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Gordo

Just curious, anyone have a plan, or preps for global pandemic?

Covid-19 Vaccine Survey  

16 members have voted

  1. 1. Your Vaccine Status is:

    • Fully vaccinated
      13
    • Partially vaccinated
      0
    • Not Vaccinated
      3
  2. 2. If not (fully) vaccinated, your reason(s) for your decision (check all that apply):

    • Not Applicable - I'm vaccinated
      13
    • The rapid vaccine development process makes me distrust them
      1
    • I'm worried about vaccine side effects
      1
    • I don't think I'm at much risk of getting a covid infection
      2
    • I don't believe a covid infection is a serious risk for someone like me
      2
    • I'm waiting until the vaccines receive final approval
      0
    • Fear of needles
      0
    • A medical condition prevents me from getting vaccines
      0
    • Bad reaction to the first dose of the covid vaccine
      0
    • I already had COVID-19 and don't think I need the vaccine for protection
      1
    • Vaccine not available where I live
      0
  3. 3. Are you OK with having your CR forum name included on a list of members who have/haven't chosen to be vaccinated?

    • Yes
      14
    • No
      2


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18 minutes ago, TomBAvoider said:

Once you spook people, it takes some time to recover.

Definitely. Whether it is seeing the statistics or the portrayal of the situation in the media, there is an inertia to human behavior and a herd mentality. 

I'm curious about your (and others') personal risk tolerance. You seem like a pretty risk averse person most of the time. What is your personal gating criteria for returning to dine-in restaurants once they reopen in your part of California? 

--Dean 

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On 3/25/2020 at 7:28 PM, TomBAvoider said:
On 3/25/2020 at 6:47 PM, Dean Pomerleau said:

Did I hear someone say Bitcoin? 🙂

Oh, no! I am NOT going to discuss bitcoin... 

Too bad. Bitcoin is up just under 100% since mid-March when you posted that... 🙂

--Dean 

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Speaking of economic impact, here is an interesting graph showing the change in visits to various types of businesses across the US since January:

Screenshot_20200507-155301_Chrome.jpg

Supermarkets, general merchandise stores (e.g. Walmart and Costco) and counter service restaurants (i.e. fast food joints) are almost back to normal. Coffee shops and hospitals are seeing about 60% of pre-covid visits. Everything else is more than 50% below normal.

--Dean

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Well, Dean, I was never very big on restaurants since at least 20 years or roughly my CR journey. That said, I used to frequent them while traveling, because I enjoy exotic food, tasty food and it's hard to stick to a diet while on vacation. But now traveling hardly exists. 

I don't see myself going to a restaurant anytime soon. What I will absolutely miss is cafes - I do enjoy a cup of coffee while people watching here in my fashion-conscious neighborhood of Melrose with all the fashion stores. But if the crowds don't turn out, there's less reason for me to hang at a cafe - I do support a coffee place around the corner that has extremely high standards for sourcing beans, roasting and making coffee, the high art of artisanal coffee. I have tried over the past weeks to regularly dash in and leave large tips $80-$100, often not sticking around to order anything (they do takeout only these days) but I realize it's a drop in the bucket and I fear for their future.

I intend to keep a low exposure profile - getting sick is not a hassle I'm anxious to explore. But I haven't had the flu or a cold in years (can't even remember the last time), so maybe the same would apply for CV-19? I mean, I might have "had" the flu but was symptomless, so I don't know (never got vaccinated). In deference to CV-19 I've upped my zinc and vitamin D intake, and threw in selenium and ECGC extract, but I hope for this to be a temporary measure (a few months) and then go back to my regular lower level of supplementation.

I am far more worried about the economy than I am about health outcomes, although of course I don't wish ill on anyone, so let the best model of how to handle this win. I'm watching Sweden for clues about how the "herd immunity" approach plays out *longer term*. I'm not optimistic about a vaccine or cure anytime soon, but YMMV.

As to bitcoin, it's like discussing religion - so I stay away from it. Folks who are otherwise reasonably acquainted with basic economic theory, suddenly lose their minds, and it all gets very heated with very little light. Plus I personally oppose bitcoin on enviromental grounds - it is a criminal waste of energy in a world of global warming, and the size of that waste is very significant (at least 1% of world energy use in 2018).

