Covid 9/24: Until Morale Improves

Last Two Weeks: Covid 9/17: It’s Worse, Covid 9/10: Vitamin D

There is a pandemic. It is not going anywhere. 

The news, on the other hand, is ready to move on. There is a supreme court seat open. There is an election coming soon, complete with a first debate. There are protests and presumably riots flaring up once again, this time regarding there no direct charges to any police officers in the death of Breonna Taylor. 

Oh, and the President of the United States said yesterday, and I quote:

“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens. You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots and the ballots are a disaster,” Trump said, when asked if he could commit to the peaceful transition.

“(G)et rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very … there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.”

If you are going to vote for Biden, vote in person. Make sure your vote counts and reduce the chances of chaos breaking loose before that happens.

If you’re going to vote for Trump despite everything, at least have the decency to vote by mail. That way, to count your vote, we’ll have to… count the votes. 

Who cares about the pandemic? No one, it seems. That’s old news. The pandemic is now merely one more prop, albeit a big one, in the political game.

I can’t even argue. I too am more worried about the election than the pandemic, at this point. 

We all grow tired of this pandemic. The damage accumulates. Economies and lives and reputations and credibility get destroyed week in and week out, and nothing good seems to come of any of it. Solutions get ignored, and the situation fails to improve. The same scolds keep saying we need to keep holding out, while scolding anyone attempting to solve the problem. Same covid time, same covid channel. If I didn’t have people thanking me every week for doing these, it would be difficult to keep going.

As usual, most of the Covid news falls into our existing patterns. When no one cares enough to do anything, but they do care enough to make sure no one else does anything, each week’s news is going to look like the previous week’s news. 

And yet, if we look, there is always something worth talking about. Including one piece of genuinely great news.

Let’s run the numbers.

Positive Test Counts

DateWESTMIDWESTSOUTHNORTHEAST
July 30-Aug 5910026446221294523784
Aug 6-Aug 12930426193118848621569
Aug 13-Aug 19808876338415699820857
Aug 20-Aug 26675456654013232218707
Aug 7-Sep 2550007540112741421056
Sep 3-Sep 9472737243910640821926
Sep 10-Sep 16450507526411581223755
Sep 17-Sep 23540258538112773223342

That looks bad, but the change is more than all accounted for by increased testing. It’s actually fine.

Deaths

DateWESTMIDWESTSOUTHNORTHEAST
July 16-July 2214696743106524
July 23-July 2917077004443568
July 30-Aug 518317194379365
Aug 6-Aug 1217386634554453
Aug 13-Aug 1915768504264422
Aug 20-Aug 2615037453876375
Aug 27-Sep 212457593631334
Sep 3-Sep 911417712717329
Sep 10-Sep 1611599543199373
Sep 17-Sep 2310168932695399

A worrisome uptick continues in the Northeast region. We see improvement in the other three. There was a large jump last week in the Midwest, so the modest pullback still isn’t great. But the South and West numbers are definitely encouraging. New York’s was as well, down to a new low of 27 deaths all week for the whole state. 

Positive Tests by Region

PercentagesNortheastMidwestSouthWest
7/30 to 8/52.58%7.26%12.35%6.68%
8/6 to 8/132.30%5.67%14.67%6.98%
8/13 to 8/202.06%5.62%9.41%6.47%
8/20 to 8/261.86%5.78%9.93%5.88%
8/27 to 9/21.87%6.37%9.38%4.78%
9/3 to 9/91.97%6.02%8.48%4.13%
9/10 to 9/162.41%5.99%11.35%4.49%
9/17 to 9/232.20%5.96%7.13%4.11%

Last week looks very scary here. This week looks good. The South is now doing better than it has in some time as is the West, and the Northeast is pulling back from the dramatic rise last week. I suspect some amount of negative tests were held back last week for whatever reason, and got dumped into this week, so things should look smoother than they do. 

Still this is a great relief. Last week looked like we might be about to ramp up once again, potentially quite rapidly. Now it seems much less likely that is going to happen. That assumes of course that we want less cases now rather than more cases – I actually think it’s reasonable at this point to want to get it over with, if it wouldn’t cause additional lockdowns, but I do think it would case additional lockdowns, so I’d prefer to avoid it.

