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COVID-19 Surging Across Europe


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2 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Thank you for the chart.  Tracking and comparing the trends in the positive cases (both total and cumulative)  is useful information as it gives a snapshot of the virus in the population.  But it is potentially misleading as well since many of these types of charts do not normalize the data for the number of tests taken and analyzed.  States with high positives might also be testing more than neighboring states.  So the media and reports go on about surges based on total positives.  Or positives per X population in the state.  Same is true in comparing countries.

 

But a much more useful way to look at the data it is to look at the ratio of positive cases to total number of tests administered on a given day or week or month. This is the Percent Positive metric.  See JUH link below.   If state A reports 100 positives but has tested 10,000 people the ratio is 1% (very good).  If state B reports "only" 50 positives but tests 1000 people the ratio is 5% which is worse than state A.  But most of these charts would say the outbreak is "worse" in State A vs State B because they are just looking at positive tests as their only parameter.

 

https://www.jhsph.edu/covid-19/articles/covid-19-testing-understanding-the-percent-positive.html

I think some of the best metrics are excess deaths, year over year. That one is hard to get, but the expected deaths in a particular time period - say during a given month - is an number averaged over several years, so it fairly accurate. Then when you compare the deaths from the average for the month of April with April 2020, the one thing that has changed is Covid. The lockdown had both positive and negative effects on death rate, that tend to balance out  (fewer traffic deaths, more suicides) so that an increase is almost all due to Covid infections.

 

The problem with the JUH metrics in some states is that the health dept has really struggled to get timely testing numbers, that has been the case in my state. The smaller the number of tests, the bigger the effect of delayed numbers. Only the cumulative data is truly accurate, and that doesn't help with what is happening with the virus now. We have our own state tracker, which was developed by an individual with data from the health dept - it seems to correlate better with what we are seeing on the ground than even Johns Hopkins data, because it emphasizes hospitalizations and deaths and separates confirmed and presumed positive tests, which is how the state health dept lists them. You still though have to look at data by month to really see trends.

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19 minutes ago, cangelmd said:

I think some of the best metrics are excess deaths, year over year. That one is hard to get, but the expected deaths in a particular time period - say during a given month - is an number averaged over several years, so it fairly accurate. Then when you compare the deaths from the average for the month of April with April 2020, the one thing that has changed is Covid. The lockdown had both positive and negative effects on death rate, that tend to balance out  (fewer traffic deaths, more suicides) so that an increase is almost all due to Covid infections.

 

The problem with the JUH metrics in some states is that the health dept has really struggled to get timely testing numbers, that has been the case in my state. The smaller the number of tests, the bigger the effect of delayed numbers. Only the cumulative data is truly accurate, and that doesn't help with what is happening with the virus now. We have our own state tracker, which was developed by an individual with data from the health dept - it seems to correlate better with what we are seeing on the ground than even Johns Hopkins data, because it emphasizes hospitalizations and deaths and separates confirmed and presumed positive tests, which is how the state health dept lists them. You still though have to look at data by month to really see trends.

Yes agree that numbers are subject to all kinds of artifacts and inconsistencies as I was trying to point out.  But I think the most common and visible reporting is the number of positive cases.  Everybody seems to obsess over this number.  And it is the one most subject to context and interpretation.  Not very useful for many reasons.

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My main take away from this thread is that it is not just the U.S. that has issues with rising numbers of cases, and that various lock down efforts world wide have had  varied results in terms of numbers and collateral economic impacts.

 

Individual prudence is still the best approach because no one can really control others' behaviors, despite  best efforts of  various levels of gov't and advice from the health and medical experts

 

All the data politics also does not help!.

 

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2 hours ago, phoenix_dream said:

I agree with you to a point.  I am a firm believer that the government is not my daddy.  I have a responsibility to do my part to keep myself safe and to make my own way in the world if I have the ability to do so.  That said, the government IMHO has as one of its primary responsibilities to keep us safe.  That is why we have laws, that is why we have military, that is why here in the US we have the FBI and the CIA and on and on.  In the case of the virus, the government then has the responsibility to provide leadership over what is needed to keep the country safe.  Not all of this can be done by the individual.  I cannot mandate that others wear masks; the government can.  I cannot ramp up production of PPE and medical equipment like ventilators; the government can.  I cannot close borders or enact other restrictions like shutting down super spreader facilities; the government can.  I could not shut down cruise lines sailing out of the US due to the serious virus issues onboard; the government could.  

