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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Empty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird

So, with the very likely possibility that baseball and basketball — at minimum — will be played to empty stadiums, it begs the question: Will it be as fun?

And before you answer, think about it for a second. No crowd noise. No intensity that builds for the home team or against the away team. Yes, the scoreboard will tell the tale, but the pressure is cranked up when you have a building full of crazy fans screaming their lungs out.

I get that it’s a business and that the money’s at the ML level, but considering crowds, distance from population centers, and the pleasures of relaxed fandom, I’ve been thinking that we might just run some mLs instead.

Mayor Blomberg Posted: April 28, 2020 at 10:17 AM | 11886 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, fans, stadiums

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   10601. Mayor Blomberg Posted: November 27, 2020 at 01:07 AM (#5991287)
cached version of the article in 10598
   10602. SoSH U at work Posted: November 27, 2020 at 07:56 AM (#5991292)
From the JHU News-Lettter twitter feed.

Though making clear the need for further research, the article was being used to support false and dangerous inaccuracies about the impact of the pandemic. We regret that this article may have contributed to the spread of misinformation about COVID-19.
   10603. Tony S Posted: November 27, 2020 at 08:19 AM (#5991293)
I was surprised that an institution as prestigious as Johns Hopkins would publish something like that.
   10604. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 27, 2020 at 08:45 AM (#5991295)
Considering that members of the Hoover Institution at Stanford have been actively trying to kill people for the past 8 months, that article from JHU (which you can still find here , and apparently her YouTube presentation is still up) doesn’t really surprise me.
   10605. SoSH U at work Posted: November 27, 2020 at 08:47 AM (#5991296)
It does appear to be a student publication, rather than something the university itself puts out.
   10606. Tony S Posted: November 27, 2020 at 08:53 AM (#5991297)

Well, the Hoover Institution has always had its biases, and they're not "Stanford" per se, so their approach is less surprising.
   10607. BrianBrianson Posted: November 27, 2020 at 08:58 AM (#5991299)
By and large, "institutions" don't publish things, some person or persons associated with them do. That gets lost in media, but it's the reality. Even Cambridge couldn't keep Josephson locked in the basement back in the day, and in the era of the internet, it's orders of magnitude harder, right?
   10608. SoSH U at work Posted: November 27, 2020 at 09:04 AM (#5991301)
By and large, "institutions" don't publish things, some person or persons associated with them do.

Sure, but there's still a difference between a purely student-produced publication and, for instance, this.
   10609. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 27, 2020 at 10:17 AM (#5991305)
To be clear, the student publication was reporting on a presentation that was put on YouTube by a JHU professor.

That’s not the institution itself, and I support the concept of academic freedom, but it’s fine to say that you expected better of Johns Hopkins when you see something like that.
   10610. Mayor Blomberg Posted: November 27, 2020 at 12:38 PM (#5991314)
Smallish point, Dave and others: she's not a professor, she's a lecturer and asst. director of a program Hopkins has in DC. No real research profile at all.
   10611. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 27, 2020 at 01:36 PM (#5991320)
My best estimate for excess deaths this year through 11/28 is 405,000. It could be 10,000 less or 15,000 more, potentially. The CDC has at minimum 325,000 through November 7, basically, and that's not including a bunch or recent lag. Pretty much impossible for the number to be less than 375,000. With almost 5 more weeks left through December 31, we will be pushing 500,000 excess deaths this year, and could have more, in just 10 months. I think 450,000 is the very least you can expect, at this point.

500,000 is 21% more than expected for those 10 months. 450,000 would be 19% more.
   10612. Hank Gillette Posted: November 27, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5991324)
cached version of the article in 10598
So what are they saying? The ICU wards in the country being nearly full is a mirage?

Isn’t this article just a more sophisticated way of saying, “These people would of died of something else eventually, so it’s incorrect to attribute them to COVID-19.”?
   10613. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: November 27, 2020 at 02:28 PM (#5991328)
Isn’t this article just a more sophisticated way of saying, “These people would of died of something else eventually, so it’s incorrect to attribute them to COVID-19.”?
If by "eventually" you mean, "immediately", then yes.

covid projection systems now predict 320,000-350,000 by the end of the year (using JHU's tally, currently at 263,000). Add a week or two of deaths to that total to allow for reporting delays, and that's very consistent with 450,000-500,000 excess deaths, based on the ratio we have seen to this point (covid labeled deaths being 70-75% or so of excess deaths, or excess deaths being 35-40% above covid reported deaths, once accounting for delays).
   10614. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 28, 2020 at 11:05 AM (#5991392)
Isn’t this article just a more sophisticated way of saying, “These people would of died of something else eventually, so it’s incorrect to attribute them to COVID-19.”?

No, I think she’s making the claim that these people really did die of something else, but they died “with COVID” so the deaths are being attributed to COVID rather than the actual cause. I haven’t watched her presentation but I’m guessing she simply doesn’t understand the lag in CDC reporting, either of total deaths or cause of death.The same woman wrote a letter to the editor decrying the lockdowns in Wyoming over the summer, FWIW.
   10615. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: November 29, 2020 at 08:49 PM (#5991540)
Hinton, for his part, did the best he could, especially considering that he was set up to fail. Hinton had never played in the NFL before, hadn’t played quarterback in two years, and learned that the Broncos needed him to play quarterback less than 24 hours before kickoff. He literally got zero practice reps for a role he wasn’t qualified for in the first place.

This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, but the NFL is much better when real quarterbacks play—a fact that was also reflected by New Orleans’s performance

   10616. Mayor Blomberg Posted: November 29, 2020 at 11:42 PM (#5991555)
Hill 9/16 78 yards 0 TD, 1 INT 33.8 QBR

... or something approximating one

   10617. BrianBrianson Posted: November 30, 2020 at 02:55 AM (#5991559)
@10608

Sort of yes, but also each individual thing within it isn't getting some big review either. We're talking about a student review of a talk, apparently given by some rando lecturer. Even then, internal talks are ... well inside the sausage factory.

That’s not the institution itself, and I support the concept of academic freedom, but it’s fine to say that you expected better of Johns Hopkins when you see something like that.


It's fine to say that, but it indicates your expectations are not well synched to reality, not that it's in any way unexpected. Saying "John Hopkins did this" just doesn't reflect the reality of how these things work. It's not even really about academic freedom, except perhaps that it comes from the self-organising nature of university.
   10618. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 30, 2020 at 09:14 AM (#5991572)
It's fine to say that, but it indicates your expectations are not well synched to reality, not that it's in any way unexpected. Saying "John Hopkins did this" just doesn't reflect the reality of how these things work. It's not even really about academic freedom, except perhaps that it comes from the self-organising nature of university.

She didn't just give an internal talk. She promoted it publicly and continues to do so. She published a presentation on Youtube under a Johns Hopkins account (which is still up, with comments disabled) and linked to it from her social media. She then gave an interview to a student publication about it and when the newspaper pulled the article, she shared a link to the archived version on her social media. And just last night, she shared an article by the American Institute for Economic Research about her "study".

I'm sorry if I have higher expectations for the type of people Johns Hopkins employs and better controls around the things that its employees publish under its name, at least when it comes to information that affects public safety.
   10619. Ron J Posted: November 30, 2020 at 09:31 AM (#5991577)
#10616 Hill's just a backup forced to start and having a bad game. That kind of thing is pretty normal.

Hinton's situation is just weird. And 1-9 for 13 yards and 2 picks is what you can expect in an Al Travers situation.
   10620. bunyon Posted: November 30, 2020 at 10:10 AM (#5991581)
I'm sorry if I have higher expectations for the type of people Johns Hopkins employs and better controls around the things that its employees publish under its name, at least when it comes to information that affects public safety.

