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OWID — Covid patterns

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Let’s look at daily confirmed cases:

and at a seven-day rolling average for deaths:

South Korea seems to have beaten this wave. Several advanced countries show a stubborn plateau, which is reflected in the linear ongoing growth. It is not confined to the US, we need to learn from the Koreans; who BTW are HCQ users. The “mesa” for China underscores the observation that Chinese data has to be regarded with care. END

80 Replies to “OWID — Covid patterns

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    OWID — Covid patterns

    –> South Korea seems to have beaten this wave. Several advanced countries show a stubborn plateau, which is reflected in the linear ongoing growth. It is not confined to the US, we need to learn from the Koreans; who BTW are HCQ users. The “mesa” for China underscores the observation that Chinese data has to be regarded with care.

  2. 2
    daveS says:

    Looks like Brasil is aiming to break out of the pack. We’re all going to pay a price if they can’t get it under control.

  3. 3
    Ed George says:

    KF, have you seen any of these plots that are normalized for population size? They would be very informative as to the effectiveness of the approaches used by different countries.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    EG, the exponential growth implies growth based on the absolute pool of the infected, unless tamed by isolation or saturation effects. In that context, scale of community only sets the potential upper limit. Per capita models do not impress me. KF

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, yes, Brazil is still growing although slowing just now. The issue is to get turnover. KF

  6. 6
    Ed George says:

    An interesting strategy to monitor the spread of COVID in a population. There are many factors that will have to be accounted for, such as dilution of sewage due to increased industrial use and storm water infiltration. But if it is feasible, it is a much cheaper and possibly more sensitive way to track overall infiltration within a population.

    https://apple.news/AflrQc6PeSvqfNPT5Y9BX5A

  7. 7
    rhampton7 says:

    At least 115 people tested positive for the virus this week, including 16 new cases announced on Saturday. The majority of people who tested positive either work at the Tyson Meats poultry processing plant in Wilkesboro NC, or are close contacts of the employees there, according to the Forsyth County Health Department.

    Even if the outbreak continues, it is unlikely that the plant in Wilkesboro will close. President Donald Trump signed an executive order earlier this week mandating meat processing facilities stay open in order to keep the nation’s food supply chains intact.

    It is not clear how Tyson plans to prevent any future spread of the virus. A call to its corporate office was not immediately returned Saturday.

  8. 8
    rhampton7 says:

    Pennsylvania leads the nation in confirmed cases of COVID-19 among meat production workers, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, the same day that activists and workers from one Central Pennsylvania plant began protesting what they described as unsafe working conditions.

    Across Pennsylvania, 22 meat- and poultry-processing plants employed workers sickened by the coronavirus, the report says. The state with the next highest number of impacted plants, Georgia, has almost half as many affected facilities.

    Pennsylvania’s 858 confirmed cases of the virus among meat production workers also tops other states’ tallies by dozens of cases, signaling that the invisible virus had spread further across this essential industry in recent weeks than the public has realized.

  9. 9
    rhampton7 says:

    Tyson Fresh Meats on Friday idled its largest beef processing plant for four days of deep cleaning after a surge of coronavirus cases in the area.

    Health officials have reported hundreds of new coronavirus cases in both Nebraska’s Dakota County, where the plant is located, and Iowa’s nearby Woodbury County. With 4,300 workers, the plant is easily the Sioux City metro area’s largest employer.

    While Tyson has declined to say how many of its workers there have been infected, the Sioux City Journal reported, citing a source familiar with the situation it did not name, that 669 workers so far have tested positive for COVID-19.

  10. 10
    rhampton7 says:

    According to Kentucky state officials, 124 employees at Perdue Farms in Ohio County, 74 employees at Tyson Foods in Henderson County, and 22 employees at Specialty Foods Group in Daviess County have tested positive for COVID-19.

    Now some of those facilities are having to temporarily shut down in order to deep clean. The latest facility to do so is Specialty Foods Group, LLC.

    A company spokesperson says the plant will temporarily close for extensive cleaning on May 3, with plans to reopen on May 11.

  11. 11
    rhampton7 says:

    As of Friday afternoon, Case Farms has confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 at its chicken processing facility in Holmes County, OH. The number of cases was not made public.

    The Holmes County General Health District (Health Department) and surrounding county health departments have been working with Case Farms to identify anyone who may have been in contact with the infected individuals. Many of the company’s employees reside in Tuscarawas County.

  12. 12
    rhampton7 says:

    The Iowa Department of Public Health reported on Saturday that another 757 Iowans have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 8,641. The new number breaks the record for the number of cases reported on a single day that was set on Friday.

    For weeks, Linn County led the state in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19. Recently, it has been surpassed by Polk (1,350 cases), Black Hawk (1,255 cases) and Woodbury (1,704 cases).

    Woodbury County only had 21 confirmed cases on April 14. As in Black Hawk County, its surge in cases is related to an outbreak at a Tyson meat processing plant. However, unlike the situation in Black Hawk, the plant responsible for the cases in Woodbury isn’t located in the county. It isn’t even located in Iowa — it’s across the Nebraska state line in Dakota County.