Test Counts

DateUSA testsPositive %NY testsPositive %Cumulative Positives
July 17-July 295,746,0567.9%452,8891.0%1.34%
July 30-Aug 55,107,7397.8%484,2451.0%1.46%
Aug 6-Aug 125,121,0117.3%506,5240.9%1.58%
Aug 13-Aug 195,293,5366.2%548,4210.8%1.68%
Aug 20-Aug 264,785,0566.0%553,3690.7%1.77%
Aug 27-Sep 25,042,1135.5%611,7210.8%1.85%
Sep 3-Sep 94,850,2535.3%552,6240.9%1.93%
Sep 10-Sep 164,632,0055.8%559,4630.9%2.01%
Sep 17-Sep 235,719,3275.2%610,1370.8%2.10%

Welcome back, testing, to levels seen in mid-July. Hopefully this is the start of a trend or at least a new normal, rather than a blip. The positive rate is clearly an improvement as well, assuming the extra tests aren’t negative tests are new tests, rather than being dumped onto the system from previous weeks. 

It is telling that this week we saw a bunch of headlines about the ‘rising number of cases’ when that is obviously not what this chart says at all. The previous week was a scary increase. This week’s headline numbers are obviously good news. Yet even now, in September, the whole ‘do less testing so it looks less bad’ strategy is the correct strategy if you want good media. And what we incentivize, we are likely to get. Hate the player if you wish, but first hate the game.

By the way, if you’re in New York City and need a rapid test, a friend reports this as a good source.

For Relief That Lasts

In a surprise to few who read this column, the newest potential solution to Covid-19 is essentially an attempt at regulatory arbitrage.

Nasal solution may stop spread of COVID-19, study finds

It’s still early and the results were in a lab, so not that great a chance it works. But we’re all excited, because if it works the Very Serious People might be forced to let us use it.

Every now and then, ask what regulatory behaviors would look like if they wanted us all to lose our jobs, starve to death, get sick and die. 

And be thankful they have not yet closed all their loopholes.

The Vaccine Protocols

They look good. The trials are way too small, of course. Why do 30,000 when you can do 300,000? It’s not like these vaccines are that dangerous. But given size limitations and the standards we live by, these seem… fine?

They don’t look remotely optimized, of course. The actual sensible thing would be to continuously check the results via computer and report if thresholds are ever crossed (and have higher thresholds to compensate for that). It’s also not clear to me what kind of logic is behind the thresholds involved here. The p-values necessary for a positive finding keep getting larger as the study continues. There’s no evidence of any attempt to do a Bayesian analysis. So what’s really going on here?

There’s some psychological story behind this design. I’m curious what it is, but I have at best small pieces of that puzzle. 

In any case, how fast we get results will depend on the rate of infections in the trials. The better the vaccine, the slower we get the results, but only by a factor of 2-3 at most since there’s a control group, and results are expected this year. Each trial has at least 30,000 people, who they presumably are testing continuously. They need roughly 150 infections to finish, so a 1% infection rate in the control group would do it, or 0.5% from the combined group. How fast will we get there? 

If you go by actual positive tests in the USA, that’s ten weeks to get 1% infected. Those who volunteer for a trial could be more or less at risk modulo the vaccine itself, and it’s not obvious to me which way that goes. Nothing we can do but wait.  

The Correct Vaccine Protocols

Challenge trial! Actual first world government funded challenge trial!

Celebrate, good times, come on!

We need to do it bigger, faster, better. But something is so so much better than nothing. 

Woo-hoo!

CDC Accidentally Tells Truth, Profusely Apologizes

This column strongly believes in good incentives and in redemption. If the CDC or anyone else comes around way too late to the truth and/or the right strategy, we will applaud them for doing so sooner rather than later. The ‘what took you so long’ approach helps no one. 

Unfortunately, that is not this story. 

This week, the CDC came out with new guidelines that said the Covid-19 virus is airborne. You can be infected by breathing in air that contains the virus.

No. Shirt. Sherlock.

Let it sink in that now, in September, the CDC finally got around to admitting the most important single fact about Covid-19 – that the virus is airborne. That’s the primary mode of infection. 

Then the WHO called, and asked what the CDC was doing saying the virus was airborne. Because the WHO has yet to admit this one. They are continuing to lie to all of us.

The CDC, being called out for accidentally speaking truth to the public, moved quickly to correct the situation. They declared that the new guidelines were only a draft, and rescinded them. 

Without saying anything remotely like: Yes, obviously the Covid-19 virus is airborne. We’re a bureaucracy and we haven’t gotten the wording right yet, so those guidelines aren’t official yet, but 

So the headlines are now that the CDC retracts guidelines saying Covid-19 is airborne. 

This is like if Google Maps had people driving into a river, then changed to a new map that didn’t do that, but realized the new map misspelled the town’s name, so they restored the old version of the map until they could fix the problem. Which doesn’t seem realistic, so to fix that, let’s substitute Apple Maps.

What is the game, at this point? Why hold to this lie? 

Because (if my explanations in previous columns and posts haven’t made this clear yet, if they have you can skip this) it’s the foundational lie behind the idea that there are ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ configurations and actions. That if you stay six feet away, and Sacrifice to the Gods with frequent ‘deep cleaning,’ you’ll be safe. So in order to protect arbitrary guidelines, to get people to latch onto simple heuristics that they think will cause the public to do what’s good for them, the science has to say that which does not correspond to physical reality. I can’t even say “to say that which is not” because that implies they know the difference. They certainly don’t much care.

So. Yeah. CDC Delenda Est. 

That’s the shot. Now for the chaser. 

CDC Announces They Have Antibody Results, Provides #Analysis

Here’s a news report on the latest announcement. I encourage reading it before reading my take on the new information.

The first thing to note is that the CDC director is directly conflating has not yet had the virus with susceptible, and also conflating tested positive on the serology test with has had the virus:

The head of the Centers for Disease Control told Congress on Wednesday that preliminary data from nationwide testing shows that over 90 percent of Americans have not contracted the Coronavirus, as top federal health officials continued to implore Americans to take precautions in order to slow the virus outbreak.

“More than 90 percent of the population remains susceptible,” Dr. Robert Redfield told a Senate hearing, saying serology tests have shown clear trends in the spread of the virus.

This makes three implicit claims which imply a fourth claim. 

Claim 1: If and only if you have had Covid-19, your serology test will be positive. Modulo small false positive and false negative rates due to measurement error, which I agree are small enough we can mostly ignore both of them once we get to the 10% level.

Claim 2: If and only if you have a positive serology test, you are not susceptible to Covid-19. Again, modulo a false result that can mostly be ignored in both directions.

Claim 3: Before having Covid-19, everyone is susceptible to Covid-19.

Claim 4 (From Claim 1 + Claim 2): Having Covid-19 and recovering makes you permanently immune to Covid-19 reinfection. Or, at a minimum, makes you immune for a period of no less than seven months.

(There’s also the tidbit that >25% of infections are ages 18-25. That’s quite a narrow range, and one at very low risk.)

So first off, I’d like to congratulate Redfield for acknowledging that immunity is long lasting. It’s not like there was any real doubt, but scaring people with ‘who knows how long it lasts and it’s gonna end Real Soon Now’ remains a key part of the Very Serious People scare tactic policy portfolio.

Then I’d challenge the other two claims rather strongly.

There are some strong claims out there that lots of people are not susceptible to Covid-19, or are highly varying degrees of susceptible. Those claims may or may not be right. But the idea that no one is effectively immune without first gathering enough direct antibodies to test positive on the serology test seems like obvious nonsense. That’s not how the immune system works. 

Second, we have lots of screaming that ‘immunity fades’ because antibody levels fall over time. So people who would have tested positive on serology, stop testing positive, yet these cases have near-zero reinfection rates. It seems obvious we both have some people who are immune without being infected and producing antibodies in the first place, because of cross-immunity or other lines of defense, and that we also have some people who no longer show antibodies but are still immune because of other lines of defense and the ability to remember and produce the antibodies again if needed.

The question is whether there are only a few such people, or there are lots of such people.

If we took the CDC’s data at face value, what would that mean? They say ‘Over 90%’ so that’s a claim that under 10% tested positive. How far under 10% should we assume? Given the incentives and other actions of the CDC, let’s assume this means something like 9%, versus a nationwide 2.1% rate for positive test results from PCR tests.

The peak of rates in the study was 24%, presumably for New York City but perhaps not. That’s higher than previous measured antibody results, but lower than plausible infection rates – my model has New York State at around 25%, and the city is far higher than the rest of the state. Our go-to outside machine learning plausible guess puts USA overall rate at 16% (which implies a measured death rate of roughly 0.4%), but has only 21% for New York State. That still is substantially higher than 24% being the highest observed local rate would imply. Note that the machine learning model has Arizona at 24.6%, substantially higher than New York, and many southern states in the 21% range. 

