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Molon Lave

Coronavirus Pandemic

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On 5/19/2020 at 10:40 AM, pash said:

sample size is something that is important to keep in mind

I think 1000 is the number that is needed for the work to be deemed accepted as scientific as far as sample size, do you have experience in this kind of thing?

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The statistics I've studied is mostly based around finance but basically, the number you need is only defined as "sufficiently large" in textbooks. Which is a cop-out, I know. Most professors I've had say anywhere from 60-100, and I know that for calculating certain distributions that any value of N (sample) > 100 yields diminishing returns.

BUT, studying diseases is a whole different kettle of fish. I'd say 45 is clearly statistically insignificant, though I don't know how to distinguish between the value of 600 vs 1000 (or like 2000). I'd imagine that more data is often more useful though!

I bet that the 600 for Moderna's vaccine is probably chosen for a good reason. These guys generally know what they're doing, you know?

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12 hours ago, pash said:

I don't know how to distinguish between the value of 600 vs 1000 (or like 2000). I'd imagine that more data is often more useful though!

I was in University as an undergrad like several years a go I worked at the time for a market research company that does a lot of government contracts for a few political parties. Focus groups and surveys, can be easily manipulated or structured in ways that will produce a desired result, it is freaky, even the cadence or inference/tone/emphasis of certain words can influence and F*** with responses its is freaky to witness sometimes.  

Anyway for these to be looked at as scientific research I think the sample size had to be 1k to generate a result that was considered representative of the whole. Medical research I know about as much as a six year old about, thats why I asked.

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Yeah, and a big part of the manipulation you mention can also be a result of sampling bias. Unfortunately there is no perfect way to get this kind of data; we have a finite amount of time and resources (manpower/cash), so we need to extrapolate from a sample. This is why even a large number in a sample might still yield garbage info. I have a friend who's a research chemist who spends a lot of of his time ranting about standard deviations, since that is apparently how his company measures the likelihood of a batch (of experiments? medications? who knows!) being bad. Though I can't recall any specific numbers from him.

 

For fun, I looked at my notes from a managerial statistics class which gives some basic definitions of sampling methods. Too bad there were no hard numbers in it:

 

Simple random sample: Every member of the population has an equal chance of being selected.
Advantages: Simple to design and analyze, Difficult to mess up

Disadvantages: Can lead to high variance, Might be costly

 

Stratified random sample: Divide population into strata according to a certain trait, then do a simple random sample proportionally from each strata according to strata size.
Advantages: Representation of key traits proportional to population.

Disadvantages: Wrong results if incorrect strata, Might be more costly

 

Cluster sample: Divide the population into clusters homogeneous with respect to the population. Perform a simple random sample on one (or a few) clusters.
Advantages: Less costly to perform
Disadvantages: Bad results if cluster is biased
 

 

And then of course we have how data (even GOOD data!) is presented - can anyone see what's screwed up about the below examples? Personally, I think this is where a lot of misinformation - directed to the public - about covid-19 will come from, but it will hopefully have less of an impact on the actual companies doing their research.

fox-news-graph-fail.png

fox-news-graph-fail.jpeg

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Well the UK is going to be re-opening schools as of next week for some children. Reception  (4 to 5 year olds), Year 1 (5-6 year olds) and Year 6 (10-11 year olds).

I think alot of parents will keep their children off though as we're still seeing about 300 to 500 deaths a day, apart from at the Weekends when no one is on hand to tally the figures properly. 

News channels here have showed a govenrment video of Reception aged kids modelling social distancing but even they couldn't get it right! The kids were just naturally grivitating towards each other. Its going to be carnage when they all go back. I've got no clue how they intend for parents to collect the kids and social distance from each other?

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^ And on the top of that people seem to love going to the beach every time it is over 20 degrees. It's a mess here.

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I have multiple friends that were at the beach last Friday/Saturday/Sunday, even though they were "locked down" until today.

I have another set of friends who all thought if they stayed indoors for two weeks, that they could then go and host dinner parties/set up playdates for their kids/travel all over the state to have fun with friends. It's unreal. They legitimately think there's no issue with them doing whatever they want.

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7 hours ago, Athens4 said:

^ And on the top of that people seem to love going to the beach every time it is over 20 degrees. It's a mess here.

Here the beaches are overcrowded too with just a sparkle of sun. We'll see how this develops. 

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I live in a major US city and the lake front has been closed for about 2-3 months. No word on when the mayor plans to re-open them!

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BTW I don't think we've been talking about this but the situation in Brazil looks especially grim. They are not yet at their peak from what I can see, and the mass graves are already being dug.

When all is said and done I wonder what the mortality rate difference will be between them and us.

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1 hour ago, pash said:

When all is said and done I wonder what the mortality rate difference will be between them and us.

Mortality rates can be fudged or inconclusive - dependent on how the reporting goes.

From the BBC, Belgium, with a population of 11.5 million, has seen 82 people in every 100,000 die during its coronavirus outbreak while the US, with a population of around 330 million, has seen nearly 30 people in every 100,000 die.

