WANTED: Rational Coronavirus Analysis

Continuation of thread

The overuse of percentages by our wise ruling class and media to convey critical information may be hindering understanding, and therefore a rational response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Lots of figures are being thrown about, practically all on a percentage basis, not as ratios, as natural phenomenon should be expressed.

This STAT News article (March 3rd, since removed) falls into the same base-10(0) percentage rut, but at least they're slicing and reporting the data well, which is quite rare these days.

Excerpt: The death toll skews old even more strongly. Overall, China CDC found, 2.3% of confirmed cases died. But the fatality rate was 14.8% in people 80 or older, likely reflecting the presence of other diseases, a weaker immune system, or simply worse overall health. By contrast, the fatality rate was 1.3% in 50-somethings, 0.4% in 40-somethings, and 0.2% in people 10 to 39.

NOTE: The Chinese CDC data may not be totally credible, but that uncertainty factor would apply to all categories equally, presumably(?).

The ratios on total-infected per fatality (the inverse of the above percentages) for COVID-19 by age follow:

80 and older ..... 7
50-something ... 77
40-something ... 250
10-39 ..................... 500

Analyze this ... again, with ratios. It's lucky that we live in a country with such robust youthful leadership, otherwise policy might be skewed.

And, lastly ... Don't shoot the messenger ... you've been advised to self-quarantine, and will be reported to authorities.

In related news: https://babylonbee.com/news/nations-nerds-wake-up-in-utopia-where-everyone-stays-inside-sports-canceled-social-interaction-forbidden

Apparently, on this same day (3/13) as this thread was posted, the Mainstream and New Media were still grappling with the meaning of it all, but took a stab at analyzing the data:
Excerpt (highlighted in their text): The bottom line is that the coronavirus hit Italy and South Korea very differently in terms of age at around the same time and the same level of the outbreak — at least the level that we noticed in terms of confirmed cases — thereby causing a much higher number of deaths in Italy. [..wha?..and so..?!?]
It is probable that all their various charts in percentages confused them, obscuring deeper meaning within the data ... for proper analyses, one needs to use ratios, I tell you ...RATIOS.

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Finally, a Stanford doc -- Dr Scott Atlas -- chimes in with sensible advice (4/24) ... his bottom line (excerpt): "Let’s stop underemphasizing empirical evidence while instead doubling down on hypothetical models. Facts matter". Yes, facts do indeed matter. Too bad that perspective has been lost.

UPDATE (6/20): Hindsight is 20/20 ... from another Stanford doc: Median infection fatality rate of coronavirus for those under 70 is just 0.04%.​
UPDATE (7/15): Atlas says that science shows that kids should go back to school. Too bad educators are paid by risk-befuddled administrators, not rational scientists.​
UPDATE (8/17): Hopefully, Atlas will shoulder this burden … a rational voice at the White House on the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant economic fallout.​

Sensible StatNews comes out against demonizing Coronavirus skeptics (4/27).
Excerpt: [W]e can’t allow questions of science, medicine, and public health to become captives of tribalized politics. Today, more than ever, we need vigorous academic debate.

From Russia, some rational Coronavirus analysis (5/20): Those Meant to Die Will Die,’ Russia’s Coronavirus Info Chief Says

A little late to be genuinely surprised (see all)
An extensive study of the COVID-19 cases in the UK (7/9, NYTimes via Yahoo News) found that there’s a “jaw-dropping” disparity in fatality rate based on the victim’s age and pre-existing conditions, including “pervasive social and structural inequities”, of course.

BIG PICTURE, all things considered, herd-immunity-wise: “Simply put, COVID-19 won’t flame out until 50 to 80 percent of us get it (the precise number is open to debate).” At this point, while protecting the vulnerable old and/or ailing ... given how widespread the virus already is, the best rational strategy could be: Get it? Got it. Good! (7/13) … let’s get this over with, shall we?

However, it’s probable that this COVID coup’ (7/17, really long diatribe) – where compliance is the metric, not your overall health and wellbeing -- will continue until, say ... early November.

