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Oscar Gordon

A Navy Turbine Tech who learned to spin wrenches on old cars, Oscar has since been trained as an Engineer & Software Developer & now writes tools for other engineers. When not in his shop or at work, he can be found spending time with his family, gardening, hiking, kayaking, gaming, or whatever strikes his fancy & fits in the budget.

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68 Responses

  1. Avatar Gabriel Conroy
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    says:

    Well, let’s hope it doesn’t make it to the U.S., at any rate.Report

  2. Avatar Marchmaine
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    says:

    Hmmn…

    “I feel bad about how this went, but I don’t think anybody is at fault here,” says virologist Christian Drosten of the Charité University Hospital in Berlin, who did the lab work for the study and is one of its authors. “Apparently the woman could not be reached at first and people felt this had to be communicated quickly.”

    The Public Health Agency of Sweden reacted less charitably.
    “The sources that claimed that the coronavirus would infect during the incubation period lack scientific support for this analysis in their articles…”

    Drunken History of this period is gonna be lit.Report

  3. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    There is so much conflicting information that I am not going to put stock in anything.Report

  4. Avatar George Turner
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    says:

    The CDC now says that surfaces are not a significant mode of transmission.

    So when this started it wasn’t airborne, masks didn’t work anyway, and you got it from touching doorknobs.

    Now it’s airborne, masks are mandatory, and you don’t get it from touching doorknobs.Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to George Turner
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      says:

      And better than that….it’s the wet markets, no it’s the Virology lab, no it’s a western made bug.

      It started Dec, no Nov or maybe earlier.

      Meanwhile the economy tanks. Nice job “experts”.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
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      says:

      First the so-called “experts” told us that dinosaurs were sluggish cold blooded reptiles, now they tell us they were fast hot blooded and maybe related to birds. First they were killed off by mammals eating their eggs, now it is a giant meteor.

      Meanwhile Preacher Bob has never wavered in telling us that the earth is 6,000 years old and created in one week.

      Who is more believable?Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
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        says:

        I think the issue is that there are epistemological rules that the Experts and Preacher Bob follow. They are different rules, sure. In the case cited above the Experts violated their own epistemological rules. So they effectively made-up their results. Who’s more trustworthy? The guy who follows an epistemological framework that’s deficient or the guys who violate their epistemological framework?

        The Public Health Authority in Sweden isn’t angry at Preacher Bob, they are angry at the Experts… not for getting it wrong, but for violating the method.

        Whilst the Experts who violated the Method claim, “I don’t think anybody is at fault here”

        If there’s no fault, there’s no method; no method, no epistemological claims.

        Gavin Newsom should be mortified.Report

  5. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    sounds great until you realize that “asymptomatic”, here, means “checks all of the boxes for COVID-19 on a list that was written up in early February 2020”. It doesn’t mean “has any sign at all of anything wrong in any way”.

    Like, in Febrary 2020, if the woman in question had gone to the hospital and said “I have a cough, think I’m infected with a dangerous plague, please isolate me and all the people I’ve met for the past two weeks,” they’d have called her a conspiracy nut and sent her away with a bottle of sugar pills.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to DensityDuck
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      says:

      Given how widely varied the reported symptoms of Covid are, I wouldn’t put any trust in reports of asymptomatic transmission, unless they find a statistically significant number of people who test positive for a high viral load and who then 2 weeks later fall noticeably ill while in quarantine (AFAIK such a study hasn’t been done yet, if anyone knows of one, a link would be appreciated).

      I mean, if the symptoms can mimic a common cold, how many people are infected with Covid who think they are just stressed out, or suffering seasonal allergies, etc. IMHO, that’s the bigger problem. Asymptomatic transmission (IIRC) is not common, especially among viruses that actually trigger a serious immune response. But normal, symptomatic transmission when folks just don’t recognize that they are sick.

