"There Is No Glory In Prevention."

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    • #312574
      • Total Posts: 1,606

      When the threat of an Covid-19 epidemic emerged the infectious disease epidemiologists began to build their mathematical models to predict how it would develop. They had to work with low quality data mostly from China and later from Italy. The main parameters where the replication rate R of the disease and the percentage of severe cases. Using the available numbers they predicted a high peak of serious cases that would overwhelm the health care system.

      Their next step was to look at non-pharmaceutical measures that they hoped would lower the peak of cases. Some of these were less controversial than others. Closing cinemas and bars is a bit inconvenient but can be done without much protest. Closing down public traffic or schools is more controversial as the effects on the public and personal lives are way more serious.

      We have little experience in taking such measures. The model builders do not know how much each of those restrictions will contribute to the lowering of the peak. They have to estimate those parameters. Until this month it was not even clear if children could get infected or were infectious. Arguing for closing schools without knowing that is quite difficult.

      Clinical epidemiologists, who mostly work on randomized trials which produce hard data, are often critical of the model builders. They dislike the many assumptions that go into modeling and demand more hard data. Stanford’s professor John Ioannidis, who ran the Santa Clara antibody study, is one of them. A recent Boston Review piece looks at the differences between the two tribes of epidemiologists. It finds that we need both.

      More: https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/05/there-is-no-glory-in-prevention.html

      "Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime" - Aristotle "The more I see of the moneyed peoples, the more I understand the guillotine" - George Bernard Shaw "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK #SurviveAndRevolt

    • #312586
      So Far From Heaven
      • Total Posts: 5,623

      In physics we model shit that has never been observed before. Try that on for ‘unknown’ values…

      No models? No funding. Nothing. Ever. Make your case or get out the door.

      Unknown parameterizations? No problem. Just estimate using the latest theoretical information. Do a whole series using a range of values for each one.

      Best fucking science EVER. Models are the cat’s meow…….

      Ask CERN or Brookhaven or SLAC or whatever.

    • #312596
      • Total Posts: 514

      No surprise there, he’s a conservative from Stanford. The far right loves his shit. Don’t they mean there is no money in prevention?

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