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C & C: Coronavirus #4

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On 4/19/2020 at 3:11 AM, Eiuol said:

Of course, why wouldn't it be? This is exactly what I'm encouraging you to do: read better sources from better thinkers.

What I'm simply getting at Eiuol, is that one doesn't know until one "knows". A tendency is to dismiss something new (facts, knowledge, opinions) without investigation because of the source. "He/she says so and he/she is xyz - e.g. religious, or a skeptic, a socialist, or ..."

Therefore - he/she is obviously palpably wrong. Other versions that prompt dismissal may be by fact of the publication where you see it, or even the style it's written in (scholarly, erudite, and not).

In there is intrinsicism: knowledge and ~ lack of ~ knowledge which is somehow and instantly revealed to one.

Rand said famously that it is an active mind one needs, as contrasted with an 'open' one. A great distinction, but she certainly didn't promulgate a *closed off* and negative mind, but a positive one, searching for the new.

All fresh information, whatever the source, can be an important addition, if it's integrated. That much you agreed. (I recall we've argued this topic before about the Washington Post headlines).

A "better thinker" isn't plain to see, nor is a worse thinker, in short. Unless one takes some other person as THE authority figure on good/bad thinkers which is a larger pitfall and intrinsicism too.

For all his other fine works that have benefited me, I sometimes think Peikoff's proposition on "the arbitrary assertion" is at part fault. At least, when misapplied, it could lead to an Objectivist thinker's pre-judgmental dismissal.

Edited by whYNOT

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3 hours ago, whYNOT said:

A "better thinker" isn't plain to see, nor is a worse thinker, in short.

Right, it isn't plain to see. I have a great deal of experience in making these judgments (both professionally and academically), and I shared with you part of that process. Just because I did it quickly doesn't mean I did it wrong. But it's also easier than you might realize. Bad grammar and no proofreading with terrible format in a final draft essay is a good indication that all the steps will have been done wrong if I read it. 

Literally speaking, the source does not matter as far as whether a claim is true or not. But the source matters to the extent that you trust them to go to the people who know what the facts are, and whether someone did the right research to even know what those facts are. And even when they know the facts, their integration might be terrible. On top of this, there is so much information in the world, that you also need to judge what is worthwhile. 

So far though, your information literacy in this thread hasn't been good or careful. 

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

So far though, your information literacy in this thread hasn't been good or careful. 

Yeah well. Otoh, you've regularly been too concerned about style above substance. That's all over the place today, superficial appearances are judged as meaningful, and is intrinsicism too. The what must take precedence over the how.

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In the meantime this nitpicking has derailed this topic. What do you think of "herd immunity" as against mass lockdowns, to deal with a pandemic? No one has commented on the links. Have the ARI people ventured an opinion? For myself, it's cut and dried.

Edited by whYNOT

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3 hours ago, whYNOT said:

In the meantime this nitpicking has derailed this topic. What do you think of "herd immunity" as against mass lockdowns, to deal with a pandemic? No one has commented on the links. Have the ARI people ventured an opinion? For myself, it's cut and dried.

It’s not clear whether or not herd immunity applies here. It’s not clear what percent of the population develops antibodies after recovering from the initial infection and whether or not those antibodies provide immunity and for how long.

personally, I like the idea floating around of signing an agreement to waive your right to use the medical system, in the event that they are filled to capacity. Essentially agreeing to take on the risk and then take care at home if necessary. And then the higher risk persons who do not wish to Take on the risk can take whatever self-isolation measures they decide are necessary. There are probably some issues with this idea - I’d like to hear others take on this. 
 

On a side note, my whole family ended up getting the virus - nothing requiring hospitalization, thankfully. 🙂 

 

Edit: On my iPhone so apologies for grammar.

Edited by thenelli01

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5 hours ago, whYNOT said:

No one has commented on the links

Nelli gave a good response I think. I would just add that relying on natural herd immunity even if we knew all the details can be dangerous because it requires people to get the full-blown illness. Until a pharmaceutical vaccine is developed, there isn't much that can be done except control the way the disease is spread.

It should be clear from other posts I've made on this topic that I think that there should be no government mandated response here. For the most part, I think people underestimate how dangerous it has always been to get sick, even though covid is definitely worse than other illnesses. If you take care of yourself, it's really not that hard to avoid. 

In New Jersey, 40% of coronavirus deaths have been in nursing homes. Many nursing home facilities fail to meet basic healthcare standards, and manipulate Medicare and Medicaid to get money despite providing terrible service. My point is that some of the most fixable problems causing a lot of deaths don't have to do with lockdowns, and aren't helped by lockdowns.

1 hour ago, thenelli01 said:

personally, I like the idea floating around of signing an agreement to waive your right to use the medical system

Why would you even need to sign an agreement? If hospitals are filled to capacity, you are not getting treatment anyway. It would be stupid to hang around if you are just waiting for a bed, it's pretty common knowledge that there is greater risk being at a hospital than in your own home.

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

Nelli gave a good response I think. I would just add that relying on natural herd immunity even if we knew all the details can be dangerous because it requires people to get the full-blown illness. Until a pharmaceutical vaccine is developed, there isn't much that can be done except control the way the disease is spread.

