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  1. #1
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    Nate Silver: Coronavirus Case Counts Are Meaningless*

    *Unless you know something about testing. And even then, it gets complicated...

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...e-meaningless/

  2. #2
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    Re: Nate Silver: Coronavirus Case Counts Are Meaningless*

    Basically the figures that PHE puts out are meaningless in the respect that they do no reflect the current status of active infection and when that occurred, and the mortality rates are at anything up to 10 days out of date. PHE has now realized that people are actually tracking the daily figures to try and make sense of things ... the fact that most of the population is stuck at home, running out of things to do and has turned to Worldometer and the JHU database doesn't help - and PHE is now backtracking to stop the general public from getting over-confident in what appeared to be up until now, falling numbers of reported cases. Pity they can't stop the meanest intelligence (the media) from jumping all over these 'facts' to engineer apocalyptic scenarios and spurious reports, and getting it all wrong in the process.

    The phrase too much information comes to mind - especially when they can't even quantify the accuracy of that information. Maybe ignorance would have been bliss ... but then they couldn't have controlled the population and terrified it into submission. If PHE is going to continue to spew out data then it should at least credited the population with some intelligence and explained at the outset how that data is accumulated and how to read it properly in context. If they can't do that then don't bother!!

    I'm no expert but if I am reading the recent pronouncements of PHE correctly, then what we are seeing at the moment is the state of the spread anything up to a month ago (mortality data) and the new confirmed cases contracted up to two weeks ago. If this is correct then this all preceded the lockdown and social-distancing put in force ... which would make sense. We have had two weeks of lockdown going into a third so if a plateau is to be seen and the efficacy of lockdown measures proved, the end of April should show the slowing of infection rates seen in Italy and Spain. The UK is running about two weeks behind them.

    Any of course we are only talking about those poor souls that were sick enough to end up in hospital. In the absence of systematic testing of the wider population whether for COVID or for antibody, we are never really going to be able to make any sense of the true situation.
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  3. #3
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    Mar 2020
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    Re: Nate Silver: Coronavirus Case Counts Are Meaningless*

    Quote Originally Posted by dorabella View Post
    Basically the figures that PHE puts out are meaningless in the respect that they do no reflect the current status of active infection and when that occurred, and the mortality rates are at anything up to 10 days out of date. PHE has now realized that people are actually tracking the daily figures to try and make sense of things ... the fact that most of the population is stuck at home, running out of things to do and has turned to Worldometer and the JHU database doesn't help - and PHE is now backtracking to stop the general public from getting over-confident in what appeared to be up until now, falling numbers of reported cases. Pity they can't stop the meanest intelligence (the media) from jumping all over these 'facts' to engineer apocalyptic scenarios and spurious reports, and getting it all wrong in the process.

    The phrase too much information comes to mind - especially when they can't even quantify the accuracy of that information. Maybe ignorance would have been bliss ... but then they couldn't have controlled the population and terrified it into submission. If PHE is going to continue to spew out data then it should at least credited the population with some intelligence and explained at the outset how that data is accumulated and how to read it properly in context. If they can't do that then don't bother!!

    I'm no expert but if I am reading the recent pronouncements of PHE correctly, then what we are seeing at the moment is the state of the spread anything up to a month ago (mortality data) and the new confirmed cases contracted up to two weeks ago. If this is correct then this all preceded the lockdown and social-distancing put in force ... which would make sense. We have had two weeks of lockdown going into a third so if a plateau is to be seen and the efficacy of lockdown measures proved, the end of April should show the slowing of infection rates seen in Italy and Spain. The UK is running about two weeks behind them.

    Any of course we are only talking about those poor souls that were sick enough to end up in hospital. In the absence of systematic testing of the wider population whether for COVID or for antibody, we are never really going to be able to make any sense of the true situation.
    Still all very confusing, as far as I am concerned.

    The press really are the pits at times, even The Guardian had the nerve to put out an article today speculating that we (the UK) could be the worst in Europe for CV deaths (allegedly stated by someone in the USA, I think), as if they are still exploiting this situation to the max. And I can't understand why do certain journalists keep doing down this country pushing the 'UK the worst for nearly eveything' narrative, even during 'normal' times. Really does my nut in!!

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about PHE, their lack of clarity on the CV data coupled with the endless chopping and changing of the stats count. I just wish they had been more specific from the off when explaining the situation, including possible anomalies due to circumstances, etc, but sadly, still seemingly reported on an 'as-is' basis without any proper explanation.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2015
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    2,493

    Re: Nate Silver: Coronavirus Case Counts Are Meaningless*

    The “new infections” data is pretty much worthless as far as a week to week comparison, especially in the face of constantly rising amounts of testing.

    New deaths give a slightly better idea but even then it takes time to process deaths and of course, most of those that die have been ill and hospitalised for a relatively long period of time.

    The stand out data that absolutely cannot be manipulated is the hospital admissions. If you see a consistent levelling out and falling of those, then you can really start to put forth the idea that the infection rate is actually falling.

