Coronavirus

What Current Data Tell Us About How the Pandemic Could Play Out This Winter

Peaks and valleys, a fall peak, or a slow burn?

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Winter is coming, and diagnosed cases of COVID-19 are increasing in the U.S. (and in Europe). Way back on April 30, researchers associated with the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) released a report in which they outlined three scenarios, based on past influenza pandemics, for how the COVID-19 pandemic might play out in the United States over the next couple of years.

In Scenario 1, the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 is followed by a series of repetitive smaller waves that occur through the summer and then consistently over a one- to two-year period, gradually diminishing sometime in 2021. The occurrence of these waves may vary geographically and may depend on what mitigation measures are in place and how they are eased.

In Scenario 2, the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 is followed by a larger wave in the fall or winter of 2020 and one or more smaller subsequent waves in 2021. This pattern will require the reinstitution of mitigation measures in the fall, in an attempt to drive down the infection's spread and to prevent health care systems from being overwhelmed. This pattern is similar to what was seen with the 1918–19 Spanish influenza pandemic.

In Scenario 3, the first wave of COVID-19 in spring 2020 is followed by a "slow burn" of ongoing transmission, but without a clear wave pattern. This third scenario likely would not require the reinstitution of mitigation measures, although cases and deaths would continue to occur.

So: Six months later, how has the pandemic actually been evolving? Let's take a look at the the daily diagnosed cases as recorded by the COVID Tracking Project.

Eyeballing the trend in daily diagnosed U.S. cases would seem to rule out the slow burn of Scenario 3, but the data cannot yet distinguish between the peaks and valleys in Scenario 1 and the fall peak in Scenario 2.

Although the number of diagnosed cases is ascending, the COVID Tracking Project's data on deaths have been flattish at around 900 per day. That suggests that a different, less vulnerable age cohort has been getting infected and that clinicians have gotten better at treating COVID-19 patients. But in the absence of widely deployed effective vaccines, that trend isn't likely to remain flat if the pandemic tracks Scenario 2.

NEXT: Glenn Greenwald Resigns from The Intercept, Citing 'Pathologies, Illiberalism, Repressive Mentality' of Pro-Biden Newsroom

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  1. Oh god shut the fuck up and sit down already clown.

    1. Ruder than I’d have put it, but yeah, that.

      Open up already, and stop freaking out over a respiratory virus that is easier than the flu for young people to weather. Or sit in your house and lock the doors, but stop demanding that the rest of the country share your irrational fear.

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      2. No it is NOT easier than the flu for young people. You assholes who yap about the flu – STILL – are conflating overall flu fatality rates with age-specific (the young) fatality rates for covid. As if the flu itself does not have age differences in fatality.

        It is no longer anything but a deliberate lie to eliminate all discussion about the virus itself as part of your constipated DeRpitude.

        If this virus was actually equivalent to the flu, then there would be none of the shit or fear-mongering that has happened. The sole purpose of your deceit is to reinforce all the evil of your politicized crap.

        You commenters here are an infected boil

        1. Fuck off and die, you cowardly piece of lefty shit.

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        2. Flu kills somewhere between 120 – 150 kids every year. COVID, none, other than some anecdotal cases.

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    2. unreason avoids talking about states like Georgia because we never had a lockdown, have no masks requirement, businesses and schools are open, and 7,923 deaths while infected in 8 months.

      Out of 10 million residents and millions of people that pass through Georgia’s interstate and the busiest airport in the USA.

      1. Plus, it’s almost like all of America must suffer just so Boomers don’t die off before they think they should.

        1. This^

          The actual DEMOGRAPHIC dying, are the one’s wanting “live” and continue to “see family” while they’ve “had a good life”….followed by some obese 67-year-old screaming at everyone to stop killing Grandma and what they mean by “Grandma” is him/herself.

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    3. It’s a casedemic. The pandemic was over in April. -RN

    4. That’s USA President Trump didn’t tell his supporters to Target and Run Bidens us and those following it off the Road! That’s just Plain Ridiculous. He would not endanger his campaign like that or risk being arrested for doing such a thing. The ones who did it were being A-holes on their own. Either way, that was Wrong to Do That……Click For Full Detail.

  2. Trump – dead last of any POTUS since Eisenhower in economic growth:

    https://twitter.com/SteveRattner/status/1321794695698284544/photo/1

    1. Joe Biden is a crook..

      1. And we would have proof if Tucker Carlson’s dog had not eaten the documents.

        1. Idiot, Carlson sent copies of the documents through the mail to see if your fellow idiots would fuck with them. They did, which now leads to the question of, “How did they know?”

          We need a better class of troll.

        2. It’s so bad that Joe the hoe and Hunter the pimp haven’t denied it; they rely on lefty shits like M to run interference.
          How’s it feel to be a useful idiot, lefty shit?

    2. PS: Joe Biden is corrupt AF!

      1. Show don’t tell. The millions of people lining up to rid the country of the fat orange lunatic need to know if there is something about Biden that makes him worse than that shrieking monstrosity, or if you’re just a sad little Brownshirt with no beliefs or principles other than a Jonestown-like devotion to insanity.

