His Grace Oasis

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Bryan on August 31, 2020, 03:27:14 pm

Title: Back to COVID
Post by: Bryan on August 31, 2020, 03:27:14 pm
I saw this on the CDC website today and am genuinely curious.  They say at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm (within the Comorbidities paragraph) that in "6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned".  Is that saying that out of the 168000 that have died during the pandemic, that only 10000 were legitimate COVID cases?

What I mean by legitimate is the person died from COVID, not a combination of things.  10000 is vastly different than 168000 and people's livelihoods have been train wrecked by the lock downs.  Now, don't misunderstand me, one death from any illness is one too many.  I'm not belittling the seriousness for those who are susceptible to it, but if this is true that only 10000 have died from COVID then man doesn't that change things?

Like how can politicians continue to justify lockdowns when the mortality rate is even lower than it was previous?
Title: Re: Back to COVID
Post by: Pete on August 31, 2020, 06:37:38 pm
The data we've received throughout the pandemic has been absolutely awful. Backlogs of positive tests and deaths have so skewed the numbers that it's near impossible to have an accurate understanding of the current situation.

Now, a good many people will try to convince you this has been intentional. That the government wants to control you. That they want to rip away your freedoms. Personally, I don't buy that at all. The vast majority of the inaccurate data is a result of trying to give up-to-the-second data from an entire state/country. However, it is frustrating to me as a highly analytical person when this data is passed off as the absolute truth, when people know it isn't. For what I believe is one of the most objective analyses of COVID data available, I highly recommend https://covidandmarkets.com. This site posts a missive on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday each week where they provide a veritable smorgasbord of actual data and analysis for your consideration.

Now back to the original point. Of course, conservatives are jumping all over the news that only 6% of people who died had COVID-19 listed as the only cause. But this isn't news. We've known since the beginning of the pandemic that people with comorbidities were more vulnerable to COVID-19. We've also known that age plays a huge role in the likelihood that you'd have a more serious case of COVID-19. 

I believe it's inaccurate to say that only 10,000 people (actually less) have died from COVID-19 because everyone else had some comorbidity. Sure there have been isolated reports that people in car crashes have been marked as COVID deaths if they tested positive for the virus, and there is a valid concern about the difference between someone who dies WITH COVID vs. someone who dies FROM COVID. However, let's say someone suffers from COPD, or some other serious lung disease. The prognosis for such a disease is actually quite good given current medical science. But then COVID enters the picture, triggers a traumatic reaction in the COPD sufferer and they die. Would you call that a COPD death or a COVID death?

I actually agree with you that we should be reevaluating our response. Now that we have literally months of data to examine and review, it's clear that we've grossly overreacted, IMHO. The constant moving of the goalposts is one of my biggest pet peeves. I'm sure we all remember at the beginning of all of this it was all about flattening the curve so that we didn't overwhelm the hospitals. But with very, very few exceptions, hospitals were not overwhelmed. Even in the summer spikes in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California, hospitals never reached capacity. Now many of them are at pre-pandemic levels of utilization. And what does the government do? Move the goalposts. Now you scarcely ever hear about hospitals being overrun, but now we're concerned with positivity rates. But the PCR tests that drive those numbers have been shown to be as much as 50% inaccurate.

I'm ranting a bit...  but the point is, the data is faulty. And governments are making decisions based on this garbage data. Hospitalizations are on the decline. Mortality is on the decline. Heck, even positive results are back to pre-summer levels.

And then there's Sweden. No lockdowns, no masks, no mitigation measures. It's interesting to compare the pandemic curve of Sweden to NYC. They're pretty similar. There's a post on the COVID and Markets site I linked above that shows them overlayed. Nearly identical. Yet NYC locked everything down while Sweden locked nothing down. The result was pretty much the same. Even the mainstream media is beginning to concede that lockdown measures were far too harsh and didn't really have that much of an impact on slowing the spread. 

I am of the opinion that as backlogs are reported and the numbers continue to decline anyway, it is going to be harder and harder to maintain the narrative we've been fed. If more people would examine the data for themselves, they'd see that the 600 new cases in their state in the last 24 hours (a headline I see regularly here in PA) is actually 50 new confirmed cases in the last 24 hours and 550 cases of backlog reporting from the last 4 weeks. That matters, if you want to understand where we currently stand and not where we were a month ago.

Title: Re: Back to COVID
Post by: JohnDB on September 01, 2020, 08:29:41 pm
But because of science we know a vast array about people's health than otherwise was known.

Everyone has comorbidities....just ask any life insurance salesman...the health questions are the most difficult to get past.

Very few people are in perfect health.

But these people would have lived productive lives otherwise except for contracting this virus.

Look at the mortality rates for the US. It's steady as a rock until the spring of this year when it skyrockets...and it isn't all coronavirus. No one is explaining it either because the numbers aren't adding up.  There are either vastly more Covid-19 deaths or more suicides or home accidents or something. But the seasonal deaths and numbers are all out of whack.
Title: Re: Back to COVID
Post by: Pete on September 02, 2020, 11:05:53 am
Quote from: JohnDB on September 01, 2020, 08:29:41 pmBut these people would have lived productive lives otherwise except for contracting this virus.
I have no doubt that there are many people who would still be alive if they hadn't contracted the virus, but there are also many people who very likely would have died anyway.

In PA, it is estimated that as many as 75% of the deaths have been in long-term-care facilities or nursing homes. Back in July, I was curious to see the delta between a "normal" year of nursing home deaths vs. this pandemic. Here is a post I made on Facebook on July 16 with the results of my research;

Quote from: undefinedWell now, here are some interesting facts about COVID-19 deaths in PA.