Hindsight is 20/20 on the Big Event of 2020 … a comprehensive data-packed retrospective. On the other hand, this companion post on potential COVID-19 vaccines and the inherent uncertainties of those ambitious programs is forward projection (7/27, supporting evidence is very well footnoted in both posts).
20:20 UPDATE: Death from Above... a retrospective on the business-as-usual, old-school approach to prudently managing a community during an epidemic, contrasted to what's-already-happened, for which no one probably will ever be held accountable for (9/1).​

Finally, some rational Coronavirus analysis
Perhaps our wise ruling class just needed an opportunistic *RESET* -- to “lead to real change” (7/14) -- so that they can properly administer the reimagined path to our glorious future.

Reminiscent of post-9/11 … “you’re either with us or against us” is the mantra of those pushing the Great Reset (9/10).

Could this ongoing drill – the global lockdown for CODENAME: Operation Virus IDentification 2019, which only reduced carbon emissions 8%, dammit! -- be a coordinated step by the Davos crowd on the journey to our dystopian glorious future? (9/26; more here, 9/28)
UPDATE (10/12): Aussies ‘call out’ this wily ploy ... ‘Great Reset’ = Green Feudalism, the dream scenario of enviro-socialists.​

'Petty tyranny' ... the New Normal..? (10/5)
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Yeah but there are a lot of nice infographics out there on twitter!
I must say, that reasoning is hard to argue with. I can't even re-phrase it as a formula. The best I can come up with...

Numerous (Twitter infographics) = "Nice"​

A Venn diagram is probably the best way to express your position.
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This Stanford study on COVID-19 is very comprehensive, informative and level-headed:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DqfSnlaW6N3GBc5YKyBOCGPfdqOsqk1G/view [dead link now, alas...]

While not posted on Twitter, it has had some nice infographics, including fatality rate by age for South Korea, which sees the same basic demographic impact as China, heavily skewed towards the elderly:

The South Korean ratios on total-infected per fatality (the inverse of the above percentages) for COVID-19 by age follow:

80+ ....... 12
70-79 ... 21
60-69 ... 69
50-59 ... 250
40-49 ... 1111
30-39 ... 883
<30 …... Infinity

So, no surprises* ... which I guess is good, in uncertain times. In addition, experts are estimating that perhaps half or more of the infected are asymptomatic, and don't bother to get tested, so this would increase these infected-per-death ratios even further.

* Except for vulnerable 30-somethings in Korea..?
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Fortran must die
Anyone could be right (or wrong) about this virus. No one knows for sure what it will or will not do so everything is speculative. It is difficult to analyze data rationally when almost nothing is known.


Less is more. Stay pure. Stay poor.
If you are inverting, I wonder if it follow's Zipf Law. People feel Korea's number are the most representative if the under lying data generating function, since they tested a **** ton of people and even had drive-thru testing. China on the other hand is always dubious and they have authoritative regime, so can better contain. Lots of call info graphics for sure. I will start a thread on it. I pulled the Hopkins data down, which seemed to have a lag, but will work for playing around with data.
Anyone could be right (or wrong) about this virus. No one knows for sure what it will or will not do so everything is speculative. It is difficult to analyze data rationally when almost nothing is known.
Gotta disagree with you there, noetsi, and think that hlsmith would agree: Independent studies are showing that critical trends are known. 'Not acknowledged' is probably the proper descriptor. And if this is a case of 'willful unknowledgment', that would be especially unhelpful.

The Korean tally is the better set of data, but does conform with what was experienced in China. Yes, some statistical analyses may be applied, yielding some insightful infographics, perhaps independently threaded on Twitter.*

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world (3/13):

Italy has had 12 462 confirmed cases according to the Istituto Superiore di Sanità as of March 11, and 827 deaths. Only China has recorded more deaths due to this COVID-19 outbreak. The mean age of those who died in Italy was 81 years and more than two-thirds of these patients had diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or cancer, or were former smokers.

I'd think that 'median age' might have been the better metric here, but suggest that this data agrees with what was seen in the Far East, with the added critical dimension on susceptibility with pre-existing conditions.

