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Scared to ask but don't have anywhere else - Clay Travis Article? (1 Viewer)

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
I want to be super clear - I'M ASKING FOR OPINIONS HERE. I AM NOT SAYING I AGREE WITH THIS

I hesitate to even ask this as I don't like the guy personally. And I'm well aware of his reputation. But I also want to be fair. It's Clay Travis and I know he brings a ton of loaded baggage with anything he says. 

But I'm seeing this a good bit today. And I'd like to be able to respond to people who ask me what they think.

I have quite a few people that for whatever reason look to me on stuff and I want to be able to guide them well. 

Can you guys please unemotionally let me know what you think of this? And where you think he's getting this wrong? 

https://www.outkickthecoverage.com/coronavirus-infections-are-likely-to-peak-next-week/


Again, I hesitate to even ask but I don't feel like I have anywhere else to ask this without getting shot down because of it being Clay Travis.

One thing I know already is today's Italy numbers after he published the article seem discouraging for some of the reasons Simon mentioned earlier.

But would love opinion on the rest. If you think it's completely wrong - please tell me what and where. 
Much thanks.

 

I know there is coronavirus doom and gloom everywhere you look on social media right now — in particular with viral predictions of millions of coronavirus deaths on the horizon — but I believe most people are missing the key detail in this outbreak: the number of daily new infections.

Don’t focus on the raw numbers of infection or their growth or death rates — the kind of fear porn you see peddled far and wide on social media — just look at the rates of daily new infection that have occurred in coronavirus outbreaks around the globe and you can divine, to a great extent, what the future is likely to hold.

As a preliminary, yes, I am a lawyer who now makes a living writing and talking primarily about sports. No, I am not an epidemiologist and I’m not a doctor either. So if you don’t want to read any further or want to denigrate my opinions for that reason, you’re certainly entitled to that perspective.

But for the rest of you, let me cite my primary source here at the beginning, I am using this website which has been fantastic at providing factually accurate and up to the date infections around the world.

For those of you who have watched, read or listened to my opinions over the years you know that I love to devour data and I’m not afraid to have opinions that run contrary to the masses. Sometimes those opinions focus on sports, other times they deal with politics, media, or business. When I become fascinated by a subject, I can’t stop thinking about it, I want to consume all the information I can about a particular subject.

And for the past month I have been absolutely fascinated by the coronavirus outbreak around the world. I’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours reading about this virus and studying the public data arising from outbreaks in countries all over the world.

Many nights in the past several weeks, especially since sports has been shut down, I have slept three or four hours because I haven’t been able to stop devouring information before waking up at 4:30 in the morning to do my national sports talk radio show. And for those of you who have listened, watched or read what I’ve been saying you know that I’ve been more optimistic about America’s ability to withstand this viral outbreak than most people have.

As a result I’ve been denigrated online by many media members with blue checkmarks by their names on Twitter for not being enough of an alarmist, for downplaying the threat of the coronavirus to our nation’s health. That hasn’t been my intent at all, my intent, as it always is, has simply been to share factual data with my audience. As I always say, you can disagree with the opinions I come to based on the underlying facts, but I struggle to ensure I get all my facts right, especially in cases such as these.

While most in the United States have been focusing on the United States outbreak I’ve paid quite a bit of attention to what’s happened in China, South Korea and Japan.

Why?

Because all three of these countries had coronavirus outbreaks before ours and all three had essentially ended the viral outbreaks in their respective countries before our outbreak really took root. That is, the factual evidence clearly established that when these countries attacked the spread of the virus, they succeeded.

Interestingly, all three countries took different paths to end that outbreak — China, with the worst outbreak in the world to this point, was more draconian in its restrictions, while South Korea and Japan handled their outbreaks with much less significant disruptions to their economies and daily life.

Certainly in the months and years ahead it will make a great deal of sense to study every country’s response in an effort to find out the best possible model to adopt for future pandemics, but as I write this China, South Korea, and Japan have a total of 126 new infections today.

This means all three countries have effectively ended the viral outbreaks they were combating. (It’s certainly possible the virus could re-emerge in the future, but right now it seems to be beaten).

Now let’s pivot to our country.

Yesterday the United States saw our highest number of new infections to date, adding 1748 new cases. (It’s important to note that daily “new” cases doesn’t mean new in the context of they just happened. “New cases” are the result of infections that generally occurred five or more days in the past.)  As I write this we are on track to exceed yesterday’s number of daily new infections again today and probably for the next several days as well. (If you watch the White House press briefings and listen to Dr. Birx –who has been PHENOMENAL in speaking to the media, alongside of Dr. Fauci — she forecast this occurrence several days ago. Letting astute listeners know that as the testing ramped up in a big way in this country the number of infections would surge as well.)

But, and this is key, despite the number of new daily infections that doesn’t mean the virus is continuing to spread at this rapid of a rate, it means that we are catching up to the infections that have already occurred in the days and weeks prior to our aggressive action. That is, since the average incubation for this virus is five days, pretty much everyone testing positive today got the virus before the social distancing and quarantines began in substantial numbers in this country.

Right now the fear porn purveyors — all too many of whom are in the media — are spinning these infection numbers as hard as they can to terrify people and convince them we are about to descend into abject despair. That our efforts to combat the virus are failing. But the number of daily new infections is a rearguard action, it’s measuring where we were several days ago in the fight against the virus, not where we are today.

