Category Archives: Healthcare

Love Donald, By All Means, But Why DIE FOR THE GUY?!

COVID-19, Democrats, Donald Trump, Healthcare, Reason, Republicans, Science

One wonders if there is a difference in COVID infection rates between Trump opponents and his supporters.

The Economist: “…a third of Americans who had voted for Mr Trump said they thought covid-19 was either a minor problem nationwide or not a problem at all. A recent Gallup poll showed that 94% of Democrats say they always or very often wear a mask when outside their homes compared with 46% of Republicans (and 68% of independents).”

… evidence suggests that younger adults are behind the latest surge in the virus. In Floridathe median age of covid-19 patients has dropped from 65 to near 40. Third, there is usually a lag of several weeks between a patient contracting the illness and when the patient’s death is reported to state authorities. Fourth, doctors seem to have become better at treating severe cases of covid-19, reducing the death rate even for those who must be hospitalised.

Given the rise in cases, however, it seems unlikely that the death rate will remain stagnant for much longer. Deaths for patients infected weeks ago will probably start to pile up. Some morgues in Arizona and Texas are running out of capacity and are already seeking refrigerated trucks, just as those in New York City did months ago. Uncontrolled community transmission among young people is likely to result in a spread in nursing homes, where a large share of fatalities occurs among the more vulnerable elderly. Should hospital capacity become strained, as appears to be the case in Houston, the quality of care could deteriorate and result in increased deaths as well.

Denial has not proved to be a particularly effective virus-suppression strategy. When polled by YouGov last week, a third of Americans who had voted for Mr Trump said they thought covid-19 was either a minor problem nationwide or not a problem at all. A recent Gallup poll showed that 94% of Democrats say they always or very often wear a mask when outside their homes compared with 46% of Republicans (and 68% of independents). To many voters, worry about the virus transmuted into coded disapproval of the president; mask-wearing is seen as a talisman of deranged coastal liberalism.

MORE: Covid deaths v cases:America is in the midst of an extraordinary surge of covid-19. Will the gap between cases and deaths persist?

*Image courtesy the Economist

How Far Are We From Herd Immunity To COVID? Very Far.

Argument, COVID-19, Healthcare, Logic

There seems to be a simple—as in elegant—way of getting some perspective on COVID-19 and herd immunity, which is defined as,

A situation in which a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness) to make its spread from person to person unlikely. Even individuals not vaccinated (such as newborns and those with chronic illnesses) are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community. Also known as herd immunity.

According to WorldOMeter, the United States has 1,546,420 Coronavirus Cases.

As has been pointed out here, America’s case count is scandalously inaccurate. By the Economist’s telling,

Throughout April the number of daily tests has averaged around 150,000, with the share of positive tests staying around 20%. That suggests America is testing only people who are probably infected (in Taiwan, for instance, one in every 132 tests is positive), which in turn suggests that many mild or asymptomatic cases are going undetected. America may have 15 to 20 times more actual infected people than confirmed cases.

1.5 million times 20 makes 30 million infected.

At best, approximately 30 million individuals in the US have some immunity to COVID-19.

The 30 million number is predicated on these two assumptions:

1. That the infected number includes the dead and the recovered. This seems reasonable.

2. That the Economist’s multiplier above is correct. That likelihood is good, too.

Thirty million people with immunity is less than 10 percent of the U.S. population. For there to be population-level immunity to COVID, “at least 70 percent of the population needs to be immune.”

We are still very far from achieving herd immunity.

 

Private Property Is Boss: It Decides Who Comes And Goes

Constitution, COVID-19, Healthcare, libertarianism, Private Property

“You are in violation of my f—— constitutional rights and my civil rights,” a man screamed when he was stopped from shopping at a Miami Beach Publix for not wearing a mask.

People really have no clue. Whatever laws we have that govern how private property must behave—these are not grounded in natural law. These originate in case law, or civil rights law—anything but natural law.

All these cases of Antifa-like anger and deadly violence over polite requests from private property to mask are a disgrace:

Last week, a woman, her adult son and husband were charged in the fatal shooting of a security guard who refused to let her daughter enter a Flint, Michigan, Family Dollar because she wasn’t wearing a face mask.

AND:

Two McDonald’s employees were shot inside an Oklahoma City restaurant after the suspect became upset when she was told the dining room was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, police said.

Oklahoma City Police Department said the 32-year-old female customer, whose name has not been released, got into a physical altercation with employees Wednesday evening, left the store and returned with a handgun.

MORE:

Tensions Over Masks, Social Distancing Lead To Violent Altercations, Shooting Death, Pipe Bomb Threats.

Barely-A-Blog’s Coronavirus News (4/29): Clarity In The Age Of Chaos

Conservatism, COVID-19, Healthcare, Republicans, Science

Very few of my Followers on social media, most of whom are on the Right (for some reason), seem to care about this number: 61,349 Americans dead from Coronavirus. On March 31, it was 3,900 deaths! This is Cancel Culture!

But I care. American deaths account for a fourth of the world’s deaths, including the undeveloped world. Without making you more weary than you already are, I’ll get to the data I find useful amid the white noise—provide some periodic clarity in this age of chaos.

From Barely A Blog:
http://barelyablog.com/:

1. Here Is What Canada’s Outbreak Scientists Knew About WuFlu By December 31 (And The US Was Too Callous and Incurious To Find Out)
http://barelyablog.com/what-canadas-outbreak-scientists-knew-about-wuflu-by-december-31/

2. If you get COVID, and it’s not the mild kind, you want a good outcome. Listen, then, not to the Just-The-Flu cohort, but to the brilliant, heroic, Dr. Richard Levitan:

Dr. Richard Levitan, an airway[s] [pulmonary] specialist who has practiced emergency medicine for over 30 years, is well aware of the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the virus began to overwhelm New York City at the end of March, he rushed from his home in New Hampshire to volunteer at Bellevue Hospital.

The Levitan interview is one of the clearest presentations I’ve watched. I’m honored to share this humble man’s wisdom and intelligence: “Patients Should Be Going to Hospitals Sooner.” You want to avoid the ventilator. And it’s a good time to acquire an oximeter. Listen:

https://www.pbssocal.org/programs/amanpour-co/why-covid-19-patients-should-be-going-hospitals-sooner-2a6jq/

As someone who has a daughter who suffered severe asthma as a child, I recognize the overcompensation Dr. Levitan describes so poignantly. Like the asthmatic, COVID patients compensate to the point of irreversible, dangerous, breathing difficulties. They can be blue around the mouth, yet still walking and talking.
I will never forget my daughter’s South-African pediatrician scolding me, then a young mom: “You waited too long to bring her in! Do you know how heroic these kids are! They learn to function with low oxygen levels.” What passion. The same passion for his patients I detect in Dr. Levitan.

3. Pulmonary specialist and ICU physician Vin Gupta, out of my state of WA, mentioned that COVID-19 is present for 21 days at least in the nasal tract. He noted that, while saliva tests are promising; antibody tests are inconclusive. Why not impart such practical data at the White House briefings?

Stay safe,

More later,

ilana