 

We absolutely have a responsibility to do all we can to keep ourselves safe.  I think we also have a responsibility to do all we can to not endanger others.  But the government definitely has responsibilities as well.  Depending on the government, some have done a good job at this and others far from it.  

You make plenty of good points. One thing to bear in mind though is that we ARE responsible for who we VOTE for to run our governments. It was pretty obvious what we were getting back in 2016. 

 

For those wanting to keep politics out of this discussion. It is pretty impossible to do as it's completely intertwined in this situation. The only way not to is simply not to have this discussion. Even if this wasn't an election year it would be that way. 

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2 hours ago, phoenix_dream said:

In the case of the virus, the government then has the responsibility to provide leadership over what is needed to keep the country safe.  Not all of this can be done by the individual.  I cannot mandate that others wear masks; the government can.

 

^That. 👍

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4 minutes ago, dani negreanu said:

 

^That. 👍

This entire thread is really the dumbest waste of time going on CC now.  The length and time involved for some of the novels posted here, YIKES...time to read a good book.

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Interesting---as someone new to this forum I was thinking how reasoned are the points I have read. Of course a good book is preferable but I like the forum for the prospect of provoking a response from the reader. Especially if it is a responsible response.....😉

Edited by Oulton Jim
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5 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

This entire thread is really the dumbest waste of time going on CC now.  The length and time involved for some of the novels posted here, YIKES...time to read a good book.

 

I beg to differ -- I find it fascinating to read the various opinions and points of view and still manage to read a new Kindle book almost every day.... I'm into Kathy Reichs' 17th book now in the last 6 weeks of lock down....

 

From my experience in our little country in the Middle East, after finishing the 2nd lock down, involving the police and the military, we went down from 9000 cases daily [at the beginning of lock down] to less than 1000 cases now -- you can only be responsible for yourself, but if others around you think that Covid-19 is just a "flu with excellent PR", then u need "a higher power to install 'common sense' in people".

 

Sad, but true.

 

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12 minutes ago, LGW59 said:

This entire thread is really the dumbest waste of time going on CC now.  The length and time involved for some of the novels posted here, YIKES...time to read a good book.

Will it is your choice to read it.  So considering your opinion of the stream you spending time on it, probably does qualify as the dumbest waste of time.  On the other hand others enjoy the discussion.

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29 minutes ago, nocl said:

Will it is your choice to read it.  So considering your opinion of the stream you spending time on it, probably does qualify as the dumbest waste of time.  On the other hand others enjoy the discussion.

I do like good comedy though...

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12 minutes ago, UnorigionalName said:

 

Nah, I don't believe Japan has a mask mandate.  They don't need one because their citizens do it anyway.

 

Well, of course... depends on the nation. I remember being in HK way before COVID-19 and seeing people wearing masks...

 

It is ingrained in them.

 

But in our country, until the government made it mandatory and with heavy fines, using police aided by military, it didn't work...

Edited by dani negreanu
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On 10/29/2020 at 10:46 AM, TeeRick said:

phoenix_dream,

I used to have employees in EU countries and the UK.  The unemployment laws and benefits are much different (and much more generous) than in the US.  I think that is one reason why many in non-US countries do not understand the urgency from a lot of the US population to open up states for employment reasons alone.  Many people here have to choose between risk of COVID infection vs. working to pay for food and shelter.  And basic health care.  A no win for many many Americans. Take a look at the article:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-nw-nyt-europe-unemployment-rate-covid-19-20200704-ihuzdo2kbngdxjnoxqxymejhj4-story.html

Sad but true.  Too many people think the push to open things up is based on true ignorance and denial of the situation.  Admittedly in some cases that's true.  But more importantly is exactly what you state.  Our governmental structure is built differently.  Independence and self-reliance and initiative have always been at the core of our values.  Up until now, it basically served us well (one could argue with some exceptions).  This pandemic may have taught us some valuable lessons about needed changes going forward.  But we can't change everything overnight.  At this point in time we have to work with what we have and try to make the best of it.

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1 hour ago, ORV said:

You make plenty of good points. One thing to bear in mind though is that we ARE responsible for who we VOTE for to run our governments. It was pretty obvious what we were getting back in 2016. 

 

For those wanting to keep politics out of this discussion. It is pretty impossible to do as it's completely intertwined in this situation. The only way not to is simply not to have this discussion. Even if this wasn't an election year it would be that way. 