        1. Libertarian anytime soon? Please don’t tell me you’re anything but a sad “progressive.”

        2. It’s so bad that Joe the hoe and Hunter the pimp haven’t denied it; they rely on lefty shits like shitstain here to run interference.
          How’s it feel to be a useful idiot, lefty shit?

    3. Idiotic contextless chart. There are hundreds of things that affect GDP growth, and who is President at the time is a minor one. Also, penalizing Trump for a global economic crash caused by the reaction to a global pandemic, when most of the most stringent, economy-killing measures in the US have been taken by state and local officials, is completely dishonest.

  3. Why would you not use deaths by date?

    Is it cause the graph looks completely different?

    1. Although the number of diagnosed cases is ascending, the COVID Tracking Project’s data on deaths have been flattish at around 900 per day.

      RTFA

      1. Which is also sorted by date of report.

        Great retort.

      2. More like 700 a day, which still seems implausibly high.

        1. Note the peak in the daily deaths chart in early August, about 4 weeks after the mass protest super spreader event.

        2. There is definitely a large difference in the reported date of death and when the death actually occurred. Many of the deaths being report now happened a couple of months ago.

        3. It’s not high at all. If we tracked colds and flus as cases every year, we’d see the same. The problem is that the govt and the media have brought this to the attention of a public who 1) doesn’t understand their own bodies/biology, 2) doesn’t know what normal respiratory disease looks like since they’ve never had it shoved down their throats, 3) had tuned everyone and their mother into a so-called infectious disease expert so that people like me who have done this a long time have to remind them that 40k years of human evolution and immunity to pathogens (primarily T cell immunity) means you still aren’t dead.
          Really! How are you even HERE? Start THINKING!!!!!!!

  4. The chart on deaths (which is likely more accurate than case numbers due to changing testing criteria and capacity) seems most similar to the slow burn scenario.

    1. Impossible. The slow burn was ruled out. Ruled. Out.

  5. WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. It’s a virus.
    It will change over time.
    A few people will get sick no matter what.
    Of the sick, a few will die, mostly older folks with other serious medical issues that would also kill them.
    Just open up the economy, and let my people go.

    1. while the economy should never have been forced to close and all actions should be voluntary, the dismissive “just a virus” attitude demonstrates a great deal of ignorance.

      what kind of virus, or fatality rate has never been the issue (other than the fatality rate isn’t zero.) the issue is that it is novel. there is no distributed immunity, and it spreads very quickly and easily. with that reality, even if the serious cases are a small percentage of all cases, those can rapidly overwhelm hospitals if too many people catch it too quickly. this means you reach a point where people die, not because they caught the virus, but because they caught the virus and the resources to treat them were insufficient.

      we should be fighting the government overreach and we should be underlining the importance of consent and voluntary action…… but we should not be encouraging irresponsible behavior and attitudes. i don’t think we should have motorcycle helmet laws, but i would never encourage anyone to ride without one.

  7. I wonder if other scenarios are possible, or if these are the only three.

    1. The plot would be considerably thickened by the Yellowstone Eruption Scenario or the Asteroid Strike Scenario.

      1. At this point, it would be worth either one – – – – – – – – – –

        1. Best comment so far . . . 🙂

    2. How dare you question The Science!

      1. Because science is facts, not some fascist fantasy from a guy in a white coat.
        https://thefederalist.com/2020/10/29/these-12-graphs-show-mask-mandates-do-nothing-to-stop-covid/

    3. Scenario 2 (fall peak) is the one that was always going to happen. Which was why a summer shutdown was exceedingly stupid.

      1. There is no way that Scenario Two is gonna happen. The cases have been up for long enough to show an exponential rise in deaths like we had in April but that death rate is not happening now, not close.

        1. No – scenario 2 is still the most likely scenario absent some other info.

          It is transmitted like a respiratory virus (even though it seems to be a vascular disease not a respiratory disease) so it has the seasonal/cyclical growth/decline similar to endemic flu. That means what look like waves.

          If the contagiousness is more pre/early symptomatic (when people are ‘normal’), then the virus growth (before herd immunity eliminates the pandemic phase) is similar to algae growth in a pond and all other biological growth. IOW the last couple weeks before the end state (herd immunity) are magnitudes worse than all the weeks before that combined.

          If the contagiousness is way post-symptomatic (eg smallpox, ebola, plague, SARS/MERS – ie mostly contagious after hospitalization), then the disease tends to be isolated and burned out quickly long before an actual ‘herd immunity’. ie waves tend to diminish over time.

          1. As an aside – the ‘other info’ is things like treatment protocols, massive ramp up of effective vaccines that expose the non-exposed to the vaccine effects rather than the disease itself, etc.

            The non-medical (voluntary or mandatory) actions don’t really change things long term. They don’t really ‘stick’ anywhere. If mandated, people defy. If voluntary, people ignore. It can make things look like they are spread out over three or more waves instead of two. But that’s basically irrelevant.

