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2 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

That is definitely encouraging. But I do wish we had more stats for persistent health problems after the infected are free of the disease.

 

What we need are accurate numbers.  Instead we still have stories like this:

 

‘Data entry errors’ in reporting COVID-19 deaths at long-term care facilities

 

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A family reached out to KXAN Investigators after their mother contracted COVID-19 in an Austin assisted living home and died over the summer. Yet, they noticed the state still listed zero cases or deaths at the facility she lived in.

“That wasn’t possible because my mother died,” one family member said. “It was shocking that they weren’t showing any. So, my first thought is, ‘One of two things is going on here: there’s either deception from the facility where they don’t want anyone to know, or there’s deception from a government agency.”

 

Or this:

 

A new Houston Chronicle investigation found the state’s reported death toll was thousands short at the peak of the pandemic

 

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In late July, the number of people who had died but were not yet counted in the state tally peaked at 3,811 — an undercount of roughly 44 percent.

 

 

We're nine months into the pandemic.  If state governments aren't accurately counting COVID fatalities by now, it's because they're actively preventing it.  As for Texas:

 

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The latest IHME model suggests that more than 33,000 Texans will die from COVID-19 by the end of the year.

 

 

 

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Fever broke last night. I'm going to be okay.

I tested positive.

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Ohhhhhhhhhh no....

 

With about 3 more hours, over 64,000 new cases today, which leaves open the potential that we might break the worst day so far, which was back in late July.  We've already passed yesterday's full-day total, which was bad enough (63,000).

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4 hours ago, Old Man said:

Based on the case trajectories of EU countries, which are ahead of us, you might want to sit down and hold into something for the next couple of months.

 

Unfortunately true.  Didn't set a new record today but it did end up the 3rd highest, at over 74,000.

 

Oh, and those Texas numbers...don't hold for El Paso.  

--1100+ cases TODAY...in a city of about 600,000 (EDIT:  but the county is about 840 and the case count is for the whole county).  That's about 1 person in 750.  TODAY alone.

~currently 570 hospitalized, 170 in ICU...KFOX reports there are *11* ICU beds free.  There's a crawl on it as well, and it's saying a 96% chance of running out of ICU beds in the next 3 weeks.

 

EDIT:  This is what you want to avoid.  And when you relax too much, it's what you'll get.  1161 new cases for El Paso County...1167 for Dallas and Tarrant (Fort Worth) counties *combined*, with over 5x the number of people.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Old Man said:

Based on the case trajectories of EU countries, which are ahead of us, you might want to sit down and hold into something for the next couple of months.

 

Europe daily coronavirus cases double in 10 days, reports 200,000 daily cases for the first time

 

Europe reported 100,000 daily cases for the first time on Oct. 12.

 

https://news.trust.org/item/20201022213425-6my7a

 

Ouch

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12 minutes ago, Starlord said:

I'm actually quite encouraged by the spike in cases.  Our national strategy of herd fatality seems to be working perfectly.

 

Don't say that too loudly or the administration with cite you as an endorser of its policies.

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On 10/22/2020 at 3:54 AM, Old Man said:

The latest IHME model suggests that more than 33,000 Texans will die from COVID-19 by the end of the year.

 

Assuming that model is accurate we're still talking a mortality rate of about 0.11% and even that is massively skewed towards the already sick and elderly.

 

If I take the CDC numbers and extrapolate it will look like...  (based on CDC report when we only had 207k deaths).

 

One thing I take away from this is that only 21% of deaths are working age people.  And if you restrict it to 54 and under it's only 8%.

 

Surely we could use the masks and social distancing and other basic precautions while putting everyone not in a vulnerable group back to work.  It'd be much easier to financially support the last age band or two of workers who are at risk instead of 100% of people in certain industries.  Age band 65+ is almost 79% of the total and they're mostly retired.

 

It feels like we've used a chainsaw instead of a scalpel to deal with this crisis.

 

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11 minutes ago, ScottishFox said:

 

Assuming that model is accurate we're still talking a mortality rate of about 0.11% and even that is massively skewed towards the already sick and elderly.

 

 

 

So it's OK with you because it's only 1 in 1000 that die.

 

Also, your extrapolation is totally, completely wrong.  The Texas population does NOT mirror the high-death-count areas such as New York.  Heck, it's not going to be the same from city to city.  The Texas age distribution is here:

 

https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ed483ecd702b4298ab01e8b9cafc8b83

 

Yes, it's heavily weighted to older...but here, it's 50+.  And, yes, that's known and expected.

