The mathematics of the Chinese Flu

einstein[Editor’s Note: We are not permitted to call the Wuhan Virus the Wuhan Virus because that would be cismisogynistic or something. So this blog is referring to it as the Chinese Flu.]

For those so inclined, we can reduce the virus to numbers.

How canceled events and self-quarantines save lives, in one chart

A disastrous inundation of hospitals can likely be averted with protective measures we’re now seeing more of — closing schools, canceling mass gatherings, working from home, self-quarantine, self-isolation, avoiding crowds — to keep the virus from spreading fast.

Epidemiologists call this strategy of preventing a huge spike in cases “flattening the curve,” and it looks like this:

chart

The Elegant Mathematics of Social Distancing.

From a mathematical perspective, determining how big a crowd is safe depends on a couple of key questions: How many people in a given area are infected with the disease? And how big is the event? If you know those things, you can estimate the probability of someone getting infected at the event. An elegant “Covid-19 Event Risk Assessment Planner” by the Georgia Tech quantitative biologist Joshua Weitz makes the following calculation: If, say, 20,000 cases of infection are actively circulating the US (far more than are known so far), and you host a dinner party for 10 folks, there’s a 0.061 percent chance that an attendee will be infected. But if you attend a 10,000-person hockey match, there’s a 45 percent chance.

COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planner

The mathematics for calculating the probability of exposure given the number of carriers in a population and group size aren’t difficult but they can be surprising. Even a low number of carriers can generate a relatively high probability for reasonably sized groups. For example, assume you run a firm of 1000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area (population 8 million.) Let’s suppose that there are just 500 carriers in the area. In this case, assuming random draws, the probability that at least one of your employees is a carrier is 6%. You can run your own calculations at Wolfram Alpha following this format:

p=8000000, c=500, g=1000, 1-1(1-c/p)^g //N

where p is the population size, c is the number of carriers, g is the group size and the //N at the end isn’t a division but a command to Wolfram Alpha to give you a numerical answer.

Coronavirus expert says he knows when the virus ‘will burn itself out,’ according to leaked analysis

“Sunlight will cut the virus’ ability to grow in half so the half-life will be 2.5 minutes and in the dark it’s about 13 to 20 [minutes],” Nicholls said. “Sunlight is really good at killing viruses.” For that reason, he also added that he doesn’t expect areas such as Australia, Africa and the Southern hemisphere to see high rates of infection because they are in the middle of summer.

Regarding temperatures, Nicholls said the warmer the better for stopping the spread of the virus, according to the transcript of the conference call. “The virus can remain intact at 4 degrees (39 degrees Fahrenheit) or 10 degrees (50 F) for a longer period of time,” Nicholls said, referring to Celsius measurements, according to the transcript. “But at 30 degrees (86 degrees F) then you get inactivation. And high humidity — the virus doesn’t like it either,” he added, the transcript of the call showed.

How long can the new coronavirus last on surfaces?

How long can the new coronavirus linger on surfaces, anyway? The short answer is, we don’t know. A new analysis found that the virus can remain viable in the air for up to 3 hours, on copper for up to 4 hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel up to 2 to 3 days. However, this studyhas not yet yet been peer-reviewed.

Another study concluded that if this new coronavirus resembles other human coronaviruses, such as its “cousins” that cause SARS and MERS, it can stay on surfaces — such as metal, glass or plastic — for as long as nine days (In comparison, flu viruses can last on surfaces for only about 48 hours.)

Ohio Official Who Claimed 100,000 Covid-19 Cases in the State Says She Was ‘Guesstimating’

The director of Ohio’s Department of Health, Amy Acton, shocked a lot of people on Thursday when she said in a press conference that she believed 100,000 Ohioans had already contracted Covid-19. The Columbus Dispatch offered effusive praise of Acton for being a “voice of knowledge.” What an incredible human being, to let her humanity “shine through” like that. Brings a tear to my eye, it does. But Director Acton forgot to mention a small detail about her Apocalypse Now statement; it wasn’t true.

~ Calash

Creat your own infection intercepts

plaguePresident Trump urges all of us to be calm about the coronavirus.

