Science, Statistics and Studies [SARS-CoV-2]

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  • The savaging is from parachuted in libertarian weirdo Hacker News types with zero experience of coding anything similar or any understanding in of what it's meant to do. Certainly not peers.

    Almost all of the complaints are cosmetic "I wouldn't do it like that" stuff. Nothing that invalidates the model.

    They recommend you run it multiple times until you get the results you hoped for..

    It simulates random spread, so by design it produces different outputs each time and you're meant to average them as needed.

    The bug you link to is related to loading and saving state where it should produce the same output for the same inputs, but the random number generators weren't being correctly reset.

  • So this is perhaps more about research generally than research on covid 19, but the implications are actually quite interesting:

    https://twitter.com/TomerUllman/status/1­252948512272154624

    The reply to the first comment in particular:

    https://twitter.com/emilio__ferrara/stat­us/1253436545467478017

    "The entire social science research on #covid19 will be based on the dozens or hundreds of survey responses given by the same few Turkers over and over."

    Think about what this means for metanalyses. (or don't. I'm not your mum).

  • Sorry to return to this but the flu/covid comparisons really annoy me.

    With regards to the claim that 2018 had 50,000 excess deaths due to the flu vaccine being ineffective - this is not an accurate picture.

    The flu report for that season estimates the number of deaths attributable to flu at 15,000 (page 47):

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk­/government/uploads/system/uploads/attac­hment_data/file/740606/Surveillance_of_i­nfluenza_and_other_respiratory_viruses_i­n_the_UK_2017_to_2018.pdf

    Covid has already killed 40,000 people in the UK in 10 weeks. This is in addition be deaths due to flu from the 2019/20 season, and other excess deaths from heart disease/respiratory disease exacerbated by cold weather (disproportionately affecting the worst off who are more likely to live with fuel poverty and have less access to preventative medicine).

    Even leaving aside the issue of excess mortality and C19 - the strain it places on NHS resources puts it in a totally different league to seasonal flu.

    The latest ICNARC report shows that there were 5,782 admissions to ITU with confirmed viral pneumonia between 2017-2019. There have been 8,250 admissions to ITU with COVID in the last 10 weeks. Regardless of how many excess deaths it is causing, COVID is creating massive amounts of work for already stretched critical care departments.

    https://www.icnarc.org/DataServices/Atta­chments/Download/b8c18e7d-e791-ea11-9125­-00505601089b

    The impact this will have on the way the NHS functions over the next 6 (and possibly 12+) months is staggering and facile flu/covid mortality comparisons completely miss this larger point.

  • The key thing that annoys me is we’re comparing CoVid with drastic shutdown and distancing measures to flu stats without that. So of course CoVid numbers look less dramatic than they might be.

    The number we’re missing is what CoVid would have done with no shutdown, and we can argue forever about what that might have looked like.

  • Completely agree - flu + vaccine vs C19 + shutdown is apples and oranges

  • COVID has NOT killed 40,000, this is patently a lie/fake news. Please bother to look at the register of deaths, there are massively fewer respiratory deaths during the so called peak of COVID19 than for January and for any 6 week 'winter' high for at least the last 5 years.
    You are using the governments fake death toll, deaths 'with' a virus that may or may not be influenza, may or may not be pneumonia and may not even have been tested at all (but all put down as COVID19 (so misrepresentation of the truth) but in the vast majority are NOT respiratory deaths as underlying cause.
    A death can only be recorded/coded once and that has to be by underlying cause, government and ONS have deliberately attempted to and have in fact manipulated counting deaths (in fact instructed doctors to fill in death certs in a totally different way and represent basically anything in the flu/pneumonia ball park and are told to put C.19 instead. This is on the actual government documents regarding how to fill in a death certificate.
    Stating that xx,xxx are deaths from a virus when this is patently a complete and utter lie is why people are reacting like this is bubonic plague. People can't even grasp that deaths by underlying cause is the only way to count a death, not ailments that are often a sidebar or in the case of viruses, not even relevant to cause of death at all. A positive test with a flawed test at that in the deceased basically triggers another on the count even if having a virus present has no influence on the deceased.
    if you tested at the same level for influenza in the past and attribute deaths in the same way as per C.19 then you would have literally hundreds of thousands dying from influenza in any given year as we know flu is so massively prevalent. They are not comparing apples with apples, not even close!

    71,000 people died last year from respiratory diseases as UNDERLYING CAUSE OF DEATH in England and Wales, check the numbers on ONS, it is LESS this year than last year and every year for at least the last 5 per underlying cause of death.
    As regards to influenza, if you don't test as much you find less cases right? Still 2017/18 there were over 26,000 flu deaths just in England alone, 2014/15 similar. That's all underlying cause of deaths NOT deaths WITH a virus, that's a totally different thing!

    Miraculously there are hardly any flu or pneumonia deaths since C.19 came about, this is total BS, in fact PHE aren't even really bothering to test for influenza according to the weekly flu report, e.g. week ending 16th April there were TWO tests across England and Wales for flu!