    I’m actually quietly confident that within two weeks we will be seeing figures falling pretty consistently. Deaths, unfortunately will take a bit more time to start coming down due to how the virus works.

  5. #5
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    Re: Nate Silver: Coronavirus Case Counts Are Meaningless*

    Quite agree Lencoboy with respect to the press - what on earth would they do if they didn't have endless apocalyptic data figures to misinterpret ... and a government and country to do down at every turn! PHE and the misguided early scientific advice profered to the government hasn't helped, but most countries whatever practices they have put in place are not much better off than here - even Germany with all its mass testing is starting to see a ramp up of infection spread.

    I concur with Gary A that we should see which way the wind is really blowing by the end of this month.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Nate Silver: Coronavirus Case Counts Are Meaningless*

    Quote Originally Posted by Lencoboy View Post
    Still all very confusing, as far as I am concerned.

    The press really are the pits at times, even The Guardian had the nerve to put out an article today speculating that we (the UK) could be the worst in Europe for CV deaths (allegedly stated by someone in the USA, I think), as if they are still exploiting this situation to the max. And I can't understand why do certain journalists keep doing down this country pushing the 'UK the worst for nearly eveything' narrative, even during 'normal' times. Really does my nut in!!

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about PHE, their lack of clarity on the CV data coupled with the endless chopping and changing of the stats count. I just wish they had been more specific from the off when explaining the situation, including possible anomalies due to circumstances, etc, but sadly, still seemingly reported on an 'as-is' basis without any proper explanation.
    Because isn't that what The Guardian is well known for? Brexit has easily shown people that I would have thought. Through that period they revelled in doom in the hope of a told you so at the end just before all the lights went out and we went back to the Stone Age

    I read that article last night and what stood out straight away was how the current death numbers are much higher in that study for today. Perhaps that ties in with the prof from Imperial College saying their numbers are far too high due to how they have conducted the analysis?
    Last edited by MyNameIsTerry; 08-04-20 at 20:51.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Nate Silver: Coronavirus Case Counts Are Meaningless*

    Did anyone watch that interview with Icke last night on Channel 8? Leaving aside the fact that he can be quite a conspiracy theorist, loony-tunes central etc, what he implied about the major pharma industries and the increase in over-medication and use of antibiotics and the weakening of the immune system was some food for thought ... whether you pay him any heed or not. Frankly some of what he was saying is a reflection of what I've heard in conversations among the general public and the health industry over quite a long time ...

    The NHS has been pushing the flu injection at anyone and everyone for quite a while - I was told that local GP surgeries get paid a fee for every inoculation they perform, and I haven't heard a single case where someone had the injection and it didn't make them ill. Who is benefiting from this? Porton Down was conducting continuous research on the common cold and other viruses in that group well until into the late 80s until they were shut down by the government. Government might have done better to keep it going ... particularly in the light of what is going on now.

    Who knows....

  8. #8
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    Re: Nate Silver: Coronavirus Case Counts Are Meaningless*

    David Icke is a conspiracy theorist lunatic who has a net worth of £10 million, all earned by selling absolute nonsense to incredibly gullible people. He has a conspiracy for everything, all designed, of course, to inflate his bank balance. The man is a charlatan and an idiot.

  9. #9
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    Re: Nate Silver: Coronavirus Case Counts Are Meaningless*

    Quote Originally Posted by dorabella View Post

    The NHS has been pushing the flu injection at anyone and everyone for quite a while - I was told that local GP surgeries get paid a fee for every inoculation they perform, and I haven't heard a single case where someone had the injection and it didn't make them ill. Who is benefiting from this?
    The current Coronavirus disaster is what happens in a world without vaccines. Vaccines are more about controlling mutations, it's about the prevention of a virus mutating into something far more dangerous that our immune system's cannot cope with as well. The anti vaccine crowd are simply ignorant spreaders of misinformation, twisting tiny scraps of truth into bewildering levels of conspiracy theory. They claim that vaccines contain poisons. Well they do, just like virtually ever single food we eat, to some extent. It's just ridiculous.
    Last edited by ankietyjoe; 09-04-20 at 18:20.

  10. #10
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    Re: Nate Silver: Coronavirus Case Counts Are Meaningless*

    Quite agree - vaccines are necessary and over the decades have helped stamp out particularly childhood illnesses such as measles, mumps, TB ... although mutated new forms of all of these are staring to surface again. I was like many of us vaccinated as a child and had none of these ... the only thing i contracted was as an adult and this was chicken pox - nasty!

    But is has to be said that in recent years the pushing of vaccines, health supplements, constant advertising of stuff to kill bacteria can mean that as humans we are teetering on the edge of not allowing the body to build up its own defences against the mildest of infections - vital or bacterial. Add processed food into the mix and it can be detrimental in all sorts of ways. Even the NHS has seen this, notably in their efforts in recent years to wean people off antibiotics and over-medicating to allow them to build up natural defence and immunity. In the case of the current virus though, I don't think any flu vaccine would have had any effect on it, since if what we are being told is to be believed, it was a virus in animals that passed to humans.
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