Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Day 64: COVID-19 “Shelter-in-Place”

 

Today the screengrab is featuring a different data site: https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus. I am also focusing on the death count because, to the first order, the fear of catastrophic death counts is what is driving the politicians to restrict liberty for their various populations. While politicians seek praise, they fear blame.

The President at the virus press briefing yesterday squarely addressed the issue of trade-offs between fighting the virus and killing the economy. Of course, the press wants to act incredulous that he would even consider “money” versus lives. But the reality is that impoverishment kills. I don’t know that the President is the most articulate spokesman for the economic arguments. But if you were watching and have concerns about trashing the economy in the process of fighting the virus, you took comfort in his words. The press wants to believe that Trump just wants to preserve his economic record, is just throwing a tantrum over what the necessities of fighting the virus have done to his singular achievement.

Maybe Sen. John Kennedy put it better when he highlighted that we love our children and our grandchildren and are concerned about what kind of America we are leaving to them. That, as a senior himself, he would far rather take the risk of death than to destroy the country in the name of preserving older citizens. If that is the trade-off what is the question? Why would we condemn our young to a life of impoverishment to add a few days, months, years to us who are superannuated?

And this assumes that the projections for the pandemic are true. If, as Richard Epstein has capably argued, the virus is not as deadly as supposed by those who are tanking the economy, we are making a mistake of incredible proportions if we persist in shuttering Main Street for an extended period. President Trump accepted a 15-day period of extreme measures, but he is clearly worried about letting it go on much longer. Never bet against this man’s instincts.

The press wants to lock him into following the most conservative medical advice he is getting. The press wants to portray him as cavalier about the lives of so many. The press are idiots, ideological idiots. And the climbing numbers will support them in the short run. If we wait for an undisputed “all clear” signal, we will emerge only to see desolation. The call needs to be made while the risks still remain. President Trump will do that, but we need to have his back.

[Note: Links to all my COVID-19 posts can be found here.]

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  1. The Reticulator Member

    Doubled from what baseline? Maybe the links you provide have an explanation, but you have to pick some starting point for each country, and there are different ways to do it. 

    • #1
    • March 24, 2020, at 10:06 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. OldPhil Coolidge

    “We had to destroy the village country in order to save it.”

    • #2
    • March 24, 2020, at 10:06 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. The Reticulator Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Doubled from what baseline? Maybe the links you provide have an explanation, but you have to pick some starting point for each country, and there are different ways to do it.

    Maybe they meant how long did it take to double in order to reach the current number. That would be useful information in getting some idea of what stage each country is at. 

    • #3
    • March 24, 2020, at 10:29 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Doubled from what baseline? Maybe the links you provide have an explanation, but you have to pick some starting point for each country, and there are different ways to do it.

    Maybe they meant how long did it take to double in order to reach the current number. That would be useful information in getting some idea of what stage each country is at.

    Here is what they say on the website regarding “doubling”:

    How long did it take for the number of confirmed deaths to double?

     

    In the section below we present the latest data on the number of confirmed deaths by country.

    But in an outbreak of an infectious disease it is important to not only study the number of deaths, but also the growth rate at which the number of deaths is increasing.

    This is because even if the current numbers of deaths are small when compared with other diseases, a fast growth rate can lead to very large numbers rapidly.

    To report the rate of change we focus on the question: How long did it take for the number of confirmed deaths to double?

    Let’s take an example: if the number of confirmed deaths as of today is 1000, and there were only 500 deaths three days ago then we would say that it took three days for the number of confirmed deaths to double.2

    The doubling time of deaths has changed and it will change in the future. It would be wrong to extrapolate current growth into the future.3

    It is important to understand what it means for deaths to double. As long as deaths are doubling at a constant rate the growth is exponential. We humans tend to think in linear growth processes even when the growth is exponential, as psychological research has shown for decades. Below we give some intuition about exponential growth and provide the referenced psychological research on this.