    Gov. Kim Reynolds has consistently and vigorously defended the actions of Tyson and other meat processors related to COVID-19. Reynolds has said that company CEOs and plant managers have assured her their processing plants are doing an excellent job of protecting their workers and preventing the spread of the virus.

  13. 13
    rhampton7 says:

    Still reeling from the death of its president and CEO to COVID-19, Gilster-Mary Lee Corp., one of Southern Illinois’ largest employers and a critical food manufacturer, continues to grapple with an outbreak of the coronavirus that has idled two plants and sickened numerous factory workers over the past few weeks.

    Though the company has had to temporarily shutter two plants — one in Chester two weeks ago, and one this week in Steeleville — food production continues. The Chester baking mix plant, which shut down April 18, began reopening this week, and two additional plants, one each in Chester and Steeleville, have continued operations uninterrupted. Employees have tested positive across all four plants, though workers at the Steeleville baking mix plant have been hit hardest. About a fourth of the plant’s 400 employees had tested positive as of Friday.

    The Southern’s interviews with more than a dozen people with knowledge of the outbreaks at Gilster-Mary Lee, and the response to it, shed light on some of the difficult conversations playing out behind the scenes in a rural area where the public health and economic stakes are high.

    According to Botos, there are about 3,000 food manufacturing companies in Illinois. Many are in the meat-packing and processing industry, but less has been said about other food manufacturers producing everything from mac-and-cheese to food additives such as sweetener and corn syrup to tortillas and Tootsie Rolls.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    RH7, once SARS2 broke out, loss of life was inevitable. The challenge is to minimise losses from disease + dislocation, a tough challenge. The prolonged plateau of leading nations shows how hard it is to turn the curve down, even among advanced countries. KF

  15. 15
    daveS says:

    An interesting post by Derek Lowe: Why are clinical trials so complicated?

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    DS,

    We are very aware that drug investigation and scale-up to industrial manufacture are expensive, time consuming, high risk propositions, implying cross subsidisation of a costly R & D overhead by successful cases, further implying that “hot” new drugs will be high cost, far beyond direct manufacturing and materials, distribution, logistics, promotion etc. That’s why the producer’s side segments into groups, with the pioneering companies at the high end and those who live from generics etc in a low end, hecho en la Chine bloc.

    Further to this, we have indeed noted the costliness and time taken up by trials and approvals, with Thalidomide as chief case study on what could go wrong. (Though, BTW, Thalidomide is still in use for other cases.)

    So, no, it is not a simple objection to red tape in general, though that too is always an issue. For, the Marxists are right: any power class faces a temptation to turn a legitimate warrant into a power base. Dukes etc emerged from the need to protect vulnerable producers and service providers, leading to the feudal system in aftermath of the breaking of the W Roman empire. Principal-agent theory then predicts that agents will then tend to have self-interests or class interests that may diverge from the principal, where the very freedom of executive action is the same double edged sword that opens up room for creating a self-perpetuating agenda. Not even professionalism in itself shields from that. Similarly, accounting and auditing systems, post Enron, are clearly less than perfect answers. BTW, that is one reason for regular General Elections and for a free, significantly diverse press and for platforms to be content neutral . . . this being a clear, emerging, worrisome pattern currently: censorship, intimidation and chilling effect by the back door. Those in the catbird seat may not like the “solutions” they are inviting as we speak.

    Yes, we face yet another tangled problematique with a possible perfect storm brewing with an ongoing, trans-Atlantic peasant uprising by ballot box . . . so far. And yes, if the electorate reaches a critical mass, pent-up anger may lead to outcomes we may not believe are possible. That’s why emerging signs of major abuse of policing powers to create an attempted media and lawfare lynching are sobering warning signs.

    Those, are general concerns, though they are directly relevant and exceedingly difficult to manage.

    Of course. “trials” . . . experiment or observational study . . . design is non-trivial and expensive. No one of relevance has suggested otherwise. That is not the issue in general or on this case.

    The primary issue is as I have repeatedly pointed out: double blind, placebo control studies lead directly to significant ethical problems in the face of a fast-moving newly emergent viral disease with a significant fatality rate. Linked, the tendency to enshrine such studies as a gold standard — a term in routine use — can readily transmute itself into a fallacy that over-discounts or dismisses other relevant and in fact cogent evidence.

    Where, oh if your data are noisy, multiplying cases may simply create more noise is an example of gold standard fallacy: in the face of pandemic, as I have repeatedly noted, we have noisy proxies inherently. Urgency of the real world forces us to deal with that, and once enough credible signal is there, it is good enough for responsible work. See the onward trends in the OP.

    The first of these implies that in cases where harm is a significant issue [deception as part of trials design is another factor; one, corrosive of the moral authority of the profession] then alternative approaches are warranted. That is or at least used to be a standard point noted in even relevant textbooks in recent decades. Thus, it is doubly important not to fall into a gold standard fallacy, which accelerates the ethical decline just noted. In a day when the enabling of the holocaust of our living posterity in the womb is a toxic cloud hanging over all of our heads, that should be ringing a lot of warning bells.

