Change focus from infection rates

Purple

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Should we change our focus from infection rates to death and hospitalisation rates?
The disease is with us and will remain with us for years to come. Given that people need to eat we need to get the global economy moving again. That means we need to protect those who are vulnerable while opening up our economy as much as possible.
The infection rate in the US is increasing at what seems to be an alarming rate but the death rate is continuing to decline, as is the number of people in hospital with the disease. Should those be the numbers we concentrate on?
 

odyssey06

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I don't accept the premise of the argument.

Why do we have to focus on one or the other? Seems important to pay attention to both, as infection rates may be ahead of the curve of hospitalisations and ICU entries. Most people who aren't in vulnerable groups are shaking this off ok, but against that there is a significant minority of people who didn't end up in hospital who have follow-on symptoms in terms of an auto immune response.
I don't think we know enough about this virus yet in terms of long term impact on the 'recovered' to just focus on hospitals.

Also, you say "the virus will remain with us for years to come"? You've written off vaccine being available in the next 12 months - maybe you're right, but at that is an assumption?
 

Purple

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9,755
I don't accept the premise of the argument.

Why do we have to focus on one or the other? Seems important to pay attention to both, as infection rates may be ahead of the curve of hospitalisations and ICU entries. Most people who aren't in vulnerable groups are shaking this off ok, but against that there is a significant minority of people who didn't end up in hospital who have follow-on symptoms in terms of an auto immune response.
I don't think we know enough about this virus yet in terms of long term impact on the 'recovered' to just focus on hospitals.

Also, you say "the virus will remain with us for years to come"? You've written off vaccine being available in the next 12 months - maybe you're right, but at that is an assumption?
I'm not saying that we should ignore the infection rates but all we hear about is the infection rates increasing in the US and elsewhere. If the infection rate is increasing and the death rate is reducing then the economy can function again while those who are really vulnerable are still being protected. Our economy being closed down causes inconvenience and some hardship but if all of the economies in the rich world stay closed or nearly closed it will kill millions or tens of millions in the developing world. As I have said before I find the behaviour of the rich world to this virum myopic, self indulgent and morally reprehensible.
 

EmmDee

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The infection rate in the US is increasing at what seems to be an alarming rate but the death rate is continuing to decline, as is the number of people in hospital with the disease. Should those be the numbers we concentrate on?
Not sure - I know what you mean but the US case numbers only really popped up above 25k a day 9 days ago. Not sure if enough time has passed to see if it flows through. Hospitalisation is very high in some of the Southern states e.g. Texas.

Certainly for us, I do look at the ICU and hospitalisation numbers - I'd imagine that is what is driving the accelerated relaxation of lock down.
 

Drakon

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I’ve been paying close attention to the whole C19 thing since mid-March but it wasn’t long before I started ignoring the number of cases. The testing for the first couple of months was so haphazard it was meaningless. And by the time they got the capacity for 100,000 tests a week, there weren’t enough potential cases!

For me the only telling figures are deaths and deaths per million. And even this can be sketchy as some countries are more “honest” than others.

Cases give a very rough idea of what’s going on. Deaths give a much truer reflection.
 

mathepac

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Deaths where? In last Sunday's Times, pages 1 & 2, a Dept of Health talking head announced that making comparisons between rates of infection and deaths across countries were meaningless as there was no consistency in methods used across jurisdictions. And yes, I accept that lots of the reporters and modellers seem to be economical with the truth.

This doesn't stop Herr Holohan & Co drawing comparisons of course, particularly those that show them in a positive light, handing the rose-tinted glasses out to other commentators who accept the gospel according to Tony.

There is one meaningful statistic no-one can answer - what is the prevalence of COVID-19 infection per 100,000 (or million) of our population? How about that Tony/the half of the civil and public service producing meaningless numbers and comparisons, where are the useful numbers?
 

Drakon

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There is one meaningful statistic no-one can answer - what is the prevalence of COVID-19 infection per 100,000 (or million) of our population? How about that Tony/the half of the civil and public service producing meaningless numbers and comparisons, where are the useful numbers?
Yes, no one can answer that question.

Given that most symptomatic cases are ill for about two weeks, and that asymptomatic cases are not ill at all, you’re asking for something impossible.

Unless there was a national testing day, conducted like the census, your question will not be answered.

An alternative might be testing everybody for antibodies. However, it seems that a person needs to be ill for about 10 days to generate antibodies. Mild cases and asymptomatic cases do not have antibodies. AFAIK there was a study of cases in NY where the antibodies of moderately ill deteriorated after a few months.
 
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