            1. The UK is a good example of the very slow rise of deaths, which is entirely consistent with a normal winter season. Take the UK’s peak death rate in the spring, go back a month then calculate the increase. It is 300.

              Now start today and go back a month, the increase is about 6. So a factor of 50 slower that the rise in April…not a big deal. FACTOR OF 50 slower.

          2. Smallpox – elimited by vaccine

            Ebola – contained by massive public health effort, quarantine and vaccination. Still a risk

            Plaugue – contained by quarantine. Controlled by public health measures and sanitation. Still around.

            SARS/MERS – unknown. Presumably gene mutation.

            Measles – still around. Controlled by mass childhood vaccination.

            Cholera – controlled by sanitation and public health. Still around.

            diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae serotype b infection, hepatitis B, measles, meningitis, mumps, pertussis, poliomyelitis, rubella, tetanus, tuberculosis, and yellow fever.
            – all controlled by vaccination

            Influenza – despite years of effort only partially contained. Still a major problem.

            So give examples of serious infectious disease controlled by doing nothing.

            If someone doesn’t want to follow basic precautions stay away from me. You get within six feet and you better back off.

    4. Trump wins; riots expand to civil war.
      Socialists end up against the wall; freedom rings throughout the land.
      (Tony cries on the Rev’s shoulder in the trumbull)

      1. Democrats started the American Civil War and clearly have started Civil War 2.0

      2. Alternatively Biden wins, we all breath a sigh of relief and Donald Trump fades to obscurity. We all win.

        1. You guys guaranteed he won’t ever fade into obscurity. My kids, who currently have a running joke about John Tyler, will tell their Grandkids about what it was like growing up under America’s Orange Hitler. He could’ve been just another old white guy in a long line of mostly white guys, no more notable than Fillmore or Tyler himself, but you’ve made sure that he won’t be just like every other President.

  8. Don’t give a shit about any of this. This is an historically inconsequential virus that will contribute to the deaths of an insignificant percentage of the human population. Meanwhile there is a real story here. You know. The one about unprecedented world wide tyranny. Fuck you Ron.

    1. “Meanwhile there is a real story here. You know. The one about unprecedented world wide tyranny.”

      This, too. You could even start asking questions about where all of the global CO2 this year came from, if the US and other Western industrialized countries shut down their economies for three months. Then start asking about how much we really know about the interplay between human-emitted/related greenhouse gases and global temperatures.

      1. China, general. Don’t forget China.

        1. Thought that even they shut down a lot of their stuff in January-February?

    2. x1000 this, perfectly said.

  9. all models are incorrect … but Biden is a crook.

  10. Who cares, get out and live your life and stop worrying about a disease that has little chance of killing you.

    1. Been working for me, even with a disease that has a huge 5% chance of me catching it, about a 1% chance it can kill me before some other disease
      Nice thing about a small community, life goes on; church every Sunday including sacraments, hand shakes.
      A bit less dining out, libraries and museums closed so more reading through books of my father.

  11. Sounds like it’s gonna be a dark winter . . .

  12. “I’ll give you a winter prediction: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.” -Groundhog Day

  13. Stay at home stay safe and also follow the Coronavirus Disease (COVID 19) Guidelines according to WHO.

  14. The rates of increase in new Covid cases in three countries that didn’t impose mask mandates (i.e. Sweden, Norway, Denmark) have been among the lowest in Europe (and have been significantly lower than the US increase).

    https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSelection=true&time=2020-03-01..latest&country=USA~SWE~GBR~ITA~POL~NLD~CZE~DNK~NOR&region=World&casesMetric=true&interval=smoothed&perCapita=true&smoothing=7&pickerMetric=aged_70_older&pickerSort=desc

    1. Denmark?

      “The extension of face mask requirements to all indoor public places in Denmark was announced by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Friday, as the country continues to see escalating numbers of new Covid-19 infections. The face mask requirement will come into effect from October 29th and remain in place until January 2nd 2021.”

      https://www.thelocal.dk/20201026/how-denmarks-face-mask-rules-will-work-at-universities

    2. “We believe the restrictions announced on Friday, and introduced on Monday and Thursday, are sufficient to deal with the situation we are in. If that turns out not to be the case, the government is ready to introduce more restrictions,” she told the broadcaster TV2. Denmark’s new extended face mask requirement came into force on Thursday morning, as did a ban on shops selling alcohol after 10pm. On Monday, the maximum number of people Danes can meet with was reduced to ten.” “We are not standing on the edge of a second wave, we are in the middle of it and the situation is serious,” she said. “Just now the situation in Denmark is better than in many other European countries, but we can see when we look around how quickly it can go. It can be a question of a few days, whether you’re in a leading position or right down at the bottom.”

      She had recently sat in a virtual meeting with other European Union leaders where it was clear that several countries were losing control of the infection. I can also see that in Europe, that if you move too late, as some countries did in the spring, you will get many more infections and potentially many more deaths and that is something we do not want to see in Denmark.”

