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Old 03-26-2020, 06:17 AM   #1
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Corona Hits Home

Yesterday we learned that my father is well on his way to recovering from coronavirus. He either contracted it over two months ago (early January) or more recently while he already had some sort of respiratory issue caused by the regular flu. Because he has been complaining since early January about his lungs, the doctors did not consider coronavirus as the cause, that was too long ago, so they would not test him for it. Even worse, if it was some other serious pulmonary disease he could not get a CAT scan because anything that is not coronavirus is not being taken seriously. He tried to get a CAT scan scheduled for two weeks but they would not give he a date.

By the time he was starting to feel better they finally decided to test him for corona. It took a week to get the results and by then he was on the mend. Not back to normal, but much better than when he was at his worst. From the start I've had severe doubts about destroying our economy to stop this virus when there are no good statistics to prove it's necessary. Now I believe the experts who say this virus will turn out to be more like a bad flu season than the apocalypse, but we will be paying the price for the panic for a long long time.

Here is a link to an article about 12 experts (read their credentials) who question the hysteria. "12 Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic" Below is one example.

Dr John Ioannidis Professor of Medicine, of Health Research and Policy and of Biomedical Data Science, at Stanford University School of Medicine and a Professor of Statistics at Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences. He is director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and co-director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS).

He is also the editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation. He was chairman at the Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina School of Medicine as well as adjunct professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.

As a physician, scientist and author he has made contributions to evidence-based medicine, epidemiology, data science and clinical research. In addition, he pioneered the field of meta-research. He has shown that much of the published research does not meet good scientific standards of evidence.

What he says:

Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. As most health systems have limited testing capacity, selection bias may even worsen in the near future.

The one situation where an entire, closed population was tested was the Diamond Princess cruise ship and its quarantine passengers. The case fatality rate there was 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death rate from Covid-19 is much higher.

Could the Covid-19 case fatality rate be that low? No, some say, pointing to the high rate in elderly people. However, even some so-called mild or common-cold-type coronaviruses that have been known for decades can have case fatality rates as high as 8% when they infect elderly people in nursing homes.

If we had not known about a new virus out there, and had not checked individuals with PCR tests, the number of total deaths due to “influenza-like illness” would not seem unusual this year. At most, we might have casually noted that flu this season seems to be a bit worse than average.

– “A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data”, Stat News, 17th March 2020
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:42 AM   #2
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post
Yesterday we learned that my father is well on his way to recovering from coronavirus. He either contracted it over two months ago (early January) or more recently while he already had some sort of respiratory issue caused by the regular flu. Because he has been complaining since early January about his lungs, the doctors did not consider coronavirus as the cause, that was too long ago, so they would not test him for it. Even worse, if it was some other serious pulmonary disease he could not get a CAT scan because anything that is not coronavirus is not being taken seriously. He tried to get a CAT scan scheduled for two weeks but they would not give he a date.

By the time he was starting to feel better they finally decided to test him for corona. It took a week to get the results and by then he was on the mend. Not back to normal, but much better than when he was at his worst. From the start I've had severe doubts about destroying our economy to stop this virus when there are no good statistics to prove it's necessary. Now I believe the experts who say this virus will turn out to be more like a bad flu season than the apocalypse, but we will be paying the price for the panic for a long long time.

Here is a link to an article about 12 experts (read their credentials) who question the hysteria. "12 Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic" Below is one example.

Dr John Ioannidis Professor of Medicine, of Health Research and Policy and of Biomedical Data Science, at Stanford University School of Medicine and a Professor of Statistics at Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences. He is director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and co-director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS).

He is also the editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation. He was chairman at the Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina School of Medicine as well as adjunct professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.

As a physician, scientist and author he has made contributions to evidence-based medicine, epidemiology, data science and clinical research. In addition, he pioneered the field of meta-research. He has shown that much of the published research does not meet good scientific standards of evidence.

