@blaineg@gerrymic More testing means that there will be more positives for asymptomatic and mild cases. It doesn’t necessarily mean that more people have the virus, just that we know more people have the virus. And aren’t people that need hospitalization really what count? I’m with @gerrymic.
If % positive goes down then that means that more testing is being done relative to actual covid cases. If % positive goes up it means we’re not testing enough.
Guess what, in most of the country % positive is going up. We’re not testing as many people relative to number of people who have it as we were doing a couple of weeks ago.
Now it’s true, deaths haven’t spiked as much as cases, and this is a good thing. It’s probably a little misleading though because the demographic that is getting most of the cases now are younger people. It’s also going to trail new cases by a couple of weeks.
Doctors seem to be doing a better job treating the disease now though and/or it is becoming less deadly with time (as new viruses often do, they evolve not to kill their hosts so that they can be spread to more hosts).
@blaineg@gerrymic@OnionSoup I would think with limited testing the numbers are still somewhat of a crapshoot and hospitalizations is solid data. It’s not like they’re scientifically selecting who gets tested. And hospitalizations won’t lag as much as deaths.
In large parts of the country hospitalization is going up and number of beds free are going down.
But positive cases are going up faster than hospitalizations because the demographic of who has the virus is skewing younger. Most new cases are of gen Z and Millennials… They’re making up a higher percentage of those getting sick and tend to be hospitalized less than older people.
@blaineg@gerrymic@OnionSoup I’m not saying you should discount percent positive and new case numbers but politicians have been using those figures as gold standards since before testing was readily available. But it all hinges on what group of people is tested. I also read that the reliability of tests isn’t that great and varies by test. So if the infection rate is low you get a lot of noise in the data.
@blaineg@gerrymic@sammydog01 The sicker people need hospitalization, and that is important. But the total number of people carrying the virus is important because many will be asymptomatic and can still spread the virus. So a population, if the test were done on everyone (and is an accurate test), that is 5% positive is better off than a population with 10% of the people positive because the first has fewer people to spread the virus.
@blaineg@gerrymic@sammydog01 the rates of false negatives tend to outnumber rates of false positives. Especially early on in China they were worried of people soon being reinfected, but now think it’s because the tests just were giving a lot of false negatives.
… Although, there are concerns it could hide away in you central nervous system and never really go away.
@OnionSoup Let’s say a test has a 3% error. 90 plus or minus 3 is meaningful. 4 plus or minus 3 is shit. It doesn’t matter whether the error is high or low it’s useless.
Let’s say you want to see what the percent is positive in the general population. Holding testing at an inner city high density apartment complex is going to give you different statistics vs testing at senior apartments that have been isolated since early March.
Plus repeat negative tests count independently. Keep testing the old fogies that haven’t had a visitor in 3 months and your positive rate will plummet.
“So a population, if the test were done on everyone (and is an accurate test), that is 5% positive is better off than a population with 10% of the people positive because the first has fewer people to spread the virus.“
Absolutely true. People treat the statistics published like they meet your criteria but I would guess they’re not even close.
I follow data, mostly locally, in the IE, and in California, but periodically look at the rest of the county.
Is the percent positive increasing? Is the hospitalization rate and ICU bed rate increasing? It depends on where you live.
Arizona is a nightmare right now. Florida is not so hot either. Other places vary. It is really difficult to compare because how each state reports the data is different. There is no national standard. Harvard is trying to make less of a mess of it, but since positivity depends on test administered, while you may not be comparing apples and oranges, you definitely have some tangerines and grapefruits and kumquats in the mix.
I feel the increase number of symptomatic people who are not elderly in my practice. And I know others do to.
So know what you are comparing, not just percent positives but how is that data compiled what goes into it, etc., before you judge it.
@Cerridwyn My son is having surgery next week out of state and they told us to get tested. They sent an order for labcorp. Except labcorp doesn’t take swabs. I called our family doctor- he told us to go to a doc in the box. They only test sick people. I checked with CVS- they don’t do anyone under 18. I finally found a place that will test you as long as your credit card goes through.
And that is within 5 miles of my house. I can only imagine the testing disparity across state lines.
@Cerridwyn@sammydog01 Unless you have a temperature, even if you have symptoms, you still can’t get tested in this state - well might be different for health care workers but that I don’t know anything about. Someone I know had cancer surgery early last month and the only way that person could be tested was at the hospital after admission. As a result admission was 2 days prior to surgery. Waste of resources to admit early.
