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  1. #101
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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    Quote Originally Posted by dneal View Post
    .... We took the economic hit for the benefit of society at large, particularly for the vulnerable. I couldn't care less whether or not that was the right choice or wrong one. Again, it seemed prudent given the lack of information....
    Well, this point that you don't care about was exactly what mhosea was talking about and I was responding to.

    I do care, and I was telling Mike what I thought. You actually agree with me (that it was prudent given the circumstances). That is exactly what I said. I only added that we still know very little from an epidemiological point of view. Mike's stats were interesting but limited in scope and power of prediction.


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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    You seem to be as selective in the reading of my posts as you are in the quoting.

    I don't "actually agree with you" that the initial response was prudent, as if I'm unaware that we share that view. I've always thought so and I've never said otherwise, although I have expressed concern over the economic impact. I couldn't care less if it was the right choice because that water is under the bridge, and it's easy to armchair quarterback.

    The topic is not what how we initially chose to act. The topic is what we should do in the way ahead, based on data we have (and continue to) accumulate.

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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    Well, you can have that conversation with someone else. I responded to Mike's claim about decisions up to this point, "knowing what we know now." That's all that I was interested in. And he seems to have stopped responding, so I am done as well.





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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    Scott Atlas, M.D., writing for The Hill

    Adding to Dr. Fauci's diagnosis: The critical case for ending our shutdown

    Basic science underlying a viral pandemic is absolutely critical. But now is the time for the design of sound public policy — and that involves a far broader formulation than a single-minded focus on stopping COVID-19 at all costs.

    Policymakers and the public have not received several key messages that are critical to alleviate fear and guide a safe reopening of society. That has led to a gross failure in policy at the state level:

    - There has been a failure to remind everyone that the stated goal of the policy — total lockdown and whole-population isolation — has been accomplished in most of the United States, including the epicenter of New York.

    - There has been a failure to reassure everyone that we fully anticipate more cases will occur, whether we test or not, with continuing relaxation of today’s isolation.

    - There has been a failure to educate the public that the overall fatality rate is not only far lower than previously thought but is extremely low in almost everyone other than the elderly.

    - There has been a failure to clarify to parents the truth about the extremely low risk to children, and that has accompanied a gross failure to offer a rational medical perspective regarding schools reopening.

    - We must not forget that total lockdown — not the virus — is generating catastrophic harms.
    Restricting other medical care and instilling fear in the public is creating a massive health disaster, in addition to severe economic harms that could generate a world poverty crisis. In the U.S. alone, 150,000 new cancer cases arise every month among patients, and most have not been seen; of the 650,000 U.S. cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, an estimated half are missing their treatments. Half of urgent-care patients are not seeking medical attention; two-thirds of physical therapy is not being administered. Transplants from living donors are down almost 85 percent. Emergency stroke evaluations are down 40 percent. And that doesn’t include the two-thirds to three-fourths of people who are skipping cancer screenings, and the more than half of children who are failing to receive vaccinations, all pointing to a massive future health disaster.

    Here’s the real failure: Public policy must never be one-dimensional. It can never be foisted on people without careful consideration of its consequences, including the harms from the well-intentioned attempt to solve the initial problem. True leadership demands far more than empathy and caution. Leaders are expected to rationally integrate the evidence, even if complicated, and then apply policies using common sense and a knowledge-based perspective. Conveying rational thinking is how to reassure the public and instill confidence in a chosen pathway.

    The total lockdown may have been justified at the start of this pandemic, but it must now end — smartly, without irrational, unnecessary requirements contrary to medical science, common sense and logic. The goal of the strict isolation was accomplished in the overwhelming majority of places. We have direct data on risk and extensive experience, individually and as a nation, with managing it, even as new cases arise. We know that gradually relaxing total isolation will lead to more infections, but that’s acceptable, given that we know whom to protect and this disease is not harmful to the vast majority of infected people.

