Florida: COVID-19 silences DeSantis

11 responses to “Florida: COVID-19 silences DeSantis

  1. Nic Lewis, among others, spreads the incorrect and dangerous idea that Sweden achieved herd immunity:


    Click to access 2020.05.19.20104596.full.pdf

    View at Medium.com

    I’ve completed a write-up covering some problems with this idea, and there’s one already published ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7289569/ ).

    But I wanted to point one of the problems out to Dr. Foster, in case he wanted to offer his own statistical analysis. The problem is that Sweden’s deaths/day and cases/day have multiple peaks, which doesn’t occur with herd immunity since R should remain less than 1. For instance, take the following quote about an outbreak of hepatitis E virus:

    “If significant herd immunity developed following initial major water supply contamination, a multipeaked and/or prolonged epidemic would not be expected to occur [page 722].”

    Below are some curves for Sweden:

    deaths/day: http://archive.is/4MpJi
    cases/day: http://archive.is/IZePg
    proportion of cases that are positive per day: http://archive.is/qby9G

    The spike in cases/day in June isn’t my focus here. Instead it’s the peaks on or after late April, when Lewis claims the herd immunity threshold was reached. I see at least 3 peaks in deaths/day, centered at:
    ~April 25
    ~May 10
    ~May 30

    And as expected if these are real peaks in deaths/day, there are 3 peaks in cases/day in the weeks preceding the increases in deaths/day, centered at:
    ~April 11/12
    ~April 24/25
    ~May 12/13

    So it might be interesting to see if a change-point analysis or some statistical other analysis would show those peaks as well. That might dispel right-wing attempts to undermine public health interventions by claiming we can pursue herd immunity:


  2. I thought this cross-post I was contemplating might be a little OT–but on reflection, and having watched the video, not so much.

    In the spirit, then, of surviving on dark humor:

    “If we stopped testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.”

    Donald J. Trump, June 15, 2020

    I call it “Quantum Polity”–‘polity’ meant to encompass politics and policy both.

    I mean, if in the cat in Schrodinger’s famous quantum thought experiment can be both alive and dead, why not American Covid patients? So if you don’t test, then the live ones’ lives are preserved indefinitely, and of course the dead ones don’t matter because they’re already dead. Very neat!

    Of course, Trump couldn’t think that up all by himself–but he’s always been able to find people with half live/half dead brains to help him with things like that. Sometimes he even remembers to pay them for their work.

    • Doc, Of course, the answer to Schroedinger’s paradox is that the cat is a sufficiently complex system to know whether it is breathing hydrogen cyanide. Yes, quantum mechanics is weirder than we can imagine, but it is not weird in quite the ways it’s opponents thought.

      • That appears to answer an earlier iteration of the objection that the cat should count as an observer that I recall: namely, “One of the cats is dead!” Here you’re saying the observation would be pre-mortem and thus would count. Seems logically sound.


      • Though it occurs to me that there could be ways of killing the cat that are sufficiently quick that the cat wouldn’t have time to make a meaningful ‘measurement’. I don’t want to get specific, as this sub-thread is already grisly enough, and I rather like cats.

      • In my understanding of the quantum measurement problem, dying counts as an observation, as it is an irreversible state. At least, that is one interpretation. The thing about the collapse of the wave function is that once a macroscopic system has registered a definitive state, it would be unlikely to reverse–so in my mind that’s collapse.

  3. Oh, and re: the title of this post:

    Thank goodness for silver linings.

  4. It gets worse. The state education commissioner just mandated that ALL K-12 campuses must reopen in August: https://www.wtxl.com/news/local-news/fl-education-commissioner-requires-all-florida-school-districts-to-reopen-campuses-in-august

    • I love how GOP functionaries seem to love to fawn over local control and decision-making–except when they don’t like the result.