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1. Some of us have been arguing for "COVID Zero" for at least a year. This week a bunch of authors make the case in The Lancet:

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We compared COVID-19 deaths, gross domestic product (GDP) growth, and strictness of lockdown measures during the first 12 months of the pandemic for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries that aim for elimination or mitigation...

COVID-19 deaths per 1 million population in OECD countries that opted for elimination (Australia, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea) have been about 25 times lower than in other OECD countries that favoured mitigation...

Elimination is superior to mitigation for GDP growth on average and at almost all time periods. GDP growth returned to pre-pandemic levels in early 2021 in the five countries that opted for elimination, whereas growth is still negative for the other 32 OECD countries...

Among OECD countries, liberties were most severely impacted in those that chose mitigation, whereas swift lockdown measures—in line with elimination—were less strict and of shorter duration...

2. Sux to live in Canada now. Well, in most of Canada. Not bad at all in the "Atlantic bubble" formed by provinces that more or less followed a "COVID Zero" elimination strategy. Even they are starved for vaccine, though, same as Ontario where the pharmacy Hunger Games are recessed, having used up the little stash of AstraZeneca we scraped together from US rejects and COVAX jabs intended for developing countries. So we're months behind the US and UK, and falling further behind every week. Meanwhile, laughably, the Ontario government expands the age range of eligibility for non-existent vaccinations. It's ridiculous, but of course nobody should feel sympathy for our plight if we're competing with India and Brazil for vaccine, and for pity.

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Depressing...but I guess this was bound to happen >:(. A warning being circulated in India - there have been arrests over the fake product:

 

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Posted (edited)

Today, I chatted with a neighbor who gushed a fair bit of schadenfreude over India's Covid woes, mixed with US braggadocio. Fortunately, I'd been curious about the numbers yesterday, and did a quick napkin comparison of the US and India. I was able to unload the facts on my neighbor, who walked away probably wishing I'd move out of the neighborhood.

India's population = 1.33B
US population = 330M

For April 29, here's the day's data:

India
New cases = 386,555
Deaths= 3498

US
New cases = 57,966
Deaths = 877

If we scale the US population up to match India's:
New cases = 233,620
Deaths = 3535

Yesterday, the US lost more people per capita to Covid-19 than India.

The US peak for new cases was on Jan 9:
New cases = 300,669
Deaths = 3291 (This would peak at 5,463 on Feb 12)

Adjusted to match India's population:
New cases = 1,211,787
Deaths = 22,017

From the news reporting in India, particularly of bodies piling up on roadsides, awaiting cremation in massive open air makeshift crematoriums, you'd think their situation is many times more dire than ours ever was. Yesterday, India's death total from all causes was only 6.7% higher than normal (1.33B @ 70yr lifespan / 365 days/yr = 52,054, vs 3496 from Covid). On Feb 12, 5,463 Americans died of Covid-19. Absent Covid-19, on any day of the year, America loses 11,444 people to various causes (330M @ 79 year lifespan). So, US deaths were 47.8% higher than normal on Feb 12. We did refrigerate some bodies in cooler trailers (in Texas?), but we didn't have the disturbing scenes being broadcast out of India.

So much to wonder about.

ETA: I pulled the data from graphs on the Google search result page for "covid numbers". I used the single day data from April 29, not the seven day moving average. I did this to match the daily headlines.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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3 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

From the news reporting in India, particularly of bodies piling up on roadsides, awaiting cremation in massive open air makeshift crematoriums, you'd think their situation is many times more dire than ours ever was.

When I see those reports, though, I wonder how accurate any count can possibly be under those circumstances. I'm not talking about the vague allegations of intentional underreporting (although, with an election underway...), just the usual "fog of war" when there's so much death. Given India's normal circumstances, though, its systems for gathering and managing health data may be especially robust to such conditions, I don't know.

One thing I've not seen discussed: Where was India's first wave? Back a year ago when the rest of the world (including tropics) were breaking out the makeshift morgue refrigerator trucks, why was India relatively unscathed? At the time it seemed too good to be true given population, conditions, and practices in Indian cities, so I wondered if they just weren't systematically testing or counting COVID cases and deaths back then.

(None of this is to make room for the States to brag about its public health response to COVID, in comparison to India or really anywhere else.)

