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florduh
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I have questions I don't want to turn political, please. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

 

I watch this COVID site like many people read the daily horoscope. What's been happening is the numbers get worse, then the numbers get better, then worse again. Nothing changes but the numbers, there are no mandates starting or stopping. People are doing whatever they do with consistency, yet cases per 100k can double or halve across the state. Hillsborough has had the highest vaccination rate for a long time, yet they often do the same as or a little worse than counties with lower vaccination rates and they consistently and inexplicably have more cases per 100k. Positive test rates go up and down along with new cases. Deaths were at zero for a long time, then there was a huge spike, then back to zero. I do not see correlation here on anything and the spread and severity of the virus fluctuates independently of the wildly volatile numbers. It appears the virus has a mind of its own and doesn't care what we do or don't do. Without getting political, can anyone shed any light on what I'm seeing here? Maybe the politics at this point is unavoidable. Thanks, anyway. - Puzzled in Pinellas

 

 

     

 

 
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A few things could be happening:

  • Variations in time of reporting (e.g. reporting all the weekend cases on Monday, making it look like the caseload tripled overnight).
  • Weather variations (e.g. people spending more time indoors when it's particularly rainy, and more cases showing up a few days later).
  • Or their data collection is just plain sloppy.
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On 9/27/2021 at 6:58 AM, florduh said:

I have questions I don't want to turn political, please. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

 

I watch this COVID site like many people read the daily horoscope. What's been happening is the numbers get worse, then the numbers get better, then worse again. Nothing changes but the numbers, there are no mandates starting or stopping. People are doing whatever they do with consistency, yet cases per 100k can double or halve across the state. Hillsborough has had the highest vaccination rate for a long time, yet they often do the same as or a little worse than counties with lower vaccination rates and they consistently and inexplicably have more cases per 100k. Positive test rates go up and down along with new cases. Deaths were at zero for a long time, then there was a huge spike, then back to zero. I do not see correlation here on anything and the spread and severity of the virus fluctuates independently of the wildly volatile numbers. It appears the virus has a mind of its own and doesn't care what we do or don't do. Without getting political, can anyone shed any light on what I'm seeing here? Maybe the politics at this point is unavoidable. Thanks, anyway. - Puzzled in Pinellas

 

 

     

 

 
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Yeah Florduh,

 

There are a number of problems relating to the understandings of what is going on with COVID. Each state has different rules and testing abilities and facilities to handle their cases, their case statistics, and the results in the US from state to state cannot be consistent. There are many opinions concerning logical analysis of the results, often with conflicting opinions.

 

But here’s my opinion.

 

Of the great many people tested randomly and who test positive for COVID,  have no symptoms at all. This estimate is thought to be about 30%., and 40% for the US.. Of these, about 11% of these come down with a mild case of COVID in the coming two weeks, and about 1.5 % with a more serious case which could require hospitalization.

 

For those people who have a COVID test because they have symptoms of some kind, only about 4% test positive for COVID.

 

https://hartfordhealthcare.org/about-us/news-press/news-detail?articleId=29806&publicid=743#:~:text=The%20South%20Korean%20estimate%20of,%2D19%20are%20asymptomatic.

 

Also 2-3% of those tested yield a false positive. This is known by those who have a verification test following their positive test. Other pathogens like the papilloma virus also can give a false positive for COVID for the many people who have it.

 

Other testing problems and false results are explained below.

 

https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/letters-health-care-providers/potential-false-positive-results-antigen-tests-rapid-detection-sars-cov-2-letter-clinical-laboratory

 

Death rates have now dropped for COVID patients when the patient’s immune system is suppressed, by keeping these patient’s immune system from killing them, a type of allergic reaction to COVID which builds up lung fluids that drown them. Deaths for this reason have dropped from 18% to about 4% for those hospitalized.

 

One problem with statistics is that if someone has a terminal disease like terminal cancer, and if in an autopsy they test positive for COVID, their death will be reported as death from COVID based upon the rules for most states. This is true for all terminal illnesses.

 

The percentage of US hospitalized patients who died from the flu and pneumonia, have been higher than those who died from COVID during this pandemic.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/pdf/covidview.pdf

 

I was in Sweden just a few weeks ago, No masks, social distancing, businesses closings, restaurants and bars stayed open. Most everything is voluntary. Recommended social distancing for restaurants, bars, businesses where people work in close quarters, For certain workers they recommend working from home when possible.

