Just Some More Gibberish on Covid
Or one would think so, given people resist wearing a mask, social distancing and they want to party like its 1999. Song written in 1982 . . . “Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you. I only want you to have some fun,” Covid.
Melissa Jeltsen, Huffpost; “The U.S. has entered an ominous new surge of the coronavirus pandemic, with more cases reported on Friday (10/23/20) than any other day since the crisis began in March. And yet, in many areas of the country where infections are spiking, wearing a mask in public is still completely optional.”
Speaking of which, optional mask wearing and distancing? Even if there was no Covid, I would not want someone close to me. Here in Michigan, we have a special type of intellect where people quote numbers and they really do not know how they compare to others. One particular person cited the raw numbers for North and South Dakota and claimed it was not necessary to wear masks or socially distance there. He claimed it was proof enough for the bars and restaurants to go back to normal. Looking at the raw numbers does not give you a state by state comparison unless you convert to “numbers per million,” etc. When we look at the numbers in such a manner and extrapolate the raw numbers to numbers of people per million, we discover North and South Dakota are 1 (50,181) and 2 (44,922) in ranking for contracting Covid. More congested Michigan is number 41 (17,991) in contraction and again we are on a roll right now. State Repubs do not believe masking and distancing should be mandatory or at least when demanded by a female Dem Governor in Michigan. The Michigan Senate has been controlled by Repubs since 1990 and the House 80% of the time since 1992.
“Of the 10 states with the highest rates of new coronavirus cases per capita according to a White House Coronavirus Task Force report this month, seven do not require residents to wear masks. Seven of 10 reside in the South and the other three are South and North Dakota and Wisconsin. Illinois is the only non-western or southern state in the next 10 states.
Huffpost; In North Dakota, which now leads the nation in new coronavirus cases per capita, Republican Gov. Doug Burgum has refused to implement a mask mandate stating he prefers a “light touch of government.” Last week (10/19/20), Fargo became the first city in the state to institute a mask mandate after months of rising infections. Overwhelmed by the increase in cases, state health officials are now asking residents to conduct their own contact tracing if they test positive.”
And what about younger people not dying at the same rate as older people? This morning in my email box was a briefing by The Health Care Cost Institute, The Impact of COVID-19 on Years of Life Lost. If you think being under 65 means contracting Covid is the same as catching a bad cold, guess again.
“ Summary: Since April, 1.9 million excess years of life have been lost and 13% above historical average. Over the course of the pandemic, we found age and sex contributions to excess YLL have shifted. Deaths among adults 65 and older accounted for 80% of excess YLL in April but only 36% of excess YLL in June. Since April, working age adults 20-64 have accounted for 47% of excess YLL, and males 20 to 64 have contributed 34%.
While most COVID deaths are individuals over the age of 65, COVID is also responsible for a significant share of deaths in other age groups. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 10% of all deaths among older adults from February 2020 to August 2020 have been due to COVID-19. In that same period, COVID also caused about 9% of deaths among those ages 45-64 and 5% of deaths among those 25-44 (CDC).
The personal, social, and economic impacts of premature death can be difficult to quantify. Excess death rates provide a measure of the current burden of disease but cannot capture the long-term impact that, say, the death of a 40-year old married person with 3 children will have. Years of Life Lost (YLL) is a measure that captures both the immediate tragedy while also providing insight into the longer-term impacts of premature death on families, communities, and the economy. The calculation determines the number of forgone years that could have been spent contributing to society in roles such as spouses, parents, community members, and employees. For example, if a person dies at age 50, and life expectancy at age 50 is more 25 years, then the YLL is 25. In contrast, if a person dies at age 80 and life expectancy at 80 is 2 more years, then YLL is 2.”
An aside, if you are wondering why the Social Security Trust Fund has improved; Covid death rate is one clear answer to its improvement. On Tuesday of this week, the US went past 9 million cases contracted. By November 3rd, the US should go past 240,000 deaths.
