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About Biff84

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  1. Reporting is a huge issue because there’s no standardized process from state to state. This not only makes it tough to compare states but also makes it easier to manipulate the numbers. The lady who got fired in Florida for refusing to manipulate numbers, said that one of the things they were doing was reporting every negative but only the initial positive. They were also reporting PCR and antibody tests together to make it look like they met the requirements to open up. In AZ they separate the tests but combine the positives. Just no consistency and room to shape the numbers in the way you want them to look.
  2. One the reasons why I would be hesitant to touch any vaccine that hits the market this year. There’s too much motivation to get this out as quick as possible.
  3. There’s some good trends, especially a downward trend in positivity but I’m gonna put a hold on optimism until there’s more consistency. Test results are delayed 5-10 days right now. If anything, the current dip could be due to the mask mandate. While closing the bars and gyms was needed, I think the overall impact will be minimal because they only closed certain licenses and left dine-in restaurants open. While closing the bars and gyms will help knock down the spread between the younger people, I’m more worried about the generational spread from 4th of July. Despite what we were going through, grocery stores were packed and firework stands did record sales. It felt like Memorial Day except everyone was wearing masks. Maybe people were smart, but I have a feeling they weren’t. My expectation is rising deaths from the current case load with declining new cases. However, those cases will start trending older and become more consequential cases - higher hospitalization, ICU and death rates.
  4. I’d say it’s worse. Sturgis isn’t a city built to handle all those people with any sort of distancing or precautions. The rally supports the city and many others for the entire year. Cancel it and there will be huge budget issues. Sadly they’re gonna roll with it and hope for the best. I can’t imagine it’s gonna go well.
  5. He’s the main person I follow daily. He gets all his data from the state website that post every morning around 8:30 AZ time. Their website doesn’t work well with my phone, so I find his organization of the data and graphs to be highly effective. There’s also several others that analyze the AZ data and he’s pretty good at retweeting them.
  6. It’s tough to focus on raw numbers because they are so delayed in reporting and very dependent on testing and turnaround times. I don’t know if other states do the same but Arizona also posts epi numbers/curves that show the actual date the positive test was taken or when the death occurred rather than when it was reported. For example today AZ reported 92 deaths, 23 are from death certificate matching. Those deaths happened: Within 7 days: 54 8-14 days: 32 15+ days: 11 (I realize it doesn’t add up, I’m using info from the data expert I follow) Some would chose to use this information to downplay the numbers from today but the reality is that we don’t have an accurate picture of how many deaths we had yesterday or this weekend. And probably won’t for a couple weeks. The new high for epi deaths in AZ is 53 deaths which happened on 5/23 and 5/30. Numbers and trends look much different once the data is fully back filled.
  7. Doesn’t have to be true but it likely will be. A state that has done well is in good position to avoid an outbreak if they continue taking it seriously with precautions. The problem is that every place that does well also gives up on the precautions until an outbreak happens. South Dakota is a good example. They have all the elements that help avoid an outbreak and have done fairly well outside of the meat packing plant problem. Right now very few people that I know are continuing to take it seriously even the ones in health care. It’s all great now but in a couple weeks the Sturgis motorcycle rally happens. Freedom seeking bikers from all over the country are going to crowd into a small town and I doubt many masks will be worn. When they leave, the virus will stay just in time for school to open up. They don’t need to have an outbreak but they sure seem like they are asking for it.
  8. In general, yes, but many of the European countries that are doing well locked down longer and more strictly. I think it’s more the message coming out of lockdown. With most states not following the guidelines or just completely ignoring them, it just fed the people’s belief that it was no big deal or we were done with it.
  9. Shutdowns are ‘break in case of an emergency’ options. It was absolutely needed in March when we knew nothing about the virus and it was spreading uncontrollably. With what we know now there should be no reason to shutdown again but here we are. We never adapted to living with it, we had half the country skip to living without it. Even as these outbreaks rage in the south and west, there’s other places that are living in another world thinking that it will never happen to them. Smart people who just refuse to care until it smacks them right in the face. I had low expectations but even they weren’t met. I was right there saying we’d never shut down again. The emergency is back time to bust that glass in several states.