 

They have the same or fewer problems from COVID as the US, and very few people wear masks or adhere to social distancing. It looks like the US before COVID.  They promote vaccinations the same as we do in the US, as do nearly all the countries of the world.

 

Germany, on the other hand has rules similar to what we have here in most states, so it’s not so much fun there. They have made social distancing exceptions for bars and restaurant which is better IMO :) But to go into many bars and restaurants you must show your vaccination card.

 

Here are other opinions concerning false opinions and the seriousness of COVID in the US.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/12/04/covid-conspiracy-why-people-dont-believe-deadly-pandemic-misinformation/3803737001/

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2 hours ago, pantheory said:

...the results in the US from state to state cannot be consistent.

I get that, but I'm only looking at one set of people sharing the same testing protocols and behavior patterns. I'm looking at months of data. What made me take notice early on was when Miami-Dade (which I mistakenly referred to in my text as Hillsborough) had by far the highest rate of vaccinations yet had more daily cases per 100k than my own county which was slow to vaccinate. There are virtually no public health mandates in the state so the majority still carry on as if nothing's going on - that behavior doesn't change but all the statistics do just as if one month we have mask mandates/lockdown and the next we're wide open for business as usual. Hospitals fill and empty, fill and empty, as our behavior never changes. A county with nearly twice the vaccination rate of another county doesn't do any better with the numbers, and that's just one thing that doesn't make sense to me. On paper stats and ICU admissions the virus seems to do what it does independent of our efforts or lack thereof. I'm really starting to wonder if when we do institute some safety protocol and virus activity declines, perhaps it's coincidence because the opposite also has happened.

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There is also the problem of hospitals being full and people having to travel to find an open spot, some not finding one. I'm not sure if the reporting happens when someone finally finds an open spot and the hospital handles the reporting or some other way.

 

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16 hours ago, Fuego said:

There is also the problem of hospitals being full and people having to travel to find an open spot, some not finding one. I'm not sure if the reporting happens when someone finally finds an open spot and the hospital handles the reporting or some other way.

 

 

From what I have read, many people who test positive for COVID and go to the hospital, never have symptoms. Some fake their symptoms after testi8ng positive so they can stay in the hospital because of their fear of COVID -- but they were never sick at all, not even a higher temperature, cough or sneeze. But many may have serious anxiety because of their positive test. At least one nurse discussing this problem mentioned that many of these people are on social welfare whereby the government pays for their hospital stay, sometimes weeks until they test negative.  They do not want to go home to infect their spouse, children, relatives, or neighbors.

 

of course such people unnecessarily fill up hospitals and mess up the related statistics. overestimating the quantity of people who are really sick.

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16 hours ago, Fuego said:

There is also the problem of hospitals being full and people having to travel to find an open spot, some not finding one. I'm not sure if the reporting happens when someone finally finds an open spot and the hospital handles the reporting or some other way.

 

The relevant statistic is ICU availability, and that seems pretty cut and dried. Hospitals report how many of their ICU beds are occupied and how many of those are COVID related. COVID patients who do not need intensive care are segregated and census is taken every day. The hospital I frequent for blood work and imaging has started shifts an hour earlier recently, though they are by no means in crisis. Part of it is that people who have been waiting to have procedures done are just finally going ahead with them and not waiting any longer for the virus to go away.

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7 hours ago, pantheory said:

From what I have read, many people who test positive for COVID and go to the hospital, never have symptoms. Some fake their symptoms after testi8ng positive so they can stay in the hospital because of their fear of COVID -- but they were never sick at all, not even a higher temperature, cough or sneeze. But many may have serious anxiety because of their positive test. At least one nurse discussing this problem mentioned that many of these people are on social welfare whereby the government pays for their hospital stay, sometimes weeks until they test negative.  They do not want to go home to infect their spouse, children, relatives, or neighbors.

 

of course such people unnecessarily fill up hospitals and mess up the related statistics. overestimating the quantity of people who are really sick.

