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Author Topic: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS  (Read 87887 times)

Alan Klein

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1060 on: May 10, 2020, 10:54:09 am »

Ray,

thank you for posting those links. As stated in the last article, Institute of Medicine recommends 200-600 International Units of vitamin D daily, but that is clearly insufficient. In Canada, the recommended dosage is 1,000 units, but even that is not enough. I upped it gradually from 1,000 to 3,000 units and that raised my D levels to the acceptable range. Unfortunately, in Canada testing for vitamin D levels is not free (compared with vitamin B12, cholesterol, etc), and as a result, very few people are aware of their vitamin D deficiency, since they do not get regularly tested for it.

Vitamin D is associated also with significant reduction of cancer-related mortality, rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular diseases.

You just pointed out something that I had never thought of or knew about.  That coverages between Canada and the US are not the same.  So comparing the cost of medical care isn't equivalent.  Vitamin D test is covered here.  I found out I was low during a regular 3 month test. I get it as part of my normal blood panel workup where everything else is checked.  What other things are not the same?  It's not just wait time for MRI's and operations that are longer in Canada.  There could be a slew of other services that aren't covered as well.  Costs between our two countries are like comparing apples to oranges. 

Alan Klein

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1061 on: May 10, 2020, 11:05:32 am »

Coincidentally, people in Spain, Italy and Greece have lower vitamin D levels than the US and Canadian citizens. The highest average levels of vitamin D are found in northern Europe, due to the consumption of cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements, and possibly due to less sun avoidance. Scandinavian nations are among the countries with the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates per head of population in Europe.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200507131012.htm
Like global warming, it may be coincidental, not causative.

Alan Klein

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1062 on: May 10, 2020, 11:16:52 am »

That's exactly the point!!  If we knew that this was marginally worse than the seasonal flu, people would have more confidence that it is "safe" to go out.  We don't have this data and I blame the government for not doing this kind of large scale field epidemiology.  Now maybe you and I being over 70 would still be very conservative in what we do but lots of others might be relieved.  Regardless of one's political orientation this is a massive failing on the national level.
I don't understand why other cities and states are not doing it.  It was only a 3000 test sampling in NYC.  Our polling for national elections are often only 1000-2000.  How hard would it be to test a couple of thousand people in each of the states?  OK, we don't know the test's accuracy.  But even if it's off 25%, you still get an idea of what's going on. 

What I see in my town here in central New Jersey is that they do testing as they are testing in all townships.  But they're limited to people who call in, who think they have it, or do EMT, fire, police and other officials.  So it's not random. So the number of cases mean nothing as to the actual infection rate of the general populace.  You think that governors would want to know the actual infection rate.  That could justify or not justify re-opening their states or specific sections of their states earlier or later.  Right now it seems they're only basing it on death rates.  Or luck.

It's also true that like you, us old farts have to be careful regardless of what our idiot leaders do.  Our governor is a businessman worth around $300 million.  So at least he understands business somewhat and analyzes things from that standpoint as well.  So I hope he makes reasoned judgments.  But whatever they are, my wife and I are still hiding out.

Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1063 on: May 10, 2020, 01:16:39 pm »

Can we please stay on the topic of COVID-19?
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Jeremy Roussak

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1064 on: May 10, 2020, 01:36:12 pm »

Can we please stay on the topic of COVID-19?

And in particular avoid pointless bickering about the extent of insurance cover / state-funded provision of medical care in different countries. There's a politics thread for that.

Jeremy
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1065 on: May 10, 2020, 02:14:49 pm »

Quite right, my apologies. I removed my post.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2020, 03:00:39 pm by Robert Roaldi »
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John Camp

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1066 on: May 10, 2020, 02:16:54 pm »

That's exactly the point!!  If we knew that this was marginally worse than the seasonal flu, people would have more confidence that it is "safe" to go out.  We don't have this data and I blame the government for not doing this kind of large scale field epidemiology.  Now maybe you and I being over 70 would still be very conservative in what we do but lots of others might be relieved.  Regardless of one's political orientation this is a massive failing on the national level.