In the government-mandated world of not-known-so-anything-goes, where incubated-carrier-but-not-at-risk college students are sent home for the semester, since Reasons, et al ... I'd suggest that those seemingly-healthy bored kids don't hug their 85yo great-grandma, the diabetic chain-smoker ... even if she is Italian. Can we agree on that?

* But not by me. My stats/math training didn't really extend past my teenage years, and I'm still not sure how Twitter works and why.
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TS Contributor
They are vastly imprecise. Only 2 decimal places?! Given that they absolutely, exactely know the
number of infected persons and absolutely, exactely know the number of deceased persons in
Korea, their death rate should comprise 4 decimal places. At least. Rounding looks very unscientific.
People could be tempted to think that science mght deal with uncertainty.




TS Contributor
I would disagree that they exactly know the number of infected people. That would assume that they have tested 100% of the population and that the test had zero false positives and zero false negatives. Good article by Kaiser Fung that illustrates all of the unknowns.
Yes. It was meant ironically.
Irony doesn't work well in a forum, though.
Yes, I didn't catch the irony either ... 'twas ready to note the existing vast uncertainty in Covid-19 prevalence within the untested general population. The number of infected people that were tested is known; what is not known is the number of infected people not tested.

Anyway, good one. Reporting data to statistically-meaningless significant digits should always be considered fodder for humor ... well, at least 99.99% of the time.

Meanwhile, STAT News reruns their age-based analysis, again with appropriate significant digits (3/16).

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The Hoover Institute is taking measures to de-tangle the data, focusing on age (including a detailed breakdown on the Korean numbers, with a bit too many significant digits on fatality rate, 3/16)


Now, our America-on-lockdown-quarantine CV efforts are starting to re-scare China (3/19, dead link). Hey, we didn't see that coming!

Fatality rates by age are pretty consistent in China, Korea and the US (charts towards the end, 3/18).
It's all about pre-existing conditions (3/18).

Wish this icky guy would stop making sense (3/18) ... makes one forget what the CDC and WHO and Bill Gates told us to do...

Golly, icky guy’s comments have caused quite a stir (4/20), with totalitarian types that don’t like their absolute authority undermined.

Wishful thinking (3/26)…

The massive global CDC/WHO effort StatsNews continues to be THE forefront of understanding the scope of the Coronavirus pandemic (3/25). Understanding data statistically is good, and, yes, news based on statistics is critical, providing clarity ... helps one understand inherent probabilities, even without associated odds. (Ironically, compared to their earlier posts, this StatNews article is short on statistical analysis, but that never stopped media outlets.)

This is encouraging, New Media is considering the 'Big Picture' (3/27) ... Ezra Klein at Vox is starting to ponder rational CV plans that consider the economic damage (check out the unemployment chart, yikes!).

Also encouraging ... (very non-mainstream) commentary with rational Coronavirus analysis (3/31).

Israel also has consistent fatality data, by age (4/2).

At the very least, this could lead to solid ratio-ed analyses (4/1):
Excerpt: They concluded that roughly 80% of the people who lost their sense of smell would test positive for the coronavirus, and that somewhere between 30% and 60% of those who had tested positive for the virus had also lost their sense of smell.

Dubya foresight, revisited (4/5):
Excerpt: In a November 2005 speech at the National Institutes of Health, Bush laid out proposals in granular detail -- describing with stunning prescience how a pandemic in the United States would unfold. Among those in the audience was Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leader of the current crisis response, who was then and still is now the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Too bad the message was lost for years, now dredged from the archives.

More perspective, from a 'Big Picture' guy with street cred on megatrends (4/7):
Excerpt: “Universal stay-at-home is the most devastating economic force in modern history,” Burry wrote in an email to Bloomberg News. “And it is man-made. It very suddenly reverses the gains of underprivileged groups, kills and creates drug addicts, beats and terrorizes women and children in violent now-jobless households, and more. It bleeds deep anguish and suicide.”
Fatality data by region, age and pre-existing conditions (4/8). NYC is an outlier in the Covid-19 pandemic in that fatality rates in the not-so-old population are higher than elsewhere: about 30% are under-65 and about 46% are under-80. That said, in the NYC U80 fatalities, less than 2% of deaths did not have pre-existing conditions.

