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Author Topic: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS  (Read 21109 times)

Rob C

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #240 on: April 01, 2020, 04:44:23 am »

And how confident is one with the actual counts of people that contract the yearly flu. I for one if I get a flu like condition during the winter months don't go to the doctor or hospital so I don't get counted.


That's why I found the dearth of kitchen roll more annoying than any shortage of loo roll. I am blessed with cold symptoms from the onset of the winter season; I doubt that a winter's day goes past that I have not sneezed or blown holes through paper towels.

No quack has a record of my symptoms these past so many years: I accept them as part of being whatever I happen to be. You could say that I found a crack through which to slip, time and time again.

;-(

Manoli

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #241 on: April 01, 2020, 08:00:33 am »

April 1st - but this, sadly, is no April fools post.

News that a Chinese female doctor, amongst the first to not just raise the alarm but criticise the authorities, hard on being dismissed, has now 'disappeared'. Regrettably, not limited to China - The Times UK today reports that UK frontline medics are 'threatened with the sack' if they speak of PPE shortages.

Times also reporting what most of us already know, UK response was woeful, politically expedient and tardy.

Quote
Nervtag (New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group) meeting, February 21, concluded that the official risk assessment should remain unchanged: “Current PHE risk assessment of the disease is moderate. The PHE risk assessment to the UK population is also moderate. This is a composite of what is known about transmission and the impact on public health globally and in the UK.”

The disclosure of the minutes offers a glimpse of scientific thinking as the outbreak emerged and raises questions about the speed of the response.  On the day that the advisers met, Italy recorded its first coronavirus death and two days later schools in the north of the country were closed.

In the UK, schools were not closed until March 18, pubs and gyms followed, and a full lockdown was put in place on March 23.



« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 11:56:55 am by Manoli »
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Manoli

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #242 on: April 01, 2020, 08:06:15 am »

Final irony ;

Quote
Donald Trump has criticised Boris Johnson’s initial approach to the coronavirus pandemic saying it would have been “catastrophic” for the US.  Britain’s relative shortage of ventilators was also highlighted in a White House briefing that will intensify pressure on the prime minister’s handling of the crisis.

Criticism is mounting as supplies of critical equipment promised by ministers fail to materialise, with testing of NHS workers a particular problem. Chris Hopson, the head of NHS Providers, said that if testing was available to all health workers 85 per cent of its staff currently unable to work because of fears they or someone in their household had the virus, could return to the front line.

One piece of positive news :
'Formula One' ventilators(*) are to be delivered to the NHS starting this weekend.

(*)
I'm using the popular term as referred to in the press. Otherwise CPAP.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 08:09:30 am by Manoli »
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LesPalenik

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #243 on: April 01, 2020, 09:01:42 am »

Got the email below from a friend. This could explain the high number of deaths in Italy.

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I spoke to one of my Italian friends a couple of days ago. She said that her relatives in Italy reported that people are still not all adhering to the covid restrictions. Her cousin told her that someone got a van, equipped it as a hairdressing/cutting service and drove around neighbourhoods washing and colouring and cutting womens’ hair. Women were lined up in huge lines to get their hair done. Cops shut it down but I suspect the van just drove to another neighbourhood.

I am so surprised by this…why would women want to do this?? And who is going to see them?? (Especially in a closed casket!)

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #244 on: April 01, 2020, 10:21:58 am »

Using the numbers on the Johns Hopkins website, the US mortality rate is about 2%, or roughly 20 times higher than the average flu. But because of the lack of testing, we really don't know how many uncounted cases there are. I still don't understand the lack of a scientific sampling, which could be done in a few days with a high level of confidence in the result.
John and others, IMO it has been a massive failure of both technology and imagination to not have been able to scale up massive diagnostic testing.  We still don't have an approved serological (blood) test (I did see an Internet hoax yesterday that several news organization who should have known better bit on and published) that can be quickly deployed.  Here is what I wrote in my daily email brief today:

I’m a big fan of podcasts and listen to them when I’m out walking, in my car, or working out.  I may have already mentioned that Noah Feldman, a law professor at Harvard, has a very good one called ‘Deep Background’ https://pushkin.fm/deep-background (all of his podcasts are at the link). Yesterday, he had a conversation with Nobel Laureate in Economics Paul Romer and the discussion moved quickly to massive testing of the US population beyond what is being done right now.  Romer, as we all do, wants to get people back to work and massive testing to find those who have not had SARS-CoV-2 or had it and have recovered would help solve this problem.  There are obvious issues such as drastically ramping up test kits and keeping track of those who test negative, but in this day of big data and even bigger projects, this strikes me as the key one to undertake.  Romer argued the point well and it’s worth a half hour to listen to it.

Yes, it's a massive project but better than sitting on our thumbs.  So many failures.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #245 on: April 01, 2020, 10:28:49 am »

Updated situation today from Portugal, compared to other countries. Seems that we are distancing from the most scary trends, but others have done better.

Slide 1 - number of cumulative cases versus days, after 100th case.

Slide 2 - number of deaths versus number of days, after the 10th death.

NOTE - Portugal is the black line.

Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #246 on: April 01, 2020, 10:39:55 am »

Updated situation today from Portugal, compared to other countries. Seems that we are distancing from the most scary trends, but others have done better.

Slide 1 - number of cumulative cases versus days, after 100th case.

Slide 2 - number of deaths versus number of days, after the 10th death.

NOTE - Portugal is the black line.

Looks promising!
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Manoli

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #247 on: April 01, 2020, 11:07:12 am »

... the discussion moved quickly to massive testing of the US population beyond what is being done right now.  Romer, as we all do, wants to get people back to work and massive testing to find those who have not had SARS-CoV-2 or had it and have recovered would help solve this problem.  T

I don't know enough of the situation in the USA, but I would have thought more important to test the front-line medical personnel first.  That's the situation in the UK, and resentment growing by the minute, at the Government's failure to so do coupled w/ failure to provide PPE thereby continuing to endanger all those on the front line. Latest today is that only 14% of the NHS frontline have been tested.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 11:55:21 am by Manoli »
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #248 on: April 01, 2020, 12:36:28 pm »

I don't know enough of the situation in the USA, but I would have thought more important to test the front-line medical personnel first.  That's the situation in the UK, and resentment growing by the minute, at the Government's failure to so do coupled w/ failure to provide PPE thereby continuing to endanger all those on the front line. Latest today is that only 14% of the NHS frontline have been tested.
The whole thing about testing has been a cluster f*ck of high magnitude.  Health care providers here also get first call on testing but there still is not enough testing to go around.  I just saw that our county in Maryland where the National Institutes of Health is headquartered (1/2 mile from my house) cannot get enough test kits to address the local outbreak.  We have a high number of biotech companies here, many of which could be doing testing in a dedicated lab space.  None of this is rocket science.
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #249 on: April 01, 2020, 12:43:54 pm »

I don't know enough of the situation in the USA, but I would have thought more important to test the front-line medical personnel first.

Absolutely, top priority. From the looks of it, in one month time most countries might hit the peak pressure on ICU capacity (both in beds/ventilators as personnel). After that we might consider if there's enough test capability to start up other activities.

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== If you do what you did, you'll get what you got. ==

Manoli

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #250 on: April 01, 2020, 02:18:23 pm »

Bright light or false hope ...

Quote
Doctors in New York have been prescribing critically ill coronavirus patients large doses of vitamin C, and it is also being trialled in hard-hit China. The results of a study at Wuhan University - where 140 patients are being given large amounts of the antioxidant intravenously to establish if it could improve outcomes - will not be completed until September.

Dr Andrew Weber, a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist in Long Island, said he had been giving his intensive care coronavirus patients 1,500 milligrams of intravenous vitamin C. Identical amounts of the dosage are then re-administered three or four times a day. "The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C," he said.

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-can-large-doses-of-vitamin-c-prevent-or-help-to-treat-covid-19-11966790
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 02:29:32 pm by Manoli »
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #251 on: April 01, 2020, 02:44:16 pm »

Bright light or false hope ...

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-can-large-doses-of-vitamin-c-prevent-or-help-to-treat-covid-19-11966790
anything in the popular press should be taken with a grain of salt.  There is a huge amount of data coming out and it's all I can do just to read all the abstracts each morning.  If one looks at the AI modeling papers that are predicting chemical structures that are or should be potent inhibitors of the virus, one ends up with a lot of compounds.  By my count there are over 70 FDA-approved medicines that have been identified this way.  For some of them we now have in vitro data regarding inhibition of the virus and some are being tested clinically.  The problem is the current clinical trial process is not designed to address pandemic conditions.  I'm sure that this will be addressed by the expert group looking post hoc at the pandemic.  I have my own views based on work I did in the biopharma industry and am working on a paper to this end.
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #252 on: April 01, 2020, 03:17:31 pm »

The Canadian Prime Minister said today that it is realistic to expect that Covid-19 restrictions could be in place till July. I did not expect different. The number of cases in Canada continues to increase, but the feeling is that lot of those numbers result from increased testing. Deaths in Canada are not increasing at nearly the same rate, which is good. I saw a quote yesterday that only 1 out 2 ICU beds are in use at the moment, but there is still the expectation that the peak is still a couple of weeks away, although some are hopeful that the stay-at-home directives might show results by the end of this week. This last hope may be because sufficient time has passed since the snowbird return. I read an estimate that a million Canadians returned from abroad in March. I guess a lot of people enjoy heat much more than I do.

The upside is that we seem to be getting some feedback that the sacrifices we're making are accomplishing something useful.

One awful aspect is that retirement residences are being hit all over the country. One sad report is that the deaths at one residence, and staff illnesses, were traced back to one lady who had visited her husband.

I spoke with my 97 year old mother at a residence in Montreal that has been in lockdown for 3 weeks. Other than being bored by the 24/7 disease coverage on TV, she's taking it in stride. I guess that living through a depression and a war (in Italy) gives you perspective.
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Manoli

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #253 on: April 01, 2020, 05:55:18 pm »

NHS Nightingale : An engineering and logistical masterclass.