    1 Attachment

    • influenza deaths.JPG
  • Totally flawed thinking, no ability to think that the reaction itself caused more people to die!
    Again, the number of deaths in the respiratory disease section are LESS than Janury, less than any of the last 5 years 6 week winter highs compared to the peak COVID19. Government use numbers of deaths that are NOT FROM C.19, it;s a massively disgusting misrepresentation, using a totally different way to count a death.
    Think of how many people would not have died if we hadn't locked down and taken away social and health care for the millions of vulnerable.
    People's own immune systems reducing due to lack of interaction.
    Incorrect treatments for patients with mild to medium symptoms that destroy their immune systems and they end up dying as a consequence, this is highlighted in papers in the Lancet.

    Fear of going to hospital, zero support systems for the vulnerable, in a society with already fucked social and health care, if you take what little there is away you end up with more death. NHS emergency documents in March already stated they were going to take the already reduced staff numbers away from other critical care departments to deal with C.19, you don't think this has negative outcomes for those that are already very sick/have serious ailments?

  • I already posted this image and a link to the analysis up thread, but look carefully at the legend - this is just daily deaths, regardless of cause: the statisticians have simply identified spikes that coincide with particular public health events, for ease of reference.

    Are you seriously claiming that this is normal?

  • You are using the governments fake death toll, deaths 'with' a virus that may or may not be influenza, may or may not be pneumonia and may not even have been tested at all (but all put down as COVID19 (so misrepresentation of the truth) but in the vast majority are NOT respiratory deaths as underlying cause.

    I thought that this would happen earlier in this, that attribution would be generous but then came round to the thinking that there wasn’t much in it for the government, at least, to over cook the figures. Any thoughts on why they would do this?

  • All part of the evil plan hatched by the global lizard overlords, obvs.

  • What is your professional background?

  • Mr tickles nemesis. Obvs.

  • A few points:

    I agree with you that the government advice on completing MCCD’s is an exercise in arse covering. The advice that putting “COVID19” as a cause without a positive swab would be ok was inserted in late March/April after rising pressure over deaths in nursing homes. Because of a lack of community testing, GPs essentially felt the government was covering up the community death toll (which was happening almost entirely in nursing/resi homes), and getting away with its scandalously poor policies regarding discharges recovered covid patients back to care settings. The ideal situation would obviously have been widespread testing and a track/trace/quarantine approach directed at individuals testing positive. If your contention is that the government is criminally fucking useless, you’ll get no disagreement from me.

    It’s very clear from the weekly death figures on the ONS website that total weekly deaths this year approximately track the previous 5 year averages, until the week where covid deaths start rising. At this point the total weekly deaths for England and Wales begin significantly exceeding the previous 5 year average.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/file?uri=%2fpeopl­epopulationandcommunity%2fbirthsdeathsan­dmarriages%2fdeaths%2fdatasets%2fweeklyp­rovisionalfiguresondeathsregisteredineng­landandwales%2f2020/publishedweek192020.­xlsx

    I accept that many of the deaths may be due to underlying disease that has been exacerbated by covid. Take it from me that the patient dying of a heart attack brought on by covid and massive hypoxia doesn’t particularly care about the chicken & egg sequence of events. It is likely that significant portions of those people would not have died without this pandemic.

    The “deaths due to respiratory causes” count will be lower this year as the ONS is excluding covid from that figure, and the group that are most at risk for respiratory disease are obviously also very high risk for covid. It will still accurately reflect in hospital flu deaths, as it always does, because covid admissions are also tested for flu.

    Regarding your assertion that if you test more you find more - I would agree with this, if we had in fact tested more. In practice our testing regime looked very similar to the usual flu set up - those who were sick enough to get to hospital got tested. People who had mild symptoms in the community were told to stay away from GP surgeries and not tested. Many of my colleagues who were ill in the early stages of the pandemic were unable to access testing, such was the shortage of kits.

  • Statistically i've never compared this Corona pandemic to a Flu pandemic.
    Flu is typically a far higher overall mortality.

    I agree its conjecture that a faulty vaccine was the main cause of the recorded 50,000 excess winter deaths in 2018, but its even stated on the ONS report and corroborated by Health England letters at the time.

    “The number of excess winter deaths in England and Wales in 2017 to
    2018 was the highest recorded since the winter of 1975 to 1976.
    However, peaks like these are not unusual – we have seen more than
    eight peaks during the last 40 years. It is likely that last winter’s
    increase was due to the predominant strain of flu, the effectiveness
    of the influenza vaccine and below-average winter temperatures”.

    Nick Stripe, Health Analysis and Life Events, Office for National
    Statistics

    Its a far more inaccurate picture to not mention that 50,000 people in the UK died during the winter season of 2018. Either we care about headline figures or we don't.

    https://thecritic.co.uk/were-all-in-the-­big-numbers-now/

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Science, Statistics and Studies [SARS-CoV-2]

Posted by Avatar for lowbrows @lowbrows

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