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Thread started 12 Mar 2020 (Thursday) 15:31
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Coronavirus General Discussion (no politics, no flamewars!)

 
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Archibald
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Apr 22, 2020 19:33 |  #2446

Wilt wrote in post #19051356 (external link)
Archibald wrote in post #19051342 (external link)
NOBODY'S data can be trusted.

...because in spite of good intentions, we have incomplete data all over the place. Just today, a county in CA finds that it had THREE deaths that, post mortem were proven to be resultant from COVID-19, and these took place in February before there was much risk being acknowledged.

My own province, Alberta, is doing a good job of managing the crisis and reporting cases IMO. However, that is not to say that we know how many cases we have, only how many cases are being reported according to the protocol. And the protocol keeps changing. They have reduced testing at times, and increased it at other times, and daily case numbers change pretty significantly with that. That means there are more cases than are being reported. But nobody knows how many.

Apart from that, the numbers that DO get reported change. The last full day we have numbers for, April 21, shows 3251 cases. Tomorrow the April 21 number will be revised, and so will the April 20 number, and most other numbers too, going back a couple of weeks at least. Usually the numbers go down. I don't know what is behind that.
https://covid19stats.a​lberta.ca/ (external link)

But it is not important for us to know the exact numbers. It doesn't matter. Trends matter, but the numbers not so much. Does it matter whether there were 6000 deaths in China or 3000? What matters is that they have the disease largely under control. What matters for Alberta is that the case load is not too high and that the medical system is not overwhelmed and is not expected to be.


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Wilt
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Apr 22, 2020 19:35 |  #2447

Apricane wrote in post #19051374 (external link)
I don't have a prejudice about the "Chinese" (I even had a Chinese girlfriend before), but that doesn't mean that I find the Chinese Government trustworthy - clearly the current crisis itself and how the Chinese Government behaved itself in terms of its international obligations is very telling. .

One report indicates that the local (provincial) government under-reported case counts initially, perhaps it was in fear of retribution by the central government.

And while early numbers might be blamed on local leaders, one has to wonder about the curve and numbers being shown even now, when we see how COVID-19 has affected other countries like France, Italy, Spain and USA.


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Apr 22, 2020 19:36 |  #2448

Archibald wrote in post #19051380 (external link)
My own province, Alberta, is doing a good job of managing the crisis and reporting cases IMO. However, that is not to say that we know how many cases we have, only how many cases are being reported according to the protocol. And the protocol keeps changing. They have reduced testing at times, and increased it at other times, and daily case numbers change pretty significantly with that. That means there are more cases than are being reported. But nobody knows how many.

Apart from that, the numbers that DO get reported change. The last full day we have numbers for, April 21, shows 3251 cases. Tomorrow the April 21 number will be revised, and so will the April 20 number, and most other numbers too, going back a couple of weeks at least. Usually the numbers go down. I don't know what is behind that.
https://covid19stats.a​lberta.ca/ (external link)

But it is not important for us to know the exact numbers. It doesn't matter. Trends matter, but the numbers not so much. Does it matter whether there were 6000 deaths in China or 3000? What matters is that they have the disease largely under control. What matters for Alberta is that the case load is not too high and that the medical system is not overwhelmed and is not expected to be.

Hahaha. Yes, it matters a whole lot, to answer your question. I certainly agree that trends matter more than the numbers, so it your "official" number is 3000 and real cases might be 3,152, fine. But if you have a 50% to 100% discrepancy in your numbers then the trend that you take away from it would also be wrong, for starters, and more importantly it would raise a lot of legitimate questions about your handling of the crisis.


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Apr 22, 2020 19:41 |  #2449

Wilt wrote in post #19051381 (external link)
One report indicates that the local (provincial) government under-reported case counts initially, perhaps it was in fear of retribution by the central government.

And while early numbers might be blamed on local leaders, one has to wonder about the curve and numbers being shown even now, when we see how COVID-19 has affected other countries like France, Italy, Spain and USA.

