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Covid-19

Discussion in 'Biology' started by amusicsite, 5 Mar 2020.

  1. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    The French figures for yesterday are really quite worrying, 1,355 deaths in a day! Though these figures include the unreported deaths outside hospitals over the last couple of weeks so it artificially high. Though I would not be surprised if they hit that number at some point in the future. Spain and Italy have come close to the 1k number and that's presumably a number not including out of hospital deaths.

    https://www.ined.fr/en/everything_a...developed-countries/population-births-deaths/

    According to this site they had 614,138 deaths in the whole of 2018 which equates to an average of 1,682 per day (which is roughly the same in the UK). That means some countries are close to having Covid-19 kill as many people per day as would doe from all other cases. I presume some death rates have fallen during the self isolation. Things like car crashes, work place deaths and the like would be down as less people are working or driving around. In face I'm surprised no one has really highlighted the dangers of driving during this time. The last thing I'd imagine you would want to do at the moment is to have a car crash that would result in injuries that would normally need hospitalization. Especially riding a motorbike, one of the most likely forms of transportation that could lead to you needing a trip to hospital. Also I'd imagine some of the deaths are people that might have died anyway, either due to it just being you time to go or maybe the flu would have killed you if Covid-19 did not. However you look at it it's an astonishing number of people to die from one thing. For some context the number of people who died in the September 11th attacks in the USA clocked in at 2,996 deaths and 25,000 nonfatal injuries.Yesterday 5,975 people died from Covid-19 around the world.

    Yet unbelievably there are still people out there who are stating that the flu is worse! I guess they will come round in the end when the figures are absolutely so bad that it's impossible to make this sort of statement. There still seems to be a lot of people trying to put linear growth patterns to something that is blindingly obviously growing exponentially.
     
    Last edited: 3 Apr 2020
  2. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    5th March 1 death
    10th 2 deaths ---> Actual deaths 6 (6x in 5 days)
    15th 4 deaths ----> Actual deaths 35 (over 5.8x 5 days ago)
    20th 8 deaths ----> 177 deaths (5x 5 days ago)
    25th 16 deaths -----> 463 dead (2.6x increase) Incomplete data as the timing of releasing data changed
    (Revised estimates)
    30th 1,203 ----> 1,415 (3x increase)
    4th April 3,129 <---- 4,313 (3x increase)
    9th 8,137
    14th 21,157
    19st 55,010
    24th 143,028
    29th 371,872
     
  3. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Well, I may not be as quick to jump on the news as the mainstream media but there definitely seems to be a sustained drop off in the number of deaths in the two worst places within Europe, Italy and Spain. Am not yet willing to get excited about the same happening in France and the UK on the same sort of timeline as I'm not so sure we have locked down as much as they did. Again time will tell.

    So this will lead us into phase two for these countries. How do you reduce the restrictions without causing a second explosion? Obviously the big news and most high profile person to have the virus is the British PM. Who today has gone into hospital. In some ways it's a good thing, no not for any political opinions, instead it is good because it's got the media talking more about the illness. If you don't know the virus is officially called SARS-CoV-2 a Coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease. Which is like with the HIV virus that caused the AIDS disease.

    Up to now the main focus of the media has been the spread, number of cases and the number of deaths. Those shockingly easy headlines to write that more people have it than the day before. Which is not replaced with a mix of places where it's falling too. Not much talk about how the disease affects people and it's not nice. If you get it bad you can expect 10-15 days of fever and dry coughing, then you move into the hard to breath phase which often results in a stay at hospital often followed by being moved into ICU and a ventilator. Then, if you survive that and beat the virus you will be moved into a recovery ward to regain your strength and I presume monitor how well your lungs are recovering before being released to go home. Possibly about 8 weeks to complete the process, I believe some have taken up to a month to recover. Then after that you may have lung damage to recover from, if people do in fact fully recover.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vLPefHYWpY


    This long time in hospital and the length for time you may need on a ventilator is what is putting pressure on the hospitals. Not only the need for more machines but also the oxygen to run them. So there have been a load of people looking to see if they can knock up a quick and dirty version that can be mass produced. The problem is that they are complex machines and a bad one can damage the lungs in a number of ways. The above video goes through it in good detail but the main things are making the air moist, only pushing oxygen in when you breath in, helping not forcing it in and a few other considerations. Most of the quick and dirty solutions are not ideal but I do think there will be someone that comes up with a very good and much cheaper solution to this problem. Which in turn will help poorer countries that can't afford many of the current machines.
     
  4. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    As we are close to approaching 10 deaths per day and 100k total globally for the official figures it's time once again to look at the good and bad reporting. To start with the Chinese figures are very hard to believe, reports coming out of Wuhan has they relax the 11 week lock down there have people complaining about social media posts about deaths being taken down and maybe even a visit by the police to discourage them. Along with people still scared of going out as the feel there are still thousands of active cases in the city.. Even though the official figures state there are only 1,242 active cases for the whole of China. These seem hard to believe and I'd imagine they would be more on par with what will come out of the USA over the next few weeks, probably with an extra 0 on the end.

