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Is COVID-19 Math Wrong?

Old 03-20-2020, 07:34 PM
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Default Is COVID-19 Math Wrong?

EDIT: According to the Italian National Institute of Health, the median Time To Death (TTD) is 8 days.

I saw this article today where it says that the mortality numbers are wrong; that they're actually getting smaller and smaller.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/202...iscalculation/

I don't think they're correct. Here's why:

They're comparing number of deaths to number of cases on a daily basis. As a result, (today) the number of cases are increasing at an exponential rate, but the number of deaths aren't. I believe that's because there's a certain amount of time (unknown) that it takes from the time a patient tests positive to the time that a person actually dies from it (what I refer to as Time To Death or TTD). If that TTD is for example, 7 days, there would be a 7 day lag between the number of cases testing positive and the number of deaths (it would take 7 days for people to start dying). So the number of cases will far outrun the number of deaths - which would show a continuous decrease in the % of deaths. Eventually though (if my logic is correct) at some time in the future, the number of cases will begin to flatten out (increase, but at a decreasing rate), and barring a miracle cure, the number of deaths will increase at a more rapid rate (as a % of new cases) until they catch up with the TTD delay.

I won't be surprised when we see the % of deaths start to rise for a period of time - the length of which will be defined by the length of the TTD. If the TTD is a shorter period (i.e. 3 days) that spike will come sooner. If the TTD is a longer period (i.e. 14 days) then that spike will come later. Either way, the numbers they are writing about in this report are wrong.

Last edited by tcpip95; 03-21-2020 at 07:38 AM.
Old 03-20-2020, 07:56 PM
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You are right. We will not see thr true death rate until we are on the back side of the bell curve.
Old 03-20-2020, 08:04 PM
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A lot of it is wrong in a whole bunch of ways.

Where I am, I wouldn't be tested for C19 even though I have the symptoms, I had a probable exposure and my wife had a definite exposure. But I feel well enough that I went for an hour long hike today (by myself) and did a bunch of yard work. I wouldn't go to the doctor for this. Nobody would. And the local CDC is saying not to get tested unless you can show you were in direct contact with someone from an affected zone like Wuhan, Italy, or Iran, or are hospitalized because you can't breathe.

This guarantees they won't pick up mild cases of community-spread disease. The numbers will, therefore, skew wildly towards making it appear lethal.

The only country I'm personally aware of that can test on the scale necessary to pick up all the cases is Germany. Things might change but for the moment, their fatality rate is negligible. I think it'll get a little worse, but not a lot worse. Maybe I'm just easily convinced because from the outset I guessed this would have a mortality rate somewhere around .25% or .3%, and their numbers seem to confirm my existing bias. Totally possible.

But for sure, we are working with a data set so incomplete that all the math is going to be practically meaningless.
Old 03-20-2020, 08:05 PM
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the math cant be right, unless they test everyone, every day.

the biigest flaw in the math so far, is they (as in the global they) have no idea how many people have been infected because many places aren't testing at all, and others are only testing if they suspect you have it - so the data pool is highly corrupted before you even start the math...
Old 03-20-2020, 08:31 PM
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The math is wrong at many different levels. As of this moment, the total number of KNOWN cases in the world is 275,997, the number of KNOWN resolved cases is 91,952, and the number of KNOWN deaths is 11,402. That leaves us with 172,643 KNOWN cases with an unknown outcome - all those people have neither recovered, nor they have passed - that's roughly 60% of all cases.

Testing, or lack thereof, is another big issue. Not just in the US, but Worldwide. We definitely dropped the ball on testing BIG TIME.

And lastly, I don't trust half of the numbers published out there, especially the one published by China, Russia, etc.

Regardless of what the actual mortality rate is, the bottom line though is that IF you get sick, and IF you develop severe symptoms, you may or may not be able to receive proper care because all the hospitals systems in the World will get overwhelmed. Most already have and unfortunately this is just the beginning of this outbreak.

The bottom line is that it doesn't matter if the mortality rate is 10%, 1% or 0.1% if your life or the life of a loved one is hanging in the balance. Be smart, DO your part, and hope for the best - that's about all we can do really. We can crunch the numbers later, for whatever good that would do.

Last edited by Devil_Inside; 03-20-2020 at 08:42 PM.
Old 03-20-2020, 08:32 PM
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The math on this stuff is all pretty tricky.