      So if it’s Denmark you want to cite, that’s a country that thinks you respond to rising Covid numbers with further restrictions, including masks.

      https://www.thelocal.dk/20201030/danish-pm-ready-to-bring-in-more-restrictions-if-needed

    3. And as far as Norway, they’re just starting on the same path with masks.

      “As of 28 September, face masks are now mandated for everyone using public transport in and around Oslo at times when a one metre distance cannot be maintained. That’s part of a new clampdown in and around Oslo that will impact up to 1.3 million people.”

      https://www.lifeinnorway.net/coronavirus-in-norway/

      1. So… flu season. Big goddamn deal.

        1. DOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!!!

  15. Thanks Ron. Thanks to hysterical Lefty enablers like you, Trump will be reelected.

    Thanks to the Democrat Party for being nationally uncompetitive.

    Thanks to Lefties who have now confirmed for most Americans that you mean to destroy this Republic and its all hands on deck to stop you.

    1. It’s really been eye-opening for a lot of people.

      And the best part is they are going to fail.

      1. From your lips to God’s ears. I hope.

  16. The case data has no signal anymore. Deaths aren’t tracking cases, which means the current rise in cases must be an artifact. Even if treatment is getting better, you can’t see such a substantial rise in cases without *any* rise in deaths, yet deaths were still decreasing over a month after the recent ‘case’ increase started.

    It’s also very much not the case that these are actual ‘waves’, implying the same areas are hit again and again. Rather, the US is geographically large, and places distant in space can experience the pandemic differently in time. In particular, the initial “wave” was felt in northern places like New York and Illinois, who have been out of a pandemic since sometime in June. They aren’t going to experience a ‘second wave’ or a ‘third wave’ – their vulnerable population has mostly been exhausted. The summer peak happened in southern states.

    Note these distinct timings of peaks is actually perfectly predictable – northern areas tend to experience pandemics as sharp spikes with asymptotic tails, a classic Gompertz curve, usually in late spring or early summer. Sub-tropical areas tend to experience pandemics as a broader but flatter curve, usually peaking in mid-late summer. Covid-19 has been absolutely typical of pandemics. (There is no real ‘third wave’ – some local areas who managed to miss it before will spike, but it won’t be a more general phenomenon – watch deaths, not cases).

    And this is why the US typically experiences pandemics in ‘two waves’ – they aren’t actually waves once you disaggregate them geographically. The north and south of hte US spike at different times, and this makes it look like two waves when you aggregate all the data.

    Look at the state data. There’s no second waves anywhere.

    1. This is the best comment on this thread. The amazing thing is all of the data that supports your post is readily available. The best summary I have seen lately is this video…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq3AaceihtI&ab_channel=IvorCummins

      1. Bailey is an idiot.

        1. She was cute in WKRC in Cincinnati though.

    2. Agreed and well said. Even if the rest of what you said is absolute bunk (and it’s not) the first paragraph says what Bailey has refused to admit since the beginning: testing and resulting cases is no indicator of death.

    3. “The case data has no signal anymore. Deaths aren’t tracking cases, which means the current rise in cases must be an artifact.”

      There’s no “MUST” about this supposed “artifact.” Deaths are well-known to be a lagging indicator, as they have been since COVID started. Generally, they lag case diagnoses by 3-6 weeks. It usually takes about 4-8 weeks after infection for someone to die of COVID: about 1-2 weeks to show symptoms, then a couple weeks while symptoms gradually worsen, leading to hospitalization, then disease progresses as lung function decreases, other complications happen, etc.

      Given that the real upward trend of cases began about a month ago, we wouldn’t expect deaths to begin to trend upward until around now anyway. What you say about various regional waves, etc. has some truth to it, but this is not merely an “artifact.” Let’s look at the data again in a month and see whether deaths have begun to rise significantly again too. We already are seeing hospitalizations rises significantly, lagging behind the case rise. That previously has happened before deaths begin to rise (as we would expect — many patients are hospitalized with this for 2-4 weeks before death).

      Note that I’m not alarmist about any of this, but data is data. Look at how the trends worked previously. Your claim that we should see simultaneous spikes in case diagnoses and deaths makes no sense given the timelines of this disease.

      1. Its been over 4 weeks since the rising front of the “case” wave started, the deaths are not gonna follow like they did in April. The slopes of the case and death curves were very similar, they are nowhere near the same now.

    4. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some second waves in the Northeast and Upper Midwest this winter, this is happening in Europe. And this may be due to both mutation of the virus and people with no prior exposure in those areas only now being exposed.

      However, it was always crazy to compare the US and Europe. Hell, I just read an article that was trying to compare the EU and UK to the US and Brazil, respectively (due to similar populations sizes), on coronavirus case rates. This is completely crazy as the EU and UK are wholly temperate and the US has significant tropical areas and Brazil is almost wholly so. As you said, the science on respiratory illnesses like the flu is clear, Gompertz curve in temperate climates in the late fall to early spring and the shallow symmetrical curve peaking in the summer in the tropics. And because the US has both climates, you get what we saw with COVID and every other flu epidemic in the US, these two curves combined together, with a large, sharp peak in the winter and a second smaller, but broader, peak in the summer.