The disparate impact of globalization (4/1).
Uh, oh ... 'hate facts', 'hate reasoning' and even 'hate conclusions', delivered by a dude who must be a Nazi (4/10) ... troubling times, indeed.

"Can't we even have a pandemic without getting offended..?"
This deranged man is now encouraging you and your immune system to confront microbes head-on (5/1).​

Don't doctors encourage 'second opinions'..? (4/6)
The failure of the system to safeguard the population and the economy can only be addressed with more cowbell system (4/13).

Reopening wet markets in Wuhan confounds the CDC (4/3):
Excerpt: “It boggles my mind how, when we have so many diseases that emanate out of that unusual human-animal interface, that we just don’t shut it down,” Fauci told “Fox & Friends.”
W.H.O. [where] are you?

Let this be a lesson to you contrarians out there ... no, not about your rational analyses and projection of data, heck, no ... but that there must be something seriously wrong with you, leaving 'experts' to wonder “Why is this guy even getting any oxygen?” (4/16). Hmmm ... I guess that's something else that perplexes our dedicated 'experts': why contrarians have access to oxygen.

A cold-eyed view of our trading-partner China, from a heavyweight insider (4/18). Most of this would have been written well before the Coronavirus emerged in Wuhan.

The leading German newspaper wants COVID-19 reparations from China (4/20, here's a more sassy take). Now, “furious China” will surely respond with heart-rendering stories of how their Politburo and military establishment have also suffered from the pandemic [crickets chirping] that has touched every Western society, widely and wildly.
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News items are now popping up, squabbling about how Coronavirus does infect the young, so there, we’re all in this together. Of course, the relevant metric remains steady … fatality rate by age shows who’s at greatest risk: the old and/or ailing.

So where to focus our attention and resources, when so little is known about what’s actually known?

Perhaps we can go beyond a simple ‘futures ratio’ -- Young/Old, a rational number -- and apply a nonlinear zero-sum algorithm to roughly capture the monatomic dynamic, which can be viewed as equivalent to the odds in a two-outcome competition:

(Young folks’ futures) x (Old folks’ futures) = 1​

If this is the case, investing in and focusing on increasing Old folks’ futures (which are naturally more limited, due to lifespans and ailments) by 10% decreases Young folks’ futures by about 9% (1.10 x 0.91 = 1).

How might that be manifested? Well, aside from the direct costs of medical care, how about … the cost of shutting down the economy to ‘control the virus’ will necessitate massive amounts of government spending to mitigate the damage to workers and businesses, which will result in large debts that need to be paid in the future … by the working young, of course, not the retired old. And that’s just one manifested destiny.

In addition, managing this wealth-transfer process has its own inherent costs and burdens, which can be summarized as t, for the house take (and this ‘house’ makes and enforces all the rules and prints the money).

(Young folks’ futures) x (Old folks’ futures) = 1 – t
NOTE: The factor t includes administration, compliance and debt-burden costs, all of which are already big and getting much much bigger (4/24).
Finally, in the interest of Don’t shoot the messenger/theorist … if you think that this elegant proposition is not at all helpful, and merely a ‘hate algorithm’, that may say more about you than anything else. Which, in itself, could be an algorithm ... or fractal, maybe. [Insert appropriate emoji]

For a survey of sundry monatomic relationships, see: http://www.talkstats.com/threads/nfl-postseason-probabilities.74650/#post-219049
For background on the monatomic relationship of competing zero-sum odds, where Odds.1 x Odds.2 =1, see (after video in post): http://www.talkstats.com/threads/nonlinear-odds-to-probs-conversion.73716/#post-217159

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For a stark comparison of virus responses in the US, Woodstock occurred in the middle of a pandemic (5/1).