    As to the USA figures there have been hints that before the sudden spike in numbers there could have been a dramatic increase in the number of 'unknown flu like deaths' before they started taking it seriously. This would seem likely considering how quickly the numbers are rising there. In fact I think this may be true for a lot of European countries too. Even now it would be prudent to say that the number of reported deaths from Covid-19 in the USA is probably conservative.

    While in Europe the Italian and Spanish figures seem to have spiked due to their total lock down efforts. Though still pulling in 600-700 reported deaths per day. In France the numbers are very high. Their numbers are jumping around from 500 to 1.5k which is a massive range for something like this. One reason seems to be the large number of people who die outside of hospital that get added every now and again and maybe some inconsistency in reports getting collated. While by contrast it appears that the UK is claiming that most of the deaths happen in hospital and the official figures may be closer to the real number. While Germany's figures seem to still be very low, some say this is because of how their system is more federal, they did early testing and on scale and found the hot spots early so as to tackle the problems as they came up. Though as their numbers are creeping up they could just be a bit behind the curve. Belgium and Netherlands seem to be shooting up too.

    Then you have places with even less reliable reporting like Iran, Turkey, Brazil, Russia and most of the developing world. We probably won't have anything like an accurate picture from these places for months if not years in the future.

    So it's really hard to determine anything close to a real picture of where we are now or how bad this is globally or regionally. Which is a real problem. Europe is desperately trying to work out phase two on how to open up after the first wave with the media, who have be shown to be part of the problem imo, pushing to know how and when life will 'return to normal'. The problem is that the virus does not respect borders. It's going to be hard to make rules for whole countries. I've heard that southern Italy was not hit as hard as the north and in the UK London is a major hot spot. The best way to move forwards is probably to open up villages that have few cases while maintaining some of the measures and not letting people leave to enter them. Then move on to some towns and finally the cities. Slowly allowing travel between places as we get on top of this thing. The problem may be that could be a hard sell to the public.

    There does seem to be some treatments that are starting to show promise in the lab or animal tests but it takes a very long time to try these out and safely roll it out to the general population. We will be extremely lucky if any of them are close to being ready by the end of the summer. We do seem to starting to work out a bit more about how the virus works and have some new leads as to possible things to investigate but again some may be dead ends. There also seems to be a lot of companies who are desperate to make money off the back of this with a solution and may be acting less than ethnically in their research and published data. Though there are also a lot of people working on the problem so who knows.

    I think the main thing at the moment is take everything with a pinch of salt and prepare for the long hall, while staying optimistic that something may come soon that helps us cope with the problem.
     
  5. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    There is a real danger of trying to second guess how a new unknown virus like this will play out. We have seen governments slow to move so as they try and reach heard immunity while others are trying to keep their countries locked down till there are almost no unknown cases. When it come to a virus we know nothing about taking the cautious route is always the best action. It's what we have not been doing for decades. Bill Gates was not the only person who saw this coming, nor that expert on your local TV news that wrote a book on the dangers of mother nature. Just 6 months ago you could have said to any government in the world that we should be prepared for an outbreak that spreads fast, kills a lot of people and puts a massive strain on the health system. They would most likely have said yer, yer whatever.

    Some of them don't seem to have changed. At the moment there are a few reports of possible reinfection or even more scary that it may not go away but lay dormant and possibly come back, maybe with even more force. There is the possibility of long term lung damage for those that recover and the distinct possibility of some people starving to death if the food supply system fails. Yet there are still a lot of people who want heard immunity and to return to 'life as normal' again as soon as possible. These are dangerous paths to follow when we have no idea what this little bag of RNA is capable of. Would you really want to catch a mild version of this only to find that in 6 or 12 months time people with mild versions of it suddenly start dropping dead? Would heard immunity be the best measure if it's like the flu and you can catch it again and again, maybe a worse case each time?

    While most of the governments that are calling this a war on the virus are just doing it for dramatic headlines they may not be so far from the truth. Maybe we should be trying to wipe this thing off the face of the Earth. Maybe we should be aiming to be the country with the least number of infections. Maybe we should be prioritising putting money in the hands of the vast majority and letting a few corporations fail instead of bailing out massive companies or their shareholders. Maybe we should be having a war time effort and telling people to grow their own fruit and vegetables if they can. Maybe we should restrict people's interactions for months till this is under control. Maybe we should keep intercity movements restricted and flights grounded for the rest of the year.

    We really have no idea at the moment what is round the corner, if we will ever find a good vaccine, if we will ever find a good treatment. Caution is the best policy and truthfully explaining the risks and reasons to the public is the best policy. Not hoping heard immunity will save us or coming up with some mathematical model that 'proves' our opinions. We have already been caught off guard once, do we really want to have it happen again?
     
