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Day 2 – March 18, 2020

Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report, The First 100 Days|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Follow-up to yesterday’s post… and I will try to update this daily, around 5pm. To make it consistent, I’ve normalized the numbers for that. The data comes from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

The individual Canada chart looks a little curvier than it did yesterday, but that’s only because I added a bit of earlier data and while the trend was indeed increasing, the historical numbers are small. Check the y-axis, not just the pattern.

Also, while yesterday saw an increase of 157 cases nationally, that number was lower (129) today, according to this source of data. And that’s what it’s all about… slowing the growth, because it will grow for the foreseeable future. The question is how fast.

I’ve also added South Korea as an example of how it looks when you do things right; that is the trend everybody wants to see. Still growing, but way slower than before.

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Day 1 – March 17, 2020

Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report, The First 100 Days, Follower Favourites, Travel Stories, Philosophy, Art & Literature|Tags: , , , , |

There’s a table going around showing what’s happened in Italy and the US so far. Here it is, with Canada added in… and a couple of rows of extrapolated data. I added the graphs, and what they show is simple — it’s up to us, ie Canada, to do everything we can with respect to flattening the curve. It’s not too late, because it’s still a straight line… but there’s zero wiggle room. In a perfect world, that red line stays straight, stays well-below those exponentially-growing green and blue lines, and eventually flattens out and goes down to zero. We, today, are where the US was a week ago and Italy was 2.5 weeks ago. And neither of those are trends we want to follow. Listen and follow what we’re being told. They are strict guidelines for a reason; they work.

 

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September 10, 2020

By |September 10th, 2020|COVID-19 Daily Report, Politics, Business & Economics, Science of COVID-19, Philosophy, Art & Literature|10 Comments

Well… it’s become very clear what I need to write about if I’m trying to get a reaction. Little anecdotes about my life are fun to write and people seem to enjoy them. Bashing on Trump seems to get the usual reaction from the usual people, but to be honest, it’s died down… either because they’ve come to their senses or have decided they don’t like arguing with me.

But when I try to state some simple facts… like hey, here are some numbers, and here’s what they mean and what they imply… wow. Some people whose minds are already made up sure don’t like hearing alternative points of view. Like it’s all some big conspiracy. To be clear, while there are certain things that are opinions or theories, some things are just blunt facts. At the end of the day, when you take away all the vague hand-waving, certain things are not up for discussion. They’re not “opposing opinions”.

Indeed, when it comes to debunking conspiracy theories, there’s usually a “backstop” fact that really should put things to rest, at least for any reasonable person. All the little nit-picky out-of-context details of “proof” to confirm some outlandish claim are easily put to rest by one “umbrella” fact that’s indisputable.

Obama born in Kenya? There are birth announcements in the Hawaiian newspapers at the time. All of the copies, michrofiched versions, scanned, digitized, etc… over the decades, all indisputably in agreement. Set aside the long list of BS claims, forged birth certificates and bribed doctors and nurses… just explain that.

Moon landings faked? The technology to fake a moon landing simply didn’t exist in 1969. The ability to seamlessly film hours of footage and then play it back in slow motion… how? With what?

The holocaust was a hoax? The numerous census numbers at the time, including Germany’s, all agree… and all imply a European Jewish population of around 9.5 million in 1933. That number was found to be around 3.5 million by 1945. The simple math begs a simple question: Where are all those people?

Similarly, the great Covid-19 pandemic will ultimately fall back to a simple number: Excess deaths. Tests per million, positives per test, deaths per positive… etc etc.. I know all these numbers, ratios and percentages well. Many of you evidently disagree … [Continue Reading]

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September 9, 2020

By |September 9th, 2020|COVID-19 Daily Report, Philosophy, Art & Literature|0 Comments

The next time some yahoo tries to convince you that this virus only has a death rate of zero point zero something, feel free to refer to this… I will pick the U.S. as an example because even the doctored, minimized and understated White House data presently implies this:

U.S. population: 330,000,000
Test-positives: 6,547,000
Closed cases: 4,029,000
Recoveries: 3,833,400
Deaths: 195,200

We know that more people than what’s documented have actually had the virus, most of them without even knowing it. How relevant is that? It’s important, of course, because the more people have actually had it, the less lethal it ultimately is. Some people, like the zero-point-zero something crowd, would like you to think it’s no worse than a common cold or flu, but let’s see how the math shakes out.

At face value, given these numbers, the deaths-per-case number (195k ÷ 6.5M) = 2.98%

Relevant to that is the actual closed-cases percentage… ie, if you actually are known to have gotten this virus, what’s your outlook?

3,833,400 ÷ 4,029,000 = 95.15% recover
195,200 ÷ 4,029,000 = 4.84% die

But ok… if everyone who’s known to have the C19 virus at this moment had it miraculously disappear, that’d imply a 3% death rate. That’s obviously nonsense, but let’s go with it. And if ten times as many people actually had it than what was known, that number drops to 0.3%.

How does that compare to the flu? In 2019, the CDC estimated 35.5 million cases… resulting in 34,200 deaths. That’s a 0.10% death rate.

What about colds? I’m not even going to factor in deaths from the common cold… because it’s ludicrous. Some 18,000 people in the U.S. have died from complications of a common cold… since 1979. That’s less than 500 a year. Nothing more than a rounding error.

