Covid-19 pandemic & Fake News - How you can help

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
12. As with the other misinformation about the coronavirus you try to peddle, this is also factually untrue. Broadly, two modes of transmission of COVID-19 exist—direct and indirect.

(i) The direct mode includes (a) transmission via aerosols formed via surgical and dental procedures and/or in the form of respiratory droplet nuclei; (b) other body fluids and secretions, for example, feces, saliva, urine, semen, and tears; and (c) mother-to-child.​

(ii) Indirect transmission may occur via (a) fomites or surfaces (e.g., furniture and fixtures) present within the immediate environment of an infected patient and (b) objects used on the infected person (e.g., stethoscope or thermometer).​
There is potentially a third mode of transmission, as there have now been a number of instances where frozen food packaging has tested positive for viable SARS-CoV-2 viruses. Not viewed as a major risk at present, based off the number of positives (22) vs. the # of frozen food packages tested (670,000 samples IIRC) and at present it seems unknown how the virus cultures ended up on the frozen cod packaging, but it is another thing to be mindful of.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
In this Brave New World wash your hands, stay home if sick and protect the frail elderly is tin foil hat territory.
Pretty much, yeah, as it glosses over and overly simplifies several issues to the point that it renders mitigation and containment efforts less effective or even potentially ineffective.

For instance, there is a 'problem' with staying home if sick. The problem being that depending on the person infected, it is quite possible for someone to actually be sick, infected and infectious with COVID-19, and not know it. If the rule was only that 'sick' people stayed home, there would then be a number of people (in some cases a significant number) who are either infected and asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, who do not stay home and instead go out and about their normal day, all the while potentially exposing and infecting others. This is why there have been recommendations to curtail or reduce gatherings with people outside of one's own household, especially if the gathering are to be held indoors. Guidance for things like wearing a mask and social distancing are intended more for when people are not staying home and among their home environment.

The other big issue I have is the 'guidance' to protect the frail elderly... that manages to ignore several realities as well as what would really 'protect' them. The common belief seems to be that the virus only harms elderly, particularly those already in poor shape. While it is true that something COVID-19 would be devastating for them, the disease is certainly capable of killing younger, healthier people, or in likely even more cases, causing long-term or permanent organ and system damage. The other fallacy is what actions would actually protect a population vulnerable to COVID-19.

If one lives in a multi-generational household, with children, parents and then grandparents, the only way to 'protect' the elderly grandparents would be either isolate the entire household from contact with potentially contaminated/infectious material is either isolate the entire household, or separate the grandparents from the rest of the household and quarantine just the grandparents from contact with everyone, including every member of the household that has contact outside of the household.

Also to point out to people, there is ample historical evidence of both the value, as well as effective practices, in isolation protocols for infectious diseases, dating back centuries, long before people were even aware of microscopic bacteria or viruses. Lazar houses in medieval Europe are a good example, as they were primarily built and run to house/isolate people afflicted with "leprosy". The reason for the leprosy being in quotes is that there were a number of different skin afflictions which at the time could have all been lumped together with the actual disease leprosy aka Hansen's Disease.

Additionally, both the word and concept, "quarantine" come from a Venetian practice from Middle Ages of requiring arriving ships to wait 40 days before disembarking or unloading. That period of should have been ample time for an outbreak of smallpox or one of the plagues to have started aboard ship and been obvious, if anyone or anything on board was a source for either disease. What this in turn shows, is that people have understood and developed methods of containing an infectious disease and prevent infection spread for a very long time, despite the poster having claimed elsewhere;

Mark 2020 as the year ‘experts’ decided to pretend we could hide from a submicroscopic particle for which person-to-person is just one potential vector.
Clearly that is a false statement, based off historical evidence from past epidemics and pandemics.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
@Todjaeger I will beg to differ with you about the stay at home if you are sick advice. Here in NZ it is Ministry of Health advice based upon scientific advice from virologists and pandemic specialists that if you feel sick stay home, get tested and isolate until you are cleared. In the first instance you ring the national Covid-19 Health line for advice they will advise you on the next steps which are where and when to get tested, followed by the quarantine and isolation at home requirements. If you don't follow the advice you can be placed into a government quarantine facility which has isolation places within it.

It is up to individual countries about how they respond to the pandemic, and some countries such as Singapore, Taiwan and NZ have responded very well, whereas others such as the US, Brazil and some European nations have been quite callous in their response to the pandemic. Hence my personal thoughts are that certain people should be charged with crimes against humanity for their lack of adequate response to the pandemic, regardless of who they are and what positions they held or hold. In fact the higher the position the greater the responsibility.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yeah - I do feel that in the UK, we're not doing a great job and mistakes were made. I think Japan and SK combined have less fatalities than we registered in a week. Given Japan is an older population (I think by about 5-7 years on average) then you can see how astonishing that margin has been.

