Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

Post by CT Wave »

Thanks for sharing some good news, Pete.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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CT Wave wrote: Sat Mar 28, 2020 3:19 pm
PeteRasche wrote:Anyone who is posing the idea that we shouldn't be trying to save as many lives as possible because it will harm the economy is either a callous Scrooge with no human compassion or else an attention whore simply trying to get famous though being controversial during this crisis.
The trouble I have with your post, Pete, is the "save as many lives as possible." This totally ignores costs. And frankly, we do take into account costs when it comes to human life. When the economy is harmed, people suffer and that includes their health -- consider heart attacks and elevated stress levels.

So I do not know what the right level of trade-off is for this virus and shutting down our economy. But I am sure it is not "save as many lives as possible." And I don't think I lack human compassion or am trying to be controversial.

Please think about this before responding folks.
My earlier post here did prompt some measured discussion. I now want to share this declaration which more fully develops my point:
The Great Barrington Declaration
As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection.

Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.

Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

...
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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CT Wave wrote: Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:35 am
CT Wave wrote: Sat Mar 28, 2020 3:19 pm
PeteRasche wrote:Anyone who is posing the idea that we shouldn't be trying to save as many lives as possible because it will harm the economy is either a callous Scrooge with no human compassion or else an attention whore simply trying to get famous though being controversial during this crisis.
The trouble I have with your post, Pete, is the "save as many lives as possible." This totally ignores costs. And frankly, we do take into account costs when it comes to human life. When the economy is harmed, people suffer and that includes their health -- consider heart attacks and elevated stress levels.

So I do not know what the right level of trade-off is for this virus and shutting down our economy. But I am sure it is not "save as many lives as possible." And I don't think I lack human compassion or am trying to be controversial.

Please think about this before responding folks.
My earlier post here did prompt some measured discussion. I now want to share this declaration which more fully develops my point:
The Great Barrington Declaration
As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection.

Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.

Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

...
Realize that the quoted stuff was posted in late March, when both the country was in full freak-out mode, and also when way less information was known about the virus. At the time people wondered whether walking outside their house or going anywhere that someone else had been without full disinfection could cause you to catch it. We now know that people can coexist safely in certain ways without being at great risk. However, that is not a blanket "it's fine, live your lives as before" statement like certain people like to tweet.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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Good news today (as anyone who follows news or the stock market knows). The Pfizer vaccine is showing around 90% effectiveness, which puts it far ahead of even the annual flu shot and on par with stuff like the Measles vaccine. More details to come but things looking good.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/pfize ... li=BBnb7Kz

I wrote here months ago that I was working for a company testing the Moderna vaccine and I was told that it absolutely works and was simply a matter of testing for side effects over time before it could be cleared. The Moderna vaccine uses the same technology as Pfizer's, so this makes sense.
BioNTech used a technology that had never been approved for use in people. It takes genetic material called messenger RNA and injects it into muscle cells, which treat it like instructions for building a protein — a protein found on the surface of the coronavirus. The proteins then stimulate the immune system and are believed to result in long-lasting protection against the virus. Other companies, including Moderna, are also using messenger RNA technology.
Obviously the concern there is that people are going to be really skittish about taking it, especially when it's being offered for free by your government...

And I fully admit that I did not see this "silver lining" (if there is one in people currently dying at increased rates):
“If there’s any silver lining in the fact that our country is currently on fire with this virus, it’s that these trials can reach a conclusion much quicker than otherwise,” he said.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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PeteRasche wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 12:28 pm
And I fully admit that I did not see this "silver lining" (if there is one in people currently dying at increased rates):
“If there’s any silver lining in the fact that our country is currently on fire with this virus, it’s that these trials can reach a conclusion much quicker than otherwise,” he said.
It makes sense, since the Russian study supposedly started with ideas in Cuba but was taken to Russia because there were so few cases in Cuba that they couldn't actively do anything with it. You need to have plenty of the disease around to figure out what works against it.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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Instead of offering it for free, I think the government should be paying people ($500? 1,000?) to get the vaccine. Will get people back to work much more quickly and save money in the long run.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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ml wave wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:32 pm Instead of offering it for free, I think the government should be paying people ($500? 1,000?) to get the vaccine. Will get people back to work much more quickly and save money in the long run.
Your idea doesn't suck.