You shouldn't have such expectations. Go to any of the elite institutions and you'll find all manner of cranks and incompetents. The percentage, hopefully, goes down at such places but no one can just eliminate them.

We'd all be better off if the attachment of an institution name didn't carry the weight it does. The individual rep, on the other hand, IS important. In this case, the Hopkins worker had essentially none before this broke and now has a bad one.

Hinton's situation is just weird. And 1-9 for 13 yards and 2 picks is what you can expect in an Al Travers situation.

A few years ago, Hinton was judged to not be a suitable QB for Wake Forest. I mean...I suspect that line shows he's better than almost everyone in the world but still terrible and that Wake's coaches were right in their assessment. Everything I hear is he is a good guy who accepted the position move and worked his ass off. He's hanging around the NFL in a position he started playing in college and, from what I saw, took yesterday in stride. I have a lot of respect for what he's done.
   10621. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 30, 2020 at 10:36 AM (#5991585)
Steelers/Ravens is Tuesday night, yet the NFL refused to move the Broncos game to Monday so that QBs could be eligible. Really weird move by the NFL to make the game happen. It lacked the integrity of a normal game. There was a zero percent chance that Denver would win. They had to start a guy at QB in the NFL who had no competence to do so.

   10622. Ron J Posted: November 30, 2020 at 10:37 AM (#5991586)
#10620 Hmm. How much better is "sacked on every attempted pass play". I know that's what they'd get if they were stupid enough to start me (40 years ago same results). Of course I'd also be hauled off on a stretcher after the first one. Best I can tell my effective rating would be higher than Hinton's as long as I didn't fumble. But I'd fumble a lot so ...
   10623. Ron J Posted: November 30, 2020 at 10:41 AM (#5991589)
#10621 The NHL had a game where a 42 year old Zamboni driver had to play goalie for a while. His team won the game. He made 8 saves on 10 shots.

EDIT: Wasn't Covid. Just two goalie injuries in a game.
   10624. SoSH U at work Posted: November 30, 2020 at 10:43 AM (#5991591)
Steelers/Ravens is Tuesday night, yet the NFL refused to move the Broncos game to Monday so that QBs could be eligible. Really weird move by the NFL to make the game happen. It lacked the integrity of a normal game. There was a zero percent chance that Denver would win. They had to start a guy at QB in the NFL who had no competence to do so.


It seems like the league was punishing Denver for breaking protocols, but that's kind of ignoring the fact that it's also punishing Seattle, Tampa and Green Bay in the process.
   10625. bunyon Posted: November 30, 2020 at 11:23 AM (#5991601)
10622: If I were playing QB in the NFL with a real NFL line, I doubt I'd ever be sacked. I suppose it would go as a sack on the plays where I tripped and fell down and a defensive player touched me because I couldn't get up. But on every other play I would be flagged for intentional grounding. There would be plays where I somehow grounded the ball before it was officially snapped. Or I'd call a wildcat on every play. Yeah, that sounds better.
   10626. Srul Itza Posted: November 30, 2020 at 12:07 PM (#5991603)
Hill's just a backup forced to start and having a bad game.


Actually, Jameis Winston is the backup. Hill is a gadget player, coming in to run, pass, catch or whatever else. I would not be surprised to see a quick kick from him at some time. He is fun to watch, but he has yet to throw a touchdown pass in either of his starts.
   10627. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: November 30, 2020 at 12:16 PM (#5991605)
President-elect Joe Biden suffered a hairline fracture of his foot Saturday while engaging in one of the most presidential acts of performative vigor: playing around with his dog. The 78-year-old apparently slipped and twisted his ankle horsing around with the family German shepherd, Major, during the post-Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Biden went to see an orthopedic specialist Sunday afternoon in Delaware.

oh for ####'s sake.

if this ####### guy doesn't make it to inauguration, the democratic "establishment" needs to be burned to the ####### ground.
   10628. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 30, 2020 at 12:17 PM (#5991606)


We'd all be better off if the attachment of an institution name didn't carry the weight it does. The individual rep, on the other hand, IS important. In this case, the Hopkins worker had essentially none before this broke and now has a bad one.


So you're saying academic institutions are garbage and shouldn't be trusted? And laypeople should only go by the individual's reputation and quality of their work, which most laypeople have little qualification or ability to evaluate?
   10629. Mayor Blomberg Posted: November 30, 2020 at 12:29 PM (#5991610)
10628 -- it also seems to be saying that politicization is deee-stroying education, except when it's Libertarian fantasies, in which case, OK.
   10630. Ron J Posted: November 30, 2020 at 12:37 PM (#5991612)
#10626 That's more an issue of revealed choice though. Winston isn't unavailable. The Saints just chose to move the gadget player ahead of the nominal backup on the depth chart.

And yes, 10625 I would certainly be in full "don't hurt me" mode. But taking a knee 9 straight times is better than what Hinton gave them.
   10631. Lassus Posted: November 30, 2020 at 02:18 PM (#5991629)
Apparently, someone took the article down.


Shame for Jason, he's LIVING on this shit on Facebook.
   10632. puck Posted: November 30, 2020 at 02:23 PM (#5991632)
Steelers/Ravens is Tuesday night, yet the NFL refused to move the Broncos game to Monday so that QBs could be eligible.


The NFL's policy is a mess so I doubt it really came down to this, but supposedly players with close contact require 5 straight days of negative tests. So Monday/Tuesday was not an option given that the QB thing was supposedly discovered Saturday. I think the supposed contact came Thursday so if they had started testing Friday it could have worked out.

In the end the game was ridiculous. It wasn't just that they had no QB's, but no one got to practice anything. Not Hinton, nor the RB's who lined up in wildcat formations.
   10633. base ball chick Posted: November 30, 2020 at 02:27 PM (#5991633)
Hank Gillette Posted: November 27, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5991324)

cached version of the article in 10598

So what are they saying? The ICU wards in the country being nearly full is a mirage?

Isn’t this article just a more sophisticated way of saying, “These people would of died of something else eventually, so it’s incorrect to attribute them to COVID-19.”?


- trumpie-poo hos wn self said that doctors get paid more to have a diagnosis of covid (um, like, nope) and his acolytes believe evey word he says like gospel

- so the ICUs might could be full, and meat wagons might be carting off dead bodies, but whatever all them people dyin of it ain't covid because the virus doesn't exist or hardly anyone has it. i mean thy bleeve this shttt like Christians believe in the resurrection of the Christ and life everlasting


- as for the hopkins lady - well, she got the right to look like an idiot as much as anyone else does. i know there's always a, um, brown recluse spider in the woodpile. remember those maroons from stanford and their bullstuff about how half the country was already immune, back in like april? so as we could reopen the bars and they could escape from their wives. i would guess that any workplace no matter how famous always has a few folks that are a few bricks shy of a load

- and me not being a football person - pls expain why a team does not have more than 1 guy - or even 2 guys - who know how to play quarterback. no practive squads? i mean, sending out any old maroon is kind of like sending me out to play defensive tackle. execpt that apparently, the ignint quarterback managed to stay alive, unlike what would happen to me if i tried to play defensive tackle. the other guys be all like - hey, where the other 2/3 of this player?
   10634. base ball chick Posted: November 30, 2020 at 02:30 PM (#5991636)
ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: November 30, 2020 at 12:16 PM (#5991605)

President-elect Joe Biden suffered a hairline fracture of his foot Saturday while engaging in one of the most presidential acts of performative vigor: playing around with his dog. The 78-year-old apparently slipped and twisted his ankle horsing around with the family German shepherd, Major, during the post-Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Biden went to see an orthopedic specialist Sunday afternoon in Delaware.


oh for ####'s sake.

if this ####### guy doesn't make it to inauguration, the democratic "establishment" needs to be burned to the ####### ground


- old folks don't sprain, they break. he should be fine. bet he gets a walking boot, like my cousin did

and don't worry cuz president harris will do just fine
   10635. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: November 30, 2020 at 02:48 PM (#5991646)
and don't worry cuz president harris will do just fine
...after inauguration.

if biden drops dead on january 22, i think we'll be able to manage. if it happens on december 7th, we're all gonna die.
   10636. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: November 30, 2020 at 02:53 PM (#5991648)
bbc, i don't pay attention to football but ... i think all of the denver qb's were chatting with each other sans masks, so all were deemed ineligible. which is hilarious.
   10637. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: November 30, 2020 at 02:54 PM (#5991649)
q&a with a contact tracer in nordakota:
Q: Have you met someone who’s changed in the course of this, someone who started out as resistant to what you had to say and then gradually became less so?