One of the problems with comparing countries is that many of them report deaths in different ways. Belgium, for instance, includes deaths where coronavirus was suspected of being present but was never confirmed with a test. Some US states record deaths this way, but not all.

As for Brazil...

 

OFJZCQU7RMI6VPQGV5KRJ3QDQU.jpg&w=530

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Posted (edited)

 

The UK at first was only reporting Covid 19 deaths in hospitals and not ones in Care Homes or people who died at home. Totally fudging them to keep them below a 1000 deaths a day. If you add them we were peaking at about 1200 deaths a day. 

Still the UK government figures are totally different to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The government has our death toll at 38,161, the ONS has it at 41,220. 

Edited by Chris Tsamados
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Why is Greece still not updating on recovered people? How are we going to know have many ACTIVE cases are remaining? 

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In the UK, someone who works for NHS posted in a chat room on Roylab Stats, last reported 220,376 recovered total. About less than 8,900 active cases. 

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Only ~9000 active cases in the UK total?? That seems so low to me, on the face of it.

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My state apparently will announce its second phase of reopening (retail locations allowing customers indoors, in limited numbers) on Saturday, with the earliest start date being the following Monday. I think we'll still see a bit spike in cases in another week or two, seeing as how tens of thousands of people are getting together and protesting. Color me worried!

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The area of Pennsylvania where I live, is lifting the stay-at-home order Thursday, June 4, at 11:59 p.m. On Friday, June 5, by 12:01 a.m., all Pennsylvania counties are expected to move to the yellow phase. Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine signed amended yellow phase orders on Thursday. On Thursday, Pennsylvania reported 537 more positive cases of COVID-19, and 75 new deaths. "I remind Pennsylvanians that yellow means caution and even in the green phase everyone needs to take precautions to keep themselves and their communities healthy," Governor Wolf said.

Personally, I'm not too confident about things working out quite yet. But hey... Who am I to keep the economy from booming?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Texas now has 71,206 total cases, 1,800 deaths, 46,857 recovered
Which brings the active cases to 22,549 in our state. 
Harris County (where Houston is) has the highest cases in any county of Texas with 13,603 total, 247 deaths, 5,304 recovered 
I live in Spring, just north of Houston, I got only 20 active cases in my zip code.

Edited by Molon Lave

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Haha damn, that's it?! My state (population of 7mm) has had 98,000 confirmed cases and just under 4,000 "probable" cases. 7,000 confirmed deaths. But we *are* one of the first hot spots, I suppose.

Our governor has confirmed "phase 2" will begin for us on Monday, which basically allows restaurants to offer outdoor seating. I definitely look forward to this - in my city, the "main drag" is going to be shut down to traffic until November so that restaurants and bars will be able to serve outdoors (in other words, on the streets and sidewalks). The weather has been beautiful so this is a much-needed morale boost.

 

In other news, the US has "added" about 2.5 million jobs in the latest jobs report, which can be credited towards these types reopenings. Fingers crossed this goes well.

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Phase 3 trials start for one vaccine: https://www.wcvb.com/article/cambridge-based-moderna-announces-plans-for-phase-3-trial-of-covid-19-vaccine/32837152

30k people to be trialed starting next month. Now *that* is a big sample size.

 

Also, for anyone who saw the "news" from the WHO a few days ago (claiming that asymptomatic transmission was very rare): apparently their "study" had a comically small sample size and we've already had multiple studies confirming that asymptomatic transmission is indeed a thing. I am very confused about why the WHO - which does not need people to suddenly side with Trump's opinion of them - would put something like this out into the world without considering the ramifications.

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On 6/4/2020 at 11:44 PM, Molon Lave said:

Texas now has 71,206 total cases, 1,800 deaths, 46,857 recovered
Which brings the active cases to 22,549 in our state. 
Harris County (where Houston is) has the highest cases in any county of Texas with 13,603 total, 247 deaths, 5,304 recovered 
I live in Spring, just north of Houston, I got only 20 active cases in my zip code.

I'm seeing some buzz on twitter implying that Houston is about to reimpose their stay-at-home order. I tried to find some corroboration and came across an article from a few hours ago with this tidbit: "By Wednesday evening, COVID-19 cases in Texas had risen by 3.23 percent, or 2,534 cases, marking the largest single-day increase since the pandemic began, according to the Houston Chronicle's data team."

I really can't say I'm surprised, though. Most of the states that are part of this new wave are places that were comparatively lightly hit the first time around. It's no surprise that with people like the Lt Governor there, that this would not be taken seriously enough at the beginning. Good luck to our friends in Texas, I suppose. This might be a rough summer for you.

 

Also, to anyone in red states - please think twice before you join a rally. There's gonna be a lot of them, at the worst possible time.

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Houston will become the next hot spot, mark my words. Our threat level will go to 1 (red zone) next month or two. People in Houston do not understand what social distancing means and they refuse to wear masks. If I am going to the pharmacy, grocery stores, or even shopping centers or the mall, I could just take the north trip to The Woodlands (Montgomery County) where coronavirus cases there are very little. 

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Eventually, others will realize that and carry the virus north as well. Hopefully you'll be able to stock up on toilet paper soon!

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