      Occam’s Razor, folks.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        “I wouldn’t put any trust in reports of asymptomatic transmission”

        I wouldn’t put much trust in post hoc reasoning either.

        “if the symptoms can mimic a common cold, how many people are infected with Covid who think they are just stressed out, or suffering seasonal allergies, etc. ”

        hah. And how many people weren’t but think that they were? It has been more than “just the flu” for a while but back when it was, there were tons of people saying “oh, I had a cold earlier this year / late last year that I think in retrospect was worse than I remember colds being, MAYBE I HAD THE RONA AND DIDN’T KNOW”. Once it stopped being “just the flu” and started being blood clots and having permanent measurable results, that kinda died off, because you don’t get blood clots and not know about it, you don’t have fifty-percent reduction in lung function in a couple days and not know about it.

        I mean, sure, maybe in retrospectReport

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to DensityDuck
          Ignored
          says:

          Sure, but are those the edge cases, or what covid normally does?

          Take Ebola, or Polio, for example. If you catch a mild, survivable case of either, you are still going to know you had it. There won’t be any question.

          But everything I hear about Covid is that a mild case presents as a cold, or the flu, or maybe even less. So the question is, are people asymptomatic, or symptomatic but it’s so mild it is simply assumed to be some variant of whatever crud is going around?

          That’s the problem with this, it’s all over the map, it is simultaneously a nothingburger and a very serious illness.

          But, there is still Occam to consider. What is more likely, that we have a new stealth infection, or that people just are ignoring symptoms?Report

      • Avatar JS in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        “I mean, if the symptoms can mimic a common cold, how many people are infected with Covid who think they are just stressed out, or suffering seasonal allergies, etc. IMHO, that’s the bigger problem.”

        That actually goes both ways. I’ve heard an increasing number of people say “I was really sick in January/February, I think I had coronavirus” and really believe it. Furthermore, a good chunk of them are acting as if they’re immune.

        They didn’t have it in January. They had a cold. Or allergies. You can tell, because they weren’t staying home, nobody was social distancing, and yet there was no outbreak of coronavirus in their area in January or February.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to JS
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          says:

          That we know of. No widespread testing yet.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to JS
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          says:

          “They didn’t have it in January. They had a cold. Or allergies. You can tell, because they weren’t staying home, nobody was social distancing, and yet there was no outbreak of coronavirus in their area in January or February.”

          I’m continually amazed by how much certainty and authority folks are speaking with while pushing back against certainty with an insistence on uncertainty.

          My son’s daycare got hit with a “mystery illness” in February. The kids DID stay home. It still hit 6 or 7 of them. Maybe it was Covid… maybe not. How can you be so certain it wasn’t? Because we didn’t get it?

          Well, their mom had a confirmed diagnosis. And despite the boys spending 6 contagion filled days with her and then 16 with me, I’m negative for antibodies. So what does that mean? Maybe it is simultaneously more widespread and harder to spread than we think.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
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            says:

            Relevant (maybe):

            Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              I read a doctor’s FAQ on Corona/Covid back in early March that said they think the reason kids don’t get it/aren’t impacted much by it is because the common cold is in the coronavirus family and because kids are basically swimming in cold germs all the time, they’re a little more resilient to them. I never heard much on that again so figured it probably turned out not to be true. Who knows.

              I managed to hold both boys down today to get their blood drawn. We should have results tomorrow or Monday the latest. I’ll report back.

              If they somehow don’t have antibodies, it’d seem to be some sort of medical miracle. Like, I’d consider letting experts take a closer look at them if it could help resolve this damn thing.

              I’m still not sure how I don’t have them. But, again, I swim in the same germy waters as kids.Report

          • Avatar JS in reply to Kazzy
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            says:

            “They didn’t have it in January. They had a cold. Or allergies. You can tell, because they weren’t staying home, nobody was social distancing, and yet there was no outbreak of coronavirus in their area in January or February.””