    In that context, the warrant for inductively developed knowledge, understanding that such knowledge is in the weak sense — warranted, credibly true [so, reliable] belief — and recognition that there are many valid ways to cumulatively build up warrant are pivotal. They also imply that bodies of knowledge thus built up must be held with reasonable awareness of the limitations of weak sense knowledge. (Recall, my earlier OP on that? I was not merely being pedantic and I certainly was not merely spilling bits and photons to “rant” away idiosyncratically. I targetted a clear weak point in our thinking. Similar to my focus on logic of being and its extension to core mathematics, which has a very different degree of warrant. One of the worst tendencies of our day is to don a Lab coat and sit over confidently on what we think we know.)

    In that context, issues of decision theory become relevant, particularly the concept that the state of the art or [near-] business as usual can serve as a reasonable baseline for exploring credible alternatives, at minimum on a balanced scorecard, ranked basis. We may even be able to apply interval or even ratio scales if we are lucky enough. Here , I think of likelihood ratios and the like.

    This allows us to avoid the ethics trap of setting up a questionable artificial baseline through placebos. This, has been discussed here in recent days and weeks. Cross-threading and the refusal to acknowledge cogent points undermines reasonable progress. So, I will have but little option than to take it from the silence, that the point is made: n-BAU vs ALT1, ALT2, etc is an obviously valid experiment, observation study and statistical investigation design; as opposed to PLAC vs TRIAL1, TRIAL2 etc. Where, a sufficiently wide cross section of cases will provide a base for calibration against census data derived demographics. In the context of which, it is often wise to stratify a study and over-represent vulnerable groups.

    Further to this, a collection of dozens, then hundreds, then thousands of relevant cases gathered with due attention to reasonable record is clearly material to the issue at stake. Animal analogue studies, if we can get them . . . the bats! [and, unfortunately, that may well be how this got started — containment in research labs is a sobering issue] . . . are obviously relevant. In which context, Mr Lowe’s dismissive suggestion on if things work in humans needed to be balanced by recognition of the general utility of animal studies.

    Where, too, in vitro studies showing chemical activity at relevant concentrations are also valid. Let us never forget that penicillin was discovered through a contaminated petri dish. I note:

    Returning from holiday on September 3, 1928, Fleming began to sort through petri dishes containing colonies of Staphylococcus, bacteria that cause boils, sore throats and abscesses. He noticed something unusual on one dish. It was dotted with colonies, save for one area where a blob of mold was growing. The zone immediately around the mold—later identified as a rare strain of Penicillium notatum—was clear, as if the mold had secreted something that inhibited bacterial growth.

    Fleming found that his “mold juice” was capable of killing a wide range of harmful bacteria, such as streptococcus, meningococcus and the diphtheria bacillus. He then set his assistants, Stuart Craddock and Frederick Ridley, the difficult task of isolating pure penicillin from the mold juice.

    Such was of course a paradigmatic event, which led to the era of antibiotics. It also underscores the significance of in vitro studies and observation studies. A fortiori, if a breakthrough could lurk in a petri dish spoiled by contamination, one can also lurk in animal studies and in reasonably recorded human studies. And indeed, the case of the discovery of penicillin is precisely a case of such.

    Let us note a further remark in the just cited article:

    It was Howard Florey, Ernst Chain and their colleagues at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at Oxford University who turned penicillin from a laboratory curiosity into a life-saving drug. Their work on the purification and chemistry of penicillin began in earnest in 1939, just when wartime conditions were beginning to make research especially difficult. To carry out a program of animal experiments and clinical trials the team needed to process up to 500 liters a week of mold filtrate.

    Notice, in vitro, then in animals and in the clinic, backed by creation of a reliable production process (albeit, at the first, significantly improvised . . . “bedpans”). All of which requires meticulous record towards replicability. Paradigmatic.

    In this light, I find the wave of politicised dismissiveness and loaded studies trumpeted in the media to discredit a significant cluster of cases and recognitions by several significant countries is telling. Sadly telling.

    Surely, we can do better.

    KF

  17. 17
    GCS says:

    Ed George,

    Country to country comparison.

    I chose Sweden (doing nothing) vs Czech Republic (1st country doing masks for all in Europe – remember me: “the mask” man). Similar populations 10.2 and 10.6 million.

    April 2 – Sweden had 6.25 times the deaths per population (.025% vs .004%)
    May 2 – Sweden had 11.3 times the deaths per population (.260% vs .023%)

    Note – may be at a plateau: 11.5 times May 1, 11.4 times May 3
    Deaths on May 3 – Sweden 2669, Czech 245.

    Happy May.

  18. 18
    GCS says:

    Clarification to post 17 above.

    Deaths AS OF May 3 – Sweden 2669, Czech 245.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    GCS, how tightly urban is Sweden vs the Czech Republic? As in, a key driving factor for NYC. KF

  20. 20
    GCS says:

    KF @19

    I do not know the answer. Czech has 30,450 sq miles, Sweden 173,860 sq miles. However, I assume Sweden’s population is concentrated in smaller areas and not spread out evenly.

    Hope this helps.