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4 hours ago, TomBAvoider said:

... In other words, we have to be careful about the messages that are being spread, because despite all we are social creatures who respond to social cues and authority messaging, divided as we are politically. Certainly while a lot of the commentariat may regard Trump as totally lacking in credibility wrt. to the CV-19 virus (or anything else for that matter), there is a big part of the population that listens to him and those who amplify his talking points (such as Fox News). 

Bottom line: be careful what you say, because people are listening and may act on it.

Yep, I agree with this.  But it's a bit like lamenting ignoring the warnings from family planning class, while coming out of the maternity ward.  And unfortunately, the consequences from the politics-based hysteria are likely to be just as impactful and lasting.

Virus Experts' Early Statements Belie 'Prescient' Portrayal

As predictions of the coronavirus’ impact have grown more dire and the White House has belatedly acknowledged the pathogen’s repercussions on the nation, the media have increasingly sought to portray the administration as out of touch with early warnings from medical experts about the coming storm. A closer look at the public statements of those very same experts during the early weeks of the outbreak reveals that the administration’s initial reassurances were largely aligned with the assessments of the medical community.
 

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1 hour ago, TomBAvoider said:

I don't see myself going to a restaurant anytime soon...

I  intend to keep a low exposure profile - getting sick is not a hassle I'm anxious to explore . But I haven't had the flu or a cold in years (can't even remember the last time), so maybe the same would apply for CV-19? I mean, I might have "had" the flu but was symptomless, so I don't know (never got vaccinated). In deference to CV-19 I've upped my zinc and vitamin D intake, and threw in selenium and ECGC extract, but I hope for this to be a temporary measure (a few months) and then go back to my regular lower level of supplementation .

Same here on all counts. 

I wonder if those around here who poo-poo the risk as no worse than the seasonal flu and are clamoring for reopening are planning to put their money where their mouth is by fully returning to all their normal activities as soon as things open up - dining out, going to the gym, attending a crowded movie or sporting event, flying for work/leisure trips, maybe even taking a cruise which I hear will be real cheap when they start sailing again in August :-).

1 hour ago, TomBAvoider said:

I personally oppose bitcoin on enviromental grounds.

Fair criticism, although this live estimate of bitcoin's energy footprint is "only" 0.35% of the global electricity supply, not 1%. The environmental impact is a very unfortunate negative externality of Bitcoin's success - if Bitcoins weren't so valuable it wouldn't be worth the miners' electricity costs (~$4B/yr). 

--Dean

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56 minutes ago, TomBAvoider said:

I might have "had" the flu but was symptomless, so I don't know (never got vaccinated)

 

This is a good example of how our fears color our perception of risk.  The flu is deadly, on occasion deadlier than Covid-19.  Part of the reason for everyone getting the annual vaccine is to establish herd immunity, so that the flu transmission is diminished among the population and to protect the vulnerable.  Yet, many people like you don't consider flu vaccination a priority. 

But I bet if the media served you the daily death toll every hour and if Governor Newsom proclaimed that millions will get it and 6,000-7,000 Californians will die (which is true), you'd probably react the same as you did to Covid-19.  Many might even support a lock-down, if scared enough.

As a comparison, about 2,500 have died from Covid-19 in California, including the "possibles."

Edited by Ron Put

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1 hour ago, TomBAvoider said:

 I'm watching Sweden for clues about how the "herd immunity" approach plays out *longer term*.

Sweden is definitely worth watching both in terms of eventual deaths per capita and economic damage. Estimates suggest Sweden's economy is going to contract as much as its European neighbors that instituted strict lockdowns:

In the first scenario (scenario A in the chart below), [Sweden's] gross domestic product contracts by 6.9% in 2020 before rebounding to grow 4.6% in 2021. In a more negative prediction (scenario B), GDP could contract by 9.7% and a recovery could be slower with the economy growing 1.7% in 2021. ...

The growth projections are sobering for a country that looked to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus by not shutting down its economy like the rest of Europe. Lockdowns in Germany, Spain, Italy, France and the U.K., aimed at saving countless lives, have all hit their economies severely.

The International Monetary Fund predicted earlier in April that Germany and the U.K. will see their economies contract by 6.5% and 7% this year, respectively. France is expected to see a 7.2% contraction, Spain an 8% contraction and for Italy to see its economy shrink 9.1%.