 

But man..."even that is massively skewed"...so you're saying it doesn't matter?  Because it darn sure sounds that way.

 

Let's not even mention that El Paso will have no free ICU beds.  Or that this is *after* taking whatever measures have been taken.

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1 minute ago, unclevlad said:

So it's OK with you because it's only 1 in 1000 that die.

 

The link you put has great info, but the age bands are different so it's hard to directly compare.

 

I'd prefer 0 in 1000, but you can't have zero deaths.  In order to function we have to have some level of acceptable risk.

 

Using the model I placed (imperfect as it is) we're talking about a rate of 0.0236% for the 64 and under group.  That's 0.236 per 1,000. 

If we move the 55+ group into quarantine then we're looking at less than 1/2 of that.

 

At some level we have to be able to resume living - like actual people.  Hell, we stomp Coronavirus into the dirt fatality-wise with our self inflicted obesity related illnesses.

Will we begin rationing food to save lives?

 

It's going to be awhile before we have the suicide, overdose and alcohol death numbers for 2020, but I bet they are going to be disgustingly large.  Large like we haven't see since we started recording them.

 

At one point in time we were going to shut down for 15 days to slow the spread.  That was over 200 days ago. 

If hospitals haven't ramped up to handle the increase by now then they're not going to.

 

Though I'll admit I'm squarely in the Mike Rowe Safety 3rd camp despite being an old, fat, asthmatic guy with hypertension.

 

 

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Texas adds about 100,000 new cases a month, so that would put them at around 1,100,000 total cases by EOY.  33000 deaths would be 3%, which is still a bit lower than the US CFR (3.5%) or the world IFR (4%).  On the other hand, Texas currently stands at around 17000 deaths and has "only" been adding another 2000 or so per month over the past 60 days.  Ignoring, for the moment, the underreporting we all know is still happening in Texas, things would have to go pretty exponential to match the IHME estimate.  It seems unlikely. 

 

But then again, unlike obesity or suicide, COVID-19 is highly contagious.  There were 50,000 total suicides in the US in 2019, so it's going to take a hell of a lot of suicides to approach the quarter million US dead we'll have racked up by EOY with the restrictions. 

 

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1 hour ago, ScottishFox said:

 

It's going to be awhile before we have the suicide, overdose and alcohol death numbers for 2020, but I bet they are going to be disgustingly large.  Large like we haven't see since we started recording them.

 

 

35 minutes ago, Old Man said:

 

But then again, unlike obesity or suicide, COVID-19 is highly contagious.  There were 50,000 total suicides in the US in 2019, so it's going to take a hell of a lot of suicides to approach the quarter million US dead we'll have racked up by EOY with the restrictions. 

 

 

As you say, ScottishFox, we don't have numbers for suicide, overdose, and alcohol-related deaths for 2020. That argument is being driven by assumptions and anecdotes with no hard evidence to back it up. And is often being pushed by corporate interests who want laborers back at work to boost their profits. Not that I believe for a moment that's your motivation. But it's highly questionable to base public policy on a "bet." After all, many of our early bets for COVID-19 proved faulty.

 

But Old Man makes a salient point. You don't become obese from bumping into an overweight person. You don't become alcoholic from meeting someone who drinks. That's comparing apples and rocks. But everyone we encounter is a potential virus spreader.

 

I am, however, growing fatigued by the argument against restrictions focusing on deaths. That's not the only significant consequence of being sick from coronavirus. Many who have "recovered" from COVID are still suffering serious health conditions months later, and they may turn out to be permanent. You can't earn a living if you're chronically ill, let alone dead.

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Is no one else concerned with how certain people are pushing the development process of a Coronoavirus vaccine to breakneck speeds? Part of this push is due to personal ambition and part of it is due to impatience/the desire for instant gratification. Either way, it could be a while before negative side effects of a failed prototype begin to manifest.

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1 hour ago, Old Man said:

Texas adds about 100,000 new cases a month, so that would put them at around 1,100,000 total cases by EOY.  33000 deaths would be 3%, which is still a bit lower than the US CFR (3.5%) or the world IFR (4%).  On the other hand, Texas currently stands at around 17000 deaths and has "only" been adding another 2000 or so per month over the past 60 days.  Ignoring, for the moment, the underreporting we all know is still happening in Texas, things would have to go pretty exponential to match the IHME estimate.  It seems unlikely. 