What he says:

Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. As most health systems have limited testing capacity, selection bias may even worsen in the near future.

The one situation where an entire, closed population was tested was the Diamond Princess cruise ship and its quarantine passengers. The case fatality rate there was 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death rate from Covid-19 is much higher.

Could the Covid-19 case fatality rate be that low? No, some say, pointing to the high rate in elderly people. However, even some so-called mild or common-cold-type coronaviruses that have been known for decades can have case fatality rates as high as 8% when they infect elderly people in nursing homes.

If we had not known about a new virus out there, and had not checked individuals with PCR tests, the number of total deaths due to “influenza-like illness” would not seem unusual this year. At most, we might have casually noted that flu this season seems to be a bit worse than average.

– “A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data”, Stat News, 17th March 2020
We will keep your Dad in our prayers.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:23 AM   #4
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Thanks for the well wishes. Just for reference my dad is 80. He's doing well, just got off the phone with him. Says he feels fine but still gets out of breath if he exerts himself too much. He sounds great which he did not a couple weeks ago. I'm glad I did not know it was coronavirus back then or I would have been far more concerned. As it was I thought it was a normal flu that hit him pretty hard.

Me personally, I'm going to avoid it like I avoid the flu every year, which basically means going on with my life as normal and if I see someone that looks like they have a bug, stay away. Other than that, no obsessive hand washing or knob cleaning for me, I'm just not that concerned if I get it. That may freak a lot of people out and make them angry, but so be it. We have different opinions. I happen to think the coming economic panic caused by the virus panic is going to be far worse.

I will also avoid those that are older or at risk, but my belief is anyone that believes they are at risk should be self isolating, so avoiding them should not be difficult. Like my parents. I stopped visiting weeks ago and have offered to help them get anything they need to stay out of public. Apparently it was too late. Doctors say my mother won't even be tested since she has been exposed but shows no symptoms.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:41 AM   #5
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I'm glad he's on the mend.
A lot of us are in that "high risk" age group, and we're not used to sitting home.
I started paying attention to touching my face and realized that I do it hundreds of times a day.
Deciding to go to the grocery is a big deal. Having people over is a bigger deal.
Lets hope we can get back to normal sooner than later. I feel like I'm wasting months I'll never get back.

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Old 03-26-2020, 09:42 AM   #6
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we are concerned if you get it
I have not visited my parents since around Feb 20th, so I'm clear. We'll never know exactly how or when he got it. If he had it since early January that would mean he had it the same time as "patient zero" in WA. There is a small possibility that I caught the virus on a 2 month cross country trip I took (yes, with the Airstream), was almost completely asymptomatic, and gave it to my father when I returned. There is some thought that he had something like the normal flu for a number of weeks, then the coronavirus since he was feeling poorly for well over a month before going downhill.

I was in a some of the hotspots on my trip including Southern and Northern California, then Yosemite for five days where I was amazed at the number of Asian visitors wearing face masks. This was before it really hit hear in the US and I was thinking "you have to be kidding me." I think it will turn out this virus has been around longer and is far more widespread than they think with most cases going unreported.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:43 AM   #7
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... From the start I've had severe doubts about destroying our economy to stop this virus when there are no good statistics to prove it's necessary. Now I believe the experts who say this virus will turn out to be more like a bad flu season than the apocalypse, ...
All you have to do is look at what's happening in Italy or New York (where this round of infections isn't even expected to peak for another 3 weeks), or other hot spots around the country, to see that anyone who says this will be nothing more than, "a bad flu season,", unless they are referring to the 1918 influenza epidemic as, "a bad flu season," has no idea what they are talking about.

Even if the fatality rate weren't at least 10x the influenza fatality rate, the fact that there is zero immunity (through inoculation or previous infection) and, as of this moment, no medications that are proven to ameliorate severe symptoms, and no where near enough ventilators to keep people alive means that many many more people are vulnerable to infection and will die.

