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Pedestrian Apr 27, 2020 7:46 AM

It is gradually dawning on me that living under coronavirus is a lot like living in the Soviet Union, circa 1955. I can't get butter or margerine. I can't get toilet paper or paper towels. I can't get most cleaning supplies. I had trouble getting treats for my cat (but finally found them). Soon I may not be able to get meat or fresh veggies.

And unlike in the USSR in the old days, I can't even trudge around town with a cloth bag looking for what I need because (a) they won't let me in stores with a cloth bag and (b) it's dangerous shopping in person.

Welcome to America 2020. I wonder if they have any of the stuff I can't get in Caracas.

SIGSEGV Apr 27, 2020 8:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 8905071)
NY is an outlier in almost every respect. But we'll see.

So you think the folks at Stanford are too stupid to figure out that their testing is suspect like you have?

Yes, they didn't do the statistical analysis properly and have provided enough information to make it that obvious.

Their raw result is 50 out of 3330 tests positive (1.5%). However, they find that 2/401 of known-negative samples (combining their very limited testing and the manufacturer's) are false positives. While this point estimate is 0.5 percent, the 90-percent confidence interval on the false positive rate (using Jeffrey's interval, using Clopper-Pearson would produce a wider range due to its overcoverage) is 0.1 percent to 1.6 percent. In other words, their result is consistent with all tests being false positives yet their confidence intervals don't touch 0, so something is clearly off in their statistical reasoning. This is before considering their potentially-biased sample and questionable demogrpahic reweighting of the data. Oh and two of the authors had previously suggested everything was overblown.

I'm far from the only one to point this out. Look at https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.e...us-prevalence/ for example. edit: I suppose not everybody reads that blog. The author of the post is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Gelman

Anyway, I suppose it's possible that the IFR in NYC is 10 times higher than in California. But I doubt it.

Pedestrian Apr 27, 2020 9:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 8905079)
Yes, they didn't do the statistical analysis properly and have provided enough information to make it that obvious.

Their raw result is 50 out of 3330 tests positive (1.5%). However, they find that 2/401 of known-negative samples (combining their very limited testing and the manufacturer's) are false positives. While this point estimate is 0.5 percent, the 90-percent confidence interval on the false positive rate (using Jeffrey's interval, using Clopper-Pearson would produce a wider range due to its overcoverage) is 0.1 percent to 1.6 percent. In other words, their result is consistent with all tests being false positives yet their confidence intervals don't touch 0, so something is clearly off in their statistical reasoning. This is before considering their potentially-biased sample and questionable demogrpahic reweighting of the data. Oh and two of the authors had previously suggested everything was overblown.

I'm far from the only one to point this out. Look at https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.e...us-prevalence/ for example. edit: I suppose not everybody reads that blog. The author of the post is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Gelman

Anyway, I suppose it's possible that the IFR in NYC is 10 times higher than in California. But I doubt it.

I don't think we'll know the true picture until it's over and we can do these analyses in restrospect. For one thing, I suspect there'll be a lot of revisions about who died of the virus and who died of other things.

And I have never argued coronavirus is not a serious thing, much worse than the flu or the other things its been compared with.

By the way, comparing New York to CA, they apparently ARE different strains of the virus. I heard it said today--I think it was by Dr. Gottlieb--that there are now 4 known strains of the virus and the Chinese strain prevalent in CA is different from the European strain prevalent in NY. So they could have different IFRs and other differences (but I agree, probably nothing like 10 times though as a Californian, I can hope so).

jtown,man Apr 27, 2020 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhays (Post 8904917)
Wow, this country is doing a horrible job of explaining things.

We're obviously not going to stay at home until a vaccine. My understanding is that we can open most things relatively safely if at least a couple of these happen:
1. The infection rates get low enough.
2. Mass testing is easy and fast, so we can idenity outbreaks and focus there instead of broadly.
3. We have decent treatments, which could be much sooner than a vaccine.