And I think that means most of the people panicking in this country right now are missing the signal amid the noise.

Peak new daily infection rates in this country are closer than most think and, and this is significant, hitting a daily new infection peak is a very good thing because it signals we are moving to the backside of our outbreak.

And I think we’re going to hit peak new daily infections very soon.

How soon?

Well, the data in other countries suggests that our peak daily infection rate is likely to come next week.

How can I project this?

By looking at what already happened in China, Japan and South Korea.

As I said earlier in this article, those countries have a total of 126 combined new infections today.

That’s because once their infection rate began to decline it do incredibly rapidly, the inverse of the rapid rise.

In other words this virus ramps up rapidly, but it also declines rapidly.

Okay, some of you are saying, but those Asian countries did X, Y, and Z and we aren’t doing X, Y, and Z!

Well, let’s leave Asia behind and move to Europe, in particular to Italy, which has been the fear porn proxy for  most American social media users. “ITALY, ITALY, ITALY THEY WAIL! Look at the curve in Italy! We match it perfectly we are never going to be able to survive!”

Yes, Italy has suffered a substantial loss of life — 2503 as I write this afternoon — but as a result of this loss of life Italy has undertaken drastic measures to fight the virus. And, significantly, these drastic measures work and they appear to work rapidly against the virus.

On March 14th Italy hit 3,497 daily new infections. On March 15th Italy hit 3,590 new infections, the viral peak for daily new infections so far in their country. Then came 3,233 new infections on March 16th and 3,526 on March 17th. Now it’s still possible, of course, that the number of new daily infections could pop above 3,590, the present high set on March 15th — update they did on 3/18 after I clicked publish — but even with a still vacillating total infection number it seems pretty clear that at a minimum Italy has hit an infection plateau. (The number of daily deaths also peaked in Italy on March 15th at 368 — a new peak death rate came on March 18th after publication — and has declined since then.)

Far from being an example of exponential growth run wild, Italy stopped the coronavirus’s growth of daily new infections in its country in the space of a week. (This is why so many of these viral epidemiologist studies that go viral on social media are worthless. All of them presume nothing changes. If you want a fascinating read about a man who saw all this before the Chinese outbreak ended, go read the opinion of Micheal Levitt, a biophysicist who won the Nobel prize in chemistry.

Here’s the essence of Levitt’s analysis from that article: “The rate of infection of the virus in the Hubei province increased by 30% each day — that is a scary statistic. I am not an influenza expert but I can analyze numbers and that is exponential growth.”

Had the growth continued at that rate, the whole world would have become infected within 90 days. But as Levitt continued to process the numbers, the pattern changed. On February 1, when he first looked at the statistics, Hubei Province had 1,800 new cases a day. By February 6, that number had reached 4,700 new cases a day.

But on February 7, something changed. “The number of new infections started to drop linearly and did not stop,” Levitt said. “A week later, the same happened with the number of the deaths. This dramatic change in the curve marked the median point and enabled better prediction of when the pandemic will end. Based on that, I concluded that the situation in all of China will improve within two weeks. And, indeed, now there are very few new infection cases.”  

Back to Italy, the data now reflects that from this point forward their infections will begin to descend, just like happened in China. And if Italy’s infection rate descends like they did in China, Japan and South Korea that will be a rapid descent which will allow a rapid return to normal life.

Now Italy appears to be further along in its viral outbreak than either France, Spain, Germany, or England are, but the lessons of Italy appear to reinforce the lessons of China, Japan and South Korea. Indeed, both France and Spain also appear to be close to hitting their peak numbers of new daily infections also. (By the way, the most interesting data point I have seen is from Germany. Somehow Germany has 11,973 infections and only 28 deaths. That’s a death rate for infected patients of .23%. What are they doing better than everyone else? Because that rate of death is very similar to the flu.)

Which is why if you extrapolate the data from China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, France and Spain to the United States then it seems highly likely that our rate of new daily infection will peak sometime late next week.

From that point forward we will be on the backside of this particular outbreak and our daily infection rate will decline rapidly.

That is, I believe rates of daily new infection in America will peak and then begin to drop precipitously starting at the end of next week. That doesn’t mean that new hotspots might not emerge around the United States or that our fight against the coronavirus is over, but it does means there’s a very good chance the worst of our outbreak will have passed by next week.

We will, in the words of Dr. Fauci, have flattened the curve.

What does that mean for America?

Well, since this is primarily a sports site it means our sports may well return faster than we thought. Already the KBA and CBA, the two pro basketball associations in Korea and China, are preparing to start back up their leagues in those countries.

But, much more significantly, it also means our economy may well bounce back more rapidly than many fear. Hopefully by early to mid-April we can begin to embrace a bit more normalcy in our lives once more.

And in what might be the most lasting legacy of this outbreak, hopefully we will have put in place a series of pandemic systems to allow us to respond more rapidly to more significant and deadly outbreaks that might arise in the future.

The good news is this virus is (probably) not going to kill you and we (likely) only have about a week until we hit the viral peak of new daily infections in America. Loss of life will be in the thousands, at most, and not the tens of thousands or the hundreds of thousands or the millions as the most terrifying of these forecasts have suggested. That doesn’t mean you should stop social distancing and staying at home if you’re ill, by the way, but it does mean that this containment is likely going to work very, very well.