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    GCS, I suspect Sweden’s near arctic geography would lend to urban concentration, much like Canada, with large zones of low population land. That concentration would tend to faster, wider spreading of the epidemic. Without good reason to hold differently, I think it is not just different policy. KF

  22. 22
    Bob O'H says:

    Yes, Sweden has most of its population along the coast, with high densities around Stockholm and the Öresund. The Czech republic has a higher density overall, and also a few fairly dense cities.

    What this says about the epidemiology I don’t know. There are so many other factors involved. David Spiegelhalter wrote a good piece pointing out how difficult it is to make comparisons between countries.

  23. 23
    daveS says:

    US Secretary of State:

    “I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan,” Pompeo said on ABC’s “This Week.” “These are not the first times that we’ve had a world exposed to viruses as a result of failures in a Chinese lab.”

    Hmm. The plot thickens…

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, that is not altogether surprising given leaks and speculations recently that might be expectations management. So, it may well be about as near to truth as officialdom gets. KF

  25. 25
    Bob O'H says:

    DaveS – apparently in the same interview he also said he agreed it was not man-made.

  26. 26
    rhampton7 says:

    A federal strike force is headed to Amarillo in response to a surge of coronavirus cases tied to meatpacking plants in the area.

    Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson announced on Saturday that a team of federal officials would arrive in the Texas Panhandle as soon as Sunday to help “attack” outbreaks in the plants and take over testing and investigations of people contracting the new coronavirus.

    The latest figures reported by the state put the number of people who have been infected in Potter County at 684, giving it an infection rate of 5.66 per 1,000 residents. That’s roughly four times higher than the infection rates in Harris and Dallas counties.

    The spread of the coronavirus in Amarillo though is dwarfed by the rate of infection in Moore County, its neighbor to the north that’s home to the massive JBS Beef meatpacking plant. The infection rate in Moore County stood at 16.65 per 1,000 residents, according to data reported Saturday by the state.

    https://www.texastribune.org/2020/05/02/amarillo-coronavirus-meatpacking/

  27. 27
    rhampton7 says:

    How it food processing should be handled:

    North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has held up a Canada-based potato processing business as the gold standard for protecting employees from the coronavirus, stating that Cavendish Farms plants in North Dakota and elsewhere have not recorded a single COVID-19 case among thousands of workers. The company employs 250 people at its Jamestown plant.

    ‘It has been a family owned-business for decades, taking care of their people,’ Burgum said. ‘They have a culture of safety that has been long established. It’s easy for them to take it up another level.’

    Cavendish Farms spokeswoman Mary Keith said the numerous safeguards include infrared cameras to monitor the temperatures of people entering buildings and hundreds of signs in multiple languages placed throughout the plants to make employees aware of social distancing and other guidelines. The company purchased 2,700 plexiglass face shields for all of its operations and has added floor-to-ceiling barriers made of plexiglass or wood, she said.

    https://kstp.com/coronavirus/grand-forks-outbreak-has-other-north-dakota-plants-on-alert-/5718917/

  28. 28
    rhampton7 says:

    Governor Andy Beshear said the state has been in contact with Kentucky meat processing plants as more employees test positive for COVID-19. As of Saturday, the Kentucky Department for Public Health was aware of 313 positive cases and one death in facilities across the state.

    The governor confirmed Tyson Foods in Henderson and JBS USA in Louisville have both agreed to close for a short period of time for cleaning. Henderson County released a statement from Tyson Foods saying the company would cancel production Thursday through Sunday for cleaning and additional sanitation efforts.

    Governor Beshear said Perdue Farms, which has 162 positive cases, has not been as cooperative as Tyson Foods and JBS USA.

    https://spectrumnews1.com/ky/lexington/news/2020/05/03/growing-number-of-covid-19-cases-and-kentucky-meat-plants

  29. 29
    rhampton7 says:

    A new cluster of coronavirus cases has been detected by testing at the Lummi Nation, (Washington state) tribal health officials reported Friday.

    Sixteen new cases announced Wednesday through Saturday by the Lummi health department bring the tribe’s total to 40 people infected. Before this outbreak, the reservation hadn’t had a new case in weeks.

    “ It is apparent that families and their children are not following the shelter in place order or practicing social distancing,” the tribe wrote in a Facebook post. “Part of this new cluster involves families visiting other households.”

    The tribe was among the first to enact a strict stay-home order, on March 22, to starve the virus of opportunities to spread. The tribe also took early steps to obtain testing supplies and educate its roughly 5,000 members about keeping apart.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/northwest/new-cluster-of-coronavirus-cases-at-lummi-nation-blamed-on-recent-gatherings-that-flouted-tribes-stay-home-order/

  30. 30
    rhampton7 says:

    More grocery store workers have tested positive for COVID-19 — this time at at two SoCal Trader Joe’s locations.

    Following an NBC4 I-Team investigation, Ralphs Supermarkets will offer testing to all of its 20,000 Southern California employees after there were numerous COVID-19 outbreaks in their stores. The largest outbreak was at a Ralphs in Hollywood where 19 employees tested positive.

    Other large chains like Walmart have also reported outbreaks, leaving some wondering how else they can protect themselves.