    • #4
    • March 24, 2020, at 10:37 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. M. Brandon Godbey Member

    Our Democrat governor (Andy Beshears, Kentucky) is following the panic button model. We now have around a grand total 120 cases in a state of 4.2 million (mostly rural) people. We are far from a sharp rise on the curve, yet he has already introduced a no “non-essential” edict to the Commonwealth, all but ensuring a massive economic collapse if it is not undone promptly. The choices our governors will have to make regarding the balance between economic stability and social health will be the ultimate test of their judgment, and Beshears is failing.

    • #5
    • March 24, 2020, at 10:43 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. Unsk Member

    Like others I am thinking the death count doubling is 3 day is a little misleading.

    Yes New York States death count went up by 33%. But the other states with high numbers did not growth that much with the exception of Florida.

    New Jersey- no new reading

    California 25% growth in cases to 2268, 18% growth in deaths to 43

    Washington : 11.2% growth in cases to 2,221 Death grow 15.7% to 110.

    Florida: 21.3 % growth in cases to 1171, 28.5% growth in deaths to 18

    Michigan: 7.7% growth in cases, NO change in deaths

    Louisiana.: No growth in cases remaining 1t 1172 and 3.6% growth in deaths raises death toll to 35 

    Georgia : 28.25% growth in cases to 1,026, Deaths grow at 23% raises to 34

    Outside of NY, in the other big growth cases the average rate of growth is only 14.8% which doubles every 5 days

     

    • #6
    • March 24, 2020, at 11:07 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. MarciN Member

    This is as much a crisis of moral dilemmas becoming public and unavoidable as it is a crisis of health and finances.

    I have no answers. Not even any criticism of those on the front lines at the moment.

    Just prayers for a vaccine.

    • #7
    • March 24, 2020, at 11:21 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  8. The Reticulator Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Doubled from what baseline? Maybe the links you provide have an explanation, but you have to pick some starting point for each country, and there are different ways to do it.

    Maybe they meant how long did it take to double in order to reach the current number. That would be useful information in getting some idea of what stage each country is at.

    Here is what they say on the website regarding “doubling”:

    How long did it take for the number of confirmed deaths to double?

     

    In the section below we present the latest data on the number of confirmed deaths by country.

    But in an outbreak of an infectious disease it is important to not only study the number of deaths, but also the growth rate at which the number of deaths is increasing.

    This is because even if the current numbers of deaths are small when compared with other diseases, a fast growth rate can lead to very large numbers rapidly.

    To report the rate of change we focus on the question: How long did it take for the number of confirmed deaths to double?

    Let’s take an example: if the number of confirmed deaths as of today is 1000, and there were only 500 deaths three days ago then we would say that it took three days for the number of confirmed deaths to double.2

    The doubling time of deaths has changed and it will change in the future. It would be wrong to extrapolate current growth into the future.3

    It is important to understand what it means for deaths to double. As long as deaths are doubling at a constant rate the growth is exponential. We humans tend to think in linear growth processes even when the growth is exponential, as psychological research has shown for decades. Below we give some intuition about exponential growth and provide the referenced psychological research on this.

    That’s a good explanation. Thanks for posting it. My only quibble is why do they do it in integer days rather than fractional? But maybe they think fitting some curve to the deaths and calculating the fractional doubling time would be giving us a false precision.

    • #8
    • March 24, 2020, at 11:59 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Weeping Member

    M. Brandon Godbey (View Comment):

    Our Democrat governor (Andy Beshears, Kentucky) is following the panic button model. We now have around a grand total 120 cases in a state of 4.2 million (mostly rural) people. We are far from a sharp rise on the curve, yet he has already introduced a no “non-essential” edict to the Commonwealth, all but ensuring a massive economic collapse if it is not undone promptly. The choices our governors will have to make regarding the balance between economic stability and social health will be the ultimate test of their judgment, and Beshears is failing.