Quote
Britain’s first coronavirus field hospital has been built in London and will treat up to 4,000 previously fit and healthy people struck down by Covid-19. London patients in need of intensive care but with the best chance of survival will be taken to the Nightingale hospital, which has been constructed within the ExCel arena in the capital’s Docklands area in the space of a week.

... against that, it’s reported that of an NHS personnel of >500,000, only 2,000 have been tested. Speechless.


*edit: on a lighter note, a humorous press analogy:
Whereas Britain is struggling to carry out 50,000 tests in a week, Germany sometimes does twice as many in a day.  Or to put it in footballing terms – and we are talking about Germany, after all – they can test an entire FA Cup final crowd in the same time it takes the NHS to swab a home crowd at Peterborough United. (5,000)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 06:35:07 pm by Manoli »
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #254 on: April 02, 2020, 04:22:54 am »

The whole thing about testing has been a cluster f*ck of high magnitude.  Health care providers here also get first call on testing but there still is not enough testing to go around.  I just saw that our county in Maryland where the National Institutes of Health is headquartered (1/2 mile from my house) cannot get enough test kits to address the local outbreak.  We have a high number of biotech companies here, many of which could be doing testing in a dedicated lab space.  None of this is rocket science.

In Portugal, a few days ago, we entered the "mitigation" phase, which means testing criteria was expanded to include more people. So now we are doing say 5,000 tests a day, but the labs can not handle that number, so results take a few days.

Today I saw that patients should only leave the hospital after doing 2 (negative) tests, separated 14 days. Thing is, hospitals need the beds, and can not wait for the result of the test #2, so they let the patient out anyway...

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #255 on: April 02, 2020, 08:44:28 am »

The US FDA finally approved the first blood test for SARS-CoV-2 virus antibodies.  It requires a normal venus puncture blood draw which is not convenient.  We need a test that will work on a pin prick amount of blood.  Despite the approval lots of gene test kits, many states still cannot do enough testing.  The new rapid test kit from Abbott is particularly hard to get and some places will not have the right equipment to run it:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/01/scramble-rapid-coronavirus-tests-everybody-wants/
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #256 on: April 02, 2020, 08:51:38 am »

A friend found this article about the mathematical modelling of epidemics https://www.wired.com/story/the-mathematics-of-predicting-the-course-of-the-coronavirus.

His summary, 'Comparing the Univ of Washington model described here with current figures, it appears that the total US case figure is now where the model predicted it should be in a week's time'. The article is longish but not overly technical.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #257 on: April 02, 2020, 11:12:03 am »

The Canadian Prime Minister said today that it is realistic to expect that Covid-19 restrictions could be in place till July. I did not expect different. The number of cases in Canada continues to increase, but the feeling is that lot of those numbers result from increased testing. Deaths in Canada are not increasing at nearly the same rate, which is good. I saw a quote yesterday that only 1 out 2 ICU beds are in use at the moment, but there is still the expectation that the peak is still a couple of weeks away, although some are hopeful that the stay-at-home directives might show results by the end of this week. This last hope may be because sufficient time has passed since the snowbird return. I read an estimate that a million Canadians returned from abroad in March. I guess a lot of people enjoy heat much more than I do.

The upside is that we seem to be getting some feedback that the sacrifices we're making are accomplishing something useful.

One awful aspect is that retirement residences are being hit all over the country. One sad report is that the deaths at one residence, and staff illnesses, were traced back to one lady who had visited her husband.

I spoke with my 97 year old mother at a residence in Montreal that has been in lockdown for 3 weeks. Other than being bored by the 24/7 disease coverage on TV, she's taking it in stride. I guess that living through a depression and a war (in Italy) gives you perspective.

I really find it appaling that countries have not prepared for this subject of retirement homes. I see the same problem in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and now you mention Canada.

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #258 on: April 02, 2020, 11:26:01 am »

A friend found this article about the mathematical modelling of epidemics https://www.wired.com/story/the-mathematics-of-predicting-the-course-of-the-coronavirus.

His summary, 'Comparing the Univ of Washington model described here with current figures, it appears that the total US case figure is now where the model predicted it should be in a week's time'. The article is longish but not overly technical.
This is one of the things I have been tracking.  I am seeing about 5-6 pre-prints of models every day.  There are some nice ones that have been put up on GitHub for researchers to use.  The are all probably within 10% of one another.  The big thing is to relieve the burden on hospitals and then put a massive testing infrastructure in place so that people can get back to work.  I'm working on some lessons learned papers to better inform on how to deal with the next one.
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #259 on: April 02, 2020, 11:30:12 am »

I really find it appaling that countries have not prepared for this subject of retirement homes. I see the same problem in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and now you mention Canada.

They are very vulnerable places. Old population, many health problems, with not always a good understanding of biology, communal eating and people coming to visit all the time. My mother's residence closed to all visitors weeks ago and are delivering food to each apartment, no congregating in the lounge areas, etc. But you can see how a simple slip-up, e.g., delivering prescriptions, could cause a problem. And there is a fairly large staff who go home every night, although they have their own incentive to abide by rules and guidelines, they don't want to get sick either.
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