            Because we know, roughly, it’s R-value and how fast it spreads, and if it was already in daycares and workplaces in January, this whole mess would be shifted about 8 weeks earlier.

            For any real number of people to have had it in January or February, you’d need the virus to have suddenly stopped spreading for six weeks and then start up again.

            Do recall, we had a 2 to 3 day doubling time back before this all got serious. You can’t have a virus that doubles the case-load every two or three day infecting, for instance, a classroom of kids in February without leading to a massive outbreak in that area by early March. Like NYC massive.

            Nobody was social distancing, practicing vigorous handwashing, or wearing masks in January and February. And people weren’t staying home because “I have a bit of a cold” either.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to JS
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              says:

              You realize R-values aren’t constants, right?

              We have backtested old flu tests and found cases back in January and February. Do you dispute that?Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    I don’t know what this means, exactly. I have a tickle in my throat. I coughed twice yesterday.

    Is this a symptom? I mean, I also went for my jog yesterday. I more or less completed my jog… but sometimes I run past the empty lot halfway down the block before starting my cooldown and sometimes I don’t. Yesterday, I didn’t.

    Is *THAT* a symptom? Is the fact that I went for a jog an example of me powering through my symptoms?Report

  7. Avatar Philip H
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    says:

    folks, what you are seeing play out here in real time is science. Usually we get to keep the warts behinds heavy tapestries until we publish, but this is how it works. Just because our knowledge is evolving doesn’t mean what we observed back when was wrong nor were people wrong to point it out. Give us some time, and more funding, and we will get to a consensus answer that could be used for solid repetitive guidance if politicians were so inclined.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Philip H
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      says:

      Here’s the issue (& this links to what Marchmaine says upthread), you got researchers sounding a very serious alarm based upon what is in effect hearsay.

      Now, if they had sounded an alarm and qualified it with, “By the way, we never actually spoke to patient 0, we only ever spoke to some people who merely interacted with her”, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        Here’s the issue (& this links to what Marchmaine says upthread), you got researchers sounding a very serious alarm based upon what is in effect hearsay.

        You are not wrong. And yet . . . scientists get beaten up both in the press and in policy arenas for oversharing. Scientists get beat up in the press and in policy arenas for not sharing until they feel really sure. there’s not a “Win” there for most of them, and based on how it goes most are moving to the oversharing approach.

        I think the issue is that 1) science journalists are not scientists by and large, and so aren’t always tuned into how scientists speak about or allude to uncertainty and 2) Scientists assume everyone is as facile with probability and statistics and uncertainty as said scientists are. Run those two things together and you get a continual storm of not good reporting on still in progress science. There’s also a healthy does of ego involved for each group.

        Bottom line is we have learned a lot about this in the last 6 months, and we will learn more as time marches on. But we need to be realistic about the participants and how far they can take any action.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Philip H
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          says:

          But is this about crappy media reporting? I totally agree with you that scientists get it from both ends when it comes to science reporting in popular media. But my read on this was that the original researchers, when talking to other researchers and public health officials, left off the detail that their information regarding the health of P0 was second hand observations from untrained observers.

          And that, my friend, is kind of a big faux pas.Report

          • Avatar Philip H in reply to Oscar Gordon
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            says:

            It is a big faux pas, but in “normal” times it wouldn’t be noticed because 1) it wasn’t published in any journal yet and 2) it wouldn’t (literally) have made the papers.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        Here’s the issue (& this links to what Marchmaine says upthread), you got researchers sounding a very serious alarm based upon what is in effect hearsay.

        Are you taking a dig at academics or policy? Honestly, I don’t understand why you think this is a big enough deal to warrant a free-standing post.

        Is the complaint that the “very serious alarm” determined over-reactive policy prescriptions? What in particular?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      “We may have been wrong, but we were right to be wrong and others may have been right but they were wrong to be right” is one of those arguments that is so self-persuasive that it not only gets embraced by people who are right to do so, but by people who are wrong to embrace it.