Perhaps Americans were more resilient back then (5/16), or maybe just distracted by the Vietnam and Cold Wars, political assassinations and violent protests, NASA’s exploits leading to walking on the moon, Laugh-In, the 100th anniversary of American football, etc … even President Lyndon Johnson and his VP Hubert Humphrey had the Hong Kong flu, no big deal. As opposed to today’s nonstop gloom-and-doom news on the Coronavirus PANDEMIC!!!, the 1968-69 dual outbreaks rarely warranted front-page or prime-time coverage. As far as the economic impact, US GDP grew a robust 4.9% in 1968 and 3.1% in 1969.
UPDATE: More on ‘Woodstock Era’ resilience during the “Mao Flu”, when mitigation rather than eradication was the focus (8/17).

A year’s worth of suicides within four weeks … mental health is definitely suffering … as people are disconnected from their normal support networks”, say California doctors (5/23, video), as the facility has seen more deaths by suicide – “mostly young adults” -- than from the COVID-19 virus during this quarantine period. Front-line medical personnel have been apparently prohibited from talking with the press without authorization in the past (3/31).

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Then there’s the question of Bill’s toupeeThe Power of Ones (7/21).
Meet Bill…
And then there’s the Friends of Bill (FoB), turning 2020 into 1984 (7/19)…
How ‘unexpected’ … NPR Poll: Financial Pain From Coronavirus Pandemic 'Much, Much Worse' Than Expected (9/9).

Sissified snowflakes … a feature, not a bug? (10/1) It is “hard to believe it’s mere coincidence that perhaps the weakest generation of Americans ever is now facing the worst series of crisis events in our history. The whole thing seems planned…”

Very tough times for the United States balance sheet (10/20) during the Coronavirus pandemic economic shutdown, as the national debt has ballooned to about the same size at our GDP … at the very least, this will certainly strain our overseas obligations and standing.

The fiscal strain of the pandemic – the Great Reset -- hastened the inevitable conflict: Nation-States versus the Pirates of Private Finance (10/20).
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A paper on "Tail Risk of Contagious Diseases" by Cirillo and Taleb (updated 4/15) has recently been released, and notes that "pandemics are extremely fat-tailed, with a potential existential risk for humanity". The authors state that to the best of their knowledge, "only war casualties and operational risk losses for banks show a comparable behavior [to pandemics], and they are both phenomenon very difficult to model."

This effort by the authors and their assistants goes way beyond conjecture about analysis methodology and projection of possible scenarios. They have consolidated the hard numbers from pandemics throughout history into a very comprehensive list. These are events that have already happened, and the paper puts them into relative perspective by normalizing fatality rate with today's worldwide population (Table 1, Rescale Avg Est).

The table below was derived from their Table 1 data. It gives the specific pandemic, its active dates, the actual fatality level (average, estimated), and a 'rescaled' fatality rate that normalizes the pandemics' death rates for the same relative impact on today's worldwide population. The order-of-magnitude of the various pandemics in comparison to today's Coronavirus crisis is shown. As natural-world functionality is generally nonlinear, that metric used here (but not in Cirillo) is the number of times the fatality rate of the COVID-19 disease would need to DOUBLE to match that pandemic's death rate within the overall worldwide population. The data is sorted by this fatality-per-capita order-of-magnitude. For instance, in the extreme, the Black Death had a worldwide impact that was almost 2200X (or about 2^11) greater than today's COVID-19 pandemic to date (latest Worldometer data on COVID-19 deaths, 10/6).

Of course, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will only climb this chart, as more and more fatalities are recorded, probably having a 'fat-tail finish', as the authors note. But this comprehensive study does offer cold-eyed perspective. Right now, COVID-19 pretty quickly outpaced the localized and exotic outbreaks (most fairly recent). Malta, the source of several pandemics, has been an international hub for millennia ... Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, had hoped that the swampy island territory would become the "Malta of the East." This brings up an important relevant factor: Pandemics often start in 'trading posts', where folks from vastly different regions meet, hence the risk of spreading deadly disease.