What I'm finding interesting from YT's algorithms is that Sky News Australia keeps running counter narratives like flagging Sweden's approach as being more favourable. Sky elsewhere doesn't seem to be doing that so I'm wondering what the story behind that is.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Sweden's had almost five times as many deaths in proportion to population as Germany & Denmark, & IIRC about 10 times as many as Norway & Finland.

Yeah, Sweden's done a great job. Its mishandling of covid-19 in care homes is a perfect example of what not to do.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
A small note:

The low number of deaths in Germany is merely a result of a so far relatively low caseload. ICU Admission rate (6.25% of cases) in Germany is within the global spectrum (5-12%) and fatality rate (17% relative to ICU admission) is also quite standard.

As for care homes, Germany lists 45% of Covid-19 deaths as having been housed in long-term care facilities. This is exactly the same percentage as in the USA.

As a relevant link in that regard: Daily situational reports by Robert Koch Institute , the German Federal Disease Control Agency (in English).

Regarding caseload, it should be noted that the numbers in the map in that Tweet above are rather outdated.

Due to the decentralized approach of Germany - with states being responsible for disease control, and generally devolving this to local counties - an overall national 7-day incidence rate is also quite problematic as a statement. While Germany as a whole as of today has a 7-day incidence of 66.2 (with other Eu countries varying between 20.1 in Estonia and 669.3 in the Czech Republic), on a per-county basis Germany has various hotspots - with 800+ cases/100,000 people in last 7 days that are on par with hotspots in e.g. Spain or the Czech Republic.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
@Todjaeger I will beg to differ with you about the stay at home if you are sick advice. Here in NZ it is Ministry of Health advice based upon scientific advice from virologists and pandemic specialists that if you feel sick stay home, get tested and isolate until you are cleared. In the first instance you ring the national Covid-19 Health line for advice they will advise you on the next steps which are where and when to get tested, followed by the quarantine and isolation at home requirements. If you don't follow the advice you can be placed into a government quarantine facility which has isolation places within it.
I think you misunderstood the issue I have with the "stay home if sick" recommendation, as well as the issues I have with how people have been interpreting it.

The problem IMO is not with the sick people who feel sick and are therefore staying home, or reaching out to a doctor's office or local health dept. to get tested, etc.

The problem really is everyone else. Like the infected and infectious person who is shedding the virus and potentially infecting others while they are either asymptomatic, or pre-symptomatic. Or the uninfected people, who feel fine, who then go out and engage in non-essential activities, particularly in close proximity to people outside their household, while indoors, etc.

As a side note, the US CDC recently released new guidance regarding COVID-19 exposure. Previously the risk was thought to be increased if one spent 15+ minutes at a time around someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Following research after a correctional officer in Vermont tested positive following exposure to a group of prisoners who were awaiting test results, the new guidance is a bit bleaker.

The guidance now is that there is an increased risk of infection if someone spends a cumulative 15+ minutes within a 24 hour period of time, with someone who is positive with COVID-19. My interpretation on the guidance is that it is not even a total of 15 minutes or more with a person with COVID-19, but a total of 15+ minutes with anyone/everyone who is COVID-19 positive, with a 24 hour period. So if someone spent a minute each with 16 people who were infected, the likelihood of becoming infected goes up, especially proper cleanup techniques were not used, or PPE, etc.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
@Todjaeger We've just had a case in NZ where the contact between the infectious person and the victim was less than 3 minutes and that was IIRC in a workplace.
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
Posted this is the Coronavirus thread but in hindsight I think it probably belongs here. A solid overview of the CFR, IFR and how terminology has been used (and misused) in the pandemic so far:

 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
@Todjaeger We've just had a case in NZ where the contact between the infectious person and the victim was less than 3 minutes and that was IIRC in a workplace.
I could believe it. There are some unfortunately very common misconceptions regarding the spread of disease generally, and of course the SARS-CoV-2 virus specifically. One of them being that if one has a shorter than guidelines period of contact, that one is "safe." The reality though is that research has found the risk to increase statistically after a total of 15 minutes within a 24 hours period, which is not at all the same as 14 minutes or less are "safe".

If one were to encounter an infectious person at the wrong time, or in the wrong circumstances, one could get infected within seconds.

