Predicting COVID-19 Aspects - Pandemic Modeling (Easter 2020)

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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#3
I thought the same. I have even been avoiding some news coverage in large part because they're OK for general news on trends but there are so many aspects that many people are making ridiculous predictions. I am at information overload level max --> Approaching Overload.
 

Miner

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Admin
#6
I listened most of the way through. It sounds like he has developed an explanatory model of the past that raises certain questions. However, a model can been very good at explaining the past and still be bad at predicting the future. He made a few caveats that he was not an expert in epidemiology and that he was talking way outside his field of expertise then it quickly devolved into what Kaiser Fung calls story time where theories with no basis in facts are thrown out to explain the results.
 

Pflanz

Registered
#7
Since I am retired and have nothing else to do I started charting the coronavirus data for Ohio. The original plan was to check the forecasts against actual results. Eventually I collected enough information to try a control chart and it explained why it was difficult to forecast it. Eventually I split the control chart into three phases. Ohio was improving through June and then everything went in the wrong direction. I started adding notes on the various special events like testing in prisons and nursing homes, holidays, the protests, and state lockdown and reopening of businesses. Please excuse my handwritten notes since I do not have access to the same SPC software I used when working.

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Nothing seemed to match up with the variations until I compared the number of daily tests that were being done. Early in the pandemic, testing was not as available and mainly used in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons where there were outbreaks. In the second phase the tests became more readily available. The recent surge in July is also when testing has increased and is available to people who have symptoms but do not need hospitalizations. The daily rate of testing is at its highest rate in the last two weeks.

The recent surge may be misleading when compared to the history. If the testing would have been higher in the previous phases it is possible that the number of confirmed cases would also been higher because it would have included more non-hospitalized cases of people who could not get tested. The surge may not be real since the initial reports might have been higher and the apparent surge would not be as significant.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#8
What is significant: The recent significant increase in hospitalizations, many ICUs being maxed out again after a bit of a respite, and an increase in deaths are indicators that there is, in fact, a surge in cases OR the cases are becoming deadlier. Whether there is more testing or less testing means little to me.

As the guy who attended a COViD party in Florida said (supposedly his last words) "I made a mistake. It's not a hoax. It's real."

COVID-19 may not be as deadly as some of the other pandemics in history, but it certainly isn't harmless to many people.

Worse still is that at least 2 studies waiting for peer review appear to indicate that antibody levels drop quickly in the majority of people. If this is true, a vaccine may be ineffective after a month or two, and reinfection is thought to be possible. Those who say it isn't couch their statement with a "...if this is like other viruses...", which again may or may not be the case. There is still much we will learn over the next year (or two or even more). Remember, it took over 10 years for scientists to develop a vaccine for the polio virus.
 

john.b

Involved In Discussions
#9
Greetings! The usual, an old thread notice alert reminded me to check in here. My company has certified to a new ISO 20000 system this year but there isn't much to say about that. It's like ISO 9001, just a little different.

I wanted to pass on how the pandemic goes elsewhere, since most forum participants would probably be located in the States. I live in Thailand and the pandemic ended about three months ago here. We went 100 days without an in-country transmission (per the official stats; of course probably not really), and then some guy just had it. In that 100 days I've only heard of two non-quarantined visitors walking around with it, which really freaked people out (everyone is quarantined except exceptions, which are less common now). Related to the starting point theme here, modeling pandemic spread or reduction progression, Thailand just got lucky, and overreacted when there weren't that many cases yet. It helped that people conform to norms a lot more here.

So not much to say, right? Since Thailand had depended on foreign tourism (or maybe that was all tourism, counting domestic) for about 20% of their economic input the change stings, a lot. Foreign-oriented resort areas are all but shut down. At least essentially everything else is back to normal internally, but there's no way to just suck it up and take that level of impact. They'll need to figure out a plan B. The stop-gap has been for the government to offer vouchers to promote domestic travel, but then it's not as if people here can vacation anywhere else anyway.

To me it's obvious, to encourage longer stay visitors, people who might want to do 3 months to a year here. They just spent a decade kicking out a lot of under the table English teachers, fugitives from other countries, and grifters, so they're slow to embrace that.

I lived in Hawaii last in the US and it has been sad hearing about them dealing with the same issues. They had a mandatory two week self-quarantine in place, and maybe still do (I don't follow it that closely), with their economy also crashing. It's odd how a lot of people wouldn't necessarily feel that here; nothing has changed in what I do or see, except for everyone wearing a mask (we're just not going to drop that, apparently). I fully expect a ripple effect to keep causing economic impact here though, for disruptions and business closures to keep spreading effects.
 
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