Sweden’s neighbors Finland and Denmark, which also imposed lockdowns, are also expected to see their economies contract by 6% and 6.5%, respectively.

Except for a few Asian countries that got a jump on their outbreak and had the culture and public health infrastructure to handle it well, it seems there may have been no good way for a non-authoritarian country to avoid either the health or economic consequences of this pandemic. Australia may be another exception. But sadly we in the US seem to be doing a stunningly bad job on both counts. 

--Dean

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Thanks Cory, 

Here is another informative graphic on the effects of various strategies for dealing with the virus, from endcoronavirus.org showing the 10-day average number of new cases in various countries along with a list of the measures the countries in blue took to effectively tackle their outbreak. There are a lot more countries that have done really well containing the virus than I realized. 

--Dean 

Screenshot_20200508-141224_Chrome.jpg

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22 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

Sweden is definitely worth watching both in terms of eventual deaths per capita and economic damage.....

Sure, let's look at Sweden without a lock-down, at 314 deaths per million.

Now let's look at New York, with a lock-down, at 1367 deaths per million.

Yeah, it looks on its face that lock-downs kill four times more people, eh?


 

7 hours ago, corybroo said:

MedicalXpress reports on some adjacent state comparisons which shows a benefit to the lock down.....

 

 

4 hours ago, Dean Pomerleau said:

... Here is another informative graphic on the effects of various strategies for dealing with the virus, from endcoronavirus.org showing the 10-day average number of new cases in various countries along with a list of the measures the countries in blue took to effectively tackle their outbreak. There are a lot more countries that have done really well containing the virus than I realized. ....

Hah, more of the same garbage in, garbage out, tailored to mask the abysmal failure of the absurd models some have been posting here.  Remember, the models that predicted 750,000 deaths in the UK and millions of deaths in the US...?

Let me show a different take on the data:

Lock-down effects among similar Western European countries:
DEATHS PER MILLION UNDER LOCK-DOWN:
San Marino:     1208
Belgium:             735
Netherlands:      313

DEATHS PER MILLION WITHOUT LOCK-DOWN:
Sweden:              314


Now let's look at lock-down effects among similar Eastern European countries:
DEATHS PER MILLION UNDER LOCK-DOWN:
Romania:             48
Estonia:                42
Hungary:              41

DEATHS PER MILLION WITHOUT LOCK-DOWN:
Belarus:                13

----------
Of course, all this is also garbage in, garbage out and in addition the sample size is too small in many instances to be meaningful, as I posted earlier.  If your population is 5 million, your death rate will triple if 5 people died in January, but 15 in February.  Ultimately, it makes for a meaningless statistic, but it can generate a scary headline,  like "DEATH RATE TRIPLES IN MONTHS THAT START WITH "F"!!!"

We will not have final numbers for at least a year -- remember that the CDC had estimated 80,000 deaths for the 2017-2018 flu season (most of which also occur within a 3-4 week period), only to come out a few months ago with a final tally of 61,000 deaths.

Edited by Ron Put

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If you enjoyed the previously posted Medcram lectures (with critical care specialist Roger Seheult, MD.) — Updates 61, 63, and 65 — then you’re also likely to enjoy these Updates 67 and 68:

Coronavirus Pandemic Update 67: COVID-19 Blood Clots - Race, Blood Types, & Von Willebrand Factor

Coronavirus Pandemic Update 68: Kawasaki Disease; Minority Groups & COVID-19

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Here is a bit of trivia to illustrate how crazy this politically charged Covid-19 media hysteria is:

True claim: Woodstock took place in the middle of a pandemic

"... The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was an iconic music festival that took place in August 1969 at a dairy farm in upstate New York. The organizers expected 30,000 people but hundreds of thousands showed up. ...

It is true that Woodstock occurred during the Hong Kong flu pandemic, which was a global outbreak. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains on its website:

“It was first noted in the United States in September 1968. The estimated number of deaths was 1 million worldwide and about 100,000 in the United States. Most excess deaths were in people 65 years and older. The H3N2 virus continues to circulate worldwide as a seasonal influenza A virus.” ( here )

The pandemic lasted until 1970 ( here and here ). ...