What should you do if you believe my forecast is accurate? Buy stocks. I believe Wall Street has baked in far worse expectations than what the reality of this coronavirus will represent.

That’s why I spent all morning buying stocks myself. Yes, I’m putting my money where my mouth is.

And, by the way, if you hate me and you believe I’m totally wrong in my forecast, you’re entitled to that opinion as well. Indeed, if I personally end up dying of the coronavirus, you have my full permission to make as much fun of me as possible on social media.

“Writer who said no one would die of COVID 19 dies of COVID 19” is a hell of a headline.

I’d click on that link.

And like most of you I’d be too busy to actually read the article, but I would make a witty and sarcastic comment and share it with all my followers, ensuring it was one of the top trending topics for the day. So have at it.)

The reality is, spoiler alert, we’re all going to die.

But the evidence from around the world suggests that for the vast, vast majority of us, it won’t be from this virus.

 
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I’ll caveat my opinion by saying I am a basic, average maybe slightly above idiot level guy in his late 40s. I have no credentials, I’m not an epidemiologist, a cardiologist, a healthcare provider, a statistician or an expert in any field. I am a low level data analyst who works in market research.

I have also looked at the new case data by country, although probably not as closely as the author of the article has. I will make this opinion and follow it up with another caveat:

His interpretation of the data is not wrong. I am not saying it is correct. But his statements are not factually incorrect.

Now for the final caveat. We, as a nation, have to take “steps x, y and z” as he calls them. That doesn’t mean cancelling the NBA was one of those steps either, that’s a given at this point. It means practicing extreme social distancing and basically self quarantining for everyone in the nation. No exceptions for young people or for Spring Break or anything. If we do that, he may be on the right track with his statements.

 

[icon]

Insoxicated
False equivalencies with Japan/China/SK due to a wide range of factors which have been discussed many times in other thread.... testing, quarantine, compliant population. We are MUCH more like Italy than them. Italy just hit a HORRIBLE day over a week since a national quarantine. They're still getting worse due to public compliance and they've still got incubated cases surging. 

I think our Peak is several weeks away. We have multiple epicenters trending with limited mitigating actions taken.... like testing/identification, quarantine, public compliance (masks, staying home, etc).  

I think this continues to accelerate into early April or possibly even late April / Early May , barring FAR more significant actions.

Keep in mind we're JUST NOW starting to take moderate actions (closing restaurants/bars) but people are still packing stores, beaches, etc. We have 7-14 days from NOW of growth to still feel even IF we somehow shut it down today. 

Clay Travis is an idiot. 

 
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Sinn Fein

Footballguy
Ok, I read (most of) it - my first reaction is to take a step back from the data for a second, and ask the broader question - how do I explain the data.

When I look at China, South Korea, and Japan - I see three countries that impacted the infection rates in ways that the United States can't or won't.

China - Authoritarian shut-down.  Even then it took several weeks to get under control.

South Korea - I'll have to look for it now, but I read a fascinating article about just how meticulous they were with testing (we all know about the 10,000 tests per day) - but more importantly, they were meticulous about isolating positive tests, and being able to track down contacts, while the outbreak was manageable.  The gist of the article pointed out that a single person who slipped through their cracks, and did not isolate properly, was singularly responsible for two huge subsequent outbreaks in the country.

Japan - Japan has a culture that embraces "obedience" (for lack of better term) and which is accustomed to wearing face masks to protect from pollution.  Both of these traits help flatten the curve.

None of the above factors are present here in the US - so I would be hesitant to use those countries to model what the spread could look like here.  We were very late to the game in terms of awareness.  We lost the ability to test and isolate.  We are generally struggling to self-isolate.  We do have some advantage in natural distancing in rural parts of the country - but we have some very high density places that could get hit hard.

 

Rich Conway

Footballguy
He's missing something very significant.  If social distancing measures work and the peak comes, that does not mean we can simply stop social distancing and resume all normal activities including sports.  If that happened, we would be giving the virus a new opportunity to spread quickly.

 

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
Ok, I read (most of) it - my first reaction is to take a step back from the data for a second, and ask the broader question - how do I explain the data.

When I look at China, South Korea, and Japan - I see three countries that impacted the infection rates in ways that the United States can't or won't.

China - Authoritarian shut-down.  Even then it took several weeks to get under control.

South Korea - I'll have to look for it now, but I read a fascinating article about just how meticulous they were with testing (we all know about the 10,000 tests per day) - but more importantly, they were meticulous about isolating positive tests, and being able to track down contacts, while the outbreak was manageable.  The gist of the article pointed out that a single person who slipped through their cracks, and did not isolate properly, was singularly responsible for two huge subsequent outbreaks in the country.

Japan - Japan has a culture that embraces "obedience" (for lack of better term) and which is accustomed to wearing face masks to protect from pollution.  Both of these traits help flatten the curve.

None of the above factors are present here in the US - so I would be hesitant to use those countries to model what the spread could look like here.  We were very late to the game in terms of awareness.  We lost the ability to test and isolate.  We are generally struggling to self-isolate.  We do have some advantage in natural distancing in rural parts of the country - but we have some very high density places that could get hit hard.
Thank you. 

Would it be fair to say Italy is a good one to look to? As I said in the opening, it looks not good that Italy had a higher number of deaths today after the article was published. Their isolating is more is more extreme, right? Is it as strict as what China did?