Even with frequent handwashing, wearing PPE (properly, which many people still cannot/will not do SMH) and social distancing, one can still get infected. The point of these tactics though is to reduce the risk of transmission, since the risk cannot be eliminated totally. Of course people need to use the tactics correctly in order for them to help. No more wearing a surgical/procedure or N95 mask as though it were a chin strap, etc.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
All of these "COVID-19 deaths are exaggerated" idiocies fall at the first hurdle. Those who come up with them never have coherent explanation for the huge numbers of excess deaths. For example, ask 'em to explain why there were two or three times as many deaths in X city/region in March as in a normal year, & they change the subject or start raving.

So far, the only explanation which actually fits the facts is the obvious one: it's COVID-19.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The consumption of internet “news” without critical thinking wrt COVID, what could possibly go wrong? The answer is apparently nothing according to a certain “base”.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
For example, ask 'em to explain why there were two or three times as many deaths in X city/region in March as in a normal year, & they change the subject or start raving.
Of course "it's Covid-19", but:

"Two or three times as many in city X" would be a likely statistical effect of an imperfect subsample. The number of weekly excess deaths spiked in early April nationwide in the US at about 140% of the seasonal average of the last couple years.

There are some analyses that claim a 300% excess death spike for Italy, although apparently Italy has a relatively high variation in its seasonal excess death rate and possibly - similar to Germany - has problems aggregating such data at national levels.
When compared to only 2016 the same spike in the first half of March there shortly reached around 200%, then went rapidly back down to plateau below seasonal comparison data at the end of the month. That spike coincided with the time when they were running full-on triage on patients in Lombardy.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
IIRC Bergamo went over 300%. I think that was the highest in Lombardy, & Lombardy was the highest in Italy.

The USA had huge local variations in numbers of deaths in the spring peak. The New York metropolitan area was very hard hit. New Jersey has recorded 2.5 times the US national average Covid-19 deaths in proportion to population, with New York state just behind, & the death rate in upstate New York was much lower than in the city & its suburbs. Massachusetts has also recorded twice the national average. Some states have recorded less than a quarter of the average.

I'm pretty sure that New York city had over twice the expected death rate in the spring, & that's a big population.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #36
With 279 electoral college votes, the Biden/Harris team has won the #USA2020election.
  • Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania has grown to 43,194.
  • Biden’s lead in Georgia is now 10,353.
President-elect Joe Biden's campaign is urging the head of the General Services Administration (GSA) to approve the beginning stages of an official transfer of power as President Trump refuses to acknowledge the outcome of the presidential election.

Trump and his supporters have lost Fox News.

GSA Administrator Emily Murphy, a political appointee named to the post by Trump, has not yet begun the process, and a spokeswoman told Reuters she is waiting to determine that "a winner is clear."

More long term data is needed. 7 days just isn’t enough. This Pfizer vaccine is also a 2-dose vaccine requiring the booster later on too, because many vaccines need that second dose to be effective for more long term. This is why we do trials and WAIT for more data.

Biden's transition team wasted no time, naming its own Covid-19 advisory board. The Biden-Harris campaign laid out a step-by-step plan for addressing the coronavirus pandemic that includes more testing, increasing use of the Defense Production Act to make protective equipment for frontline workers and restoring the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization. The transition team wasted no time, announcing Monday its own Covid-19 advisory board co-chaired by former FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler, former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the associate dean for health equity research at the Yale School of Medicine.
 
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John Fedup

The Bunker Group
This link describes the consequences of large gatherings with no social distancing or masks on neighbouring jurisdictions. South Dakota, a state which has minimal to zero containment rules hosted this large motorcycle rally and as the report indicates, neighbouring states were burdened with huge health care costs as a result. It explains why containment is so difficult for the US when a few poorly run states can undo the efforts of other states.
 