The death toll was comparable with the 1957 Asian flu pandemic that killed 1.1 million worldwide ( here ). As of May 6, 2020at least 262,238 people globally had died during the current COVID-19 outbreak ( here )


A Wall Street Journal article comparing the new coronavirus outbreak to the Hong Kong Flu of 1968 reads: “In 1968-70, news outlets devoted cursory attention to the virus while training their lenses on other events such as the moon landing and the Vietnam War, and the cultural upheaval of the civil-rights movements, student protests and the sexual revolution.”Susan Craddock, a professor at the University of Minnesota, told the WSJ that mortality rates for the 1968 pandemic were significantly lower than those of COVID-19, and that without 24-hour news coverage, online resources and social media to heighten public anxiety, politicians were under less pressure to act than they are today.( here )"

----

So, about 100,000 deaths in the US from the 1969 flu, yet the US population was about 203 million (and 177 million in 1957, with 116,000 dead from the flu in the US alone).  So, figure out the per capita death rate....

And the really scary part, from a societal and free speech standpoint, is that platforms like Facebook are taking down this and similar factual articles, while amplifying the nonsense coming out from characters like Ferguson and WHO's Tedros.

 

But, the stupidity persists....

California county says Tesla may not reopen vehicle factory, stifling Musk's plans

Edited by Ron Put

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Estimating The Infection Fatality Rate Among Symptomatic COVID-19 Cases In The United States

Quote

After modeling the available national data on cumulative deaths and detected COVID-19 cases in the United States, the IFR-S from COVID-19 was estimated to be 1.3%. This estimated rate is substantially higher than the approximate IFR-S of seasonal influenza, which is about 0.1%19 (34,200 deaths among 35.5 million patients who got sick with influenza). Influenza is also believed to be completely asymptomatic in 16% of the infected population,20 and this fraction is not included in the calculation of its IFR-S.21 Our COVID-19 IFR-S estimate is not outside the ballpark of estimates becoming available from other countries, but certainly lower, as expected from addressing the upward bias in those estimates.

...

If we carry out a thought experiment where 35.5 million individuals would contract COVID-19 illness this year in the US (i.e., the same number as flu last year)19 then, in the absence of any mitigation strategies or social distancing behaviors and the supply of health care services under typical conditions, our IFR-S estimate predicts that there would have been nearly 500,000 COVID-19 deaths this year. To the extent that COVID-19 is more infectious than flu and does not have any protection from a vaccine or treatment, the number of infections, and hence the number of deaths, would be higher. Certainly, with mitigation strategies, the death toll will be lower. For example, the recent White House COVID-19 Taskforce projections of 100,000–200,000 deaths this year from COVID-19 is made with assumptions about the effectiveness of social distancing directives and measures currently in place.25

 

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"PSSSSSSSST ..... it ain't that bad."

As far comparisons to 1918 flu pandemic,  in which the majority of deaths were caused by bacterial pneumonia. Which was pretty much and an untreatable cond. in '18 'cause they ain't had ... antibiotics and ventilators ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacterial_pneumonia#Treatment

"PSSSSSSSST ..... COVID-19 ain't that bad."

 

 

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Social distancing seems to have helped.   https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-05-coronavirus-deaths-hours-tracker.html

The United States recorded 776 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 79,522, according to the real-time tally by Johns Hopkins University at 8:30 pm Sunday (0030 GMT Monday).

The figure was the lowest daily tally since March, with 24-hour totals in recent weeks ranging from 1,000 to 2,500.

 

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Anyone watch the senate hearing today? The highlight was Senator Rand Paul (who is also a medical doctor by the way, and someone who has had Covid-19 already and recovered). He ripped on Dr. Fauci and the media and made some good points:

I thought  Dr. Fauci’s final response was pretty weak.  Children are always at risk for various things but we don’t close schools as a result. The risk seems low and we already have plenty of other countries with open schools now so we should have all the data we need to make a science based decision. You have to consider the harm to kids from closed schools too.

