especially fatal to the fat. The countries you're comparing against are generally much less fat than America and New York (which itself is somewhat less fat than America at large), and generally more healthy overall. For instance America has the 5th highest rate of cancer in the world and I suspect comparably high rates of immuno-compromised people, and various other illnesses.

      3) Testing. Given the ubiquitous nature of the virus in New York they're mostly going to be testing people that are showing symptoms while other countries have had a chance to start engaging in more research based testing. And, like a peer comment mentioned, initial widespread antibody tests in New York are suggesting as much as 20% of New York may already be infected which would *dramatically* decrease the overall mortality rate.

      4) People avoiding hospitals (and thus reducing testing/reporting possibilities) unless they're basically dying. Imagine you live in New York and are showing some pretty tell tale signs - dry cough, high temperature, chills, etc. Are you going to go to the hospital? Maybe. But I wouldn't unless I thought I stood 0 chance of recovering on my own. The reason is while you may or may not have the disease, a hospital in New York is probably the last place you want to be unless you feel like you're literally going to die. Depending on how widespread this effect is, you'd end up seeing again an artificially increased mortality rate that would only be dispelled once, again, widespread arbitrary testing was carried out.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @08:57PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @08:57PM (#990426)

        > fatal to the fat.

        Covid-19: America's Favorite Diet

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by hemocyanin on Monday May 04 2020, @04:30PM (4 children)

      by hemocyanin (186) on Monday May 04 2020, @04:30PM (#990287) Journal

      They had a mayor and public health official encouraging everyone to sit on top of each other in the subway or parades or theaters throughout February and into March.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 04 2020, @05:14PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 04 2020, @05:14PM (#990316)

        It's the "rip the bandage off all at once" approach to pandemics... I prefer the South Korea results (which we managed to do for the world with SARS in 2003), but, hey, elect a Cheeto, get orange sticky on your fingers, what did you expect?

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @10:26PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @10:26PM (#990461)

          NYC results have nothing to do with Trump and 100% to do with Democrats.

          • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @11:21PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @11:21PM (#990488)

            You're right. NYC should have been right out there from the start with all those testing kits from the CDC. I heard there were millions of them and that anyone who wanted one could get one.

            • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:24AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05 2020, @02:24AM (#990544)

              Bill DeBlasio was in a war with his health Department and telling people to go to the theater in fucking March. From the right-wing fringe magazine "The Newyorker": https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/05/04/seattles-leaders-let-scientists-take-the-lead-new-yorks-did-not [newyorker.com]

              New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, has long had a fraught relationship with the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which, though technically under his control, seeks to function independently and avoid political fights. “There’s always a bit of a split between the political appointees, whose jobs are to make a mayor look good, and public-health professionals, who sometimes have to make unpopular recommendations,” a former head of the Department of Health told me. “But, with the de Blasio people, that antagonism is ten times worse. They are so much more impossible to work with than other administrations.”
              ...
              In early March, as Dow Constantine was asking Microsoft to close its offices and putting scientists in front of news cameras, de Blasio and New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, were giving speeches that deëmphasized the risks of the pandemic, even as the city was announcing its first official cases. ... On the day that Seattle schools closed, de Blasio said at a press conference that “if you are not sick, if you are not in the vulnerable category, you should be going about your life.” Cuomo, meanwhile, had told reporters that “we should relax.” He said that most infected people would recover with few problems, adding, “We don’t even think it’s going to be as bad as it was in other countries.”
              ...
              The city’s epidemiologists were horrified by the comforting messages that de Blasio and Cuomo kept giving. Jeffrey Shaman, a disease modeller at Columbia, said, “All you had to do was look at the West Coast, and you knew it was coming for us. That’s why Seattle and San Francisco and Portland were shutting things down.” But New York “dithered instead of telling people to stay home.”
              ...
              As New York City schools, bars, and restaurants remained open, relations between the Department of Health and City Hall devolved. Health supervisors were “very, very angry,” one official told me. In particular, health officials were furious that de Blasio kept telling New Yorkers to go out and get a test if they suspected they were infected. On March 4th, he tweeted, “If you feel flu-like symptoms (fever, cough and shortness of breath), and recently traveled to an area affected by coronavirus . . . go to your doctor.” This was the opposite of what city health supervisors were advising: people needed to stay inside and call their doctor if they felt sick. Making trips to doctors’ offices or emergency rooms only increased the odds that the virus would spread, and the city’s limited supply of tests needed to be saved for people with life-threatening conditions. De Blasio’s staff, however, had started micromanaging the department’s communications, including on Twitter. Finally, on March 15th, the Department of Health was allowed to post a thread: “If you are sick, STAY HOME. If you do not feel better in 3 to 4 days, consult with your health care provider”; “Testing should only be used for people who need to be hospitalized”; “Everyone in NYC should act as if they have been exposed to coronavirus. . . . New Yorkers who are not sick should also stay home as much as possible.” One City Council member told me that health officials “had been trying to say that publicly for weeks, but this mayor refuses to trust the experts—it’s mind-boggling.”
              ...
              Eventually, three of the top leaders of the city’s Department of Health met with de Blasio and demanded that he quickly instate social-distancing rules and begin sending clear messages to the public to stay indoors. Layton and a deputy health commissioner, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, indicated to de Blasio’s staff that if the Mayor didn’t act promptly they would resign. (The next day, Layton’s staff greeted her with applause, and at least one employee offered to give her some money if she had to make good on the ultimatum.) ...
              ...
              De Blasio and Cuomo kept bickering. On March 17th, de Blasio told residents to “be prepared right now for the possibility of a shelter-in-place order.” The same day, Cuomo told a reporter, “There’s not going to be any ‘you must stay in your house’ rule.” Cuomo’s staff quietly told reporters that de Blasio was acting “psychotic.” ...
              ...
              More than fifteen thousand people in New York are believed to have died from COVID-19. Last week in Washington State, the estimate was fewer than seven hundred people.

              And this: https://youtu.be/_mCg8eWPS04?t=60 [youtu.be]

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @03:03PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 04 2020, @03:03PM (#990234)

    When I saw:

    NIH Abruptly Cuts Coronavirus Research Funding, Alarming Scientists

    it looked pretty bad. Then I read the story and *one* program is being cut. How about changing that headline to something more specific, like:

    NIH Cuts Funding to a China-USA Joint Coronavirus Research Project

(1) 2