 
This is a long article and I’m on my phone so it’s hard for me to specifically address all of the many things that I think are wrong with it.  But the main thing is that he seems to be conflating “number of new confirmed infections” with “number of new infections.”  Those two numbers are not even close to the same thing.  By far the most important determinant in the “confirmed” number is the amount of testing done.  Places that test a lot will show more cases.  Places that ramp up testing quickly will show a fast increase in cases.  Neither of these numbers really tells us how widespread the virus is and how fast it is moving.  
 

His entire reasoning is based on this misunderstanding of what the numbers mean.

 

FairWarning

Footballguy
Thank you. 

Would it be fair to say Italy is a good one to look to? As I said in the opening, it looks not good that Italy had a higher number of deaths today after the article was published. Their isolating is more is more extreme, right? Is it as strict as what China did?
I watch a lot of foreign tv, been really tuned into UK and Italian TV lately because of this.  China was more extreme, they were even welding shut apartment buildings.  Italy did basically quarantee the northern part of the country off, eventually closing down the entire country.  It does appear that we are roughly 10 days behind Italy in the progression of the virus.  We can learn what is working/not working in Europe and hope to flatten the curve.  

Italy/western europe is who we should look at here.  Do you believe anything from China?  

 

mr. furley

Footballguy
i don't like that guy, but in this case agree with his take.  we've let rational, level-headed thought go right out the ####### window to the detriment of the entire planet. it's silly. 

yes people are getting sick. yes we all need to be responsible for preventing the spread. yes things are awful today.  but i see very, very, very few people looking at the past to predict the future.

instead of people saying "well, China did nothing for a long time and then went nuts, but after about 3 months they've stamped it out.... So Korea was much more pro-active and it lasted about 3 months there..." most people are screaming "BUT, ITALY! WE'RE WAY BEHIND!!"

always with the caveat that we can't compare our situation to China or South Korea, but of course we can make a 1:1 comparison to Italy. it's cherry picking. 

we've got scientists and doctors who are pretty well experienced with the behavior and life cycles of viruses in general who are saying things like "wash your hands, keep your distance, stay home if you're sick.. these things follow a general pattern and then they die out.  we have amazing technology today to combat these things and we're working at breakneck pace to put this fire out"  and then you have talking head yokels on various news stations whose job it is to draw ratings going public screaming that we're all doomed, millions of deaths in the US alone, we can't possibly handle even 100 more illnesses..  

we hear someone has got sick, or died, and we don't care what the factors associated with it are... all we see is "sick" or "dead" and that confirms to people their worst fears.  that worldometer site he referenced i had posted in one of these coronavirus threads & it really is pretty great if you're someone who wants to keep up with this stuff. 

especially in the world today people look to the end of their noses and not further.  i'll never forget the advice my mom gave my wife and i shortly after our youngest was born. she was a freaking disaster and it was threatening to fracture my wife. she could not take it.  my mom said (to paraphrase) "this is a lot right now & it's tough & you're tired and it seems like nothing will ever work or get better... but this is just a blip in your lifetime together. things will get better. she will calm down and in a few years you'll look back at this time and laugh.  you'll miss your baby and you'll remember the joy she brought instead of the sleepless nights."

here we are 9 years later and she's the light of my life. just an amazing kid. not sleeping for 3 months, getting screamed at non-stop every day for 90 days, etc. was freaking awful, but we came out the other side OK. 

look long-term both back & forward. don't just focus on the panic of this moment or you'll never get through life.

 
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msommer

Footballguy
Hmmm. It's a lot to take in. My gut says he's wrong.

A couple of points.
The Italian numbers increased today - a lot - potentially negating his assertation that the curve was broken there. Also the Italian lock down came in stages, first the four northern regions, then the rest of the country, so the effect of the lockdown should best case be seen in two waves, but so far all we've had is a three day pause before today's disastrous numbers (+20% cases over the "pause level" and almost 500 dead.
Re Japan - they are testing far fewer people than they have capacity for by choice, to ensure fast turnaround of tests apparently. Not sure how that fits with his assertation that they have smothered the epidemic, cases are still popping up.
The Chinese break (Feb 7) came about two weeks after the Wuhan lockdown. A lockdown that dwarf anything possible in the western world. Certainly it was much, much stronger than what any state has attempted to implement so far. Thus to say - "see they took measures and two weeks later they had it licked, so we took measures a week ago so next week were done", seems a bit simplistic. Not all measures are equally effective (lockdown may stop the spread from spreading randomly across the city but those the infected live with, they'll get it if they are not quarantined elsewhere - which the Chinese allegedly did - and this is clearly different from saying you can't go to a gathering with more than 100 people)

South Korea is another example of how his logic doesn't add up. South Korean investigative teams ruthlessly tracked down 200,000 members of a sect that was at the centre of an outbreak and tested the lot of them. When the leader wouldn't hand over the membership rolls, they charged him with murder until he complied. That would be unthinkable in the western world - how can the US hope to emulate the results when the means are unpalatable? 

Lastly he flippantly includes France, Spain and Germany as countries that have broken the curve. That they have done that is not evident in the numbers reported -  to an even smaller degree than Italy - and all countries have placed more restrictions on their population as far as I can tell than the US has so far, even more than the most restrictive state in the US.

It seems like wishcasting on a flimsy background to me

 

BrutalPenguin

Footballguy
"And for the past month I have been absolutely fascinated by the coronavirus outbreak around the world. I’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours reading about this virus and studying the public data arising from outbreaks in countries all over the world."