“We’re prepared and we’re doing a great job with it and it will go away, just stay calm,” Trump said, “Everybody has to be vigilant and has to be careful but be calm, it’s really working out, and a lot of good things are going to happen.”

I tend to agree. The reason is that we, along with millions of individuals, families, businesses, churches, nursing homes, hospitals and government agencies, are doing everything we know to do.

Personally, we have suspended attending our church dinners, we wash our hands a lot, we don’t plan to travel, and we started using a grocery service that doesn’t require us to enter the store.

We could label each activity an Infection Intercept Point — IIP, if I were a government bureaucrat. Right now millions of IIPs are being put in place.

Remember: Not too long ago we were worried that we Americans are too clean, that our obsession with killing germs was actually making us sicker.

Megan McArdle, a fine reporter, writes in The Washington Post:

Despite early exposure, Singapore and Hong Kong have kept their caseloads low, not by completely shutting down large swaths of their economies as China did but through aggressive personal hygiene and “social distancing.” South Korea seems to be getting its initial outbreak under control using similar measures. If we do the same, we can not only keep our hospitals from overloading but also buy researchers time to develop vaccines and therapies.

She encourages you to create your own IIPs.

We are all in this together. It is your responsibility to keep America safe by following the CDC guidelines, just as much as it is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s or President Trump’s responsibility to lead us to safety. And until this virus is beaten, we all need to act like it.

Wash your hands!

~ Faute d’Mieux

Some non-hysterical advice on the virus

meme hands

It isn’t all that complicated. Here are some calm voices.

Coronavirus – How to. prepare and protect yourself as US gears up to fight it.

  1. Avoid those people who are sick with the virus
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  3. Practice good hand hygiene — wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 2 minutes
  4. Disinfect surfaces

Why hand washing really could slow down an epidemic

“We consider that, at most, 1 in 5 people in an airport have cleaned [their] hands at any given moment in time (i.e., 20% of airport population),” the researchers write in their study paper. However, the researchers argue that if more people were to wash their hands frequently and correctly, it would significantly slow down the rate at which diseases are likely to spread.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that best practices for hand washing include not only rinsing the hands with water, but also applying soap and scrubbing the palms, the back of the hands, between the fingers, and under the fingernails. A person should scrub for at least 20 seconds before rinsing the soap and drying the hands with a clean towel.

And from our President.

These days the President of the United States has to tell people to wash their hands. We’ve become a helpless society.

urinal

~ Dramaturge

The anti-Trumpers are toying with our health

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Be afraid, be very afraid. That’s the word from one Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease control.

“Ultimately, we expect we will see coronavirus spread in this country. It’s not so much a question of if, but a question of when.

“I understand this whole situation may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe, but these are things people need to start thinking about now.”

No wonder the stock market is tanking.

She made this pronouncement while President Trump was out of the country.

Guess what? Nancy is the sister of … Rod Rosenstein, the DOJ offcial involved in the coup against President Trump. Credit The Gateway Pundit with breaking this story.

In July 2018 Rosenstein announced the indictments of 12 Russians right before the President was departing on a trip to meet Russian President Putin. Rosenstein’s Deep State friends regularly schedule hateful events when the President is overseas.

If there’s any doubt that Nancy’s words were anything other than a political hatchet job, look no further than the media.

“You might not want to rely on Trump for information about the risk of coronavirus” ~ The Washington Post

“Even Republicans Are Worried the Trump Administration Isn’t Ready for a Coronavirus Outbreak” ~ Rolling Stone

“Both GOP and Democratic lawmakers slam Trump admin as unprepared for coronavirus” ~ ABC

And, of course ….

“Romney: Trump administration unprepared for coronavirus outbreak” ~ The Hill

Mitten’s only purpose in this world is to let us know when things are political. Otherwise, he’s just a fool.

~ Fanfaronade

Is this why going to church is so healthy?

telomere

It’s well known that going to church helps you to live longer. Now some scientists think they know a reason not previously considered.

Here comes a big word: telomeres. Here’s an explanation.

“Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces.Without the coating, shoelaces become frayed until they can no longer do their job, just as without telomeres, DNA strands become damaged and our cells can’t do their job.”

Hang in there. A 2016 study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine that found:

“Adults who frequently attend religious services, pray with regularity, and consider themselves to be religious tend to exhibit longer telomeres than those who attend and pray less frequently and do not consider themselves to be religious.”

Did Jesus understand telomeres?

~ A.D. Litem

 

Have another cup of coffee

coffee

If you want to live forever, that is.

Coffee drinkers have healthier gut microbiotas. Higher caffeine consumption was associated with increased richness and evenness of the mucosa-associated gut microbiota, and higher relative abundance of anti-inflammatory bacteria, such as Faecalibacterium and Roseburia and lower levels of potentially harmful Erysipelatoclostridium.”

Harvard researchers say this is the exact amount of coffee you should drink to stay healthy. “Our findings confirm those of previous studies that showed that higher coffee consumption was associated with lower Type 2 Diabetes risk,” explained the study’s lead author, Shilpa Bhupathiraju. “Most importantly, they provide new evidence that changes in coffee consumption habit can affect Type 2 Diabetes risk in a relatively short period of time.” The Harvard paper motions that drinking between one and three cups of coffee a day over the course of four years decreases one’s risk of developing diabetesby 11%.

Just two cups of filtered coffee a day could slash the risk of type 2 diabetes by 60%. Researchers found those who drank “filtered coffee” were less likely to develop diabetes over the next seven years. The same was not true for the boiled version of the pick-me-up. Coffee contains compounds that have been shown to affect the break down of fat, as well as targeting inflammation. It can also be rich in the molecule diterpene, which negatively influences the metabolism of sugar. This is thought to get caught in filters, preventing it entering coffee prepared this way.

~ Eutrapely

It’s not what you eat but when

eating

I came across two articles in as many days that advocated timing your meals to lose weight and control your blood sugar. Then I came across a third, which I’ll get to.

The first presented research from Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz of the Tel Aviv University showing that a starch-rich breakfast consumed early in the morning coupled with a small dinner could replace insulin injections and other diabetes medications for many diabetics.

“We believe that through this regimen it will be possible for diabetics to significantly reduce or even stop the injections of insulin, and most of antidiabetic medications, to achieve excellent control of glucose levels,” she said. According to her research, our metabolism and biological clock are optimized for eating in the morning and for fasting during the evening and night, when we are supposed to be asleep.

The experimental comprises a meal of bread, fruits and sweets in the early hours of the morning; a substantial lunch; and a small dinner specifically lacking starches, sweets and fruits. The group on this regimen not only lost weight but also experienced substantially improved sugar levels.

The second article reported on research revealing  that a 10-hour time-restricted eating intervention, when combined with traditional medications, resulted in weight loss, reduced abdominal fat, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and more stable blood sugar and insulin levels for participants. This means doing all your eating within 10 hours.

Being a genius, I put the two ideas together: Can you eat an early, large breakfast, then stop all eating 10 hours later? Apparently, early means within 15 minutes of waking up. Oh boy.

Now for the third article. Dr. Jason Fung is the medical director and cofounder of the Intensive Dietary Management Coaching Program, which is a for-profit company that promotes and sells fasting-based programs for weight loss and diabetes reversal. His article is entitled “A diet guru explains why you should eat dinner at 2pm.”

There you go. He combines the two ideas for you:

The circadian rhythm suggests that late-night eating is not optimal for weight loss. This is because excessive insulin is the main driver of obesity, and eating the same food early in the day or late at night have different insulin effects. Indeed, studies of time-restricted eating mostly show benefits from reducing late night eating. So it makes sense to combine two strategies of meal timing (circadian considerations and time-restricted eating) into one optimal strategy of eating only over a certain period of the day, and only during the early daytime period. Researchers called this the eTRF (early Time Restricted Feeding) strategy.

The group with the best results ate everything between 8 a.m. and  2 p.m. After a period of adjustment they found they weren’t hungry at night. However, you’ll have to decide how to work this around jobs and school.

~ Fingerpost