  6. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    5th March 1 death
    10th 2 deaths ---> Actual deaths 6 (6x in 5 days)
    15th 4 deaths ----> Actual deaths 35 (over 5.8x 5 days ago)
    20th 8 deaths ----> 177 deaths (5x 5 days ago)
    25th 16 deaths -----> 463 dead (2.6x increase) Incomplete data as the timing of releasing data changed
    (Revised estimates)
    30th 1,203 ----> 1,415 (3x increase)
    4th April 3,129 <---- 4,313 (3x increase)
    9th 8,137 <---- 7,978 (1.85x increase)
    14th 21,157
    19th 55,010
    24th 143,028
    29th 371,872
     
  7. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    https://phys.org/news/2020-04-coronavirus-sars-cov-.html

    It's quite amazing to see science in a fast moving crisis like this. You get to see some things you don't really appreciate. Like for example how long does it take to decode RNA? I'd imagine 10 years ago it would have taken a lot longer than a few months. We had a good idea of roughly what it was made up with but this is a high resolution model for people to work with. Not peer reviewed yet but I'm sure that places all over the world will be comparing this to their partial data and within a week or two probably have a very good idea of how the virus is made up to a high level of detail.

    It's only 130 years since we confirmed the existence of virus'. RNA sequencing is only about 15 years old. Now we can map a new virus to a high quality in a few months, not sure when they started this project or how long it took to complete but can't be longer ago than 20th January when they announced their first case. Probably a few weeks after that too before you start a study like this.

    Alongside this the folding@home project was able to ramp up using home users and big cloud platform providers to provide enough power that scientist are now not using it to it's full. It was so efficient that most of them got the results they wanted in a reasonable time. Possibly much quicker than they would normally have to wait for results.

    Experts in every field of biology are looking in detail at how the virus affects their piece of the puzzle. I've heard the argument that last century was era of chemistry and this century is the era of biology. In the last decade there has been some massive advancements in biology. Both in how we understand how it works and what we can do to manipulate it. We have never been in a better position to tackle something like this.

    How close we are to knowing enough to stop something like this we will find out in time. I can only think this accelerates the era of biology and we have a massive leap forward in the science over the next few years.
     
  8. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    This pandemic is really showing up how well each country is run. By this I mean the combination of the government providing the information needed and the media asking the right questions. Depending on where you live this can differer massively. Here in the UK it seems like the government is trying to be cagey with the facts. While the media are asking some terrible questions and not really pushing the government to do a better job. While New Zealand is getting it right and nipping the virus in the bud... So far.

    One of the questions starting to bee looked at is "How could this affect things after this?". It could be make or break for the EU depending on whether their response is deemed good or bad. If China is underplaying their number of deaths could it start a civil uprising? If states in the USA feel the central government did not have their backs could some consider breaking away from the union? Could countries that have dealt with well have a massive boost to their popularity afterwards? Who will come out of this first, who will bounce back quickest, who will have the most debt from their bailout policies and questions like that.

    Who will come out of this fighting fit and who will be thrown into years of turmoil and investigations as to why it all went so wrong.
     
  9. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    You are only as strong as your weakest link. A rule of life that most geeks will know by heart. Well this pandemic has really shown how weak some of our links are. Just In Time manufacturing, a weak link. Overseas manufacturing, a weak link. Not enough ventilators, not enough gloves, not enough masks, not enough gowns, all weak links. All these with the global pressures of being in competition with the rest of the world.

    Governments around the world are trying to work out how to inform the public that there are problems, often with the only aim being not to take the blame. No one seems to know when supply of the many things we need to fight this virus will be matched with the global demand. How long will it take to ramp up supply? How long will it take to fix them weak links? How much is demand going to grow?

    Can you even contemplate opening up the country and relaxing the lock downs until you have ample supplies of all the things you need. The only fight seems to be not going above the line where a weak link can cause a lot of problems. I think this would be a better answer to the endless questions that politicians are getting asked continuously. "When will the lock down end and what is your exit strategy?". Surely the answer to this is once the number of cases hits a tractable number, when we have enough testing capacity to monitor and capture any outbreaks and when we have more than enough PPE equipment, ventilators, oxygen and whatever else we have learnt we need. Something like that seems like the logical answer and the only question then is how quickly can we get to that point.

    Stop with the politics and past mistakes, start telling it as it is. Listen to the science, take a lot of different advice, start becoming a well informed person on the topics involved. Find a spokes person that can put across the science and logistics problems truthfully in an easy to digest way. Pump out more information in a slick informative way, rather than relying on a single statement from the leaders. Explain the same thing in different ways so it can be accessed by different people. Keep people well informed and be honest.... We don't know all the answers, here is where we are at now, this is where we would like to be and this is what we are doing to try and get there.

    It could also work in your favour, you could get the media reporting on the problems, investigating solutions and getting the public debating the real issues. Maybe you could dangle a carrot to companies that they might get their lock down restrictions lifted if they can help with any problems in the supply chain. Get the nation working with you, rather than trying to control the media output with your standard long-winded political answers that don't answer the questions.

    This could be like the world's biggest open source project. Governments could be promoting things like folding@home where the general public can use things they have to help out. They could point to discussions and projects trying to build cheap and easy to build ventilators. Maybe set up a forum to discuss ideas, so you don't need all them online petitions. Pull all the data into one place and let the whole community discuss the most important issues. It's the year 2020 and our governments seem stuck in the 90s media world of addressing the nation with long boring speeches via TV. Surely there are a few CGI and graphics experts kicking their heals at the moment. Can't we call on them to put out accurate information in a memorable way. Along with the problems and solutions around the issue.

    Definitely does not seem to be an information age response to the virus.
     
