Sunday, April 05, 2020

2020 cp 1918

My readers are smart so you've probably come across items like this, but I found this YouTube video on the 1918 flu pandemic interesting.

Some things I kind of knew before but learned for sure: 
  • the 1918 flu pandemic, often called the "Spanish flu," didn't originate in Spain, but (probably) in Kansas. Spain got saddled with the name only because they stayed out of WW1, and while all the countries in that war censored their media, Spain did not, so information about the disease got out first there. More proof that no good deed goes unpunished.
  • There were three worldwide waves to the pandemic.
  • The disease wasn't helped by the US continuing to send ships of troops to the European theatre, and crowded ship holds saw 3/4ths of recruits or more become sick. But feeding the war machine was paramount, because that's how stupid countries are.
  • Philadelphia's denialism made a real muck of things that killed a lot of people.
  • What's happening now is no comparison at all the the sickness and fear of 1918-1919.

(Sorry, can't figure out how to embed this with the new blogger software. They took a simple thing and broke it.)


David in Cal said...

Enormous drop in new US cases -- from 32,000 to 25,000. (4/4 vs. 4/5)

Too good to be true?


David in Cal said...

Correction. Drop was from 34,000 to 25,000

Ned said...

Nice to see a drop and it's the first one since March 22.

But the number of tests also dropped back down by 40% from the anomalously-high one-day peak of 200,000+. I think that anomaly was due to a backlog of negative test results getting reported, which had been omitted on previous days. You can see this in the percent positives for each day.

Ned said...

Yesterday I wrote:

The IHME seems to have stopped updating their projections on 4/1 ... too bad, as we're now approaching the dates when they were predicting that some of the earliest states would see their peak hospital demand.

Today they're updated, and sure enough a couple of states (WA, VT) are projected to have already passed their peak hospital resource usage.

The nationwide peak is unchanged (4/15) and some states are still out in May.

Overall deaths are projected down a bit (90k to 80k).

The main reasons for the change appear to involve social distancing. The IHME group now believes there is a shorter time lag between the adoption of social distancing and its effect on the peak. Also, more states have adopted more aggressive social distancing requirements.

There are also some abstruse statistical reasons for changes, particularly in states that had few cases on which to construct the model. As the # of cases increases, the uncertainty becomes narrower.

DA, the projections for OR are much! better. IHME now forecasts the peak on April 21 (instead of May 6) and only 171 deaths, down from 550.

Ned said...