As of this posting, there have been 6,973 deaths in PA according to the PA Dept. of Health. Of those, 4,777 were in long-term care facilities. That means there have been 2,196 COVID-19 deaths in PA that were not in long-term care facilities. 68.5% of all  COVID-19 deaths in PA have been in long-term care facilities.

Also according to the PA Department of health, there were a total of 30,331 deaths at long-term care facilities during the reporting period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. That means in the year before the pandemic there were, on average, approximately 2,528 deaths per month at long-term care facilities.

The first case of COVID-19 was reported in PA on March 6. So roughly 4.5 months have passed since the known start of the infection in PA. During the same time frame in the year BEFORE the pandemic, 11,376 people, or roughly 2.5x as many more people, died in long-term care facilities alone in PA.

Context. It's important.

2.5x as many MORE people died in nursing homes during the same time frame in 2019 BEFORE the pandemic in PA.

It's tragic when anyone dies. And I'm not trying to downplay the tragedy and impact of those deaths. But I am saying that it's important to understand the context of data.

Every day at noon, I get to see all the headlines blaring just how many "new" cases and "new" deaths there are in PA and OH (because we live just a few miles from the state line, we get the added benefit of hearing the hysteria and sensationalism of 2 states). As we found out this morning with Florida and Quest, your numbers might be off by 75,000 or more. As we've found out with the NFL and the governor of Ohio, those numbers might be inflated by as much as a 50% false-positive rate. And when you are inundated with that questionable information day in and day out, context is lost. As I posted last week, people's level of concern is grossly out of proportion with reality.

Do you ever wonder what happened at the camp in Georgia where over 250 campers and staff tested positive for COVID at the end of July? Good golly, you could barely look at any online device with the media screaming from every angle that the camp had been hit! Kids were infected! Schools won't be able to open! Oh no!

It's been well over a month since that outbreak. And yet, I just Googled "Georgia Camp Covid Outbreak", and I can find nary a follow-up of what happened. I guess it's old news by now and irrelevant since I'm assuming everyone is probably fine. I'm sure if there had been any major complications and/or deaths, it would have been all over the news. But because that outbreak turned out to be a pretty large nothing-burger, we get one-sided reporting, not telling the full story. Oh by the way, at least a quarter of those infections were completely asymptomatic.

Imagine a media world where every time someone is diagnosed with the flu you hear about it from 1,000 different news sources. That's what's happening with COVID. The goalposts keep moving, from overwhelming hospitals (which largely never happened), to mortality rates (which have been falling precipitously), to positivity rates (also declining despite very questionable data), to new cases...  Whatever it takes to keep the panic and hysteria alive.

I saw a graphic yesterday that addresses your last point, of overall mortality. One of the things we know is that unemployment is skyrocketing, and we know that with that will come extra stress, more drug use, more suicides.  Yet no one seems to care. We need to learn how to live with this virus as we have learned to live with every other virus. Life cannot come to a screeching halt because a virus hits the scene. TEMPORARY shutdowns and measures can be helpful, but prolonged lockdowns produce effects that will last long after the pandemic is behind us. This article does a good job of explaining that; https://blogs.cfainstitute.org/investor/2020/08/20/living-with-risk-the-covid-19-iceberg/ (https://blogs.cfainstitute.org/investor/2020/08/20/living-with-risk-the-covid-19-iceberg/)

Title: Re: Back to COVID
Post by: JohnDB on September 04, 2020, 03:24:50 pm
From the CDC
In 2018, a total of 2,839,205 resident deaths were registered in the United States--25,702 more deaths than in 2017. From 2017 to 2018, the age-adjusted death rate for the total population decreased 1.1%, and life expectancy at birth increased 0.1 year. Age-specific death rates between 2017 and 2018 decreased for age groups 15-24, 25-34, 45-54, 65-74, 75-84, and 85 and over.

The 10 leading causes of death in 2018 remained the same as in 2017. Age-adjusted death rates decreased for six leading causes and increased for two. Life expectancy at birth increased 0.1 year from 78.6 years in 2017 to 78.7 in 2018, largely because of decreases in mortality from cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and heart disease. After increasing 0.2 year between 2010 and 2014, life expectancy decreased 0.3 year between 2014 and 2017 (2). The 0.1-year increase in the 2018 life expectancy estimate for the total population results in the same estimate before the increase began (78.7 in 2010), and is 0.2 year below the peak life expectancy of 78.9 in 2014.

In 2018, a total of 21,467 deaths occurred in children under 1 year, which was 868 fewer infant deaths than in 2017. The leading causes of infant death were the same in 2018 and 2017. The IMR decreased for 2 (unintentional injuries and cord and placental complications) of the 10 leading causes of infant death.

Now that just talks about a single year.

However I am trying to look for myself at the trends...

Apparently according to this website:

We are having an annual increase in mortality rates....have been since 2009 for some reason. Change has been steadily increasing. But it's not been drastic.

Now before this we were enjoying a nice and steady decline.

I was trying to think of what happened...what could have happened to cause the changes...

The article above tells it but we just don't see it.

Cell phones happened...not the kind that you simply talk on but the kind that you can text and read websites on... like facebook... while driving.

Accident driven deaths have been steadily increasing.
Now with all the Covid-19 quarantines in place we have far fewer people on the road...but home improvement tasks have taken up the slack...as well as a couple hundred thousand people dieing in a pandemic...so we aren't on pace to change anything anytime soon.
Title: Re: Back to COVID
Post by: JohnDB on September 04, 2020, 03:33:47 pm
Here's a website that shows how the accident rate has gone up...