A: Yes, one person came to mind. Unfortunately, they are one that passed away. They were not happy with me at all. They didn’t think that this was a big deal. They didn’t think that they needed to be concerned. It was a cold. It was just a virus. And then as things progressively got worse, that’s where it came in: OK, this might be real. The constant calling and questioning of, Is this OK? Should I go in? Should I go in? Should I go in? Unfortunately, eventually they did go in, and they didn’t leave the hospital alive.

Q: In addition to being a contact tracer, you’re also a nursing student who does weekly clinical shifts at the hospital in Grand Forks. When you go from the outside world to inside the hospital, does it feel like you’re going to the moon or something?

A: Yeah, kind of. They’re struggling. The staff is so run down. Then you come back out, and it’s like a whole different world because outside it seems like, Oh, no cares in the world, it’s all fine. And you go in the hospital and nurses are being floated to all different types of floors that they’re not supposed to be in, because there’s no staff to help the people. And most of the floors are full of people that had COVID and now they no longer are infectious with it, but they have the repercussions of it, whether it be strokes or pneumonia or blood clots in their lungs. It’s horrible.
Q: When did you sense the job changing and ramping up?

A: There were more and more cases, and so it seemed like it got busier and busier. As soon as you finished one case, you had to go to another case and then another and then another. When it changed drastically is when we were notified that we are no longer contact tracing and we no longer are contacting any close contacts. We are only calling cases.

   10638. Srul Itza Posted: November 30, 2020 at 02:54 PM (#5991650)
and me not being a football person - pls expain why a team does not have more than 1 guy - or even 2 guys - who know how to play quarterback



Actually, they had 4, and all 4 were disqualified because 1 had Covid and the other 3 were in a meeting with him, without masks.
   10639. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: November 30, 2020 at 03:04 PM (#5991656)
My grandmother, 96, finally could not stand staying out of the shops in her seaside English town, and left the current lockdown measures so that she could stop in a supermarket to buy a birthday card for a friend. She promptly stepped on part of a display, tripped, fell, and fractured her shoulder, necessitating, of course, a trip to the local hospital. A great place to be during a pandemic. As far as I know, she wasn't tested. And now she's at home, unable to take medication more powerful than paracetamol, and with two healthcare visitors who have to visit her daily to help her with getting up and around, dressing, bathing, and so on.

She's actually in really good health for 96, and feels pretty abashed. I'm hoping she is telling her friends on the phone right about now that the thrill of purchasing a supermarket birthday card instead of having your son pick it up for her is really not worth the risk of having to go to a hospital during a pandemic and have strangers in your house twice a day.
   10640. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 30, 2020 at 03:08 PM (#5991657)
if it happens on december 7th, we're all gonna die.


Eh, the Electoral College votes on December 14th. Do you really think it would be so hard for the Democrats to get 270 of their 306 electors to agree to vote for the person they were going to vote for as Vice President anyway? This is literally the one advantage of the Electoral College system over a winner-take-all popular vote: there's a seamless mechanism in place to replace a candidate who dies prematurely (and, to emphasize, people - even 78-year-old people - don't die of hairline fractures in their foot).
   10641. Lassus Posted: November 30, 2020 at 04:15 PM (#5991672)
These days? Yeah, I think it would be so hard.
   10642. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 30, 2020 at 04:26 PM (#5991675)
These days? Yeah, I think it would be so hard.


Remember, Electors are party die-hards. Every one of the 306 electors - and, again, remember, these are actual people - who are committed to voting for Biden as the next President of the United States is a Democrat (i.e., the popular vote isn't telling the Pennsylvania electors who to vote for - it's determining who the Pennsylvania electors will be in the first place). If they split their vote, such that no single Democrat gets 270 electoral votes, it goes to the House, where, due to the bizarre tie-breaking system set up in the Constitution, Trump would (probably) win. "Vote for Kamala Harris or else Trump will win" is going to be persuasive to these people. There are no Democratic electors who would be okay with Trump winning; if they were okay with Trump winning, they wouldn't be Democratic electors.
   10643. base ball chick Posted: November 30, 2020 at 04:29 PM (#5991676)
unless i read it wrong, the 20th amendment says that if the president elect dies before he/she is inaugurated, then the vp elect becomes the pres elect

the dems still win
   10644. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 30, 2020 at 06:19 PM (#5991712)

#10643 but he doesn't become the President-elect until the Electoral College votes. And we've seen legislators in PA trying to seat Republican electors despite a clear victory in the election for Biden. While I think the risk is very low of anything like that actually happening, I'd rather not tempt fate any more than necessary.
   10645. Tony S Posted: November 30, 2020 at 07:31 PM (#5991720)

Scott Atlas has shrugged off any further participation in the current administration's COVID task force.

Don't know what the underlying motive is -- perhaps he doesn't want to be around for the post-Thanksgiving spike?
   10646. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: November 30, 2020 at 07:35 PM (#5991722)
   10647. Mayor Blomberg Posted: November 30, 2020 at 07:53 PM (#5991727)
10645 -- Gravy train running out of steam; he needs a new grift.
   10648. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 30, 2020 at 08:50 PM (#5991743)
10645 I see what you did there.
   10649. BrianBrianson Posted: December 01, 2020 at 03:34 AM (#5991782)
So you're saying academic institutions are garbage and shouldn't be trusted? And laypeople should only go by the individual's reputation and quality of their work, which most laypeople have little qualification or ability to evaluate?


Partly, the underlying idea here is wrong, so you can't really answer this question. Being "affiliated" with an institution doesn't mean you speak for it. The idea that a random lecturer putting up a youtube video of a lecture is speaking for the institution is just fundamentally wrong. Really, the idea that universities are companies that can control their "employees" in the Dave is suggesting is just wrong. In very simple terms, it's better to think of people as working "at" a university, rather than "for" a university.

Even very, very smart people are sometimes nuts; indeed, it's really really hard to make progress on knowledge unless you're willing to be wackily wrong. So, trusting any one person is always risky. It's really about developing a consensus, until that happens, we don't know who to trust either (after there can be a couple wacky outliers - progressing funeral by funeral, right?)



   10650. bunyon Posted: December 01, 2020 at 07:23 AM (#5991784)
Even very, very smart people are sometimes nuts; indeed, it's really really hard to make progress on knowledge unless you're willing to be wackily wrong. So, trusting any one person is always risky. It's really about developing a consensus, until that happens, we don't know who to trust either (after there can be a couple wacky outliers - progressing funeral by funeral, right?)

