Category Archives: Public Health/Coronavirus

Celebrity doctor predicts 2022 for return to normal life

Late summer, Fall, December what ever – I joked previously, of which year? Now we know: 2022. Well, at least today – he’ll flip flop again soon.

“Hopefully, by the time we start entering 2022, we really will have a degree of normality that will approximate the kind of normality we’ve been used to,” Fauci said.

That was a departure from previous predictions, including remarks he gave at conference hosted by the Association of Performing Arts Professionals just last month.

Source: When will life get back to normal? Fauci now says 2022 – ABC News

Surge in good news: Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine getting set for mass deliveries to Europe

The developers of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine suggested accelerating its mass deliveries to the European Union, engaging EU production facilities after the approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the developers wrote on the vaccine’s Twitter account on Wednesday.

Source: Sputnik V developers suggest accelerating start of its large-scale deliveries to EU – Society & Culture – TASS

Public Health Agency Canada’s Disease Model

Public Health Agency Canada presented the following model projection to a government Health Committee this week.

Yes, the yellow and gray lines are their model projection – unless Canada adds even more restrictive regulations. We will want to follow up on this in 2 or 3 weeks.

Their model output has launched and is off in space. Even government officials were rolling their eyes.

Stephen McIntyre added the most recent data points, in red and posted this on Twitter.

R-0 will have to go to about 50 for this to occur, whereas R-0 has spent most of the pandemic in the 1.0 +/- range.

Hard to imagine anyone could be worse than UW IHME but competition is certainly heating up:

The disease modelers were unable to answer the most basic questions about their model, nor were they able to explain why this would happen in Canada but is not happening elsewhere nor happening in other’s models for other nations.

This is what disease modeling looks like. Let’s follow up in a few weeks.

If the projected outcome does not occur, PHAC will say that “People did a good job of complying”. Of course.

Remember “15 days to flatten the curve” became a month, or two or three, to oh hell, not until we have a vaccine. Then that transmogrified into “we don’t trust the vaccine”, “the vaccine may not work anyway”, and then that has now changed again to “Not until we accept totalitarian communist governments run by technocrat experts ” 🙂

The end of beards: “Tight fit more important than a second mask to prevent COVID-19 spread”

More flip flopping on masks – most people don’t know it but OSHA rules for N95 masks mandate no beards. And now this: Tight fit more important than a second mask to prevent COVID-19 spread :: WRAL.com

“However, even double-masking doesn’t compare to wearing an N-95 mask.”

Sounds like the researchers are starting to join the cloth mask denier community.

Note – the study never measured the actual spread of Covid-19.

Putting an end to the “holiday surge” meme – there was none

Summary

  • There were no holiday surges
  • The acceleration in new cases flipped in mid November before the holidays
  • On February 18, 2021, the UW’s Trevor Bedford reported Rt began declining in November (same as what I found)
  • California cases peaked before Christmas
  • Oregon Health Authority said there was no holiday surge in Oregon
  • Sacramento public health said there was no holiday surge in the Sacramento metro area
  • Update Mar 4, 2021): UK saw R-t start to decline as of Dec 21, before the holidays.
  • No one has a unified theory as to why cases have dropped rapidly. But it turns out it correlates perfectly with solar activity, therefore, I propose we turn off the sun (see chart below – too funny). /satire

Hospitalization Data

Here is the hospitalization data from The Covid Tracking Project:

Peak day of hospitalizations was Jan 6th. In Oregon, the time between diagnosis and hospitalization is a median of 12 days (OHA). The time between diagnosis and death is 14 days (OHA) – NOT the conventional wisdom 3-4 weeks. I can explain the CW discrepancy, if interested.

Note chart is 7-day moving average which time shifts peaks to the right of actual time.

This next chart is the 1st derivative of the epicurve above which highlights inflection points in the epicurve.

This “acceleration” curve peaked on Nov 14th and then reversed course. This is before Thanksgiving and well before Christmas. (Earlier spike is a day some one updated lagging hospital reports.) This is an important finding – the wave acceleration was dropping off in mid-November. (Trevor Bedford, below, appears to confirm this.)

The red line is a 7-day trend on a 7-day moving average of hospitalizations, hence, time shifted many days to the right. Ignore right most data point (due to how I store the data in the spreadsheet).

Oregon

Oregon Health Authority said in a statement there was no “holiday surge” in Oregon.

California

The situation in California was blamed on “holiday surge”. But this is not possible.

  • Cases began their climb in late October – not post Halloween, not post Thanksgiving, not post Christmas
  • Peak day of new cases was Dec 20th.
  • The 2nd and 3rd highest days were Dec 17 and Dec 18th.
  • The 7-day moving average peaked on Dec 22 (which is time shifted right)
  • Cases began rising in October and rose at a steady pace thereafter.
  • Sacramento metro public health has said there was no holiday surge
  • People seemed to have drawn correlations because it was kinda sorta close to Christmas but this was because California’s peak ran behind most other states’ peaks (none of which showed holiday surges).

(7-day average chart has time shifted the trend to the right)

Scientist Trevor Bedford

Trevor Bedford is a scientist at the University of Washington and posted this item on February 18th- Rt started to decline in Nov – which is the same as the 1st derivative decline I spotted, above.

Sturgis South Dakota Motorcycle Rally

This rally was held in early August and one forecast had this ½ million attendee event creating  over 260,000 additional cases of  Covid-19.