@asplus@blaineg@Cerridwyn New Zealand wiped out the virus on their islands and Australia has had it mostly under control. Was it Iceland or Greenland who also had it but managed to wipe it out… One of those two.
@gerrymic Fear mask? Meh.
Joke if you want, but the countries that are doing well at this and feeling the least economic impact are the ones where people are wearing masks.
Japan barely shut down at all compared the the months we were shut down. They’re doing way better than we are at keeping it managed. Schools were shut down for less than a week.
The most obvious difference is that they’re a society that wears masks. Kids and teachers wear them to school every day. Employers are still reporting to work wearing masks.
(Well Lime…if you’d talk to any of my friends they’d tell you that ONE of my Personality Flaws is that I do, indeed, “Joke About Everything”.)
If you ever run across LewRockwell .com you’ll find numerous links to studies (many done before Coronovirus) showing that even “professional” surgical masks do NOTHING to protect Surgeons in the O.R. or Dentists in their Offices…nor the patients being operated on or having cavities filled…
So…I’ll continue to wear a Mask for its Submission-Signaling purposes…but I have NO fantasies that it will actually protect ME…or ANYBODY else…
@gerrymic I started looking at your lewrockwell link to see what I could find in articles about masks.
The first article was by Dr. David Brownstein. It appeared to have citations for its claims, but I could not finish the article or check any of them because the article was pulled and apparently the guy is in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission.
So I couldn’t find a lot to base an opinion on there.
Next I looked at an article by Jennifer Giustra-Kozek. The first paragraph cites an article that was retracted by the authors. The other citation is to an article that actually does recommend wearing masks. That study also focused only on the protection a mask affords to the wearer, and none of the experts are saying that a mask will protect you from getting Covid-19.
The second paragraph actually just cites a press release about an article, rather than the article itself. That makes me think that Ms. Giustra-Kozek is not being particularly rigorous. The relevant article is actually available for free online, and the original authors have written an update in the wake of Covid-19. The article does NOT claim that masks cause respiratory infections. They say that healthcare workers wearing cloth masks are more likely to get them than those wearing paper masks. They also didn’t control for mask hygiene practices.
Here is the actual article: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577
Much of the rest of the Jennifer Giustra-Kozek piece focuses on showing that masks do not protect the wearer, which is uncontroversial, since no experts claim that is the point of wearing a mask.
Later she references a Lancet article in a really superficial way that probably seems to make sense as long as you don’t think about it or read the source. All the Lancet article says is that severe cases have a higher viral load than mild cases and that’s correlated with age. Tying that to masks is a non-sequitor.
The Jennifer Giustra-Kozek article really just shows the pitfalls of journalists trying to write about things things they don’t understand. That’s why I try not to trust journalists too much on anything complicated, unless I know them to have relevant expertise.
Then I looked at an article by Joseph Mercola. First paragraph he misuses the work “infers,” but I work with a really smart physicist who misuses words all the time so I won’t hold it against him.
This one even states that countries that routinely use face masks have lowered their Covid-19 transmission rates.
And… This one is actually pretty good, in my opinion. He’s giving about as fair a shake as he can manage to cover the problems caused by the mixed messaging the public has gotten about face masks.
He covers the article claiming that wearing a mask won’t lower your chances of spreading the virus and addresses the retraction and criticisms of the original study in a fair way. He does not claim that masks don’t lower your chances of spreading the virus.
I only read three articles. Well, two and a half, since the first was unavailable. None support your claim that the dentist wearing a mask does not offer you any protection while getting a filling, but maybe I just didn’t read deep enough.
@Limewater “None support your claim that the dentist wearing a mask does not offer you any protection while getting a filling”
WOW!!! I’m REALLY impressed that you checked out good ol’ LewRockwell…and your Post is QUITE informative!
When the Coronavirus first appeared there were a good number of articles there supporting the research I mentioned…(but I only stored them in MY mind and NOT [to use for future discussions] in my laptop’s Favorites)…however the site has kinda’ moved on to “civic unrest”…
Since I do visit it every day or two…should I run across a more definite study supporting my (possibly) harebrained schemes…I will post the link…
@gerrymic@Limewater Umm Mercola is a well known snake oil practitioner in the in “alternative” and “natural” “health” field along with cancer “treatments” (of the one size fits all category) and is anti vaccinations of any kind. That doesn’t mean as a snake oil salesman he can’t be right about something, but it is a whole lot easier to pick out the credible from the BS if one reads information from more credible sources that don’t have repeated, losing confrontations with the FDA.