  10. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52278825

    "There were 16,387 deaths in the week ending 3 April... The total number of deaths were 6,000 more than the average for this time of year"

    Finally some numbers about how many more deaths there are than on average, a very good way to judge how bad things really are. There is a lag in these numbers as it takes time to record a death and in cases like this I'd imagine that you may have to wait for tests to come back as there could well be a backlog.

    So 6,000 more deaths than the average would make the average 10,000 rounded down to nearest thousand. As this is for a week that would mean about 1,430ish deaths per day on average for this time of year. With an extra 857 deaths per day average. This is from 28th March to 3rd April.

    The recorded deaths for that time are 260, 209, 180, 381, 563, 569, 684. Which is 2846 in total and a lot less than the 6,000 extra deaths recorded. It would imply that we are only recording about 1 in every 2 deaths from the virus. Unless there is some other factor radically pushing up the number of deaths. Which seems unlikely, I'd imagine there are less deaths from car crashes as there are less miles driven. Less work related accidents as less work being done.

    "During recent winters, there have been about 17,000 excess deaths from flu a year, Public Health England says"
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51979654

    With the official figures coming in at 11,329 deaths with the margin of error noted above then I'd say we have probably seen as many deaths from Covid-19 as the flu would do in a year... All within 3 months. I truly believe that a lot of governments took the conscious decision to try and hit this figure and that caused the timing of the lock downs. Here in the UK there were government people saying it will be no worse than the flu and we will lock down at the right time. To me it seems the timing was to try and hit roughly the same number as the flu so they could say, see no worse than the flu.

    Of course there is a problem with that sort of thinking. Firstly it means not acting earlier ans saving maybe 10,000 or more deaths up to now. Then you have the factor that we are only just over a quarter of the way through the year. It's going to be very hard to keep those numbers down. If you look at Spain it's been 11 days since they hit their peak and not one day's figures has dropped below half their peak to date. In Spain the total number of active cases is 86k and only just started to flatten off, yet they are talking about getting people back to work. This seems way too early to me. I can't help but think they are in for another massive wave if they do that now.

    As for the UK it's going to take a few days for the figures to settle out a bit as the bank holiday around Easter will mess with the figures. So probably look optimistic for a day or two followed by looking horrific when the extra deaths catch up with the numbers.
     
  11. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    I left this update for a day or two as we had the bank holiday and the numbers were probably lower because of that but I am still quite sceptical of the UK figures. For starters someone pointed out the other day that in the UK we have twice as many people considered in a critical condition compared to the number of deaths. While the global average is more like 10%-20%. Why is ours so different? Not like the UK media is going to ask an interesting science question like this. Also we know our numbers are only those who die in hospital but we don't know how many die outside. The number of weekly recorded deaths announced recently stated that there were about 6k more deaths in one week than the normal baseline. 16k rather than 10k. Yet there were almost 3,000 extra deaths that can't be accounted for by the official number of deaths from the virus. The USA seem to have similar figures too.

    The official figures do seem to show a slowdown in the rate of increase, which is only to be expected with most of the country in isolation. What I don't understand though is how the numbers started with a 5-6x increase in the early days during March. We know this virus is supposed to spread on average to about 3x over five days. Now maybe things like big sporting events, concerts, London Underground and the like helped spread it quicker. Though my gut feeling is we had our first death much earlier than the 5th March and it was either not diagnosed or was covered up. I would guess the rapid increase in the early days was to catch up with the real numbers. Or at least something more close to them.

    https://www.scitechgeeks.com/index.php?threads/covid-19.7428/#post-27153

    If you look at my original model of how I expected the numbers to grow, we are about a month behind where we should have been. Maybe a bit less due to the isolation. I think this indicates our first death here was probably about 3 weeks before the first announced one and quite possible the first 5-10 deaths were unreported or added to the figures later. As cause of death can take a few weeks to determine sometimes. After all it would have been February then an a few cases of pneumonia could well have just been put down as winter flu deaths.

    The good news is that we most likely won't get to the scary 100,000s of deaths that could have happened without isolation. The bad news is that figure of 12,107 for the 14th is probably quite low, maybe up to twice as many have actually died from this virus.

    5th March 1 death
    10th 2 deaths ---> Actual deaths 6 (6x in 5 days)
    15th 4 deaths ----> Actual deaths 35 (over 5.8x 5 days ago)
    20th 8 deaths ----> 177 deaths (5x 5 days ago)
    25th 16 deaths -----> 463 dead (2.6x increase) Incomplete data as the timing of releasing data changed
    (Revised estimates)
    30th 1,203 ----> 1,415 (3x increase)
    4th April 3,129 ----> 4,313 (3x increase)
    9th 8,137 ----> 7,978 (1.85x increase)
    14th 21,157 <---- 12,107 (1.5x increase)
    19st 55,010
    24th 143,028
    29th 371,872
     
    Last edited: 16 Apr 2020
  12. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    While the search goes on for a solution to this virus there seems to be more questions each week than answers. You almost have to take your hat off to this little bag of RNA. If you wanted to design a better virus it would be hard to do. We already know that it spreads very easily. We know it has a long incubation period and you can spread the virus before or without ever showing symptoms. We know it attacks the lungs. It also seem likely to attack the nervous system, which leads to the loss of smell and taste. This could mean it's like the measles where it could linger in the body and come back years later. It also looks like it could attack the blood and act like a blood infection. Seems to cause problems with the heart, liver, kidneys and possibly quite a few other organs. It's probable the resistance you build up to fight it might be short lived and you could get reinfected. It survives quite well outside the body for a long period. As well as possibility causing some long term problems after it has attacked you, maybe even if you don't have any symptoms.