So, no, it's not hysteria and panic. We haven't even gone far enough. Domestic travel (air/train/bus) should have been shut down weeks ago, if not earlier, to stop spread. Without containment and mitigation, this has the potential to kill at least 2-3 Million Americans, and worldwide I don't even want to calculate the numbers.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:19 AM   #8
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All you have to do is look at what's happening in Italy or New York (where this round of infections isn't even expected to peak for another 3 weeks), or other hot spots around the country, to see that anyone who says this will be nothing more than, "a bad flu season,", unless they are referring to the 1918 influenza epidemic as, "a bad flu season," has no idea what they are talking about.

Even if the fatality rate weren't at least 10x the influenza fatality rate, the fact that there is zero immunity (through inoculation or previous infection) and, as of this moment, no medications that are proven to ameliorate severe symptoms, and no where near enough ventilators to keep people alive means that many many more people are vulnerable to infection and will die.

So, no, it's not hysteria and panic. We haven't even gone far enough. Domestic travel (air/train/bus) should have been shut down weeks ago, if not earlier, to stop spread. Without containment and mitigation, this has the potential to kill at least 2-3 Million Americans, and worldwide I don't even want to calculate the numbers.
And that's called, your opinion. Here's another published yesterday I believe:

According to hypothetical modeling from Oxford’s Evolutionary Ecology of Infectious Disease lab, half of the population of the United Kingdom may have already been infected with the coronavirus. If this modeling is confirmed in follow-up studies, that a minuscule number of those infected require hospital treatment, with a majority showing very minor symptoms, or none at all.

Not sure when we'll know which is correct, but I'm going to live as if the Oxford one is since shuttering the world is not a realistic option. If we continue to do so it will have severe and far reaching consequences that many people currently in a uncontrollable panic are not able to grasp.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:45 AM   #9
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First - certainly wish the best for your father.

Second - it seems pretty simple to me. If I have chest pains, my first call is to medical professionals. I don’t give a flying flip what the media thinks, what politicians of any stripe think, or what anyone else thinks. Those who are trained to deal with medical issues get my attention first.

On that basis - I don’t understand how this issue is becoming a Republican/Democrat issue. It’s a humanity issue.

And any truly GREAT country is more than capable of fighting this issue on all fronts at the same time - including the sacrifice needed to stop the spread, the science needed for a vaccine and treatments, and the repair to economic impact from doing the right thing to slow the spread while solving for the root problem.

Why are we being asked to believe America suddenly lost its ability to walk and chew gum at the same time? Scientists and medical professionals have the best advice on this and we should heed it first and foremost. Politicians would love a shot in the arm to the stock market - and they’ll get it - to boost their campaign chances and poll favorability - at the expense of lives and greater long term destruction to the economy.

In what universe does this make sense?

This virus isn’t political and doesn’t care what party you root for or what news source you favor.

Medical professionals on both sides of the aisle are best positioned to guide our first priority and we ignore them at our great and extended peril.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:06 AM   #10
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Here's your credible source. If you are unfamiliar with the Financial Times, it is the UK's more intellectual version of our WSJ. Very interesting reading at any time.

https://www.ft.com/content/5ff6469a-...f-41bea055720b

You can track back to the source doc there.
By more intellectual lets be clear, it's pretty hard left leaning. Probably not echoing or supporting what Trump says on any issue.

Anyway, I'm over and out, I've been avoiding all the Covid threads for a reason but did not see one where there was an actual person with the virus yet. There very well may have been posts that I did not read. Thanks again for all the well wishes. If this virus is as bad as some say my dad really dodged a bullet and that's great. If not hopefully we'll know that soon enough to limit the psychological and economic damage to the country.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:18 AM   #11
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awesome citizens!