The deaths that are happening today are related to the infected weeks ago. We have no clue how many people were infected weeks ago. All we know is how many are testing positive today which does not represent the total population of people who actually have the virus.

So the math as it stands today is comparing apples (deaths from the disease that initiated weeks ago) to oranges (exponential rise in current cases).

The other problem is data sampling. We are heavily biased in our sampling. In other words, we are only testing who is showing signs knowing all to well that there are those with mild symptoms or none at all. What we need is a purely random sampling of a group of populations. That can give you ratios of infected to non-infected. From those numbers, you can come up with a much more representative number for death rates.

The best analog for this is South Korea. They tested anybody who wanted to go through their drive through stations. That resulted in a much lower death rate than say Italy or Wuhan. That is likely the best statistical representation of this disease to date.
Old 03-20-2020, 08:39 PM
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None of this really matters.

I do agree we need objective and accurate statistics based on sampling of populations.

But the fact is, numerous countries are seeing their medical systems overwhelmed in ways they don't in other winters. 35 people dead in one nursing home, the flu doesn't do that typically. 4 people dead in one family of 11 who had dinner, doesn't do that either. Bodies stacked in the gym at a hospital in Italy, ditto. Not normal.

We can't keep up what we are doing now forever, but we need better data and we need preparedness in the medical establishment that's not there at this time to shift to a different approach.

Frankly, if a disease comes along that's a bullet with my name on it, and I have to die, I can accept that. Dying in a hallway drowning in my own fluids with no one able to help, no, not able to accept that. Not 30 years earlier than my parents died. The math really won't mean squat at that point, to me or any of you.
Old 03-20-2020, 08:44 PM
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You want some math?

Here’s a compelling article to read for those who might not quite understand the seriousness of this pandemic:

https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coron...e-be9337092b56
Old 03-20-2020, 09:21 PM
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I was shown a set of graves from around 1918 on a farm near ours. 8 or 9 tombstones lined up. Same last name. It looked like every family member died within a year and a half. That was 100 years ago, likely Spanish flu.
If we can’ t provide protection to care givers, we are in big trouble. 47 out of 100 caregivers (1/2 of staff) and first responders were positive at the nursing home in Kirkland, WA per test results last Monday on news. Out of action for weeks.The other half didn’t get enough kits yet at that time. Not good!
Old 03-20-2020, 09:50 PM
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Math is never wrong, only people that fail to understand it.

Thank goodness we have epidemiological experts.
Old 03-20-2020, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by c_m_25 View Post
The math on this stuff is all pretty tricky.

The deaths that are happening today are related to the infected weeks ago. We have no clue how many people were infected weeks ago. All we know is how many are testing positive today which does not represent the total population of people who actually have the virus.

So the math as it stands today is comparing apples (deaths from the disease that initiated weeks ago) to oranges (exponential rise in current cases).

The other problem is data sampling. We are heavily biased in our sampling. In other words, we are only testing who is showing signs knowing all to well that there are those with mild symptoms or none at all. What we need is a purely random sampling of a group of populations. That can give you ratios of infected to non-infected. From those numbers, you can come up with a much more representative number for death rates.

The best analog for this is South Korea. They tested anybody who wanted to go through their drive through stations. That resulted in a much lower death rate than say Italy or Wuhan. That is likely the best statistical representation of this disease to date.
This is spot on. My guess is that true death rate will be around 1% but we will never know for sure in the US due to testing. Italy is probably higher due to older population but again they are not testing everyone so it will be hard to tell. Maybe with the hyper focus on testing we can have a few million in the US tested including testing to see if you had it previously. Then we will have a much better idea.
Old 03-20-2020, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by cjlukens View Post
This is spot on. My guess is that true death rate will be around 1% but we will never know for sure in the US due to testing. Italy is probably higher due to older population but again they are not testing everyone so it will be hard to tell. Maybe with the hyper focus on testing we can have a few million in the US tested including testing to see if you had it previously. Then we will have a much better idea.
Please name 1 prior epidemic where everyone was tested
Or even anywhere near current levels being tested

They arent... 80% of flu cases never go to a doctor....those stats are totally fabricated. Just like I fabricated the 80%. I guessed.