I'd believe him because he's been able to squeeze more than 730 hours into a month, and that's some serious time travel-fu.  That or he's more fast and loose with his numbers and data than he claims or even realizes.  Self important people often are.

 

The noD

Footballguy
And for the past month I have been absolutely fascinated by the coronavirus outbreak around the world. I’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours reading about this virus and studying the public data arising from outbreaks in countries all over the world.
we can start with claiming he has possibly spent thousands of hours reading about this (over the past month?) when we have yet to hit 2000 hours in the year 2020.  i know who he is, was going to give it a chance, but didn't read any farther.  I'd get my number crunching elsewhere.

 

The noD

Footballguy
"And for the past month I have been absolutely fascinated by the coronavirus outbreak around the world. I’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours reading about this virus and studying the public data arising from outbreaks in countries all over the world."

I'd believe him because he's been able to squeeze more than 730 hours into a month, and that's some serious time travel-fu.  That or he's more fast and loose with his numbers and data than he claims or even realizes.  Self important people often are.
:goodposting:  

 

mr. furley

Footballguy
and i will also say that this is one of those things where people are falling all over themselves to make outlandish predictions about the future to top the last guy. it's pretty wild stuff.

anyone who puts something out that isn't doom & gloom is immediately attacked for not being alarmed enough, or alarmist enough.

there's a yin and a yang to everything. in this instance one is winning out while the other is having a bag put over its head as a silencer. 

it does make me wonder how some of you are handling this with your kids. kids look to us for guidance. if we panic, they panic. it's okay to be concerned & talk about it with them, but i can't imagine the conversations in some of your homes.  

 
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msommer

Footballguy
As I said in the opening, it looks not good that Italy had a higher number of deaths today after the article was published. Their isolating is more is more extreme, right? Is it as strict as what China did?
Italians are generally social creatures. I would be very surprised if at the beginning the measures were followed to the letter. It seems more so now, but only the last week (e.g. there were reports of people going to the parks during the local lockdown in Milan, something which certainly would not have been possible in China)

 

FairWarning

Footballguy
Italians are generally social creatures. I would be very surprised if at the beginning the measures were followed to the letter. It seems more so now, but only the last week (e.g. there were reports of people going to the parks during the local lockdown in Milan, something which certainly would not have been possible in China)
An older population, and more smokers also.  

 

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
and i will also say that this is one of those things where people are falling all over themselves to make outlandish predictions about the future to top the last guy. it's pretty wild stuff.

anyone who puts something out that isn't doom & gloom is immediately attacked for not being alarmed enough, or alarmist enough.

there's a yin and a yang to everything. in this instance one is winning out while the other is having a bag put over its head as a silencer. 

it does make me wonder how some of you are handling this with your kids. kids look to us for guidance. if we panic, they panic. it's okay to be concerned & talk about it with them, but i can't imagine the conversations in some of your homes.  
Yes. That's kind of been my life lately. 

Trying to be careful and not under react but also not over react. It's a difficult balance I think. 

 

mr. furley

Footballguy
Italians are generally social creatures. I would be very surprised if at the beginning the measures were followed to the letter. It seems more so now, but only the last week (e.g. there were reports of people going to the parks during the local lockdown in Milan, something which certainly would not have been possible in China)
time will tell what factors made it worse there.  everyone wants to point and say "SEE THIS IS WHAT AWAITS THE ENTIRE WORLD!", but who really knows what factors caused the spike there yet? 

certainly not FBGs, not Senators, not your barkeep, or your ex on Facebook.

i'd like to see the recap on this in years to come. maybe there's a single particular factor that made Italians more at risk. maybe there are a dozen. more? 

anyone pointing at an extreme and saying "that's inevitable for everyone" is.... something.

 

DaVinci

FairTaxguy
No idea who this guy is, so that doesn’t sway my take. I think his logic is largely right, but his timeline is off. Infection spreads then government imposes restrictions then infections drop after some lag. I think we’re still a week or two away from when enough people comply with the restrictions for the lag to start. Peak is probably 3-4 weeks away.

 

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
No idea who this guy is, so that doesn’t sway my take. I think his logic is largely right, but his timeline is off. Infection spreads then government imposes restrictions then infections drop after some lag. I think we’re still a week or two away from when enough people comply with the restrictions for the lag to start. Peak is probably 3-4 weeks away.
It probably helps if you don't know who he is. ;)  

 

msommer

Footballguy
time will tell what factors made it worse there.  everyone wants to point and say "SEE THIS IS WHAT AWAITS THE ENTIRE WORLD!", but who really knows what factors caused the spike there yet? 

certainly not FBGs, not Senators, not your barkeep, or your ex on Facebook.

i'd like to see the recap on this in years to come. maybe there's a single particular factor that made Italians more at risk. maybe there are a dozen. more? 

anyone pointing at an extreme and saying "that's inevitable for everyone" is.... something.
Take a look at France and Spain - following the same trajectory. And both countries having done far more to enforce social distancing than the US. Germany too, but is an outlier on the basis of lower nuber of dead (which is very interesting - how are they (and South Korea) managing that?)

 

nirad3

Footballguy
Clay Travis is one of those "throw poo against the wall, see what sticks" kinda guys.  So I'm inclined to save myself 10 minutes of reading time.

