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Posted (edited)

The anti-US iteration of the COVID conspiracy theory appears to have stabilized, at least on the RuNet, where it is being attributed to an 'ex-UN biowarfare expert'.

Spoiler

1) 2015 - a bunch of researchers from North Carolina experiment with human-compatible chimeras of coronaviridae from Chinese bats

https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985

2) August 2019 - Ft Detrick shuts down due to waste disposal concerns

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/05/health/germs-fort-detrick-biohazard.html

3) Late 2019 - mystery pneumonia-like disease epidemic in the US

Quote

Doctors have said that many patients suffering from acute lung illnesses appear to have vaped some THC or cannabis-related products, although others have reported using e-cigarettes as well.

Because of a severe reading comprehension failure, the above is presented as evidence of zero relationship between vaping and the purported US outbreak of COVID-19.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/11/health/trump-vaping.html

4) October 2019 - World Military Games in Wuhan, with significant US presence

Surprised they don't accuse the US of an attack outright, though.

Said 'ex-UN biowarfare expert', Igor Nikulin, is clearly a typical teller of tall tales who introduces himself as the last Rurikid in politics. But he's the media's go-to alarmist on the topic of US biowarfare programs since at least 2017 - especially ethnically selective pathogen development, a topic that has greatly agitated the Russian elite ever since a throwaway line in one of PNAS's papers.

Spoiler

I'm a great believer in physiognomy, and this guy clearly is clearly very trustworthy:

780f526e4d878c73f5a7e863cfad1973

I know this type of person, quite pervasive in the Russian academic and think-tank circles. Nothing quite matches debunking claims about the Freemasons plotting to reintroduce the gold standard via the Basel regulations... made by your own professor of economics.

Edited by DDE

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2 hours ago, DDE said:

snip

 

O58oCoV.png

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, tater said:

This year's Halloween costume, to be sure.

 

I am prepared!

YdPh35f.jpg

Edited by Scotius
Image shenanigans

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, XB-70A said:

 

Spoiler

O58oCoV.png

 

It's a probability, not a binary.

 

Hey, I'll have you one better anyway.

Where does the virus come from?

Now, who invented toilet paper?

This is a plan many centuries in the making!

56 minutes ago, Scotius said:

I am prepared!

YdPh35f.jpg

 

Edited by DDE

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Day 6 of Coronavirus Vacation: I am prepared for any “shelter and place” order that might be enacted, since the only times I’ve left my neighborhood these past few days are for hiking and nature walks. I got KSP to work so I don’t die of boredom between schoolwork and scholarships. However, I’m getting increasingly concerned about the possibility of school being closed for the rest of the year. Would that prevent me from graduating high school since I wouldn’t be able to properly complete the curriculum? What’s worse is that there are plans for at-home AP testing if we can’t be back to school for them, which, if that were to happen, would be agony. 

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Posted (edited)

New York now considering the same Shelter In Place ordered in San Francisco.

<snip>

Edited by Geonovast

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12 minutes ago, ProtoJeb21 said:

I got KSP to work so I don’t die of boredom between schoolwork and scholarships.

Sadly my current install has an unfortunate tendency to crash every half an hour.

Unheard of in KSP, I know. 68 mods, duh.

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55 years ago a man stepped out of a spacecraft in naught but a poorly-designed suit.

Now we don't dare step outside the door.

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Some content has been removed for containing political discussions.

I know it's tricky to keep political content out of a thread like this, but we need to do so. 

Thank you for your efforts.

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To be fair, given that the vast majority of deaths to this in Italy are the elderly, this is entirely unsurprising. Live long enough and everyone is sick at some level. By the time you are 119, you have a 89% chance of death that year.

81 YOs (the ave age of COVID-19 death in Italy) have a 6.4% chance of death to all causes in the US. Like I said up the thread, the grim reaper had a schedule this year, and he wants a vacation later, so he's working overtime Q1/Q2.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, DDE said:

55 years ago a man stepped out of a spacecraft in naught but a poorly-designed suit.

Now we don't dare step outside the door.

I mean, he was stepping into a sterile environment...

Edited by p1t1o

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2 hours ago, tater said:

 

That's what I've been hearing since the corona virus started making news.  That's why I've not been too worried about the virus.  Most of my concerns have been about the reactions of idiots who know nothing & can't be bothered to find out anything but rumors spread on facebook.   Not that I particularly want to get it, I'm just aware I'm more likely to die driving home from work than from corona virus.   I'm more concerned about my wife - long time smoker with early COPD, she may not fair so well.  Which of course is a bigger reason to protect myself.

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The 99% inspires.

But the only problem is that one can be sure he didn't have other illnesses usually post factum.

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6 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

The 99% inspires.

But the only problem is that one can be sure he didn't have other illnesses usually post factum.

Another report from an Italian town that tested everyone found that 90% of the positives were in people who didn't get sick.