    All this also means that finding a single cure or vaccine is made many magnitudes harder as you are fighting it on different fronts. We may eventually find that X solution works if you have this blood type while Y works in other cases. Or some similar variables that need to be taken into account before the right treatment is administered. Any sort of vaccine might have to look like the flu one, which is updated each year for the latest strain.

    It really point to the fact that the best chance we have of winning this war is really for nature to help us out with the virus mutating by it's self into something less deadly but still as contagious. Though that is still something that may not happen for years or even decades to come, unless we can speed up the process. We have done an amazing job to understand it as much as we do already and who knows what type of things we can do with the science and technology we have at our disposal these days... Or will it be another random act of nature that makes it all go away before we get on top of it.
     
  13. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Well today Covid-19 hits another milestone... The official number of reported deaths will surpass Yellow Fever with 100-150k deaths attributed to Yellow Fever. The next on the list is the 2009-2010 Swine Flu at 200k which I think we will surpass by the end of the month. I love this chart that updates daily with the current figures.

    https://www.visualcapitalist.com/history-of-pandemics-deadliest/

    I saw the other day that the number of reported cases took till 2nd April to get to 1 million reported cases and reached 2 million by 15th April. Now obviously this is distorted by the number of tests being done. There were at lot more tests done in the last 14 days than probably the whole of the time before that. Hard to get accurate numbers for test done over the history of this outbreak. Once again though it shows the power of exponential growth.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/science/coronavirus-math-mitigation-distancing.html
    13VIRUS-EXPONENTIAL1-superJumbo-v2.jpg
    The New York Times recently had this great graph that shows how much of a difference you get by stopping one case now compared to doing the same 7 days later. The graph shows the number of potentially less cases you get in both cases. This was what annoyed me when the UK government was going on about heard immunity and doing things at the right time. The right time in a case like this is as soon as possible. We are seeing the kickback to that early delay. Hospitals can't get enough PPE equipment, the lockdown is longer and harder, the economy will take a bigger hit.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-52103747

    This article by the BBC has a good visual chart of when different countries went into lockdown. Within about a week of each other the largest hit countries detected their first case. Italy, Spain, UK, France, Germany, Belgium all detected it in their countries around the same time. The time it took them to address the problem and enforce lockdown measures varies massively. Italy were by far the quickest but they seemed to have a faster outbreak than most others. The UK was by far the slowest.

    Of course this don't tell the whole picture. For example I was taking as much social distancing measures as possible from way before the UK actually did anything. We will probably not know how many other were doing the same here or anywhere else in the world. It does make me cringe when the UK media do the 'Well Italy/Spain/Germany is relaxing it's lockdown can we now?' thing. Especially if they don't add the context of when these countries started, how much testing capacity they have, how their hospitals are coping and the like. We obviously can't do anything to lift the restrictions if we can't even get enough PPE for our hospitals, let alone enough for all the police & other emergency services, for the shop keepers and transport drivers and other things...

    FFS our government can't even get behind the fact we should all use face masks while outside. Even though it's more of less proved that it's a good idea. Our government want some 100% proof from scientist that it works rather than take the cautious approach of advising people to do it, telling them the best way to do it right and things like that. Remember that graph above, one case stopped today makes a big difference than if you stop it in 7 days. You have to wonder if we recommended even home made face masks about a month ago if we would not be so stretched for PPE equipment in the hospitals now.
     
  14. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    5th March 1 death
    10th 2 deaths ---> Actual deaths 6 (6x in 5 days)
    15th 4 deaths ----> Actual deaths 35 (over 5.8x 5 days ago)
    20th 8 deaths ----> 177 deaths (5x 5 days ago)
    25th 16 deaths -----> 463 dead (2.6x increase) Incomplete data as the timing of releasing data changed
    (Revised estimates)
    30th 1,203 ----> 1,415 (3x increase)
    4th April 3,129 ----> 4,313 (3x increase)
    9th 8,137 ----> 7,978 (1.85x increase)
    14th 21,157 ----> 12,107 (1.5x increase)
    19th 55,010 <----- 16,060 (1.3x increase)
    24th 143,028
    29th 371,872
     
  15. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Well it's good that we did not have almost 150,000 dead by now. Which is quite possible if we had just done nothing about it and carried on. I've seen varying numbers for the R0 of Covid-19 ranging from 2 - 7. I think the thing people forget about this value is that it's not a fixed value. At best it's an average. If you have average interactions then it will spread this fast. Though what about those massive social events like 10's thousand of people at concerts, sporting events or other mass gatherings. Could one person spread it to dozens or even hundreds within a few hours? Up to the lockdown the number of deaths were increasing fivefold every five days. This increase has always been falling at bit all the time by a small amount. That's probably because we were being told to wash our hands and some people were starting to self isolate way before the government enforced it.

    It's well understood that stopping just one case early stops many more cases later on and those early measures are paying off big time now. If a few dozen people did not catch the virus because they washed their hands and otherwise would have caught it... If that happened when the government first advised the nation to wash their hands... Then it probably stopped 10,000s of people being infected now and maybe would be seeing deaths over twice what they are right now.

    There is obviously a huge lag in the number of deaths over the number of cases. The drop from 5x to 3x mid march is probably due to the hand washing stuff weeks earlier and people starting to take it seriously. The drop from 3x to under 1.5x is most likely the effects of lockdown and the banning of large events. Over the next few weeks we will see how well the lockdown measure have helped slow the spread. It also goes without saying that this is very much incomplete data. It's only recorded hospital deaths, we don't know the percentage of people who die outside of hospital. Has that percentage changed over time? A lot of extra data that could change any assumptions made from these numbers.

    5th March 1 death
    10th 2 deaths ---> Actual deaths 6 (6x in 5 days)
    15th 4 deaths ----> Actual deaths 35 (over 5.8x 5 days ago)
    20th 8 deaths ----> 177 deaths (5x 5 days ago)
    23rd UK goes into lockdown
    25th 16 deaths -----> 463 dead (2.6x increase) Incomplete data as the timing of releasing data changed
    (Revised estimates)
    30th 1,203 ----> 1,415 (3x increase)
    4th April 3,129 ----> 4,313 (3x increase)
    9th 8,137 ----> 7,978 (1.85x increase)
    14th 21,157 ----> 12,107 (1.5x increase)
    19th 55,010 -----> 16,060 (1.3x increase)
    24th 143,028 <------- 19,506 (1.2x increase)
    29th 371,872
     
  16. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    Well as we start getting more data from more sources we are starting to work out how bad this virus is. The current estimates are that it's somewhere between 25x - 40x worse than the flu, which causes 795 to 1,781 deaths per day on average. Now obviously flu does not kill the same number of people evenly throughout the year so comparing it to the current Covid-19 daily average of 1,766 would be unfair. Globally we will be somewhere in the middle of the range of 290,000 to 650,000, the global number of people thought to die from the flu every year, we will be there by the middle of the year, maybe even topping the high number by the 1st June. The probably depends if we have a more accurate picture of all who have died from it as the data still seems to underplay the numbers all over the world.

    Then we have the careful balancing act of working out how to keep this virus under control for the last six months of the year. At least the social isolation seems to have been working, otherwise we would have the global death tally in the million now rather than the 200,000 we have now. Hopefully people realise that literally 100,000s of lives have been saved by them giving up a few basic freedoms and having a bit of a holiday at home for a few weeks.

    In the global media world there still seems to be an ongoing debate about whether face masks are a good idea, which seem ridiculous to me. The scientific evidence that it helps is far more solid than any questions about why it might not. I can't really work out the agenda they are following that stops them encouraging everyone to wear face masks when outside. If you encouraged everyone who can make them to do it and distribute them locally we could probably get the whole country wearing masks within a few days. There seems to be some very bias science reporting and most media reports seem to fail to balance all the scientific advice into some sort of consensus. I guess it plays into their business models better to have the 'they said this' then 'the others say that' games.

    Then again when the 'leader of the free world' seems so poorly advised that he implies injecting disinfectant into someone might help cure them. It seems to shine a big light on how far away from science and reason the governments and media have become. Hopefully more of the world will have their eyes opened to this and start demanding more solid science from our governments and media. Or is that a hope too far?
     
    Last edited: 26 Apr 2020
  17. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    So recently the UK government released some more data on deaths outside hospitals and I believe more data on when the deaths actually happened rather than when they were reported. So I've updated my numbers with the new data. Actual deaths are now from the new figures and the increase over the previous 5 days updated too. If they are in red it's a larger increase and if green then it's less of an increase from the previous figures. The final number is the increase over my previous figures for that day.
    I still find those first ten days with over a 5x increase hard to swallow. I really think there is likely to have been a death before the 5th that was missed or maybe someone who would have been killed by Covid-19 but died from something else and was not even tested for the virus. If it really could have carried on with a 7x increase every 5 days then the numbers would have got bad very quick. The new data goes up till the 28th April though I'd assume that there could be more currently unregistered deaths that could come to light that could push up the last few weeks. As I assume that there are still some delays in registering a death in some cases.

    It also means the day we went into lockdown we hit the 500 death mark and the deaths per day had jumped up to 74 from a previous high of 56 a two days earlier. Or a third higher in two days. Which was a higher rate than my revised estimates were. So their estimates at the time may well have put us down for close to half a million deaths by now without the lockdown. So the lockdown may have kept the number of deaths down to 5% of the potential number of deaths.

    Obviously if we had done nothing and the hospitals have become overrun then there would be a different pattern. People would have got scared and self isolated and more people would have died because they did not get medical care. So we probably would never had gotten to that number anyway. Though I reckon from a quick bit of maths that delaying the lockdown by 5 days could well have doubled the number of deaths by now. Starting 5 days earlier would have saved maybe 5 thousand lives.