      As such, I recommend putting a *LOT* of filler (maybe pie charts?) before getting to the “therefore, we need more funding” part.Report

  8. Avatar J_A
    Ignored
    says:

    In the second week of March I developed a light fever. It lasted about ten days. I had no other symptoms. Just a light fever (in the 99s compared to my normal low 97s). That was after about a week of self quarantine

    I applied for a test then. It was denied because I hadn’t been to China, wasn’t over 65, had no co morbidities, and my fever was below 104 (that was the bar a fever on its own had to clear in those days).

    The fever cleared out. Whether I had or hadn’t a light case of COVID is up for grabs, but, as @DensityDuck points out, if I had it, at would have been classified as asymptomatic.

    And if I had it, either I caught it from having had lunch, a week earlier, with a friend who did catch COVID, or, since he fell sick later than when my fever developed, he might have caught it from me. But, in any case, neither had any symptoms that dayReport

  9. Avatar veronica d
    Ignored
    says:

    The thing about policy is you very often have to make decisions based on incomplete evidence. Does Covid-19 spread asymptomatically? Honestly, I don’t know. From the article:

    The fact that the paper got it wrong doesn’t mean transmission from asymptomatic people doesn’t occur. Fauci, for one, still believes it does. “This evening I telephoned one of my colleagues in China who is a highly respected infectious diseases scientist and health official,” he says. “He said that he is convinced that there is asymptomatic infection and that some asymptomatic people are transmitting infection.” But even if they do, asymptomatic transmission likely plays a minor role in the epidemic overall, WHO says. People who cough or sneeze are more likely to spread the virus, the agency wrote in a situation report on Saturday. “More data may come out soon. We will just have to wait,” Lipsitch says.

    This seems quite plausible. In fact, if it can spread asymptomatically, it almost certainly will spread less compared to when a symptomatic patient is actively coughing. That’s simply a matter of mechanics: more virus in the lungs combine with strong coughs that expel viral material into the air, compared with a lower viral level and normal breathing.

    One of the case studies I read about was a choir practice. The participants maintained social distancing, but they were in the room together with limited airflow for over and hour. And they were singing. A single infected person spread the virus to nearly everyone in the room. Why? Easy: singing expels a lot of air from the lungs, the room was enclosed without much ventilation, and they were together a long time.

    I think the issue with asymptomatic spread (if it happens) isn’t that an asymptomatic person will spread it to everyone in line at the grocery store. They probably won’t. The concern would be coworkers and roommates. Time plus limited airflow.Report

  10. fillyjonk fillyjonk
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    says:

    what about the choir super-spreader event that veronica d brought up? Did that person know they were sick, and show up to sing anyway? (Pretty irresponsible if you ask me, and maybe one of the BIG societal changes we will see will surround people just staying the fish home if they have a fever or cough instead of “powering through” thinking it’s “just a cold.” I know I’ve gone to work with “just a cold,” I don’t think that will happen any more)

    I dunno. Right now in my life I can choose not to go out, and I’m choosing that. Because there’s Type I error – assuming it’s not safe to be in public when it actually is, and Type II error – assuming it’s safe when it isn’t.

    If I commit a Type I error, I’m stuck and home and sad, and maybe my mental health declines a little (but maybe that could be fixed later on). If I commit a Type II error, I could be dead in pretty short order.

    Like I said: I have the luxury of staying home this summer (don’t teach, not being paid, so I don’t really “have” to do anything other than the rare grocery run). Come fall….well, come fall that will be when things maybe get interesting in a bad way (my campus is hell bent, at least as of now, on opening in-person, yes with labs, yes with dorms and cafeterias, yes with our buildings with crappy weird ventilation systems and stagnant air pockets)

    (Then again, if these really are my last few months – if my campus gambled wrong, there’s a big outbreak, and I get infected and die – I’m not sure I’ll be happy having spent them stuck at home. But given the anxiety I feel at the grocery store I do not think I could enjoy an antiquing trip right now)Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to fillyjonk
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      says:

      I’m not saying don’t take it seriously (hell, I bought a pulse oximeter for at home). I’m saying take everything with a big grain of salt. This is just the scientist in me saying that we’ve known about this bug for less than 6 months, and while we’ve learned a lot, what we don’t know still vastly outweighs what we do.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to fillyjonk
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      says:

      How many students died of Covid in the last two months? How many students died of any other causes during the last two months? How many people in town died of Covid and how many people died of other causes? How about your state in general?

      How many students were infected with Covid during the last two months? How many people in the town? The state?Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Aaron David
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        says:

        “You all said there would be a problem, so you did a thing to solve the problem, and then the problem didn’t happen, therefore there was never really a problem” is a depressingly common line of reasoning lately.

        Along with “you said there would be a problem, and you said if we did a thing it would solve the problem, and we did the thing, and the problem sorta happened anyway, therefore the thing was useless”.Report

  11. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    And some potentially very bad news:

    Dire Situation In Alabama Capital: ICUs Full, Coronavirus Cases Double In May

    Over 470 people have tested positive in Montgomery over the past two weeks, the Alabama Political Reporter notes, while the city only had a cumulative total of 355 cases going into May.

    With cases quickly rising, the city was placed on an unreleased White House hotspot watch list on May 7, according to NBC News, which obtained a copy of the report.

    But despite the rapid spread, businesses in the city were allowed to reopen starting May 11, after Governor Kay Ivey officially moved Alabama into Phase 1 of its reopening.

    Hoocoodanode?Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels
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      says:

      There’s a confluence of factors here. Montgomery is Black or African American: 60.64% White: 33.27% Asian: 2.83%, and we have seen in southern states that Black Americans are getting COVID at rates well above their proportion in the population. There’s also a history in Alabama and other southern states of poor general healthcare access and outcomes. Finally, Alabama lacks a robust test and trace program. meaning hotspots are hard to detect and harder to tamp down. Add in the fact that white southern fundamentalist Christians really aren’t afraid of the virus and don’t see dying from it as a problem, and you have a perfect witches brew of things that will make this intensely worse.Report

      • Avatar JS in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        IIRC, there’s also the problem that it’s now spreading heavily in rural Alabama, who outsource their ICU cases to the major cities.

        Rural America has, to my anecdotal knowledge (I have plenty of family in rural Texas), not taken this terribly seriously. Those that don’t think it’s a hoax don’t think it can really spread with everyone “living so far apart” and “isolated”. They tend to, at least subconsciously, view it as a big city disease that spreads in subways and office buildings and crowded clubs (which it does) but not in, say, the one grocery store or pharmacy in 30 miles.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to JS
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          says:

          you are sadly correct on both counts. Rural southern whites also seem to think its a black and brown people’s problem because of culture and life style – as if those choices are somehow not created by the economic policies that support white people (i.e. chicken plant hot spots). I have reached the conclusion that a LOT of white people hacve to die before the US takes this seriously.Report

  12. Avatar gabriel conroy
    Ignored
    says:

    Oscar,

    I thought you posted this ironically, hence my initial comment above. But am I wrong about your intention?

    I thought I saw irony because the report was published in early February of this year and because there appears to be a lot of evidence of asymptomatic transition. Yet your comments here suggest I’m wrong.

    To be clear, when I say there appears to be “a lot” of evidence, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe all the infections and deaths in New York and Italy are the result of something other than asymptomatic transition. I don’t mean that snarkily, either. I realize there’s a lot we don’t know, and I guess you’re making that point here. I just thought your point was different.