I can't speak to what others are reporting, but in my experience as an RN who works in both a nursing home and a hospital (including covid unit), I have never encountered anyone who has been able to prolong their hospital stay due to "fake symptoms" for covid.  If vital signs are stable, bloodwork is negative, xrays are okay, etc. you're going home. On the other hand, there are a lot of "social admissions," people who are deemed "unsafe" to discharge from the hospital even though they are medically stable, but this has nothing to do with covid and has always been a long-standing problem. There is the occasional patient who does something or knows what to say to extend their stay, but that it is pretty rare (again, in my experience).  I don't find that there are many people who are asymptomatic, testing positive and going to the hospital merely because they test positive.  I'm sure there are a few anxious folks who might do that, but most people (outside of health care workers) who get tested are doing so because they have symptoms.  Of course, this is all anecdotal.  If anyone can point to some real data collection or research on these topics, that would be interesting to look at.

 

As for the spikes and dips in reported cases, deaths, etc. I gather this is due in part to delays in reporting data or as the CDC website explains "Due to potential reporting delays, data from the most recent 7 days . . .  should be interpreted with caution. Small shifts in historic data may also occur due to changes in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Provider of Services file, which is used to identify the cohort of included hospitals."

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html

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59 minutes ago, freshstart said:

I can't speak to what others are reporting, but in my experience as an RN who works in both a nursing home and a hospital (including covid unit), I have never encountered anyone who has been able to prolong their hospital stay due to "fake symptoms" for covid.  If vital signs are stable, bloodwork is negative, xrays are okay, etc. you're going home. On the other hand, there are a lot of "social admissions," people who are deemed "unsafe" to discharge from the hospital even though they are medically stable, but this has nothing to do with covid and has always been a long-standing problem. There is the occasional patient who does something or knows what to say to extend their stay, but that it is pretty rare (again, in my experience).  I don't find that there are many people who are asymptomatic, testing positive and going to the hospital merely because they test positive.  I'm sure there are a few anxious folks who might do that, but most people (outside of health care workers) who get tested are doing so because they have symptoms.  Of course, this is all anecdotal.  If anyone can point to some real data collection or research on these topics, that would be interesting to look at.

 

As for the spikes and dips in reported cases, deaths, etc. I gather this is due in part to delays in reporting data or as the CDC website explains "Due to potential reporting delays, data from the most recent 7 days . . .  should be interpreted with caution. Small shifts in historic data may also occur due to changes in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Provider of Services file, which is used to identify the cohort of included hospitals."

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html

 

I expect that such people wanting to stay in the hospital longer are an exception. What do you do with COVID welfare patients that will not go home because they don't want to infect their spouse, children, family, etc., and there is absolutely no room in their home for isolation?

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What do you do for the hordes of homeless who now face the winter season, when they might otherwise in a different era have accepted help at a shelter or other charitable organization, knowing the risk of crowding into the space and beds available?

 

How many children will be sleeping in a car with a parent in the cold because the parent doesn't want to risk that?

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On 9/29/2021 at 3:46 AM, alreadyGone said:

What do you do for the hordes of homeless who now face the winter season, when they might otherwise in a different era have accepted help at a shelter or other charitable organization, knowing the risk of crowding into the space and beds available?

 

How many children will be sleeping in a car with a parent in the cold because the parent doesn't want to risk that?

 

Homelessness must be addressed. From all that i have read, more than 90% of the people that are homeless for more than maybe 6 months relate to drug or alcohol abusers and those mentally ill. Mental illness may also relate to substance abuse presently or in the past.

 

https://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/addiction.pdf

https://www.bbrfoundation.org/blog/homelessness-and-mental-illness-challenge-our-society

 

More socialist societies do not have these problems, nor did the US more than 70 years ago since most of the homeless were forced off of the street, and forced out of sleeping in their cars if they had one.  For many socialized countries these people are forced to having drug treatment and mental illness treatment. If drug abusers, they are forced into institutions for treatment. If mentally ill they are also forced into institutions. For those that do not fit either category, they are forced to work into government programs like the WPA in the US during the depression.  Those that don't comply with these programs because of psychological problems are forced into work camps which are meant for people who have psychological problems making some people resistant to help.

 

In the US many believe that freedom allows people to be homeless if that is their own choosing (not to work), as long as they don't break the laws in the area where they are staying, and as long as they don't interfere with anyone else, which might include begging for money or food -- not legal in many areas of the US.

 

As you said, much of the US has a winter climate not conducive to homelessness, just as much of Europe is very cold during the winter. In the old days homeless men were called bums years ago. They would jump the rails and ride to warmer climates with milder winters such a Florida and California. In the old days most states and cities had what they called vagrancy laws. If you stood around the same place for a long time, or slept on the street you could be arrested and put in jail. This forced homeless people in the past to live outside the city or town, on the outskirts of towns, or in the wilderness somewhere.

