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NYC and Herd Immunity?


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#11 bighouse1006

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 11:13 AM

So, a few weeks ago, protesters were stacked on top of each other like cordwood in NYC 3 and 4 weeks ago. You'd think that by now, NYC would see a spike.
No spike. No increased hospitalizations. No increased deaths. All in a serious down trend. Now, we know that NYC got hit hard, and harder than almost anyplace else in the US. It sure looks to me like they have herd immunity, or something very like it.
https://www1.nyc.gov...Ye7BgI#download


Uh no

#12 OEXCHAOS

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Posted 28 June 2020 - 05:52 PM

An interesting bit on herd immunity. Dr. Curry is a serious scientist, not some crank.

https://judithcurry....9NInhVdzCoIttT0


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#13 claire

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 12:24 AM

An interesting bit on herd immunity. Dr. Curry is a serious scientist, not some crank.

https://judithcurry....9NInhVdzCoIttT0

 

The author of the article you referenced, Nic Lewis, is a retired British financier who had previously studied math with a minor in physics. His career has been outside academia. He is an independent research who has never published in peer-reviewed established journals and is not a scientist. He blogs his views challenging mainstream science on global warming and now on Covid herd-immunity, which he believes can be achieved with a very small percentage of the population infected with the threshold estimated at 7%-24%. 

Lewis' article is on a blog run by Dr.Judith Curry, a forum for citizen scientists and others to present their ideas. Dr. Curry has a Ph.D. in geophysical sciences. She is a credentialed former academic and is known for her contrarian views of mainstream scientific thinking in opposing the view of climate change as an existential threat. Recent contributions to her blog have focused on C-19 with a few articles written by Nic Lewis.

While it's always possible that a major contribution can come from very unorthodox contributors, I am far more comfortable following established scientists who have devoted their academic lives to epidemiology and virology. I find Lewis' article unconvincing.



#14 OEXCHAOS

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 03:12 PM

Well, what are the problems with his theory? BTW, I hold Judith in the highest regard. Her mild skepticism cost her a lot but that didn't stop her. I've been following her for about 15 years now.


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#15 claire

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Posted 29 June 2020 - 07:06 PM

Well, what are the problems with his theory? BTW, I hold Judith in the highest regard. Her mild skepticism cost her a lot but that didn't stop her. I've been following her for about 15 years now.

 

For starters, if his projections for Sweden were an accurate estimate, that graph showing a plateau from the end of Mar to the end of April for new cases would have continued to decline and looked more like NY's graph. Instead, Sweden is #2 in global infections per capita.

 

Here are some updated charts showing the numbers of cases and deaths in Sweden for the last 30 days and the breakdown of the counties. None of these has shown a declining rate of increase in cases that is indicated by Nic Lewis' chart that shows data going to the beginning of May:  http://lacey.se/c19/. Here's the cumulative number of cases since the beginning of Feb: https://www.statista...ases-in-sweden/

 

I found lots of other charts, but I'm a techno-idiot and don't know how to post charts. The rate of hospitalizations has declined as well as the death rate, but not the number of new cases to which he refers.

 

Sweden was banking on herd immunity in it's strategy with limited restrictions and relying on compliance by the population to slow the disease. Meanwhile, infections and death rates have plunged in countries with more stringent restrictions, exports have fallen, supply chains have been disrupted, and the herd immunity that they expected in Sweden by the end of May has not occurred.

 

It's easy to cherry pick data and then base assumptions on that data. I'm sure you know that statistics can be used to support just about anything, depending on the data selected. It's beyond my capacity to address each of Lewis' assumptions and then conclusions based on these assumptions. For eg., he makes estimates of the probability of transmission of an infection and then makes what he considers "not unreasonable" assumptions following these estimates.

 

Some of the statistical leaps he makes are beyond my pay-scale, but much of this seems to boil down to his "reasonable" guesses. I'm left unconvinced by his conclusions. I think that if someone wants to believe his conclusions, it makes the arguments he presents more convincing. Maybe my bias is to negate his evidence.

 

We have limited information at this point, and certainty is impossible, but we do know something about the epidemiology of pandemics.  We also know that this is an especially contagious disease and are just learning about long-term complications among those who never were hospitalized.

 

This is a systemic illness that attacks every organ of the body, including the brain and, increasingly, we are seeing relapses among those who were considered recovered. We don't yet understand whether this represents a continued cytokine storm or has triggered autoimmune diseases that may be chronic. This is nothing to mess with. Optimism needs to be tempered by reality.

 

Maybe it will mutate into an innocuous form and just disappear. Maybe it will become more virulent. Some recent evidence, not yet peer reviewed, suggests it may have become more contagious. Maybe we will have an effective vaccine. Maybe not. We still haven't been able to develop vaccines for a variety of other viruses. Maybe I'm a Cassandra. Maybe I'm a doom-and-gloom pessimist. I will be delighted to apologize to all for needlessly alarming people if I'm wrong about all of this. I hope I am. There are lots of maybe's. Meanwhile, we can't be complacent.

 

  

Feb 29, 2020    14
 

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Here's the cumulative number of cases: