COVID-19/Dan Polansky

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My research on COVID-19 has so far been at B:User:Dan_Polansky/COVID-19. A lot of it is not necessarily "original research" since it heavily traces to sources.

What follows is more questions than answers.

Test coverage and trace-and-isolate[edit]

One may try to ensure high test coverage to implement a trace-and-isolate mitigation strategy. If so, it is probably essential to test also asymptomatic cases: if you perfectly track and isolate symptomatic cases but you completele ignore asymptomatic cases, you will still have a considerable leak in the system: the asymptomatics are going to be leaking the infection around them.

Research questions:

  • 1) What percent of Covid infected people are asymptomatic (completely free of symptoms)?
  • 2) What percept of Covid infected people have only very mild symptoms, with bodily temperature not exceeding 37 deg?
  • 3) What countries excel in testing completely covid-asymptomatic people via random screening, if any?
  • 4) What websites provide Javascript simulations of infection spread in a population, where population members are shown as circles hitting one another and gaining colors?

Links:

Non-disruptive interventions[edit]

Many countries are implementing multiple interventions that disrupt the economy, causing significant adverse economic impact. That matters when you only care about economy and not at all about people, but it matters also when you care about people since negative economic impact, e.g. layoffs, can statistically result in deaths as well. Gaps in tax collection can impact ability of social systems to provide services, at least in principle.

Research questions:

  • 1) Would relatively non-disruptive interventions be able to flatten the curve to an interesting degree? For instance, would border checks, expansive testing and isolation, and requirement for everyone to have covered nose and mouth whenever outside their home have significant flattening effect even without school closures, pub closures and prohibition of entry of foreign nationals?
  • 2) Would it be feasible to preventively perfectly isolate only the most vulnerable portion of the population by age, assuming that the remaining vulnerables are not going to overwhelm the healthcare?
    • 2.1) A crazy idea: take all the old people to an island with great recreational facilities and govern the island in a highly tightly regulated manner. If the beast starts leaking on the island, lock down the island in a massive way, but since most of the inhabitans are not economically active (old age), the lockdown is not going to disrupt the economy. Could an analogue of this work? Has anything like that ever been tried and with what results?
    • 2.2) A variant: order all old people or other group of vulnerables selected by a simple rule to stay home. Let food and medicines be delivered to the vulnerables by designated delivery squad of young and healthy people. Let the squad be massively tested on Covid, with high frequency, and let those infected by isolated. Let the delivery squad be subject to more restrictive regime than the rest of the population. The delivery squad can consist of volunteers but also be taken from the army or other suitable employees of the state. Since you do not test the whole population, you have enough test kits for the delivery squad and for the vulnerables. Could this work? If not, why not? (Comment: Interestingly, this variant violates Mill's principle--by restricting individuals for their own good--while more widely-sweeping variants don't. Is it really so unforgivable a violation of the principle?)
      • 2.2.1) A: What do you do with nursing homes? Old people living alone can isolate themselves, but how do you isolate old people in nursing homes from the relatively young care-taking personnel that can bring infection from the outside? Q: As a somewhat wild idea, use robots for some of the caretaking if you can. As another wild idea, only allow personnel in that is then going to stay in the nursing home and not leave it.

Case fatality rate[edit]

Research questions:

  • 1) What are the best estimates for the case fatality rate (CFR) of the covid in various regions?
  • 2) What are the limitations of these estimates?
  • 3) What is the CFR for common flu?
  • 4) If the reported CFR for common flu is 0.1% and common flu often goes undiagnosed, could it be that the real CFR for common flu is 0.01% If not, why not?
  • 5) What factors affect the CFR of the covid? Hint: Age, underlying medical condition, age structure of the country, medical capacity. What other factors come into play? What are some of the best sources online covering the factors?