In reference to the above 'cost/benefit Young/Old' theory (previous post), an imaginary column is shown on the overall worldwide 'Societal Impact' that each pandemic had on humanity. What academic discipline can be brought to bear in establishing and estimating relative metrics on Societal Impact of pandemics, historically and today? Perhaps there is an indirect metric, that is simple, historically durable and consistent, and is recorded faithfully by a steady societal strata. Tax paid to the state, generally inescapable and duly recorded, might be a good one. When times are good, tax revenue is high ... when times get tough, tax revenue suffers (8/21), along with the people.

Historical perspective: Wealthy folks are avoiding big cities ... like the Plague, literally (8/21).

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The authors of the referenced 'Tail Risk' paper (above) have forwarded a one-page statement, dated 3/15, that cautions amateur minds from concerning themselves with uncertainty and irrationality in a pandemic crisis, in a way that's certainly hard for a rational person to comprehend. A screenprint of the relevant gist appears below (full document available, on request):

Taleb.excerpt,0-4.jpg ...and death.
Let's distill this into formulae...

Personal irrationality = Systematic rationality
Personal rationality = Psychopathic selfishness

Apparently, there is a lot to learn. It's nice to have academicians that can rationalize it all for mass consumption.

In a contrast to the above rationalization, the Wall Street Journal, in today's Best of the Web email (4/13), notes an algorithmically-driven cold-eyed study by Trend Macrolytics, with an assist from University of Washington's IHME institute, that forecasts the number of American deaths from COVID-19 by specific date (see link in excerpt).

WSJ excerpt:​
The investment strategists at Trend Macrolytics have begun sending their clients “a daily reality-check” of the influential model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). “Even the most recently updated versions of it continue to over-estimate new fatalities,” says Trend Macrolytics today.
IHME’s forecasts for July and August may not be any easier to swallow. In an update posted on Friday, IHME forecast that the United States will not suffer even a single death from Coronavirus after June 21.
[NOTE: Before accessing the linked data and projections, please check with your local authorities on the legality of "reality-checks" and their recommended frequency in your area.]

Looks like PANDEMIC!!! fever may have broken here in the USA. (Wishful thinking...)
Statistically (5/1): https://wmbriggs.com/post/30633/
Disparate impact on capital and labor, sans ratios (4/12) … perhaps those poor souls laid-off own lots of equities.

Along the lines of the above screenshot ... our 1%-of-1%ers are so smart … just sticking with the time-tested strategy: Having sold high, buy low (4/23). With that kind of liquid assets and prescient wisdom, no wonder they run the show!

Here’s a disparate-impact apples-and-oranges ratio for you...
China’s official TOTAL death count from COVID-19 is about the same as the US’s death count on a SINGLE DAY (4/16): 4636/4591 = 1.01.​
The leading cliodynamist, who sees world history in unit-metrics of centuries, has a gloomy outlook on the impact of COVID-19 on the US, well beyond the eventual death toll (4/20). Back in 2013, this historian had (way too) accurately forecast our present social turbulence: Blame Rich, Overeducated Elites as Society Frays (reprint, not behind Bloomberg paywall).
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Uh, oh … this weighs pretty heavily on probable cause probability, with a clean apples-and-apples comparison (4/16), which is also binary and monatomic, but let's not go there yet: China shut down domestic flights, but NOT international flights from Wuhan due to the Coronavirus. Looks like this is not newsworthy though, since only one fringe media outlet initially had reported on what was chatted about on a single fringe news network, all of which was heard about on a fringe podcast. Oh well … 这没东西看...向前走.

WHO, when and where ... how and why
This comprehensive Atlantic article (4/16) on how and why the World Health Organization failed in the effort to control the pandemic is framed with the viewpoint that the Trump Administration’s displeasure with the WHO will compromise its important mission going forward, despite its very questionable track record, well chronicled in the same article. Once again, failure of the system can only mean that more cowbell system is required. On a final note, say what you will about the President, but criticism of the WHO response would surely be banned on YouTube.

