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Member since: Sun Jun 4, 2017, 04:46 PM
Number of posts: 1,660

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The case fatality rate for COVID-19 is not "about 2%" - it's 3.4%

Based on tonight's numbers from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ : Deaths 2804, Cases 82,183, the case fatality ratio is 3.41%

Not only that, but the fatality rate has been climbing steadily for the last two weeks:

12-Feb 2.13%
13-Feb 2.15%
14-Feb 2.27%
15-Feb 2.41%
16-Feb 2.49%
17-Feb 2.55%
18-Feb 2.67%
19-Feb 2.81%
20-Feb 2.93%
21-Feb 3.04%
22-Feb 3.13%
23-Feb 3.31%
24-Feb 3.37%
25-Feb 3.41%
26-Feb 3.41%

That climb could just be an artifact of slowing case growth, but maybe not. I'm no pandemiologist , but this behaviour of the data worries me. At the very least, the white coats and empty suits should be using more accurate numbers, in the interests of transparency.
Posted by The_jackalope | Thu Feb 27, 2020, 12:36 AM (43 replies)

The total mass of insects is falling by 2.5% a year

From this year-old article:

"The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century."

Interestingly, ominously, but perhaps neither surprisingly nor coincidentally, that decrease of 2.5% a year is the same rate that the global GDP is increasing.

I'd gladly trade my leftover insects for cash, wouldn't you?

Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'

The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

The planet is at the start of a sixth mass extinction in its history, with huge losses already reported in larger animals that are easier to study. But insects are by far the most varied and abundant animals, outweighing humanity by 17 times. They are “essential” for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, the researchers say, as food for other creatures, pollinators and recyclers of nutrients.

Insect population collapses have recently been reported in Germany and Puerto Rico, but the review strongly indicates the crisis is global. The researchers set out their conclusions in unusually forceful terms for a peer-reviewed scientific paper: “The [insect] trends confirm that the sixth major extinction event is profoundly impacting [on] life forms on our planet.
Posted by The_jackalope | Wed Feb 19, 2020, 03:11 PM (8 replies)

As I watched Rachel lay it out tonight, my blood ran cold.

For 15 years now I've been speculating about the collapse of civilization. I think this will be due to biophysical factors like overpopulation, overconsumption, deforestation, desertification, the loss of fresh water resources, and above all the knock-on effects of climate change, especially the disruption of food supplies brought on by extreme weather events caused by disruptions in the jet stream. I am fully convinced that we are already over the edge and into the avalanche.

One of the consequences that I expected to see as the multi-factorial stresses on societies increased, is the spread of authoritarian governments and the resulting destruction of democracies around the world. My expectations have not been disappointed.

But I never expected to be living just across the border from such a society, watching the process of social collapse unfold in front of my eyes, in real time, on my TV, in the terrified comfort of my living room in Ottawa.

I hope (and if I were religious I would pray) that you will pour out into the streets en masse.

If not you, then who? If not now, then when?
Posted by The_jackalope | Wed Feb 12, 2020, 11:34 PM (18 replies)

2% mortality from coronavirus? I don't think so.

A lot of us have been arriving at a mortality rate for Coronavirus by dividing deaths by infections. For instance, the current numbers are: 1,112 deaths / 44,789 cases for a "mortality rate" around 2.5%.

I was just looking at the coronavirus tracking page https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-cases/ and something clicked. The number we should be looking at is the number of resolved cases that died and the number of resolved cases that recovered. The disease has now been active long enough to allow us to build up a statistically representative sample of resolutions, both recoveries and deaths.

I realized as I looked at the numbers on that page that every case will eventually move from the "active" to the "resolved" category. At that point, ceteris paribus of course, the ratio of deaths to recoveries will be about the same as it is now, but applied to the full population of infections. And that number is not a comforting 2%

In fact, out of a total infected population of 44,789, 5,641 cases have now resolved. Of those, 1,112 have died and 4,529 have recovered. The other 39,148 cases have not yet resolved - they are still sick.

It looks to me as though by the time the illness burns itself out, the death rate will look more like 20% than 2%. That puts it firmly in the category of the 1918 Spanish flu.

It's no wonder the epidemiologists are freaking out.
Posted by The_jackalope | Tue Feb 11, 2020, 06:06 PM (80 replies)

Where the heck is Rudy?

Haven't seen hide nor hair of him in ages...
Posted by The_jackalope | Fri Feb 7, 2020, 10:54 AM (15 replies)

Is there any light at the end of the tunnel?

This is my story about falling into - and then climbing out of - a dark night of the soul, in the company of a collapsing civilization. In the end, our stories are about how we respond, and the personal contributions we bring, to a world in crisis.

Posted by The_jackalope | Wed Feb 5, 2020, 06:18 PM (3 replies)
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