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  1. - Top - End - #661
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    They haven't, and aren't likely to for a while. A vaccine is currently being tested by a Cambridge lab, and there are no doubt similar efforts going on around the world, but it'll be months before any such thing is ready for roll-out--you have to be sure that firstly, the vaccine actually works to prevent Covid-19, and secondly, that it doesn't cause worse issues down the line. That requires extensive testing.
    Great.

  2. - Top - End - #662
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    There's actually an Indian pharmaceutical company which is already working on replicating the Cambridge vaccine on the assumption it'll turn out OK and to be in a position to have millions of them ready for September--presumably if the vaccine turns out to be a bust they'll just have to throw all that away and start again from scratch.
    I don't know about that; my understanding is that many vaccines that don't work, or have unintended consequences, can be "fixed" with enough work. Not all, of course - sometimes you just go down a dead end. And sometimes it's more work to fix it than to just begin again. Either way, if you're set up to produce one vaccine, you're likely in a good play to begin working on a related vaccine.
    Even if they have to scrap it altogether, I'd imagine a lot of the process is the same for any given vaccine.
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

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  3. - Top - End - #663
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    Yes, at zeroth order. Slightly better would be to subtract a moving average, so even if there is a general downward trend as long as that trend is relatively steady you'll subtract it out.
    That is, if on average stuff is going down at X per year over some time frame, you can subtract X from a smaller piece of that time frame to see how it compares to the overall trend?
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  4. - Top - End - #664
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by georgie_leech View Post
    That is, if on average stuff is going down at X per year over some time frame, you can subtract X from a smaller piece of that time frame to see how it compares to the overall trend?
    Subtract x * current year, yes.

  5. - Top - End - #665
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    Great.
    I was reading (somewhat late) the latest Private Eye today and in particular the MD special covid column.

    In there, a table appeared indicating your chances of dying from covid if you don't already have it, broken down by age. Now, I do have some queries about how these figures is calculated: in particular how it factors in the effect of lockdown, and it excludes data from May, but I do trust Private Eye's journalistic integrity and I don't think it would present something like this that was deliberately misleading. MD has also taken a fairly balanced view on covid to date.

    Also, all of these are UK figures, so your mileage may vary.

    Anyway, the relevant data is, converted into percentage chances of death:

    Age 0-14: 0.00001%
    Age 15-24: 0.00035%
    Age 25-44: 0.002%

    I'm not sure how old you are, BMH, but I'm guessing you're in one of those categories.

    I'm also assuming you don't have an underlying health condition that makes you particularly vulnerable, like asthma. If you do, then ignore all of this. From what I understand, this makes no allowance for existing health conditions, so if you have something that gives you a vulnerability, that will push your percentage up above the average for the age bracket, but if you don't, your actual percentage will be lower.

    And here is some data from NHS England on death rate for people who do have it.

    0-19: Insufficient data
    20-29: 0.03%
    30-39: 0.08%
    40-49: 0.15%

    I have deliberately excluded the figures for the higher age brackets, because of the point I'm trying to make, but they are in the spoiler below.

    Now, for reference, here's some data on other things that can happen to you in the UK the course of a year (all figures approximate):

    Hit by lightning: 0.00008%
    Homicide: 0.001%
    Death in a road traffic accident: 0.003%
    Death by accidental falling: 0.005%

    From what I understand, the rates on these are generally higher in the USA. So if you are under the age of about 60, covid is really not that dangerous. There are other risks that we take for granted as part of our normal lives that are much more dangerous. For children, they are genuinely more likely to be hit by lightning than they are to die of covid.

    My point is: try not to worry about it. You, personally, you'll be fine. There is no point getting stressed about it because that'll end up giving you more problems than the covid is likely to.

    This doesn't mean you should stop taking precautions: just because you'll be fine doesn't mean you can't infect older people for whom it is more of a problem. But you should be concerned about not infecting others, not concerned about catching it yourself.