It should be clear from other posts I've made on this topic that I think that there should be no government mandated response here. For the most part, I think people underestimate how dangerous it has always been to get sick, even though covid is definitely worse than other illnesses. If you take care of yourself, it's really not that hard to avoid. 

 

 

This is still a virus, the same approach applies. That model Knut Wittkowski put forward, makes it plain that it is the elderly PLUS those with a list of pre-existing ailments and diseases, which 'skews' (my word) the mortality numbers in this pandemic. Almost everybody else will protract the virus and recover, sometimes with no symptoms. Important also, he states that flattening the curve has the downside of ~prolonging the curve~ .

I just checked for the (estimated) ages of fatality by per cent, in the USA: 10-27%  85+  / 3-11% 65-84 / 1-3% 55-64 / less than one per cent 20-54 yo

His logical solution is to aim exclusively at those aged, and with preconditions. It's they who should self isolate and take precautions (for about 4 weeks). Not a whole country. This is the most voluntary method, relying on each person to assess his risks. HE alone is at danger if he mixes in public and with family, while not posing a risk to all those younger and healthier. An article I quoted yesterday from a solid source "WebMD":

"Coronaviruses were first identified in the 1960s. Almost everyone gets a coronavirus infection at least once in their life, most likely as a young child".

That's the thing, a virus isn't defeated, it plays itself out in everyone's immune systems. The horrendous figures from the US and parts of Europe, with THIS specific virus, notwithstanding. If the manpower, energy and resources combating it would have totally centered on the groups at risk, could it have worked out better? Who knows. But a greater part of the economic activity would not have ceased.

Edited by whYNOT

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23 hours ago, whYNOT said:

In the meantime this nitpicking has derailed this topic. What do you think of "herd immunity" as against mass lockdowns, to deal with a pandemic? No one has commented on the links. Have the ARI people ventured an opinion? For myself, it's cut and dried.

In my opinion, herd immunity represents a de facto approach to dealing with mass illness.  When adequate testing for illness and adequate treatment facilities exist, then "herd immunity" might be an option.  It would have behooved our government here in America to go to the source of the Covid-19, isolate the virus, and then let the private sector work on developing treatment and vaccine strategies.  This seemed to work in the past with influenza viruses- hence, the ability of flu vaccines on an annual basis.  No social distancing, no economic shutdowns, no face masks nor other such drastic measures would have been needed had America heeded early warnings about the existence of Covid-19.

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On 4/18/2020 at 3:18 PM, Eiuol said:

That research is not current. It is a month old, single study. Not that it's invalid, but you need several studies. Did you catch where the study has been published? 

The following is an in depth discussion by the doctor in charge. It is very recent. 

https://www.hoover.org/research/fight-against-covid-19-update-dr-jay-bhattacharya

 

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Noted by other observers, Sweden's fatalities were highly represented in the upper age group. Simple, mostly the govt. enacted the right policy and - left it to the people to decide. BUT those at risk clearly didn't protect themselves by self-isolation, thereby without doubt they could have avoided most of those deaths. The basic principle by Wittkowski holds.

Must a government force the vulnerable elders, obese, diabetics, heart patients etc. into quarantine? I don't think so, not in Sweden or anywhere.

Edited by whYNOT

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

That's the video you already linked.

Then why do you say it is a month old. The second part of the paper is not even published as he mentions the video. Furthermore the antibody test is not a month old. So how did you come up with that hypothesis?

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I mean, you could have just answered the question instead of just giving me the video again?

There was some study he referenced that was a month old. This is the study in question, which is not the study I thought he was talking about, it was linked in the one you just sent: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.14.20062463v1.full.pdf

The thing with his claim that results suggest that covid is as deadly as the flu or a little worse, is that his study didn't actually compare it with the flu. I know he didn't say it definitely is, but I don't think the data even provides a suggestion of it. As we would expect, if you test people for antibodies who would not have been tested normally, the infection rate you calculate would be higher than the infection rate of confirmed cases (as I mentioned in the discussion about swine flu infection rate). The death rate would go down as well. As far as I've seen, the mortality rate of the flu is from confirmed cases, and there is not widespread testing of people for antibodies of the flu. So he's actually talking about unconfirmed but probable covid cases plus confirmed covid cases, compared to only confirmed flu cases. Not a very good comparison.

Anyway, the bigger issue is overcrowding of hospitals from the virus. 

Edited by Eiuol

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3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Anyway, the bigger issue is overcrowding of hospitals from the virus. 

If that is in fact the fundamental issue all along, then it was an economic problem, a problem of supply and demand.

That argument shifts from an individual rights issue to a utilitarian issue. It would imply that we as a society should focus on the amount on innovation of hospital beds/equipment/personnel production capability or ... other ways to do it as in creating healing spaces in one's house (training, equipment etc.)

This virus will be spreading until some sort of immunity is obtained by all. Will we be shutting down all over again in October?? After all, with the spanish flu, the october after it appeared, within 3 weeks, most of the deaths occured.