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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    The only really sensible thing that's been said here thus far has come from TSherbs, to whit that we don't have enough information at this time. I totally agree with this. My own work intersects in part with what's going on, and it is clear that the information released is very far from being comprehensive, and a lot of it has been highly simplified for public digestion. I wouldn't, in simple honesty, expect anyone to be able to critically appraise a scientific article outside of their area of expertise. I know I cannot rely on my own education to reliably lead me through other subject fields. The Dunning-Kruger effect, of which we are all (without exception) prone to, thrives in environments such as the current situation.
    Last edited by Dave; May 19th, 2020 at 05:00 PM.

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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    The only really sensible thing that's been said here thus far has come from TSherbs, to whit that we don't have enough information at this time. I totally agree with this. My own work intersects in part with what's going on, and it is clear that the information released is very far from being comprehensive, and a lot of it has been highly simplified for public digestion. I wouldn't, in simple honesty, expect anyone to be able to critically appraise a scientific article outside of their area of expertise. I know I cannot rely on my own education to reliably lead me through other subject fields. The Dunning-Kruger effect, of which we are all (without exception) prone to, thrives in environments such as the current situation.
    The only sensible thing, or the only thing you happen to agree with? What exactly is it you're referring to?

    No one has comprehensive information, not even the CDC. Certainly there are many things they (and others) haven't released. I don't think anyone here is pretending to be an expert on epidemiology. It's a discussion forum. Are we only to talk about things we're experts on? If so, what exactly are you an expert on that should lead us to give your opinion any credence? When even the experts disagree, what are we to do then? What about the limitations of experts? Is Dr. Fauci an expert in economics, sociology, or psychology? If he's not, why should we follow blindly his recommendations when he's not an expert on many other key issues his epidemiology recommendations impact?

    We're sharing information and opinions. We're (well, some of us) are trying to discuss the topic and the ramifications. We are (again, some of us) voters, and have an election in 6 months or so. We will be retaining or choosing new leadership. The decisions they made and might make, particularly in regard to this topic, are worth discussion.

    The Dunning-Kruger effect is about low ability people overestimating their ability, and high ability people underestimating their ability; from their paper "Unskilled and Unaware". I think you're confused in your cite, because your reference makes no sense. Are you insinuating all of us are unskilled and unaware? Are some of us underestimating our skill or knowledge? How would you know? Do you personally know any of us or our backgrounds? Have you tested us? Please explain how we are all prone to it.

    Lastly, the experts were wrong. Their models were wrong. Are they unskilled and unaware? If so, why should we be listening to them?

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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    You are missing a key definition in interpreting D-K.

    The D-K effect relates to how people assess their ability at a specific task. It is not a test of intelligence per se. For example, I am not a nuclear physicist. Although I am a scientist in a different field, I may well (and likely do) overestimate my ability to understand a paper on nuclear physics. This does not mean I am stupid, or lacking the ability to learn, only that at this time I do not have a high ability for this specific task.

    We are all NOT experts on everything. Thus, by simple logic, attempting to critically read information that is not within our sphere of learned skills automatically places us in the 'low ability at this specific task' category.
    Last edited by Dave; May 19th, 2020 at 05:52 PM.

  8. #108
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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    As far as the situation with SARS-CoV-2 is concerned this is my current opinion.

    • The initial response was most likely the best response under the information that was available at that time. (The virus was novel and fast moving. Pick a plan quickly)
    • As time passes we are collecting more data on a number of factors related specifically to the virus - such as its structure, mode of transfer, 'life' cycle and so on.
    • As even more time passes we are collecting more data on how the initial response is impacting on incidence, among other things.
    • Also, as more time passes under the initial response pattern, we are collecting data on how the response itself is impacting on two other major areas: non-SARS-CoV-2 health and wellbeing, and the economy.




    Do I think that the initial response should evolve? Of course! The most pressing question of 'how' does kind of pivot (for now) on avoiding flare. Over time, if the incidence and survival rates fall, then someone is going to have to make a calculation about what level of health risk is acceptable. And naturally this will have to be adjusted to contain data on health risks that are not biologically associated with the virus, but rather from socioeconomic pressures. Not an easy task.