    The Weeping Family lives in North Texas – the greater Dallas area, to be more specific. As far as I know, our governor hasn’t issued any statewide shelter-in-place/lockdown orders yet. He’s leaving it up to the local governments to make that decision. And the cities and counties around the Dallas area taking him up on it. Some of them are issuing orders that are scheduled to last until the end of April.

    • #9
    • March 24, 2020, at 12:03 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    I read an analysis of Italian data. The person conjectured from the underlying medical conditions and age distribution of the dead (avg=79, more above 90 than below 60) that many of the infections occurred in a hospital or patient care setting. This would be like the Seattle situation multiplied by several facilities. If true, it would be another reason to have those that care for the elderly be tested, trained, and equipped with PPE.

    • #10
    • March 24, 2020, at 12:14 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. The Reticulator Member

    Rodin: Today the screen grab is feature a different data site: https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus.

    Clickable, for those using devices that make it harder to cut and paste.

    That’s a good site. There are some very useful (and I presume innovative) ways of letting you interact with the data.

    • #11
    • March 24, 2020, at 12:18 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Rodin: Today the screen grab is feature a different data site: https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus.

    Clickable, for those using devices that make it harder to cut and paste.

    That’s a good site. There are some very useful (and I presume innovative) ways of letting you interact with the data.

    Thanks. I edited the OP to make it clickable now.

    • #12
    • March 24, 2020, at 12:36 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Jason Obermeyer Member

    The Netherlands seems to not be paying a comparative price for its active disregard of any and all precautions. 

    • #13
    • March 24, 2020, at 1:07 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    I saw a headline yesterday (I think it was CNN) that someone in Nigeria dies from chloroquine poisoning.

    I didn’t read the article.

    Nigeria has a malaria problem still.

    A dumb baseless headline

     

    • #14
    • March 24, 2020, at 1:20 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus#total-tests-by-country

    testing is important for containment

    otherwise you are operating blind

     

    • #15
    • March 24, 2020, at 1:41 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    FYI guys for data on “confirmed cases”.

    NC just issued new testing guidelines.

    • Changes in testing recommendations: People with mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19 do NOT need testing and should be instructed to stay at home to recover. Mild symptoms defined as fever and cough without any of the following: shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest discomfort, altered thinking, cyanosis

     

    I’m betting lots of states that are approaching the “boom” stage ( case, case, cluster, cluster BOOM) and will also change their testing recommendations.

    So. Unless you are sick enough to require hospitalization, you won’t get county in active cases. This is going to affect the stats going forward. 

     

    • #16
    • March 24, 2020, at 1:55 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  17. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    I saw a headline yesterday (I think it was CNN) that someone in Nigeria dies from chloroquine poisoning.

    I didn’t read the article.

    Nigeria has a malaria problem still.

    A dumb baseless headline

     

    And a dipwad died from taking Chloroquin Phosphate used as an Aquarium sanitizer. Have no idea what other ingredients there might be in that, or the dose.

    Again folks, Chloroquine has a side effect that can be fatal in certain people. It can cause a fatal cardiac arrhythmia, particularly when mixed with any drug that causes QT Prolongation or in someone with underlying heart disease.

    It’s a long list.

     

    • #17
    • March 24, 2020, at 2:00 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  18. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus#total-tests-by-country

    testing is important for containment

    otherwise you are operating blind

    It’s also important to use updated data. The link about testing was shows 316,664 tests done in S. Korea (as of Mar. 20) and 103,945 in the US (as of Mar. 19). The link says that it was updated today (Mar. 24).

    The link contains a reference to the “COVID Tracking Project” (here), and you can click the “US current” tab and learn that the US has now done 357,907 tests.

    • #18
    • March 24, 2020, at 2:03 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Rodin, I don’t like the focus on “doubling time.” It gives the impression that exponential growth will continue indefinitely, which has not been the case in any of the countries that have progressed the farthest (S. Korea, Japan, Italy).

    My data shows that Italy’s death count was doubling about every 3 days until March 15, then decelerated.