On its own these are more data points, and they are useful parts of the puzzle. The way it is presented, however, strikes me as another attempt to have it both ways, and describe everyone as in danger as often as possible to try and get people to behave the way the CDC wants. 

This week’s other interesting serology test news is this study from Japan: Dynamic Change of COVID-19 Seroprevalence among Asymptomatic Population in Tokyo during the Second Wave. Those numbers are rather boggling. I don’t know what to make of them and am curious what others think. To avoid anchoring too much, I won’t say more.

In Other Sort-Of News: Links That Tell The Same Old Story

Nursing homes have new COVID-19 tests that are fast and cheap. So why won’t N.J. allow them to be used? 

Because we’ve decided that every test needs to be as effective as our best test, or we can’t use it, even though that is mind-bogglingly murderously dumb. I’d explain, but I’d only be repeating myself.

Airline workers have lower rates of COVID-19 than the general population — and airline CEOs say it’s proof that flying is safe

This keeps happening. There’s an activity that it seems plausible would have unacceptably high risk of Covid-19 infection. For example, you might want to play professional sports, or you might want to treat patients in a hospital. Safety protocols are implemented, including masks and frequent testing and hyper-awareness of the dangers. 

In the case of airlines, lots of attention is also paid to air flow.

Then the tests come in, and despite more vigilance and testing, and therefore much higher probabilities of finding each case, the case rates end up lower than the general population. In this case, the positive rate for flight attendants is under 1%, whereas the confirmed positive test rate for the USA is above 2%.

The pattern is clear. Risky things are risky, but risky things done with a real dedication to safety, and a willingness to endure major costs to get that safety, are actually net safer than the background risk level.

Does this mean it is ‘safe to fly’? 

No. It means that if one takes professional-level precautions, flying can be put into the ‘safe’ bucket. But that’s true of most things that aren’t about packing people into tight spaces so they can share an experience with each other. 

SARS-CoV-2 positivity rates associated with circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels

Yet another correlational study about Vitamin D. The correlational verdict is so beyond in that, as the person who linked me to this put it, there really isn’t much point. Figured I’d throw it in, but it doesn’t change anything.

USPS Had Plan to Send Everyone Face Masks

Plan was rejected by the Trump Administration in order to ‘not cause panic.’ Also perhaps to avoid giving people the impression that the Postal Service was competent and important and could do other things like let people vote. Either way, I consider this a positive update. Our civilization did figure out a good plan to do something important. Yes, it didn’t happen because someone actively decided to stop it, but I’d rather be competent and up against malice than be incapable at all.

Our Antigens, Our Selves – Marginal REVOLUTION

Another story from Marginal Revolution about how the FDA puts insane restrictions on how people might gain information about themselves and their health, because if someone had information they might change their behavior based on that information, and information can sometimes be wrong or misinterpreted, so information should be regulated as a high-risk medical device.

I violently agree that all of that is bonkers – FDA is the original member and still captain of the Delenda Est Club. I only have one bone to pick, which is with the term ‘Unintended’ Consequences.

Unintended?

I say intended. One hundred percent intended. The intention was to prevent people from having access to the information they need to make decisions to protect their health. People dying is not an unintended consequence of that. 

You stop systems from functioning, they stop working. You refuse to tell people when they’re sick or how to get better, and they die more often. This isn’t complicated or hard. 

I wasn’t intending to get fat, I just wanted to eat lots of giant meals and delicious desserts every day and never exercise. Don’t look at me like that.

I mean, officer, I only intended him to stop moving so I could take his wallet. That’s why I shot him in the face. I didn’t intend to kill him.

There are frequently unintended consequences of regulation. They are usually but not always destructive. There are also frequently fully intended, and fully predictable, destructive consequences of regulation. When you regulate something and it gets more expensive, lower quality, less innovative, subject to an oligopoly or monopoly and increasingly nonsensical and maze-like, and those subject to the regulations capture the regulatory body and sculpt it to their own ends… You do not get to say these consequences are unintended.

You can say those consequences are worth it. You can say that the world with the regulations is better than the world without them, in spite of those consequences. You can’t call them unintended anymore. 

See everyone next week. Now more than ever, I hope things stay quiet.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Covid 9/24: Until Morale Improves

  1. Jake Conway says:

    Just wanted to register my thanks for your updates, in hopes that you keep putting them out. This is my go-to source for a sane, concise summary of the state of COVID, and I frequently reference them in discussions with others. Keep up the good work!