    What would I do? Hard to say. Given the limited information I have (and paying attention to the D-K effect of course) it would seem that some kind of re-opening is a must. This is in agreement with what others have said here. Looking around at some of the efforts made in other countries, it seems perfectly possible to get back to work if some strict conditions are satisfied (i.e. maintaining social distancing, contact tracing and so on), though caution still needs to be exercised as we are not that far into this pandemic (which is why I mentioned TSherbs earlier with regard to the insufficiency of data). In addition, not all industry needs to start up at the same time. Some industries are likely to be less 'essential' than others, so a phased restart is indicated.

    Unfortunately, our response to the pandemic in the US over the first 4-6 weeks has been total rubbish. Not talking about the government bodies, but rather the people on the street. The lack of any cohesive discipline population is appalling, and may well have been one of the biggest contributing factors to the near 90,000 deaths here so far. On the other hand, maybe it is much easier in smaller countries with populations under a certain threshold. Again, hard to say, though certainly possible.


    That's my opinion. Not really divergent from others on this thread. As with a lot of stuff in life, the devil will no doubt be in the details.
    Last edited by Dave; May 19th, 2020 at 05:36 PM.

  9. #109
    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    I didn't miss that part of D-K, nor try to say it was an intelligence measurement. The actual experiment tested several skills. The point of it was about self-awareness (it was a psychological study, after all). To crudely summarize, stupid people thought they were smart. They were actually too stupid to know they were stupid. Anyway, you weren't clear and frankly it was bordering on the absurd given the level of generalization (but hey, I do that sometimes too... ). Thanks for the follow up. Paraphrasing Socrates "all I know is my own ignorance..." If you're there (and I certainly am aware that there are things I don't know), you've avoided a big cognitive hurdle. I try to avoid confirmation bias. I look for what I don't know.

    I'm a planner. A "here's a big ass problem we know little about but need a plan now" planner. I've worked at two theater armies (Europe and South America). You don't get to wait until you have all the data, and you certainly don't always have (or receive) the expertise. That's not a D-K issue when you know there are things you don't know (cue the Rumsfeldian "known-knowns, known-unknowns, unknown-knowns, etc...). You do your best to mitigate risk. You know the "first report from the scouts" will be mostly wrong. You plan, execute and adjust anyway. You learn as much as you can as fast as you can. You don't have to understand all the technical minutiae. No General knows how to replace a #10 seal in an M1 tank engine, and they don't need to. The expert's job is to convey the key relevant information. "Hey General, the #10 seal keeps the oil inside the forward module. They're important and we need more." is enough.

    I don't disagree that we did what we thought was best given the circumstances and limited information. Italy's experience in particular was cause for extreme caution. We still don't have the complete picture, but we have gathered an enormous amount of data. That seems to indicate that the models were wrong, the virus is much more widely spread than we believed, and that it's not nearly as life-threatening as we believe. That's not opinion. That's doctors and medical researchers current understanding of the trends. You don't have to read an article in JAMA to listen to doctors speak plainly to the public. Dr. Fauci is one of many, and he's slowly becoming a minority opinion in a sea of Dr.'s seeing and treating patients. Time will tell who was right and who was wrong, but I put more faith in the Dr. that is successfully treating the virus than a bureaucrat looking at a model.

    I believe the economic risk is being enormously underestimated, and have held that view from the beginning. When it's severe, like Argentina's 2001 collapse, there are no government services. There are no commodities available. Money has no value and people revert to barter. Hobbes' State of Nature reveals itself. Less extreme, but still serious, look at New Orleans during Katrina. Not the levee failing, the societal environment. I can continue with all types of examples. Hyperinflation in particular is near catastrophic.

    It's not a matter of which businesses are essential, and which aren't. It's looking at those businesses and understanding that they consists of jobs which constitute people's livelihoods. Those corporate profits and employee paychecks are also the source of the government's revenue. People cannot go six months without an income. The government cannot replace their incomes without monetizing the debt. We just charged another $3 trillion to cover what was supposed to be a few (six?) weeks. That $1200 people received is long gone.