Well, exactly. Regardless of the reason for which numbers might have been misreported, it still bears considering that the numbers were misreported and led to warped expectations in other parts of the world regarding the gravity of this, which led at least France, Spain and Italy being caught completely flat-footed by this.

I think, though, that it's possible that the curve might be more or less true (if not the numbers that would be written on its Y axis, at least closer to its peak) considering how severe the Chinese lockdown apparently was and the Chinese Government's ability to (significantly?) ramp up their ICU capacity in a relatively short time.


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Capn ­ Jack
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Apr 22, 2020 19:46 |  #2450

Apricane wrote in post #19051374 (external link)
Well, you would know then that peer-reviewed papers are peer-reviewed and published to verify whether or not your argument is well constructed (i.e. structure) and that what you say in it is reproducible (i.e. true in itself, that you have reasonable sources in them for it).

You also have to supply "supplemental information", the raw data that supports your hypothesis or theory. If someone is faking data, it is often caught during peer review. Again, their research into the medicines, and their clinical trials has been reproduced.

Apricane wrote in post #19051374 (external link)
As for death counts which would always be the matter of government statistics just about anywhere (if you want to have an accurate picture), there is no way that an editorial board of any publication, even of Nature, can actually corroborate independently whether the sources are true i.e. accurate or not, only that the sources actually tell what the authors say it does (if they even do that, which is not always). Ultimately, in the social sciences (to which statistics and public administration belong, at least as opposed to applied science) as well as in any kind of applied science, a peer-reviewed publication only means that what the authors say is worthy of consideration because it's supported (unlike your comment about me and my attitudes towards the "Chinese") by arguments, sources and data, not that it's actually true or accurate in any objective capacity (the argument itself or even the data).

Any kind of independent corroboration would necessitate an investigation of some kind, which may or may not be possible depending on the status of what evidence would be available.

You're going off on some sort of tangent, since that isn't the data I've been discussing nor posting.

Apricane wrote in post #19051374 (external link)
In this case, the first publication you quoted is actually dated from early in February 2020, way before there was any relaxation in the measures, much less any end to the epidemic there (and therefore way before anyone had a definite idea of a 'final' death count). And it was also published before the Chinese Government actually stepped in and reviewed the figures upwards by 50% (at the end of March if I remember correctly).

I know you didn't look at the citation, since this comment had noting to do with it. It was merely the first paper suggesting in vitro activity of some compounds against SARS-CoV-2

Apricane wrote in post #19051374 (external link)
I don't have a prejudice about the "Chinese" (I even had a Chinese girlfriend before), but that doesn't mean that I find the Chinese Government trustworthy - clearly the current crisis itself and how the Chinese Government behaved itself in terms of its international obligations is very telling. I'm certainly not alone in thinking that it is worth investigating this behavior. Even the Canadian MSM have been asking several questions of the PM in terms of what we can expect in terms of follow-up in this regard (I'll have to ask you to look up the PM briefings yourself if you want, it would have been in the last few days - in this very thread, not that long ago, I also posted a video where David Mulroney, Canada's former ambassador to China - around 2006-2012 - also raised concerns with China's behavior). And I'll have you know that blindly believing them would also be prejudice.

The reason I made such a comment about your prejudice is because of your comment about the scientific articles, which is separate from what the government puts out. That's why I asked what information. It is exactly the same as suggesting the research done in the USA shouldn't be trusted because of what President Trump might have said, or Canadian research is fake because Prime Minister Trudeau might have said something wrong. The government information and the scientific data are two entirely different sources of information. Any scientist who values their reputation would prefer not to publish over faking a research paper. Only fools will realize it won't be caught, usually sooner rather than later.

When you make such comments, make it clear about which data you refer to.