I think I mentioned this in another post, but I an't find it. I don't understand why the US doesn't do a thoroughly randomized study of exactly where we are in the epidemic here. I should mention that I once took an extensive course in polling and sampling, and I suspect that the NY study is probably not vey good because of the way it was done. The fact is, small changes in technique which oversample certain populations scan seriously skew results. (For example, we learned of a study in which people in a certain town were polled for political preferences, and the results come back skewed toward Republicans. It turned out that the sampling method sent polling people to every 5th or 6th house -- I can't remember the exact number -- and it turned out that the number meant that the polling people way over sampled corner houses; and corner houses are more expensive, and more likely to be inhabited by Republicans, so the ample wasn't truly random.) As I understand it, the NY sample was taken on the street, people who were not sheltering when they were sampled, and thus, I would expect them to have more occurrences of Covid19.

However, it would seem to me that you could do a national sample using cell-phone numbers, and after the sample is set -- something routinely done by political polling services -- you would contact those people, order them to go to a hospital to get tested (something that could be done by law -- they'd have to show up) -- and reward them, say $500 or $1,000. You'd only need to sample about 1,000 people to get a very clear idea of how extensive the problem is. (That would get you within 3% with 95% reliability.) You'd only need to sample that 1,000 people for any size of population. If we awarded each person $1,000, and needed 1000 people, that'd only be a million dollars, not much for this critical information when we're throwing around trillions. One problem with this is the reliably of the tests themselves. If they got large numbers of false negatives and positives, that would also skew the results.
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Alan Klein

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1067 on: May 10, 2020, 03:08:41 pm »

I think I mentioned this in another post, but I an't find it. I don't understand why the US doesn't do a thoroughly randomized study of exactly where we are in the epidemic here. I should mention that I once took an extensive course in polling and sampling, and I suspect that the NY study is probably not vey good because of the way it was done. The fact is, small changes in technique which oversample certain populations scan seriously skew results. (For example, we learned of a study in which people in a certain town were polled for political preferences, and the results come back skewed toward Republicans. It turned out that the sampling method sent polling people to every 5th or 6th house -- I can't remember the exact number -- and it turned out that the number meant that the polling people way over sampled corner houses; and corner houses are more expensive, and more likely to be inhabited by Republicans, so the ample wasn't truly random.) As I understand it, the NY sample was taken on the street, people who were not sheltering when they were sampled, and thus, I would expect them to have more occurrences of Covid19.

However, it would seem to me that you could do a national sample using cell-phone numbers, and after the sample is set -- something routinely done by political polling services -- you would contact those people, order them to go to a hospital to get tested (something that could be done by law -- they'd have to show up) -- and reward them, say $500 or $1,000. You'd only need to sample about 1,000 people to get a very clear idea of how extensive the problem is. (That would get you within 3% with 95% reliability.) You'd only need to sample that 1,000 people for any size of population. If we awarded each person $1,000, and needed 1000 people, that'd only be a million dollars, not much for this critical information when we're throwing around trillions. One problem with this is the reliably of the tests themselves. If they got large numbers of false negatives and positives, that would also skew the results.
Well, Jeremy may consider your point a political position.  But it deserves a response regardless. 

Well, you could offer a payment.  But you can't order people to show up at hospitals.  There are no such laws.  In fact our constitution prohibits that.  What's next?  Telling people they have to be part of a vaccine study as guinea pigs and get injected with dangerous drugs?  What if someone like a president thought we should try an antiseptic injection?  If you can use a virus epidemic to do that, they why not put off elections for four years, extend terms in office, and limit all kinds of other freedoms.  I agree that good studies are important.  But the government has to do it in a way that doesn't impede liberties to such a great extent. 

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1068 on: May 10, 2020, 04:39:55 pm »

However, it would seem to me that you could do a national sample using cell-phone numbers, and after the sample is set -- something routinely done by political polling services -- you would contact those people, order them to go to a hospital to get tested (something that could be done by law -- they'd have to show up) -- and reward them, say $500 or $1,000. You'd only need to sample about 1,000 people to get a very clear idea of how extensive the problem is. (That would get you within 3% with 95% reliability.) You'd only need to sample that 1,000 people for any size of population. If we awarded each person $1,000, and needed 1000 people, that'd only be a million dollars, not much for this critical information when we're throwing around trillions. One problem with this is the reliably of the tests themselves. If they got large numbers of false negatives and positives, that would also skew the results.
John, they have done field epidemiology in New York, Los Angeles and Santa Clara county using blood tests for antibodies to COVID-19.  In all cases the investigators showed many fold more infections than have been reported through the normal hospital based testing that was going on at the time.  When the preprints came out all kinds of hate posts started appearing bitching about the sampling protocols and the poor reliability of the tests which was false in the two CA testing regimes as the researchers did their own in house validation and didn't simply rely on the manufacturers data.  New York used a version of the Mt. Sinai developed test which is approved by the FDA and one of the best ones out there.  IMO, the infection rate is a minimum of 10X the number of reported infections and this is similar to what the Italians are finding as well.  Is it as high as 50-70X as the Santa Clara study showed?  I don't know and maybe it is somewhere in between.