Point fingers and blame all you want, we'll never know the truth. I'm choosing to focus on:
Food donations skyrocketing to feed kids who rely on school lunches
Kids making cards for people in assisted living who cannot have visitors
Special shopping hours for the elderly
Neighbors sharing books, puzzles, games, etc., plus ideas and encouragement for homeschooling
All kinds of companies retooling to make facemasks and scrubs
Automakers retooling to make ventilators
Distilleries making hand sanitizer
Neighbors calling neighbors to check on them
...and dozens of other examples. We are awesome!
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:22 AM   #12
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Thanks for the great thread and first post. The issue of "selection bias" will be very interesting to parse out, as the detailed data comes out months from now.

If the very sickest folks are the only ones who could get tested until recently, of course the initial trend is going to look disastrous!

When asymptomatic folks are included in those being tested, and not until then, will we have a true picture.

Glad your Dad is doing well.

Thanks again,

Peter
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:58 AM   #13
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Wishing your Father all the best.

My wife is a Physical Therapist, trained specifically in acute care/respiratory therapy.

Let's just say she is on the front line helping all she can. I am very proud of her dedication to our community.

Please stay safe.
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:00 PM   #14
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It appears that people are reading headlines and interpreting them to support what they want, wish, or hope to be true.

The Oxford study and the reaction to it is a case in point.

First, it was from the department of zoology, not public health.

Second, it wasn’t peer reviewed.

Third, it was a theoretical study, without any data. That was because there was little data yet, fair enough. But the point of the study was to show how widely different assumptions could produce the same theoretical and modelled result, not to suggest that one model was right and one model was wrong.

The suggestion that a large portion of the population could already have COVID 19 was based on an assumption that one in one thousand would require hospitalization, an extreme example. We know that isn’t a realistic assumption from considering Italy, even if we discount the Chinese data.

The study has been widely commented upon. The single thing that comes through clearly is that widespread and massive testing will be required to be able to build better models. Picking one scenario out of the many possible scenarios and suggesting that there is some sort of answer in it is irresponsible at best.

Listen to the public health experts, not the business sections of any newspaper.
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:02 PM   #15
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If we had not known about a new virus out there, and had not checked individuals with PCR tests, the number of total deaths due to “influenza-like illness” would not seem unusual this year. At most, we might have casually noted that flu this season seems to be a bit worse than average.

– “A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data”, Stat News, 17th March 2020[/I]
This is true, since the Corona virus is a NEW virus: of course we don't have reliable data, especially with China withholding data and doubts of their honesty /accuracy of what they have reported. But surely, as a society that values human life (unless it's in its infancy), we should err on the side of safety?

And shouldn't our citizens make their best effort to keep to the guidelines to prevent the spread of this NEW and possibly deadly virus? Even if we don't have "reliable data"?
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:12 PM   #16
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THANKS!!! OTRA15, for that breath of sanity.

Folks can believe what they want--hopefully, it's been thought through and reasoned. There was one poster on AirForums who used to have something akin to this on his signature: "You cannot reason people out of positions they didn't reason themselves into."

Lack of critical thinking skills is what's really going to hurt the USA in the long run. This idea of testing everyone to get a true sense of the extent of this pandemic is just logical and correct. Anything else is like wetting your pants while wearing a dark suit--the only thing it does is give you a warm feeling.

Critical thinking can be difficult; there always isn't an answer to every question. At least, keep an open mind if you have difficulty reaching your own conclusion(s). "There's more than one way to skin a Cat." (Caterpillar diesel engine; no cats were harmed in the arrival at this position.)
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:23 PM   #17
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Dear Smithcreek:

Your father's recovery from Covid-19 is great news. We all need to hear about positive outcomes. But juxtaposed to your father's good outcome is that of over 1,000 americans who died from Covid 19 as of 26 March 2020. How would each victim's family extrapolate their loved one's experience to the population at large?

And I'm not sure the John Ioannidis article you cite really supports your views. The way I read this article, Ioannidis does a good job straddling the fence. For readers following this thread I strongly suggest reading both the article and the comments that follow it:

https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/...reliable-data/

To me there are some significant take-aways from the Ioannidis article:

1) He is correct about policy makers not having sufficient information about the disease and its mortality/complications to make competent policy decisions.