    Spoiler: Older age brackets
    Show

    Chances of death if you don't have it
    45 - 64: 0.02%
    65 - 74: 0.07%
    75 - 90: 0.4%
    90+: 1.2%

    And death rates of those with the virus:
    50-59: 0.6%
    60-69: 2.2%
    70-79: 5.1%
    80+: 9.3%

    This is why the mortality rate looks so high: because it's much more dangerous for older people.
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  6. - Top - End - #666
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    I was reading (somewhat late) the latest Private Eye today and in particular the MD special covid column.

    In there, a table appeared indicating your chances of dying from covid if you don't already have it, broken down by age. Now, I do have some queries about how these figures is calculated: in particular how it factors in the effect of lockdown, and it excludes data from May, but I do trust Private Eye's journalistic integrity and I don't think it would present something like this that was deliberately misleading. MD has also taken a fairly balanced view on covid to date.

    Also, all of these are UK figures, so your mileage may vary.

    Anyway, the relevant data is, converted into percentage chances of death:

    Age 0-14: 0.00001%
    Age 15-24: 0.00035%
    Age 25-44: 0.002%

    I'm not sure how old you are, BMH, but I'm guessing you're in one of those categories.

    I'm also assuming you don't have an underlying health condition that makes you particularly vulnerable, like asthma. If you do, then ignore all of this. From what I understand, this makes no allowance for existing health conditions, so if you have something that gives you a vulnerability, that will push your percentage up above the average for the age bracket, but if you don't, your actual percentage will be lower.

    And here is some data from NHS England on death rate for people who do have it.

    0-19: Insufficient data
    20-29: 0.03%
    30-39: 0.08%
    40-49: 0.15%

    I have deliberately excluded the figures for the higher age brackets, because of the point I'm trying to make, but they are in the spoiler below.

    Now, for reference, here's some data on other things that can happen to you in the UK the course of a year (all figures approximate):

    Hit by lightning: 0.00008%
    Homicide: 0.001%
    Death in a road traffic accident: 0.003%
    Death by accidental falling: 0.005%

    From what I understand, the rates on these are generally higher in the USA. So if you are under the age of about 60, covid is really not that dangerous. There are other risks that we take for granted as part of our normal lives that are much more dangerous. For children, they are genuinely more likely to be hit by lightning than they are to die of covid.

    My point is: try not to worry about it. You, personally, you'll be fine. There is no point getting stressed about it because that'll end up giving you more problems than the covid is likely to.

    This doesn't mean you should stop taking precautions: just because you'll be fine doesn't mean you can't infect older people for whom it is more of a problem. But you should be concerned about not infecting others, not concerned about catching it yourself.

    Spoiler: Older age brackets
    Show

    Chances of death if you don't have it
    45 - 64: 0.02%
    65 - 74: 0.07%
    75 - 90: 0.4%
    90+: 1.2%

    And death rates of those with the virus:
    50-59: 0.6%
    60-69: 2.2%
    70-79: 5.1%
    80+: 9.3%

    This is why the mortality rate looks so high: because it's much more dangerous for older people.
    Well I'm 35 years old. So I fit that criteria.

  7. - Top - End - #667
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    Forum Explorer's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    I was reading (somewhat late) the latest Private Eye today and in particular the MD special covid column.

    In there, a table appeared indicating your chances of dying from covid if you don't already have it, broken down by age. Now, I do have some queries about how these figures is calculated: in particular how it factors in the effect of lockdown, and it excludes data from May, but I do trust Private Eye's journalistic integrity and I don't think it would present something like this that was deliberately misleading. MD has also taken a fairly balanced view on covid to date.

    Also, all of these are UK figures, so your mileage may vary.

    Anyway, the relevant data is, converted into percentage chances of death:

    Age 0-14: 0.00001%
    Age 15-24: 0.00035%
    Age 25-44: 0.002%

    I'm not sure how old you are, BMH, but I'm guessing you're in one of those categories.