    The Trader Joe’s locations are expected to open Sunday after being deep cleaned.

    https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/coronavirus/multiple-trader-joes-locations-temporarily-close-after-covid-19-outbreak/2356042/

  31. 31
    rhampton7 says:

    Kansas Health officials continue to work to grapple with outbreaks of COVID-19 leading to surges of cases involving locations like meat packing plants and prisons.

    The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 284 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, pushing the state coronavirus totals over 5,000 with 5,030 confirmed cases.

    KDHE officials said 134 deaths have now been attributed to the coronavirus, up three from Saturday. Health officials said 547 patients have been hospitalized. There have been 30,872 negative tests conducted at KDHE and private labs and the positive rate is at 14 percent.

    State health officials warned earlier this week that we should see higher confirmed cases of COVID-19 as more testing becomes available, some counties catch up in reporting and more cases from correctional facilities are reported

    https://www.kmbc.com/article/kansas-continues-to-see-covid-19-outbreak-cases-rise-around-meat-packing-plants-correctional-facilities/32356243

  32. 32
    rhampton7 says:

    Russia saw a record rise of 9,623 new infections on Saturday with 57 more deaths. The country is now the seventh most-affected country in terms of cases, having surpassed China, Turkey and Iran this week.

    Officials estimate around two per cent of all Muscovites have been hit by Covid-19 with the capital city considered a hotspot compared to the rest of the country. If the estimate is correct it means more than 250,000 have contracted the virus in Moscow, according to a calculation based on the screening.

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/russia-sees-record-rise-coronavirus-21965328

  33. 33
    daveS says:

    Bob O’H,

    apparently in the same interview he also said he agreed it was not man-made.

    Thanks. I’d certainly like to know more about the nature of this “evidence” Pompeo claims.

  34. 34
    Seversky says:

    DaveS @ 23

    Hmm. The plot thickens…

    I detect the mouth-watering aroma of red herring marinated in oil of ad hominem on a bed of strawman caricature.

    Goes down well with some fava beans and a nice Chianti, I’m told.

  35. 35
    daveS says:

    KF,

    that is not altogether surprising given leaks and speculations recently that might be expectations management. So, it may well be about as near to truth as officialdom gets.

    If they’re going to level these sorts of accusations, I would hope that they plan to back them up at some point. I don’t see how they can make such statements without following up. Or having to walk them back eventually.

  36. 36
    Fasteddious says:

    Here’s an erudite set of posts from an “imprisoned” professor who questions the entire VOVID lockdown. His views will resonate with some posting at UD:
    http://159.203.24.119/2020/04/.....nt-prison/

  37. 37
    Seversky says:

    The problem with any virus like COVID-19 is that it is incredibly tiny. To get any kind of image, we need to use advanced technology like scanning or transmission electron microscopes. But, impressive as they are, they are of no use for early detection of the little beasties.

    It would have been nice if the Designer/Creator, having decided to plonk us down in a world infested with uncounted trillions, had equipped us with sensors to detect them before they got inside us. Just sayin’.

  38. 38
    Seversky says:

    Fasteddious @ 36
    I think there is some truth in what he writes.

    The problem with railing against government is what do you put in its place? If you want roads, water supply, sewage and sanitations systems, hospitals, law enforcement and all the other infrastructure that makes modern civilization possible, how do you arrange it? Some one has to make the decisions.

    There is also this little passage from the article you cite:

    The mark of the modern progressive state is the nauseating affectation of superior wisdom and righteousness by its ruling class, which justifies it in telling the rest of us what to do, say, and think; and the advice they offer us is always backed up by the threat of violence.

    It could easily be paraphrased as:

    “The mark of the modern evangelical Christianity is the nauseating affectation of superior wisdom and righteousness by its ruling class, which justifies it in telling the rest of us what to do, say, and think; and the advice they offer us is always backed up by the threat of violence.”

  39. 39
    vividbleau says:

    Dave
    “Thanks. I’d certainly like to know more about the nature of this “evidence” Pompeo claims”
    There are two things that have bothered me, one of which should be easily verified I would think. That is did China halt flights out of Wuhan to the rest of China?. Secondly who is patient zero why have we not been able to identify who the first patient was. Is this normal or abnormal? .

    Vivid

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, groundless hostility and projection duly noted. KF

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, you will of course catch the semi-cynical intent of my remark. Having self-shattered credibility too many times [including some disturbing handwritten notes this week] the word of US official agencies is running at a steep discount. At this rate, they are going to have a lot of people signing up to things like the JFK assassination was an inside job or even the rule of thumb, never believe anything until it is officially denied. Does this stuff go back as far as the Lincoln assassination? The Mexican War? The Sinking of the Maine is generally conceded. KF

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, what happened to Doctor Zero, never mind patient zero. KF

    PS Scroll up and look at the mesa in the Chinese data. After that. I am prepared to scrap the China numbers as hopelessly compromised. In which context, worst in the world etc are meaningless.

  43. 43
    daveS says:

    Vivid,

    I don’t know the answer to either question. I vaguely recall reading that someone at the Wuhan market was a candidate patient zero, but whether that has held up I’m not sure.

  44. 44
    daveS says:

    KF,

    I don’t think people are justified in concluding things like Sept 11/JFK/Harambe were inside jobs, but you are correct in that we have to be skeptical about the word of US govt officials (and even more so of Chinese officials).