      And as always, It amazes me how many people have the hubris to believe we can really control these large complex systems without, at least, major unintended consequences. I predict that history will not be kind to the Europe dealt with COVID better than the US narrative after what is likely to happen with case rates over the winter.

  17. Bailey, what is the proper measure here?

    To me, it is all about mortality. Then followed by hospitalizations. I mean, you have to worry about life, and then healthcare cost. On these two measures, I think we are doing better than the vast majority of the world (as we should).

    POTUS Trump is right when he says: The cure cannot be worse than the disease.

    There is an enormous cost to economic shutdowns. I would like to see Unreason start discussing that, and discussing the trade-offs involved in shutdowns. Because all we are getting from you – the science correspondent – is blather.

    1. unreason will pivot Narrative once Trump is reelected.

      Democrat propagandists dont spend long on lies that don’t work.

    2. Well I wouldn’t say vastly better. In deaths per capita. We are 2.6 deaths per 100,000. Turkey, France, and Argentina for example are not significantly different at 2.7. India is 1.5. South Korea 1.8. Mexico is by far the worst 9.9
      Johns Hopkins data.

      I would say were are about average for larger developed countries.

    3. Letting the virus go unchecked (and deliberately spreading it in vast numbers like Trump is doing) is starting to overwhelm hospitals in all those red states you morons thought we’re not going to see any problems because something something Cuomo.

      This county is open. Cuomo has not shut down the economies in middle America. People are not going to large gatherings and restaurants because they don’t want to get sick. You fucking so called libertarians can’t seriously think you have the right to ask people even to get a mild cold for the sole purpose of juicing economic numbers for Trump’s polls.

      It’s too late for his polls to recover. He is going to lose. Can you stop advocating for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans now?

      1. Actually CHOOSING NOT to goto large gatherings and restaurants because you don’t want to get sick is very libertarian…We can choose (or not) to goto large gatherings where we may or may not get sick.

        1. Tony won’t be happy until the entire country is forced (actually forced by law, unlike what he classifies as “deliberate spreading”) to cower in their houses all winter like he will.

        2. However the libertarian argument has another side because when you get the virus you can then unknowingly make others sick.

          I could kill someone even with regular driving but doing it while drunk increases the chances.

          1. Libertarian policies require a heightened amount of personal responsibility: be better at driving and/or be honest with yourself about your limits.

            We have a lot of data at this point which points (in this case) towards “making others sick ” as largely a non-issue, with the notable exception of specific populations. That’s is why dumping resources towards general population testing is an ineffective approach whose benefits can be likened to a placebo effect more than anything tangible.

            Politicians and much of the public are still looking at the S. Korea model as if it’s an ideal we can work towards, but this stopped being possible in early February. A great many haven’t adjusted to this reality.

            1. So you are excluding “specific populations” from “ others “ as an argument? A bit of cherry picking there. The disease is not spreading all by itself.

              The libertarian take your own risk argument is kinda weak here.

              I understand that there are practical limits to what can be done to slow the spread. I have said all along that people will only tolerate this so long. A lot has opened up here, schools, almost all business.

              I think the model now is to put out fires as they occur.

              1. So you are excluding “specific populations” from “ others “ as an argument?

                Not at all. It’s a caveat: those who are high risk have a responsibility to themselves and their families to act out of an abundance of caution, and those who regularly interact with them have to have the same mindset.

                Let’s be real: you’re not catching this or any other virus from a casual, short-term interaction but the testing regime and the zeitgeist acts as though COVID-positives might as well be Strontium-90. This is a waste of resources borne out of a desire to get to a test-and-trace regime that is no longer realistic. There’s also a lot of social-acceptability CYA happening wrt testing (see the variation in tests per capital in depending on the median income of neighborhoods in Brooklyn) which skews the results as a predictive measure.

                I think the model now is to put out fires as they occur.

                Yes. But whenever the fires pop up we end up with a tedious argument as to how big of a problem we actually have, whether Trump caused/exacerbated the problem, and/or how we get to zero cases. These are pointless and stupid arguments by myopic and stupid people.

            2. Doesn’t “heightened amount of personal responsibility” literally mean “less personal responsibility”?

              Do we get to arrest you for not being responsible or how does this work?

              1. You get arrested when you cause provable harm to someone through malice aforethought or negligence. Having to take a week off work with an infection that could have potentially ended up being problematic doesn’t qualify for much.

                You’re a hate-filled son of a bitch, so I bet you’re the kind of guy that smiles when someone gets his license revoked for six months after blowing a .09 on a trumped-up stop 2 blocks from his house following a 2-mile drive home from the bar.

                1. I was just curious about what is meant by heightened personal responsibility. Because it seems like that is the equivalent of having fewer consequences for your actions.

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  19. If the Steelers get to the super bowl it is all over anyway.