The bottom line is we have the tools to do this kind of testing right now even if we are not going to engage in a massive testing program.  The failure of will at the National level is just stupifying to me.  I have friends in the public health community that have documented what is needed to reopen things in a sane manner.  We have millions of people unemployed and some of these folks won't see their jobs return.  Retrain people to help out on the public health side doing contact tracing.  They can earn money and contribute to the public good.  This is not rocket science!!
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John Camp

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1069 on: May 10, 2020, 06:32:29 pm »

John, they have done field epidemiology in New York, Los Angeles and Santa Clara county using blood tests for antibodies to COVID-19.  In all cases the investigators showed many fold more infections than have been reported through the normal hospital based testing that was going on at the time.  When the preprints came out all kinds of hate posts started appearing bitching about the sampling protocols and the poor reliability of the tests which was false in the two CA testing regimes as the researchers did their own in house validation and didn't simply rely on the manufacturers data.  New York used a version of the Mt. Sinai developed test which is approved by the FDA and one of the best ones out there.  IMO, the infection rate is a minimum of 10X the number of reported infections and this is similar to what the Italians are finding as well.  Is it as high as 50-70X as the Santa Clara study showed?  I don't know and maybe it is somewhere in between.

The bottom line is we have the tools to do this kind of testing right now even if we are not going to engage in a massive testing program.  The failure of will at the National level is just stupifying to me.  I have friends in the public health community that have documented what is needed to reopen things in a sane manner.  We have millions of people unemployed and some of these folks won't see their jobs return.  Retrain people to help out on the public health side doing contact tracing.  They can earn money and contribute to the public good.  This is not rocket science!!

My problem with the California and New York tests involved the sampling. When I was studying sampling, it became apparent (in the academic studies) that very minor changes in sampling technique could lead to large errors in reported outcomes. (There was even an entire book devoted to the problem, called "Unobtrusive Measures.") In California, the people sampled (as I understand it) were actually recruited on-line, which raised the question of whether self-selection might have skewed results. In New York, sampling only people who were outside also probably skewed results; people who were self-quarantining were not tested. That said, I completely agree that the number of infections is probably far higher that what we have officially recorded. The question is, what is it? If the infection rate is, say, 5x higher, then the death rate would be many times worse than the flu. If it were 10x higher, then the actual death rate might be, say, .006% still quite a bit higher than the flu. But what if it turns out to be 100x higher? Then the death rate would be flu-like, and with adequate protections provided to the most vulnerable groups, we might be able to open the economy entirely, accepting flu-like death rates. (I doubt that would be the case, as we've never had this many deaths in so short a time, from a respiratory virus, since the Spanish Flu.)

As far as the false negatives are concerned, the doctor featured on CNN as their medical specialist, Sanjay Gupta, keeps citing the 15% false negatives as if that were an established fact; but I'm not sure that it continues to be, even though he continues to talk about that specific number.

In any case, I think it would be relatively simple and cheap to use standard polling techniques to find out about how many people are carrying the virus; I don't know why it hasn't been done. I'm not making any political accusations here -- neither red nor blue states have really done this. It may be a matter of "penny wise, pound foolish," thinking that the cost of a poll would be money better spent on other things related to the crisis. But that's probably incorrect, IMHO, for the relatively small amounts involved. I believe it would be really helpful to know about what we're dealing with -- I make no claims that such a technique would be perfect.
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Alan Klein

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1070 on: May 10, 2020, 06:37:55 pm »

John, they have done field epidemiology in New York, Los Angeles and Santa Clara county using blood tests for antibodies to COVID-19.  In all cases the investigators showed many fold more infections than have been reported through the normal hospital based testing that was going on at the time.  When the preprints came out all kinds of hate posts started appearing bitching about the sampling protocols and the poor reliability of the tests which was false in the two CA testing regimes as the researchers did their own in house validation and didn't simply rely on the manufacturers data.  New York used a version of the Mt. Sinai developed test which is approved by the FDA and one of the best ones out there.  IMO, the infection rate is a minimum of 10X the number of reported infections and this is similar to what the Italians are finding as well.  Is it as high as 50-70X as the Santa Clara study showed?  I don't know and maybe it is somewhere in between.