Exactly so. You shouldn't buy something because ANY one person says it no matter where they work. Look for where the mass of experts are clustered. Giving weight to an individual or institution is how we get "but Dr. X says climate change is a hoax" or "Stanford says I should french covid patients!"

100 no name associate profs at small colleges know more than any individual endowed chair at Harvard.
   10651. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 01, 2020 at 07:45 AM (#5991786)
Being "affiliated" with an institution doesn't mean you speak for it.

If someone publishes something on an official Johns Hopkins account, and the school doesn’t remove it or correct it or even allow comments so others can do so, then they have failed in their responsibilities. It’s not the worst thing in the world, since not that many people watched it, but there’s enough of this BS out there clouding the issues that we don’t need more of it coming from respectable institutions. The claim that they do this all the time isn’t going to convince me that they handled this correctly.
   10652. BrianBrianson Posted: December 01, 2020 at 09:17 AM (#5991796)
Well, you're free to feel that way, but it still stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of what's going on (though, I can't find the youtube video, and see some references to it having been taken down? Perhaps the PR people are kicking buts - some random jankness like an "official youtube channel" is probably operated by some rando with no real criteria for what does or doesn't go on it)

But it isn't that they "do this all the time", it's that they don't do it, and aren't doing it now. The idea that John Hopkins is doing it, rather than J. Random Lecturer, is just wrong. When I give professional or public talks or press interviews or whatever, I say I'm affiliated with where I am now and anywhere else I've been doing the work I talk about, (and for weird French reasons, so universities I'm actually not affiliated with), and I never, ever, get any kind of official approval for what I'm saying (I sometimes run it by my collaborators ... but sometimes not).

It's just some woman with a relevant PhD. It's a credential, but it's not magic. Research requires a lot of openness to being wrong. My supervisor once told me if you're not wrong at least half the time, you're not trying hard enough.
   10653. BrianBrianson Posted: December 01, 2020 at 09:28 AM (#5991798)
Indeed, really, if I understand the student newspaper report, she looked at the relative age distribution of deaths, saw it didn't change much, and concluded the nothing was changing, because COVID mostly kills old people. But everything mostly kills old people, so you shouldn't expect it to change. Like, if everyone had a 110% their normal change of dying this year (about right for the US), then the distribution wouldn't change, because most people who're dying every year are old.

And, explaining that to people would be a much better action than a haphazard, clumsy semi-forced retraction, which'll just fuel the nutcases.
   10654. bunyon Posted: December 01, 2020 at 10:38 AM (#5991812)
If someone publishes something on an official Johns Hopkins account, and the school doesn’t remove it or correct it

Dave, you really, truly, fundamentally misunderstand universities. What you're suggesting is the exact opposite of how we work. The core principle of academic freedom is that universities cannot censor or constrain anything their faculty publish. That includes some pretty noxious crap, well beyond the crap in this case. As soon as you let the university weigh in on what their faculty publish, they will constrain everything their faculty publish. You may not like that and you may think it's a dumb way to exist, but it's how we work.
   10655. Mayor Blomberg Posted: December 01, 2020 at 01:25 PM (#5991850)
Universities do control what is on their accounts (I can't put anything on a U-run website without approval) and do have considerable control over what happens in student funded newspapers. Journals require retractions for bad science, and Retraction Watch is a wonderful resource. Then we can talk of the history of corporate/government pressure on journals to retract articles, which I do not approve, nor do I pprove of going after gadflies posting on their own sites, as happened recently in one of the Southern states.
If she puts it on her own site, fine. If it's a Hopkins site, Hopkins has ultimate say.
   10656. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 01, 2020 at 01:56 PM (#5991858)
bunyon, you purposely cut off:

or even allow comments so others can do so

Peer review and open discussion is part of the university model that JHU is not following here.
   10657. bunyon Posted: December 01, 2020 at 02:11 PM (#5991861)
I did cut it off. I don't like it but it's not a huge outlier, in my opinion. The discussion can be had, just not on their site. It isn't a peer reviewed document.

Could they delete the post? Sure, it's their website. There is just a massive lean away from that in academia.

Journals don't retract articles because people don't like it. It has to be shown to be fradulent. Just being wrong doesn't get you retracted, it gets you cited by the paper that shows you're wrong. There is a high bar to retraction of a peer-reviewed article.

   10658. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 01, 2020 at 05:39 PM (#5991912)
Apologies if this was posted earlier, but this is a good article on how the Cherokee nation has confronted COVID, doing much better than the rest of Oklahoma despite fewer resources.
   10659. Mayor Blomberg Posted: December 01, 2020 at 07:53 PM (#5991945)
Editors should consider retracting a publication if:

They have clear evidence that the findings are unreliable, either as a result of major error (eg, miscalculation or experimental error), or as a result of fabrication (eg, of data) or falsification (eg, image manipulation)
It constitutes plagiarism
The findings have previously been published elsewhere without proper attribution to previous sources or disclosure to the editor, permission to republish, or justification (ie, cases of redundant publication)
It contains material or data without authorisation for use
Copyright has been infringed or there is some other serious legal issue (eg, libel, privacy)
It reports unethical research
It has been published solely on the basis of a compromised or manipulated peer review process
The author(s) failed to disclose a major competing interest (a.k.a. conflict of interest) that, in the view of the editor, would have unduly affected interpretations of the work or recommendations by editors and peer reviewers.

point one does not constitute fraud; nor was it alleged in the case of the police killings article retracted this year, or the paper retracted a few years ago (It was in the Chronicle of Higher Ed) after business interests in Montana (iirc) put pressure on pols who put pressure on either the journal or the author. Again, I find the latter instance abhorrent.
   10660. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 01, 2020 at 11:23 PM (#5991968)
The NFL’s stupid goal is to teach the virus that it cannot deprive of us our freedoms, even if that requires “Thursday Night Football, Special Edition: The Following Wednesday Afternoon, After a Different Team Played With Zero Quarterbacks.”

But college football is too stupid to have any goals at all

   10661. BrianBrianson Posted: December 02, 2020 at 03:51 AM (#5991975)
Experimental errors (or calculation errors) do get erratad or retracted, but a) this isn't published yet (and if my reading is right, should be very easy to catch in review). Doing a proper measures, but over-interpreting the outcome, or overstating it's importance doesn't. If we retracted every paper that took a good observation, and then overstated what we could draw from it, there'd be no data left in the literature at all. "We suggest large, far reaching implications from this limited, specific observation ..." is par for the course.

And journals, especially small ones, can sometimes be bullied into bad retractions or whatnot. It's not good, and I think it typically undermines the goal; if a journal is bullied into retracting a paper, I'm going to assume the paper was right.

But in this case, it's not a paper, it's just a preliminary presentation that is already being rebutted. So, there's not "what" here

Universities do control what is on their accounts (I can't put anything on a U-run website without approval)


This depends on the site and/or university. I've certainly put stuff on university websites, and not just my own page, without anyone's approval. Inviting people round for colloquia I've also seen as "endorsing" them, and I've scheduled and publicised colloquia without any kind of approval from anyone. All these things are in the "it depends" regime, I think. Advertising/publicity venues are largely some far off admin office, but other things aren't. A youtube channel like that, to my mind, falls under the "random advertising crap that falls under the purvue of one of the offices of excess provosts".
   10662. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: December 02, 2020 at 08:03 AM (#5991981)
The UK today became one of the first countries to receive regulator approval for a Covid-19 vaccine, the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA effort. Vaccinations are planned to start in the next week or so. The usual immediate culture wars commenced; Brexit supporters pointed to the regulator's decision as a benefit of no longer being part of the EU, while Brexit opposition pointed out that the UK is still subject to the EU's rules until 1st January during the transition period, so the decision was actually made in a manner consistent with EU regulations.
   10663. mathesond Posted: December 02, 2020 at 09:26 AM (#5991998)
Well now this doesn't make me want to rush out and get the vaccine...
   10664. base ball chick Posted: December 02, 2020 at 09:47 AM (#5992006)
mathesond Posted: December 02, 2020 at 09:26 AM (#5991998)

Well now this doesn't make me want to rush out and get the vaccine...


from that article:

"These trials seem designed to prove their vaccines work, even if the measured effects are minimal

AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer have primary analyses that distribute the vaccine to only 100, 151, 154, and 164 participants

Prevention of infection is not a criterion for success for any of these vaccines. In fact, their endpoints all require confirmed infections and all those they will include in the analysis for success, the only difference being the severity of symptoms between the vaccinated and unvaccinated

These trials all clearly focus on eliminating symptoms of Covid-19, and not infections themselves. Asymptomatic infection is listed as a secondary objective in these trials when they should be of critical importance

It appears that all the pharmaceutical companies assume that the vaccine will never prevent infection. Their criteria for approval is the difference in symptoms between an infected control group and an infected vaccine group. They do not measure the difference between infection and noninfection as a primary motivation.

A greater concern for the millions of older people and those with preexisting conditions is whether these trials test the vaccine's ability to prevent severe illness and death. Again we find that severe illness and death are only secondary objectives in these trials. None list the prevention of death and hospitalization as a critically important barrier"


- holy (swear words)

they couldn't care less about preventing INFECTION???? what the freaking freak???????

seeing as how 50% of infected people have no symptoms and are STILL contagious!!!!

looks like ima be wearing masks until they come out with something that PREVENTS infection
   10665. Biscuit_pants Posted: December 02, 2020 at 10:04 AM (#5992010)
Well now this doesn't make me want to rush out and get the vaccine


That article is over two months old. We have a lot more information on the vaccines now then at the time this was written.
   10666. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 02, 2020 at 10:08 AM (#5992011)
I understand how universities work*, I’m saying that model is unfortunately not working well in this instance and isn’t suited well to moments like this in today’s world. A presentation like this gets amplified and tweeted to hundreds of thousands or millions of people by Fox News as a “Johns Hopkins study” or a study by “Dr. __ of JHU” before (and regardless of whether) anyone contradicts it. (“A lie can travel around the world and back again while the truth is lacing up its boots.”). I’m not sure it really makes a difference whether it’s on an official U channel or not — it might have been treated the same way but the U does give it a brand name in the realm of public opinion, regardless of whether it should.

I get that this is how it always works. And that isn’t a problem when the topic is theoretical physics or 19th century French literature or whatever, but when it’s a public health topic in the middle of a pandemic maybe there should be a higher bar or at least some more thoughtfulness and discussion before letting rip with a presentation like this. Taking it down afterwards is not the right approach since it just leads to conspiracy theories, but leaving it up there and not having the department or any of her colleagues contradict it while she continues to promote it isn't right either, IMO.

It’s kind of like news media who also don’t understand how the world interacts with them today. They publish something wrong on the front page. blast it out over Twitter, it gets read by millions of people. Then they run a correction on page 7 and append a little note at the end of the article online, which gets seen by far fewer people. I don’t know what the fix is (I would suggest as a starting point that the correction should get just as prominent placement as the original story unless it’s an inconsequential error), but it’s one reason for the decline in press credibility. And saying “you don’t understand how newspapers work, they never run corrections on the front page” isn’t really a persuasive argument.

* as the Mayor notes, universities don’t always just ignore bad research — my alma mater a few years ago recommended the retraction of a bunch of papers by a med school prof who falsified his research (or did something else improper).
   10667. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 02, 2020 at 10:13 AM (#5992014)
if a journal is bullied into retracting a paper, I'm going to assume the paper was right.

you're a ####### moron.


"i know nothing about this issue, but because it upset a bunch of people, it's probably right" -- dumbass
   10668. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 02, 2020 at 10:20 AM (#5992016)
Still so much CDC lag, and now with the addition of Thanksgiving, it is very hard to know where we are with excess deaths. Reported cases/deaths are not that much better this week because of Thanksgiving. Hospitalizations are still showing the start of a tail off, but again due to Thanksgiving that is even hard to say for sure.

The main point is excess deaths by the CDC are still highly unreliable going back several weeks now. Monday official reported covid deaths by the states had surpassed those reported by the CDC by the highest margin since April, an indication that the data has been becoming less and less reliable for 7 weeks in a row. Only 55,000 total deaths reported by the CDC over the last week, which is below baseline for this time of year. Obviously, that's not possible.

                  week ending     weeks          total
Date of           actual date     back           deaths
report            of death                       recorded

9/23              9/19            1              15,491
9/30              9/26            1              16,957 
10/07             10/03           1              17,485
10/14             10/10           1              14,788 (post-Columbus Day effect)
10/21             10/17           1              17,073 (probably some lingering post-Columbus Day effect)
10/28             10/24           1              17,510
11/04             10/31           1              15,243 (election lag)
11/18             11/14           1              16,593
11/25             11/21           1              17,780
12/02             11/28           1              12,747 (post-Thanksgiving effect)

9/30              9/19            2              38,746
10/07             9/26            2              39,849
10/14            10/03            2              37,639 (post-Columbus Day)
10/21            10/10            2              40,348 (probably some lingering post-Columbus Day effect)
10/28            10/17            2              39,512 (almost certainly reflecting the extra lag this week)
11/04            10/24            2              39,237 (election lag)
11/18            11/07            2              40,959
11/25            11/14            2              42,565
12/02            11/21            2              39,425 (post-Thanksgiving effect)

10/07             9/19            3              48,899
10/14             9/26            3              49,078 (post-Columbus Day)
10/21            10/03            3              48,959 (probably some lingering post-Columbus Day effect)
10/28            10/10            3              50,172 (almost certainly reflecting the extra lag this week)
11/04            10/17            3              48,738 (election lag)
11/18            10/31            3              51,117
11/25            11/07            3              53,377
12/02            11/14            3              54,004 (post-Thanksgiving effect)

10/14             9/19            4              52,230
10/21             9/26            4              53,087
10/28            10/03            4              52,476 (almost certainly reflecting the extra lag this week)
11/04            10/10            4              53,899 (election lag)
11/18            10/24            4              54,741
11/25            10/31            4              55,477
12/02            11/07            4              58,120

10/21             9/19            5              54,195         
10/28             9/26            5              55,216   
11/04            10/03            5              54,236 (election lag)  
11/18            10/17            5              55,204
11/25            10/24            5              56,673
12/02            10/31            5              57,370

10/28             9/19            6              55,339
11/04             9/26            6              56,415
11/18            10/10            6              57,382
11/25            10/17            6              56,211
12/02            10/24            6              57.581

11/04             9/19            7              55,992
11/18            10/03            7              56,305
11/25            10/10            7              57,994
12/02            10/17            7              56.657

11/18             9/26            8              57,534
11/25            10/03            8              56,660
12/02            10/10            8              58,306

11/18             9/19            9              56,719
11/25             9/26            9              57,791
12/02            10/03            9              56,866

11/25             9/19           10              56,957
12/02             9/26           10              58,025

12/02             9/19           11              57,195
   10669. base ball chick Posted: December 02, 2020 at 10:33 AM (#5992019)
Biscuit_pants Posted: December 02, 2020 at 10:04 AM (#5992010)

Well now this doesn't make me want to rush out and get the vaccine



That article is over two months old. We have a lot more information on the vaccines now then at the time this was written


- what can't possibly be different or updated is that these vaccines are not invented to prevent infection, just moderate symptoms, NOT death

if i'm wrong, i would REALLY appreciate it if you would pls link to any new info that any of these vaccines prevent infection or DEATH

if they do not prevent infection, this mask is NOT coming off until they invent a vaccine that DOES prevent infection
   10670. Biscuit_pants Posted: December 02, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5992038)
- what can't possibly be different or updated is that these vaccines are not invented to prevent infection, just moderate symptoms, NOT death

if i'm wrong, i would REALLY appreciate it if you would pls link to any new info that any of these vaccines prevent infection or DEATH


I was more referring to the just moderate symptoms, NOT death part. We know more on that. The vaccines do appear to stop severe illness.