    1. On the other hand, the Yankees didn’t make it to the Series, so there is still hope.

  20. Good article clearly demonstrating the paths we may or may not take, some determined by the virus, and some, as you say, determined by mitigation efforts we ourselves take.

    And of course those mitigation steps we take absent a vaccine are the simple ones…masks, and social distancing.

    Along those lines, Vanderbilt University just published a study showing the efficacy of those mitigation steps, including masks.

    “Hospitals that have mostly patients from areas without masking requirements on average have seen a more than 200% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations relative to their July 1 hospitalization totals. Hospitals that see more patients from areas of the state with masking requirements in place have been more stable or declined as the percentage of patients from those areas increases.”

    “Again, we can’t say for sure that masking is the reason this is happening because there are often other interventions in places like Nashville and Memphis where bars and restaurants are limited, but we do see a clear relationship between areas where masks are required and hospitalizations for the coronavirus,” Graves said.”

    https://news.vumc.org/2020/08/10/new-analysis-finds-association-between-masking-requirements-and-slower-growth-in-covid-19-hospitalizations/

    1. “Hospitals that have mostly patients from areas without masking requirements on average have seen a more than 200% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations relative to their July 1 hospitalization totals. Hospitals that see more patients from areas of the state with masking requirements in place have been more stable or declined as the percentage of patients from those areas increases.”

      Seriously, this is lesson 1 in “How to lie with statistics”. Number of patients without masks before: 2, number of patients without masks after, 4 = 200% increase. Number of patients with mask before: 2000, number of patients without masks after: 2100 = 5% increase/stable.

      Moreover, given that they don’t actually cite the data/paper/study anywhere in the article directly, there’s no reason to believe it didn’t just come from “an anonymous source”.

      1. number of patients without masks after: 2100

        Sorry, number of patients *with* masks after: 2100.

        1. By the way, just the graphs in Figure 1 are very interesting.

          1. Especially the part where they’ve got a line that says “No change” and the ‘no mask’ counties start out further below the line than the ‘mask’ counties.

            I mean, holy fucking shit, Vanderbilt if not the entire state of Tennessee should be ashamed of this publication. And I don’t mean because of its stance on COVID. It might as well say something like “23 out of 19 people who developed COVID in June weren’t wearing a mask”.

          2. Thus, if the <25% category had 100 hospitalized COVID-19 patients on July 1 and 200 on August 10, that group would receive an indexed value of 1.0 on July 1 (100 / 100) and 2.0 (200/100) on August 10 corresponding to a 100% increase in hospitalizations over a one- month time period. This presentation
            approach allows us to compare rates of growth across categories with varying levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations at the indexing date.

            Seriously, at any other University this would be a failing grade in undergrad courses, it presents relative rates of growth and not direct or absolute rates of growth. They’re literally claiming the flaw/lie that I pointed out to be a feature.

        2. Holy Shit! Nowhere in the entire paper does it give any absolute numbers! The only empirical number it gives is 89 (of 95) counties.

          I guess that explains why I’ve never heard anyone bragging that they got into Vanderbilt’s School of Medicine.

          1. Didn’t like it, eh? Have a great day!

            Best,
            Jack

          2. By the way, you should know Vandy School of Medicine is ranked number 31 in the country, out of about 180 schools. Tied with Columbia U and ahead of Washington U of St. Louis and Brown, NYU, and Cornell.

            So yeah, they’ve only beat out some of our most unknown schools. But here’s their address…I’m sure they’re waiting diligently for madcasual to tell them how poor they are with their analysis. Corrections soon to follow!!!

            1. So yeah, they’ve only beat out some of our most unknown schools. But here’s their address…I’m sure they’re waiting diligently for madcasual to tell them how poor they are with their analysis. Corrections soon to follow!!!

              No, they aren’t. It’s why the ‘findings’ were published on a University hosted site rather than in a peer-reviewed journal. See what I said above, they overtly claim the statistical lie to be a feature. It wouldn’t stand up to even low-tier peer review if any journal would risk its reputation by publishing it at all.

              Vanderbilt School Of Medicine – “We’re better than the Brown School Of Medicine!”

              1. Your comment was about the Vandy School of Medicine, how unknown they are…to such a smart guy like you, anyway. Guess you need to brush up then on Cornell too.

                But hey, apologies to you. I might have made a mistake. Vandy School of Medicine is ranked twice. Primary Care portion is #31. There also is the Research arm in the School of Medicine. Which maybe that article is more related in substance. The Research arm ranking in the country?

                Number 18. Ooops! Sorry.

            2. You realize this is a logical fallacy, right? You are making an argument from authority, basing your defense on rankings for the medical school not on the data.

              Now to interject some of my own expertise on this. The analysis as presented is garbage. I am a statistician, and if I were writing this paper I would have included both absolute and relative changes, because you do need that context to properly analyze your results.

              I also question the choice of the baseline date. Why pick July 10th to do your comparisons? Again, here, absolute numbers both from before (which they clearly have based on the graphs) and after this date would be illustrative, but again they omitted it.