  45. 45
    orthomyxo says:

    I don’t know about the timing of the Wuhan quarantine, but as to this

    . Secondly who is patient zero why have we not been able to identify who the first patient was. Is this normal or abnormal? .

    I don’t think it’s abnormal, especially given the number of people that have only mild symptons of this illness. They did find the likely ‘index case’ for SARS, but there is no patient zero for H1N1 or HIV and we don’t even know which country the 1918 pandemic flu arose in (Spain got the rap for that one because they reported it first).

    The phylogenetic evidence is pretty clear that the pandemic strains arose in Wuhan in Nov. or December of this year. It’s possible the infections produced only mild (or even no) symptoms and the patients didn’t seek medical help, so finding out the virus got out of those patients and into the community will be very difficult.

    In this case, the

  46. 46
    vividbleau says:

    So it’s not uncommon to not be able to identify the ground zero patient, good to know

    With all the flight tracking capabilities it should be possible to determine whether flights out of Wuhan to the rest of China while still allowing international travel (I don’t expect anyone here to know how to do this) but if this is true to me that’s prima facie evidence that China lied to the world.

    Vivid

  47. 47
    rhampton7 says:

    Rantoul Foods, which is based in Rantoul, IL and processes between 30 million and 35 million pounds of pork each month, saw its first case on April 25, said Jerry Jacobsen, the company’s director of human resources, safety and business administration. Since then 20 more cases have been reported. Rantoul is about 200 miles northeast of St. Louis.

    The Rantoul, Illinois’ plant’s total cases make up the overwhelming majority of the total of the 27 cases reported in Rantoul. Village of Rantoul Administrator Scott Eisenhauer said in an email officials “have assisted some commercial and industrial businesses in identifying resource providers for masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.”

    As of April 30, there have been at least 6,300 reported positive cases tied to meatpacking facilities at at least 98 plants in 28 states, and at least 30 reported worker deaths at 17 plants in 12 states, according to previous reporting by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

    https://www.stltoday.com/business/local/covid-19-outbreak-hits-rantoul-illinois-meat-processing-plant/article_a5b60f23-8395-5db6-8c06-f7964838d2ec.html

  48. 48
    rhampton7 says:

    Metro Health officials in Nashville and Davidson County have confirmed 298 cases of COVID-19 at the Tyson Foods plant in Goodlettsville, Tenn., Fox 17 reports. Officials also confirmed that 220 of those cases came from Davidson County.

    Outbreaks have been reported at Tyson Foods plants in various areas, including Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska and Washington. Aside from the risk to workers, these outbreaks have raised concerns about the security of the nation’s food supply.

    One outbreak reportedly infected 900 of the facility’s employees in Logansport, Ind.

    Tyson Foods has announced plans to deploy “mobile medical clinics” to its facilities following a spate of coronavirus outbreaks that forced the temporary closure of several processing plants.

  49. 49
    rhampton7 says:

    Tyson warned Monday that it expects more meat plant closures this year.

    “ We have and expect to continue to face slowdowns and temporary idling of production facilities from team member shortages or choices we make to ensure operational safety,” the company said in a statement discussing financial results from the first three months of this year.

    https://www.kctv5.com/tyson-warns-more-meat-plant-closures-are-coming/article_40104afb-0933-58de-a85b-ca9680ff5396.html

  50. 50
    Fasteddious says:

    Sev @ 38: you are one strange dude!

  51. 51
    rhampton7 says:

    More than 110 coronavirus infections reported to the Oklahoma State Health Department have come from a meat processing plant in Guymon that employs thousands.

    Several current and former employees say workers toil in crowded conditions amid unenforced screening protocols and improper cleaning procedures at Seaboard Foods processing plant in Guymon.

    Seaboard Foods says 116 employees at the Guymon plant have tested positive for COVID-19.

    https://oklahoman.com/article/5661562/coronavirus-in-oklahoma-116-covid-19-infections-found-in-pork-processing-plant-in-guymon

  52. 52
    rhampton7 says:

    An Oregon seafood company has closed its facilities in Astoria after at least 13 workers tested positive for COVID-19.

    Thirty-five Bornstein Seafood employees were tested for COVID-19 on Saturday after showing symptoms of the coronavirus, according to a company news release, and vice president Andrew Bornstein on Monday told KGW that at least 13 workers have tested positive.

    Clatsop County health officials went to the company’s Astoria seafood processing facility over two weeks ago to advise workers how to do their jobs while keeping distance from one another, Bornstein said.

    Now, the company’s entire workforce is being tested for the virus.

    https://www.kgw.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/workers-positive-covid-19-astoria-bornstein-seafood-processing-plant/283-0001d0ba-9fa4-443a-9de1-9123784984fb

  53. 53
    rhampton7 says:

    The Iowa Department of Public Health said Monday it will consider where to reveal the number of positive COVID-19 cases at Perry’s Tyson Fresh Meats plant.

    On Friday, KCCI reported that city officials in Perry felt frustrated with a lack of information from Tyson and Dallas County regarding confirmed COVID-19 cases.