 

IMO these homeless people in the cities must have a very strong incentive to work if they are able to do so. Outside of that, what is to be done with the mentally ill and drug abusers is a political decision (about 90% of the total long term homeless).

 

I will give you the last word on this subject since it is off topic here. If you wish to continue this subject you should create a new thread in a different forum IMO.

 

cheers

 

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On 9/27/2021 at 3:30 PM, florduh said:

I get that, but I'm only looking at one set of people sharing the same testing protocols and behavior patterns. I'm looking at months of data. What made me take notice early on was when Miami-Dade (which I mistakenly referred to in my text as Hillsborough) had by far the highest rate of vaccinations yet had more daily cases per 100k than my own county which was slow to vaccinate. There are virtually no public health mandates in the state so the majority still carry on as if nothing's going on - that behavior doesn't change but all the statistics do just as if one month we have mask mandates/lockdown and the next we're wide open for business as usual. Hospitals fill and empty, fill and empty, as our behavior never changes. A county with nearly twice the vaccination rate of another county doesn't do any better with the numbers, and that's just one thing that doesn't make sense to me. On paper stats and ICU admissions the virus seems to do what it does independent of our efforts or lack thereof. I'm really starting to wonder if when we do institute some safety protocol and virus activity declines, perhaps it's coincidence because the opposite also has happened.

 

For whatever reason, blacks and Hispanics have a much high incidence of COVID. From what I've read some of it is more poverty, closer living quarters, and the other part of it is racial in that blacks and Hispanics in better neighborhoods still have more COVID cases than their white and Asian neighbors. Therefore if this holds true for Florida, the counties with the most blacks and Hispanics should have a higher incidence of COVID cases, maybe twice as many based upon some studies concerning the same neighborhoods. Both groups also have more underlying health conditions.

 

So the conclusion could be that if you live in a mostly white affluent community, you could be at a much lower risk of getting COVID when you go out. Probably vaccination would be important, and masks if not vaccinated.

 

https://record.umich.edu/articles/blacks-hispanics-among-hardest-hit-during-covid-19-pandemic/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/expert-answers/coronavirus-infection-by-race/faq-20488802

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7 hours ago, pantheory said:

So the conclusion could be that if you live in a mostly white affluent community, you could be at a much lower risk of getting COVID when you go out. Probably vaccination would be important, and masks if not vaccinated.

I agree, but there still is some disparity since Miami Dade is just a tad under 70% white and Pinellas is just a tad over. The two populations are demographically much closer to each other than the virus statistics. I can't help but think that the virus ebbs and flows on its own and our efforts may affect final outcomes a lot less than we like to believe. I'd like to study the stats over the past year from other states but it's too much tedium for me, Florida is enough for this one guy to handle! Only one thing is clear from the numbers, you are very unlikely to die from the virus if you are vaccinated.

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3 hours ago, florduh said:

I agree, but there still is some disparity since Miami Dade is just a tad under 70% white and Pinellas is just a tad over. The two populations are demographically much closer to each other than the virus statistics. I can't help but think that the virus ebbs and flows on its own and our efforts may affect final outcomes a lot less than we like to believe. I'd like to study the stats over the past year from other states but it's too much tedium for me, Florida is enough for this one guy to handle! Only one thing is clear from the numbers,

 

you are very unlikely to die from the virus if you are vaccinated.

 

very true. You might even say that you are very unlikely to even get sick from COVID if you are vaccinated.  It might be that reporting systems, standards and availability of testing, delays in reporting etc., between different states and counties are very different one from the other,  so you might be comparing apples with oranges concerning the stats.

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On 10/1/2021 at 5:32 AM, florduh said:

Only one thing is clear from the numbers, you are very unlikely to die from the virus if you are vaccinated.

     Yep.  But my nephew just got a breakthrough case so he's now going to show as a statistic.  He was being careful (double-masking on jobs) and someone he worked with seemed to be infected but denied it.  Soon enough they disappeared for a week or so and right after he's laid out.  He was supposed to visit but cancelled because of all this.  He's miserable, says it's the worse thing he's ever had, and dealing with it alone.  He probably won't die but he still worries about long-covid or other covid damage since he does parasailing and things like that which require him to be fairly healthy and doesn't want to have covid ruin it through some sort of damage (like to his lungs or whatnot).

