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Author Topic: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS  (Read 33603 times)

Paulo Bizarro

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1200 on: May 25, 2020, 04:38:11 am »

Update from Portugal, now on week #3 of reopening:

1. Weekly average of around 250 new cases per day. Of these, the majority arecoming from the greater Lisbon area, particularly from industrial centres - wherehouses and logistical distribution platforms for some companies. In spite of all the precautions, we recently had about 100 positive cases in a population of 400 workers. These things were expected, really.

2. The north of the country, the region that was most severely hit during the initial phase of the pandemics in early March (lots of industries and companies were not closed, as it is the heart of our economy) is now doing very well.

3. This last weekend the temperature has gone up, and beaches had lots of people, we shall see the repercussions ina couple of weeks in terms of cases. From the stats, the new cases are mostly young people, so the number of internships and ICUs has been decreasing which is good news.

Comparing with ohter countries that have more or less the same population (Austria, Sweden, Belgium), we are better than Sweden and Belgium, but worse compared to Austria. Per capita, Belgium looks really bad in number of dead. Sweden chose a different tactic, but in the end, they have about 3x the dead of similar countries, and their economy will suffer as badly. Austria seems to be doing well.

Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1201 on: May 25, 2020, 06:23:05 am »

Update from Portugal, now on week #3 of reopening:

1. Weekly average of around 250 new cases per day. Of these, the majority arecoming from the greater Lisbon area, particularly from industrial centres - wherehouses and logistical distribution platforms for some companies. In spite of all the precautions, we recently had about 100 positive cases in a population of 400 workers. These things were expected, really.

2. The north of the country, the region that was most severely hit during the initial phase of the pandemics in early March (lots of industries and companies were not closed, as it is the heart of our economy) is now doing very well.

3. This last weekend the temperature has gone up, and beaches had lots of people, we shall see the repercussions ina couple of weeks in terms of cases. From the stats, the new cases are mostly young people, so the number of internships and ICUs has been decreasing which is good news.

Comparing with ohter countries that have more or less the same population (Austria, Sweden, Belgium), we are better than Sweden and Belgium, but worse compared to Austria. Per capita, Belgium looks really bad in number of dead. Sweden chose a different tactic, but in the end, they have about 3x the dead of similar countries, and their economy will suffer as badly. Austria seems to be doing well.

Yes, it's a mixed bag. However, one word of caution with comparing between countries. National statistics use different input and sources. I was wondering about the high Belgian numbers as well, but it has been explained that they also include e.g. cases in nursing homes, whereas other countries only report those in hospitals.

The Dutch economy is also gradually opening up, in a step by step fashion, now that the cumulative curves are flattening and the number of ICU patients is steadily declining.
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Ray

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1202 on: May 25, 2020, 09:08:03 am »

I was wondering about the high Belgian numbers as well, but it has been explained that they also include e.g. cases in nursing homes, whereas other countries only report those in hospitals.

Bart,
It seems that Sweden also reports Covid deaths in nursing homes and aged care facilities.  I've seen reports that about 50% of all Covid related deaths, in both Belgium and Sweden, have occurred in Care Homes.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1203 on: May 25, 2020, 09:44:01 am »

Yes, it's a mixed bag. However, one word of caution with comparing between countries. National statistics use different input and sources. I was wondering about the high Belgian numbers as well, but it has been explained that they also include e.g. cases in nursing homes, whereas other countries only report those in hospitals.

The Dutch economy is also gradually opening up, in a step by step fashion, now that the cumulative curves are flattening and the number of ICU patients is steadily declining.

In Portugal we also count cases from outiside of hospitals, like the nursing homes you mention.

Hope everything improves from now on. The WHO mentioned today that in their scenario analysis, a strong second wave has low probability of happening.

Paulo Bizarro

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1204 on: May 25, 2020, 09:44:58 am »

Bart,
It seems that Sweden also reports Covid deaths in nursing homes and aged care facilities.  I've seen reports that about 50% of all Covid related deaths, in both Belgium and Sweden, have occurred in Care Homes.

Yes, same thing in Portugal. A lot of deaths in nursing homes.

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1205 on: May 25, 2020, 10:18:23 am »

Alan,
As far as I can see, searching the internet, there are a number of trials underway to test the prophylactic effect of Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine in combination with Zinc supplements. However, the jury is still out because these trials have not been completed. It takes more time to determine with certainty if a drug or supplement has a prophylactic effect than it does to determine if it has a cure. For obvious ethical reasons one can't organize two groups of people with similarly good health, give one group Hydroxychloroquine, then inject both groups with the Covid-19 virus to see which group does better. Also, it does not follow that a treatment which is a prophylaxis is also a cure.

However, since it has been determined that Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine can have serious side-effects for people with certain types of pre-existing medical conditions, then obviously that should be taken into consideration.

The following video explains the process of how the Covid virus enters a human cell and replicates, beginning at 2.35 minutes into the video. From 5.45 minutes, the role of zinc and Chloroquine is explained. Would you care to point out the flaws and BS in this video, Alan, since you are so knowledgeable on such matters?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIymfznD7YA
Ray,
I'm not going down any rabbit hole involving HCQ to answer your questions.  If you want to find stuff in one place that is good to read, go to Derek Lowe's blog:  https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/  He works in drug discovery in the pharma industry has a lot of posts on this topic.  You can read the comments to his posts from all the HCQ true believers.

There is ample observational data from a lot of patients that it just doesn't work.  There are over 200 trials going on world wide which in my estimation is about 180 too many.  Because the half life of the drug is 24 days, anyone on it is likely not eligible for trials that might be worthwhile (such as looking at whether ACE and ARB inhibitors are protective which seems to be a good case that can be made).  Finally ask yourself this.  It this had the least bit of scientific rationale, don't you think the US military would be using it?  One large aircraft carrier has been hit very hard and they still have not been able to totally disinfect it.
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1206 on: May 25, 2020, 10:19:48 am »

If you are dying, I guess its a gamble some are willing to take.  Only you or your loved ones can decide that.  If someting better comes along and its not passed a trial I would say the same thing.
This is a fine approach to take if one believes in science by anecdote.
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1207 on: May 25, 2020, 10:21:17 am »

Bart,
It seems that Sweden also reports Covid deaths in nursing homes and aged care facilities.  I've seen reports that about 50% of all Covid related deaths, in both Belgium and Sweden, have occurred in Care Homes.
This is pretty much the story all over.  Virus was carried into the facilities by asymptomatic workers.
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Craig Lamson

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1208 on: May 25, 2020, 10:48:27 am »

This is a fine approach to take if one believes in science by anecdote.

When you dont have any science at all, what do you expect the dying to do?  Just say what the heck?

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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1209 on: May 25, 2020, 10:55:40 am »

In Portugal we also count cases from outiside of hospitals, like the nursing homes you mention.

Hope everything improves from now on. The WHO mentioned today that in their scenario analysis, a strong second wave has low probability of happening.

I hope they are right, but I'm skeptical. Until we have a vaccine, it's up to social/physical distancing and personal hygene discipline, and we know how fast people forget when the immediate pressure is reduced ...
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BobShaw

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1210 on: May 25, 2020, 07:35:03 pm »

It seems that Sweden also reports Covid deaths in nursing homes and aged care facilities. 
I would have thought that every country did if you are tested positive and you die.
Certainly in Australia almost all of our recent cases have been in nursing homes. One home had 19 deaths.
In total though we have only had 10 deaths in the entire continent in the month of May.
Most states still have border closures, but in New South Wales (most populated state of about 8M) you can travel the state now and almost everything is open from Jun1.
Major sport is back without spectators. 6 million have downloaded the app.
Anyone arriving from overseas or into a closed state get 14 days mandatory isolation.
So all looking pretty good at the moment.
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1211 on: May 26, 2020, 09:11:15 am »

WHO stops HCQ trials, https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/coronavirus-who-hydroxychloroquine-1.5583608. This happens to be the CBC article but the story has appeared elsewhere.
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1212 on: May 26, 2020, 11:29:00 am »