None of that has happened, but there's a middle ground. During an interim period where we've slowed transmissions but don't have most of the above, we can reopen some things but reduce transmission rates by:
4. Work from home when possible, and no matter what if we're sick (some jobs will need sick leave to be established, which should be mandated).
5. Focus on hygiene.
6. Limit the most obvious opportunities for large scale infection, like spectator sports.

I think you're right. But a lot of what I am seeing is that people think the only way to reopen things is to be 100% safe. I keep seeing that "social distancing is working" while 50k people are dead. Now, I am smart enough(barely) to understand that the 50k could be higher if we did nothing or less than we did anyways. However, from the articles and by what people are saying on social media it seems like people don't want to even go outside until there is either a vaccine or the amount of deaths go to zero. I mean, there was a heated debate on if a DRIVE-IN movie theater is safe to open. These are the incredibly stupid conversations Americans are having. This leads me to believe the first three things you pointed out aren't the only metric.

I also keep seeing stories of young people terrified to leave their house. The Washington Post article from yesterday gave me a good view on what a lot of people are going through. For example, a Georgia girl visited a guy in Virginia that she met on Bumble. It was supposed to only be a "one-time hookup" but shes been there for over a month now and only leaves his room to cook and use the bathroom, carefully listening to the dudes roommates coughing. Another story features a 29 year old terrified to even walk outside. He met some girl online and they had 8 "virtual dates" and have thought about meeting up in person. But the girl stated "she wants to meet him, but doesn't want to die", even during a "socially distanced walk together.

20 something folks in this country are scared to death to go outside, leave a room, or think a social distance walk with someone will kill them. There has been a MASSIVE misinformation campaign out there that has filtered through to all the idiots.

I saw a girl the other day post a graphic showing some states(I forgot) death count by week and it said "for all you open people, I'll leave this right here." It literally showed that the deaths per week were going down. When I mentioned this to the girl she said "but the deaths keep on racking up!" Ummm, well they aren't going to go down lady.

Edit: I just read a story from CNN that has this line: "...a number of states have begun to loosen stay-at-home restrictions--even as the novel coronavirus continues to infect and kill people." The obvious conclusion one *should reach by that line is that we shouldn't loosen restrictions until there is no more infections and death. It didn't say "as the deaths rate per week continues to climb" or "as the week over week number of cases continues to increase by 80%" or something. It simply left it at NO OPEN FOR YOU UNTIL NO DEATH OR CASES.

jtown,man Apr 27, 2020 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dave8721 (Post 8905037)
#6 would also include Airplanes (which are still flying now). Probably movie theaters as well

Surely, you aren't suggesting we stop air travel?

the urban politician Apr 27, 2020 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 8905073)
It is gradually dawning on me that living under coronavirus is a lot like living in the Soviet Union, circa 1955. I can't get butter or margerine. I can't get toilet paper or paper towels. I can't get most cleaning supplies. I had trouble getting treats for my cat (but finally found them). Soon I may not be able to get meat or fresh veggies.

And unlike in the USSR in the old days, I can't even trudge around town with a cloth bag looking for what I need because (a) they won't let me in stores with a cloth bag and (b) it's dangerous shopping in person.

Welcome to America 2020. I wonder if they have any of the stuff I can't get in Caracas.

Yes, very much yes indeed.

We will soon have a hard time getting meat.

But if we start having a shortage of beer/wine, I will openly revolt

Crawford Apr 27, 2020 12:44 PM

We're not seeing shortages in anything, really. Are people really having difficulty finding basic goods?

I think we once couldn't get disinfectant wipes. That's it.

ocman Apr 27, 2020 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8905132)
We're not seeing shortages in anything, really. Are people really having difficulty finding basic goods?

I think we once couldn't get disinfectant wipes. That's it.

Went to the supermarket yesterday. Still no toilet paper on the shelves in south bay Safeway(which doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t stored in the back for customer request).

suburbanite Apr 27, 2020 1:18 PM

I haven't had trouble finding anything since the initial ~2 weeks in mid-March when people went crazy on toilet paper and paper towels.