    We can imagine a severe pandemic - like Spanish flu or small pox - and the consequences. Imagine the Weimar Republic and the price of bread increasing exponentially daily (sometimes hourly). Imagine if there were shortages of food instead of toilet paper, and imagine it in NYC or Los Angeles. Imagine if police stopped getting paid, or their checks were worthless; and they just quit showing up to work. That's the "pandemic" equivalent of catastrophic economic damage. Society is a very fragile thing, and the economy can send it spinning just as quickly as a virus.

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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    I have no doubt that the models, in the light of additional and ongoing data input, were not accurate at the beginning. That is only to be expected when dealing with an unknown. So as we go along the model gets updated, revised, refined. All totally normal. As an aside, I am appalled by, though somewhat insulated from, Trump's repeated trashing of the WHO, CDC et al, who were doing what they could with what they had.

    I also have no issues siding with the scientists over the bureaucrats. It would be ironic if I did, given my current work.

    When positing the idea of a phased business restart perhaps my use of the term 'essential' was misplaced. What I was really trying to say was that I don't believe that restarting everything at once is a good idea. In my opinion phased introduction is indicated in some form, but if there is a phased restart then a decision would need to be made on who goes first and so on. That's presumably where the policy makers come in, supported by independent economists and public health bodies.

    I am aware of the economic impact of various disasters - real and manmade - but only at the remove of having read some history. It's really not my field, so I cannot claim any insight to it.

    Society is a very fragile thing... indeed it is, but there are examples of societies that held together during times of duress. Britain in WW2 springs to mind. Vaguely remember reading something somewhere about the fall of nations being due to them becoming complacent, soft, and non-reactive to threat. Something like that. Again, I am only an amateur in this area.

    Anyway, what would your plan be?




    Ps. Regarding the D-K disagreement. We probably read different nuances in the theory and its interpretation. From my own background reading, some years ago now, it wasn't a crude 'stupid people thought they were smart' thing, but something much more subtle. The paper cited below points to how we are all prone to the D-K effect at times. I include it here for anyone who has an interest in delving a little further. It's really quite interesting.

    Also, just to clarify. I brought it into the discussion because many of the posts in this thread are not written in a manner that I associate with people exploring a subject, but rather by those asserting their statements as unquestionable. Perhaps that is a matter of style, and of how I read the posts. My apologies to anyone who thought the raising of the D-K effect suggested that anyone here was stupid. It should be obvious from what I wrote that I do not consider D-K as a measure of stupidity.





    Burson KA, Larrick RP, & Klayman J. Skilled or unskilled, but still unaware of it: How perceptions of difficulty drive mis-calibration in relative comparisons. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2006:90 (1): 60–77. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.90.1.60.

  12. #111
    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    "My plan" (well, not really mine - but the one I agree with), briefly...

    - Return to "normalcy". Lift restrictions. Open businesses. All of them.
    - Continue to reinforce the importance of prudent preventative measures. Wash your hands, avoid touching your face, don't go to work if you feel sick, etc... Just like you do for influenza or other seasonal disease.
    - Implement measures to protect the vulnerable, particularly those in concentrated populations who are unable to make their own choices (e.g.: nursing homes). Grandma in her own home can choose whether or not to let people come visit. Grandma in a nursing home gets no say in who comes to visit other residents.
    - Individuals with compromised immune systems will need to manage their own risk, just as they did before the coronavirus.
    - Continue / expand testing (particularly for antibodies / previous infection) to improve situational awareness and understanding of the virus.
    - Establish a metric that triggers the implementation of restrictions, based on hospital capacity and considering the ability to shift or surge capacity.

    These type of actions are being recommended by other epidemiologists, Knut Wittkowski and Johan Giesecke for example. Contact tracing is pointless now. The virus is too widespread and isn't going to be contained. We're all going to get it, if we haven't already (said my wife's doctor...). People can carry on with the theater of home made masks if they like.