              Now, as a caveat, this doesn’t mean the conclusion is wrong, but I certainly wouldn’t have high confidence in it based on the evidence presented and the methods used.

              1. Oops, my bad, it was July 1 for the baseline hospitalizations and July 10 to determine the proportion of patients coming from counties with mask mandates.

              2. You think you are communicating with Jackass, but somewhere around the words “The analysis…” all he sees is “blah, blah, blah…”

              3. The analysis is a perfectly good one, uses accepted methodology, and is a clear indication, in their eyes anyway, that mask wearing shows real evidence of tamping down Covid transmission. They even make the caveat that other interventions, like distancing, might also have been a factor. You just disagree with their conclusion, or their ability to make a conclusion. That’s what makes life go round.

                If you and madcasual are so sure of the error of their ways, do let them know. I’ve yet to see anyone anywhere indicate how flawed their methodology was…well, other than you two.

                As far as an appeal to authority, stop with the bs. Ron Bailey and everyone here always talk about studies and who presents them. And they cite their credentials. I put Vandy’s rankings as a response to madcasual denigrating them as a medical school the state should be ashamed of, and that no one has heard of as far as their medical school.

                Surely you, as an esteemed statistician, has heard of them.

              4. By the way, it was funny that you mention arguing based on appealing to authority. And there you were asking me to appeal to your authority because you’re a “statistician.” Note I’ve never said anything about my credentials…just a commenter.

                But yes, I have to admit I’m impressed with Vanderbilt University’s credentials. Yours? Not so much.

                Silly me.

                1. So what you saw was a white paper. A small study from one institution not a full peer reviewed published study.

                  There is nothing wrong with that. Such things in science often lead to more things and discoveries are made. In science and medicine there are often communications like this.

                  As bloodaxe said it does not mean the conclusions are wrong. You just have to take it for what it is.

                  1. And what it is is a properly reviewed analysis, with properly cited evidence, and properly determined conclusions. The analysis isn’t “garbage” as he says, his self acknowledged status as a “statistician” notwithstanding.

                    Everything Ronald Bailey suggests here isn’t peer reviewed. Everything Reason posits as fact isn’t peer reviewed. Everything I state in the comment section isn’t peer reviewed.

                    Let me know when that’s the determining factor for comments.

                    1. It is just what happens in medical science. Empirical observation. Hey we tried or looked at something and it looks like it worked.

                      Sometimes it does and sometimes it does not. Is zinc anything but a placebo. I think it is.

                      Mother Nature has her own way.

                      “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. ‘”

                      Albert Einstein or perhaps Newton.

                      Apocryphal

    2. thanks for the report on where we might be going.

      sorry for all the trolls that feel the need to lash out at anyone trying to describe reality.

      1. replied to wrong one…..

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  22. Bullshit peak-chasing aside, there is one incontrovertable fact in these graphs: Peak deaths were in April and peak cases were in July if not later. Incontrovertably from the evidence, a positive test is no indication of a deadly outcome and to assert that continued testing will predict/prevent future spikes in deaths is an unequivocal lie.

    Whether the dissociation is because the disease surprised us and killed lots of people that we couldn’t test or whether it’s because we’re better able to treat people whether they test positive or not, the graphs presented demonstrate that testing neither predicts nor prevents deaths.

    1. Testing certainly helps prevent spread of the disease and gives you more and better data. Thing is you cannot possibly mass test everyone.

      I think it makes sense to test symptomatic people and close contacts. Also people at high risk like health care workers. Anyone who wants one should be able to get it. It will obviously overestimate the prevalence in the population.

      Death is not the only possible bad outcome. This can be a horrible illness with long term consequences.

      1. Testing certainly helps prevent spread of the disease and gives you more and better data.

        No it doesn’t. Each and every part of what you said is an unequivocal lie from fundamental precepts to the epidemiological level. Testing requires people to submit (potentially) contagious samples or come into close contact with more people to collect those samples and unreliable testing produces nothing but disinformation. If you establish a quarantine, which actually does stop the spread of the disease, every time you go in or pull something out to test, you’re weakening the quarantine.

        Death is not the only possible bad outcome. This can be a horrible illness with long term consequences.

        Sure, but not just because you say so, whether the test agrees with you or not. There have to be actual long term consequences that are observable without a test. Otherwise, it’s just more of your noisy bullshit.

        1. Then we should stop doing all diagnostic work on patients with contagious disease because it just makes things worse right?

          We do this all the time. TB for example. If someone tests positive you test their close contacts and there is a quarantine protocol.

          1. Then we should stop doing all diagnostic work on patients with contagious disease because it just makes things worse right?

            Not making things better doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making them worse. But then, you don’t give a shit because you’ve already proven that you’ll say whatever’s necessary, even if it’s a lie, to achieve whatever ends you have in mind.

            We do this all the time. TB for example.

            No we don’t. Never in history have we tested 80,000 people for TB with a test that didn’t exist a year ago and tell everyone to shelter in place even before the test was developed.

            1. At one time it was a new test and we used it. All tests were new at one time.

              The rest is another discussion. And there is a long history of quarantine measures in pandemics.