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11 minutes ago, tater said:

Another report from an Italian town that tested everyone found that 90% of the positives were in people who didn't get sick.

Source? I saw 50% there. Which is still amazingly high.

And also horrifying since literally everyone I know could have it and be passing it to everyone else and not know until someone is susceptible.

Some research indicating that blood type is an indicator, with O being nearly bulletproof and A being more susceptible. Would make sense given the receptor binding mode of the virus.

Also, what do you think of these numbers?

 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

And also horrifying since literally everyone I know could have it and be passing it to everyone else and not know until someone is susceptible.

It's not horrifying, it means it's far closer to flu. It also means that if you get it you're not likely to know.

The CFR is a function of tested cases, not actual cases. The more asymptomatic cases there are, the lower the actual mortality rate is.

I thought I posted that tweet up the thread a ways. Here is it:

Previous data suggested 80% had mild disease. That's >0 symptoms.

People seeking testing either have some flu-like symptom (so they are worried), or they were in proximity to someone with COVID-19 (or they think has it) and are worried. I think the testing is highly biased towards having some symptoms, and in many cases testing is predicated on symptoms, in SK, they took a brief history at the drive throughs, then took a temp, and only those that met some testing criteria got swabbed.

Community spread implies at least 1% infection among the population, generally, there are millions of cases in the US already, and there were millions in China even as we were told "80k."

Downside? It's all over the place.

Upside? It's maybe 10X less deadly (still worse than flu, but same order of magnitude).

 

The pandemic guy at Hopkins said as much on that podcast. The SK CFR is the upper bound, he thinks it's between that and seasonal flu.

Edited by tater

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I'm just not buying it. The "seasonal flu" does not lead to country-wide lockdowns and complete saturation of the healthcare system. Something about this virus is definitely worse than the "seasonal flu".

Yes, some of the reaction from people is panic, but all we have to do is look at countries that did not react fast enough or hard enough and we see some serious trouble going on there.

In the end, if countries go into quarantine and "social distancing" for a few months and the final death toll is in the thousands rather than millions, a lot of people are going to question whether it was an overreaction. But the whole goal of such measures is to keep the death toll from getting into the millions! Sure, it's an uncontrolled experiment, so who knows for sure? But right now I think it's a best-case scenario if by next year all the memes are about overreactions instead of being about funerals.

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2 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

I'm just not buying it. The "seasonal flu" does not lead to country-wide lockdowns and complete saturation of the healthcare system. Something about this virus is definitely worse than the "seasonal flu".

Yes, some of the reaction from people is panic, but all we have to do is look at countries that did not react fast enough or hard enough and we see some serious trouble going on there.

In the end, if countries go into quarantine and "social distancing" for a few months and the final death toll is in the thousands rather than millions, a lot of people are going to question whether it was an overreaction. But the whole goal of such measures is to keep the death toll from getting into the millions! Sure, it's an uncontrolled experiment, so who knows for sure? But right now I think it's a best-case scenario if by next year all the memes are about overreactions instead of being about funerals.

I think what we've been seeing, in terms of the social reaction, is a feedback loop. Citizens panic, demand that government does something. Government does something. Citizens see government action and decide that if the situation requires government action it must be really bad. Leading to more panic and more demands that the government do something. I think that one of the big things that has shaped this situation that wasn't present in earlier pandemics is social media. People's lives are so saturated with information at this point that, even when they are getting good information (as opposed to fake news and conspiracy theories) it is still leading many of them them to catastrophize things.

Maybe if we told people that, in addition to washing their hands, they should wash their phones too, it might help things to calm down a bit.

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I wrote about the impact of pseudoscience on this public health crisis:

https://medium.com/@davidstarlingm/creating-coronavirus-f0cfbc3429f3?source=friends_link&sk=2573760bc32147cc4c42d18f26a537b3

10 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

I'm just not buying it. The "seasonal flu" does not lead to country-wide lockdowns and complete saturation of the healthcare system. Something about this virus is definitely worse than the "seasonal flu".

Yes, Italy is case in point.

During the 2018-2019 flu season, there were 490,600 hospitalizations for the flu in the United States. 34,200 died and 456,400 recovered. In Italy right now, they have closed 7,000 cases, of which 3,000 died and 4,000 recovered. Those are not good numbers, no matter how you try to work it.

The total number of cases reported in Italy right now is 35,713. Some of those will die. But even if none of them die, that's still an 8 percent death rate. The death rate after hospitalization with the flu in 2018-2019 was 6.9 percent; the death rate for people who received some sort of medical attention was 0.2%. So we can say that even if no one else in Italy dies (and right now the death rate is climbing exponentially), COVID-19 is at least between 115% and 4,000% as fatal as the flu.

These numbers are especially not good when the spread of the virus is so easy and people pass it asymptomatically.

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16 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

I'm just not buying it. The "seasonal flu" does not lead to country-wide lockdowns and complete saturation of the healthcare system. Something about this virus is definitely worse than the "seasonal flu".