Most vaccines do not prevent infections, so if that is the part that makes you nervous then you should indeed still wear a mask until heard immunity is reached. That being said it might be too early to see if any of the vaccines prevent infection spread but there is some talk, not anything official, that the AstraZeneca one might.
   10671. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: December 02, 2020 at 11:45 AM (#5992039)
"These trials seem designed to prove their vaccines work, even if the measured effects are minimal

AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer have primary analyses that distribute the vaccine to only 100, 151, 154, and 164 participants


I don't think I understand this - the final stage of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine involved a trial with over 40,000 participants, half of whom got the vaccine. 170 volunteers in the group became infected with Covid-19, but only 8 of them were in the half that had gotten the vaccine (the others received placebos). Of the 10 people who became seriously ill, only one was in the vaccine half of the trial.

So the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine isn't a 100% perfect solve for Covid-19, but it seems to dramatically lower the risk of getting infected, and has efficacy for all age and racial groups, apparently - something that was in doubt earlier. Link for above.
   10672. base ball chick Posted: December 02, 2020 at 11:52 AM (#5992042)
if the vaccine does not do anything to prevent infection, then for those of us who associate closely with people at high risk, it is as useful as nothing whatsoever. seeing as how it doesn't prevent DEATH from the infection

what do you mean vaccines don't prevent most infections?? at least with kids, whatever vaccines they are using prevent infection seeing as how infection is deadly like the spinal mengingitis. and the hpv one does prevent infection from that virus, i asked the doctor when i had the boys get it. we were also told that the measles vaccine prevents you from getting measles for the rest of your life. my mama was fierce about the boys getting vaccines on time because we lost family from the spinal meningitis.
   10673. Srul Itza Posted: December 02, 2020 at 11:54 AM (#5992043)
It’s kind of like news media who also don’t understand how the world interacts with them today. They publish something wrong on the front page. blast it out over Twitter, it gets read by millions of people. Then they run a correction on page 7 and append a little note at the end of the article online, which gets seen by far fewer people.



Today? You are describing the modus operandi of newspapers since I started reading them, over a half century ago - before this interwebs/system of tubes thingy.

And it used to be much worse. The vast majority of newspapers for a very long time were openly partisan. The idea of neutral, professional journalism is a lot younger than you may believe, and it appears that the pendulum is swinging back to many news outlets once again being openly partisan while coyly denying it.
   10674. Srul Itza Posted: December 02, 2020 at 12:01 PM (#5992044)
There may be an issue of definition here. My admittedly poor understanding is that vaccines exist to create antibodies that will fight off the disease if you are exposed to it, so it cannot multiply in your body, and dies off before it multiplies enough to either make you sick or make you contagious. But while the disease is still existing in the community, it will be spread to vaccinated people who become "infected", but who do not get ill because the body fights off the virus before it can multiply enough to become a problem.

No vaccine is 100% effective, and 100% inoculation of a community rarely if ever happens. But if enough people are able to fight off the disease through disease-acquired antibodies or vaccine acquired antibodies, then the virus has no purchase in the community, and eventually disappears unless reintroduced.
   10675. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 02, 2020 at 12:04 PM (#5992045)

#10673 yes obviously the partisan news outlets see it as a feature, not a bug, that they can easily spread misinformation. I'm talking about the outlets that claim to be objective and actually do care about their credibility. Some of them still don't get it, don't realize that things like "The reporters don't write the headlines" is not actually a good excuse for headlines being inaccurate, etc.
   10676. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: December 02, 2020 at 12:08 PM (#5992047)
There may be an issue of definition here. My admittedly poor understanding is that vaccines exist to create antibodies that will fight off the disease if you are exposed to it, so it cannot multiply in your body, and dies off before it multiplies enough to either make you sick or make you contagious. But while the disease is still existing in the community, it will be spread to vaccinated people who become "infected", but who do not get ill because the body fights off the virus before it can multiply enough to become a problem.


Yes, part of the question here is whether a vaccinated person whose body encounters the virus has the capability to spread the virus to others. That's really hard to know with any sample size that isn't in the millions or whose every step you track. But if we don't know, then the logic to vaccinate people at the highest risk of dying, rather than the highest risk of encountering the infection, is solid.
   10677. Biscuit_pants Posted: December 02, 2020 at 12:24 PM (#5992049)
what do you mean vaccines don't prevent most infections?? at least with kids, whatever vaccines they are using prevent infection seeing as how infection is deadly like the spinal mengingitis. and the hpv one does prevent infection from that virus, i asked the doctor when i had the boys get it. we were also told that the measles vaccine prevents you from getting measles for the rest of your life. my mama was fierce about the boys getting vaccines on time because we lost family from the spinal meningitis.


Srul answers most of this. Most vaccines work by letting the body detect a virus and kill it before the virus takes hold. During the identification and killing off of the virus some of these viruses can be transmitted but due to the fact that your body recognizes and gets rid of the virus it might be for a very short time. To prevent infection a separate mechanism has to take place that most vaccines do not bother with since it is the serious infections response part that is really what we want to prevent.

You say that infection is deadly, but really what is the deadly part is an over reaction of our immune system to the virus. A vaccine helps in detecting the virus and takes care of it before the immune response gets out of control. Vaccines greatly reduce the complications caused by harmful diseases that you’re likely to encounter in the world. Vaccines simply help your body identify what it’s encountering it doesn't change how your body acts when it encounters those things.
   10678. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 02, 2020 at 12:26 PM (#5992050)
But if we don't know, then the logic to vaccinate people at the highest risk of dying, rather than the highest risk of encountering the infection, is solid.


There are a couple of issues with that, I think:

1) As the vaccines work by giving the patient a weakened form of the virus, there is always the chance that the person administered the vaccine gets the full-blown disease. It is perhaps unwise to put those at greatest risk of death in that position.
2) Among those at greatest risk of death are the immuno-compromised, and they cannot be given the vaccine due to #1. They will only be safe if enough of the population is vaccinated to cause herd immunity.
   10679. Biscuit_pants Posted: December 02, 2020 at 12:41 PM (#5992053)
Among those at greatest risk of death are the immuno-compromised, and they cannot be given the vaccine due to #1. They will only be safe if enough of the population is vaccinated to cause herd immunity.
My understanding of this is that immuno-compromised can be given most vaccines, just not live or attenuated vaccines, which the mRNA ones are not and I do not believe the AstraZeneca one is either.

If you have read something otherwise for immuno-compromised people if you could post it I would be grateful, I have close relatives that are and would want to know more.
   10680. base ball chick Posted: December 02, 2020 at 02:54 PM (#5992082)
ben

i checked out the link. no mention of death rate, or any check for antibodies, just did they get disease. were they instructed not to use masks or social distance? and so far, no talk about whether or not the antibodies last

besides
40,000 is a pretty small sample size of 350 mill people (0.011% thank you online calculator) and we also don't know how many of those volunteers were actually EXPOSED to covid.


Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 02, 2020 at 12:26 PM (#5992050)

... As the vaccines work by giving the patient a weakened form of the virus, there is always the chance that the person administered the vaccine gets the full-blown disease. It is perhaps unwise to put those at greatest risk of death in that position.


- i don't think this is most vaccines (too lazy to do all the research on which ones). the vaccines have a piece of the virus or bacteria protein that your body recognises as exclusively foreign and will make antibodies to. you can't POSSIBLY get the disease from a vaccine. it is not possible to get, say, tetanus from a tetanus shot. if you don't make any antibodies, THEN you can get the disease. (i don't know what you do if you have immuneocompromise but i guess if your immune system does not work/work right, then why get a vaccine seeing as how it won't work
   10681. BrianBrianson Posted: December 02, 2020 at 03:19 PM (#5992087)
I’m saying that model is unfortunately not working well in this instance and isn’t suited well to moments like this in today’s world.


But this still indicates really poor understanding. The model isn't the problem, and any other remotely plausible model has the same problem, because the problem is external. You can't realistically hope to keep preliminary results internal anymore (if we ever could, I dunno). The only option is to spend our time educating people about how this works, so (hopefully) they can be less likely to make the kind of mistakes you're making here. The only way to prevent research from being wrong, including really wrong, is to not do it.

Falsifying data is of course different; taking action against bad faith actors isn't at all the same as taking action again good faith actors who eventually turn out to have been wrong. People know whether they're acting in good faith, they don't know whether they're getting things wrong, so the chilling effects are different (and of course, clamping down on people getting things wrong in practice also means clamping down on people who realise we've been doing something wrong all along.)
   10682. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: December 02, 2020 at 03:27 PM (#5992090)
ben

i checked out the link. no mention of death rate, or any check for antibodies, just did they get disease. were they instructed not to use masks or social distance? and so far, no talk about whether or not the antibodies last

besides
40,000 is a pretty small sample size of 350 mill people (0.011% thank you online calculator) and we also don't know how many of those volunteers were actually EXPOSED to covid.


These are good questions. My understanding is that there were no deaths (statistically not that surprising), and that because the volunteer group spanned several different countries and regimes, they were almost certainly only asked to follow the regulations in their local area so that the study captured 'realistic' behaviours, and to otherwise act as if they weren't in a study. Of course, knowing that they were in that study probably altered their behaviours a bit, but then that's why you have the control placebo group - if they also showed much lower rates of infection despite not receiving a vaccine, that would be a good indication that it was the change in behaviour that was determinative, not the vaccine.

We also don't know how many were exposed, but then that's why 40,000+ volunteers are needed, to get enough of a sample size to avoid outlier behaviour. In a series of countries where 10-20% of the population have been infected, it's hard for tens of thousands of volunteers to completely miss, I think.

So 40,000 is actually a sample of a much larger population than 350 million, comprising of the US, Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil and Argentina. That's maybe 700-800m? But then, at some point, creating larger and larger trial populations becomes indistinguishable from actually starting to roll out the vaccine, and the protocols for vaccine testing are relatively well-established as I understand them. While we can't create 100% certainty about anything, the results so far for the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA efforts really do seem about as good as we can expect to get.

EDIT to say that I personally take pretty much the same approach to the vaccine as I have to social distancing/mask-wearing/lockdown, which is: when 90%+ of epidemiologists and public health experts across Europe and the US have largely unified reactions to the vaccine (in this specific case: almost unbridled joy and relief), and are basing their responses on a fairly well-worn set of protocols and practices for testing . . . my default is to trust them. They're not incentivised to sugar-coat this.

That's a bit easier for me to say, but my wife remains in multiple at-risk categories, and she will also be virtually queuing up in Dusseldorf to get the vaccine as soon as her cohort is eligible.
   10683. Biscuit_pants Posted: December 02, 2020 at 03:39 PM (#5992091)
40,000 is a pretty small sample size of 350 mill people
this is actually a huge amount for a vaccine trial. Typically it is under 10,000, but in this case we were not going to have the years to follow for long term issues so one possible answer is to increase the amount of people in the trial to try and get more of them to have what would normally be long term side effects (which are not long term effects in some people but short term effects). Not the best solution but what we were left with.

There are still live/attenuated vaccinations that are used: Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR combined vaccine), Rotavirus, Smallpox, Chickenpox, Yellow fever

one sign of an live/attenuated vaccine is that it has to be kept cold, which is why I am thinking that the Covid-19 one might be thought to be live/attenuated but I had thought it was a new(ish) type vaccine using mRNA which is why it needed to be so cold.

   10684. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: December 02, 2020 at 03:47 PM (#5992092)
one sign of an live/attenuated vaccine is that it has to be kept cold, which is why I am thinking that the Covid-19 one might be thought to be live/attenuated but I had thought it was a new(ish) type vaccine using mRNA which is why it needed to be so cold.


Yes, the mRNA vaccine is apparently much quicker to produce because it doesn't require reproduction of the virus itself to include within the vaccine, as I understand it. As ever, I only have the understanding of a layman who obsessively tracked Guardian liveblog updates, but apparently that's part of the wider big win of the Pfizer/Moderna results this year - mRNA is a huge step forward in vaccine development generically, as well as in the case of Covid-19.

The need to keep cold is a major downside for much of distribution, though, and strengthens the case for so many competing vaccine candidates being delivered in parallel. Some will be cheap, some will be robust, some will be fast, some will be no less effective for the most at-risk groups. Probably none of them will be all at once.
   10685. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: December 02, 2020 at 04:22 PM (#5992095)

But this still indicates really poor understanding. The model isn't the problem, and any other remotely plausible model has the same problem, because the problem is external.

No, you're the one who doesn't understand. If the world consistently misunderstands what you're doing, then you should consider whether there's a problem with how you communicate.

The only option is to spend our time educating people about how this works, so (hopefully) they can be less likely to make the kind of mistakes you're making here.

Yes, but JHU and its faculty haven't made any attempts to do so (at least not that I could find). So yes, I will return to my original position which is that it is perfectly reasonable to be disappointed that JHU employs (and gives the keys to) someone who puts out such shoddy research, and/or to be disappointed that the university / faculty didn't do more to clarify things after it was publicized.
   10686. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 02, 2020 at 05:33 PM (#5992110)
Almost set a record for reported deaths in a day yesterday, and will get close today as well.
   10687. Mayor Blomberg Posted: December 02, 2020 at 05:41 PM (#5992114)
You can't realistically hope to keep preliminary results internal anymore (if we ever could, I dunno).

Sure you can; that's how bad #### gets on the market to begin with, and how lawyers eventually, and rightfully, have a field day.

Falsifying data is of course different; taking action against bad faith actors isn't at all the same as taking action again good faith actors who eventually turn out to have been wrong.

Sorry. bad science by good-faith actors also gets retracted.