The Third Coronavirus Surge Is Here And Masks Are Still Optional, Huffpost, Melissa Jeltsen, October 2020
The Impact of COVID-19 on Years of Life Lost, Health Care Cost Institute, October 2020
Weekly Updates by Select Demographic and Geographic Characteristics, CDC National Center for Health Statistics, October 2020
Health Care Cost Institute, October 2020
Hey Run, I know in rural western Wisconsin they have completely ignored the governor’s mask mandate with predictable results. In Fort Wayne most people are now wearing masks in grocery stores but I assume not in restaurants and taverns—I do not know because I have not been in one since February—because the numbers are growing rapidly. West of Fort Wayne on the way to Chicago almost nobody wears masks. My sister has been hospitalized in Wisconsin for 10 days now. Not getting worse but needs oxygen. They want to send her home this weekend—not because she is doing that well but because they are triaging Covid patients and need the bed for sicker people.
Get her the zinc tabs. The shit builds up the immune system against Covid. Cashews, almonds, sardines, herring also.
Pretty area and we would head out that way to explore at times. I dealt with a company by the name of Phillips Plastics who had great capability and were heavy into stats. I sourced quite a few projects there. When we camped, we would head north and frequently to Madeline Island. In the Winter, we would cross into the UP, stay in Gladstone at a friends cottage, and cross country ski. It was a good life and a great place to raise children.
I use a CPAP machine which blows air into your lungs and prevents apnea. It is not terribly obtrusive with the nasal pillows (which I use). The apparatus is about $800 plus equipment. If you clean the hoses and the water container (take a part and dry out each day and also wipe down with alcohol), it could last for a long time without having to buy new hoses and water container, etc. It will humidify the air while she sleeps also.
Thanks for the post. Excess death is the only stat we can really trust despite the politization of the epidemic.
Compare with https://newatlas.com/health-wellbeing/cdc-300000-excess-deaths-usa-coronavirus-covid19/
sister has been hospitalized in Wisconsin for 10 days now. Not getting worse but needs oxygen. They want to send her home this weekend—not because she is doing that well but because they are triaging
one of my uncles was getting oxygen at the hospital, but when he went home they gave him a little machine. it wasn’t very large . it concentrated the oxygen in the air for him to breath. I hope you have one of those. let us know if you don’t!
although The Human Condition is certain death eventually, it still hurts us to see someone die. since the covid started, 80 million people have died from other causes and 1 million people have died from the covid-19, but it will get worse as this thing doubles more frequently than once a month. We can hope that the virus evolves into another virus that travels faster through the population but with a lower morbidity rate and a lower mortality rate. The mutant may cause most of us to develop immunity to both the first virus and the mutant, give us cross immunity. perhaps herd immunity and cross immunity stopped the pandemic of 1918. perhaps it will stop this one. perhaps we can get an immunization that works.
in the meantime, without some kinds of economic stimulant, lot of poor people will be close to starvation. when you see a family living out of a car in this country you can well imagine how the poverty is in other countries.
governments within each country should do the Keynesian thing, transfer wealth from the wealthy to the starving. This should be more than simply buying votes with other peoples money. it increases aggregate demand which increases capacity utilization which gets people hired, gets people on the payroll
YLL is a fairly controversial approach to take in an infectious disease case. You can clearly do the math, but what does it actually mean when there is indeed a new lethal disease in humanity? You can take it as significant or you can take it as a kind of sophistry. Yes, if people would not have died, well they would have lived longer. This feels like a highly defensible way of thinking about, say, crashing airplanes full of healthy people into the WTC and Pentagon also full of healthy people. But in other circumstances it does not really seem to add to human understanding of what is going on. Yes, if the virus had never left Wuhan a whole lot of the world would have lived longer. But it did.
My wife, retired RN, infection control expert and veteran of many respiratory viruses, just gets nuts about people and masks – lack of masks and droopy masks.