Yeah, I agree, worse than seasonal flu. A bad seasonal flue has a ~0.1 total mortality rate. Total. Meaning estimated flu deaths over estimated cases. The number of cases in this case is 10s of millions every year, of which a tiny fraction are confirmed via testing (maybe 1.5%?).

The "Case Fatality Rate" that appears on the news when done for seasonal flu using the same metrics would be a 7% CFR (35k deaths over 500k positive tests). Instead, they take the 35k deaths, and divide what they estimate the actual flu cases to be (say 35 million). Then they get a TFR of 0.1 (not a CFR, technically, the denominator is an estimate far in excess of the tested cases—they also use medical diagnosis, so your doc says "flu" with no test, that counts, they don't do this for COVID-19 yet.

Right now we only have the positive tested cases.

For WA this is a CFR of ~5% (52/1012). Of course if the actual number of cases in not 1012, but 10,120, then the TFR is 0.5% (Total Fatality Rate). Community spread indicates the % infected is could be more like 75k. That would make the total mortality rate 0.07%—very much seasonal flu territory.

These are average numbers, of course. It could STILL be worse than flu, even with mortality roughly the same. Why? Median IC stay for a flu patient that ends up in the ICU is ~5 days, it's nearly 3X that for this. So easy to run out of beds—then care declines, and mortality rises. Also, a higher % could require hospitalization short of the unit. Strain resources.

 

16 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

Yes, some of the reaction from people is panic, but all we have to do is look at countries that did not react fast enough or hard enough and we see some serious trouble going on there.

I agree, but I think that we lack a lot of really useful data.

 

16 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

In the end, if countries go into quarantine and "social distancing" for a few months and the final death toll is in the thousands rather than millions, a lot of people are going to question whether it was an overreaction. But the whole goal of such measures is to keep the death toll from getting into the millions! Sure, it's an uncontrolled experiment, so who knows for sure? But right now I think it's a best-case scenario if by next year all the memes are about overreactions instead of being about funerals.

The trouble is that people have no expectation about normal numbers of deaths, because they are not reported on the news.

8.6% of all 84 years olds in the US die every year, for example. If thousands of 84 YOs die of this, how do we sort them from the ones who would have died of something else this year (their underlying heart disease, for example)?

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6 minutes ago, tater said:

These are average numbers, of course. It could STILL be worse than flu, even with mortality roughly the same. Why? Median IC stay for a flu patient that ends up in the ICU is ~5 days, it's nearly 3X that for this. So easy to run out of beds—then care declines, and mortality rises. Also, a higher % could require hospitalization short of the unit. Strain resources.

This is the problem I've been hearing about from the health professionals I talk to. It's not that the virus or its mortality rate is that bad on itself, but it's highly contagious and there are no resources for everyone. So even people with other conditions and problems will end up dying because ICU is overflowing with Corona patients. 

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

The total number of cases reported in Italy right now is 35,713. Some of those will die. But even if none of them die, that's still an 8 percent death rate. The death rate after hospitalization with the flu in 2018-2019 was 6.9 percent; the death rate for people who received some sort of medical attention was 0.2%. So we can say that even if no one else in Italy dies (and right now the death rate is climbing exponentially), COVID-19 is at least between 115% and 4,000% as fatal as the flu.

These numbers are especially not good when the spread of the virus is so easy and people pass it asymptomatically.

True, the relative death rate for patients needing the unit is a decent metric, but the % infected who get to that point also matters. The "some sort of medical attention" value doesn't do much for us, as that;s about half of flu cases, and is in effect people going to the doc for no good reason (it's self-limiting, they can't treat a virus). The hospital admits are a better number, because they won't admit them without a decent reason.

So ~7% is not nearly as bad as Italy, which is what, 30% of hospitalizations? So worse than flu, but same order of magnitude. 4X? If the SK numbers hold, 6X.

 

37 minutes ago, luizsilveira said:

This is the problem I've been hearing about from the health professionals I talk to. It's not that the virus or its mortality rate is that bad on itself, but it's highly contagious and there are no resources for everyone. So even people with other conditions and problems will end up dying because ICU is overflowing with Corona patients. 

The trigger for this is quite low.

My wife's hospital has 2 hospitals across town from each other. Downtown has 42 ICU beds (the head ICU doc is a buddy, used to be our housemate in college), Rust has 10 beds.

So 52 cases swamps that hospital. (there are 2 other systems in town, including the U, which is the largest). So maybe 100 cases? (EDIT: UNM has more, so it's maybe more like 150-200 in town).

Yeah, that's a huge problem.

The whole "a million could die" in the US thing could well be true, but nearly 3 million people die in the US each year, and over a million die from diseases that also negatively impact COVID-19 survival. Some of the people who WILL die of a heart attack this year might die of this instead (but they'd still be dead by 2021).

I have no reason to minimize this, my wife is suited up on the front lines as I type this.

Edited by tater

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