 

          mwc

 

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On 10/1/2021 at 8:32 AM, florduh said:

I can't help but think that the virus ebbs and flows on its own and our efforts may affect final outcomes a lot less than we like to believe. I'd like to study the stats over the past year from other states but it's too much tedium for me, Florida is enough for this one guy to handle! Only one thing is clear from the numbers, you are very unlikely to die from the virus if you are vaccinated.

 

The other issue is that the delta spike is doing here what it did elsewhere. Providing a short lived variant spike in new cases that rockets up, get's media hype, then plummets down as the media starts to quite down again. We're well on the back side of this one already. Until the next time. 

 

It clearly ebbs and flows on it's own. And our efforts very likely have little affect on final outcomes. 

 

image.jpeg
Here are the updated statistics on COVID-19 in Florida including new cases, deaths, hospitalizations, testing positivity and ...
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On 10/6/2021 at 7:33 PM, Joshpantera said:

 

The other issue is that the delta spike is doing here what it did elsewhere. Providing a short lived variant spike in new cases that rockets up, get's media hype, then plummets down as the media starts to quite down again. We're well on the back side of this one already. Until the next time. 

 

It clearly ebbs and flows on it's own. And our efforts very likely have little affect on final outcomes. 

 

image.jpeg
Here are the updated statistics on COVID-19 in Florida including new cases, deaths, hospitalizations, testing positivity and ...

 

Florida drops to 44th place out  of 50 states concerning per capita new infections? Great! It looks like Florida is well on its way out of this pandemic.

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3 hours ago, pantheory said:

 

Florida drops to 44th place out  of 50 states concerning per capita new infections? Great! It looks like Florida is well on its way out of this pandemic.

For now, yes, but why? It's not anything we did.

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1 hour ago, florduh said:

For now, yes, but why? It's not anything we did.

 

It could be because Florida has had less Covid restrictions than most other states. This could explain why it was one of the more infected states, but also why it could have reached its heard immunity faster, vaccinations aside.  its peak infection rate may have occurred sooner and therefore Covid cases are falling off faster now than places which had more restrictions. 

 

Up to 1/4 of people who test positive for Covid never get any symptoms at all, and another 1/4 have mild symptoms indistinguishable from the common cold. But some of them can transmit the decease to others more vulnerable.

 

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/most-covid-19-cases-come-from-people-without-symptoms

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17 minutes ago, pantheory said:

 

It could be because Florida has had much less Covid restrictions than most other states. This could explain why it was one of the most infected states, but also why it could have reached its heard immunity sooner, vaccinations aside.  its peak infection rate may have occurred sooner, and therefore Covid cases are falling off faster now there than places which had more restrictions. 

 

Up to 1/4 of people who test positive for Covid never get any symptoms at all, but some of them can transmit the decease to others more vulnerable to Covid.

 

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/most-covid-19-cases-come-from-people-without-symptoms

So no matter how we respond to the virus, it pretty much doesn't care. My money's on another wave in our near future.

 

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1 minute ago, florduh said:

So no matter how we respond to the virus, it pretty much doesn't care. My money's on another wave in our near future.

 

 

Maybe minor waves, but my beer and whisky bet is on no more major waves as big as the Delta wave for any US state. Cheers

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@florduh?! From FC? Dropped the stoner personas but always valued your thoughtful posts.

 

Studied viral genetics in the 1980's. Worked across the hall from Katie Kuriko, whose work made mRNA vaccines possible. (She was full of wiry energy and thought circles around almost everyone.)

 

We just don't know everything. The questions you and others raise simply reveal that we've missed some pretty important things in epidemiology and other disciplines. No shame in that. Science leaves room for uncertainty.  

 

COVID is absolutely captivitating on so many levels. Delta has combined numerous distinct mutations in the blink of an evolutionary eye. Breathtaking. It passed up the South African mutation that evades immunity. Obsolete. 

 

Predict all will work out in a few years. If we'd vaccinated enough of the global population before delta, we would have fewer casualties, but we probably never had a chance. Once kids are exposed repeatedly while most can handle infection, COVID will take its place beside the coronavirus cold viruses. The rest of us will have to make do with boosters. (If you've had the Pfizer, recommend a Moderna booster.) 

 

With a population of eager hosts at its disposal, COVID made some quick evolutionary leaps, but it may have run out of easy opportunities. 

 

Evolution's power is truly awesome, like that of a deity. COVID's success is a check on invasive pest species such as ourselves. 

 

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