COVID-19 detected in United States (5 Viewers)

Jacob

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I'll add to my previous post above that I'm not disputing the overall death numbers, I'm just curious to see once we get the full numbers in in a few months if we can accurately decipher which deaths in December/January were Delta related, and which were Omicron.
 

bjdeming

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Just as an outlier, the Kingdom of Tonga was reportedly COVID-free until the eruption and now has 5 cases, as of February 4, per WHO, and no deaths. No word as to the variant, but given extreme precautions taken by both Tonga and aid carriers (New Zealand and Australia), I'm guessing the apparently high infectiveness might mean it's Omicron.
 

Jacob

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This headline is based off of comments from Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. We can revisit this in 3-4 weeks when hospitalizations are dropping


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Yellow line marks the date that article was published
 

bjdeming

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Thanks for sharing! That article got a little scary towards the end, but the finish was encouraging. I don't know anything about virology, but aren't coronaviruses in general hard to understand and cope with? (Exhibit A: The common cold.)

Just a Tonga update (because they were COVID free prior to the eruption, and also as an example of pandemic combining with natural disaster): 141 cases, per WHO, no deaths, no new cases in the last 24 hours.
 

Jacob

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Thanks for sharing! That article got a little scary towards the end, but the finish was encouraging. I don't know anything about virology, but aren't coronaviruses in general hard to understand and cope with? (Exhibit A: The common cold.)

Just a Tonga update (because they were COVID free prior to the eruption, and also as an example of pandemic combining with natural disaster): 141 cases, per WHO, no deaths, no new cases in the last 24 hours.

I enjoy looking at data and trends, but getting down into the weeds on virology and such isn't something I can do, so I don't really have an answer there.

The most interesting theory to me is that Omicron's lineage actually pre-dates the original Wuhan strain. It's ancestors were similarly mild and didn't spread all that rapidly, so it went basically unnoticed for a couple years. Wuhan variant spread more easily and was more severe, and it became the dominant strain worldwide (much like we've seen Delta and now Omicron chase out other variants). This theory also plays into the "circulating in Africa unnoticed" or animal reservoir theory that that article floated, before eventually re-appearing.
 
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Jacob

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Illinois is actually a very interesting case and exactly what I was talking about. How many of those 154 per day by Jan 26th were Delta, and how many were Omicron? Illinois was in the midst of a winter Delta wave when Omicron showed up and ultimately took over. Illinois DPH samples showed Delta was still 95% of cases at Christmas, 70% by Jan 1, and 49% by Jan 8th. Based on the IDPH variant data, here's what I estimate were Delta cases in Illinois. I estimate that the Delta case peak was over 3x as high in Dec/Jan was it was in summer/fall. Assuming deaths followed a similar path, the majority of the deaths reported in January in Illionis were likely caused by Delta. I adjusted deaths assuming a 20 day lag, and it lines up quite well with Delta cases. This is where in 4-6 weeks I think it'll be very interesting to compare, in Illinois and other locations.

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IDPH Variant Data - https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/data/variants.html

Note: IDPH is a bit different than the CDC's variant proportions. Adjusting things back a week or two obviously changes percentages significantly. Moving the IDPH data back one week would still produce a delta peak over 2x as high as their summer wave.

These deaths are starting to fill in now, though it'll be at least a few more weeks before much of the death data is finalized. It's interesting trying to estimate the deaths by variant, particularly in Illinois, where the CDC data is a lot different than the IDPH data.

Based on CDC variant data, since Nov 1, I estimate 4030 Omicron deaths and 2640 Delta deaths.

Based on IDPH variant data, since Nov1, I estimate 2365 Omicron deaths and 4305 Delta deaths.

Note: Omicron deaths using either metric will continue to increase, since a) those deaths are still occurring, and b) many of the deaths from January/February haven't filled in yet, and those will be almost exclusively Omicron.
 
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bjdeming

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I enjoy looking at data and trends, but getting down into the weeds on virology and such isn't something I can do, so I don't really have an answer there.

The most interesting theory to me is that Omicron's lineage actually pre-dates the original Wuhan strain. It's ancestors were similarly mild and didn't spread all that rapidly, so it went basically unnoticed for a couple years. Wuhan variant spread more easily and was more severe, and it became the dominant strain worldwide (much like we've seen Delta and now Omicron chase out other variants). This theory also plays into the "circulating in Africa unnoticed" or animal reservoir theory that that article floated, before eventually re-appearing.

It was just something general I'd read in various online articles over recent years (before 2020) about why there is no cold vaccine.

Was just poking around now and found this from Johns Hopkins:

The researchers say this suggests that T cell responses elicited or enhanced by the vaccines should be able to control the current SARS-CoV-2 variants without needing to be updated or modified. They also found that the same T cells may provide some protection from another member of the coronavirus family that is responsible for one type of the common cold.

A few weeks ago, when we were having a chilly spell, I did notice my usual pre-cold symptoms for a couple of days but, unusually, they cleared up without progressing any farther. It's impossible to know whether that was just luck or help from the two Moderna vaccines last summer.

The diversity of cold viruses is a problem, apparently. It's not just coronaviruses with colds.

