RationalReader comments

Posted in: Debate swirls on use of virus 'immunity passports' See in context

I think these are fine provided they are voluntary.

The only issue is the perverse incentive they create. People who can do math and who are not old, chronically sick or obese would be incentivized to catch the virus, in the knowledge that their chances of death or serious illness are extremely small and that the upside is returning to a relatively normal life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: A referendum election in November? Trump allies see risks See in context

The betting markets have Trump over 50% and Biden below 42%.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: A referendum election in November? Trump allies see risks See in context

If people start dying in their tens of thousands all over Florida, Texas, Georgia and the other free states, the party of lockdown will win and Trump will lose. If not, Trump and the party of re-opening will win.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Abe extends virus state of emergency until May 31 See in context

We should all try to go out to dinner & drinks at least 3 or 4 times per week, It’s the only way to keep those businesses alive.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Posted in: A one-month extension of the state of emergency to contain the coronavirus outbreak would double the number of new jobless people to 778,000. See in context

Truly a brain-dead policy given the low levels of infections here. Japan should adopt the Swedish model immediately.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Posted in: 'Corona poverty' spreading and getting worse See in context

US, 200 deaths per million. Re-opening.

Germany, 80 deaths per million. Re-opening.

Korea, 5 deaths per million. Re-opening.

Japan, 4 deaths per million. Closing.

What kind of idiot is running this place?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Posted in: Gov't to set guidelines on economic restart on Monday See in context

This is insanity. Japan now has almost as many deaths as Denmark, a country of 6 million people, and so we’re trashing the economy for generations. Far more people will die from the poverty and stress caused by the coming depression and inflation than from the virus. Tell the over-70s and the chronically sick to stay home and re-open everything else.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Posted in: Tesla's Elon Musk calls coronavirus lockdowns 'fascist' as profit streak continues See in context

"If they didn't know they had the virus, how do you know they had it?"

Because New York State is doing randomized antibody tests to find out the true extent. Currently 24.7% of the population of NYC and 14% of the population of NYS are infected, according to Governor Cuomo - approximately 10 times the number of diagnosed cases.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Are you worried that you might become infected by the coronavirus? See in context

"I am over 60 with risk factors. Odds are covid-19 will kill me."

Only about 10% of Covid patients have enough symptoms to get diagnosed (according to New York State Department of Health numbers). Of those approximately 15% get sick enough to be hospitalized. So 1.5% of the infected.

Assuming that you are in the 60-69 age range, if you are in the 1.5% of Covid patients who get sick enough to be hospitalized, then your chances of death are 18.7% if you are male and 12% if you are female (according to a study of New York State patients published in the Journal of the American Medical Association).

So combining the two percentages gives a 0.18% death rate for females and a 0.28% chance for males. The odds are that it will not kill you.

If you are much older, the odds are worse, but only in the 80+ age group do they become substantially worse.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Are you worried that you might become infected by the coronavirus? See in context

90% of those who catch it will not notice.

99% will not be hospitalized.

99.9% will survive.

99.99% of those who are not obese, diabetic, over 70 or hypertensive will survive.

And that's before we have drugs or a vaccine.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: Tesla's Elon Musk calls coronavirus lockdowns 'fascist' as profit streak continues See in context

I am not generally a fan of Musk, but on this he is absolutely right. Our scientifically illiterate media have convinced large numbers of the less intelligent among us that getting the virus is a death sentence. In fact, the chances of serious harm are extremely small unless you're old/sick/obese/hypertensive. 90% of the 3 million infected in New York State don't even know they have the virus.

If we isolate & protect vulnerable groups, the rest of us can get on with our lives.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Posted in: Koike calls for state of emergency to be extended nationwide See in context

The lockdown will not stop the virus from escaping. First antibody numbers are now in from Boston. 31% infected. Comparable to NYC’s 25% and Miami-Dade’s 16%. Almost everyone will get it and 90% of the people will never know they had it. The lockdown serves no purpose at this stage.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 39 new coronavirus cases; lowest in 4 weeks See in context

It is unlikely to be so gradual. Following NY (which is probably behind Italy & Spain but has data which is better and more accessible to English speakers), infections will increase by 1-3% of population per week, but hospitalizations and deaths will increase far more slowly. Within a matter of weeks or months the virus will have infected most of the population, but 90% will not even have noticed. This virus is more virulent and less dangerous than we believed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 39 new coronavirus cases; lowest in 4 weeks See in context

It seems that some of our less mathematically able readers have taken fright at an earlier post (somehow disappeared) where I estimated a high number of infections in Japan.