WHO stops HCQ trials, https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/coronavirus-who-hydroxychloroquine-1.5583608. This happens to be the CBC article but the story has appeared elsewhere.
Yes this one has stopped.  However, there are over 200 trials many of which are continuing.
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LesPalenik

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1213 on: May 26, 2020, 03:59:24 pm »

The medical and dental offices in Ontario are opening up slowly.
I was worried about the backlog and long waiting times, but today I was able to book two appointments on a short notice. Either, many people who were put on hold don't know yet about the openings or they are still scared to visit those places.

Ray

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1214 on: May 26, 2020, 09:21:38 pm »

I would have thought that every country did if you are tested positive and you die.
Certainly in Australia almost all of our recent cases have been in nursing homes. One home had 19 deaths.
In total though we have only had 10 deaths in the entire continent in the month of May.
Most states still have border closures, but in New South Wales (most populated state of about 8M) you can travel the state now and almost everything is open from Jun1.
Major sport is back without spectators. 6 million have downloaded the app.
Anyone arriving from overseas or into a closed state get 14 days mandatory isolation.
So all looking pretty good at the moment.

I think the problem has been due to a shortage of testing equipment, which makes it an issue of priorities. People in nursing homes tend to die at a far greater rate than people in the general population, with or without the presence of the Covid virus.

However, when comparing the death rates from Covid-19 in different countries, in order to assess the effectiveness of the varying degrees of lock-down, the inclusion or exclusion of Covid related deaths in nursing homes and aged care homes, can skew the comparison.

For example, Sweden has come under a lot of criticism for refusing to implement a government controlled lock-down, and their relatively high death rate per capita suggests they might have done better if they had enforced a lock-down.
However, if Sweden has always included Covid-19 related deaths in nursing homes, whereas many other countries have only recently started to include Covid related deaths in nursing homes, then the reported death tolls from Covid-19, in various countries, are unreliable for the purpose of lock-down comparisons.

Here are a few articles which address the problem.

"Many countries in Europe have essentially ignored coronavirus testing in nursing homes to focus their testing capacity on hospital patients and hospital staffers. In Italy, for instance, a recent national health service report indicated that people dying in nursing homes were overwhelmingly unlikely to have been tested for the virus.
Many countries have not been carefully tracking deaths outside of hospitals, either.
“The challenge is we don’t have very good information for people in care homes,” said Adelina ­Comas-Herrera, a researcher at the London School of Economics."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/nursing-homes-coronavirus-deaths-europe/2020/04/23/d635619c-8561-11ea-81a3-9690c9881111_story.html

"The United States does not know how many people are dying from COVID-19 in part because the government is only just now requiring nursing homes to start reporting numbers of presumed and confirmed cases and deaths to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The missing cases could dramatically skew the national death count. When France started reporting death data from some of its nursing homes, the daily COVID-19 fatality numbers almost doubled."

https://theconversation.com/failure-to-count-covid-19-nursing-home-deaths-could-dramatically-skew-us-numbers-137212

"Residents of nursing homes have accounted for a staggering proportion of Covid-19 deaths in the US, where more than 85,000 people have died. Privately compiled data shows that such deaths now account for more than half of all fatalities in 14 states, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. But only 33 states report nursing home-related deaths, so the true extent of the problem across the state remains unknown."
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/16/across-the-world-figures-reveal-horrific-covid-19-toll-of-care-home-deaths
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1215 on: May 27, 2020, 05:11:30 am »

I think the problem has been due to a shortage of testing equipment, which makes it an issue of priorities. People in nursing homes tend to die at a far greater rate than people in the general population, with or without the presence of the Covid virus.

However, when comparing the death rates from Covid-19 in different countries, in order to assess the effectiveness of the varying degrees of lock-down, the inclusion or exclusion of Covid related deaths in nursing homes and aged care homes, can skew the comparison.
[...]

Yes, that's why I warned (as do the serious websites that show statistics while adding disclaimers) that different sources can produce different counts, and that there may be some time lag before some numbers are updated.

