Confirmed: Almost 15% of NY population infected with COVID-19

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.

Further random testing in New York state has now confirmed that 14.9% of the population has been infected with the Wuhan flu without exhibiting any symptoms.

Cuomo said 14.9% of those tested statewide tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, which is up from the initial 13.9% statewide when a previous sample of 3,000 people was done on April 22. Cuomo said the 1% increase is statistically in the margin of error.

While the bulk of infections is in the densely populated NYC area, the data is more evidence that the Wuhan virus’s mortality rate is much lower than previously estimated, and is actually much closer to that of the flu.


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  • Rose

    This would suggest a CFR of 22,668 / (0.149 * 19.45*10^6) = 0.78%, or about 8X the oft-quoted mortality of 0.1% for the flu. That sounds in-the-ballpark reasonable.

    I was surprised to see a photo of an anti-lockdown protester with a sign saying “CFR < 1%", as I didn't think was controversial. Perhaps some people are computing from confirmed cases and getting 22,668 / 291,996 = 7.8%, but I sure hope no one is pushing those numbers as an accurate CFR.

    I hope these antibody tests are accurate, and I'd appreciate any links discussing the current status and reliability of antibody testing.

    * CFR calculation can't account for those currently infected who may later die.
    * 22,668 NY state deaths from JHU now includes the NYC probable deaths, per CDC guidance.

  • Rose

    “US total death rate spiked above coronavirus death count in early weeks of pandemic: report”

    An analysis of federal data conducted by a team headed by the Yale School of Public Health found that the U.S. recorded 15,400 excess deaths between March 1 through April 4, almost twice the number attributed to the coronavirus. In that time period, 8,128 coronavirus fatalities were reported.

    New York City, which has been hit hard by the virus, recorded 6,300 excess deaths in the five-week period, while the city publicly reported 2,543 coronavirus deaths. Its neighbor New Jersey found there to be at least 2,100 excess deaths, while reporting 846 COVID-19 deaths.

  • Dave

    “mortality rate is much lower than previously estimated, and is actually much closer to that of the flu.”

    I’ve seen estimates of COVID mortality as high as 16%, so yeah, the actual rate of 1% is much closer to that of the flu (0.02%). That’s still bad, and it doesn’t include people with major organ damage. You’ll “survive” COVID, shuffle around with an oxygen bottle for a few years, then catch pneumonia, and your death will be written off as a “pre-existing condition”.

    Then we have the secondary effect of the government printing ten trillion dollars and giving it out to all and sundry, which could well destroy the currency and turn the USA into a third-world country, a barter economy in which most people have nothing to trade, not even sex.

  • Andrew_W

    I’ve seen nothing that addresses the likely bias in candidate selection, I’ve seen nothing that addresses the false positive (and false negative rates) for these antibody tests.
    As time goes by the number of people testing positive for antibodies will increase because the virus continues to spread through the NY population, the increase in the number of cases is at a rate of about 1%/day, so if a similar antibody testing program is were to be carried out in a week I’d expect the positives results to increase by ~7%

  • Rose

    I don’t think of a 1% mortality rate as being any closer to 0.1% than it is to 10% because I compare them logarithmically, not linearly. But I just realized that I was doing this without having given it any serious thought. In some sense, one’s choice of a measure of closeness is arbitrary, though certain measures are certainly more useful in certain circumstances.

    Perhaps a logarithmic view is a bit cold-hearted. Deaths are experienced linearly, with each medical intervention, each end of life care, each loss and morning, each mundane administrative task such as the filling out of a death certificate — all experienced one at a time, one after the other. Yet when considering such wildly varying rates as daily case and death reports, a logarithmic view is clearly the best way to get a handle on it. Ten times as many people died? No problem, just tack on another zero!

    It is reasonable to mix measures — to consider one quantity linearly and an other logarithmically, but I can’t shake a logarithmic view of CFR. Yet I’m unable to give a justification and am left with the sense of it being a distinction without a difference.

  • Cotour

    So, Rose, if I understand what you just said, you are establishing that through all of this back and forth high I.Q. nerd numbers controversy about the virus and the numbers of deaths you have confused the hell out of yourself? At least something here has been settled.


  • Rose

    More a sense of dissonance between abstraction and compassion. :(

  • Rose: You like math. Maybe you should review the numbers in this post to gain some real perspective:

    The real devastation from COVID-19: A destroyed economy imposed by government panic

    You might find some real clarity, instead of the incessant arguing over what in the larger picture remain somewhat inconsequential differences between some vague Wuhan flu numbers.

  • Rose

    Dr. John Campbell: Tuesday 28th April, Global Update

    Even Dr. Campbell is expressing pessimism that much of the world will avoid achieving herd immunity via infection (and it’s inherent costs).

    From 23:30 It’s hard to see that this virus is going to stop spreading until it’s infected 60 or 70% of the world’s population. … So I’m still anticipating perhaps 4 or 5 billion people being infected with this virus before we get a vaccine.

  • Rose

    @Bob I don’t doubt that, world wide, when this is all said and done, the social and economic consequences (in terms of lost freedoms, opportunities, livelihoods, and lives) of modern society’s reaction to this disease will outweigh the direct loss of life from the disease itself, and I don’t need to minimize my estimation of the direct threat of the disease itself to hold that view. Perhaps my position is the more extreme one.

  • Dave

    Nor do I doubt that collapsing the US dollar might cause vastly more misery and death than the disease itself. This is an unforced error — all the government had to do was keep essential businesses open (e.g. meat processing plants), provide EBT cards to non-essential workers, and suspend all payment of rents and mortgages for the duration.

  • R7 Rocket

    Starving people to death isn’t compassion, Rose.

    I’m sick and tired of the phony virtue signaling from you Karens.

  • Rose

    @R7 Rocket What? What makes you think I am advocating the war, famine, and starvation that I’m predicting will come from this? (None of those are likely to reach the shores of the US — en masse, at least — but just keep an eye on Africa.) I don’t know what virtue you think I’m signalling unless you consider my pessimism a virtue.

    My “extreme position” is that you can be honest about the numbers and still advocate a Swedish approach. Basing a reopening argument on misleading facts serves to undermine that very argument and tends to drag the more solid arguments down with it.

    (I’m not practiced in the name calling game, so I had look up your “Karen”, and from the first half dozen entries at Urban Dictionary you are batting zero. Why don’t you go back to calling our resident Kiwi a DC bureaucrat.)

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