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8 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

When I see those reports, though, I wonder how accurate any count can possibly be under those circumstances.

I suspect the numbers too low, but there might be additional reasons we're seeing so many bodies. Maybe people from rural areas are flocking to the cities where the hospitals are, and dying there. So it's a product of both infection and migration.

11 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

just the usual "fog of war"

You bet. This is why, whenever something big happens, I reserve judgment for a year or two or ten.

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Amidst the skyrocketing surge, the country has allowed for mass religious gatherings and political rallies, all while abandoning public health measures meant to stop the spread.

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I asked: "Where was India's first wave?" and coincidentally, The Economist finally rose to the top of my reading stack, with a Diary piece from a Delhi correspondent, "India’s second wave of covid-19 feels nothing like its first":

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[…] I struggle to convey that we have not been on a wavy ride, like Britain’s or some American states’. Look at the shape of our graphs. Our first surge was scary, but tapered away like the tail of a paper tiger. The virus had spread everywhere during 2020, no doubt, despite a brutal lockdown and other efforts at containment. Sero-positivity surveys conducted in some cities showed that majorities of large populations had been exposed to the coronavirus and developed antibodies to it. But Indian bodies resisted it, perhaps, they say, because of “cross immunity” gained unnoticed over lifetimes lived amid the barrage of everyday germs. The rickety hospitals stayed afloat too, and eventually their covid wards emptied. By the beginning of 2021 we were saying that 150,000 Indians had died. For perspective: three times as many die from tuberculosis every year. […]

 

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1 hour ago, Arielle Popstar said:

Some blame India's sudden rise in the Covid death tolls to the corresponding vaccine rollouts hinted at in this graph:

Those people are malicious, willingly ignorant of the broader picture and misrepresenting whatever data they can grasp to fit their narrative. There are similar graphs for Hungary, Israel, Mongolia and Maine (??) being pushed alongside miles of factual sounding almost-science aimed to deliberately undermine whatever official sources report. In the case of India, this data is being claimed to exonerate Trump supplying Ivermectin and directly blame Bill Gates & Dr Fauci's vaccines (because they make vaccines now .. ) and often descends in to thinly veiled racism / antisemitism.

This is the new home of the Q theorists. 

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8 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

So much to wonder about.

I think it's perfectly understandable that the U.S. actually has some of the worst numbers (per capita, etc.).  I do wish this information was "universally" known and believed. Maybe we will be left to see if "history" emphasizes the truth. 

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8 hours ago, Arielle Popstar said:

Some blame India's sudden rise in the Covid death tolls to the corresponding vaccine rollouts hinted at in this graph

And "some" recognize that correlation doesn't equal causation.

Is this your new rhetorical strategy for presenting junk science, Arielle? Pretend to have no opinion on the matter yourself? You're just an "objective" and "unbiased" re-poster of other's "interesting interpretations"?

The fact that you continue to serve up only ill-informed garbage kinda belies that stance, doesn't it? Or will your new objectivity  now permit you to post some actual science for once?

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13 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

And "some" recognize that correlation doesn't equal causation.

Is this your new rhetorical strategy for presenting junk science, Arielle? Pretend to have no opinion on the matter yourself? You're just an "objective" and "unbiased" re-poster of other's "interesting interpretations"?

The fact that you continue to serve up only ill-informed garbage kinda belies that stance, doesn't it? Or will your new objectivity  now permit you to post some actual science for once?

Those "some" should recognize that often correlation does equal causation if there is no other causative factor. We wouldn't want to have to resort to miracles now would we?

And no, I have no opinion on this because I don't know enough about it to be able to form one as yet. I do find it interesting though but will await more info. You however seem to have formed an opinion so maybe share what science you are basing that on instead of devolving into ad hominin rhetoric.

Throughout this thread I have put out a number of ideas that were well backed up with scientific studies (Vitaman D, Ivermectin, etc) which have saved lives and the potential to save many more but in each case you poo poohed them as being ill informed in spite of the studies and research of a great many scientists and Doctors with oodles more knowledge then yourself and yet you blindly follow the narrative of the rich and powerful that are directly benefitting from your obedience to them. You seem to want to change the world and that is wonderful but it is my opinion that like a great many others who looked to make a difference, the end result was just going full circle and doing exactly what it was they were originally fighting against.