General death statistics[edit]

Research questions:

  • What are general death statistics (in absolute numbers and per capita) in various countries and regions?
  • What are death statistics for deaths associated with respiratory diseases (in absolute numbers and per capita) in various countries and regions?
  • What are the year-to-year changes in total deaths per capita in the countries and regions worst stricken by the covid, on a month parity basis (e.g. Feb 2019 vs. Feb 2020, or Mar 2019 vs. Mar 2020)?
  • What are the suicide rates associates with economic depression?

Links:

Case counts[edit]

Research questions:

  • What are the limitations of the confirmed case counts and their development in time?
  • What is the relationship between the base of the exponential growth of confirmed cases and the base of the exponential growth of the real cases?
  • How does the exponential growth of test counts affect the confirmed case development in time?

Links:

ICU beds[edit]

Research questions:

  • 1) What are the counts of ICU beds available in various countries in the world?
  • 2) How do the counts of ICU beds per million people in Hubei (China) and Italy compare to, say, Germany and U.K.?

Some answers are at B:User:Dan Polansky/COVID-19#ICU beds and ventilators.

Links:

Comparison to influenza[edit]

Research questions:

  • 1) Some sources report the CFR for influenza to be 0.1% for the U.S. To which properly academic resource can this rate be traced?
  • 2) To what extent does the CFR of 0.1% misrepresent the true CFR for influenza? How much do the true influenza cases exceed the confirmed influenza cases? Twice? 10 times?
  • 3) Do the RTG images of lungs of covid-induced pneumonia differ from RTG images of influenza-induced pneumonia? If so, what does the difference tell us about the severity?

Anecdotal evidence[edit]

Research questions:

  • 1) In research of drugs (pharmaceuticals), anecdotal evidence is important to point to potential problems with drug safety, per Ben Goldacre's Bad Pharma. That is to say, individual reports of drugs being associated with adverse effects should not be dismissed as anectodal evidence not being a systematic clinial trial. What is the epistemic role of anecdotal evidence in the form of stories of overwhelmed healthcare from Hubei (China) and Italy, given that the systematic numbers including total confirmed counts and total confirmed deaths suffer from considerable measurement incompleteness?
    Answer: One has to be careful. Both China and Italy have low number of ICU beds and ventilators per million people. One has to carefully look at numbers and analyze possible causes and differentiators.

Epidemic curve[edit]

Research questions:

  • How do epidemic curves look like?
  • Can the knowledge of epidemic curves be used to validate (check on plausibility) data published from various sources?

Links:

Test market[edit]

Research questions:

  • 1) What are the prices for which covid tests can be bought on the global market?
  • 2) Are the tests freely available on the international market? If not, why not?
  • 3) What are the restrictions that countries or international organizations have put on the covid test market, if any?
  • 4) Is the price mechanism allowed to regulate the supply and demand for covid tests, with increasing prices creating increasing stimulus for private enterprise to meet the increasing demand?

Civil liberties[edit]

Research questions on limiting civil liberties on account of the coronavirus:

  • 1) Which civil liberties is the state justified to temporarily abolish to mitigate the coronavirus?
  • 2) Is the state justified in preventing citizens from leaving the country and why? (Entering the country we can see, but leaving the country?)
  • 3) Is the state justified in limiting freedom of assembly and why?
  • 4) Under what conditions and why is the state justified in prohibiting private laboratories from doing coronavirus testing, where the private laboratories are expanding the insufficient state testing capability?
    • 4.1) What is the ethical justification for Czechia to prohibit Tilia Laboratories from performing coronavirus testing, if any? (Refers to an actual occurrence.)
  • 5) Is the state justified in confiscating valuable medical material from businesses rather than buying it at the market price and why? (Refers to a real occurrence in Czechia.)
  • 6) Which interventions violate Mill's principle and why?

Links:

Skeptics[edit]

Research questions:

  • What journalists and experts are skeptical about the covid or consider the measures taken in Europe and the U.S. excessive?
  • What are some of their best arguments?
  • What are the rebuttals of their arguments and claims, if any?

Links: