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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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50 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
    Ignored
    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
    Ignored
    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
      Ignored
      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
        Ignored
        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
        Ignored
        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

  6. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    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
    Ignored
    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
      Ignored
      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
        Ignored
        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
          Ignored
          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 Stillwater in reply to Oscar Gordon
        Ignored
        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
    Ignored
    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
      Ignored
      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
        Ignored
        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
      Ignored
      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
          Ignored
          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

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