Meat is still well-supplied in the grocery stores I've been to. For the past year my parents have been using a new delivery service from a group that locally sources meat from across Southern Ontario. In normal times, they would do a delivery every Monday. Now they're mostly doing bulk orders of 3+ months worth of product for people to load up their deep freezers. The guy said they would normally expect to do about 300 of these type of deliveries a month, and in April they're booked for 750...

I'm hoping this is actually a positive side effect of the whole ordeal. That people who have the means to can revert to more local supply chains.

jtown,man Apr 27, 2020 1:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suburbanite (Post 8905152)
I haven't had trouble finding anything since the initial ~2 weeks in mid-March when people went crazy on toilet paper and paper towels.

Meat is still well-supplied in the grocery stores I've been to. For the past year my parents have been using a new delivery service from a group that locally sources meat from across Southern Ontario. In normal times, they would do a delivery every Monday. Now they're mostly doing bulk orders of 3+ months worth of product for people to load up their deep freezers. The guy said they would normally expect to do about 300 of these type of deliveries a month, and in April they're booked for 750...

I'm hoping this is actually a positive side effect of the whole ordeal. That people who have the means to can revert to more local supply chains.

With that particular market, I think you may be right. However, with 99% of other products people buy(nonfood), it will become less and less local.

10023 Apr 27, 2020 3:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 8905073)
It is gradually dawning on me that living under coronavirus is a lot like living in the Soviet Union, circa 1955. I can't get butter or margerine. I can't get toilet paper or paper towels. I can't get most cleaning supplies. I had trouble getting treats for my cat (but finally found them). Soon I may not be able to get meat or fresh veggies.

And unlike in the USSR in the old days, I can't even trudge around town with a cloth bag looking for what I need because (a) they won't let me in stores with a cloth bag and (b) it's dangerous shopping in person.

Welcome to America 2020. I wonder if they have any of the stuff I can't get in Caracas.

Why can’t you go in stores with a cloth bag?

And you’ll be able to get meat and veggies if you shop at the right places. It’s the Smithfield/Tyson factory crap that has supply chain issues, not your local farmers’ market.

Acajack Apr 27, 2020 4:14 PM

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif of the Kansas City Chiefs (also a doctor - the first-ever NFL player to become one) has responded to Quebec Premier François Legault's all-hands-on-deck plea and is working in a long-term care facility - which have been hit extremely hard by COVID-19 here. He didn't want the news to get out - but of course it did.

(Beijing) Olympic figure skating medallist Joannie Rochette is also a (very) freshly-minted doctor and has also jumped into the fray by working in a long-term care residence.

iheartthed Apr 27, 2020 4:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhays (Post 8904917)
Wow, this country is doing a horrible job of explaining things.

We're obviously not going to stay at home until a vaccine. My understanding is that we can open most things relatively safely if at least a couple of these happen:
1. The infection rates get low enough.
2. Mass testing is easy and fast, so we can idenity outbreaks and focus there instead of broadly.
3. We have decent treatments, which could be much sooner than a vaccine.

None of that has happened, but there's a middle ground. During an interim period where we've slowed transmissions but don't have most of the above, we can reopen some things but reduce transmission rates by:
4. Work from home when possible, and no matter what if we're sick (some jobs will need sick leave to be established, which should be mandated).
5. Focus on hygiene.
6. Limit the most obvious opportunities for large scale infection, like spectator sports.

I'm extremely skeptical that we can return to something that even remotely resembles full contact interaction without a way to rapidly test people, at scale. The absence of reliable ways to quickly identify and isolate outbreaks is the only reason that we've had to shut down at all. If we always knew who was infected, and who those people were in contact with, then there would never have been a reason to drastically alter our behavior.

Pedestrian Apr 27, 2020 5:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8905132)
We're not seeing shortages in anything, really. Are people really having difficulty finding basic goods?

I think we once couldn't get disinfectant wipes. That's it.