            2. And I don’t know where you live but I have never been ordered to shelter in place.

      2. Meant to say underestimate.

      3. PCR testing folks randomly and/or without symptoms is not “better data”.

        1. More tests give you more statistical power.

          As I said we can’t test the whole country. I think anyone who wants a test should get one.

          Random sampling is the only way to estimate disease prevalence in a population.

          It won’t let me copy the link but
          MC Medical Research Methodology volume 20, Article number: 196 (2020)

          COVID-19 prevalence estimation by random sampling in population – optimal sample pooling under varying assumptions about true prevalence

    2. Of course it prevents deaths and morbidity. It is called diagnosis.

      1. No it doesn’t. A terminal cancer diagnosis doesn’t prevent death and morbidity. Treatment prevents death and morbidity. Seriously, this isn’t even med-school dropout level stupidity. You’re just willfully stupid.

        1. You’re just willfully stupid.

          It’s actually worse than that, you’re actively trying to force your willfull stupidity onto others.

          1. Terminal is prognosis not diagnosis.

            1. Like I said, you know the vocabulary. You know that a diagnosis is not a treatment or that a test result isn’t a quarantine, but still you say “Testing certainly helps prevent spread of the disease”. So, either you misspoke or you’re being wilfully misleading.

              1. It does because if you get a positive test you can then self quarantine. Many people have little or no symptoms but then pose a risk to others.

                The same reason hospitals require annual TB tests for workers. Actually the reason we have a low TB rate here is pretty much the same as for Covid. We do screening of symptomatic or at risk individuals then follow through with treatment and other measures so that it does not spread.

                Obviously we have different ideas about what saving lives means.

                To me mammography saves lives as much as the surgeon who removes the cancer.

              2. Point is the two are inseparable. Diagnosis is actually the harder part and what they spend most of their education on. Once you know what you are dealing with treatment is rather straightforward.

        2. You know how to treat cancer without a diagnosis?

  23. If 1,000 people were dying a day and a Democratic president were exacerbating the problem deliberately because he doesn’t like the campaign narrative a pandemic delivers, I feel like some of you psychopaths would give a shit.

    1. People die. Look it up.

      1. “People die. Suck it up. Now if I could have your attention please, I would like to bitch about my tax rate and oil regulations.”

  24. All infections and epidemics are local, which is why national figures often are of little value, particularly for a country as large and varied as the US. The graphing approach would be much more useful if it was done on a city or regional basis.

    It seems to me that a lot of areas with large outbreaks now are ones that were spared earlier on. The places like NYC that experienced a large first wave of infections are at best experiencing a slow burn of new infections now, probably from a bit of herd immunity and also having burned through many of those who were most vulnerable.

    Bottom line, the virus is gonna do what it is gonna do. All of the interventions in the world may be able to change the short term course of infection but over the long run the cumulative number of infections is not going to be substantially different because of the interventions. We might as well live life while exercising reasonable precautions.

  25. So I just saw we had 98,000 new cases today. Not sure that’s accurate, but I heard 90,000 earlier. A record. That’s insane. It’s not even November yet. Hospitals are about to be overrun, and I saw that earlier in NY. It’s not a good place. Believe me.

    1. PS. Wear your mask. It’s not an affront to liberty.

      1. PS: Fuck off and die, lefty shit.

  26. Little serf, you wear your mask, and we adults will determine if and when we should wear a mask. If we determine that we should be wearing a mask, we will do the right thing and self quarantine. Why you authoritarian loving leftists pollute this site, I will never understand. Please don’t try to claim that you are libertarian. Most of us just laugh at you morons. But, I guess you at least get a bit of attention that you desperately crave. I’m sorry that your parents weren’t able to give you the support you needed.

    1. Very interesting. This was a phone message sent to everyone in Utah today.

      “State of Utah: COVID-19 is spreading rapidly. Record cases. Almost every county is a high transmission area. Hospitals are nearly overwhelmed,” read the alert. “By public health order, masks are required in high transmission areas. Social gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer. Be careful!”

      Republican Governor. Overwhelming Republican majority in the House. Not close to being leftists in any sense of the word. Andrew Cuomo didn’t send it. Gary Herbert did. Maybe, if you lived in Utah, he’d get your attention. Maybe that would be enough to “get you to do the right thing.” After all, a leftist didn’t suggest it to you.

      https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/30/us/utah-emergency-alert-covid-19-trnd/index.html

      1. Oh, I get it.
        This is like you repeating Jo’s lie, hoping that an appeal to authority by an authority you can’t stand is enough to make the point!
        It isn’t, lefty shit.

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  29. There are no values on these graphs. It’s pure propaganda. I remember back to the 1980’s when Walter Reed prepared Fake AIDS graphs until they were called out by UC Berkeley professor Peter Duesberg. I don’t any evidence of pathogenesis. All that’s going on is existing pneumonias are being categorized as “caused” by a new agent and then the media is hyping it like the next Weapons of Mass Destruction. This is part of the psyop.

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