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Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Ralyks, Feb 27, 2020.
The data is in — stop the panic and end the total isolation
BY DR. SCOTT W. ATLAS
I will be first to admit that I didn't read the whole thing, but do I trust scientists over media?
We conclude that social distancing likely generates net social benefits. In our benchmark case, which we view as the most plausible case among those we examined, the present value of net benefits from social distancing amount to $5.16 trillion.https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3561934
Disclaimer: my posting this article should not be construed as trying to downplay the severity/impact, or advocate for a lift on stay at home orders.
The results are incredibly unsettling. We know that asymptomatic people can still be contagious, however I don't think we currently know how long they'll be contagious for (correct me if I'm wrong). And if such a large portion of the population has been infected and is asymptomatic then it seems almost impossible that the entire population won't become infected eventually. At that point it just seems more like a really unlucky lottery of who it's gonna manifest in and to what severity. And I'm not saying we should just "let it happen" either. As I said before, both of my parents are in the at risk category. I'm not working right now and I miss my family. There's really no reason for me to be in the city right now, 2 states away from them. But I still can't go home because I can almost guarantee that if I took the test tomorrow i'd have antibodies present in my body, and I have no way of knowing when I was infected or if I'm contagious or not.
Bit of an incoherent ramble:
My state is really rewarding our governor for being tough on the pandemic, so I foresee another lock down extension into June. If a single nursing home gets another breakout and results in a couple dozen deaths (whether or not re-opening was to blame), the media will make a circus of it. The pandemic has been so politicized to abortion levels: if someone wants to end the lockdown for great reasons (as listed in the article), they get lumped in with the "liberate Michigan" people and not caring about old folks dying. Politicians are being shockingly responsive to their constituents right now, conservative states' populations don't give a shit and neither do their governors and liberal states are overreacting in reaction to conservative's underacting.
I don't really think it can be contained that much longer, summer is coming and Seattle has already had some REALLY clear days that had a noticeable amount of people saying "fuck it" and going outside to gather. There's been a lot of increased police presence because of this which sucks because I still have to get new license plates but can't because the DMV is closed. Been driving like an old lady the past few months to avoid getting a ticket. God help us if there's a second wave this fall which will up the panic to 11, it would suck to just get back to "normal" only to go on another lock down.
Thanks for posting that. It's "refreshing" to see something from the side with which I disagree that is at least somewhat coherent.
A couple of comments.
1. If you check the hyperlinks, most of them do not say anything remotely similar to what he says that they say. Why is that?!
2. Dr. Atlas is not only a medical doctor, but also a professor. One would think he would be academically honest by default. Perhaps he is making some stretchy inferences:
A. The Stanford paper cited does not give the mortality rate cited, but if you assume the entire nation has the same antibody prevalence given by the same from Santa Clara county, you can infer from the total confirmed deaths by simple division. The Stanford paper doesn't even imply this, because, frankly, that's ridiculous, as the sample was taken from an epicenter of the outbreak and there are also believed to be way more deaths from covid 19 than the official national number. A number of assumptions to get to the mortality rate in The Hill's article are deliberately misleading.
B. The NYC citation links to numbers that don't match what he's saying. Maybe he's rounding numbers down that should be rounded up, or using outdated data, but it's weird for sure.
C. The third citation dishonestly ignores "underlying conditions unknown" in its figure, which I'm calling out as deliberately misleading bullshit.
3. Search for Scott Atlas. He's been pushing this narrative since early March, shortly after social distancing took effect and well before any of these data were available. That's a big red flag for confirmation bias.
Frankly, he might be right, but the mental gymnastics he's using to go from the data through the hoops of confirmation bias to this conclusion are quite infuriating.
trump fans how you feeling about his awesome predictions? he sure has good awareness of his "hunches" right? super good gut instincts? the best.
said he thought it would all go away in april. how does that look now? just under 185k deaths and climbing pretty fast.
then he said he thought hydroxychloroquine would really work and be a game changer. said he had a hunch and whats the worst that could happen. killed a bunch of vets, no positive effects.
now he says it wont come back in the fall when all the experts say the opposite. you still believe everything he says right?
lol forget about it. His supporters are still defending him, downplaying the virus, regurgitating baseless "facts", and touting their own custom-made rationalizations.