Hey, China ... here's a heads-up, fyi, from the Washington Post (4/23): The world will demand answers on covid-19 until China explains what happened. When you can get around to it, of course ... we know you're busy right now with reinvigorating your economy, and your exporters are hurting bigtime with the drop in global demand, sorry about that. The WaPo proposal entails an international collaboration of expert scientists with the usual micro-focus on bat-virus lab work and the subsequent vector transmission to humans (not the messy macro-aspects, like allowing Wuhan international flights during the initial infection and then allowing those darn wet markets to reopen, probably since it’s all too ‘mind-boggling’ for a linear mind).

As usual, the joke's on the US (5/2).

Where who knew what when … does that explain why on this tangential cellphone meta-evidence of a Wuhan lab going dark in the months leading to the pandemic (5/8)? So much uncertainty to sift through...

While it’s entirely rational to doubt anything that China claims, the Trump Administration’s focus on lab-originated COVID-19 draws a parallel with Dubya’s obsession with Iraqi WMDs, which has still not 'ended well' (5/12).

In global endeavors, it certainly helps to have accomplices: Xi’s useful idiots against free speech (5/20) … and WHO might that be?

This thread is continued here.

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Here’s a helpful and mindful guide on how to decipher the statements of cruel contrarians, re: the COVID-19 societal lockdown (4/22).

A very thorough study on the relative impact across income levels shows that the economic shutdown with the COVID-19 response hits lower-income Americans the hardest: Only 23% say they have emergency funds that would last them three months (4/22).

A northern Italian bioethicist weighs in on the draconian lockdown in her region and the need for evaluating tradeoffs (4/27). Maybe next time?

Big WHO donors need to hang together (4/27) on this pandemic, or else they will be … well, that’s not important at this point, there’s a crisis at hand to be dealt with.

In he-told-you-so news, the 2nd-richest man in the world and a huge donor to the WHO laments that the world did not heed his pandemic warnings (5/11). The Gates Foundation has committed $300 million to fighting the COVID-19 virus worldwide, and is poised to spend more. If it’s true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, perhaps they should consider investing $19 million in shutting down wet markets in exotic animals.

A laundry list of COVID-19 precautions and perspective from a pessimist (4/25), who has written a slew of gloom-and-doom books ... maybe now is finally the apocalypse?

Over the past 30 years, while the US focused on its booming critical industries of financial engineering, information technology and media/entertainment, we totally outsourced our antibiotic production to China (4/12). A telling excerpt: Until recently, no one seemed to notice that America no longer produces these vital medicines. [Although antibiotics don't affect viruses, they address secondary effects. The article notes that with the Spanish Flu most of the victims probably died of bacterial secondary infection, not the virus.]

Covid-19 has blown apart the myth of Silicon Valley innovation (MIT Technology Review, 4/25) ... "shiny software-driven bling" is irrelevant to basic needs.

The cynical French perspective is generally a good starting point ... on the end point (5/4): World will be same but worse after 'banal' virus, says Houellebecq
This guy understands social-distancing.
We’re here for you” … corporate virtue-signaling during a pandemic is super easy ... barely an inconvenience (4/28).

That which does not destroy you makes you stronger..? Talk about ‘novel’ … an Italian study suggests that smoking greatly diminishes the rate of Coronavirus hospitalization, while increasing the fatality rate of smokers vs non-smokers hospitalized (5/11). This theory was first advanced by David Hockney (4/15), a famed virologist artist, and is endorsed by French philosophers.

Welcome to ... The Permanent Emergency (5/14). Of course, permanent’ is a relative term, until the objectives are met ... and COVID-19 is only Step #1 (7/15).

When the authorities' goalpost moves from “flatten the curve” to “find a cure (5/13) ... the US economy is done-zoh (7/8).
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Too late for Coronavirus rationality..?

Straying from the flock, a NY Times’ columnist is skewered for rationality (4/25). The NYC-level of Coronavirus hysteria pumped out for concern shared with rapt viewers over the past few months by the NYC-based media have duly persuaded the countryside that the NYC-level lockdown is necessary … and that contagious secondhand hysteria concern across the countryside is then recycled back as a meta-‘fact’ to debunk his position.

A veritable Mobius strip of logic ... genius. Then again, perhaps we're in a doom loop … and 2021 is gonna be even worse (8/29).