Yes. I’m trying not to shop myself and using Instacart but twice now the “shopper” couldn’t find multiple items on my lists including a pound of margerine (he brought me half a pound of a brand I would never buy in normal times). Even the convenience stores are out.

Finally I went myself to the store, all masked and gloved. No TP or paper towels or “wipes” or really any cleaning products on the shelves.

I don’t think we’ve seen the meat and produce shortages yet. According to the WSJ that’ll be in about 2 weeks. They are “euthanizing” hogs in Iowa and chickens in Maryland/Delaware because the processing plants are closed. Farmers are letting veggies rot in the fields—yesterday I saw a really depressing photo of dead strawberry plants—because nobody to pick or process them or haul them to grocery stores.

Pedestrian Apr 27, 2020 5:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 10023 (Post 8905267)
Why can’t you go in stores with a cloth bag?

And you’ll be able to get meat and veggies if you shop at the right places. It’s the Smithfield/Tyson factory crap that has supply chain issues, not your local farmers’ market.

They are now banning reusable bags because they are getm carriers it’s been discovered. In San Francisco they now charge $0.10 per bag for plastic ones to encourage reusable ones except now the reusable ones are banned. No choice I guess but pay the $010.

Even the local farmers market depends on commercial contract meat processors, albeit small, local ones, and immigrant farm labor to pick crops. The processors are closing one by one and the farm labor is vanishing. Besides, where I live the farmers markets closed for lack of business—everybody’s holed up at home.

homebucket Apr 27, 2020 6:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 8905437)
They are “euthanizing” hogs in Iowa and chickens in Maryland/Delaware because the processing plants are closed. Farmers are letting veggies rot in the fields—yesterday I saw a really depressing photo of dead strawberry plants—because nobody to pick or process them or haul them to grocery stores.

Shouldn't have much of an effect here in CA, since most of our produce and meats are grown locally.

Quote:

California's strawberry-producing regions extend 500 miles from San Diego to San Francisco. The earliest strawberries are from three southern California counties--San Diego, Orange, and Los Angeles. Harvest is from January through May, with fresh-market shipments usually peaking in April. The Oxnard area, located in Ventura County just north of Los Angeles, provides fresh strawberries from January until June, with deliveries to processors from April to July. In the Santa Maria area, north of Oxnard, picking usually starts in late February and lasts through November. Fresh-market strawberry shipments from Santa Maria usually peak in May, while deliveries to processors are largest during March and April.

California's northernmost strawberry-growing region is south of San Francisco and includes Watsonville and Salinas in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties and some acreage in Santa Clara, San Benito, and Fresno Counties. Shipments from northern areas begin in April, peak in May or June, and continue through November. Deliveries to processors begin in April, but end before the last fresh strawberry shipments.

Most northern California strawberries are fresh marketed. Deliveries to processors accounted for more of the other areas' output: nearly 30 percent of shipments from Santa Maria, 44 percent from Oxnard, and 60 percent from the southernmost counties.

California is the nation's leading producer of strawberries. In 2010, more than 2 billion pounds of strawberries were harvested. That amounts to 88 percent of the country's total fresh and frozen strawberries. California's unique coastal environment with its western ocean exposure provides moderate temperatures year round. Warm sunny days and cool foggy nights are the perfect combination for growing strawberries.

The value of the California strawberry crop is approximately $2.1 billion. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, strawberries are the sixth most valuable fruit crop produced in California.
http://www.seecalifornia.com/farms/c...awberries.html

Pedestrian Apr 27, 2020 6:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8905132)
We're not seeing shortages in anything, really. Are people really having difficulty finding basic goods?

I think we once couldn't get disinfectant wipes. That's it.

Quote:

How Covid-19 is rerouting parts of the Bay Area supply chain
By Dawn Kawamoto – Staff Reporter, San Francisco Business Times

Bay Area food suppliers and their trucking and distribution companies are scrambling to get back on track as the Covid-19 economic shutdown has thrown a wrench into their daily operations.