And in true SSO builder fashion, they have perpetual build times, dodgy quality control and terrible customer service.
This: https://apnews.com/29719f13fe4c63b3625cc178fa1d0b50 is interesting.
Also interesting is how WTHR (Indianapolis), ABC, and the Sun have reposted the above story with headlines akin to "Lethal Injection Drugs Can Save COVID-19 Patients," which is just more deliberate misleading media shenanigans. It may be a true statement on technicality, but these sorts of headlines misrepresent the whole of the idea of the story... anyway...
I'm sure there will now be conspiracy theories about how the illuminati/democrats/feminists/people-who-shave-around-their-nipples-club is taking advantage of the crisis to put an end to capital punishment. I'm also quite sure at least one state will continue to refuse to help out, despite the validity of the reasoning behind this request. Also, I am afraid that there will be a story of some numbskull reading the headline and jumping to the conclusion that injecting lethal injection cocktail will cure coronavirus, and someone, somehow, will die as a result of either injecting drugs with similar names or somehow getting ahold of an actual lethal injection cocktail and shooting it.
Hopefully I am wrong and just bitter and jaded toward humanity.
I don't believe any information Trump gives "through mouth" anymore. He is not a doctor, and, although he is paying some of the best doctors and scientists to advise him about the epidemic, he has, as a rule, disregarded every word they have said, contradicted them, and downplayed it every time he was wrong and they were right. But I don't disbelieve him because of that; I disbelieve him because he had proven back in 2016 that he was a compulsive liar, and has done everything in his power to reinforce that belief ever since.
I forget if this was Bloomberg News or FiveThirtyEight where I read this, but I saw a pretty excellent contextuaization of that study that strongly suggests you should take it with a giant grain of salt.
First LA County has a population of a hair over 10 million. At the time of the study, they had 8,000 known cases. Or, 0.08% of the population had tested positive. That's the first important bit of contact - the known cases are a miniscule part of the total population.
Now, i passing, we KNOW we're not testing enough and it's higher than that. No debate.
The next important part is that all tests occasionally fail. A test that only gives a false positive 99% of the time is extremely reliable, but does occasionally give false positives nonetheless. Why this matters, is given the incredibly small infected population, the number of false positives can dwarf the known positives pretty quickly, and becomes a huge source of statistical noise. a 1% false positive rate would suggest the infected population was 1.08%, not 0.08%, or that an illness is 13.5x more prevalent than ity actually is, even if our known positives are a perfect representation of the underlying infection rate. If their estimate is that the true underlying rate is between 2.8% and 5.6%, then it's worth noting that a test that's 96% accurate or so could, in theory, fully explain their results.
As a further reason to discount this conclusion, if we again take a midpoint there and say that COVID-19 is actually around, oh, 35x more prevalent than known, that implies the "true" mortality rate is closer to 0.03-0.06% than our current estimation of on average around 1-2%. If you compare that to areas where we KNOW we have a lot more cases, that doesn't jive. New York City has had nearly 11,000 confirmed fatalities, on a population of 3.2 million. NYC's mortality rate, as a percentage not of known COVID-19 cases but of the city's entire population, is 0.34%, ten times what the authors of this study would predict if the entire city had contracted COVID-19 rather than the 142,000 confirmed cases.
The math doesn't add up. To make this analysis work, you'd need to perform it somewhere like New York, where the number of confirmed cases as a percentage of the population (4.4% at present) is significantly larger than the false positive rate of the test, or you're injecting a tremendous amount of noise into your analysis that makes it impossible to draw meaningful conclusions.
Careful man. OAN may be listening!