    RE: Dunning-Kruger. I just finished the paper you posted. Interesting, but it's not the D-K paper. It's further experimentation based on results published from D-K. If we're going to talk about the D-K effect, it seems that should be the paper we reference. Certainly additional study from other researchers is helpful, but using it to misrepresent the original conclusions drawn is problematic. You're saying I'm getting D-K wrong because here's another study based on D-K's research. D-K's abstract begins with precisely what my cruder version said. "...people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it." They then quote Miller's 1993 paper Humiliation, with "It is one of the essential features of such incompetence that the person so afflicted is incapable of knowing that he is incompetent."

    Here's the original paper in .pdf

    Of course people over and under estimate their skill all the time. How many times does an "easy recipe" turn out better than anticipated, or end up in a total disaster? for example. That's not really what D-K were getting after. My familiarity with D-K's paper goes back to the early 2000's, when it was read and discussed in the context of leadership and a leader's competence. There are all sorts of variables involved with being selected for promotion in the Army. Generally, the bottom performers who are not selected can't understand why; and that's an example of the D-K effect. I've had my share of subordinates I tried to mentor - to no avail because they truly were unskilled, unaware, and incapable of being enlightened; and I've seen plenty of outstanding people who didn't realize how good they were and how much potential they had.

    --edit--

    I'd like to hear the plan of those who advocate extending "lock down" measures...

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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    Perhaps this is the best plan going forward. As I am far removed from what is going on, I only have a theoretical feel for it. Anyway, as the saying goes, we will see what we will see.


    Oh, one other thing. Returning to D-K, theories and their interpretation evolve, and this is the case with D-K. Ongoing research clearly demonstrates this evolution. Here's a popular blog from a neuroscientist on the subject of misinterpreting the D-K: HERE


    This is my last post for a while as we have finally got the camp packed and ready to move out. Not sure when I will be able to get back online. Certainly the next few weeks are going to require my focus elsewhere. Interesting discussion, I've enjoyed a lot of it.

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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    Letter from 500+ Doctors to the President

    May 19, 2020

    Dear Mr. President:

    Thousands of physicians in all specialties and from all States would like to express our gratitude for your leadership. We write to you today to express our alarm over the exponentially growing negative health consequences of the national shutdown.

    In medical terms, the shutdown was a mass casualty incident.

    During a mass casualty incident, victims are immediately triaged to black, red, yellow, or green. The first group, triage level black, includes those who require too many resources to save during a mass crisis. The red group has severe injuries that are survivable with treatment, the yellow group has serious injuries that are not immediately life threatening, and the green group has minor injuries.

    The red group receives highest priority. The next priority is to ensure that the other two groups do not deteriorate a level. Decades of research have shown that by strictly following this algorithm, we save the maximum number of lives.

    Millions of Americans are already at triage level red. These include 150,000 Americans per month who would have had a new cancer detected through routine screening that hasn’t happened, millions who have missed routine dental care to fix problems strongly linked to heart disease/death, and preventable cases of stroke, heart attack, and child abuse. Suicide hotline phone calls have increased 600%.
    Tens of millions are at triage level yellow. Liquor sales have increased 300-600%, cigarettes sales have increased, rent has gone unpaid, family relationships have become frayed, and millions of well-child check-ups have been missed.

    Hundreds of millions are at triage level green. These are people who currently are solvent, but at risk should economic conditions worsen.

    Poverty and financial uncertainty is closely linked to poor health.

    A continued shutdown means hundreds of millions of Americans will downgrade a level. The following are real examples from our practices.

    Patient E.S. is a mother with two children whose office job was reduced to part- time and whose husband was furloughed. The father is drinking more, the mother is depressed and not managing her diabetes well, and the children are barely doing any schoolwork.

    Patient A.F. has chronic but previously stable health conditions. Her elective hip replacement was delayed, which caused her to become nearly sedentary, resulting in a pulmonary embolism in April.

    Patient R.T. is an elderly nursing home patient, who had a small stroke in early March but was expected to make a nearly complete recovery. Since the shutdown, he has had no physical or speech therapy, and no visitors. He has lost weight, and is deteriorating rather than making progress.

    Patient S.O. is a college freshman who cannot return to normal life, school, and friendships. He risks depression, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, trauma, and future financial uncertainty.