 

But then again, unlike obesity or suicide, COVID-19 is highly contagious.  There were 50,000 total suicides in the US in 2019, so it's going to take a hell of a lot of suicides to approach the quarter million US dead we'll have racked up by EOY with the restrictions. 

 

 

I think the cooler weather combined with season cold and flu infections will spike the Coronavirus related deaths up substantially.  I also think the CFR is substantially inflated since half or more of the people who get Coronavirus don't have symptoms and so they probably don't go and get tested.  Everyone I know personally who has been tested did so when they felt sick or were exposed to someone who tested positive.

 

Especially outside the big population centers in Texas it wouldn't surprise me if most people who get sick don't bother to get tested unless they are VERY sick.

 

45 minutes ago, Lord Liaden said:

As you say, ScottishFox, we don't have numbers for suicide, overdose, and alcohol-related deaths for 2020. That argument is being driven by assumptions and anecdotes with no hard evidence to back it up. And is often being pushed by corporate interests who want laborers back at work to boost their profits. Not that I believe for a moment that's your motivation. But it's highly questionable to base public policy on a "bet." After all, many of our early bets for COVID-19 proved faulty.

 

Hard data won't be available for another year or so - most likely - but I have heard several anecdotal reports from first responders and hotline workers that are reporting increases in load on the order of +400% or more.

I have zero hard evidence to back that up, but whatever the real numbers ends up being I don't think the general point is false.  People working on those fronts are saying the suicide, overdose and alcohol related deaths are way, way up.

 

I generically agree, but in crisis scenarios you often have to run with best guesses because you can't wait 12-15 months for the data to solidify.  Though, the data nerd part of me wonders why it is so hard to get data like this.  If I can't provide data aggregated and distilled to my customers at least twice a day (and some of our stuff updates every 30 minutes) they tend to lose their !@#$.

 

Profit motive right now I suspect is merely attempting to survive for many, many companies.  I work in the theater industry and if we take another year off I suspect all three of the major chains in the USA will collapse entirely.  Nobody is shooting for profits.  They're trying to generate enough business to not go bankrupt before they cease to exist.

 

 

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Even if the theaters *could* be open...for what movies?  What significant new releases have there been this year?

 

I take no joy in saying that...the theaters are not going to survive, whether restrictions are greatly lifted or not.  Lifting restrictions does not automatically translate to return to normal.  I have no desire to see a movie in a mask, and LESS desire to be in a movie theater where masks would not be required.  How many schools (at whatever level) have tried to re-open, then within a few weeks had to pull back and stop?  

 

Yes, there will be an increase in suicides, especially as the weather turns to winter.  But how many people would die because they need an ICU bed that isn't there, or because the medical professionals are so heavily swamped with treating Covid-19 patients?  How many *more* first responders would be going down?  How many *more* finances will be wrecked due to hospital expenses?  There's 170 ICU cases in El Paso right now...at, what, $25,000 a pop, if not more, on average?  Heck, 570 in the hospital right now, and that's gonna be bad enough.  AND we haven't even talked about the serious, long term or even permanent organ damage.

 

There is no way to overplay how crucial it is to get this under control.  

 

And that is something at which we have utterly failed.

 

81,000 new cases today.  Highest single day number in the US.

So far.

 

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5 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

I'd prefer 0 in 1000, but you can't have zero deaths.  In order to function we have to have some level of acceptable risk.

 

Death count isn't the only measure of risk at play.  You have overwhelming of hospital resources and lasting side effects for survivors for two more.

 

How do you measure the impact of a survivor who lives but has chronic fatigue and pain or other neurological problems for months afterward, possibly forever? Or the lasting effects of patients who recover but have systematic damage from being intubated for extended periods?

 

 

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10 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

 

It feels like we've used a chainsaw instead of a scalpel to deal with this crisis.

 

 

 

Experts were calling for a couple of weeks of shutdown to buy enough time to start mass produce masks, gowns, and other PPE. To use the Defense Production Act to crank up producing millions of tests. And to set up contact tracing.

 

The president and the vice president, by their own admission on multiple occasions, were assuming that the virus would magically go away if we waited until the weather was a bit warmer. 

 

Yeah both the administration and the experts were looking to buy time. But they were looking to buy time for completely different reasons.

 

You still can't go into a Wal-Mart or a Home Depot and have a reasonable expectation that they'll have disposable masks for sale...NINE freaking months after the president knew there was a pandemic coming. Testing is still hard to come by and what little testing the feds did, they've scaled back. Contact tracing is still a dream by the people who want to control the virus rather than a plan being implemented by an administration which, by their own admission, wants it to spread.