Apricane wrote in post #19051374 (external link)
And, as far as I'm aware, it's either COVID-19 for the disease or SARS-CoV-2 for the virus (there is no such thing as SARS-CoVD-19): https://www.who.int …-the-virus-that-causes-it (external link).

Thank you for the correction.




  
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Apr 22, 2020 20:13 |  #2451

Capn Jack wrote in post #19051387 (external link)
You also have to supply "supplemental information", the raw data that supports your hypothesis or theory. If someone is faking data, it is often caught during peer review. Again, their research into the medicines, and their clinical trials has been reproduced.

Sure, which is small detail and doesn't detract from my overall point.

You're going off on some sort of tangent, since that isn't the data I've been discussing nor posting.

I know you didn't look at the citation, since this comment had noting to do with it. It was merely the first paper suggesting in vitro activity of some compounds against SARS-CoV-2

Then what data are you talking about? You've posted (actually, re-posted) these articles in response to my asking how you've independently corroborated the idea that figures coming from China are accurate. I'm not a medical doctor and so have no interest nor real comment to bring to the table in terms of the science of it all (which is also why I'm not really interested in reading the paper, since, to be honest, I would likely not understand much of it).

If you have information that confirms that someone has independently confirmed China's "final" death count (a report from an international investigation would be preferred -- and yes, I know there hasn't been one yet), then you're more than welcome to post it.

The reason I made such a comment about your prejudice is because of your comment about the scientific articles, which is separate from what the government puts out. That's why I asked what information. [cut] The government information and the scientific data are two entirely different sources of information. Any scientist who values their reputation would prefer not to publish over faking a research paper. Only fools will realize it won't be caught, usually sooner rather than later.

(I've cut a part of this just in case)

We've had that exchange before about the difference between government and scientific sources, and I think I made it clear what I thought of it, either about you trying to teach me something as well as how this applied in this situation.

I have made no comments about the scientific articles beyond saying that they do not amount to an independent verification of the figures that you are so certain are accurate, and which just about the rest of the world seems to be doubting (for a different range of reasons). There is no such thing as "my prejudice" on China, and even if there were then it's nowhere to be seen in the messages I've written in this thread.

When you make such comments, make it clear about which data you refer to.

Well you should be doing a research, I've pointed you in the right direction a couple times, including the recent press briefings of the Canadian PM, where the media raised the concerns; the recent interview by the CBC with Canada's Ambassador to China, where he raised the concerns that have been published other places about this (and which I can't find again, I'm pretty sure that it was in the Atlantic that I read a piece recently about the international public health order). There's a lot of claims, some better supported than others, in reputable publications, on this matter.

So there is no hard data at this point that I know of, and that is the issue. Until there is, I'm not sure why you would think that what China has so far released would be inherently trustworthy.

Thank you for the correction.

You're welcome :p


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Apr 22, 2020 20:48 |  #2452

Apricane wrote in post #19051400 (external link)
Sure, which is small detail and doesn't detract from my overall point.

Actually, it isn't small a detail at all. It shows how the experiment was conducted, the methodology used, and the original data from the equipment used. Supplemental data is one tool to prevent scientific fraud, and also reduces errors in interpreting the data.

Apricane wrote in post #19051400 (external link)
Then what data are you talking about? You've posted (actually, re-posted) these articles in response to my asking how you've independently corroborated the idea that figures coming from China are accurate. I'm not a medical doctor and so have no interest nor real comment to bring to the table in terms of the science of it all (which is also why I'm not really interested in reading the paper, since, to be honest, I would likely not understand much of it).

I never said anything about the government figures in this thread. I'm trying to get people to recognize there are different "sources" of data from China. One of them hasn't shown itself to be trustworthy, but the other have been truthful.

I'm only asking you to be a little more specific when you say Chinese data can't be trusted. Some it can be, and some of it can't be.

I've only been talking about the scientific data in my posts.

Apricane wrote in post #19051400 (external link)
If you have information that confirms that someone has independently confirmed China's "final" death count (a report from an international investigation would be preferred -- and yes, I know there hasn't been one yet), then you're more than welcome to post it.