  10. Well AZ cut down indoor dining to 50%, so looks like all hotspots are now taking huge steps to slow the spread!
  11. I think the lack of a strong, consistent message on masks is what’s causing this. Look back to what they did with hand washing and social distancing. If they had done the same with masks, the amount of disinformation wouldn’t be so prevalent and effective. Lots of people are posting images about what virologists wear for PPE and how ineffective cloth masks are at keeping the virus out. It works because a lot of people think they are wearing the masks to protect themselves, not to protect others.
  12. How is that number calculated? If it has anything to do with case numbers, that has been skewed down because of a lack of testing. Case numbers were down significantly in the last 24 hours but they only reported 6000 tests. They’ve also seen a decrease in positivity but that’s from 33% to 22% which is still very high. The last few days have looked good but I’m skeptical that it will continue. Supposedly a couple new CDC ran testing sites will be opening this week, labs are expanding daily testing capacity and there’s the new ASU testing using saliva that has a much quicker turnaround. I just don’t know that we can get too much out of the testing data they’re putting out now. I’d like to see how these downward trends hold up with expanded testing.
  13. I guess this must be the next phase in the ‘I’m going to find any reason to downplay this’ playbook. ”Just the flu, bro” ”Hydroxychloroquine for everyone!” ”No worries, they’re gonna have a vaccine in a couple months” ”It’s only old people in the nursing homes who were gonna die. Protect them and let everyone else live their lives.” ”The cure is worse than the disease!!!” ”If you’re scared, you can just stay home. We’re gonna open up and go back to normal” ”It’s just young people, they’ll be fine.” ”It’s just a lot of cases where are the hospitalizations and deaths?” ”Hospitals have been overwhelmed before and for other reasons, it just happens sometimes.” <— We’re here now I think it would just be easier to be honest and admit that you really don’t care about anyone but yourself. That attitude has become acceptable in the US, so there’s really no need to continue with these mental gymnastics.
  14. We have a mask mandate currently. Our store (grocery/pharmacy) isn’t actively enforcing it. Right now I don’t have a problem with it. Compliance is probably 90-95%. When one of the rare people comes in without, I’m not going to stop them. It’s like herd immunity, you don’t need 100% compliance for it to be effective. Now if that percentage starts to drop, I might be getting on the manager to enforce it. At this point the conflict isn’t worth it.
  15. Let’s just look at this broadly and break it down. COVID Exposure Risk = Virus Present x Distance x Time Virus Present = Community Prevalence x Virus Cells Emitted Distance = Physical Distance x Mitigating factors How do you decrease community prevalence? You stay locked down with true restrictions long enough to kill the spread and get it down to manageable levels. How do you decrease the virus cells emitted. The simplest is wearing a mask. It won’t stop everything but it will restrict a lot. Also can be decreased by avoiding actions that create large droplets like coughing, sneezing, breathing hard, yelling and singing. You also need to restrict asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic exposure and that can only be done with extensive testing, contract tracing and quarantine. Physical distancing is not only the 6 feet but simply not being near other people if you don’t need to. Mitigating factors to the distance can be airflow, the size of the room, airflow restrictions, indoors vs outdoors. Time is simply just time. Spend enough time around someone and it won’t matter what precautions you take, your risk will increase. Masks will limit the particles emitted but if you spend a lot of time with them, those little amounts pile up. Likewise physical distancing decreases in effectiveness over time - staying 6 feet apart for 5 minutes isn’t the same as staying 6 feet apart for 3 hours. The mitigating factor of being outside will also decrease the longer you’re out. Simple rules to live by to stop the spread: *Stay away long enough to lower the community prevalence. *Wear a mask to restrict the virus particle freely going into the air. *Keep your distance from others when you need to be out *Limit the time you do anything, no matter the restrictions taken. *Avoid activities that cause excessive droplet production in public. But the biggest thing to remember is that we are dependent on everyone else doing it. Outside of never leaving the house, we can only restrict our personal risk as much as the rest of the herd is willing to play along. We can’t continue to live in a society where the only way we can slow down and contain the spread of the virus is with shutdowns. That will lead to us continually getting hit hard not only physically but also socially and economically.