    ETA: and if we aren’t being ironic, I don’t believe that a news report from Feb. 3, showing a study done a few weeks before was faulty, is necessarily the sum total of the evidence to say that the evidence is “shaky.”Report

  13. Avatar gabriel conroy
    Ignored
    says:

    I haven’t studied the history of our (read: the world’s) reaction to covid-19, but I doubt that one anecdotal letter to the editor* back in January 31 really is the basis for the claim that there is asymptomatic transmission. Surely there have been other “papers” (or, well, rapid rates of transmission of the virus, and high mortality levels in Italy, New York, etc.) that might provide further evidence, however imperfect, that transmission occurs asymptomatically (or pre-symptomatcially, or “symptaitcally” wherein the “symptoms” are something so minor that they could be anything).

    *The “paper” appears to be only a “letter” to NEJM, at least when I followed the link in the linked-to article. But maybe I’m missing something?Report

  14. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    Since I was getting some push back, I did a bit of reading this weekend*. Something I have learned:

    -Almost every respiratory viral infection is asymptomatically contagious. I thought the reverse was true. So instead of it being unusual, it’s actually commonplace. Explains why no one blinked when the initial report mentioned in the OP made the claim.

    So why would I think that C-19 is unlikely to be asymptomatically infectious? Because SARS is closely related to C-19 and 7.5% of SARS cases were thought to come from asymptomatic persons. I’m not sure how much of a departure it is for two similar viruses to have such wide differences.

    Overall, media and political messaging regarding C-19 is a raging dumpster fire. Either it’s coming from the Dumpster Fire In Chief, or it’s coming from people who have decided that only way to combat the DFIC is with an equally vigorous back burn. I found this page from UC-Davis to be a rather bright spot of messaging regarding C-19. Nothing hyperbolic, no obvious agenda to push, just nice, simple information. Couple that with the aggressive push back against anyone questioning the science coming out of the CDC, et.al., even if it’s a valid criticism of the science**, and paying attention to media becomes an exercise in patience I am in short supply of.

    All of that said, I find this essay says a lot of what I feel regarding all of this.

    *Not a ton, mind you, my remodel contractor is busy trying to stay afloat and just laid off the entire crew working on my house, which means I am scrambling to find sub contractors to finish up the few remaining things I can’t do on my own, plus spending the long weekend doing what I can (i.e. tiling the new bathroom floor).

    **Ferguson and the trainwreck of the Imperial College models; https://www.livescience.com/cdc-combined-covid-19-diagnostic-and-antibody-tests.htmlReport

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      Almost every respiratory viral infection is asymptomatically contagious. I thought the reverse was true. So instead of it being unusual, it’s actually commonplace.

      I didn’t know that either.

      One thing that bugs me about this whole debate is that most of us (all of us?) don’t really have much domain knowledge. Instead, we read a few articles, tinker around on wikipedia, and then aggessively debate a very complex topic.

      I guess this is okay, but we should always have humility. The experts seemed pretty convinced that Covid-19 spread asymptomatically. That convinced me, although I am certainly curious about how they know that.

      I frequently encounter “conspiratorial types” who will discover some weird piece of evidence and start screaming about how the experts are ignoring obvious truths, but that’s not how it really works. The experts know about the weird bit of evidence, but they aren’t skilled in “gotcha” style debates. They weighed that evidence in a more sophisticated context than we amateurs can.

      I see “STEM lord” types running very simplistic statistical models and making big claims. Contrast this with the people who have both read and published extensively in the field of contagious disease. I trust the latter more than the former, although the former might be really good at selling their “one weird trick.”

      Note the former is skilled at selling half baked “big dreams” ideas to silicon valley investors. The latter do science.

      Who generates more buzz on Twitter?

      We can’t stay locked down forever, but opening up is going to kill people.

      Which people? Why them?

      I see very little science guiding public policy. Nor do I see policy makers grappling with the disproportionate effects this has on the poor and minorities. Nor do I see much effort to give the disadvantaged the same tools to deal with this as the advantaged.

      If we want to have a civil society, perhaps we should start acting like one.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d
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        says:

        Staying locked down forever is going to kill people.