    I'm also assuming you don't have an underlying health condition that makes you particularly vulnerable, like asthma. If you do, then ignore all of this. From what I understand, this makes no allowance for existing health conditions, so if you have something that gives you a vulnerability, that will push your percentage up above the average for the age bracket, but if you don't, your actual percentage will be lower.

    And here is some data from NHS England on death rate for people who do have it.

    0-19: Insufficient data
    20-29: 0.03%
    30-39: 0.08%
    40-49: 0.15%

    I have deliberately excluded the figures for the higher age brackets, because of the point I'm trying to make, but they are in the spoiler below.

    Now, for reference, here's some data on other things that can happen to you in the UK the course of a year (all figures approximate):

    Hit by lightning: 0.00008%
    Homicide: 0.001%
    Death in a road traffic accident: 0.003%
    Death by accidental falling: 0.005%

    From what I understand, the rates on these are generally higher in the USA. So if you are under the age of about 60, covid is really not that dangerous. There are other risks that we take for granted as part of our normal lives that are much more dangerous. For children, they are genuinely more likely to be hit by lightning than they are to die of covid.

    My point is: try not to worry about it. You, personally, you'll be fine. There is no point getting stressed about it because that'll end up giving you more problems than the covid is likely to.

    This doesn't mean you should stop taking precautions: just because you'll be fine doesn't mean you can't infect older people for whom it is more of a problem. But you should be concerned about not infecting others, not concerned about catching it yourself.

    Spoiler: Older age brackets
    Show

    Chances of death if you don't have it
    45 - 64: 0.02%
    65 - 74: 0.07%
    75 - 90: 0.4%
    90+: 1.2%

    And death rates of those with the virus:
    50-59: 0.6%
    60-69: 2.2%
    70-79: 5.1%
    80+: 9.3%

    This is why the mortality rate looks so high: because it's much more dangerous for older people.
    The 'odds that you'll catch it and it'll be fatal' is a pretty awful statistic. Catching Covid-19 isn't random. Like if my roommate catches Covid-19, then my odds of catching it as well are really high. But if I work from home and have food delivered to my door, my odds of catching Covid-19 is basically 0. How you live your life and what you are exposed to is what determines if you'll catch it or not. Not 'you had a x% chance of catching it, so I guess you just got unlucky.'
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  8. - Top - End - #668
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    The 'odds that you'll catch it and it'll be fatal' is a pretty awful statistic. Catching Covid-19 isn't random. Like if my roommate catches Covid-19, then my odds of catching it as well are really high. But if I work from home and have food delivered to my door, my odds of catching Covid-19 is basically 0. How you live your life and what you are exposed to is what determines if you'll catch it or not. Not 'you had a x% chance of catching it, so I guess you just got unlucky.'
    Well almost nothing in life is truly random. But over a large enough data set you can extrapolate trends. Yes, if you go round sucking doorknobs you are more likely to catch it. But for someone in BMH's age profile, with a 99.9% survival rate, he's still likely enough to be fine that I'm confident in telling him he has nothing to worry about.

    And that's before you factor in the chance that he won't get it. Even if he's reckless and gives himself an 80% chance of contraction, that's still low enough to take his overall prospect of surviving this to over 99.999%.
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  9. - Top - End - #669
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    Well almost nothing in life is truly random. But over a large enough data set you can extrapolate trends. Yes, if you go round sucking doorknobs you are more likely to catch it. But for someone in BMH's age profile, with a 99.9% survival rate, he's still likely enough to be fine that I'm confident in telling him he has nothing to worry about.

    And that's before you factor in the chance that he won't get it. Even if he's reckless and gives himself an 80% chance of contraction, that's still low enough to take his overall prospect of surviving this to over 99.999%.
    Trends only work if proper knowledge and circumstances are applied. For example, if I go out into thunderstorms and wave a golf club in the air my odds of being struck by lightning are a lot higher than 0.00008%. The second half, the survival per age group, is actually useful for BMH. The former is harmful without context. If you just take it at its word, you're more likely to engage in reckless behaviors, catch, and then spread, Covid-19.