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The issue of overcrowding is both economic and medical. I mean, how well you treat and prevent disease has a direct impact on the supply of beds. The best known method right now for managing the supply of beds is "flattening the curve". The other part is innovation, as you mentioned, and people are working on that (hopefully), although from experience, many hospitals fail of innovation when it comes to nonmedical parts of treatment in the US. 

16 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Will we be shutting down all over again in October?? 

By the looks of it, there should be a vaccine by then. 

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On 4/24/2020 at 1:06 PM, whYNOT said:

Must a government force the vulnerable elders, obese, diabetics, heart patients etc. into quarantine? I don't think so, not in Sweden or anywhere.

OK, so maybe I'm being a "Monday morning quarterback", but having a team of pandemic response scientists on the ready to harness, then develop strategies to deal with a virus might have caused governments not to have to take drastic action in a vain attempt (my opinion) to "protect" vulnerable elders, those with compromised health issues, etc., into quarantine.

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Hey, we are all Mmq's on this thing, hindsight is an exact science...

But sacrificing every country's economy - this anyone could have predicted.

(all the small and medium business enterprises, many to vanish, that's what is inconceivable)

Edited by whYNOT

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While reading Gus VanHorn's blog-post this morning, I found myself thinking of a video I had reviewd recently that made a relevant observation (perhaps fitting in with the narrative being controlled by the language.) At the time I initially saw it, one of the underlying themes spawned my reply of: That brings to mind the 'pass it on' Amish Friendship Bread only on a more abstract level.

Just under 4 minutes, it portrays Every COVID-19 Commercial Is Exactly The Same as a 'commercial' pieced together from a slew of them that have arisen over the course of the last month or so.

Spoiler

 

 

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8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I think at the time it was this announcement by University of Pittsburgh:

 

 

Thank you.  This is potentially great news.  

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On 3/29/2020 at 9:16 AM, Boydstun said:

This study estimates about 81,000 deaths in the US from Covid 19 over the next four months. Hopefully, we'll all be around to see how close the author got in this prediction. And hopefully not near so many. As of this morning, about 2,200 have died in the US.*

http://www.healthdata.org/sites/default/files/files/research_articles/2020/covid_paper_MEDRXIV-2020-043752v1-Murray.pdf 

 

As it has turned out, the US reached this mortality number in only two months, rather than the predicted four months.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On US public action, there is some good historical perspective here.

Excerpts 

Quote

 

Like Britain, France and Germany, the U.S. kept the outbreak secret because it didn’t want to show weakness to the enemy. At the height of the outbreak, Wilson sent troops abroad packed into ships that were “cauldrons of virus transfers,” said Max Skidmore, political science professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and author of Presidents, Pandemics and Politics (2016).

Eventually a quarter of all Americans became infected, including several who worked at the White House. Many historians believe Wilson himself fell ill. Barry said that during negotiations ahead of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles in Paris, Wilson had “103, 104 fever, violent coughs, and other symptoms that were unique to the 1918 virus.” (The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History [2004])

As states and cities began to order what we now know as social distancing – closing businesses and schools, banning public gatherings – Wilson’s administration continued to downplay the pandemic. Spain, a neutral party in the war, was the only country that reported casualty numbers accurately, hence the name Spanish flu, even though the flu did not originate there.

. . .

Leaders are often faulted for downplaying crises, but Gerald Ford was accused by some of overreacting.

Not long after a soldier died of a new form of flu in February 1976, the U.S. secretary of health, education and welfare announced that the virus could turn into an epidemic by fall.

Scientists at the CDC thought it could be even deadlier than the 1918 flu strain. To avoid an epidemic, the CDC said at least 80 percent of the U.S. population would need to be vaccinated, leading Ford to sign emergency legislation for the National Swine Flu Immunization Program, in mid-April. Within a few months, close to 50 million Americans were vaccinated.

Ford took action quickly, but issues with the vaccine caused more problems in the end, Vanderbilt’s Schwartz said. Hundreds of people came down with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder, after getting the flu shot.

“Ironically,” Skidmore said, “it was the sophistication of the government's own monitoring system that led them to identify those cases and associate them with the vaccine.”

While Ford demonstrated the government’s efficiency in marshaling resources, his massive vaccination program, on top of other political blunders, contributed to Ronald Reagan’s attempt to wrest the Republican nomination from Ford in 1976. Ford lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter later that year.

“The general consensus is that he was overreacting,” said Skidmore, who nevertheless lauded the president’s better-safe-than-sorry approach. “He seemed to be convinced, and I think correctly so in retrospect, that it would be far better to have a vaccine and no pandemic, then to have a pandemic and no vaccine.”

By the time immunizations began in October, a large outbreak had failed to emerge, and swine flu became known as the pandemic that never was. The experience contributed to the hesitance of some Americans to embrace vaccines, even now.

. . .

Skidmore, of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, said American presidents can learn from their predecessors, particularly in establishing strong coordination between the federal government and states, and ensuring the private sector is fully engaged. Skidmore said the Obama administration greatly benefited from George W. Bush’s National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza, a plan that spanned every department of the federal government, every state and broad swaths of the private sector to stockpile antiviral medications and provide scientists resources to develop vaccines.

 

 

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