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Gordo said:

Anyone watch the senate hearing today? The highlight was Senator Rand Paul (who is also a medical doctor by the way, and someone who has had Covid-19 already and recovered). He ripped on Dr. Fauci and the media and made some good points:

Some would disagree: https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2020/05/12/weird-things-sen-rand-paul-said-about-reopening-schools/ 

Edited by AlPater

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The Four Men Responsible For America’s COVID-19 Test Disaster

Quote

The testing breakdown had left the nation blind to the true scope of the outbreak. By March 1st, the CDC’s official tally of coronavirus cases had spiked from the 15 cases touted by Trump to 75. But researchers at Northeastern University have now developed models showing there were likely 28,000 infections at the time, in just five major cities, including New York and Seattle. The Seattle Flu Study — bucking red tape from the FDA and CDC — had begun a rogue effort to test swab samples it had collected using its own lab-developed test. By early March, the testing had uncovered a bevy of undiagnosed coronavirus infections. Dr. Helen Chu, the project’s lead scientist, told The New York Times that she realized then, with horror, “It’s just everywhere already.”

At this moment, shutting down the economy was inevitable — it was just a question of when the measures would be implemented. But scientists believe up to 90 percent of the human toll was still avoidable, had the government moved immediately to implement social-distancing measures. Instead, the administration persisted in its “Do nothing” message parade.

 

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This will probably be Journeyman Pictures most controversial Pandemic video ... but even if totally (ultimately) proven incorrect, even Micheal Crichton could not have constructed better sci-fi !!

 

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13 hours ago, Gordo said:

Anyone watch the senate hearing today? The highlight was Senator Rand Paul (who is also a medical doctor by the way, and someone who has had Covid-19 already and recovered). He ripped on Dr. Fauci and the media and made some good points:

I thought  Dr. Fauci’s final response was pretty weak.  Children are always at risk for various things but we don’t close schools as a result. The risk seems low and we already have plenty of other countries with open schools now so we should have all the data we need to make a science based decision. You have to consider the harm to kids from closed schools too.

I watched the entire senate hearing.  I agree completely with Gordo.

  --  Saul

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1 hour ago, Saul said:

I watched the entire senate hearing.  I agree completely with Gordo.

   --  Saul

I find it pretty bizzare that some people have fixated on the 3 child deaths  from covid-19 related inflamatory disease when all indications are that covid-19 is safter for kids than the regular flu.  From the CDC's own website:

"While relatively rare, some children die from flu each year. Since 2004-2005, flu-related deaths in children reported to CDC during regular flu seasons have ranged from 37 to 187 deaths. Even though the reported number of deaths during the 2017-2018 flu season was 187, CDC’s mathematical models that account for the underreporting of flu-related deaths in children estimate the actual number was closer to 600."

Do we seriously consider shutting down schools to save these 600 kids every year?

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There was some prior discussion in this thread about deflation vs. inflation.  We now have some actual data on both CPI and PPI just out.  The core CPI plunged the most ever recorded (since records began in 1957) and the CPI itself saw the biggest drop in 12 years, both are now in rare negative territory.  But food/rent/housing all rose and the huge drop in fuel was the main contributor to the deflation and that won't likely contribute anything going forward.

cpi-month-over-month-changes-2020-05.png

 

CPI Details

  • A 20.6-percent decline in the gasoline index was the largest contributor to the monthly decrease in the seasonally adjusted all items index, but the indexes for apparel, motor vehicle insurance, airline fares, and lodging away from home all fell sharply as well. 
  • Food indexes rose in April, with the index for food at home posting its largest monthly increase since February 1974. The food index rose 3.5 percent over the last 12 months, its largest 12-month increase since February 2012.
  • The indexes for used cars and trucks and recreation declined. 
  • The indexes for rent, owners’ equivalent rent, medical care, and household furnishings and operations all increased in April. 

 

Likewise producer prices are falling:

U.S. wholesale prices sink 1.3% as coronavirus triggers broad collapse in demand

Plunging oil prices drove much of the decline in wholesale costs in April. Gasoline prices sank almost 57%, the largest decline since the government began keeping track in 1947

 

Big picture: The coronavirus pandemic has suppressed inflation by driving the economy into recession and slashing demand, but the cost of some goods in short supply or high demand have spiked. They include beef, chicken, toilet paper and sanitary products.

Still, the U.S. is likely facing a prolonged battle with deflation instead of inflation. The lack of demand will maintain downward pressure on the wholesale or retail cost of goods and services until growth in the economy starts to recover.

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