    • Same for me. This has become a must read for me each week, and one of the relatively few bits of internet detritus that I check where I’m actually glad I read it. Having said that, while I would miss it, if you get bored and don’t want to keep writing, you shouldn’t just force yourself to keep on. It doesn’t work well, even if you are getting paid for the writing.

  2. Sniffnoy says:

    Hm, 55th street is out of walking distance. I remember seeing a place advertising rapid testing somewhere around 14th street but I don’t remember exactly where.

    What’s annoying me right now is that I can’t seem to search for places in NYC doing rapid testing. If I try to search for it I just get places in NYC that are doing testing, period, most of which don’t seem to be doing rapid testing for whatever reason. Has anyone found any way to search up places doing rapid testing?

  3. Liam R says:

    I’ve said this before, but I am stupendously grateful for these updates. It remains the only source of coronavirus news I read.

  4. bugsbycarlin says:

    I also want to say thanks for the updates. They must be a chore, but they do serve a purpose.

  5. Thomas R says:

    “Each trial has at least 30,000 people, who they presumably are testing continuously.”

    You’d certainly think so… But not all of them are! Moderna are only testing people with symptoms – from the protocol:

    “Surveillance for COVID-19 will be performed through weekly contacts with the participant via a combination of telephone calls and completion of an eDiary starting at Day1 through the end of the study. Participants with symptoms of COVID-19 lasting at least 48 hours (except for fever and/or respiratory symptoms) will return to the clinic or will be visited at home by medically qualified site staff within 72 hours (an “Illness Visit”) to collect an NP swab sample for RT-PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens, or alternatively, if a clinic or home visit is not possible, will submit a saliva (or nasal swab) sample for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing. Any confirmed COVID-19 occurring in a participant will be captured as an MAAE along with relevant concomitant medications and details about severity, seriousness, and outcome. All confirmed COVID-19 cases will be reported to the Sponsor or designee within 24 hours.”

    And in fact they define “a case of COVID-19 for the evaluation of the Primary Efficacy Endpoint” as a symptomatic case – so even if they accidentally find an asymptomatic case they apparently won’t count it.

    I’m also concerned that Moderna’s placebo is just a saline solution, while the real vaccine is widely known to have some minor side effects, so anyone who experiences side effects knows for sure that they’ve got the real thing. If those people go on to take fewer precautions than the control group then that’ll make the vaccine efficacy look worse than it really is.

    Thankfully Oxford are being sensible – they’re doing weekly PCR tests for UK participants, and giving a meningitis vaccine as the placebo. I don’t know about the other major trials.

    • TheZvi says:

      Wow, that’s… even more insane than I expected. Thank you for the details.

      What could be crazier than not running at least weekly PCR tests so you catch every case?

      • myst_05 says:

        I would argue that only testing symptomatic patients makes more sense, presuming the primary goal of the vaccine is to prevent serious infections, rather than stopping the virus from spreading altogether. Then it only makes sense to check if people are still getting symptoms or not.

        But I agree that it would’ve been helpful to have asymptomatic prevalence datapoints too.

      • Thomas R says:

        It’s pretty important to know whether vaccinated people can still become infectious. If they can’t then you just need to vaccinate enough of the population to stop it spreading (and might want to focus on first vaccinating those who spread it the most). If vaccinated people can have infectious asymptomatic cases then you’ll want to focus on vaccinating those who are most at risk of serious illness, and you’ll need to try to protect anyone who hasn’t yet been vaccinated or who isn’t protected by the vaccine (e.g. due to a weak immune system) – which is going to be pretty hard to do with massive asymptomatic spread.

  6. myst_05 says:

    This week’s other interesting serology test news is this study from Japan: Dynamic Change of COVID-19 Seroprevalence among Asymptomatic Population in Tokyo during the Second Wave. Those numbers are rather boggling. I don’t know what to make of them and am curious what others think. To avoid anchoring too much, I won’t say more.

    Have you seen this paper? https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-41098/v1. It would explain why Tokyo wasn’t badly hit despite having no lockdown in place or why Thailand/Vietnam/Laos are doing so well despite having poor health infrastructures. Although with the recent explosion of cases in Myanmar I’m no longer sure if that’s the right theory.

    Our civilization did figure out a good plan to do something important. Yes, it didn’t happen because someone actively decided to stop it, but I’d rather be competent and up against malice than be incapable at all.