    Besides, if BMH is like me, he isn't worried about himself. Like you said, we're in the age group where we would almost certainly survive. I'm (and maybe he) worried about our parents and older relatives. I'm not worried about surviving Corvid-19, I'm worried about spreading it.
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  10. - Top - End - #670
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by NotASpiderSwarm View Post
    No, if you're in an area with minimal COVID exposure, the goal is to keep that exposure minimal. If you're some isolated town in rural TX or Kansas, then very strict procedures are the way to keep your death count at 0. The fact that it hasn't hit you yet is an opportunity to keep it out, not an excuse to ignore the possibility.
    Zero deaths is always the goal, but people have other needs as well. The lower the local risk, the easier it is to prioritize other needs higher, since your odds of being infected is lower. The same is true for say, prioritizing supplies. Safeguards are best used in areas of high exposure risk. You can say that we ought to put them everyone, and perhaps that would be nice, but resources are always finite.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lvl 2 Expert View Post
    So they haven't actually made a vaccine, they've made a thing that could turn out to be a vaccine, but for now they're not actually sure what it is yet.
    Pretty much, that's how these things go. You've got to prove efficacy, safety, etc. That naturally takes time. Now, something like this will no doubt be rushed as much as it can be, but you can only speed some aspects up so much. We can certainly hope, but I wouldn't place any large bets on a vaccine being perfected extremely soon. Many setbacks could happen. We're likely to figure it out eventually, though, at least to the level of flu vaccines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquor Box View Post
    In terms of decision making, my view is that allowing governments to make the decision is better than spreading the decision across all persons. That is because this is a complicated question of balancing competing concerns and factors. When decision making is by a small group of intelligent people it is reasonable to expect that they will be across all relevant information, will understand it, and make a rational decision on that basis. Where it is individuals, I think it is reasonable to expect that many (perhaps most) people wont be across all information (or even have access to it), understand all implications, and therefore be able to make a rational decision. That is not to say that the smaller group will always make the better decision, only that they wioll have the better chance of making a good decision.
    This is pretty much the case for all things at all times, since most people are not experts on most topics. They are, however, fairly well educated on themselves and their own circumstances. This is why we don't have small groups make all decisions for all of humanity on all topics. See also, "wisdom of the crowds". Knowledge bubbles up even in mostly uninformed populations. As a hard example, polling the crowd is superior in predictive power to phoning an expert on the show "Who Wants to be a Millionare."

    Even if we ignored the accuracy issue, uninformed people can and do still ignore experts and make their own actions regardless of advice. So, you sort of have to go with the general population deciding for themselves as a practical matter. Yeah, it's harder to educate everyone rather than a few, but it's necessary.



    As for the risk, sure, there is, at present, fairly low risk of death directly due to covid if you are reasonably young and in decent health. That risk can change if the disease becomes more common, or mutates to become more deadly. It's certainly useful to keep those numbers in mind, and not panic overly, though. No doubt one would look at that risk of a car accident, and not feel a need to go out and drive recklessly. Disease is much the same. If you act prudently, your personal risk can be below average. Not zero, but enough that it's manageable for day to day life. If you can drive safely, you're certainly capable of acting safely with regards to infection.
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  11. - Top - End - #671
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    It's also fairly critical to note that we are not looking at an on/off switch, here. The two states aren't "you catch it but you live" and "you catch it and you die".

    There's also "you catch it and it develops into pneumonia, leading to a few weeks in the hospital followed by months of physical recovery as you slowly work your way back to health on a timeline we don't know yet because there are people still in the recovery process", and "you catch it and then have permanent lung damage and asthma", and "you take damage to your eyesight", "you take damage to your liver", "you have an increased risk of heart failure", and a lot of other fun treats we're still figuring out the extent of.

    That's something to keep in mind when considering how dangerous the disease is; it has a lot more long-term health effects than many.
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