    Tyson claimed it cannot release its infection counts due to employee privacy, though multiple attorneys debunked that claim from a legal standpoint.

    The Dallas County Health Department also refused to release numbers.
    Sarah Reisetter, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public health, said the department is discussing if it is in the public interest for Perry residents to know how many workers are infected.

    https://www.kcci.com/article/iowa-dps-considers-sharing-covid-19-cases-at-tyson-plant/32369704

  54. 54
    Barry Arrington says:

    Sev,

    and the advice Christians offer us is always backed up by the threat of violence.

    Yeah, Mother Teresa was a real gangster. All those hospitals, orphanages, universities, brutal.
    You’ve said some really stupid things over the years Sev. That might take the cake.

  55. 55
    Ed George says:

    So, if I don’t follow God’s rules, there is no consequences? I don’t have to worry about going to hell?

  56. 56
    JVL says:

    EdGeorge: So, if I don’t follow God’s rules, there is no consequences? I don’t have to worry about going to hell?

    You haven’t been wearing clothing made out of both linen and wool again have you? (Leviticus 19:19)

    Or eaten an owl? (Leviticus 11:13-19)

    Sorry, no offence intended but I do find some of Leviticus pretty funny in a what the . . . kind of way.

  57. 57
    Ed George says:

    JVL, I find it amusing that people are willing to set aside much of Leviticus when it suits them (pun intended) but yell and scream when it is suggested that we set aside the irrational prohibitions against homosexuality.

  58. 58
    ET says:

    Homosexuality is irrational. And it goes against nature.

  59. 59
    Barry Arrington says:

    Ed George,
    Since you tucked tail and ran away, I will give you one more chance to answer.

    BA Are you suggesting that the genetic code works through a series of chemical reactions?

    EG: Duh!

    BA: [“Duh!”] is a non-response. Are you suggesting that the genetic code works through a series of chemical reactions?

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    EG and JVL, your hostility to the Christian faith and to the natural law leading to ill advised village atheist style rhetoric are duly noted. The consequences, that doors are opened to nihilistic chaos of every sort are also duly noted. In the meanwhile, there is no reason to follow smelly red herrings. Can we instead focus the plateau faced by several countries, the mesa in China’s reported data [and what it implies for their reported numbers] as well as the countries that seem to be beating the wave? KF

  61. 61
    Ed George says:

    KF

    EG and JVL, your hostility to the Christian faith and to the natural law leading to ill advised village atheist style rhetoric are duly noted.

    There was no hostility intended nor, for a rational person, perceived.

  62. 62
    Ed George says:

    BA

    Since you tucked tail and ran away, I will give you one more chance to answer.

    What was to run away from? DNA is a chemical (deoxyribonucleic acid). It interacts with other chemicals (e.g., transcriptase) to form yet other chemicals (e.g., RNA) that reacts with other chemicals (e.g., amino acids) to form other chemicals (e.g., proteins). This is admittedly overly simplified, but there is nowhere in this process that does not involve chemical reactions. And, to bring us back to the subject of the OP, we use some of these same chemical reactions when we test fro COVID-19.

  63. 63
    JVL says:

    Kairosfocus: JVL, your hostility to the Christian faith and to the natural law leading to ill advised village atheist style rhetoric are duly noted.

    Hang on just a minute! I did say no offence intended and indicated that I just found some of the ‘rules’ in Leviticus confusing/amusing. And surely most Christians and Jews and Muslims no long abide by a great many of those rules.

    Can we not all have a bit of a laugh about things we no long take seriously?

  64. 64
    JVL says:

    ET: Homosexuality is irrational. And it goes against nature.

    Many homosexuals say they didn’t choose to be the way they are, that was just their inborn nature. Do you think that is possible; that they were just born that way? When you think about your own orientation do you think it was a matter of nature or nurture? Did you choose to be heterosexual or was that part of you from the start?

  65. 65

    .

    Can we not all have a bit of a laugh about things we no long take seriously?

    On that note … Why are you unable to acknowledge the clearly documented reality of the gene system, that is, that you cannot describe it without recourse to discontinuous association and irreducible complexity?

  66. 66
    ET says:

    JVL:

    Many homosexuals say they didn’t choose to be the way they are, that was just their inborn nature.

    Most criminals say that, too. The people in special education didn’t choose it, either.

    I am OK with the fact that some people were born to be irrational and oppose nature. People can choose to overcome their inborn shortcomings.

  67. 67
    ET says:

    Earth to Eddie- If it was all just chemical reactions then why have your scientists FAILed to produce a living organism from scratch? Are they all a bunch of dolts, dumber than mindless nature? Or do you think there is something else that runs it all? Proof-reading is a purely chemical reaction? Really? Editing and splicing- just chemical reactions? All of those processes, including transcription, require knowledge. Knowledge that chemical reactions don’t possess.

    If we listen to Eddie, everything in a computer is just electrical reactions. Cars run by known chemical and mechanical reactions.

  68. 68
    JVL says:

    Upright BiPed: Why are you unable to acknowledge the clearly documented reality of the gene system, that is, that you cannot describe it without recourse to discontinuous association and irreducible complexity?