I think it's important to contextualize all of this, though. I live with someone who's a germaphobe, fearful of disease etc. And with all the conflicting stories of spread, symptoms, lack of symptoms, etc. it's like every new wave of stories about this is a new crisis.
Several times, we've discussed this and ended up at the point of say "yeah, but what if you and I both have it and we're asymptomatic!?" at which point I say.... so? I keep my distance from people, I wear a mask and/or cover my cough/sneeze, I wear gloves, I wipe down surfaces even after I myself touch them, etc.
Hyper focusing on the disease spread and transmission to where being asymptomatic becomes MORE cause for concern, to me, elevates things to hysteria for no reason. I think one of the best possible things we could find out from these random tests and antibody tests is that more people have it or have had it than we knew, and it turns out that outward symptoms or severe symptoms are the exception and not the rule. That would provide a great many options.
I suspect the reality lies somewhere in between; where the infection rate is way underrepresented, as are deaths but so are recoveries and asymptomatic cases.
The worst outcome, which is what we're dealing with right now, is that it's descends into tribalism where one side wants to reopen everything at the potential cost of millions of lives, and the other side (in some cases) would prefer to be overly cautious to the point of ignorance to keep restrictions unnecessarily long and onerous just to be proven right. Considering how many cases, across a wide swath of geography we have, I think "we don't know yet" is becoming a less and less acceptable answer, at least issue to issue.
Lethal injection drugs are LITERALLY barbituates/tranquilizers in one syringe and a fatal overdose of opiates in another. The killer part is simply in the quantity.
I pretty much guarantee you that there's people on your block who abuse a similar cocktail on purpose, to get high. It's the mix of choice for neurotic housewives that like to look down on their red-wine-and-valium brethren as alcoholics while maintaining their own addiction is entirely medicinal.
So, anyways... anyone who refers downers+opiates as "lethal injection mix" is most definitely trying to polarize an agenda or rabble rouse.
shit i'll take a little bit of each right about now lol
...though, I think it's undeniable that we need to be EXTREMELY cautious for the time being and use that timeto answer some of those quesitons, with a particular focus on the short term ones. The article you posted above gives a pretty optimistic read, but also glosses over a few pretty concerning knowns - the current transmission rate is quite high, estimates vary but I've seen anywhere from somewhere in the 1.5-2.5 range (closely in line with the Spanish flu of 1918) to north of 5. Severe cases requiring hospitalization vry by demographics, and Italy is probably an outlier at around 20%, but we seem pretty close to 10% here. I'm stating the obvious, but unless we have SOME effective way of treating people outside hospitals, those models in the "people dying of treatable illnesses because we're redirecting resources based on models and not actual outcomes" he refer to are going to likely understate the number of hospitalations we see. Here in MA, we're estimating we're probably less than 1-2 weeks from peak, and while we're not a capacity, we're also significantly above normal utilization rates. That's concerning.
The focus here needs to be on finding a way to halt the spread, treat the symptoms, or, ideally, both, and while we need to loosen restrictions as soon as we can do so safely for other reasons, it's extremely risky to loosen them too soon. Even fucin' Trump, of all people, is now saying Georgia shouldn't be lifting restrictions yet. Broken clocks...
trump is only saying now that to cover his ass.
you know he would have taken all the credit if kemp's decision was praised.
he convinced the governors to reopen, they wanted to curry favor with him so they did and now he throws them under the bus.
a true pile of crap.
Absolutly. it's the same person who tweeted these, in support of people protesting shut-downs:
So HCQ not only doesn't work, but is killing people, just as I predicted, and as many of my peers predicted. The Director of BARDA was fired for pointing out the truth that it doesn't work.
And, now, researchers are afraid to release the data of the biggest HCQ/SARS-CoV-2 study to date, due to the likely repercussions from the Trump administration.
He already just fired a top government vaccine expert over him saying that the government shouldn't give money to unproven treatments like HCQ and should instead be going after things that are scientifically proven.
Probably Jenny Mccarthy gets his job next