We are definitely responsible for who we vote for.  At the same time, how many of us ever in a million years would have expected what we had to deal with this year.  Yes, scientists have been predicting something like this for years but did anyone other than them expect it to really happen, or understand at all what it would mean?  Sadly, hindsight is the best sight.  Hopefully going forward we will have learned some important lessons and will do much better next time, as for sure there will be a next time - could be a year, could be ten, could be fifty.  

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1 minute ago, phoenix_dream said:

We are definitely responsible for who we vote for.  At the same time, how many of us ever in a million years would have expected what we had to deal with this year.  Yes, scientists have been predicting something like this for years but did anyone other than them expect it to really happen, or understand at all what it would mean?  Sadly, hindsight is the best sight.  Hopefully going forward we will have learned some important lessons and will do much better next time, as for sure there will be a next time - could be a year, could be ten, could be fifty.  

The previous administration had a department specifically for a pandemic. So yes, it was expected with plans to deal with it. It was dismantled just like many other programs have been. 

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29 minutes ago, phoenix_dream said:

We are definitely responsible for who we vote for.  At the same time, how many of us ever in a million years would have expected what we had to deal with this year.  Yes, scientists have been predicting something like this for years but did anyone other than them expect it to really happen, or understand at all what it would mean?  Sadly, hindsight is the best sight.  Hopefully going forward we will have learned some important lessons and will do much better next time, as for sure there will be a next time - could be a year, could be ten, could be fifty.  

 

People unfortunately have short memories -- and in recent times there is also a very strong "revisionist" slant to many events and crises that is frightening when one remembers the old saying that "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

 

We have had ample warning of such an event happening, with recent potential pandemics that got plenty of coverage, from swine flu to ebola. Why is it so hard for the message to get through?  Because people would rather pay attention to the latest goings-on of the Kardashians. Social media promulgates a culture of "15 minutes of fame"; very few people bother to read lengthy articles with in-depth analysis, either in real hard copy or online. Easier to repeat the latest catchy Facebook post making the rounds.

 

We also had an excellent example of what can happen in a real pandemic 100 years ago -- relatively modern times and plenty was written about it at the time and afterwards. Yet did we learn from it? No. Our ability to respond to a crisis like this has been systematically undermined by efforts to reduce funding to our core research, public health, and emergency response sectors. Everybody wants low taxes without understanding what they are doing without....

 

Sometimes I despair of our future. We don't want to shoulder the burdens of knowing what is going on and making responsible and sometimes hard choices, as citizens. And our politicians appear to spend most of their time and energy on getting re-elected -- and taking a stand on hard choices is bound to alienate too many voters.

 

Sorry for the rant. It's not directed at you. But when people say "Who could've seen this coming?"  Well -- we all should have.  

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Interesting NPR story , all governments should be giving the whole story 

in our county they do not say where the cases are , and it takes almost a hour to drive across , so they should tells which town has cases 

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/10/30/929239481/internal-documents-reveal-covid-19-hospitalization-data-the-government-keeps-hid

Edited by Airbalancer
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4 hours ago, phoenix_dream said:

I agree with you to a point.  I am a firm believer that the government is not my daddy.  I have a responsibility to do my part to keep myself safe and to make my own way in the world if I have the ability to do so.  That said, the government IMHO has as one of its primary responsibilities to keep us safe.  That is why we have laws, that is why we have military, that is why here in the US we have the FBI and the CIA and on and on.  In the case of the virus, the government then has the responsibility to provide leadership over what is needed to keep the country safe.  Not all of this can be done by the individual.  I cannot mandate that others wear masks; the government can.  I cannot ramp up production of PPE and medical equipment like ventilators; the government can.  I cannot close borders or enact other restrictions like shutting down super spreader facilities; the government can.  I could not shut down cruise lines sailing out of the US due to the serious virus issues onboard; the government could.  

 

We absolutely have a responsibility to do all we can to keep ourselves safe.  I think we also have a responsibility to do all we can to not endanger others.  But the government definitely has responsibilities as well.  Depending on the government, some have done a good job at this and others far from it.  

Excellent comment and agree completely.  One of the reasons the US Constitution starts:  We the People...