But still, some are faring better than others depending on their ability to pivot away from closed markets and into new distribution channels. Much of the local supply chain has been forced to switch from providing products to wholesale and food service industries like schools, corporate customers, and restaurants to now providing specifically to grocery stores, hospitals and medical facilities.

For companies like Petaluma-based dairy producer Clover Sonoma*, dealing with changing demand patterns has been a challenge. In the Bay area, butter and eggs are in short supply as more shoppers turn to baking while stuck at home during the Covid-19 shelter in place orders, said Marcus Benedetti, CEO of Clover Sonoma.

“Hens lay only one egg a day and demand for cream has gone through roof,” Benedetti said, noting cream is used to make butter, whipping cream and other products typically used for baking. Benedetti estimates Clover is currently supplying roughly 60% of the orders it receives for butter and eggs because that is all its milk production and chickens can produce at this time . . . .

https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfranc...VpSEo5V2RzSiJ9

*Clover Stornetta is a local dairy whose products are carried in most upscale and "heath-oriented" markets.

Pedestrian Apr 27, 2020 6:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homebucket (Post 8905469)
Shouldn't have much of an effect here in CA, since most of our produce and meats are grown locally.

http://www.seecalifornia.com/farms/c...awberries.html

Doesn't matter how locally they are grown if there's insufficient labor to pick them or process them or transport them. See above about Clover Stornetta which, if you live in the Bay Area, I'm sure you know.

Quote:

'Essential' but Unprotected, Farmworkers Live in Fear of Covid-19 but Keep Working
Already at high risk of disease and early death, workers are especially prone to respiratory illnesses, setting them up for the worst ravages of the coronavirus.
Evelyn Nieves
BY EVELYN NIEVES
APR 3, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO—Sixteen men tending budding grapes on a farm in the Sacramento Delta hit the fields by sunrise, arriving in packed cars and vans.

As Americans shelter in place across much of the country, washing their hands and making sure to stay six feet away from others, the farmworkers carpool on grocery runs. At day's end, most retreat to cramped, crowded quarters, sleeping several to a room.

They are not coronavirus deniers: The pandemic terrifies them.

In forums the United Farm Workers union leads on Facebook, they vent about being called "essential," about being compelled to work yet feeling disposable, with no government-mandated protocols to safeguard their health. They are scared to work, scared to not work . . . .
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/0...ge-agriculture

homebucket Apr 27, 2020 6:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 8905506)
Doesn't matter how locally they are grown if there's insufficient labor to pick them or process them or transport them. See above about Clover Stornetta which, if you live in the Bay Area, I'm sure you know.


https://insideclimatenews.org/news/0...ge-agriculture

Haven't seen a shortage of food yet. Initially eggs were being sold out quickly, but the demand has died down. Certain more boutique brands of flour are hard to find, but standard issue flour is easy to procure. As far as I can tell, this is more due to higher demand, not shortage in supply.

And yes, I am very familiar with Clover, Straus, Cowgirl, et al. These are Bay Area staples.

Pedestrian Apr 27, 2020 6:50 PM

Quote:

Tyson Warns of U.S. Meat Shortages as Coronavirus Shuts Livestock Plants
By Reuters
April 27, 2020, 10:45 a.m. ET

CHICAGO — Millions of pounds of beef, pork and chicken will vanish from U.S. grocery stores as livestock and poultry processing plants have been shuttered by coronavirus outbreaks among workers, the chairman of Tyson Foods Inc said.

John Tyson warned that the U.S. "food supply chain is breaking" as a growing number of plant closures have left farmers with fewer options to market and process livestock.

Tyson Foods announced last week that it would shutter two pork processing plants, including its largest in the United States, and a beef facility to contain the spread of the virus.

Other major meat processors like JBS USA [JBS.UL] and Smithfield Foods have closed facilities in recent weeks as cases of COVID-19, the potentially lethal respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, have soared among plant workers.

More than 5,000 U.S. meat and food-processing workers have been infected with or exposed to the virus, and 13 have died, the country's largest meatpacking union said Thursday . . . .
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020...son-foods.html


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