2) He is most likely correct that the COVID-19 fatality rate is lower, perhaps very much lower, than current estimates by the WHO.


Regarding point 1, we haven't done the testing to know how to best handle the disease outbreak, a point Ioannidis should have clearly stated, but, interestingly, did not. In the absence of good data we have to fall back on the experiences of other countries successful with this specific disease and our country's successes with past infectious disease outbreaks--SARS, MERS, Ebola, Spanish Flu, and even Polio--to inform our public policy.

The countries that have succeeded in corralling Covid-19 are the ones that had pandemic preparedness plans in place and then executed them--China, South Korea, Taiwan. They had testing. They had PPE. They had a plan to implement social distancing. They acted quickly. The 7 P's: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

Regarding point 2, there are countries that have done wide scale testing. One is Iceland. Iceland has found and traced much of their Covid-19 outbreak. The scary thing they found is that more than 50% of positive testees were asymptomatic at the time of their test--so were blithely going about their daily lives spreading the infection. While the Icelandic data argues that the mortality rate will be low, it also argues Iceland will experience deaths that could have been prevented.

So, in the absence of good information, what should US policy makers do?

Nothing, and let Covid-19 run its course unimpeded?

Or a lot, like South Korea and Taiwan?

IMOP, policy makers should err on the side of caution--protect the public health. The economy will come back if the people are healthy.

There is a tremendous amount we don't understand about this disease. But we do know it can kill. Act accordingly.

My two cents.

Stay healthy,

Burnside
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:49 PM   #18
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Smithcreek,
Very glad that your father is on the mend and thank you for sharing a positive story amid this crisis.

With regard to your comment

quote, "No obsessive hand washing or knob cleaning for me, I'm just not that concerned if I get it." endquote

if you're not concerned about getting your it yourself that's certainly your opinion. However there are many more of us that would be concerned about you spreading it. A person can spread without even knowing they have it.

#dontbeaspreader

I do find it interesting that folks who don't normally post a lot on the forums have become lengthy posters with long quotes and references to publications they read.

This will just be another thread closed based on where it's going at this point.
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:36 PM   #19
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THANKS!!! OTRA15, for that breath of sanity.

Folks can believe what they want--hopefully, it's been thought through and reasoned. There was one poster on AirForums who used to have something akin to this on his signature: "You cannot reason people out of positions they didn't reason themselves into."

Lack of critical thinking skills is what's really going to hurt the USA in the long run. This idea of testing everyone to get a true sense of the extent of this pandemic is just logical and correct. Anything else is like wetting your pants while wearing a dark suit--the only thing it does is give you a warm feeling.

Critical thinking can be difficult; there always isn't an answer to every question. At least, keep an open mind if you have difficulty reaching your own conclusion(s). "There's more than one way to skin a Cat." (Caterpillar diesel engine; no cats were harmed in the arrival at this position.)
Not possible to test everyone. Nice, but not necessary. 1). By the time we would get that done would take months. 2) We don’t have enough testing capability.

Best thing is to do mass random testing. This is something what pollsters try to do. Only their sample sizes are often too small. A larger sample size of say 10% of the population will have just as good of statistical reliability as testing everyone.

By the way this will also help test for people that have antibodies that can be used for treatments. It will also show if there is “herd immunity.” We have to realize when we get by this wave, there will be another in the Winter months. This happened with the Spanish flu. Getting to a herd immunity is necessary. That happened with the H1N1 flu.
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by UnklJoe View Post
THANKS!!! OTRA15, for that breath of sanity.

Folks can believe what they want--hopefully, it's been thought through and reasoned. There was one poster on AirForums who used to have something akin to this on his signature: "You cannot reason people out of positions they didn't reason themselves into."
...
I'm still here and posting!

Al
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