In the weeks that followed, South Dakota traced 124 cases back to Sturgis, and other states traced up to 290 cases back to Sturgis (because the patient had been there but could not rule out they picked it up elsewhere).

The forecast “surge” never happened.

Florida Superbowl

The Florida Superbowl was forecast to be a “superspreader” event that would cause a “surge” of new cases.

11 days later, the FL epicurve looks like this:

National CDC Epicurve

NOTE National curve is likely underreporting due to weather causing test access and reporting delays. But neither FL or National curves show a post superbowl “surge upon surge” at this time. Will be interesting to re-check in a week when more test results are available.

Travel Data

Airline passenger counts, by week. Slight peak before Thanksgiving, then drop during Dec, then a rise the week before Christmas, peaking on Dec 27th. Obviously, people travel by car also. However, the media focused on airline travel. After the end of December, there was a sharp drop in travel. Compared to overall national population (about 328 million people) this delta in air travel is tiny.

Apple Mobility Data

Some people point to car travel, saying mobility data explains the decline in new cases. But the decline – in most ALL countries – started in October just as cases were rising -and begin rising slighty in January, just as cases continued their sharp decline.

Is mobility data a proxy for close, in person, extended contact? We have no idea but many people assume it is and therefore, the peak in cases would have been in late summer. Nationally, the peak was in late December – and in fact, this data appears inversely correlated to cases.

Update Mar 4, 2021: UK Saw R-t decline beginning December 21, 2020

This was before the holidays, even in the U.K.

Conclusion

I cannot find a holiday surge.

I cannot find surges after major events forecast to cause “surge upon surge”.

Some epidemiologists say the current drop in cases is because a “holiday surge” ended. This is not supported by any data (see above). Their claim seems based on their pre-holiday assumption and forecasts of surges – and an unwillingness to acknowledge they were wrong. Some scientists now think the decline is due to herd immunity effects taking hold – but to acknowledge that is to further acknowledge that the field of epidemiology failed – since they said this is not possible until late 2021 when everyone has been vaccinated. So they will stick with their “surge upon surge” holiday travel lie.

I do not think anyone knows what is going on – I’ve probably seen ten different explanations and they are as likely accurate as my finding that an increase in solar sunspot activity in 2020 correlates perfectly to the Covid-19 pandemic!!!!

Note the blue spikes in April, July and then rising in October, November and December, and the fall in January. Clearly, this “correlation” explains everything and all we need to is stop the sun. Problem solved. Easy peasy.

Seriously, I think this analysis is as accurate as the hand waving the experts are doing. But we don’t know if Covid-19 pandemic waves cause solar sunspots or if solar sunspots cause Covid-19 pandemic waves. Heh.

/SATIRE

Afterword

  • OHA agreed with my finding on their death data reporting and now has a correctly displayed chart of Oregon deaths, by actual date of death. Peak day of deaths was December 9, not mid-January as their public health director had said at a January press conference. OHA has since backtracked.
  • I discovered that ICU bed census is an excellent proxy for “actual death date”. This data metric is real time whereas death data lags by up to months. Actual peak in deaths is usually within a day of peak ICU beds in use. This is a much better way to gauge deaths than the very lagging daily body counts.
  • Iowa and Ohio acknowledged the same “lagging” death report problem as was in Oregon.

Reminder – I am a brain injured idiot with no relevant experience. I do not make predictions: I make observations and ask really stupid questions. Covid-19 is a real disease, infecting too many people, and killing too many people, and is not a hoax.

Surge in good news continues

Drove across town at mid-day. Counted 15 school buses on the road late this morning. Schools partially re-open next Monday.

In the past week, restaurants have been permitted to re-open for partial indoor dining services. Several have re-opened and at 11 am, they appeared to be up to their revised seating capacity.

Superbowl Sunday was going to be a “Superspreader” event, the “experts” told us. But cases in Florida and nationwide have continued downward at their rapid, steady pace. Still too early for a final call but … not looking good for the “surge upon surge” crowd.

“Experts” not looking so good.

We’ll Have Herd Immunity by April – WSJ

More cracks forming in the epidemiology firewall of terror – expert says its over by spring time:

Amid the dire Covid warnings, one crucial fact has been largely ignored: Cases are down 77% over the past six weeks. If a medication slashed cases by 77%, we’d call it a miracle pill. Why is the number of cases plummeting much faster than experts predicted?

Epidemiologists have been oddly impervious to the obvious:

But the consistent and rapid decline in daily cases since Jan. 8 can be explained only by natural immunity. Behavior didn’t suddenly improve over the holidays; Americans traveled more over Christmas than they had since March. Vaccines also don’t explain the steep decline in January. Vaccination rates were low and they take weeks to kick in.

….

Many experts, along with politicians and journalists, are afraid to talk about herd immunity. The term has political overtones because some suggested the U.S. simply let Covid rip to achieve herd immunity. That was a reckless idea. But herd immunity is the inevitable result of viral spread and vaccination. When the chain of virus transmission has been broken in multiple places, it’s harder for it to spread—and that includes the new strains.

….

Some medical experts privately agreed with my prediction that there may be very little Covid-19 by April but suggested that I not to talk publicly about herd immunity because people might become complacent and fail to take precautions or might decline the vaccine. But scientists shouldn’t try to manipulate the public by hiding the truth

Big assumption that some of these folks are real scientists.

Source: We’ll Have Herd Immunity by April – WSJ

The author is a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University.

I am a brain injured idiot unqualified to question the Gods of Epidemiology but I suggested this last fall. What ever.