If if if the rest of these trials and approvals move lightning fast, which I earnestly hope, I would be one of the first to line up after all the front line health workers get inoculated. When you peel back the details of today's Pfizer announcement the sample size is very small but very promising so we don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves just yet. One thing that is non trivial is the vaccine needs to be supercooled, like 70 below zero supercooled, which means it's probably not going to be at my local CVS in a refrigerator like a flu shot. Buy stock in any company that makes portable supercooling equipment.

If all goes well I see Memorial Day 2021 as probably a good target date for availability to the masses.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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Early data: Moderna vaccine 94.5% effective:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medica ... li=BBnb7Kz
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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PeteRasche wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:28 am Early data: Moderna vaccine 94.5% effective:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medica ... li=BBnb7Kz
Wife and I were just discussing this. Before she retired she was a program manager in a boutique firm that conducted large scale surveys for Pharma drug efficacy so she knows far more that I will ever know about this subject. We both agree that now that there is a second vaccine which also seems to be addressing the same spike protein methodology it gives a lot more credence to this line of attack.

However, she explained to me how they come up with these numbers of efficacy are to be taken with healthy skepticism. Let's say 40,000 people took the 2-shot trial and after a couple of weeks they find that 100 people test positive. The methodology she explained is that the trial folks then peel back the placebo/vaccine record for each of those 100 and if 90 of them took the placebo course and 10 had the vaccine, they claim 90% efficacy for the vaccine. As the data set gets larger we can have more confidence but what we are seeing now is a rush to get any good news in front of a TV camera. 90% efficiency really might mean out of the first 100 or so. Hundreds of results, not tens of thousands.

Think of that. You are making big assumptions based on a very small data set. Also, of those 100 people who got COVID, how did they conduct themselves during that time after getting either the placebo or the real trial vaccine? Were they yucking it up at the bar every evening or were they bunkering in the basement, or somewhere in between? That's hard to control for behavior over several weeks or months in a democratic society. Another thing. By their very nature the 40,000 or so vaccine trial volunteers are probably a lot more cognizant of the importance of the trial with the eyes of the nation upon them. I postulate that the sort of person who volunteers for a trial is not getting together indoors with 50 family members for Thanksgiving or 100 people at a wedding. So that too skews the number towards better results.

My wife says when doctors treat someone with any drug they really don't think of geeks like me who will religiously take that course of antibiotics over 10 days. They treat people with drugs knowing a lot of people will miss doses, not take them when they are supposed to, or just plain give up on them. What will be the efficacy of these vaccines if people don't get the second dose? Or not within the planned window?

None of this is not to say 90+% initial efficacy is not good news. It is great news and sure beats what many of us might have feared--50% or less efficacy like a flu shot some years. Also it's too early to tell if these spike protein vaccines will last weeks, months, a year, or more. What this tells me is that until you dig into the medical journals and unless and until we have tens of thousands of people making up that 90% number, treat this like what it is: very promising quick look from firms that stand to earn billions of dollars.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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Oh and BTW, the Pfizer vaccine needs to be kept in a minus 70C degree super cooler, then can be stored in a refrigerator for no more than 5 days. Your local pharmacy does not have a minus 70C degree cooler.

The Moderna vaccine needs to be kept in a minus 25C degree cooler, then can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 30 days. Your local pharmacy DOES have a minus 25C degree cooler.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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The Moderna vaccine is the one I posted about several months ago when I was told by someone at a testing facility that it absolutely worked. I'm now wishing I'd bought Moderna stock at the time (though that arguably would have been insider trading, right? :mrgreen: ).

TUPF, I have wondered about the exact thing you mentioned regarding actual exposure. What were they going to do, tell those who got the vaccine to go out to bars and hug everyone and not wear masks in public anywhere (in violation of laws in some places) and just hope they were exposed? There's no way to tell whether any of these people actually had exposure and were protected by the vaccine. I mean, I haven't had the vaccine and I've been at work for 5 months and I have not gotten it, but that's because I'm extra careful and also have not had a social life since then. What do we know about those people who were in the trial?