 

Joe Bryant

Guide
Staff member
Clay Travis is one of those "throw poo against the wall, see what sticks" kinda guys.  So I'm inclined to save myself 10 minutes of reading time.
Ok. Thanks.

For others that would like to read, would appreciate thoughts. Much thanks. 

 

msommer

Footballguy
For the site he referenced https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Is that generally thought to be a reliable source?

I had another friend today reference it saying he thought it was good and the BBC had cited it. 
Yes it's a good site. It resets at midnight CET so growth numbers may vary with John's Hopkins and other sites. Not sure how they pick up their numbers but some countries report multiple times a day, others only once. For the one's that report multiple times they accumulate

 

tjnc09

Footballguy
India has a population of 1.4B (roughly the size of China) and a population density 3x China.  Only 169 cases since the outbreak started.   

Media knows fear sells and selectively focuses on countries like Italy.  The panic, imo, is quite out of control.

I tend to agree with the article.  Large cities taking huge steps already, employees working from home, gyms/movies/etc closed.  I would be surprised if the peak isn’t in a few weeks.  (definitely could be wrong and still doing my part to social distant)

 

parasaurolophus

Footballguy
and i will also say that this is one of those things where people are falling all over themselves to make outlandish predictions about the future to top the last guy. it's pretty wild stuff.

anyone who puts something out that isn't doom & gloom is immediately attacked for not being alarmed enough, or alarmist enough.

there's a yin and a yang to everything. in this instance one is winning out while the other is having a bag put over its head as a silencer. 

it does make me wonder how some of you are handling this with your kids. kids look to us for guidance. if we panic, they panic. it's okay to be concerned & talk about it with them, but i can't imagine the conversations in some of your homes.  
I feel like this is what I am seeing with the school cancellations. Oh yeah? You cancelled until April 6th? We cancelled until April 13th! Well I am saying indefinitely! Oh yeah? School is cancelled for the rest of the year!!!

 

krista4

Footballguy
No idea who this guy is, so that doesn’t sway my take. I think his logic is largely right, but his timeline is off. Infection spreads then government imposes restrictions then infections drop after some lag. I think we’re still a week or two away from when enough people comply with the restrictions for the lag to start. Peak is probably 3-4 weeks away.
This was the biggest flaw I saw in his article, as it seemed to assume we had imposed significant restrictions earlier than we have.  In fact, some places still have not - see the pictures of Florida beaches as an example.  As a result of our patchwork of state/local actions, his timeline could be closer to correct for certain locales, but overall I think he's off.

I also agree with msommer's excellent post below.  At the same time, I agree with furley that the overall panic isn't helpful right now.  The fact is we don't know.  No one knows what is going to happen, because we still have imperfect data, in large part due to lack of testing.  

Hmmm. It's a lot to take in. My gut says he's wrong.

A couple of points.
The Italian numbers increased today - a lot - potentially negating his assertation that the curve was broken there. Also the Italian lock down came in stages, first the four northern regions, then the rest of the country, so the effect of the lockdown should best case be seen in two waves, but so far all we've had is a three day pause before today's disastrous numbers (+20% cases over the "pause level" and almost 500 dead.
Re Japan - they are testing far fewer people than they have capacity for by choice, to ensure fast turnaround of tests apparently. Not sure how that fits with his assertation that they have smothered the epidemic, cases are still popping up.
The Chinese break (Feb 7) came about two weeks after the Wuhan lockdown. A lockdown that dwarf anything possible in the western world. Certainly it was much, much stronger than what any state has attempted to implement so far. Thus to say - "see they took measures and two weeks later they had it licked, so we took measures a week ago so next week were done", seems a bit simplistic. Not all measures are equally effective (lockdown may stop the spread from spreading randomly across the city but those the infected live with, they'll get it if they are not quarantined elsewhere - which the Chinese allegedly did - and this is clearly different from saying you can't go to a gathering with more than 100 people)

South Korea is another example of how his logic doesn't add up. South Korean investigative teams ruthlessly tracked down 200,000 members of a sect that was at the centre of an outbreak and tested the lot of them. When the leader wouldn't hand over the membership rolls, they charged him with murder until he complied. That would be unthinkable in the western world - how can the US hope to emulate the results when the means are unpalatable? 

Lastly he flippantly includes France, Spain and Germany as countries that have broken the curve. That they have done that is not evident in the numbers reported -  to an even smaller degree than Italy - and all countries have placed more restrictions on their population as far as I can tell than the US has so far, even more than the most restrictive state in the US.

It seems like wishcasting on a flimsy background to me

 

Don Quixote

Footballguy
I've known Clay since he was a freshman in college (for better or worse).

I think it's tough to say anything with certainty. Some state and local governments and businesses seem to be taking the lead on the needed distancing. I don't think we will know how that effective that is for awhile.   We are also behind the other countries from a testing perspective.  I think the steps are going to stop the exponential increase in cases, but I think we are still going to a slower increase.  I also worry what is going to happen 2-3 weeks from now if we are still not where we need to be from a testing and quarantine perspective, and society prematurely tries to return to normalcy.

 

nirad3

Footballguy
Ok. Thanks.

For others that would like to read, would appreciate thoughts. Much thanks. 
Sorry for not really adding anything of value.  But I read and hear a lot of him and it seems like he just says stuff for shock value, looking for the "gotcha!" moment, and if his statements end up falling by the wayside, no one really remembers.