The bottom line is we have the tools to do this kind of testing right now even if we are not going to engage in a massive testing program.  The failure of will at the National level is just stupifying to me.  I have friends in the public health community that have documented what is needed to reopen things in a sane manner.  We have millions of people unemployed and some of these folks won't see their jobs return.  Retrain people to help out on the public health side doing contact tracing.  They can earn money and contribute to the public good.  This is not rocket science!!
So the NY governor did a test in NYC and found out 20% were infected.  How did that help him? Is he changing policy or making policy because of that?  How would it change policy?  Why aren't other states doing it?  Why wait for the federal government?  50 governors and no one's doing it?  It seems like everyone passing the buck.

Chris Kern

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1071 on: May 10, 2020, 06:53:10 pm »

I don't understand why the US doesn't do a thoroughly randomized study of exactly where we are in the epidemic here.

The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is currently enrolling "volunteers" for a large-scale national study (up to 10K participants) of the presence SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the American population.

This is not a randomized survey―probably, I suspect, because it requires acquiring blood, and it would be difficult to gain consent for that from a randomly-selected sample of participants―but the study's managers are requiring those who volunteer to respond to a qualifying questionnaire that presumably will be used to verify that the selected respondents are representative of the general population with respect to what they consider to be relevant demographic traits.

A fully-randomized sample survey would obviously be preferable, but given the urgency of making an initial estimate of the extent of COVID-19 infections and the difficulty of conducting invasive testing of individuals selected randomly, I can understand the rationale for this approach.  The result should provide the first plausible estimate of how many people have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the United States and, given the size of the sample, may provide useful information about the differential regional infection rates.

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1072 on: May 10, 2020, 07:40:49 pm »

The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is currently enrolling "volunteers" for a large-scale national study (up to 10K participants) of the presence SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the American population.

This is not a randomized survey―probably, I suspect, because it requires acquiring blood, and it would be difficult to gain consent for that from a randomly-selected sample of participants―but the study's managers are requiring those who volunteer to respond to a qualifying questionnaire that presumably will be used to verify that the selected respondents are representative of the general population with respect to what they consider to be relevant demographic traits.

A fully-randomized sample survey would obviously be preferable, but given the urgency of making an initial estimate of the extent of COVID-19 infections and the difficulty of conducting invasive testing of individuals selected randomly, I can understand the rationale for this approach.  The result should provide the first plausible estimate of how many people have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the United States and, given the size of the sample, may provide useful information about the differential regional infection rates.
I'll try to address the comments in the last three posts by John, Alan and Chris.  One can quibble with the sampling strategies used in Santa Clara but the researchers were trying to get results in a hurry.  They acknowledged the issue which is why they presented the infection rate as a range.  There were two very well known epidemiologists on that paper so I'm reasonably confident that they gave good thought to that matter.  The reason for using the finger prick lateral flow test is that this can be done in the field and only requires a trained reader of the stick to make a determination.  Yes, the accuracy is not as good as the automated analyzers but it is good enough for field work.

Alan raised the point of the high number of infections in New York.  Yes, that is a large number but so is the total population of the city.  The rate of infection was lower than observed in the Stanford study.  I cannot remember what the Los Angeles data extrapolated out to.

Chris, I read the NIH protocol when it was released several weeks ago and was not impressed.  One of the main reasons is they were not going to notify participants of their antibody status which I think is wrong and am surprised that the IRB let that one slide by.  I would have made such notification mandatory were I on the IRB (this and other reasons are why I will never be picked to participate on one).