This hasn't been the subject of any of my posts.

Apricane wrote in post #19051400 (external link)
(I've cut a part of this just in case)

We've had that exchange before about the difference between government and scientific sources, and I think I made it clear what I thought of it, either about you trying to teach me something as well as how this applied in this situation.

No, you haven't made it clear. And you still tar everything with the same brush. It's OK if you don't care for the science, just make it clear which data you mean when you say you "don't trust anything coming from China".

Apricane wrote in post #19051400 (external link)
I have made no comments about the scientific articles beyond saying that they do not amount to an independent verification of the figures that you are so certain are accurate, and which just about the rest of the world seems to be doubting (for a different range of reasons). There is no such thing as "my prejudice" on China, and even if there were then it's nowhere to be seen in the messages I've written in this thread.

Please let me refresh your memory (emphasis mine):

Apricane wrote in post #19051353 (external link)
I'm sorry but do you know what the process for peer-reviewed publications is, what is actually verified? And yes, I don't trust anything coming from China at this point, including peer-reviewed papers.

The government doesn't produce those. The scientists do, just like they do in Canada.

Apricane wrote in post #19051400 (external link)
Well you should be doing a research, I've pointed you in the right direction a couple times, including the recent press briefings of the Canadian PM, where the media raised the concerns; the recent interview by the CBC with Canada's Ambassador to China, where he raised the concerns that have been published other places about this (and which I can't find again, I'm pretty sure that it was in the Atlantic that I read a piece recently about the international public health order). There's a lot of claims, some better supported than others, in reputable publications, on this matter.

So there is no hard data at this point that I know of, and that is the issue. Until there is, I'm not sure why you would think that what China has so far released would be inherently trustworthy.

The reason is that I'm able to separate the information sources from the trustworthy and the untrustworthy. If we want to cure or manage this thing, it would be wise to look at their scientific research, and that doesn't come from their government. They have been running about 6 weeks ahead of us. Likewise, their economy is still fouled up. Granted their economy is more export oriented than most countries, and their markets are all shut down. However, my friends, colleagues, and collaborators who live there tell me their economy isn't recovering quickly. We are likely to have a second wave of infections as people caught overseas come home when borders reopen, as has happened there. As for numbers of sick and dead, the USA really doesn't know, either. I don't think it is due to government malfeasance.




  
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Apr 22, 2020 21:07 |  #2453

At this point I'm convinced that you're seeking to either deliberately misconstrue what I'm saying or stay hung up on detail, so it's pointless to have a conversation. To me it's obvious that you haven't got anything to support your claims at this point. If I want to read Nature (even though I don't), I don't need you for that, I very much know the publication and know where to find it.

Capn Jack wrote in post #19051404 (external link)
Actually, it isn't small a detail at all. It shows how the experiment was conducted, the methodology used, and the original data from the equipment used. Supplemental data is one tool to prevent scientific fraud, and also reduces errors in interpreting the data.

Yes, that's the methodology, as we call it in the social science and in statistics (where you would discuss death rates, etc.), and it would naturally form part of what it reviewed in a peer review i.e. its purpose. In no way was I trying to make an exhaustive list of everything that could be reviewed in any and every possible scientific discipline.

I never said anything about the government figures in this thread. I'm trying to get people to recognize there are different "sources" of data from China. One of them hasn't shown itself to be trustworthy, but the other have been truthful.

Then rest assured that I understand the difference, as I've already told you ad nauseam, so no need to waste anymore breath on that with me.

I'm only asking you to be a little more specific when you say Chinese data can't be trusted. Some it can be, and some of it can't be.

Just to make it clear, I don't care what you're asking me, and I remain comfortable with my statements, and you haven't yet provided anything that can allow us to substantiate your claims that 'data' coming from China can actually be trusted.

I've only been talking about the scientific data in my posts.