    I think this is the last time I'll visit these numbers against estimates as any future changes will be very dependant on how the situation changes but will keep an eye on the 5 day fluctuations as I think it a good way to track how on top of the virus we are. Also as we get more data we can see how the missing info affects the larger picture we used to have as we approach a closer approximation of what actually happened.

    5th March 1 death
    10th 2 deaths ---> Actual deaths 7 (7x in increase 5 days) +1
    15th 4 deaths ----> Actual deaths 43 (6x increase) + 8
    20th 8 deaths ----> 194 deaths (4.5x increase) +17
    23rd UK goes into lockdown
    25th 16 deaths -----> 694 dead (3.5x increase) +231
    (Revised estimates)
    30th 1,203 ----> 2,043 (2.9x increase) +628
    4th April 3,129 ----> 5,221 (2.5x increase) +908
    9th 8,137 ----> 9,608 (1.8x increase) +1,603
    14th 21,157 ----> 14,073 (1.5x increase) +1,966
    19th 55,010 -----> 18,492 (1.3x increase) +2,432
    24th 143,028 -------> 22,792 (1.2x increase) +3,286
    29th 371,872 <------- 26,097 (1.1x increase)
     
  18. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    So back to the science today. Starting with the origins of this virus. China has not exactly been open to outside help to trace the origins of this virus, though should not really need help as they should have the know how and technology to trace it's origin it's self. From an early stage some people have noted that there is a corona virus research lab in Wuhan. Now the conspiracy nuts were quick to jump onto this and say it was a man made or weaponised virus that originated from there. The less conspiracy speculation is that it may have escaped from there, maybe due to lax due diligence.

    There have been reports that the lack of good checks and balances could have allowed the virus to escape via some means or another. It could be a reason why the Chinese government tried so hard not to have the virus associated with Wuhan. Reports today say that it's not a man made or engineered virus, though I'm not so sure how we test for a tweaked RNA virus vs a naturally occurring one. Though if you were to design a dangerous virus this one ticks a lot of boxes. If it was natural and did come from the lab, both big IFs at the moment, then it seems like it was one of the more deadly naturally found ones.

    Considering the original hotspot was Wuhan and they have a corona virus research lab then you would expect when they first caught wind that there was a new corona virus was in the wild, the first thing they would have done is send the virus to that lab for analysis. If it was one on their database they would have known very quickly. A timeline of virus escapes from lab, discovered in the wild and sent to the lab for analysis, discover it's one of their own, government steps in to start covering up the slip up. Not too hard to believe. There are people who are petitioning for China to be punished for this cover up but considering other governments have not done a great job of dealing with this either I think they get a bit of a pass. Though from a science point of view it's always good to be able to trace back the origins of the virus and if there was any sort of lax security at a lab involved then that should be tackled to try and prevent it happening again.

    Of course the 'west' have not been much better. There has been a lot of talk about remdesivir being a good drug to treat this virus. Even though some of the data is sketchy and it's a very expensive drug. While the evidence that hydroxychloroquine does a similar job, if not better and only cost a few pence to make. I've seen reports that in Italy over 60,000 high risk people who were already on a hydroxychloroquine based drug were very resilient to catching the virus. Only something like 20 of them caught the virus and none died. Now there is something about anti-virals. They basically work by stopping the virus from spreading throughout the body. So the earliest you can administer the drug the better the results are. This makes it quite easy to load different studies to make them look like they have different results. Take a study of remdesivir and administer it very early in the test patience. Then compare it to a study of hydroxychloroquine where that is administered to patience that are on ventilators. Remdesivir will look much better.

    This is why the devil is in the data. There seems to be an increasing number of 'news' reports that are highlighting certain drugs, vaccines or test which are in their initial stages of development or testing. Like the report recently of a new UK developed test that is supposed to be 99% accurate for testing for both positive and negative results as to if you have had the virus. As far as I could tell it has only been tested on a few people by one study from the manufacturer. It seems it has been approved to use, i.e. been given a health and safety certificate that it's not likely to kill you or cause you harm. A lot of the news reports were worded to make it sound like this was a great new proven drug that is now approved by all European governments for use.

    In both these cases it seems like there is a financial slant to these stories. It seems that a few governments and companies are determined to make money off the back of the virus. If there is something off the shelf that works then that is not as good a solution as a new drug with a nice 25 year patent available. There seems to be a well driven global media campaign to downplay any cheap solution and play up any highly profitable solution. There also seems to be very little government or media questioning of this too. Rather than point out the variables that could distort some of these reports, it seems like the governments and media are quite happy to pump out press releases with little fact checking as long as it backs up their agenda.

    So which is worse, China covering up a virus that it may have let slip out of a lab or a coordinated campaign to hush up cheap solutions and try to maximise the profits you can make to fight the virus? Now it's possible that neither is true or both are true but as to whether we will be able to prove either is going to be hard to do.
     
  19. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    We finally seem to be getting to a place of better understanding of the science of how to treat Covid-19.

    https://www.evms.edu/media/evms_pub...cine/EVMS_Critical_Care_COVID-19_Protocol.pdf

    This is a nice fairly comprehensive study of how the infection changes over time within an infected person, the course of treatments for each stage along with preventive measures that could help your body be prepared for infection should you catch Covid-19.

    While alongside this there seems to be better evidence that this virus most likely was tweaked in a lab before it escaped. The evidence for this is that there certainly seems to be some insertions rather than mutations. It's quite easy to actually spot these, a lot easier than proving that it's a natural virus like some would try and convince you.

    CAA ACT AAT TCA CGT AGT GTT
    CAA ACT AAT TCA CGT AGT GTG

    The above is typically what happen in a mutation in the virus RNA. As far as I understand it the three letter pairs are encodings that are used to make amino acids in the replicated virus. These seem to come in a 1, 2 or 4 mutation varieties.

    1: Any changes in any of the letters will make a new amino acid.
    2: You can have two changes in any of the letters before you get a new amino acid.
    4: You can have four changes in any of the letters before you get a new amino acid.

    table.png

    CAA ACT AAT TCA CGT AGT GTT
    CAA ACT AAT TCA CCT CGG CGG GCA CGT AGT GTT

    This is an insertion rather than a mutation. The RNA code is the same before the insertion and after it with a string, I believe that comes in 4x3 chunks. This sort of mutation is not likely to come in nature via natural mutation.

    More info on this here: https://nerdhaspower.weebly.com/ratg13-is-fake.html

    Screenshot from 2020-05-09 16-01-06.png

    The above image is the family tree of coronavirus' which shows how they have mutated over time. Typically they will share roughly the same RNA as their closest neighbours. With SaRS CoV-2, the current virus, it seems like it's similar to it's neighbours but with an insertion that makes it transmissible to humans. This is not found on it's neighbouring virus' on the family tree.

    To add more weight to the smoking gun the insertion found is one of the most common insertions used to add the function of making a virus more transmissible. Which seems to be the most likely thing they were researching in the Wuhan virus lab. Alongside this the very vocal opposition to this concept seems to mainly come from sources that are working on this sort of research. So there could be a conflict of interest where their research could be affected if it's proved one of their experiments got out in the wild and caused this.

    This sort of research is mostly described as trying to understand how virus' work so we can build better drugs to combat them. There is an element of truth to this but it's also I'm sure a bit of a cover for weaponizing these sort of virus'. Although these days it's probably more a financial thing rather than weapon used to kill people. Imagine if this was released a few years later and one company had a nice patent on an expensive drug that could cure it. That drug could make you billions.

    This seems to be the case with the fight between hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir as a good anti-viral solution. There is a lot more research, papers and press for the more expensive remdesivir than the really cheap hydroxychloroquine. Though I think as it hits the poorer countries then it will be proved that hydroxychloroquine is a better solution if administered early in the treatment.

    Hopefully a good and cheap solution to reduce the death toll will come soon as the virus is starting to spread to large populous countries like Brazil, Mexico, India and others. We will need a good solution soon to stop these countries really exploding the number of deaths from this virus globally.
     
  20. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Location:
    UK
    So I started this thread at the begin of March and thought I would go back before this and look at some of the news before that. To keep up with news I mostly use a few RSS feeds from some of the top science and technology sites. These days I use an app which has an archive of the last 6 months of news feeds I've got from these sources. So I've searched through this to highlight some of the virus stories from before the virus hit up till when I started this thread.

    Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons - Aug 2019
    https://phys.org/news/2019-08-viruses-infect-humans.html

    Joint study by University of Freiburg and Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, island of Riems & Colorado State University, Fort Collins and Kansas State University, Manhattan - Sept 2019
    https://phys.org/news/2019-09-influenza-viruses-unexpected-genetic-plasticity.html

    Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel - October 2019
    https://phys.org/news/2019-10-aav-vector-crispr-induced-dna.html

    Royal Society Open Science study Jan 2020:
    https://phys.org/news/2020-01-outbreak-science-infectious-disease.html

    This was most likely the first time I read about this virus - 8th Jan 2020
    https://arstechnica.com/science/202...irus-may-be-behind-mystery-outbreak-in-china/

    By this time I was starting to think this might be something more serious - 20th Jan (two deaths reported)
    https://arstechnica.com/science/202...w-coronavirus-found-to-spread-human-to-human/

    This was what really made me pay attention. You don't lock down 35 million people for nothing. 24th Jan (26 deaths reported)
    https://arstechnica.com/science/202...eople-as-us-confirms-second-coronavirus-case/

    In just over a week it went from a couple of deaths to 100 - 28th Jan
    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/01/heres-the-latest-on-the-novel-coronavirus-outbreak-in-wuhan/

    You don't knock up makeshift hospitals unless it's bad, was starting to find other sources of information around this time - 7th Feb (638 deaths reported)
    https://arstechnica.com/science/202...searches-in-wuhan-as-coronavirus-rampages-on/

    The cruise ship was a real eye opener. It showed how quickly this thing could spread in confined spaces. 10th Feb
    https://arstechnica.com/science/202...coronavirus-cases-on-quarantined-cruise-ship/

    Throughout the rest of Feb conferences got pulled, people started taking it seriously and I started really trying to get my head around the science rather than the media story. By the end of Feb I thought we had quite a good understanding of the science, was obvious it was going to be big and very obvious that this was going to be a hard virus to stop. So decided to keep a log on this forum.