Let me explain that for any given number of deaths/hospitalization, a higher number of infections is a GOOD thing because it means the virus is LESS DANGEROUS and LESS FATAL.

I am sure most readers will already have grasped this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 39 new coronavirus cases; lowest in 4 weeks See in context

If the NY ratios of infected to diagnosed hold true then the implied numbers of infected in Japan are about 120,000. However, that may be low because of lower rates of testing in Japan. Simply adjusting using the per capita testing rate gives about 4 million, but this is probably way too high because NY tests many less symptomatic cases. True number of infected is probably in the 500,000 to one million range.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 39 new coronavirus cases; lowest in 4 weeks See in context

Think about the numbers Cuomo gives us. If we assume an R0 of 2 and an infectious period of 14 days, leave aside the herd immunity effect and continue current mitigation efforts, New York State will reach 100% infection in about 5 weeks. If we assume an R0 of 3 and an infectious period of 7 days, it will take less than 3 weeks. So what is the lockdown actually accomplishing?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 39 new coronavirus cases; lowest in 4 weeks See in context

Recent news and evidence point, that the virus causes possibly long-time harm also in patients who did not have severe symptoms

Still anecdotal and tiny numbers - nowhere close to enough to justify destroying the economy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 39 new coronavirus cases; lowest in 4 weeks See in context

It is increasingly clear that the lockdown in the US has failed. It was meant to confine the virus in small clusters and make contact traceable possible while we waited for drug treatments or vaccines to become available. It didn't work. The virus has broken out and infected broad swathes of people - almost 3 million in New York State alone.

But the good news is that the virus is harming far fewer people than thought. About 90% have no symptoms or symptoms too mild to bother consulting a doctor. Outside of certain risk groups (over 75, diabetic, obese, hypertensive) mortality is very low.

It's time to isolate, protect and provide for thise risk groups and let everybody else get on with their lives.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to approve Remdesivir for coronavirus patients in May See in context

A study in JAMA concluded that almost 90% of patients on ventilators with the virus expired.

However, 80% of people who go on ventilators for other conditionals die. By the tie you get to that stage, your odds are pretty short.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 39 new coronavirus cases; lowest in 4 weeks See in context

25% of New York City residents have (or have had) the infection according to Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State.

https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-new-york-cuomo-20200427.html

So the virus is much more widespread and much less deadly than previously thought.

Similar tests have been conducted for New York State (15%), Miami-Dade (16%) and Santa Clara County (2.8 - 4.2%, but two weeks ago).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 39 new coronavirus cases; lowest in 4 weeks See in context

Which heard immunity are you talking about? This would require at least that 60% of the population should have been infected by the virus

Herd immunity is not an on-off switch. As the infected proportion of a population increases, it becomes progressively more difficult for the virus to fine non-immune hosts. Swedish experts have suggested that the effect starts to become noticeable at around 30% infection levels. Since NYC is at around 25% infected, up from 21% last week, we will soon start to see if this is true.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 39 new coronavirus cases; lowest in 4 weeks See in context

What we really need is real-time excess death numbers. Only that can tell us what's really going on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: 60% of small firms can survive pandemic if it ends in a few months: poll See in context

If they don't reopen soon our kids will be living in the 1930s. The economy will go into a death spiral.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan coronavirus cases pass 5,000 as state of emergency fails to keep people home See in context

The US will start to reopen early next month. Other countries will follow. Some e.g. Denmark) are a little ahead.

By June all the restrictions will be gone.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan starts 1st weekend under state of emergency as infection cases soar in Tokyo See in context

Here’s the link:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan starts 1st weekend under state of emergency as infection cases soar in Tokyo See in context

Calm down people. Japan 0.8 deaths per million, US 50 deaths per million, major European countries 120-350 per million. We are much safer here.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Posted in: Trump threatens to freeze U.S. funding for WHO, saying they 'missed the call' on coronavirus See in context

Taiwan warned WHO about person-to-person transmission at the beginning of January but the WHO refuses to interact with Taiwan because of political pressure from China.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Another Year of the Man: Voters mourn women's losses in 2020 See in context

Nikki Haley will win in 2024. First woman and first Indian-American.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe says gov't will announce more measures on March 10 to counter virus See in context

Apparently minimal community spread in affected hot countries - Singapore, Philippines, Thailand - is a good indicator for the spring.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Mother of child abuse victim says father gave daughter 'hell' See in context

This is why we need the death penalty.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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