This hasn't been the subject of any of my posts.

No, you haven't made it clear. And you still tar everything with the same brush. It's OK if you don't care for the science, just make it clear which data you mean when you say you "don't trust anything coming from China".

I'm talking about the COVID-19-related information. That should be clear enough - and I will again send you back to my original posts where we first had an exchange on this, which I still stand by. And I'm really sick of your condescending attitude here. Really, really sick.

Please let me refresh your memory (emphasis mine):

The government doesn't produce those. The scientists do, just like they do in Canada.

The reason is that I'm able to separate the information sources from the trustworthy and the untrustworthy. If we want to cure or manage this thing, it would be wise to look at their scientific research, and that doesn't come from their government. They have been running about 6 weeks ahead of us. Likewise, their economy is still fouled up. Granted their economy is more export oriented than most countries, and their markets are all shut down. However, my friends, colleagues, and collaborators who live there tell me their economy isn't recovering quickly. We are likely to have a second wave of infections as people caught overseas come home when borders reopen, as has happened there. As for numbers of sick and dead, the USA really doesn't know, either. I don't think it is due to government malfeasance.

In terms of the science, my trust is first and foremost in Canada's public health officials and researchers (and the provincial counterparts), and if they feel that whatever part of what has been produced in China (or elsewhere) is useful then that's perfectly fine by me, and that's all I'll say about this.


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Apr 22, 2020 21:12 |  #2454

Apricane wrote in post #19051413 (external link)
At this point I'm convinced that you're seeking to either deliberately misconstrue what I'm saying or stay hung up on detail, so it's pointless to have a conversation. To me it's obvious that you haven't got anything to support your claims at this point. If I want to read Nature (even though I don't), I don't need you for that, I very much know the publication and know where to find it.

Yes, that's the methodology, as we call it in the social science and in statistics (where you would discuss death rates, etc.), and it would naturally form part of what it reviewed in a peer review i.e. its purpose. In no way was I trying to make an exhaustive list of everything that could be reviewed in any and every possible scientific discipline.

Then rest assured that I understand the difference, as I've already told you ad nauseam, so no need to waste anymore breath on that with me.

Just to make it clear, I don't care what you're asking me, and I remain comfortable with my statements, and you haven't yet provided anything that can allow us to substantiate your claims that 'data' coming from China can actually be trusted.

I'm talking about the COVID-19-related information. That should be clear enough - and I will again send you back to my original posts where we first had an exchange on this, which I still stand by. And I'm really sick of your condescending attitude here. Really, really sick.

In terms of the science, my trust is first and foremost in Canada's public health officials and researchers (and the provincial counterparts), and if they feel that whatever part of what has been produced in China (or elsewhere) is useful then that's perfectly fine by me, and that's all I'll say about this.

Let me make this simple- I'm asking you to be polite. Don't tar everyone with the same brush. I really don't care if you are sick of my attitude. There's a lot of good people there doing good work that aren't associated with the government. I'll stand up to racist comments, and I'm sorry if you don't like it. I understand that you don't trust the statements from their government. I merely asked you not to call everyone there a liar.




  
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Apr 22, 2020 21:30 as a reply to  @ Capn Jack's post |  #2455

For reasons that should be obvious, I reported this. Where do you get the idea that I'm claiming that 'everyone in China is a liar'??! I've never said anything that could be construed as such.


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Apr 22, 2020 21:34 |  #2456

Apricane wrote in post #19051422 (external link)
For reasons that should be obvious, I reported this. Where do you get the idea that I'm claiming that 'everyone in China is a liar'??! I've never said anything that could be construed as such.

Here's why- these are your own words:

Apricane wrote in post #19051400 (external link)
Well you should be doing a research, I've pointed you in the right direction a couple times, including the recent press briefings of the Canadian PM, where the media raised the concerns; the recent interview by the CBC with Canada's Ambassador to China, where he raised the concerns that have been published other places about this (and which I can't find again, I'm pretty sure that it was in the Atlantic that I read a piece recently about the international public health order). There's a lot of claims, some better supported than others, in reputable publications, on this matter.