    We expect rapid growth at the very low levels, and then expect the growth rate to decline.

    • #19
    • March 24, 2020, at 2:06 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. The Reticulator Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Rodin, I don’t like the focus on “doubling time.” It gives the impression that exponential growth will continue indefinitely, which has not been the case in any of the countries that have progressed the farthest (S. Korea, Japan, Italy).

    The explanation he posted in #4 explicitly explains that it will not continue indefinitely. In fact, that’s the point. Here, I’ll post that portion again:

    The doubling time of deaths has changed and it will change in the future. It would be wrong to extrapolate current growth into the future.

    It is important to understand what it means for deaths to double. As long as deaths are doubling at a constant rate the growth is exponential. We humans tend to think in linear growth processes even when the growth is exponential, as psychological research has shown for decades. Below we give some intuition about exponential growth and provide the referenced psychological research on this.

    • #20
    • March 24, 2020, at 2:25 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Chloroquine has a side effect that can be fatal in certain people. It can cause a fatal cardiac arrhythmia, particularly when mixed with any drug that causes QT Prolongation or in someone with underlying heart disease.

    It’s a long list.

     

    Yes that is a long list. Happily I didn’t see any of my medications on that list. Hopefully I won’t have reason to take Hydroxychloroquine.

    • #21
    • March 24, 2020, at 2:27 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Rodin, I don’t like the focus on “doubling time.” It gives the impression that exponential growth will continue indefinitely, which has not been the case in any of the countries that have progressed the farthest (S. Korea, Japan, Italy).

    My data shows that Italy’s death count was doubling about every 3 days until March 15, then decelerated.

    We expect rapid growth at the very low levels, and then expect the growth rate to decline.

    I don’t take any issue with that. The chart does reflect that deceleration by displaying “5 days” instead of 3 for Italy.

    • #22
    • March 24, 2020, at 2:29 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. PHCheese Member

    We have lost about 50,000 a year for the last 20 years because of drug overdose mostly younger people.

    • #23
    • March 24, 2020, at 2:32 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Chloroquine has a side effect that can be fatal in certain people. It can cause a fatal cardiac arrhythmia, particularly when mixed with any drug that causes QT Prolongation or in someone with underlying heart disease.

    It’s a long list.

     

    Yes that is a long list. Happily I didn’t see any of my medications on that list. Hopefully I won’t have reason to take Hydroxychloroquine.

    FYI hydroxychlorquine is the same in terms of QT prolongation.

    It’s starting to look promising so keep your fingers crossed.

    • #24
    • March 24, 2020, at 3:03 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    M. Brandon Godbey (View Comment):

    Our Democrat governor (Andy Beshears, Kentucky) is following the panic button model. We now have around a grand total 120 cases in a state of 4.2 million (mostly rural) people. We are far from a sharp rise on the curve, yet he has already introduced a no “non-essential” edict to the Commonwealth, all but ensuring a massive economic collapse if it is not undone promptly. The choices our governors will have to make regarding the balance between economic stability and social health will be the ultimate test of their judgment, and Beshears is failing.

    Just be sure to keep that Bourbon flowing.

    • #25
    • March 24, 2020, at 3:05 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. MarciN Member

    What’s troubling to me is the amount of business we’ve been doing with China that has served to enrich only the Communists, not the Chinese people. The Communists take everything people earn and return very little:

    Guan Yi, a virus expert and noted flu hunter at the University of Hong Kong School of Public Health, has predicted that H7N9 “could be the biggest threat to public health in 100 years.” Specialists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned this past June that out of all the novel influenza strains they’d recently evaluated, H7N9 has the highest potential “to emerge as a pandemic virus and cause substantial human illness.”