@gerrymic@Kidsandliz I can believe that. I don’t know anything about the guy, but I am generally suspicious of any medical doctor who is selling himself as a brand as he appears to.
I’m actually generally suspicious of anything coming from a medical doctor anyway. I have a lot more faith in actual medical researchers, and I recognize that there is some overlap between the two, but there are a lot more practicing physicians than researchers.
But I am more suspicious of those who sell themselves as a brand.
But in this case the guy is citing and summarizing what I believe to be legit research. After the previous two (1.5) articles I had read I wasn’t expecting that.
@gerrymic In the case of a new situation like this I would more heavily favor recent research over that from a couple of months ago. But make sure you’re looking at actual research and not opinion pieces.
There were a lot of early results published based upon incomplete data months ago and a lot of unqualified journalists picked up on it because people were hungry for it. That resulted in a lot of wild misinformation.
Research papers aren’t generally written with public consumption in mind, so it’s easy easy to misinterpret trade language or gloss over math that you don’t understand. I’m not going to pretend to be a medical expert, but I do know a lot of math and have worked in research and published myself, so I have a bit better appreciation for it and an easier time reading articles outside of my field.
Even still, I try to know my limits.
@gerrymic@Limewater I could never understand anti-vaxxers. Then I read an article by an antivax doctor. It had data, was self- consistent, and very interesting theories. It made sense. Then I found another article explaining why it was crap- mostly because the data, although accurate, was cherry picked. That’s hard to fight.
@gerrymic@sammydog01 I’m not aware of anyone who knows what he or she is talking about claiming that viruses can’t pass through a doctor’s mask, nor are they claiming that this would need to be the case for them to be effective.
They’re only designed to catch liquids and microdroplets. That’s enough.
@blaineg@Limewater On some cancer lists he holds so much sway. I don’t even want to think about the number of folks he has killed due to having them use his snake oil rather than actual stuff that has science behind it. Of course he is not the only one selling bullshit under the guise of natural and alternative. Yup night shade is natural and it will kill you.
Being natural or alternative doesn’t automatically make it safe and effective. Or that it has been used for a zillion years as “natural” cures. What is safer is if someone figures out what the active ingredient(s) are, purifies it, does clinical trials to figure out the optimal dose and if it is better and safer than what is already being used. Big bad pharma can patent that and make money (see the big bad phara conspiracy below).
Then we have the cure for cancer will never be found cuz big bad phara and doctor greed is suppressing it. Yeah right. There is no ONE cure for cancer just for starters and anyone who discovers a cure for any given cancer will likely get rich patenting is and selling it.
Then there is the BS where chemo is poison so they’d rather poison themselves with, for example, apricot pits. Yeah it kills cancer cells all right. And brain cells and heart cells, and nerve cells, and every other cell you have because it prevents cells from taking up oxygen. It used to be 95% of kids with leukemia died. Now 90+% live. Researchers and big bad pharma with chemo developments had everything to do with that.
We don’t teach enough science in K-12. Or simple statistics. No testimonials don’t tell you anything. Someone says X cures them. Yeah maybe out of 100 people the other 99 died. Or maybe 50 were cured. We have no idea since we didn’t take a random sample to see the outcome, run a clinical trial… Also those websites aren’t about ready to let families post about failures. The urine cure (I forget whose snake oil that is) well finally a real clinical trial was started with some kind of brain cancer patients. They stopped it early as all the patients who got the urine died and only 1 of the other brain cancer patients. That quack is still flogging his urine cure.
I get so sick of that shit on those lists. I was (stupidly) trying to get someone to realize that if you believe the science behind (with breast cancer - I’ve had it on both sides along with the blood cancer follicular non-hodkin’s lymphoma) lumpectomy + radiation = mastectomy and the science behind take out only sentinal nodes (the ones that drain the tumor) = take out all of them with respect to cancer outcomes (although take out all of them an you are much more likey to get lymphedema) then why don’t you believe the outcomes of chemo clinical trials? Science is like gravity, it works all of the time not just when you want it to. Sigh.
And it doesn’t even seem possible to get those who have drunk the snake oil koolaid to even realize it is a red flag when the snake oil salesman is flogging, and is often sole source (often invented by them), of the very same things s/he claims will cure them… and there are no peer reviewed articles to back that up, just testimonials. Umm yeah major conflict of interest. But nope the only ones with a conflict of interest, according to them are oncologists and big bad pharma. Too bad Darwinism isn’t going to work here as most of these folks have already procreated.
OK off my soap box that was triggered by Mercola. Who is the goat? Your fault!