I told my wife the other day that, while most of America will eventually return to "normal life" once people start to get a vaccine, I don't think our world will ever return to prior-to-COVID normalcy unless someone comes up with a drug that completely cures you once you have it. Because (as was seen in a thread here over the weekend), there are people out there with compromised immune systems who just plain can't be exposed to it, and/or who may not be able to take the vaccine for other health reasons (I'm not even including those who choose not to take the vaccine because that's their risk choice). If the world goes back to "normal" pre-COVID life with no masks and full occupancy everywhere, the compromised people are pretty going to have to be house-bound the rest of their lives, right? That's not cool.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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I'm glad I am retired, Pete. Back in my days as VP of international business development there was a lot of alternate cheek kissing, hugs, and with some Middle Eastern friends, even touching noses. There is going to be a cultural shakeout worldwide.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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TUPF wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:30 am However, she explained to me how they come up with these numbers of efficacy are to be taken with healthy skepticism. Let's say 40,000 people took the 2-shot trial and after a couple of weeks they find that 100 people test positive. The methodology she explained is that the trial folks then peel back the placebo/vaccine record for each of those 100 and if 90 of them took the placebo course and 10 had the vaccine, they claim 90% efficacy for the vaccine. As the data set gets larger we can have more confidence but what we are seeing now is a rush to get any good news in front of a TV camera. 90% efficiency really might mean out of the first 100 or so. Hundreds of results, not tens of thousands.
Help me understand the math here, TUPF. It is not obvious to me how the 90 placebo/10 vaccine produces a 90% efficacy. Suppose it was 50 placebo/50 vaccine. Would you then say "50% efficacy"? Of course not-- it is 0% efficacy since the vaccine produces the same result as the placebo.

Not yanking your chain here, buddy, just interested to learn how the math actually works. And if you want to hand the keyboard over to your wife, that would be just fine. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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CT Wave wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 6:51 pm
TUPF wrote: Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:30 am However, she explained to me how they come up with these numbers of efficacy are to be taken with healthy skepticism. Let's say 40,000 people took the 2-shot trial and after a couple of weeks they find that 100 people test positive. The methodology she explained is that the trial folks then peel back the placebo/vaccine record for each of those 100 and if 90 of them took the placebo course and 10 had the vaccine, they claim 90% efficacy for the vaccine. As the data set gets larger we can have more confidence but what we are seeing now is a rush to get any good news in front of a TV camera. 90% efficiency really might mean out of the first 100 or so. Hundreds of results, not tens of thousands.
Help me understand the math here, TUPF. It is not obvious to me how the 90 placebo/10 vaccine produces a 90% efficacy. Suppose it was 50 placebo/50 vaccine. Would you then say "50% efficacy"? Of course not-- it is 0% efficacy since the vaccine produces the same result as the placebo.

Not yanking your chain here, buddy, just interested to learn how the math actually works. And if you want to hand the keyboard over to your wife, that would be just fine. Thanks in advance.
Here's a decent discussion of the 50% scenario...or why bother? Thankfully it looks like current ones under trial will outkick the coverage.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-sho ... ood-enough
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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I thought about this math question over night and offer this analysis for efficacy. Since the placebo group had 90 infections and the vaccine group only 10, the vaccine prevented 80 (90-10) infections resulting in an efficacy of 80/90. This is 88.9%. And if you rounded up to 90% that is fine with me.

How does this look to you (and, more significantly, to your wife)?
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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CT Wave wrote: Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:13 pm I thought about this math question over night and offer this analysis for efficacy. Since the placebo group had 90 infections and the vaccine group only 10, the vaccine prevented 80 (90-10) infections resulting in an efficacy of 80/90. This is 88.9%. And if you rounded up to 90% that is fine with me.