        Which people? Why them?Report

        • Avatar veronica d in reply to Oscar Gordon
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          says:

          Yeah, we can’t stay locked down forever.

          I guess the CDC had some kind of plan for a phased opening. There are other plans. I want to see public officials working on a plan that, among other things, accounts for the disproportionate affects this has on the poor.

          How can we do that exactly?

          That’s a really good question. How can we?

          My biggest concern is that, as we open, people in high risk groups will feel pressured to work because they have no other support, whereas my employer will let me work from home for the rest of the year.

          I’m glad my employer is doing that, but my life isn’t worth more than a poor person’s with diabetes. (I mean, my life is worth more to me, but I am capable of considering the needs of others.)

          I don’t think the “free market” has the right tools to handle this. I think we need to (slowly and carefully) open, but I also think we to look at social, healthcare, and financial support for the needy, who are hit harder by this.

          We don’t seem to be doing this. We have the hard right wing screaming “open everything now, dying is manly, public health is wimpy!”

          Which seems absurd, but this is really a thing I’ve seen — although, to be fair, it’s mostly from the raging troglodyte set.

          Note, I’ve never advocated the “stay closed until cure or vaccine” position. That always struck me as unrealistic. From the beginning I’ve advocated a measured, responsive, feedback driven system of phased opening and closing. It’s hard though.

          I know this: the government has completely mismanaged this. They’ve failed to get sufficient testing in place, when they certainly could have. They’ve failed to address the inequality revealed by the virus. They’ve had time. They’ve wasted it.

          We failed, but the past is the past. We can do better going forward.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to veronica d
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            says:

            “We can do better going forward.”

            No we can’t. Not until there is a sea change at the national and state leadership level.

            “We” could have locked down and instituted a massive program of testing and tracing.
            But the President and his party refused to do so.

            “We” could have organized a careful science-based distribution of information about best practices.
            But the President and his party refused to do so.

            “We” could have organized a nationwide distribution of PPE and medical equipment.
            But the President and his party refused to do so.

            At every step of the way the President and his party, aided by their propaganda media arms, spread chaos and confusion and misinformation.

            They have no intention of stopping now, or ever until their hands are forcibly removed from the levers of power.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              We also need to seriously curb the powers of the FDA. They’ve proven they don’t use them wisely, even though it’s a pandemic.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              I’m sure we could have done all those imaginary things.

              We couldn’t do testing and tracing because the vaunted CDC wouldn’t allow anybody to produce test kits, and the CDC test kits were contaminated because the CDC wouldn’t even follow its own procedures. If the problem was racial diversity or gun violence, the CDC would’ve been all over it, but this is a pandemic, so not so much.

              Trump pushed testing, while a certain state told people to keep riding the subways, and even took subway cars out of service to keep people packed more densely. Trump said we should protect the elderly while New York and Michigan forced active Covid patients into nursing homes because “science” told them it was the right approach.

              The “careful science-based distribution of information” was telling people not to wear face masks because face masks don’t work, and instead telling people to wash their hands a lot because the virus is transmitted from surfaces to the mouth. That was the scientific consensus at the time.

              And what PPE and medical equipment would we have been distributing? Where was it all, a rental-storage unit in Alberta?

              Joe Biden and the Democrats plan was apparently to maintain flights from Wuhan, since they roundly denounced Trump’s ban on travel from China as “xenophobia” and border nonsense. When Trump cut travel to Mexico, they denounced that, too. They want the pandemic to be a disaster so they can blame Trump for it.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                No amount of revisionist history can exonerate Trump’s catastrophic failures.

                Even to this very day, he is utterly incapable of leading an effort to control or mitigate the pandemic.

                Tens of thousands of Americans are dead as a direct result of his incompetence.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Can you point to one of those failures that Democrats wouldn’t have made infinitely worse, based on their strongly-voiced opinions at the time?

                And if Trump is responsible, how come the majority of our cases, even out West, trace back to New York? Trump doesn’t even live in New York, much less run the place.