I’ve written and taught on PPE practices for a couple of decades, so my position is really clear.
Some people are ignorant, some are stupid, some are bullheaded and many a combination.
So we stay home, I work from home and we just avoid people as much as possible.
Had to do some time in Ohio, family medical drama now resolved, and it was just as bad.
We do not eat in unless the place is mostly empty. We do take out. We cook at home. We stay home in our house and away from others on our 2/3rds of an acre. It is boring; but, we are old also. Even though retired, my wife works from home and I am retired with a nice stream of income. We manage at better than median income. For two, it is ok. And we are safe.
Whenever someone says COVID is no big deal, I think about the great epidemics and disasters of the past.
AIDS has so far killed an estimated 700,000 Americans since the early 1980s. Let’s say 35 years, so that’s 20K dead per year on the average. Compared to COVID, that’s small beer, but I remember William Buckley, the great conservative “intellectual”, being so frightened that he argued for branding AIDS sufferers with a mark on their foreheads lest he accidentally have unprotected sex with one. (I still don’t understand how conservatives think if such they do.)
In the horrifying year 1952, 3,145 children died of polio. With numbers like that, polio would now be considered harmless. After all, children are always getting some disease or another. Can we rescind a Nobel Prize?
Wife is long retired, turned down some large money to go back to work, really not physically or emotional able to do intense nursing work. 44 years was enough. She is a mask fanatic.
I am teaching online, one full time position and one adjunct. We are preparing to really retire and then move back to Ohio where all the grand kids are located. Also working on a micro publishing and consulting set up, I have 30+ years of seminar materials might as well use it to my advantage. Get bored easily anyway.
Other than a quick run through a store (double masks) we are safely at home and may not even see the grandkids for a while (that hurts).
Be safe friends.
The YLL reasoning is used a lot in industry to assess field problem mitigation programs. It is not useless, but it requires a lot of care to do intelligently. There are two major technical considerations that get reviewed to death before committing resources. The first is the data set that you consider useful for the purpose of making assessments of solutions or mitigations. A fairly absurd example would be treatment of heart disease. You would not take mortality data since 1950 and use it to think of what to do in 2020. It might not be as extreme as that, but I think there is abundant reasons not to use US COVID mortality data from pre-July for example. Ventilator usage was contributing to deaths. Patients on their backs was contributing. Lack of understanding of best use of therapeutic drugs was contributing. These practices are much different now. The full data set is historically accurate but not current enough to base decisions on. COVID, as a novel disease, would be expected to have has a very “steep slope” in this and it actually does. Once you have a data set that seems defensible on this issue, you need to carefully craft an “alternate” hypothesis to make a comparison. I don’t know what the basis of this was for this COVID study, but when you read a lot about how important comorbidities are to this you would want to be really careful about using as a baseline a population whose reported comorbidities were significantly different than the data set. If you have a data set where in the ages 30-40 the mortality was strongly overrepresented by individuals with diabetes, obesity, depression, asthma or other maladies versus the population you are thinking of using to compare it with, you would be really cautious and try to find a population that matched the characteristics more closely. That can be really hard and the truth is that there is a big spectrum of seriousness even in the same factor. I know that in my former profession, at the end of this process we normally would simply factor down the presumed benefit just from experience of discovering later that the analysis left something out.
So I’d say that if YLL is being used to assess potential go-forward policies, then it probably needs to be seriously reworked from the manner it is discussed here. If it mostly is to justify a perception of past practice then it might be okay.
You do not have to do anything and can wait till better information comes along which may please you or motivate you. One of the reasons, I put links in my posts is to educate you along with myself and others. You can choose to read them and learn why this has been posted or you can go off on your own and ramble. In which case on the latter, no one is going to take you seriously. I take the HCCI seriously.
Yeah, save_the_rustbelt, Rusty Rustbelt that is. Glad you are OK.
Ron, thanks for the sentiment,
Best to you and yours!