What I would do is mandate COVID-19 antibody testing any time someone goes in for a diagnostic blood draw.  Both my wife and I have our physicals scheduled for next month and we are both going to request this as part of the panel.  It's too bad the US healthcare system is so fragmented.  Unless you are in a managed care system, there is no way to harmonize and exchange results.  If there was they could use the blood draw information pretty easily as they do in Europe.  You may scoff at the UK's NHS but they can run huge observational studies over the whole population very quickly and they have already done this in some papers I have read.
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Alan Klein

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1073 on: May 10, 2020, 08:00:35 pm »

I'll try to address the comments in the last three posts by John, Alan and Chris.  One can quibble with the sampling strategies used in Santa Clara but the researchers were trying to get results in a hurry.  They acknowledged the issue which is why they presented the infection rate as a range.  There were two very well known epidemiologists on that paper so I'm reasonably confident that they gave good thought to that matter.  The reason for using the finger prick lateral flow test is that this can be done in the field and only requires a trained reader of the stick to make a determination.  Yes, the accuracy is not as good as the automated analyzers but it is good enough for field work.

Alan raised the point of the high number of infections in New York.  Yes, that is a large number but so is the total population of the city.  The rate of infection was lower than observed in the Stanford study.  I cannot remember what the Los Angeles data extrapolated out to.

Chris, I read the NIH protocol when it was released several weeks ago and was not impressed.  One of the main reasons is they were not going to notify participants of their antibody status which I think is wrong and am surprised that the IRB let that one slide by.  I would have made such notification mandatory were I on the IRB (this and other reasons are why I will never be picked to participate on one).

What I would do is mandate COVID-19 antibody testing any time someone goes in for a diagnostic blood draw.  Both my wife and I have our physicals scheduled for next month and we are both going to request this as part of the panel.  It's too bad the US healthcare system is so fragmented.  Unless you are in a managed care system, there is no way to harmonize and exchange results.  If there was they could use the blood draw information pretty easily as they do in Europe.  You may scoff at the UK's NHS but they can run huge observational studies over the whole population very quickly and they have already done this in some papers I have read.
Thanks Alan for your response.  Could you tell us how knowing NYC has a 20% infection rate help NY's Governor Cuomo know when to open up? What if he did another test tomorrow and found it was 24%. Or 34%.  Would it help him decide and why?  The point of my question is everyone keeps talking about how important testing is.  Why is it important other than know about rates.  Does it change behavior and decision making?  Or is it more about pointing fingers?

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1074 on: May 10, 2020, 08:27:55 pm »

Thanks Alan for your response.  Could you tell us how knowing NYC has a 20% infection rate help NY's Governor Cuomo know when to open up? What if he did another test tomorrow and found it was 24%. Or 34%.  Would it help him decide and why?  The point of my question is everyone keeps talking about how important testing is.  Why is it important other than know about rates.  Does it change behavior and decision making?  Or is it more about pointing fingers?
New York City will always be a tough call because of the heavy reliance on public transportation and high density of population.  My 96 year old mother in law lives two blocks from Union Square and has a home healthcare worker come during the day for about 6 hours.  She is still COVID-19 free!  We don't know at what level 'herd immunity' kicks in.  I read a paper this morning that conjectured that herd immunity might be lower for COVID-19 than for other respiratory viruses such as flu or like measles which is easily contracted.  If everyone in NY City wore masks, transmission rates would go down and there is a possibility of staged opening of services.  It may be that work schedules need to be readjusted so there are not huge groups of people on the subways or buses.  Were I Cuomo (and I'm glad I am not), I would urge those >60 years old to continue sheltering in place.  That is the population at risk and will continue to be at risk.

The more I read about the virus, the more weird things get.  There appears to be a genetic predisposition to infection based on the binding site of the virus.  Much more needs to be confirmed about this to assess who is at risk and who is not.  There just are no easy answers.  I do think parts of the economy will need to open quickly but for some businesses the damage is done.  I cannot see the cruise ship industry coming back from this.  There will be a lot of restaurant closures.  The hospitality industry is taking a huge hit.  large conventions likely won't be scheduled for the next 6-9 months.  It's awful.
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Alan Klein

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1075 on: May 10, 2020, 08:30:52 pm »

New York City will always be a tough call because of the heavy reliance on public transportation and high density of population.  My 96 year old mother in law lives two blocks from Union Square and has a home healthcare worker come during the day for about 6 hours.  She is still COVID-19 free!  We don't know at what level 'herd immunity' kicks in.  I read a paper this morning that conjectured that herd immunity might be lower for COVID-19 than for other respiratory viruses such as flu or like measles which is easily contracted.  If everyone in NY City wore masks, transmission rates would go down and there is a possibility of staged opening of services.  It may be that work schedules need to be readjusted so there are not huge groups of people on the subways or buses.  Were I Cuomo (and I'm glad I am not), I would urge those >60 years old to continue sheltering in place.  That is the population at risk and will continue to be at risk.