Rates are relative....theres no need to fixate on some elusive absolute #...... Because you have no frame of reference to compare it to anyway. What you do know for sure, is how many of people sick enough to go to doctor.....died. so you know relatively is it higher mortality than other epidemics

Last edited by mbb; 03-20-2020 at 11:04 PM.
Old 03-21-2020, 02:04 AM
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What if the death rate is .00000141527% ? Then we've all been had ... again. Never let a tragedy go to waste. Of course the death rate will be more than my example here, we won't know til later. I think it's accepted that this new virus is very contagious. Is it contagious enough to stipulate that everyone in the world will be exposed to it since it's in every country now?

11,000 deaths divided by 7,772,350,000 (world population) = .0000014%

Will this thing kill 4x what the flu does every year? If so the death rate based on the whole world being exposed would be .000257% (500k/7.7B)

Will it kill 10x as many people? Then death rate = 5,000,000/7,772,350,000 = .00064%


Honestly I was pretty alarmed at this but as time goes on I'm not as convinced.

Last edited by baypro21; 03-21-2020 at 02:20 AM.
Old 03-21-2020, 02:15 AM
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The mortality rate of the Wuhan flu will end up similar to that of the common flu because it is nothing more than another strand of FLU. BTW, to put this Chinese virus into perspective, the common flu inflicts on average 280,000 PER DAY and is killing on average 238 PER DAY.

Old 03-21-2020, 02:19 AM
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No, it’s a much closer relative of “the common cold” than “the flu”.....

what’s the death rate of a cold?
Old 03-21-2020, 02:32 AM
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The Chinese are laughing at us for making a big deal about a virus that rears its ugly head from time to time (explains the 80,000 flu deaths in 2017/2018). Hook, line and sinker.
Old 03-21-2020, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by anonymous_coward View Post
The mortality rate of the Wuhan flu will end up similar to that of the common flu because it is nothing more than another strand of FLU. BTW, to put this Chinese virus into perspective, the common flu inflicts on average 280,000 PER DAY and is killing on average 238 PER DAY.
You just proved that the coronavirus IS more serious if the flu is only averaging 238 deaths a day. Coronavirus killed 1356 yesterday.

Sorry I know I shouldnt feed the troll
Old 03-21-2020, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by BoatyBoat View Post
You just proved that the coronavirus IS more serious if the flu is only averaging 238 deaths a day. Coronavirus killed 1356 yesterday.

Sorry I know I shouldnt feed the troll
usa 19 deaths...https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

on average...

face it ...we wouldn’t know until it’s over...

Old 03-21-2020, 02:54 AM
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Originally Posted by BoatyBoat View Post
You just proved that the coronavirus IS more serious if the flu is only averaging 238 deaths a day. Coronavirus killed 1356 yesterday.

Sorry I know I shouldnt feed the troll
238 flu deaths per day is US only. Flu kills on average 2,083 world-wide each day. Hook, line and sinker!!

The World Health Organization estimates that worldwide, annual influenza epidemics result in about 3-5 million cases of severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths.
https://www.medscape.com/answers/219...e-of-influenza
Old 03-21-2020, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ronp364 View Post
None of this really matters.

I do agree we need objective and accurate statistics based on sampling of populations.

But the fact is, numerous countries are seeing their medical systems overwhelmed in ways they don't in other winters. 35 people dead in one nursing home, the flu doesn't do that typically. 4 people dead in one family of 11 who had dinner, doesn't do that either. Bodies stacked in the gym at a hospital in Italy, ditto. Not normal.

We can't keep up what we are doing now forever, but we need better data and we need preparedness in the medical establishment that's not there at this time to shift to a different approach.

Frankly, if a disease comes along that's a bullet with my name on it, and I have to die, I can accept that. Dying in a hallway drowning in my own fluids with no one able to help, no, not able to accept that. Not 30 years earlier than my parents died. The math really won't mean squat at that point, to me or any of you.
The part about drowning in my own fluids in some dark hallway is what keeps me up at night, for me my family and especially my 80+ y.o. parents in NY. I try not to be an alarmist but that is a horrible way to die if it comes to that. I wish my pig-headed father would listen to the advice and stay home and I wish the damn church he insists on going to locks their doors during this crisis as they must know as long as they keep them open people like my father will continue to go.

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