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Snowbird Concerns Winter 2020-21
June 28, 2020
3:49 pm
Bill
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AltaRed, we'll have to stay in disagreement. "Many" people are in car crashes but we all (properly) respond by driving around like fools all the time, we are immune!

Google says "For COVID-19, data to date suggest that 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15% are severe infection, requiring oxygen and 5% are critical infections, requiring ventilation." The latter two are where the old folks and those with a short list of certain underlying conditions come in, otherwise you're good to go (except for where lightning sometimes strikes, and you can be sure the media gets there).

I've been focused on stats such as death rates by age in various countries (don't care about infection rates - billions get the cold all the time and we don't care - only deaths matter) and, since day one, the numbers have been nothing but reassuring to me. And pretty much at odds with media and public officials' stances, though I do get that it's a new thing so overreaction until we get some info is prudent.

One example: Even in USA, as of today about 191 in every 192 Americans age 85+ (the oldest of the old, very few months or years left) have not yet been hospitalized for this virus, and of the 1 most still survive. Even in age 50 - 64 about 713 in every 714 have not yet been hospitalized for this, and that 1's survival rate is even better. And so on, drops precipitously by age group, pretty much to zero where there's none of the few specified underlying conditions present. I could go on forever with stats like this but I find people prefer media narrative, certain studies brought to their attention by media, anecdotes, etc, so cool.

June 30, 2020
5:43 am
Loonie
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I sure am glad I don't depend on Dr. Google for my medical advice. I have a fondness for real physicians, epidemiologists and virologists who are trained and experienced in the collection and interpretation of data. It doesn't make them perfect, but they know a ton more than I do - and I actually took a course once in epidemiology.

AltaRed may be interested in the recent experience of an Anglican priest in Ontario. She's had post-covid sequelae for almost four months already and can't keep up her normal commitments. She wasn't even in hospital and appears to be in her forties. In her own words, as written to her congregation, not to the media...
https://www.ascensionportperry.com/news/to-the-parish

I found htis piece quite by accident, but even I was surprised.

Covid-19 is a serious adversary. So, wash your hands, keep your distance, wear a mask, and stay home and support Canadian businesses this year. It's a very good investment. Is that really too much to bear?

If in doubt, my go-to is Dr Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health in Ottawa. I knew her personally when she was a resident in public health, one of the most impressive doctors I've ever met. I trust her. Her dedication and competence are front and centre - and she won't throw your elderly mother out with the bathwater.

June 30, 2020
7:16 am
JenE
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Well said, Alta Red and Loonie.

June 30, 2020
1:05 pm
Bill
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Anything other than the stats is a waste of time, thank goodness the good health care officials use them to determine policy over unsubstantiated anecdotes, personal acquaintances, etc. often favoured by public and by media. Statistics is the only relevant language re somthing like this virus.

June 30, 2020
4:57 pm
AltaRed
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Enough written material to validate that post-covid organ damage is real. Just a few links to non-mass media articles follows.....

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/heres-what-happens-to-the-body-after-contracting-the-coronavirus#Other-organs-affected-by-COVID-19

https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2020/04/17/organ-damage

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-kidney-damage-caused-by-covid19

https://aakp.org/doctors-flummoxed-by-long-term-organ-damage-in-covid-19-survivors/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7187881/

Granted it seems organ damage is more likely with severe cases of covid-19 illness requiring hospitalization or even intubation and not enough is yet known to develop good statistics. This is more than anecdotes but obviously more study results will come forward over the coming months.

June 30, 2020
5:05 pm
Briguy
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@Bill
""There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics" is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments.

Statistics can be easily manipulated to prove any point.

June 30, 2020
6:10 pm
Bill
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Briguy, that quote is attributed to American writer Mark Twain. Very true, stats can be misused.

June 30, 2020
6:21 pm
Norman1
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Briguy said
@Bill
""There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics" is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments.

Statistics can be easily manipulated to prove any point.

That's especially true of the misleading interpretation of the statistics "For COVID-19, data to date suggest that 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic, …" that was quoted.

As I explained before, that 80% to 85% "mild" statistic is only good for ventilator and oxygen planning. Definition of "mild" in those statistics means one didn't need oxygen or a ventilator. It doesn't mean it was a "mild" case in the common meaning of the word.

That COVID-19 case of the debilitated Anglican priest that Loonie mentioned would be a "mild" case for the statistics. But, the case was not "mild" in the common meaning of the word.

It's like saying there were no fatalities in an accident, leaving out a significant detail that most of the passengers are now in the hospital on ventilators and brain dead. "But, but, there were no actual deaths!"

June 30, 2020
7:29 pm
Bill
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Post 25's last 2 sentences are where we're at re other organ damage, etc, i.e. the small % that are severe cases have some that can cause other damage but not enough stats yet. But even the majority of the 5% severe cases are cleaned up within 6 weeks, good as new.

One of my sons recently worked on a mine site with among others an 85 year-old drill operator from Quebec, smoker, he got it , in hospital, survived, he's as good as ever. Cool story but like the Anglican priest story meaningless info, really. We hear about the 1 person killed by the storm, not the other million who survived.

July 1, 2020
12:43 pm
Vatox
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This virus is new and they don't know enough about it. To say that the survivors are "good as new" is just foolish. I take all precautions and you won't catch me on those flying sardine cans that are now full to the brim. This virus is far too contagious for ignorance. Thermometers at airports won't help much, because asymptomatic people are spreading the virus everywhere.

