In this post, we'll go through what COVID-19 is, the data around the pandemic, how to interpret the data, and what to do to keep everyone safe.
The US government is turning COVID-19 safety into a political issue. This is stupid since then virus doesn't care who you vote for and will try to infect everyone equally. Spreading misinformation and turning public health safety efforts into political lines in the sand will only help the virus and delay the healing. I'd like to end the pandemic sooner, so am writing this post to collect thoughts and resources to help. I have a Masters in Public Health studying respiratory virus transmission. DARPA paid for half my tuition so my lab could figure out how to predict if soldiers would get the flu before missions when they were still asymptomatic (no coughing, sneezing, fever, etc.). Bruceman paid for the other half. I know enough to call bullshit on a lot of the misinformation floating around, and can point you towards good trustworthy sources. Hopefully this helps!
What is COVID-19?
"COVID is just the flu"
- COVID-19 is easier to spread than the flu.
- COVID-19 results in more severe complications than the flu.
- COVID-19 mortality is higher than the flu (>30x according to the World Health Organization).
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronavirus (COVID-19 is from here)
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthomyxoviridae (Influenza viruses are from here)
The Data - How bad is it?
How to interpret the data?
Hi, public health person here to help clarify:— Craig Spencer MD MPH (@Craig_A_Spencer) June 18, 2020
So, this is NOT a ‘great update’.
‘Stabilizing’ at 20k new cases is a disaster.
21 states have upward trends in newly reported cases.
And 10 states are seeing highest daily average of new COVID19 cases.
This is an abject failure https://t.co/B3QrIraIbH
Destroying the country's scientific institutions because the facts don't fall the way you them to—that's like gouging out your eyes to avoid seeing bad news. It works momentarily, but the bad news doesn't disappear, and now you no longer have the advantage of sight in responding.— Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom) May 29, 2020
Given the new & dramatic spikes in Covid south of the border I don’t know how on earth we could open the border in just over a month. https://t.co/aJnNwGCH0x— btw there's still a pandemic 💣 (@ziyatong) June 17, 2020
To stay informed, I look at the daily numbers of cases and deaths in Google and Our World in Data. I pay close attention to Andy Slavitt and the CDC Director for added context to the story. Andy gives daily detailed status updates simplifying what experts are saying. Highly recommend giving him a follow. Here's his update from June 19th (click into twitter to see the full thread):
The COVID-19 case growth numbers & hospitalizations are concerning.— Andy Slavitt @ 🏡 (@ASlavitt) June 19, 2020
Much more concerning than Trump or Pence indicate. Countries around the world are raising sirens over 100 cases in China & 2 cases in New Zealand.
We had more cases than any day since May 2: 27,000.
How to stay safe?
“If I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist” is a perspective that gets people killed. https://t.co/CXd5nefKXk— Jon B. ✨KawaiiGuy✨ (@KawaiiGuyLA) June 16, 2020
I wear a mask because if the experts are correct, I could potentially prevent someone from getting sick and dying. If the experts are wrong, the most I’m out is the inconvenience of wearing a piece of fabric on my face.— Scott Charles (@TheScottCharles) June 17, 2020
I often wonder who raised some of y’all.