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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday March 17 2020, @11:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the sudden-impact dept.

A lot has already happened this year. SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) which can cause COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease 2019) has been making headlines shortly after it was first reported. The first cases were reported to WHO (World Health Organization) on 2019-12-31. The virus spread. It began as an epidemic in China . The world watched apprehensively. Reports surfaced of cases in other countries and the the apprehension grew. For many folk, it turned to fear when it was upgraded to a pandemic: WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020: "We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic."

We have seen increasing efforts to stem the spread of the disease. Efforts have run the gamut. Closing of borders. Cancellation of sporting events. Conferences cancelled. Churches and other places of worship also closed. Schools closed. Panic buying of household goods and supplies. Supply chain disruptions affecting manufacturers. Restaurant, bars, and other such establishments closed. Work-from-home policies established and enacted.

The changes have been many, widespread, and continuing.

Reading about all the ways that "other people" have been affected is one thing. It seems different, somehow, when it hits closer to home and affects us directly. With many of our usual social activities curtailed or cancelled, it is easy to begin isolating and lose perspective. SoylentNews arose from a troubled period (the SlashCott) and a community has formed from that challenging period.

How have you been affected? Have you been infected? Had a family member or friend who was? Helped neighbors who are struggling? Hunkering down and isolating? (In a basement is optional.) Are you suddenly working from home and finding it challenging to manage your time? Still working on site, but now have a faster commute due to all the other people staying home? Catching up on watching TV shows? Reading more SoylentNews? How has your life changed?

From a somewhat different perspective, how have others helped you to cope... and how have you been able to help others? One of the potential impacts of social distancing is isolation and depression. I count myself fortunate, indeed, to have served this site for over 6 years and for all the people I have gotten to know, here. For those who may not be aware, SoylentNews has its own IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server. Feel free to drop in to #Soylent and just say "Hi!"

Social distancing is permanent when you're dead. So, practice good hygiene and stay safe.

Previously (oldest first):
China Battles Coronavirus Outbreak: All the Latest Updates
2019-nCoV Coronavirus Story Roundup
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Roundup
Coronavirus Roundup
Coronavirus Roundup (Feb. 17)
Roundup of Stories about the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus and COVID-19 Disease
COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 - CoronaVirus) Roundup
CoronaVirus (SARS-CoV-2) Roundup 2020-03-12
Working from Home: Lessons Learned Over 20 Years


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  • (Score: 2) by drussell on Tuesday March 17 2020, @08:30PM

    by drussell (2678) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 17 2020, @08:30PM (#972462) Journal

    Oops, forgot the link to the WHO report:

    https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/who-china-joint-mission-on-covid-19-final-report.pdf [who.int]

    Also, see:

    https://smw.ch/article/doi/smw.2020.20203 [smw.ch]

    At present, it is tempting to estimate the case fatality rate by dividing the number of known deaths by the number of confirmed cases. The resulting number, however, does not represent the true case fatality rate and might be off by orders of magnitude [...]

    A precise estimate of the case fatality rate is therefore impossible at present.

    and this might help if you would like to take a stab at predicting the next 100k outcomes:
    https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/162/5/479/82647 [oup.com]

    The case fatality rate (CFR) represents the proportion of cases who eventually die from a disease.
    Once an epidemic has ended, it can simply be calculated with the formula: deaths / cases.

    While an epidemic is still ongoing, as it is the case with the current novel coronavirus outbreak, this formula is, at the very least, "naïve" and can be "misleading if, at the time of analysis, the outcome is unknown for a non negligible proportion of patients."

    In other words, current deaths belong to a total case figure of the past, not to the current case figure in which the outcome (recovery or death) of a proportion (the most recent cases) hasn't yet been determined.

    The correct formula, therefore, would appear to be:

    CFR = deaths at day.x / cases at day.x-{T}
    (where T = average time period from case confirmation to death)

    This would constitute a fair attempt to use values for cases and deaths belonging to the same group of patients.

    One issue can be that of determining whether there is enough data to estimate T with any precision, but it is certainly not T = 0 (what is implicitly used when applying the formula current deaths / current cases to determine CFR during an ongoing outbreak).

    ...or, you can use the known outcomes like I did for rough current calculations, knowing that accuracy will improve as more outcomes are known, etc. by just using the CFR = deaths / (deaths + recovered)

    In any case, simply using deaths / total cases is essentially currently meaningless given the high rate of daily new infections and the lengthy time period before there is a known outcome.

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