    Maybe I was just born that way!!

  69. 69
    JVL says:

    ET: I am OK with the fact that some people were born to be irrational and oppose nature. People can choose to overcome their inborn shortcomings.

    There are a lot of people that think that you are irrational. Can you choose to be something you are not? Do you have free will in that matter?

  70. 70

    .
    JVL in #68 concedes to him/herself:

    “Can I actually defend my position? No, but I’m clever”.

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    EG & JVL: I am gavelling further distractions into the sewer, and no your very language betrays malicious intent and hostility never mind bland denials. Just think about the implication that objection to perversity is irrational, somehow; which is patently demonically twisted. The obsessiveness that has become manifest over months is also a sign. There is a world crisis on the table, that is the focus and further sidetracking to the sewer will be treated as what it is, deliberate trollish misbehaviour. KF

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    Others, kindly do not feed or enable trollish distractions. KF

  73. 73
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, maybe the most important point on the table from the OP is the Chinese mesa. China is where this disease started, possibly by breakout from lab containment. We see an artifact in the data from China that points to untrustworthiness and lends credibility to other signs that that totalitarian country had a far bigger outbreak than they admitted to. We are dealing with noisy proxies at best, we should take due warning. KF

  74. 74
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The breakdown of sound thinking we see in the context of Covid is an index of a general problem in our civilisation. That extends to many things, including how the design inference is addressed. KF

  75. 75
    orthomyxo says:

    KF,

    The “mesa” was from the Chinese CDC going back over older records and reclassifying a lot of old deaths at once. That was no doubt partly a result of skepticism about the official death toll from Wuhan, but the reason for “new” deaths were made public at the time and was widely reported.

    Countries like the US and UK will have to make similar updates, as they are likely missing thousands of deaths too. So we should take all stats with a grain of salt, but, sadly, the mortality ones are the most reliable (albeit lagged) indicator of what is happening in a given territory.

  76. 76
    ET says:

    JVL:

    There are a lot of people that think that you are irrational.

    Irrational people would. And there are a lot of irrational people. So there you have it. 😎

    And at least I understand nature and biology.

  77. 77
    rhampton7 says:

    Cargill announced Monday that it started the process to idle its Schuyler, NE beef plant. In a statement, the company says it’s shutting down because of its commitment to prioritizing employee health.

    As of Tuesday morning, the East Central District Health Department reported 431 confirmed cases in its four-county district. 241 in Colfax County, home to Schuyler, and 185 in nearby Platte County, home to Columbus. The health department is not reporting if cases are tied to packing plants.

    The Schuyler plant employs about 2,200 people and processes 4,500 head of cattle per day.

  78. 78
    rhampton7 says:

    According to union representatives, the problems is getting PPE for plant workers. A request made eleven days ago for PPE for Kentucky meat processing workers has yet to be fulfilled by Governor Andy Beshear’s office. Union officials insist they’re talking with governor’s administration and the UFCW Local 227 is committed to employee safety.

    There’s plenty of livestock but coronavirus cases are creating a bottleneck which is disrupting the supply chain.

    A Louisville area plant has nearly 60 reported COVID-19 cases. It’s still open, but others across the state and country have cut shifs and production or outright closed. Many are closing to setup safer operating guidelines to prevent the spread.

    https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/kentucky-meat-packing-workers-waiting-ppe-covid-19-coronavirus-increase/417-d1871b08-058a-4cb2-9e98-1e39ea55f055

  79. 79
    rhampton7 says:

    The Kansas City, Missouri Health Department says an increase in cases in the city is tied to a coronavirus outbreak at a meat processing facility in St. Joseph.

    So far, 412 asymptomatic employees tested positive out of the 2,367 workers who were tested between April 27 and May 1.

    The number of cases in Kansas City increased from 586 on Monday to 664. So far, 16 Kansas City residents have died from COVID-19.

    As of Tuesday, Triumph Foods remains open and operational. “Those with positive results are being notified and have been asked to self-isolate at home,” according to Triumph Foods CEO Mark Campbell.

    https://fox4kc.com/tracking-coronavirus/kc-health-department-says-increase-in-cases-tied-to-st-joseph-meat-processing-plant/

  80. 80
    rhampton7 says:

    With 100 coronavirus-positive service members hospitalized so far, the military’s cumulative hospitalization rate of 2 percent is 50 times higher than the U.S. hospitalization rate reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Senior officials have said throughout the pandemic that military members ? disproportionately young and fit, thanks to target recruiting ages and physical health requirements to serve ? are demographically less likely to suffer complications from the virus.

    That has largely been true, as the mortality rate among diagnosed troops is 0.0004, versus the overall U.S. rate of 6 percent. But in terms of hospitalizations, service members have been admitted for COVID-19 complications at a much higher rate than the populations currently tracked by the CDC ? though that number is roughly 10 percent of U.S. residents, according to the CDC.

    The disparity between military and civilian hospitalizations may be rooted in different criteria for admitting service members compared to civilians, as well as increased capacity on military installation hospitals and a 100 percent insured rate among troops.

    https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/05/05/covid-19-hospitalization-rate-50-times-higher-in-the-military-than-in-overall-us/

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