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22 hours ago, RickT said:

Very thankful to be living in Nova Scotia.  Fewer than one new case per week yet people willingly wear face masks and practice social distancing.  Most businesses are open with reduced capacity and strict enforcement of face masks and other safety protocols.  We know that a few wrong moves can push the needle in the wrong direction.

Hi RickT,

We are also happy to be in Nova Scotia. However, 2 new cases today.

Both from travel. As you likely know most of our positives come

from flights into Halifax.

We live in Dartmouth/Colby area. Where in Halifax are you from?

From your post I see you are elite on Celebrity like us. We probably

were on a cruise together?? A few years ago we were waiting in

line in Greece to get back on the ship. During conversation a

couple behind us was also from Dartmouth and lived 3-4 streets

from us. Small world!. We had to cancel 5 cruises due to covid.

 

 

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

People unfortunately have short memories -- and in recent times there is also a very strong "revisionist" slant to many events and crises that is frightening when one remembers the old saying that "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

 

We have had ample warning of such an event happening, with recent potential pandemics that got plenty of coverage, from swine flu to ebola. Why is it so hard for the message to get through?  Because people would rather pay attention to the latest goings-on of the Kardashians. Social media promulgates a culture of "15 minutes of fame"; very few people bother to read lengthy articles with in-depth analysis, either in real hard copy or online. Easier to repeat the latest catchy Facebook post making the rounds.

 

We also had an excellent example of what can happen in a real pandemic 100 years ago -- relatively modern times and plenty was written about it at the time and afterwards. Yet did we learn from it? No. Our ability to respond to a crisis like this has been systematically undermined by efforts to reduce funding to our core research, public health, and emergency response sectors. Everybody wants low taxes without understanding what they are doing without....

 

Sometimes I despair of our future. We don't want to shoulder the burdens of knowing what is going on and making responsible and sometimes hard choices, as citizens. And our politicians appear to spend most of their time and energy on getting re-elected -- and taking a stand on hard choices is bound to alienate too many voters.

 

Sorry for the rant. It's not directed at you. But when people say "Who could've seen this coming?"  Well -- we all should have.  

Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it, those that do study history will  find new ways to make mistakes.

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26 minutes ago, Gracie115 said:

The good news is while the ban is lifted qualifying for a conditional sailing certificate does have substantial requirements, including crew testing weekly.  Also all passengers tested before boarding and before disembarking.  CDC requirements for facial coverings, social distancing, etc. will need to be met.

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48 minutes ago, BP99 said:

Hi RickT,

We are also happy to be in Nova Scotia. However, 2 new cases today.

Both from travel. As you likely know most of our positives come

from flights into Halifax.

We live in Dartmouth/Colby area. Where in Halifax are you from?

From your post I see you are elite on Celebrity like us. We probably

were on a cruise together?? A few years ago we were waiting in

line in Greece to get back on the ship. During conversation a

couple behind us was also from Dartmouth and lived 3-4 streets

from us. Small world!. We had to cancel 5 cruises due to covid.

 

 

Hi BP99,

 

Yes, definitely a small world.  We just moved back to Halifax after 23 + years living in Ottawa.  Good to be home.  We now live downtown however when we lived here it was in Lakeside and Clayton Park.  We've only had to cancel one cruise and are holding off booking others until there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Stay Safe!

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32 minutes ago, nocl said:

The good news is while the ban is lifted qualifying for a conditional sailing certificate does have substantial requirements, including crew testing weekly.  Also all passengers tested before boarding and before disembarking.  CDC requirements for facial coverings, social distancing, etc. will need to be met.

 

Briefly looked over the new ruling....I suspect it will still be several months before cruises sail from the USA....but it's a start in the right direction anyway.

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5 hours ago, Gracie115 said:

 

Briefly looked over the new ruling....I suspect it will still be several months before cruises sail from the USA....but it's a start in the right direction anyway.

 

Probably more than "several months."  Scanned the directive and believe it make sense as a follow-on to the expiring "no sail" order.  It provides a way forward for cruise lines to resume cruising.  However, it is a very challenging list of conditions which must be met to include simulated cruises, frequent testing, onboard limitations and 7-day cruise limits.

 

And today we read that yesterday the US reached a new high in the number of infections: 98,000, an increase over the 90,000 from Thursday.  And over 1,000 deaths.  The trend is moving the wrong direction!!!  In Europe the UK is serious about a lockdown to stop its expanding virus spread.  Not a time to celebrate yet.

Edited by Ride-The-Waves
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