July 2, 2020
12:35 am
Loonie
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I see that Bill is opposed to the use of anecdote to get a point across (although he uses them), but I am hoping readers will indulge me.

On 28 Sept 1928, a researcher who had returned from his vacation went back to work in his lab. He discovered that, during his absence, a staph culture that he'd left out had mold all over it and the staph bacteria were dying off. This was odd and made for a good story to share with his colleagues at lunch. Just a curious one-off observation, an anecdote.

But the researcher wasn't content to leave it at that. He wondered if the story might have wider implications, because it did not fit with what he had expected to find.

His name was Sandford Fleming, and he had just discovered penicillin, which would save millions and millions of lives and continues to do so today.

Should he perhaps have just left it as a curious little anecdote and forgotten about it? He had no stats, only an alert and curious mind.

This is just one little anecdote, but there are many many just like it, especially in the world of science and medicine. .

When something happens that is not expected, it is a gift to the researcher - if they are wise enough to notice - because it opens up new avenues for research. Eventually there will be stats to support a valid discovery, but initially they are often just anecdotes - like, for instance when someone has unexpected sequelae from a viral infection.

In China, where this virus started, a brave physician claimed on the basis of what he'd observed, that there was a new lethal virus afoot. He was denounced by the state because they didn't want to hear about his observations and preferred to shut down his story, which did not fit the party line. As the resulting pandemic took more and more lives, he too succumbed, and eventually the gov't had to recant. If they had been willing to listen to his story, this whole tragedy might have been avoided or quickly contained.

Back in the 1960s and 70s I read a lot of medical journals. I'm not sure what's in them now but, at the time, I was, frankly, surprised at how many anecdotal articles were in them, with stories about one patient with one odd set of symptoms or one unusual treatment that worked in one case, etc. I had expected they would all be scientific ones, with large samples, intellectual rigor, and replicable results with supporting statistics.
At the time I didn't understand the significance of anecdotes.

Not all anecdotes will be useful, but, then, not all stats or scientific experiments are useful either.

July 2, 2020
6:14 am
Bill
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Totally agree, Loonie, billions of things happen every moment in human history, stats say some are going to be very fortuitous, and cool and interesting too, love anecdotes.

Re this virus, I use stats over anecdotes & media coverage, and I found one result has been I'm much less concerned about this thing than most people around me. Just passing that on here in case folks find it helpful.

July 2, 2020
6:54 am
HIS285
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I like Loonie's anecdote about the possible importance of anecdotal cases in science but the discoverer of penicillin is Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) not Sandford Fleming (1827-1915, proposer of time zones). It appears the two are not related.

July 2, 2020
12:35 pm
Loonie
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Sorry about the name mistake.

July 2, 2020
3:22 pm
Briguy
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A lot of young people feel like Bill- COVID being no big deal to them. In Alabama they are now having COVID parties where they pay to get in, and invite people to the party with known COVID, and the first person to have contracted COVID after the party gets the proceeds of the ticket sales. I don't get a good feeling about the next generation reading this LOL . I guess this is part of the reason USA has had over 130K deaths so far.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/people-in-alabama-are-throwing-covid-19-parties-with-a-payout-when-one-gets-infected-official-1.5007903

July 2, 2020
5:05 pm
Oscar
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Statistics are like a spreadsheet in that if you enter an incorrect formula then even inputting the correct figure will give you an incorrect result.
https://archive.org/details/HowToLieWithStatistics

July 2, 2020
6:11 pm
Bill
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Of the USA 130K deaths so far there are 941 (less than 1K) total in the up to and including age 34 (stats to w/e June 27). Of the 941, only 171 are in up to (school age) 24 year olds, almost zero statistically given the population, especially when it's reasonable to assume many of these had some of the listed underlying factors such as diabetes or obesity. As a grandparent with young grandkids, extremely comforting to me.

July 2, 2020
6:47 pm
Oscar
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Found an interesting technical report by the Ontario Civil Liberties Association that examines some statistics. Here is a link to PDF
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341832637_All-cause_mortality_during_COVID-19_No_plague_and_a_likely_signature_of_mass_homicide_by_government_response

Cheers

July 2, 2020
7:21 pm
Briguy
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Bill said
Of the USA 130K deaths so far there are 941 (less than 1K) total in the up to and including age 34 (stats to w/e June 27). Of the 941, only 171 are in up to (school age) 24 year olds, almost zero statistically given the population, especially when it's reasonable to assume many of these had some of the listed underlying factors such as diabetes or obesity. As a grandparent with young grandkids, extremely comforting to me.  

I've heard there's been quite an increase this year at Toronto's Sick Childrens Hospital of children having Kawasaki like syndrome triggered by COVID 19. I wouldn't be happy if any friends' of mine had their kids contract this as it can cause cardiac issues.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-06-kawasaki-like-syndrome-linked-covid-children.html

July 2, 2020
9:45 pm
Jon
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Oscar, I read the abstract of your article, and I also quickly read through the article, the only thing I see is the incompetency of government in isolating the elderly and the sick which leads to massive death spike.

It is rare to find people that are evil in intention, however, it is common to find people that is evil in consequences because of their incompetence. It is quite an assumption to argue that government have committed mass homicide.

However, the long term impact of the disease is worrisome, perhaps it is the most worrisome thing about the disease as we know little about the disease.

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