However, it does not mean that we're flying totally blind. There are other statistics available that can reveal the potential difference between labeled COVID-19 cases and all causes of death, like this example for the USA:

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html

It may take some time to calculate / label after testing / use whatever method to figure out how many of the excess mortality is due to COVID-19, but there is no really plausible explanation for the excess above the bandwidth of regular fluctuations due to influenza other than COVID-19. Especially because this excess mortality can be found in probably all other countries in sync with the SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks.

I already posted a similar chart for the Netherlands several weeks ago, so the chart is neither intended to single out any specific political system nor to start a political discussion. Just pointing out the statistics that can help us gain a better understanding. I've attached an updated version for the Netherlands by our Central Bureau for Statistics, which shows that we're almost back to the 'normal' number of deaths per week. In fact, for week 20 we have lower mortality for ages above 80 and for women than we do on average (could be caused by premature death in the weeks before due to COVID-19).
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 06:03:37 am by Bart_van_der_Wolf »
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Chris Kern

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1216 on: May 27, 2020, 12:00:06 pm »

. . . it does not mean that we're flying totally blind. There are other statistics available that can reveal the potential difference between labeled COVID-19 cases and all causes of death . . .

That's how seasonal influenza statistics are computed here in the United States, where most people who become infected are not tested for the viral strains that are circulating in a particular 'flu season.  The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention use an after-the-fact modeling technique to develop an estimate of how many people were infected and how many died in a given season.  So 15K deaths among those who tested positive might result in an extrapolated estimate of 45K deaths.

Although we were slow to ramp up testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus here in the States, there is a substantial amount of testing going on now.  The current widely-cited figure of almost 100K deaths is based on tested individuals.  However, some unknown number of people are dying of the coronavirus without being tested, for example at home, and no doubt the CDC eventually will produce an estimate similar to the ones it develops each year for seasonal influenza which will be substantially higher.

From what I've been reading, one side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is that we may get more accurate hard data than usual about the influenza rates for the 2019-2020 and 2020-21 seasons because symptomatic individuals who test negative for SARS-CoV-2 may subsequently be tested for influenza.

John Camp

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1217 on: May 27, 2020, 05:58:49 pm »

Johns Hopkins, the semi-official counter of "confirmed" covid-19 deaths in the US, now lists more than 100,000 deaths.
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1218 on: May 27, 2020, 06:47:59 pm »

Johns Hopkins, the semi-official counter of "confirmed" covid-19 deaths in the US, now lists more than 100,000 deaths.

Yes, sadly the number doubled in the last month.
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LesPalenik

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1219 on: May 30, 2020, 08:13:38 am »

In fighting the Covid-19 disease, a switch to a healthier diet might be more effective in saving lives than the hydroxychloroquine.
In a recent paper published in the scientific journal The Lancet, scientists report that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can infect the endothelial cells that line the inside of blood vessels. Endothelial cells protect the cardiovascular system, and they release proteins that influence everything from blood clotting to the immune response. Endothelial complications occur primarily in patients with cardiovascular disease and/or coronary risk factors, such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, smoking and high-fat diet.

Quote
In April, blood clots emerged as one of the many mysterious symptoms attributed to Covid-19, a disease that had initially been thought to largely affect the lungs in the form of pneumonia. Quickly after came reports of young people dying due to coronavirus-related strokes. Next it was Covid toes — painful red or purple digits.

What do all of these symptoms have in common? An impairment in blood circulation. Add in the fact that 40% of deaths from Covid-19 are related to cardiovascular complications, and the disease starts to look like a vascular infection instead of a purely respiratory one.

Months into the pandemic, there is now a growing body of evidence to support the theory that the novel coronavirus can infect blood vessels, which could explain not only the high prevalence of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks, but also provide an answer for the diverse set of head-to-toe symptoms that have emerged.

https://elemental.medium.com/coronavirus-may-be-a-blood-vessel-disease-which-explains-everything-2c4032481ab2
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