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We’re already in the trenches of WWIII: The War on Making Sense (4/22).

If this is headed to Cold War II, we have no one to blame but ourselves, for our lack of preparedness (5/27). Meanwhile, in non-material cyberspace … hedging its bets, globalist Google avoids offending the Chinese Communist Party, despite its YouTube subsidiary being banned by the CCP (5/26).

Everything proceeding to plan? … Beyond Hong Kong, an Emboldened Xi Jinping Pushes the Boundaries (5/30, WSJ paywall).

Oh, great … China identifies another pandemic candidate (6/30).

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The Hudson Institute pulls together a comprehensive Sino-centric day-by-day recap of the pandemic from the geopolitical angle (last updated 7/31).

More adventures in exotic Chinese cuisine? The eating of rodents in the Mongolian region may have led to a Black Death plague fatality and subsequent (prudent) lockdown (8/11).

In time, the COVID-19 pandemic response will find its place in history (9/3).

A cynic looks at the COVID lockdown’s impact on the outlook of the American public (10/3), thanks to unexpected consequences and lessons learned the hard way:

“The American economy is a wildly complex nonlinear system … People who work with large complex systems understand that you don’t always know what will result from even the smallest change in the system. Usually this lesson is learned the hard way, by making some small change that seems simple, only to find out it caused serious downstream problems.​
When the rulers broke the old rhythms with their lock downs, they started a revolution in the minds of the people over whom they rule.”​
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What is the purpose of this thread? I am having a hard time deciding what it has to do with probability.
Excellent question ... it's all about the flip-side of probability: uncertainty.

Risk, uncertainty, and COVID-19 strategies (5/4), from academics that study how “we can make decisions under radical uncertainty and, in particular, how we can form and revise visions” and how “uncertainty shapes organizational structures and strategies”.

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We don’t need no stinking vaccine” … a Libertarian post (6/9) takes the liberty to dust off and summarize a 2009 Web MD article: How to Use Your Immune System to Stay Healthy.

This has been a disgraceful situation for science”, says a Nobel Prize winner, Professor Michael Levitt of Stanford, as his fellow expert-scientists were too scared to talk openly and honestly, for political and economic reasons (6/29).

A leading contrarian Libertarian notes the media’s deft switch in focus from the COVID-19 death rate to COVID-19 test cases to ensure our required daily supplement of Bad News (6/29).

An ex-ACLU honcho mulls the myriad of government-mandated restrictions and their impact on our civil liberties, as well as our general health and wellbeing (7/10): What is the real purpose of the lockdown?

Five out of five pediatricians agree, emphatically … kids should go back to school in the fall (7/18). Then there’s this: No known case of teacher catching coronavirus from pupils, says scientist (7/21, The Times of London paywall). Also, the naughty hottie governess from the Badlands agrees that kids gotta get back to school, since “…when it comes to children, the virus doesn’t impact them even on the same level as the flu”, and children don't pass along the virus to adults (7/30). And now the CDC head -- Dr Fauci's boss -- is recommending the same (7/31), assuming, of course, that CDC guidelines about masks and cohorting* are followed (7/24; how about goggles?). [*No word yet if government-funded constitutional lawyers will be providing ‘cohorting’ guidelines and enforcement.]

Hey Teacher, Don’t Leave Those Kids Alone (7/31, WSJ paywall) … “If educating children is not an essential business, what is? ... Logically, if learning at home on a computer is 'the way,' then why ever have actual schools?”

During the COVID crisis, American teachers keep busy outside the classroom, until the Election (10/9), along with their edgy fellow social-justice comrades.
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Active Member
The ratios on total-infected per fatality (the inverse of the above percentages) for COVID-19 by age follow:
It occurred to me that for most analysis that is applied to rates like this, ie exponential model or other, that it would not make a difference in terms of p-values whether one tested the equivalence of the rates or their reciprocals? From that perspective, I think the decision to report one or the other is mostly aesthetic. I can see the virtue of reporting percentages, since most people are comfortable with these in their daily lives.