 

The president, VP, and administration, as we were starting out, were intentionally withholding information from the public which the people could have used to protect themselves. And were also deliberately spreading disinformation about how deadly the virus is.

 

And none of that has stopped. The administration is still not telling the truth, as we saw last week with the congressional committee which dumped the weeks of White House data which it was sharing with Congress behind the scenes. 

 

The president is holding maskless events with no social distancing. Is saying there's a cure to the virus when one doesn't exist. Lying by saying a vaccine will be here in a couple of weeks and the military is prepared to distribute it around the country. The vaccine is at least six months away. The military hasn't even ordered the equipment which would be necessary to distribute the vaccine around the country, much less taken possession of the equipment. 

 

We can't even get into a discussion about what tool is being used to deal with the crisis, whether scalpel or chainsaw. 

 

This is not "dealing" with the crisis at all.

 

Welcome to Fantasy Island, where all your nightmares come true.

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6 hours ago, unclevlad said:

Even if the theaters *could* be open...for what movies?  What significant new releases have there been this year?

 

I take no joy in saying that...the theaters are not going to survive, whether restrictions are greatly lifted or not.  Lifting restrictions does not automatically translate to return to normal.  I have no desire to see a movie in a mask, and LESS desire to be in a movie theater where masks would not be required.

 

The theater industry has been on the ropes for years, pinched between the extortionist terms of the film distributors and their own business costs.  AIUI their only significant source of profit is the concession stand, where the the extortionist film distribution costs are passed down to the rest of us.  (In particular, the distributors offload all the risk onto the theaters, taking around 90% of ticket sales for the first couple of weeks of a movie's run, then allowing the theater to keep more of the box office takes for subsequent weeks... if the movie doesn't flop.)  I genuinely believe that the only reason theaters were still in business before the pandemic was the MCU, and it would not surprise me at all if the pandemic were to finish the job, forcing the distributors to either take over the theaters directly, or shutter them and go straight to streaming.

 

I mean, lockdowns are almost irrelevant in this case.  All theater restrictions could be lifted tomorrow and they could immediately release Wonder Woman 1984, Black Widow, Captain Marvel 2, and No Time to Die, for free, and I still wouldn't go.  Would you?  Sit in an enclosed room for two hours with a couple dozen unmasked strangers shoveling popcorn into their faces?  That's a hard pass for me.  I'm sure you could get some people to go, but not enough to get theaters out of the red.

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The surge in Europe has been noted.  Happened to glance at the daily New Cases graph on WorldOMeters...it stood out because....

 

Yesterday, the total number of new cases almost hit the 500,000 mark...490K and change.  The previous worst day was 415K...so this is almost 20% higher.  The 7 day averages...on Oct. 1st, 295K.  3 weeks later, it's over 400K...so over 1/3 higher.

 

There's every reason to fear things will only get even uglier over the next 5 months.

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5 hours ago, Old Man said:

 

The theater industry has been on the ropes for years, pinched between the extortionist terms of the film distributors and their own business costs.  AIUI their only significant source of profit is the concession stand, where the the extortionist film distribution costs are passed down to the rest of us.  (In particular, the distributors offload all the risk onto the theaters, taking around 90% of ticket sales for the first couple of weeks of a movie's run, then allowing the theater to keep more of the box office takes for subsequent weeks... if the movie doesn't flop.)  I genuinely believe that the only reason theaters were still in business before the pandemic was the MCU, and it would not surprise me at all if the pandemic were to finish the job, forcing the distributors to either take over the theaters directly, or shutter them and go straight to streaming.

 

And streaming itself is a rising threat.  Since the content producers are moving into the content distribution side via their streaming channels, the theaters become competition as well as channel.

 

MANY things will change by the time we emerge from this.  Minor league baseball may disappear, at least as it stands now.  Pro (and college) sports that aren't football, basketball, baseball, and maybe soccer and hockey, may well be gutted.  Live performing arts are crippled;  they're in the same boat.

 

The trick is going to be, they'll have work to do, to come back.  Probably a lot of them won't, which is quite saddening, but realistic.  We're going to be paying for this pandemic for at least 10-15 years, IMO, so the available resources will be limited and therefore spread thinly.  Arts is not likely to be a high priority.

 

And in other ways, the part I find even more worrisome is the loss of local businesses, because the corporations will be better placed to fill in the vacuum.  That's got more negative long-term consequences.

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