   10688. Ron J Posted: December 02, 2020 at 06:07 PM (#5992118)
#10686 Hospitalizations are already at an all time high.
   10689. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 02, 2020 at 06:41 PM (#5992122)
Right, current hospitalizations (i.e., aggregate hospital census) are at an all-time high and still every day they are going up, but potentially a little slower than before. I was referring, though, to new daily cases and reported deaths. Those are a bit more like new daily hospitalizations.
   10690. Mayor Blomberg Posted: December 02, 2020 at 07:33 PM (#5992132)
By the time Worldometer settles today's accounts it will record the highest number of COVID deaths in one day in the US. There are already enough deaths not recorded, with LA still to come, to push beyond 2750
   10691. Srul Itza Posted: December 02, 2020 at 07:53 PM (#5992134)
I am thinking that a lot of yesterday and today in Worldometer is catching up from the four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend
   10692. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 02, 2020 at 08:26 PM (#5992152)
The CDC has been suppressing obviously low all-cause death totals in the following states for recent weeks: Connecticut, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and West Virginia. This is done to avoid showing (especially) misleading death totals for these states, but also means they won't get counted towards the US total.

This last excess death report, for the most recent week (ending 11/21), in addition to the above four, they also suppressed: Alaska, D.C. Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

Yes, that is what we are currently working with.
   10693. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: December 02, 2020 at 08:31 PM (#5992155)
I am thinking that a lot of yesterday and today in Worldometer is catching up from the four-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend
It could be, but not necessarily. Cases were climbing rapidly three weeks ago, so it wouldn't be much of a surprise if deaths did the same thing now. In fact, some people predicted exactly that (7-day average deaths being 1.5-1.7% of 7-day average cases, but on a 19 to 21-day delay). Hospitalizations didn't increase quite as rapidly though, so I'm not sure myself.
   10694. Srul Itza Posted: December 02, 2020 at 08:42 PM (#5992160)
Regardless of the reason, we have another 200,000+ new infections day, and a record 2,828 fatalities as of this writing.
   10695. Hank Gillette Posted: December 02, 2020 at 09:29 PM (#5992172)
There are a couple of issues with that, I think:

1) As the vaccines work by giving the patient a weakened form of the virus, there is always the chance that the person administered the vaccine gets the full-blown disease. It is perhaps unwise to put those at greatest risk of death in that position.


That is not true for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines. According to the NY Times,

The vaccine contains genetic instructions for building a coronavirus protein, known as spike. When injected into cells, the vaccine causes them to make spike proteins, which then get released into the body and provoke a response from the immune system.


Basically, as I understand it, the vaccine gives the body a “signpost” that will allow the immune system to recognize the coronavirus without actually using the whole virus.
   10696. Hank Gillette Posted: December 02, 2020 at 09:46 PM (#5992177)
Well now this doesn't make me want to rush out and get the vaccine...

From what I can tell, the author knows his stuff, but I don’t think the article is clear. He seems to be listing what the minimum efficacy of a vaccine would need to get approval, not what the goals of the pharmaceutical companies actually are. There is also this at the bottom of the article:

Correction (10/7/20): A former version of the article stated that 53 people received a vaccination for interim analysis in the Moderna trial. The vaccine was in fact given to thousands of people, with 53 being the number of people who must be infected with Covid-19 to run the analysis.


At any rate, the results reported by the press for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines seem to have a striking success rate. Of the people who got infected by COVID-19, 94% or so got the placebo, not the vaccine. Almost all of the people who got the vaccine and were infected had mild cases.

There may be something in the data that they submitted along with their application for approval that will make the results less rosy, but that is why they say they will take three weeks or so before approving (if they approve), rather than right now as the Trump administration is demanding.

So far, the only downside seems to be handling the distribution, since the messenger RNA is very fragile, and the vaccine needs to be stored at very low temperatures before use. That won’t be a big deal in densely populated areas, but could be difficult in rural areas, and virtually impossible in poorer countries. Hopefully, one of the other vaccines in testing will prove to be effective and not require special handling.
   10697. Ron J Posted: December 02, 2020 at 09:50 PM (#5992178)
#10696 I've mentioned it a couple of times in this thread but there's a very good YouTube video on the logistical challenges here


   10698. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: December 02, 2020 at 09:54 PM (#5992180)
1) As the vaccines work by giving the patient a weakened form of the virus, there is always the chance that the person administered the vaccine gets the full-blown disease. It is perhaps unwise to put those at greatest risk of death in that position.

so, i'm not sure about the covid vaccines, but w/r/t seasonal flu vaccines:

(starting with a minor caveat: the nasal flu vaccines do actually contain some live virus)

flu shots do not contain any live virus, and they haven't since the 1970s. vaccines use something called an "attenuated" virus. that means the vaccine has the "germy" particles of the flu, but without the "self-replicating" RNA. so the "viral" part of the virus is gone, which means that it's safe to dose out.

now, flu shots will often provoke an immune response, which is why people claim that a flu shot "gave them the flu", but they don't actually have a flu, they just have some associated symptoms.
   10699. BrianBrianson Posted: December 03, 2020 at 03:48 AM (#5992213)
No, you're the one who doesn't understand. If the world consistently misunderstands what you're doing, then you should consider whether there's a problem with how you communicate.


I understand perfectly well, but the solution is to better communicate what we're doing, not to stop what we're doing. Whether it's you here, anti-vaxxers, global warming denialists, whoever, you're always going to catch this kind of flak, where people are misunderstanding for their own purposes, it's not avoidable (probably especially prevalent in the open age of the internet, but I wasn't an academic type before, so perhaps not).

Sorry. bad science by good-faith actors also gets retracted.


"Bad science" is of course an incredibly vague term, which makes that an unfalsifiable assertion. If you're wrong about what you said you did, whether it's in good faith or bad, yes. If you said you took the CDCs data on COVID19 infections, but you actually took AB InBev's sales figures for Corona beer in 2019 (whether on purpose or by mistake), you'd errata or retract it. If you did everything you said but your interpretation of what it means turn out to be incorrect, those things don't get retracted (which, from what I've seen is the case here; she wasn't doing bad science, she was just doing wrong science.)
   10700. BrianBrianson Posted: December 03, 2020 at 04:16 AM (#5992214)
40,000 is a pretty small sample size of 350 mill people


The fraction isn't what's important, it's how much random chance can affect the total, so it's just the number. 40k is a pretty big number for YES/NO counting. If I flip a coin twice, I'd really have no idea if it was a fair coin or not, so I couldn't predict how many heads or tails I'd get in a hundred million flips. But if I flipped it forty thousand times and got 75% heads, you'd be pretty comfortable saying it wasn't a fair coin, and that you'd get about seven hundred and fifty million heads if you flipped it a billion times, right? Flip a coin once, it comes up heads, that's not suspicious. Even twice, or three times. But at ten it's very suspicious, and at a hundred times it's essentially unthinkable it's chance.

Generally, the uncertainty in a counting number like that is something like the square root of the number.

So, say I flip a coin 100 times; my uncertainty is square root of 100, 10, and I'd expect 40-60 heads. (because I'm such a ####### nerd I actually did this, and got 53 heads - I don't suspect the 2€ was weighted, but if I did 100 million and got 53 million heads, I would). If I did this 10 times, I would expect some to be randomly higher than 50, some lower, so the totally difference would add more slowly than the total number of flips.

So, if you test 40000 people with the vaccine; well, they're not all exposed, but at this point 5~10% of Americans have been exposed; probably less during your trial, so say 1%. Assuming you gave half the vaccine and half a placebo, 200 (give or take the square root of 200, 14) the actual vaccine. The 1% is a guess, bu you have a control sample, you can measure it directly, with a percentage that'll be like 200 plus or minus 14 over 20000 from the control sample, so if it were 1%, you'd measure it as 0.9%-1.1%

So 184-216 people exposed. If they're getting 94% effective, that means 6% still got it, which is 12 people, so without happenstance, that number would be off by the square root of 12 (call it 4), so we should think a typical 40000 person trial would see 8-16 people get COVID of the 184-216 exposed, so perhaps the true effectiveness is 91%-96% effective.
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