    We are alarmed at what appears to be the lack of consideration for the future health of our patients. The downstream health effects of deteriorating a level are being massively under-estimated and under-reported. This is an order of magnitude error.

    It is impossible to overstate the short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown. Losing a job is one of life’s most stressful events, and the effect on a person’s health is not lessened because it also has happened to 30 million other people. Keeping schools and universities closed is incalculably detrimental for children, teenagers, and young adults for decades to come.

    The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.

    Because the harm is diffuse, there are those who hold that it does not exist. We, the undersigned, know otherwise.

    Please let us know if we may be of assistance.

    Respectfully,

    Simone Gold, M.D., J.D. & >500 physicians (attached)

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    FP Enthusiast Emeritus mhosea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    I responded to Mike's claim about decisions up to this point, "knowing what we know now." That's all that I was interested in. And he seems to have stopped responding, so I am done as well.
    Chalk it up to a combination of me being busy and not really feeling the need to clarify further, not to mention the fact that my own governor and state was revealing our policy on Monday, and I was keenly aware that nothing I might say or think about it was going to make one jot of difference, even if I had really wanted it to.

    Anyway, I thought I'd expressed the hypothetical nature of my suggestion, i.e. if the prevalence is that much larger and the true rates are correspondingly lower, I didn't think there would have been as comprehensive a shutdown as we saw, rather something more targeted to protect the more statistically vulnerable portion population, and this came at the end of a post that started with me admitting that there wasn't enough information yet to know. I don't think it was the sort of claim that could sensibly be regarded as a putative fact. It was just something I was thinking and said. And you disagreed. Fine. Neither of us question the propriety of the response given what we actually did know. We just disagree about the hypothetical, i.e. whether the additional information added since then, about how the virus spreads and the rates of hospitalization and death, would have changed anything had we known it at the time. Granted a conclusion on that score could have some application to reopening strategy, which is really why it was on my mind. I have some idea of the information we would need to explore the matter. Some of it might be available, some not, but this is where the reality of the Massachusetts governor impinged. I didn't really feel like putting in the effort to debate in that area. The king of Massachusetts was set to decree what our reopening strategy would be, and my agreement or disagreement with any of it was a non-issue. There are times when it is good to debate things, but there are times when an individual is better off seeking the peace to accept the things he cannot change. Or so I think, anyway. I don't really feel like debating that just now, either.
    Last edited by mhosea; May 21st, 2020 at 01:27 AM.
    --
    Mike

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    Up here in less populated NH and Maine, gradual reopenings have been occuring. I haven't heard so much about Mass. NH restaurants have reopened with outdoor table service. Maine beaches are opening (but no sitting or congregating). Indiv cities and towns in Maine get to decide this, and so far the gov has not overridden, in part because the measures have been gradual. My guess is that it would take about a month for the effects of these changes to show up in testing result statistics. My guess also is that we won't wait that long to find out. But we'll see. Three quarters of the NH deaths are in long term care. Very likely, the staff bring it in because they live and function otherwise out in the messier world. Maybe the elderly could be served by robots.

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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    Here it was and remains a very "bi-polar" thing. The governor proclaimed a shut-down, but exempted a wide array of businesses and it was unclear who did or did not qualify. After a couple of weeks, people just started to ignore the order and move about. By the start of May, the roads were as busy as any other, normal May. You'll see motorcyclists wearing masks but no helmets. Businesses were supposed to reopen on May 20, but then some of the businesses got an 11th hour cut and pushed back to June. The workers and business owners protested but no effect. Then the governor said that it was the businesses that requested the delayed re-opening and that just pissed them off more.

    Meanwhile, the nursing homes are warehouses of the dead and dying. The governor needed a task force aided by the national guard to go in and confirm the extent of the deaths. A close family member of mine died. His death was initially attributed to a non-specific infection, but testing and the state's intervention led his (and many other) death certificates to be altered because they all had COVID-19. The caseload at that nursing home jumped from 5 people with COVID-19 to half the population because of institutional cover-ups. Of course access to the nursing homes is restricted. And all the while the outside world is pulled in every direction but together.