How does this look to you (and, more significantly, to your wife)?
I think you are there. And that article highlights something further. The potential lessening of COVID effects even among those who develop symptoms.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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Effectiveness of Adding a Mask Recommendation to Other Public Health Measures to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Danish Mask WearersFREE
A Randomized Controlled Trial

https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817

Results:
A total of 3030 participants were randomly assigned to the recommendation to wear (surgical) masks, and 2994 were assigned to control; 4862 completed the study. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 occurred in 42 participants recommended masks (1.8%) and 53 control participants (2.1%). The between-group difference was −0.3 percentage point (95% CI, −1.2 to 0.4 percentage point; P = 0.38) (odds ratio, 0.82 [CI, 0.54 to 1.23]; P = 0.33). Multiple imputation accounting for loss to follow-up yielded similar results. Although the difference observed was not statistically significant, the 95% CIs are compatible with a 46% reduction to a 23% increase in infection.

I will let the medical professionals discuss wearing surgical masks.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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Pretty cool map with lots of categories (see drop down above the map to the left), based on surveys and medical data accumulated by Carnegie-Mellon. Click the "data and methods" link to see what all sources they use.

I just did the symptoms survey (saw it on Facebook and figured what the heck). It took less than two minutes.

https://covidcast.cmu.edu/

Obviously the survey part is subject to people filling out surveys and doing so accurately. Half the country also believes the data from the hospitals and doctors is cooked to scare us so feel free to call this all baloney. Whatever.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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I have a brother who, until this past weekend, was a hospitalist working on the COVID floors in Johnson City. He assures me that it is for real, with two wings of the hospital being devoted to COVID, with 20 patients on ventilators, and seeing two people under 40 die within the past few weeks. I went to Sam's last weekend in Bristol, VA, and despite the newspapers listing numbers of cases and fatalities, still see people who are not wearing masks, or have their mask strategically covering their chins; this overlooks people who don't think that their nose counts as a respiratory apparatus.

I have had 10 patients in the past two weeks in my office that reported that they have had COVID in the previous 1-2 months. I had entered patients in the rheumatology patient registry, but have so many I just don't have the time to fully fill out the information. The one piece of good news is that the only patient of mine who has died was a 90+ year old patient who had multiple morbidities; the 25+ other patients (many of whom have been on some rather nasty medications) have not required hospitalization or had severe symptoms, and have mostly recovered.

The infection is real; it might not be quite as life threatening to many people, but it still can kill. The vaccinations will have a big effect, and has the potential of significantly reducing the pandemic. I received an application to be a vaccination distribution center in my office; will be completed by noon Monday.

As a child I remember going to my elementary school and standing in line with my family for the Sabin polio vaccination, given in a sugar cube. We need to all get vaccinated once the vaccines get approved and distributed if we want to return to a more normal life.
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Re: Near real time COVID-19 statistics

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AO Sig wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 7:54 am I have a brother who, until this past weekend, was a hospitalist working on the COVID floors in Johnson City. He assures me that it is for real, with two wings of the hospital being devoted to COVID, with 20 patients on ventilators, and seeing two people under 40 die within the past few weeks. I went to Sam's last weekend in Bristol, VA, and despite the newspapers listing numbers of cases and fatalities, still see people who are not wearing masks, or have their mask strategically covering their chins; this overlooks people who don't think that their nose counts as a respiratory apparatus.

I have had 10 patients in the past two weeks in my office that reported that they have had COVID in the previous 1-2 months. I had entered patients in the rheumatology patient registry, but have so many I just don't have the time to fully fill out the information. The one piece of good news is that the only patient of mine who has died was a 90+ year old patient who had multiple morbidities; the 25+ other patients (many of whom have been on some rather nasty medications) have not required hospitalization or had severe symptoms, and have mostly recovered.

The infection is real; it might not be quite as life threatening to many people, but it still can kill. The vaccinations will have a big effect, and has the potential of significantly reducing the pandemic. I received an application to be a vaccination distribution center in my office; will be completed by noon Monday.

As a child I remember going to my elementary school and standing in line with my family for the Sabin polio vaccination, given in a sugar cube. We need to all get vaccinated once the vaccines get approved and distributed if we want to return to a more normal life.
Thank you for reporting from the front lines. I have a bunch of cousins and friends who are RNs and MDs in Albuquerque, El Paso, Denver, and San Clemente, and they report the same or worse. El Paso in particular is no fun.

I too remember waiting in line for the sugar cube in 1962. When it's available I am looking forward to completing either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine series.
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