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  1. TopTop #1
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    What is wrong with U.S. COVID stats? From former statistician w/25+ yrs in healthcare

    Ed Bassin- Ph.D. Sociology & Statistics Former Statistician with over 25 years in healthcare



    Some things to consider:



    • We have no idea how many people have been infected with the disease. We look at the number of confirmed cases, but that doesn’t show how many people had mild disease and were advised not to “waste” a test or were asymptomatic. Recent antibody tests suggest our counts are off by at least 2000%.
    • Without an accurate count of how many people have been infected, we have no idea what the true mortality rate is of the disease. Our leaders are spewing figures with decimal point precision, creating the false impression that we know. In all likelihood, the numbers they use vastly overestimate how lethal the virus is.
    • Our stats are confounded by test availability and reporting. Recently, Massachusetts reported a spike in the number of new cases after a few days of decline. It turned out that a large commercial lab company had a backlog of cases. Oops. There may never have been a decline and there surely was no spike.
    • We are counting all who die with Covid-19 infection as being caused by Covid-19. Recently where I live, 2 people in hospice care (for other reasons) were infected and died. Were those deaths from Covid-19, another cause, or multiple causes?
    • News reports highlight deaths among young people, but the age breakdown shows that Covid-19 mostly affects people over the age of 70. We don’t show the age breakdowns often enough.
    The solution to items 1–3 is to begin random sampling of the general population on an ongoing basis. We don’t need huge numbers of test cases, but we do need to get an accurate count of the number of people infected and the mortality rate. Also, random sampling eliminates reporting and test availability issues. If one’s goal is to scare people with numbers, the current approach works very well. If one wants to get to the truth, well, things have to change.
    P.S. I expect that some reading this answer will say something to the effect that “random sampling didn’t predict that Trump would be elected?” The results were within the 95% confidence interval, aka, the “margin of error”. They were hardly off by 2000%!

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  3. TopTop #2
    Karl Frederick's Avatar
    Karl Frederick
     

    Re: What is wrong with U.S. COVID stats? From former statistician w/25+ yrs in healthcare

    Thanks Shandi . . . good things to think about. However, Ed Bassin published those comments on Quora.com on April 26th, and his last post was in May. I wonder if he has updated any of his thoughts. Maybe his current employment required him to step back from public commentary. Here's his LinkedIn profile: Ed Bassin.

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  4. TopTop #3
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: What is wrong with U.S. COVID stats? From former statistician w/25+ yrs in healthcare

    I'm a regular Quora member, and recently asked the same question I did here, previously, which is
    "How does it help to follow COVID 19 statistics?"

    I find that most answers indicate that the statistics help people to be "more careful". I do wonder if they didn't see the statistics if they would be "less careful". None of us can escape knowing that COVID-19 is affecting our lives. Even though I don't follow the statistics, I'm aware that the virus seems to be contracted from unprotected (no mask) close contact with asymptomatic carriers. Without seeing symptoms, we have to suspect that anyone without obvious symptoms can still be carriers. It's probably the same way the flu is passed on before those infected have symptoms.

    The question "What is wrong with U.S. COVID stats?" got my attention, even though it was answered months ago. I noticed that it didn't get much attention from others. It made me wonder if people don't want to know the answers. Maybe some kind of unconscious form of denial?

    Anyway, I shared Ed Bassin's answer to Quora, FB, and here. I think it's helpful for people to see many perspectives on this to consider what may be unpopular with the masses.

    You may be right about the reason Ed hasn't updated on this issue. Thanks for your contribution!

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  5. TopTop #4
    sealwatcher's Avatar
    sealwatcher
    Supporting member

    Re: What is wrong with U.S. COVID stats? From former statistician w/25+ yrs in healthcare

    I'm responding generally on this thread rather than to any one individual poster. Here's the COVID site I've been following for months, along with Goat Rock Ukelele's weekly stats: https://ncov2019.live/data Now the young person who built the site has contracted COVID-19 and here's what he says about it: https://www.geekwire.com/2020/teen-b...etty-terrible/

    My point here is that Avi Shiffman, age 18, of Seattle, built the site by "scraping" the numbers from health departments across this nation and in all the countries where COVID has hit. (I believe that number to be 188 countries).These are the numbers relied upon by government health departments; these figures are first sources, original sources.. It does not seem to me that they could be twisted or changed as they emanate from an original source. The sheer number of reporting agencies would make that impossible. There would have to be conspirators at the base level - the original reporting agency - surely?

    I've just hopped back onto the COVID hoax page so haven't followed all the arguments. It had seemed ironic to me that here on this liberal - mainly - site such a Trumpian notion would be the source of argumentation.

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  6. TopTop #5
    Thad's Avatar
    Thad
     

    Re: What is wrong with U.S. COVID stats? From former statistician w/25+ yrs in healthcare

    Two new sources indicating the virus was active earlier than reported, September, for China, October for Italy. I know I and other people on the property I live on had a very different illness in November one almost died. I asked around if something strange was happening and was told by someone who circulates more than I, there was.


    https://abcnews.go.com/International...ry?id=71123270

    https://www.livescience.com/coronavi...r-thought.html


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  8. TopTop #6
    pamelaL's Avatar
    pamelaL
     

    Re: What is wrong with U.S. COVID stats? From former statistician w/25+ yrs in healthcare

    I only scanned these comments. The actual positive covid cases I have seen have all been mild, even the older, obese diabetic who relapsed twice and ended up in the hospital (even he did not die); his was mild enough to drive four hours round trip to the office.
    I find I am tiring of this discussion, this thread, and loosing patience with those who argue for their limitations. I feel for those who do not have a medical background and higher education in all this, for they have fallen prey to the fear-mongers and profiteers. Please read our governments own report on what actually kills a person with a virus(spolier, it ain't the virus).

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...KPSUMWEKfE4W1Q

    BTW, Costco in SR has a sign out that face shields are ok for anyone with a respiratory problem, but don't try this at our friendly Community Market lest you have an upset person admonishing you that you cannot wear that kind of a face covering in their store.

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  10. TopTop #7
    elfrock's Avatar
    elfrock
     

    Re: What is wrong with U.S. COVID stats? From former statistician w/25+ yrs in healthcare

    Responding to Shandi’s initial post, which I’ve only just seen…

    A common mistake in estimating Covid mortality is to compare current death rates with current case rates, whereas, given that deaths tend to occur several weeks after infection, we should compare current deaths with cases 3-4 weeks previously. This is crucial when infections are increasing exponentially.

    In addition, as you point out, actual case rates are likely 20 times recorded rates.

    Also, because not all Covid related deaths are recorded as such, death rates tend to be underestimated. If we look at excess mortality rates (the increased deaths for any week compared with the average for that week over previous years) Covid deaths are probably 40% higher than official data.

    I've applied these assumptions to several months of data, and consistently get a mortality rate of approx 0.4%.
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