 

Sinn Fein

Footballguy
I feel like this is what I am seeing with the school cancellations. Oh yeah? You cancelled until April 6th? We cancelled until April 13th! Well I am saying indefinitely! Oh yeah? School is cancelled for the rest of the year!!!
I am not seeing that - although very likely because I am looking from a different vantage point, rather than it not being the case.

I know for certain that Lexington schools were discussing closing down until April 6 - that was a somewhat practical point - given that Spring Break was the week leading up to April 6.  So, if they were going to close, the alternative was 1 week, or April 6.  This was all in the planning stage when #### hit the fan - the NBA, Conferences, NCAA tourney - all abruptly cancelled, and then the likely straw was Ohio cancelling schools for 3 weeks (same as what Lexington had planned).

At that point, the Governor made the call and shut schools down to the end of Spring Break.  I think most school districts around the country were looking at the same window - using Spring Break as the end of the "closed" period - albeit districts all have different spring breaks, which leads to some schools closing for different time periods.

Now, we are 3 days into school closures, and I know that locally, schools are preparing to be closed for the remainder of the semester.  Teachers are starting to put lesson plans on line.  Schools are trying to figure out technology requirements for students who can't easily access material on-line.  (One of our local providers (spectrum) is offering a deal of 60 days free internet for new subscribers, with no set-up costs - i.e. enough to get kids through the end of school).  None of the teachers were really prepared to do this, and I think the schools would much rather get the kids back in class, and not have to extend the closure as part of some one-up-manship.

 

krista4

Footballguy
I've known Clay since he was a freshman in college (for better or worse).

I think it's tough to say anything with certainty. Some state and local governments and businesses seem to be taking the lead on the needed distancing. I don't think we will know how that effective that is for awhile.   We are also behind the other countries from a testing perspective.  I think the steps are going to stop the exponential increase in cases, but I think we are still going to a slower increase.  I also worry what is going to happen 2-3 weeks from now if we are still not where we need to be from a testing and quarantine perspective, and society prematurely tries to return to normalcy.
You said this much better than I did.  :)  

 

Sinn Fein

Footballguy
I also worry what is going to happen 2-3 weeks from now if we are still not where we need to be from a testing and quarantine perspective, and society prematurely tries to return to normalcy.
This is really the next big test for leadership - what does "all clear" look like?  Its a tough question to get right.

 

parasaurolophus

Footballguy
Now, we are 3 days into school closures, and I know that locally, schools are preparing to be closed for the remainder of the semester.  Teachers are starting to put lesson plans on line.  Schools are trying to figure out technology requirements for students who can't easily access material on-line.  (One of our local providers (spectrum) is offering a deal of 60 days free internet for new subscribers, with no set-up costs - i.e. enough to get kids through the end of school).  None of the teachers were really prepared to do this, and I think the schools would much rather get the kids back in class, and not have to extend the closure as part of some one-up-manship
 State governors are the ones making these decisions extending things, not districts. 

 

msommer

Footballguy
 State governors are the ones making these decisions extending things, not districts. 
That may be smart as school districts may not realize the risks involved

ETA: So far we've seem that a centraized decision process (CN, SK, SG) beats a decentralized decision process (IT, AT)

 
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Shaunz33

Footballguy
Hi Joe I currently live in Milan (since last year but only for a couple more months). You can see my posts in the COVID thread (March 8, 11, and 18), links below. A few things, first yes that is a reputable site used for stats. It has been consistent with the John Hopkins site. I think US is several weeks away from peak. Maybe mid/late April. Honestly  (maybe stereotype) but  Americans are  probably less likely to follow govt restrictions/guidance (and I am from US). It is true what was mentioned above, Italy lockdowns came in stages, by region and then the level of restriction in the region. Even when the first large region locked down (Lombardy/Milan), there was initially still considerable movement, restaurants/cafes open 6am-6pm, trains/flights, and majority people still going to work (was still allowed). Just no school, no night social life, etc.   Only since last Thursday did it clamp down much more and only allow being outdoors for either health/medical reasons, necessities (grocery store, pharmacy) and some essential services/work. They have fined 50,000 people for not obeying. I read today they may even go further and next ban outside exercise (walking, running, etc). So for Italy yes a spike up today but new cases and deaths today mean infection probably 5-10 days ago (when still escalating lockdown).  Maybe in a week Italy will have peaked and head down, but again I doubt US for several weeks. 

https://forums.footballguys.com/forum/topic/783421-official-covid-19-coronavirus-thread/page/202/?tab=comments#comment-22561107

https://forums.footballguys.com/forum/topic/783421-official-covid-19-coronavirus-thread/page/344/?tab=comments#comment-22582754

 

mr. furley

Footballguy
Take a look at France and Spain - following the same trajectory. And both countries having done far more to enforce social distancing than the US. Germany too, but is an outlier on the basis of lower nuber of dead (which is very interesting - how are they (and South Korea) managing that?)
the French and Spanish are also hugely social. from lounging in cafes, to congregating in public plazas, taking public transport en masse, etc.

not to mention the different public norms. even the men hold hands in public, and kisses on the lips and/or cheeks are not just common, but expected. 