                Now take a look at Australia and New Zealand, who immediately followed Trump’s lead and caught hell for it. They have almost no remaining cases at all. But then they don’t have Cuomo, DeBlasio, Whitmer, and so many other governors who turned a problem into a catastrophe.

                A lot of Trump-supporting states have double-digit death tolls, whereas New York is closing in on 30,000. Can you explain that with just “Orange man bad!”?

                When you point to all the amazing things our government should have been doing way back when, are your assumptions based on the DC or the Marvel universe?Report

            • Avatar veronica d in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              No we can’t. Not until there is a sea change at the national and state leadership level.

              That’s pretty much my point.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Oscar Gordon
          Ignored
          says:

          People with short ring fingers, that’s who!

          Daily Mail article

          Men with longer ring fingers face a lower risk of dying from Covid-19 and are more likely to suffer mild symptoms, study claims

          That study potentially will provide hours of entertainment. 🙂Report

    • Avatar gabriel conroy in reply to Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      I just now saw this response. Thanks for writing it.

      I still wish, though, that it had been acknowledged that the “potentially very good news” is about 3 months old. Also, the “paper” that is debunked does not seem to be a “paper,” but a letter to the editor of the NEJM (again, unless there is a “paper” and I failed to find it through the links, an entirely likely possibility.)

      ETA: I should add I appreciate your link to the Boston Review piece.Report

  15. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    When people talk about “reopening” they sort of speak about it as if the pandemic is behind us, receding into history.
    But it isn’t.
    Its still very much here, and not declining.

    This article in WaPo:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/25/meat-industry-is-trying-get-back-normal-workers-are-still-getting-sick-shortages-may-get-worse/
    Talks about how even as meatpacking plants struggle to reopen, repeated outbreaks among its workers hamper those efforts and cause production to halt.

    This is some governor imposing a lockdown, its the simple fact that when a large number of workers call in sick, you cant function.

    Which is prompted by the simple fact that anywhere people gather in close quarters, outbreaks are going to occur because we don’t yet have herd immunity or any sort of grasp on how to control the outbreaks other than masks and distancing.

    And those 11,000 workers who were unable to work weren’t 80 year old geezers in a nursing home; They were young and healthy people. But even for the young, the virus makes it impossible to work or function.

    And “people gathering in close quarters” doesn’t just happen in some Dickensian slum or sweatshop; Restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms, churches- all of these areas are the perfect breeding ground for an outbreak.

    Its true that people won’t stand for being in lockdown forever.
    But its equally true that the virus just doesn’t care.

    We had a window in which we could have done what other more successful nations have done to mitigate and control the spread.

    But we didn’t. And we’re still not.

    And now the window is closing, and millions of host bodies ripe for infection are gathering together and ringing the dinner bell for the virus to feed.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      The meatpacking problem is self-solving. The workers can only stay sick for about two weeks, and then the plant hits herd immunity because the percentage of workers who got infected is extremely large. There aren’t going to be many left to infect, and the packing plants will be one of the few places where the virus won’t be able to continue to spread.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        Yes, this is exactly what I am accusing them of doing.

        But I guess an open confession is nice for the record.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        Five of the 35 counties with highest per-capita case counts are in Nebraska, each of those hot spots centered on a big meat processing plant. But it’s not going to end with the workers there. Most of those workers have families. The spouses and kids have contacts. There’s generally one hospital, old and with financial problems, that’s going to be a source of contacts because that’s where everyone who’s more than “ordinary” sick goes. There’s a higher incidence of old folks, and old folks homes, than in many places. It’s going to roll on even after the packing plant staff have reached herd immunity.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Cain
          Ignored
          says:

          And, you know, when you say “per capita,” there’s many per capitas. It’s, like, per capita relative to what? But you can look at just about any category, and we’re really at the top, meaning positive on a per capita basis, too.Report

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