Updates from May, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:54 on 2020-05-09 Permalink | Reply  

    I see we have another frost advisory for Saturday night, with little snowflakes in the icon.

    I tell you, we’ve got to get a better scriptwriter for this series. This plotline is getting ridiculous.

    • Kate 18:39 on 2020-05-09 Permalink | Reply  

      Aaron Derfel looks at that coronavirus data dump late Friday and how the grim projection is in direct opposition to François Legault’s plans to reopen Montreal later this month.

      • Boffin 20:58 on 2020-05-09 Permalink

        The Imperial College London paper of 16 March used models to predict that 500,000 people in the UK would die if no measures were taken or 250,000 people with the lockdown in place. It was waaaaay off and, meanwhile, the catastrophic lockdown is driving people by their hundreds of thousands to poverty, despair, disease, and death all over the world.

        Beware the data dumped from models.

      • LJ 21:30 on 2020-05-09 Permalink

        Is your source this one?

        In that paper I can see that they indeed predicted around 400,000 to 500,000 deaths with absolutely no measures in place, which is a counter-factual that could well be correct, we will never know. I do not, however, see the prediction of 250,000 with measures in place, I rather see (Table 4) a range of 5,000 to 120,000 depending on disease spread properties and which measures are in place. In any case, March 16 was a long time ago, there are more recent estimates in an updated paper from the same group here.

        Beware the misinterpretations of the scientific literature.

      • Boffin 06:30 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        You found the correct paper, but may not have read through to the end.

        “Perhaps our most significant conclusion is that mitigation is unlikely to be feasible without emergency surge capacity limits of the UK and US healthcare systems being exceeded many times over. In the most effective mitigation strategy examined, which leads to a single, relatively short epidemic (case isolation, household quarantine and social distancing of the elderly), the surge limits for both general ward and ICU beds would be exceeded by at least 8-fold under the more optimistic scenario for critical care requirements that we examined. In addition, even if all patients were able to be treated, we predict there would still be in the order of 250,000 deaths in GB, and 1.1-1.2 million in the US.”

        The group had predicted 500,000 deaths in the UK if no measures were taken and 2.2 million deaths in the US if no measures were taken. Such predictions were from models created from wrong assumptions with no empirical basis.

        The paper, though it’s been updated, is relevant because it was the basis of the UK’s change in course to impose its lockdown.

        We need empirical data, sound interpretation of same as well as balanced, reasoned judgment to guide our response to an epidemic.

        We have had none of that so far.

      • LJ 08:42 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        Please re-read the definitions from page 1, in particular, the difference between mitigation and suppression. Your paragraph refers to mitigation, not suppression.

      • Boffin 09:26 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        The point of the lockdown was never suppression, but mitigation. The goalposts have now moved to suppression in the minds of some, but the point was always the “flatten the curve” so that healthcare systems could cope.

        Locking people down until the virus can be suppressed means condemning hundreds of millions of otherwise healthy people to poverty, sickness, and death.

      • Tim S. 12:48 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        “We need empirical data, sound interpretation of same as well as balanced, reasoned judgment to guide our response to an epidemic.”
        Exactly. Unfortunately, it’s a new virus and we have none of that. In the meantime, I prefer the precautionary principle.

      • walkerp 13:00 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        So now the username is “Boffin”
        It’s good Kate, your blog must have some influence to attract the eyes of the propaganda systems.

      • Kate 16:24 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        Whoever Boffin is, s/he’s coming in on a Bell Canada static IP in Montreal. Doesn’t tell us much. The email is grobertson1359@hotmail.com – ring a bell for anybody?

      • Kevin 15:27 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        What was the due date on those hundreds of thousands of deaths?
        Because unless it’s 2023, the pandemic ain’t over

      • david101 21:35 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        Not sure if that’s referring to me – who, by the way, has been active on this blog for 15+ years – because I agree with the general idea. However, just to be clear, I run a VPN that’ll probably pick me up in Silicon Valley, and it’s not.

        I think that the destruction of our economy is absolutely awful, that the main problem is that we’re too dumb to properly protect the vulnerable so have locked down everyone, and that the progressive position is absolutely never to brutally impoverish working people.

        But Boffin isn’t me! I agree though!

      • Kate 21:51 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        david101, I did not take it as referring to you, nor do I imagine anyone did.

      • MarcG 23:07 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        Having not thought about it very much I assumed it was david who was being referred to by walkerp.

      • Kate 23:13 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        Hmm. OK, I sort of thought it was Brett or Douglas that was meant, to be honest. But there are several people here lined up on the “business first, and let the weak die” side.

      • Kate 23:18 on 2020-05-10 Permalink

        Oh I see, this guy with the static Bell Canada IP has posted comments here under a whole lot of other names besides Boffin. Now I will know to look out for him.

      • david0000 02:20 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

        I’m not a “business first, let the weak die” type. I’m a “it’s insane to destroy the economy, the government is letting people believe it’s far worse than it really is because it’s serving a purpose, there are people however who really are vulnerable and we’re doing a terrible job of protecting them, the poor job we’re doing is leading to crazy death numbers among the vulnerable and this is being interpreted to reinforce the false sense of danger that people are feeling,” sort of guy.

        Basically – the government overreacted by locking down, and underreacted taking measures to protect the vulnerable, but everyone is in too deep now to allow that we fucked it up.

        But I’m not! Correct the course!

      • walkerp 09:38 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

        Nice work, Kate. I’ve lost track of who I thought Boffin was from before. I think there is a space for an argument about the economy versus public health (though I stand firmly on the fuck the economy side of that argument).

        It’s when a comment has lines like “Locking people down until the virus can be suppressed means condemning hundreds of millions of otherwise healthy people to poverty, sickness, and death.” that my troll radar starts pinging. That is classic destabliization tactics right there.

    • Kate 16:12 on 2020-05-09 Permalink | Reply  

      Le Devoir shows us some clippings from the Spanish flu epidemic just over a century ago.

      • Kate 08:41 on 2020-05-09 Permalink | Reply  

        Reopening Montreal will probably lead to a surge of cases of COVID-19 in the city, according to a mathematical model. TVA simplifies it to a prediction of 150 deaths per day by July and that’s outside CHSLDs. However, some stories continue to focus on business losses from the lockdown.

        A study done using anonymized cell phone data shows that Quebec’s early spring break was, as has been suggested, one spark for the ongoing higher numbers of infections here. Detailed study here from Radio-Canada with lots of visuals. Version française.

        La Presse’s Bruno Bisson notices that the history of the electric train under Mount Royal stretched exactly between a pair of pandemics 101 years and 6 months apart.

        Controls on how many can enter the market and barriers on the stalls have come to Jean-Talon market just when people will be going there to get plants for the season.

        Patrick Lagacé on Dr Arruda: “Je m’inquiète de voir Horacio Arruda prêter sa crédibilité de scientifique à la justification d’erreurs de communication, de planification et de logistique, erreurs qui n’ont rien à voir avec la science.”

        The city saw three times the usual number of deaths this week.

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