So there is no hard data at this point that I know of, and that is the issue. Until there is, I'm not sure why you would think that what China has so far released would be inherently trustworthy.

Apricane wrote in post #19051353 (external link)
I'm sorry but do you know what the process for peer-reviewed publications is, what is actually verified? And yes, I don't trust anything coming from China at this point, including peer-reviewed papers.

Again, I'm asking you to be a bit polite about what you say, and be a little more specific about what you mean.




  
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Apr 22, 2020 22:04 |  #2457

I certainly said that I didn't trust what was coming out of China on this. Which indeed cannot be construed as me accusing them (and especially all Chinese) of lying, because lack of trust can come from many reasons.

Anyway, just a few stories from reputable media sources on the concerns that I've been echoing, and none of which have anything at all to do with racism:

https://time.com …navirus-statistics-wuhan/ (external link)
https://www.cnn.com …tions-intl-hnk/index.html (external link)
https://www.theglobean​dmail.com …hina-played-down-covid-1/ (external link)

I'm afraid I can't find the article again on the WHO detailing claims that China didn't live up to its international obligations in the early days of the crisis. To the best of my recollection, it might have been in the Guardian or the Atlantic, but I'm not sure at all.


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Apr 22, 2020 22:39 |  #2458

In post 2438 by Wilt, he posted a hypothetical scenario, my thoughts are it will likely happen in several places.
I live in a rural area, been able to continue my farm work, business is not as "usual", many sacrifices have been made by suppliers and buyers alike to be able to safely continue our "essential" jobs. It has been difficult at times and plans change often, we are working together safely and following guidelines.

Today was sunny, 70 degrees F, one of our first real nice spring days, everyone it seemed was out driving, going to stores and in general acting as though nothing has happened or even been discussed. Social distancing was a thing of the past. Traffic was heavier than I've seen in the entire last year.
I'm afraid the inconvenience we have experienced for the last month will have been in vain, no the virus hasn't hit hard here, 11 cases in my county thus far. People have thrown caution to the wind, most of them today do not have a reason to be out in public, they needed nothing.
Even those that live in town here are not having a rough go at isolation compared to those in large cities. There is no "lock down" like many of you are going through. It's a town of 18,000 residents, another 6000 college students normally but they have been long gone for 5 weeks. Many people here have yards that are 3 acres in size to give you an idea of how "not" crowded it is.
Evidently as long as it was snowing, raining, windy, or cool everyone was ok with social distancing but NOT when it's warm and sunny.
It's not the time to be careless and I saw plenty of it today.


Steve
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Wilt
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Wilt.
     
Apr 22, 2020 22:56 as a reply to  @ Apricane's post |  #2459

This is an interesting accounting written as a personal log while experiencing events in Wuhan. It comes under criciticsm. It contains some translated excerpts from her diary, which she started on Jan. 25, two days after the lockdown in Wuhan began. Some passages have been condensed for space. I excerpt the comments of the article, not her writing.

https://www.nytimes.co​m …ina-fang-fang-author.html (external link)

"Her account has recently drawn bitter condemnation from zealous Chinese nationalists who have called plans to publish a translation in English an effort to malign the government and undermine the heroic image of Wuhan."

"Fang Fang cites the lessons of the SARS epidemic of 2003, and blames the spread of the new coronavirus on officials intoxicated with political rhetoric who ignored pressing practical issues. “It’s true in life, especially in China, that too many people don’t grasp common sense, and they like to replace it with political formulas,” she said in an interview.

"Sometimes Fang Fang’s entries dwelled on the big events, such as the death of Li Wenliang, the doctor who ignited nationwide mourning. Dr. Li tried to sound a warning in December but was officially reprimanded for “spreading rumors.” He died of the coronavirus."


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