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3 hours ago, StephiDreamEvermore Doune said:

.if its a pandemic why are we not seeing bodies pile up in the street

You could probably find photos of exactly that by typing india COVID corpses into google. I'd post one of the links but I do t want to get banned.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Arielle Popstar said:

Those "some" should recognize that often correlation does equal causation if there is no other causative factor. We wouldn't want to have to resort to miracles now would we?

But we should absolutely ban margarine

Correlation does not mean Causation: Why the Confusion? – Tussur Silk

and chickens

h4mtQqE.png

and organic food (which fits the antivax narrative so well, I'm surprised you haven't posted it already)

Class Opener – Day 46 – Correlation Does NOT Mean Causation! | mathcoachblog

 

Quote

And no, I have no opinion on this because I don't know enough about it to be able to form one as yet.

This is the point at which you're supposed to defer to experts who do this for a living. This is why we have universities. 

Quote

Throughout this thread I have put out a number of ideas that were well backed up with scientific studies (Vitaman D, Ivermectin, etc) which have saved lives and the potential to save many more but in each case you poo poohed them as being ill informed

You seem to have a particularly selective interest in obscure unrepeatable "science" from fringe and far right sources.  if this was a less moderated forum I have no doubt you'd be openly "questioning" if globalization, Hollywood elites and George Soros aren't really to blame.

On the point about ill informed;

One study does not make something scientific. Two studies out of a dozen does not make the two a genuine alternative perspective. It makes them incorrect, regardless of how much junk media attention they get. There're on the other hand so many repeated peer reviewed studies crushing your narrative that meta studies exist (studies about these specific studies).

 

Edited by Coffee Pancake
fix chickens graph, typo
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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

But we should absolutely ban margarine

Correlation does not mean Causation: Why the Confusion? – Tussur Silk

and chickens

h4mtQqE.png

and organic food (which fits the antivax narrative so well, I'm surprised you haven't posted it already)

Class Opener – Day 46 – Correlation Does NOT Mean Causation! | mathcoachblog

 

This is the point at which you're supposed to defer to experts who do this for a living. This is why we have universities. 

You seem to have a particularly selective interest in obscure unrepeatable "science" from fringe and far right sources.  if this was a less moderated forum I have no doubt you'd be openly "questioning" if globalization, Hollywood elites and George Soros aren't really to blame.

On the point about ill informed;

One study does not make something scientific. Two studies out of a dozen does not make the two a genuine alternative perspective. It makes them incorrect, regardless of how much junk media attention they get. There're on the other hand so many repeated peer reviewed studies crushing your narrative that meta studies exist (studies about these specific studies).

 

Wasn't sure whether to LOL at the graphs or thank you for stating so well what many have thought.  Sadly, you're talking to a brick wall but I, for one, appreciate the effort.

Edited by Rowan Amore
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1 minute ago, Rowan Amore said:

Wasn't sure whether to LOL at the graphs or thank you for stating so well many have thought.  Sadly, you're talking to a brick wall but I, for one, appreciate the effort.

There are hundreds of these graphs to choose from. 

cell_phones.png

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2 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

There are hundreds of these graphs to choose from. 

cell_phones.png

"Cancer causes cell phones." LOL

OMG, I love XKCD.

Arguably, though, Covid-19 DOES cause its vaccine!

Just sayin' . . .

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32 minutes ago, RunawayBunny said:

origin.png

OMG! That poor dog.. It's totally clear it's abusive owner is a new parent and has him installing wall jacks closer to the ceiling while he's up there..

When will this madness end!!\o/

 

 

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9 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I think the quote from the original cartoon is either "I'm fine", or "It's fine". Denial in general! 
 

It's the new "The Nile ain't just a river in Egypt".

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Posted (edited)
On 5/1/2021 at 11:22 AM, Arielle Popstar said:

Those "some" should recognize that often correlation does equal causation if there is no other causative factor.

And those "some" might be foolish, because your statement is often wrong. In complex problems, we often don't know the causative factor(s). That does not force some known correlation to become causal.

The observations falling out of the Covid-19 pandemic don't address the counterfactual analysis that science wants for determination of causation. This is why we require controlled experiments, clinical trials, peer review, and reproducible results.

On 5/1/2021 at 11:22 AM, Arielle Popstar said:

We wouldn't want to have to resort to miracles now would we?

Didn't you just recommend people do exactly that, by using ignorance to justify potentially elevating mere correlation to miraculous causation? The last day has seen other forumites satirize how easily your advice produces absurd results. Unfortunately, the evening news is equally filled with real evidence of potentially harmful absurdity, born of thinking that parallels your advice.

On 5/1/2021 at 11:22 AM, Arielle Popstar said:

I have no opinion on this because I don't know enough about it to be able to form one as yet. I do find it interesting though but will await more info.

o·pin·ion
/əˈpinyən/
 
noun
 
  1. a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

If you believe in objective reality, the more you know about something, the less likely your beliefs are to be considered "opinion" by other objective realists. So, I find the logic of your "because" to be backwards. Of course, rejecting objective reality gives one a "get out of jail free" card when it comes to science. I've met countless people who feel science is penal, so I get it.

Everybody holds opinions based on incomplete or erroneous information. I fight back, every damned day, my irrational desire to jump to the screwiest of conclusions. I do, I hope judiciously, let some of that leak out in what appears to others to be my "sense of humor".

On 5/1/2021 at 11:22 AM, Arielle Popstar said:

Throughout this thread I have put out a number of ideas that were well backed up with scientific studies (Vitaman D, Ivermectin, etc)

That's not how I see it. You have put out a number of ideas that you believe are backed up by studies. I have shown, more than once, that you've misunderstood the evidence and drawn the wrong conclusion. The Vitamin D evidence you posted does support supplementation to remedy widespread lifestyle engendered Vitamin D deficiencies. But, once people are brought up to normal serum levels, there's little evidence that additional supplementation helps (this is true for more than Covid-19 prophylaxis). There is some uncertainty over optimum serum levels of vitamin D (as there is over optimum body temperature and a lot of other metrics), and Covid-19 data might help shed some light on that by increasing interest in Vitamin D research.

I can't find the study at the moment, but I was amused by one that expressed interest in the fact that 80% of the mostly black patients appearing at a US clinic with symptoms of Covid-19 were Vitamin D deficient. I recall reading that and immediately checking the historical prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in black Americans. It's 83%. This wouldn't be the first time physicians were surprised by the nominal. Addressing Vitamin D deficiency will potentially produce better outcomes for all respiratory illnesses, Covid included. This is not news.

I am vitamin D deficient, and take 4000IU daily during the winter and 2000 during summer, with the goal of keeping my serum Vitamin D level around 50ng/ml. I have discussed Vitamin D and Covid-19 with my family practice physician, oncologist (cancer has taken three shots at me), and immunologist (I present several auto-immune disease markers). We're all in agreement that addressing my deficiency is sufficient, and there's no reason to go beyond that for any particular goal. I'm all for maintaining general health, but that's not the same as promoting "bullets" as you do.

Your Ivermectin "bullet" is being widely used around the world (prices are up about 4x over the last year), but Covid-19 continues to ravage the planet. Given that Ivermectin is being administered to more humans than at any time since its invention, you'd think we'd have credible evidence of efficacy against Covid-19. Yet Merck, the creator and a prime manufacturer of Ivermectin has yet to find any evidence to support its use in the treatment of Covid-19.

https://www.merck.com/news/merck-statement-on-ivermectin-use-during-the-covid-19-pandemic
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivermectin#COVID-19

On 5/1/2021 at 11:22 AM, Arielle Popstar said:

but in each case you poo poohed them as being ill informed in spite of the studies and research of a great many scientists and Doctors with oodles more knowledge then yourself and yet you blindly follow the narrative of the rich and powerful that are directly benefitting from your obedience to them.

Clinically, I am but an anecdote. My own physicians' clinical experiences are less anecdotal, but still anecdotal. Though I do rely on their expertise, I have rejected the expertise of physicians who don't recognize the anecdotality of their own. It's interesting that people refuse to take vaccines because insufficient research has been done on them, while jumping up and down over anecdotal reports that match their own experiences and beliefs.

Taken to yet another absurd extreme, perhaps we should pledge fealty to the village idiot?

Snugs would not approve.

 

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
Sometimes I actually read what I write, and I'm horrified!
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