Americans are social, but not on this order. not even close. the last time someone i wasn't related to by marriage, or birth kissed me on the lips was years ago.

i went to Spain and France on separate occasions where i both kissed, and got kissed by more men and women than i have in the rest of my entire life. that vacation time spans about 3 weeks in total.

if this virus, like.... all of them... is primarily spread by contact, particularly around the face, it's no shocking to me that a country like Italy, France or Spain would have a huge problem before it starts to get contained. 

is that the ONLY reason that it's worse. doubtful. but i'd feel comfortable saying it's pretty decent factor. 

eta: it's times like these that i wish @Doctor Detroit were here to give us his perspective on the Germans. i've got family living there and have heard from them how the country and people are responding. it's quite a lot different than here, and seems to be owing largely to cultural reasons.

 
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mr. furley

Footballguy
For the site he referenced https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Is that generally thought to be a reliable source?

I had another friend today reference it saying he thought it was good and the BBC had cited it. 
i've heard/seen it referenced in several places (NPR among them). that's what led me there.

it seems to be strictly factual and focused on numbers, rather than speculating and reporting theories and guesses.

 

msommer

Footballguy
the French and Spanish are also hugely social. from lounging in cafes, to congregating in public plazas, taking public transport en masse, etc.

not to mention the different public norms. even the men hold hands in public, and kisses on the lips and/or cheeks are not just common, but expected. 

Americans are social, but not on this order. not even close. the last time someone i wasn't related to by marriage, or birth kissed me on the lips was years ago.

i went to Spain and France on separate occasions where i both kissed, and got kissed by more men and women than i have in the rest of my entire life. that vacation time spans about 3 weeks in total.

if this virus, like.... all of them... is primarily spread by contact, particularly around the face, it's no shocking to me that a country like Italy, France or Spain would have a huge problem before it starts to get contained. 

is that the ONLY reason that it's worse. doubtful. but i'd feel comfortable saying it's pretty decent factor. 
Possible. But both France and Spain have done more to prevent crowds (when anyone might kiss or cough) than the US. 

 

mr. furley

Footballguy
Possible. But both France and Spain have done more to prevent crowds (when anyone might kiss or cough) than the US. 
if what we've learned so far is to be trusted, this virus had been spreading in populations long before it was detected and these quarantines are capping the toothpaste tube after it was already squeezed half empty.

while i was running earlier tonight i remembered a conversation i had with my barber right before this all started going haywire. he mentioned that around early January he was down & out for about 2 weeks. i'd got a cut right after he was starting to perk up so i remembered him telling me how ####ty he felt and that he had to close for a couple days.

was chatting with him a bit ago about it and he said that there were a lot of guys cycling through with similar symptoms.. cough that persisted but wasn't raising any phlegm. tightness in their chest. fatigue. 

and it clicked in my head that around the same time schools in the area were closing down to prevent the spread of some ... virus.  some schools were reporting like 60% absences. it was all over local news. Southern Door, schools in the UP.  i remember that because my daughter was hyped about the possibility of her school closing for a couple days & me telling her "fat chance, plus you just came off Christmas break.. why do you need more days off?".  her school almost closed. they had something like 30% out and the SD was "monitoring" the situation but never closed.

my wife tells me tonight that some weird sickness swept through one of her co-workers houses. they even went so far as to send the husband in the basement for a week in hopes no one else would get sick. she says the husband reported feeling like he was having a heart attack, couldn't breath and couldn't stop coughing. they even went to the doctor and were apparently told "this too shall pass". that was just about 2 months ago.

and now i'm wondering, was this circulating already back then and we're only now just putting 2 + 2 together? does anyone else recall a similar'ish "illness" sweeping through their local schools in that early-mid January time frame? have we maybe already peaked and it's only now that we're testing that we think we're seeing a surge??

maybe it was totally unrelated, but it sure seems strange in retrospect.

 
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msommer

Footballguy
and now i'm wondering, was this circulating already back then and we're only now just putting 2 + 2 together? does anyone else recall a similar'ish "illness" sweeping through their local schools in that early-mid January time frame?
Probably. But to think you've peaked would mean that something like 200m Americans had it already and you've magically had close to 0% ratio in ICU and (very close to) 0% fatality rate which has not been replicated any where else

 

mr. furley

Footballguy
Probably. But to think you've peaked would mean that something like 200m Americans had it already and you've magically had close to 0% ratio in ICU and (very close to) 0% fatality rate which has not been replicated any where else
aw, i don't know nothin', Tom. i'm just speculatin' on a hypothesis is all.

that said, i don't know if people being hospitalized and/or dying from it would have necessarily made news if, as we're seeing now, like 100 people had died over the course of a month around the country. i dunno.  maybe it's nothing, but it hit me today as being kind of odd.

 
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msommer

Footballguy
aw, i don't know nothin', Tom. i'm just speculatin' on a hypothesis is all.

that said, i don't know if people being hospitalized and/or dying from it would have necessarily made news if, as we're seeing now, like 100 people had died over the course of a month around the country. i dunno.  maybe it's nothing, but it hit me today as being kind of odd.
It is odd. I had, for the first time in 12 years+ a bout of what I assume was the flu in the beginning of Feb. I never get the flu (in Denmark) - when I was living in Sao Paulo I'd be hit with a case of something or other once every year or two that required antibiotics. But the flu? Uh oh. 
What I'm thinking is that you may be right, the sickness spread a lot before we thought it could, but what I don't get is how hospitaization rates did not follow. And why they are picking up now. Until someone explains that, I'm going to assume I just got the manflu and was lucky enough to survive that ;)  

 

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