    A respiratory nurse at a local hospital stopped by the other day and we talked. It's all guesswork there. People show up with diarrhea and don't know why - turns out they have COVID-19. This is only confirmed when imaging is done, and the doctor just happens to see opacities at the bottom of the lungs that happen to have been caught by the digestive tract imaging. People show up coughing and sneezing - turns out they have allergies. Another person thinks he has allergies but actually has COVID-19. There's no cure, just treatment to support people and see if they recover.

    Flocks of people from New York turned up early on. Mostly very wealthy Manhattanites going to second homes. Everyone "loves New York" until there's a plague, then it's, "every banker for himself!". Others show up just looking to park themselves anywhere, and propose to rent properties at $5,000 per month. If your lease is coming up for renewal and you're a local, a New Yorker could swoop in and propose to your landlord an obscene rent, and suddenly you have no home. Or the landlord could put up relatives from New York in your home and you have no place to stay anymore. You better have family local to stay with in case this is you. If your local officials complain or act on it, the Governor of New York threatens to sue them.

    Meanwhile everyone who was out of work apparently owns a Harley and rides around with no muffler and the radio on, full blast. Other people go to the park and then congregate, causing the park to close. They leave garbage around and hungry black bears move in.

    Business is picking up lately, no large cases that are new, but mainly people wanting little things done to straighten up small matters. People are anxious to move about and start to do things again so they are asking what we can do to meet and help them out. We use masks and meet outside in a private place on the porch. People are trying to carry on as best as is possible, well reasonable people are at least.

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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    Not terribly promising news.


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    mhosea (May 25th, 2020)

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    I am not arguing for policy here. I am most certainly not advocating the extension of any draconian policies until a vaccine is available. I just want to discuss how vaccines were covered in that last installment.

    My understanding is that the principal reason there have been no corona virus vaccines has been the near complete lack of need. This is, after all, not the world of Star Trek, where countless researchers have virtually unlimited resources to pursue "good" things for which there is no commercial reward. One can point to failures in the past to produce vaccines for viruses of note, but past failures on unrelated viruses are no more relevant than past successes on unrelated viruses. For one thing, "failure" is a subjective determination. In the early days of COVID-19, I heard Zika being listed as an example of something there remains no vaccine for, but what does the lack of a Zika vaccine really imply? That we could not produce one? As of December, there were 18 known candidates in various stages of development, but the fact that Zika outbreaks have subsided without a vaccine has surely resulted in limited investment. Nobody is predicting anything like that for COVID-19. Indeed, have those scientists and companies in position to develop vaccines for anything ever been seen a greater opportunity? And the high transmissibility of the COVID-19 implies something else, i.e. the expectation that, absent a vaccine, the vast majority of us are going to get it sooner or later, anyway. For such a virus volunteering for a human challenge study starts to appeal to people who want to make a difference, to be real heroes of the sort that puts their well-being at risk for the benefit of others, and they may be reasonably emboldened if there a few therapeutics that might help their chances if they receive the placebo or get sick anyway. Clearly individual vaccine candidates will fail for one reason or another, but all of them?
    --
    Mike

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    Watch some of Dr. Knut Wittkowski’s interviews. There’s no question he’s an expert in the field, although that doesn’t mean he’s right (Dunning-Kruger be damned). He is advocating letting the virus run it’s course, and he’s not alone in that idea.

    What strikes me is how such an orthodoxy has been created around this topic. Dr. Wittkowski, for example, is being denigrated in some circles as a “Coronavirus Truther’s Expert” for his ‘heresy’. If we can’t discuss complicated or ‘contentious’ topics without resorting to ad-hominem attacks, ridicule, or other irrational methods of shutting down differing ideas (not to mention social media’s deleting of expert opinion that runs counter to the orthodoxy’s approved narrative...); we’re moving backwards instead of progressing.

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    Default Re: Post your Contentious Virus Posts Here

    Last edited by rocl; May 26th, 2020 at 03:16 AM.

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