    Czech Republic had a similar debacle recently. The Czech postal service delivered a face mask to every citizen over the age of 65, but then the local FDA came after them because apparently postal employees were manually splitting bulk packaging into smaller packages of 5 masks each, so many seniors didn’t get a manual as part of the delivery. And some seniors apparently received a manual in English instead of Czech. Just why people would need a manual to use a face mask is… beyond my understanding. But hey, at least the masks got delivered!

    Here’s the full story if you’d like to use Google Translate: https://www.novinky.cz/domaci/clanek/posta-rozesilanim-rozbalenych-rousek-seniorum-porusila-zakon-40336996

  7. ADifferentAnonymous says:

    I’d also like to say thanks for writing these; I eagerly await each update. At first it was because I was intensely curious, but now it’s more for the refreshment of reading a simulacrum-level-one take on the pandemic and being reminded that it’s still possible.

    You are an anchor to object-level reality.

  8. ADifferentAnonymous says:

    > the most important single fact about Covid-19 – that the virus is airborne. That’s the primary mode of infection.
    The virus is definitely airborne, but what makes you say that’s the most important fact/primary mode of transmission? ‘Airborne’ here clearly doesn’t include large-droplet spread (since the existing guidance is to be at least six feet apart rather than at least one inch apart), which you guessed was the primary mode [back in April](https://thezvi.wordpress.com/2020/04/29/on-covid-19-superspreader-events-in-28-countries-critical-patterns-and-lessons/).

    (Also, see [here](https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2020/7/13/21315879/covid-19-airborne-who-aerosol-droplet-transmission-cdc#taeudL) for some context on the reluctance to use the a-word. Apparently an airborne virus triggers a bunch of requirements for hospitals that they probably can’t meet, and obviously we can’t waive the requirements just because they’re impossible…)

    • TheZvi says:

      I still think large droplets are the primary means of transmission. I can see how in context ‘airborne’ can be considered a completely distinct category that doesn’t involve large droplets, but that’s not how English works in my mind and not how it works in other minds I’ve observed. Nor is the distinction something especially meaningful in my physics model. Perhaps I went a little too far in saying primary here, because it’s a term of art. I’ll ponder whether I need to fix that – we and my past self agree on the physics here.

  9. Rob P says:

    Thanks for all the updates…these are super informative!

    Here is some relevant (IMHO not good but not unexpected) news: a group of scientist and various bioethics folks have signed a letter asking Pfizer to hold off on seeking approval of its vaccine until later in November: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-26/pfizer-urged-to-wait-for-november-to-seek-vaccine-authorization

  10. Kenny says:

    Thank you for writing these posts!

  11. ADifferentAnonymous says:

    Re: Japan study, my main question is:
    Do COVID-immune antibody-negative people who get reexposed make enough antibodies to become antibody-positive?

    If not, then I think the sample must just be unrepresentative–Japan’s first wave had a higher positive test rate and more deaths than the second, so ~50% of a population having their first exposure during the second wave makes no sense. If the antibody tests are picking up reexposures, that could explain it.

    But either way, it seems pretty clear-cut that a very strong majority of the Japanese people who develop Covid antibodies, do it without developing any symptoms along the way, unless this company had a giant Covid outbreak that the study doesn’t mention. A smoking gun that Japan’s low death rate has nothing to do with preventing exposures.

  12. gavinobrown says:

    Just wanted to add my voice thanking you for doing these. I can only hope that analyses like these spread over time, and can be used for some modest levels of improvement in dealing with future disasters. At the very least, in places the actions that are taken and the underlying reality in stark relief.

    But if you need to take a break for a week to tell them how to fix Standard, that’s cool too.

    • Bobby Shen says:

      Standard might be harder but it’s less crazy if Standard is broken!
      – Lurker of Zvi, never talked to him, but great work overall

  13. RFS-81 says:

    I also want to thank you for writing these posts!

    The UK doing challenge trials was a huge surprise, and the people who volunteered for them make me feel like I can’t block warriors.

  14. Julien Rodriguez says:

    “…the foundational lie behind the idea that there are ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ configurations and actions. That if you stay six feet away, and Sacrifice to the Gods with frequent ‘deep cleaning,’ you’ll be safe. So in order to protect arbitrary guidelines, to get people to latch onto simple heuristics that they think will cause the public to do what’s good for them, the science has to say that which does not correspond to physical reality.”

    This sounds just like the concept of security theater! Apologies if you’re already aware of it, this is the first post I’m reading on your blog. Definitely here to stay.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s