This link describes the consequences of large gatherings with no social distancing or masks on neighbouring jurisdictions. South Dakota, a state which has minimal to zero containment rules hosted this large motorcycle rally and as the report indicates, neighbouring states were burdened with huge health care costs as a result. It explains why containment is so difficult for the US when a few poorly run states can undo the efforts of other states.
Poorly run states huh. To me there is a strong correlation between how well US states are run in general and how much obedience they demand from their citizens on the covid issue.
The article you linked explains very little about how effective the current containment policies are. Governments treat their people as mindless herds by the blanket rules requiring anything from mandatory masks all the time everywhere (like in California now) to curfews on outdoors presence to closing hiking in natural parks. And the less the government repects an individual as a rational being the more of these regulations you get. Many people, especially outside the US, fail to grasp the fundamental importance of independence and liberty the citizen is given in USA, or to be more correct, was given by the founding fathers and the spirit of this country, and which has been faltering in recent history. And how, they say, do you maintain these freedoms in the face of such a calamity? In my opinion, not by instituting obedience laws, but by encouraging personal responsibility and educating on the issue. Such as the mask wearing thing. I am sure most people on here, just like most people in general, do not realize how little effectiveness they provide in 90% of normal life situations. I say it as an aerosol and flow dynamics physicist. It is nearly impossible to get infected outdoors, whether you wear a mask or you don't, unless someone literally spits or sneezes in your face and you are standing right up against the infected person. Aerosols behave very differently depending on the size, dropping to the ground like little rocks when the size is above a dozen of micron or so (the larger the droplets the more infectious) and present no danger to anyone who is further than a meter away. The smaller stuff behaves pretty much like cigarette smoke, which means that outdoors it almost instantly dissipates from the source to very low concentrations which are insufficient to cause a transmission and, again, present no danger to anyone further than a meter from the infected. And all this assuming there was a very large sneeze. If a person breezes or talks normally than the concentration is low to begin with and the risk is even lower. Plus, this smaller aerosol that is carried by air flows is far smaller than the pore sizes of most masks, such as the surgical ones or anything from cloth, and will go through them like knife through butter. The bottom line is, mandating masks outdoors at all times is ignorant idiocy, and the data suggests as much. Presumably, over 90% of all infections are caused by less than 10% of the infected, essentially meaning that the transmission predominantly happens during superspreading events, like the one mentioned above. So, wouldn't it be more reasonable to limit the regulations to address such superspreading events and not go full retard California style and ban everything? Banning hiking? Tennis courts? Curfews? Closed National Forests? It is a disgrace and an embarassment how they treat people. And I didn't even mention the psychological effects this fear mongering has been producing in people. Suicide rates in some states are exceeding those of Covid apparently (do not have link but even if that is an overstimation I find it reasonable to assume there is a huge problem there).
 

Sideline

Member
I agree that people living outside the US, totally fail to grasp the significance of individual independence and liberty as given by the founding American fathers. But here is the bit that often left out; YOUR desire for individual independence and liberty DOES NOT cancel the next mans rights or independence.

The US concept of individual independence and liberty was
(a) a colonial response to the oppression of the British crown
(b) made possible by the HUGE expanse of land available (for takeover)
ie: your rights, independence and liberty are 100% upheld on your land

BUT once you are in shops, town/cities public areas, hospitals, schools etc.
your rights MUST come 2nd to the groups rights, for better law and order, health and social outcomes

YOUR desire for no masks DOES NOT cancel the next mans rights, for example
YOUR desire for no masks DOES NOT cancel the store owners independence to set his own rules.

This can be demonstrated by looking at the countries that got it (COVID) right
Vietnam, Taiwan, Iceland, New Zealand, Singapore, -
“Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
 

Boagrius

Well-Known Member
A relevant piece on SARS-CoV-2 transmission:
Although transmission may be easiest and most frequent in households and congregate residences, community transmission connects these settings and is, therefore, essential to sustain the epidemic, even if it directly causes fewer cases. Inevitably, “community contacts” include a heterogeneous mix of interactions. The probability that any of these interactions results in transmission stems from a complex interplay of pathogen attributes, host characteristics, timing, and setting. Hence, the properties of community transmission are difficult to measure, and this is where much of the remaining debate around SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs…

…Superspreading events, in which one person infects many, are often as much the result of setting as host characteristics. Apparent superspreading events of SARS-CoV-2 have occurred during choir practice (9), in department stores, at church events, and in health care settings (5). These are all settings where one individual can have many close contacts over a short period of time. Transmission can also be amplified if multiple subsequent infections occur in rapid succession, and outbreaks with high attack rates have occurred in close-contact settings such as schools (14%), meat processing plants (36%), and churches (38%) (5, 10)...

The engines of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic—household and residential settings, community, and long-distance transmission—have important implications for control. Moving from international to household scales, the burdens of interventions are shared by more people; there are few international travelers, but nearly everyone lives in households and communities. Measures to reduce household spread may appear particularly challenging, but because they directly affect so many, they need not be perfect. Household mask use and partitioning of home spaces, isolation or quarantine outside the home, and, in the future, household provision of preventive drugs could have large effects even if they offer only modest protection. Conversely, control measures at larger spatial scales (for example, interregional) must be widely implemented and highly effective to contain the virus. Indeed, few nations have managed to curb infection without stay-at-home orders and business closures, particularly after community transmission is prevalent.
 
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