Again, this supposes that the virus magically disappears instantly. The “the flu kills more people per year” argument fails to address a rather relevant issue; Covid-19 is very much still here, and is still killing thousands of people a day. In the U.S., where they’ve only had perhaps 6 or 7 months of it, it has already killed five times as many people as an entire annual flu season. And it’s not done yet.

Finally, 195,000 ÷ 330,000,000 = 0.06% — which, if the … [Continue Reading]

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September 8, 2020

By |September 8th, 2020|COVID-19 Daily Report, Travel Stories, Sports & Gaming, Philosophy, Art & Literature|2 Comments

There was a time in late March/early April where, with a sense of dread, it seemed like a perpetual waiting game — with a rolling two-week incubation period thrown in, just to make things a little less predictable — where the numbers could do this, or the numbers might do that. Are we following the footsteps of Spain or Italy? Is this about to spiral out of control? Notwithstanding we’ve learned a lot in the last 6 months, we might be back to that original mindset. And, for what it’s worth, Spain is unfortunately suffering through a very significant second surge.

There’s no doubt numbers are going up nationwide, so now what…? Let’s talk about B.C… where triple-digit new-case numbers will likely become the norm for the forseeable future… and note, as important as new-case numbers may be, hospitalizations and ICU admissions are an important trailing indicator… and, for now, they’re relatively flat. As per above, though… that’s a question that gets answered in 5 to 14 days.

For now… in an effort to get ahead of things a bit, given people’s general inability to follow the rules (See? This is why we can’t have nice things)… all nightclubs and banquet halls are closed. Restaurants, pubs & bars are to close by 10pm, and to have everyone out by 11. What’s next? Two weeks is about the right window of time to evaluate where schools are at… because that’s all starting up now, and it brings a long list of question marks to the forefront.

Let’s remember… by definition, the period just before things get wildly out of control is the period of time when they *are* in control… which is where we are right now. Dr. Henry can only make strong suggestions; the rest is up to us.

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September 7, 2020

By |September 7th, 2020|COVID-19 Daily Report, Science of COVID-19, Sports & Gaming|13 Comments

Greetings from Whistler… actually, the drive back from Whistler… which will end up taking twice as long as usual. Maybe an accident ahead… there was a serious one a few days ago that sent 6 people to hospital, involving a Lamborghini. Yesterday, a Ferrari was impounded for going 189 km/h in an 80 zone on the same stretch of road.

Indeed, Whistler was flooded with luxury cars this weekend, as part of a charity luxury supercar weekend. No problem with that, but you Ferrari/Lambo/McLaren people might want to keep the speeds down to where you’re not likely to kill yourself, and take others with you.

The other thing Whistler was flooded with was… tourists. From all over the place… and I do mean, everywhere. Every continent, nation, ethnicity and language was well-represented, just like any other year’s final weekend of summer.

Yeah, I thought the border was supposed to be closed too. It certainly is, to most road traffic. It certainly isn’t, to airplanes. There’s never been a better indication that this will only really be over once there’s a vaccine. There’s no version of “here’s the right thing to do” that will get through to enough people. No social distancing, no masks, crowds in enclosed spaces.

The best we can hope for is that the message is getting through to enough people… so that things are manageable if they get bad. Given the nonchalance and self-centeredness and lack of regard for others I just witnessed, we might be in for a long homestretch.

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September 6, 2020

By |September 6th, 2020|COVID-19 Daily Report, Politics, Science of COVID-19, Philosophy, Art & Literature|2 Comments

There’s a virtual triangle that applies to many things in life… especially when it comes to actually creating or building something. Any project, really… and it’s a basic triangle where the three sides are labelled: Time, Quality and Cost.

Typically, you can pick any angle… and that’s what you’ll get; what those two sides offer – at the expense of the opposite side.

Want it quickly and cheaply? No problem, but don’t expect quality.
Want quality and want it soon? Sure, but be prepared to pay for it.
Want quality without spending too much? It can be done, but you’ll have to be patient.

It’s interesting trying to map this to the development of a vaccine. Everyone is throwing lots of money at it, so the only thing that’s sliding around is quality versus time.

On the one hand, you have a conglomerate of responsible companies who’ve signed a pledge not to rush anything to market until it’s ready, which means every step of a rigorous scientific process. Many of those are currently in phase 3… which is one step before early or limited approval.

On the other hand, you have President Trump promising a vaccine any day now, completely contradicting the head of Operation Warp Speed… and you also have a few places who’ve rushed a vaccine and knowingly are throwing it out there, having side-stepped phase 3, and/or doing it in unison. It’s also relevant that those places are Russian and China, where political statements and optics often outshine what’s in the best interests of the greater population. It’s pretty much the message that Trump is trying to shove down the throats of anyone who’ll listen, but it’s heartening to see scientists banding together in solidarity rebuking it.
The scientific world is well-aware what it takes to properly develop a safe vaccine. It’s a process. Like making a baby… that’s also a process. That one takes a man, a woman and nine months. You can’t throw nine men at it and hope to have the baby in a month. You can’t throw money at it. If you want to do it, there’s exactly one way to do it right, no matter what the president says.

And, fortunately, in the U.S. and Canada and many other places around the world, … [Continue Reading]

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