    Yin says he’d heard about H7N9 on TV, but when his wife started to vomit, they didn’t make the connection. Instead of seeking Western-style medicine, they did what many rural Chinese people do when they’re under the weather: They went to the local herbalist and sought inexpensive, traditional treatments for what they hoped was a simple illness. As a small-scale farmer with four children, Yin takes temporary construction jobs (as many rural Chinese do) to boost his income to about $550 a month. He had always been terrified that someone in his family might develop a serious health problem. “That’s a farmer’s worst nightmare,” he explains. “Hospital costs are unbelievable. Entire family savings could be wiped out.”

    It is really surprising to me that not only did the American pharmaceutical health care equipment companies and government health and human services agencies allow our country to be dependent on a single country for our supply chain, it never dawned on American leaders that the reason the Communists were able to underbid every other country in the civilized world was that any profits went to the wealthy Communists, not to the Chinese people. Health care for their poor rural elderly is unaffordable and inaccessible. They do not spend money to help the working poor. Of course they can underbid American companies. 

    • #26
    • March 24, 2020, at 3:23 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. Misthiocracy held his nose and Member
    Misthiocracy held his nose and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Like others I am thinking the death count doubling is 3 day is a little misleading.

    Yes New York States death count went up by 33%. But the other states with high numbers did not growth that much with the exception of Florida.

    New Jersey- no new reading

    California 25% growth in cases to 2268, 18% growth in deaths to 43

    Washington : 11.2% growth in cases to 2,221 Death grow 15.7% to 110.

    Florida: 21.3 % growth in cases to 1171, 28.5% growth in deaths to 18

    Michigan: 7.7% growth in cases, NO change in deaths

    Louisiana.: No growth in cases remaining 1t 1172 and 3.6% growth in deaths raises death toll to 35

    Georgia : 28.25% growth in cases to 1,026, Deaths grow at 23% raises to 34

    Outside of NY, in the other big growth cases the average rate of growth is only 14.8% which doubles every 5 days

    New York City should be forcibly cut off from the rest of the country, Snake Plissken style.

    • #27
    • March 24, 2020, at 3:25 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  28. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Chloroquine has a side effect that can be fatal in certain people. It can cause a fatal cardiac arrhythmia, particularly when mixed with any drug that causes QT Prolongation or in someone with underlying heart disease.

    It’s a long list.

     

    Yes that is a long list. Happily I didn’t see any of my medications on that list. Hopefully I won’t have reason to take Hydroxychloroquine.

    Azithromycin is on the list of QT prolonging drugs, and has been recommended in combination with chloroquine for COVID-19. As always, the devil will be in the details. 

    • #28
    • March 24, 2020, at 3:27 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Chloroquine has a side effect that can be fatal in certain people. It can cause a fatal cardiac arrhythmia, particularly when mixed with any drug that causes QT Prolongation or in someone with underlying heart disease.

    It’s a long list.

     

    Yes that is a long list. Happily I didn’t see any of my medications on that list. Hopefully I won’t have reason to take Hydroxychloroquine.

    Azithromycin is on the list of QT prolonging drugs, and has been recommended in combination with chloroquine for COVID-19. As always, the devil will be in the details.

    Bingo.

    • #29
    • March 24, 2020, at 3:47 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Dan Hanson Thatcher
    Dan Hanson Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It’s important to remember that the death rate is a trailing indicator. If it takes on average two weeks from infection to death, then the death rate today is a function of the infection rate two weeks ago.

    Here in Alberta we had one case by March 8. We crossed 50 cases by March 15. Just two days later we were over 100. Now we have 358, with 57 new cases in one day, and the curve is still exponential. At this rate, doubling every four days, in two weeks we will have over 5,000 cases. In three weeks, over 20,000. In a month 80,000.

    That’s the logic of exponential growth. The time to get it under control is when the case size is extremely small. The longer you wait, the bigger the problem you will be dealing with, and the greater likelihood that you will run out of medical supplies and people, and therefore the fatality rate will spike.

    This is a ‘wicked’ problem with no easy solutions, It’s going to be with us for a long time, and it’s going to kill a lot of people.

    • #30
    • March 24, 2020, at 3:59 PM PDT
    • 4 likes