The more I read about the virus, the more weird things get.  There appears to be a genetic predisposition to infection based on the binding site of the virus.  Much more needs to be confirmed about this to assess who is at risk and who is not.  There just are no easy answers.  I do think parts of the economy will need to open quickly but for some businesses the damage is done.  I cannot see the cruise ship industry coming back from this.  There will be a lot of restaurant closures.  The hospitality industry is taking a huge hit.  large conventions likely won't be scheduled for the next 6-9 months.  It's awful.
I appreciate your responce.  But you didn't answer my question.

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1076 on: May 10, 2020, 08:53:47 pm »

I appreciate your responce.  But you didn't answer my question.
I did.  there is not easy answer and it's going to be a hard call.  I told you what my desired outcome would be.  It won't be business as usual.
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Alan Klein

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1077 on: May 10, 2020, 09:07:13 pm »

I did.  there is not easy answer and it's going to be a hard call.  I told you what my desired outcome would be.  It won't be business as usual.
If it's going to be a hard call, why is everyone saying we need to have a lot of testing?  The NY Governor knows now that the percentage of infection in NYC is over 20%.  But knowing that doesn;t seem to help in make a decision when to open up.  So why is everyone getting all excited about the tests other than to make a political point?  What is the scientific basis for knowing?  How does that information help us determined when to open the country?  If it doesn't, why is the information so critical? It seems to be an issue that people are making political points.

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1078 on: May 11, 2020, 08:03:15 am »

If it's going to be a hard call, why is everyone saying we need to have a lot of testing?  The NY Governor knows now that the percentage of infection in NYC is over 20%.  But knowing that doesn;t seem to help in make a decision when to open up.  So why is everyone getting all excited about the tests other than to make a political point?  What is the scientific basis for knowing?  How does that information help us determined when to open the country?  If it doesn't, why is the information so critical? It seems to be an issue that people are making political points.
To assure ongoing safety in a pandemic, you need to implement a track and trace system and be able to lock down hot spots as quickly as possible.  This is public health 101 and one thing that we know works.  By doing lots of testing on a large scale, you know who has the virus, who has recovered and who is naive (e.g., never gotten it).  This requires lots of people to do this kind of work though there are smart phone apps that can make this a lot easier to to do: see this link - https://pact.mit.edu/leadership/   The app was designed by Ron Rivest of MIT who was one of the designers of a widely used encryption algorithm.  South Korea are using something like this in their public health response.  The problem is Americans get super paranoid (IMO for no good reason as all data on a person is virtually everywhere these days) and likely would not use this approach.

There is no political point in all this.  You need to be able to track and isolate.
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Alan Klein

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Re: COVID-19 | science, damage limitation, NO POLITICS
« Reply #1079 on: May 11, 2020, 09:05:57 am »

To assure ongoing safety in a pandemic, you need to implement a track and trace system and be able to lock down hot spots as quickly as possible.  This is public health 101 and one thing that we know works.  By doing lots of testing on a large scale, you know who has the virus, who has recovered and who is naive (e.g., never gotten it).  This requires lots of people to do this kind of work though there are smart phone apps that can make this a lot easier to to do: see this link - https://pact.mit.edu/leadership/   The app was designed by Ron Rivest of MIT who was one of the designers of a widely used encryption algorithm.  South Korea are using something like this in their public health response.  The problem is Americans get super paranoid (IMO for no good reason as all data on a person is virtually everywhere these days) and likely would not use this approach.

There is no political point in all this.  You need to be able to track and isolate.
What does track and trace have to do with testing and opening the economy?  There's no way to test 340 million people daily to see who has the virus.  How would you track the million people who use the NYC subways every day (before the shutdown), coughing and sneezing on each other, etc. ?  Over two million New Yorkers already have had the infection according to sampling tests.  How do the Chinese and the So Koreans track and isolate?  Again, the question is how does testing stop the virus and allow leaders to make decisions on when to open their economies? YOur answer isn't clear.
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