(Also saw today, BTW, that it's the Omicron variant in Tonga, confirmed.)
 

Jacob

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It's unfortunate that COVID has turned into a struggle between doomsayers who essentially believe in a permanent pandemic and those who want to downplay COVID whenever possible.

This really is the most unfortunate part about this. While I still disagree quite a bit with you about multiple aspects of this whole ordeal, this forum has been one of the more civilized places for discussion that I've seen. (among places where people actually disagree at least)

As for your point above, NYT ran an article with the following headline over the weekend (pictured below). You have to badly manipulate the stats (and get some of them wrong) to end up at this conclusion. But the only reason to print this is generate fear, especially since it isn't true (yet, Omicron deaths are obviously still occurring and being counted)

FL_oqt5VQAI4NpG
 

Jacob

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This really is the most unfortunate part about this. While I still disagree quite a bit with you about multiple aspects of this whole ordeal, this forum has been one of the more civilized places for discussion that I've seen. (among places where people actually disagree at least)

As for your point above, NYT ran an article with the following headline over the weekend (pictured below). You have to badly manipulate the stats (and get some of them wrong) to end up at this conclusion. But the only reason to print this is generate fear, especially since it isn't true (yet, Omicron deaths are obviously still occurring and being counted)

I didn't provide any context for my claim above yesterday, so here it is today. Taking the CDC's provisional death data and estimating deaths by variant based on variant %s at the time, here is an approximate estimate of Delta vs. Omicron deaths.

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Using this, I come up with the following estimates to date

Delta Deaths - 227,000
Omicron Deaths - 101,000

The obvious caveat is that Omicron deaths are still rolling in quickly, and that Omicron number will continue to increase. It just illustrates how much the NYT had to manipulate the stats to come up with that conclusion.
 

ghost

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So what do you guys see down the road this year in terms of Covid? I've read a story recently that the next variant may be a combo mutation of Delta and Omicron.
 
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Jacob

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So what do you guys see down the road this year in terms of Covid? I've read a story recently that the next variant may be a combo mutation of Delta and Omicron.

From my perspective, the biggest thing we know vs. this time last year is....there's no way to predict how future variants will behave. If we get a completely new variant that behaves significantly different (i.e. Omicron, much less severe but much more transmissible) again, it will basically void any educated guesses.

Last year we had that happen twice. Delta was more transmittable than Alpha and the other existing variants, and pushed them all out. It was slightly less lethal than Alpha and the previous variants, but that effect was negligible when it was infecting at such a higher rate. The US as a whole actually avoided a much worse Delta wave by having it hit in the summer vs. the winter, where the main seasonal stimulus is across the South, not the entire country. My predictions for last summer were correct only in the sense of where/generally when I expected a seasonal wave to occur. I didn't expect the strongest wave yet across much of the region, and was badly wrong on that.

Then Omicron came along, which was much less severe (60-90% less severe than Delta, depending on which estimate) but obviously much more easily transmitted than Delta. It was so easily transmitted that it produced a strong wave everywhere, regardless of what seasonal stimulus was taking place in the background. I mention that, because now that the main wave of it has passed, I expect that we'll see a resurgence of cases when the next seasonal stimulus kicks in (provided another new variant doesn't takeover before then).

Much of Europe had their Omicron wave, decreased, and are now increasing again. I think this can be attributed to two things. 1). BA.2 (a slightly more transmittable version of Omicron) has become dominant across the continent 2) Europe experiences a spring seasonal stimulus. Cases were rising this time last year as well. I suspect that we'll see a similar effect in the next few weeks in the US, primarily in the northeast US. Southeast Canada, parts of the NE, and Michigan in particular had a really strong wave when Alpha took over last spring, and I think we'll see a similar effect when BA.2 becomes dominant here. I don't think we'll see a nationwide spring wave though.

Past that, I think it'll mainly depend on what variant comes next. If Omicron remains dominant, we'll see another wave this summer across the same areas that had a Delta wave. It should be a weaker wave, but that's 4-5 months down the road, no telling what will be dominant by then.
 

Jacob

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Much of Europe had their Omicron wave, decreased, and are now increasing again. I think this can be attributed to two things. 1). BA.2 (a slightly more transmittable version of Omicron) has become dominant across the continent 2) Europe experiences a spring seasonal stimulus. Cases were rising this time last year as well. I suspect that we'll see a similar effect in the next few weeks in the US, primarily in the northeast US. Southeast Canada, parts of the NE, and Michigan in particular had a really strong wave when Alpha took over last spring, and I think we'll see a similar effect when BA.2 becomes dominant here. I don't think we'll see a nationwide spring wave though.

We'll see how this prediction holds up over the next few weeks, but the Spring/BA2 wave/bump is underway in the northeast and across parts of SE Canada. Cases are increasing across the NE, with NY having the largest increase so far. Ontario is seeing cases increasing pretty quickly as well. Michigan so far isn't increasing yet, which had the strongest spring wave in 2021. I suspect they'll start increasing this week.

One complicating factor for predicting this spring wave is that across Israel, Europe, and now Ontario, the demographic with the highest rate of infection for those under 60 is the boosted population. Doesn't appear to be significantly altering the course of the wave in those locations however.
 

Jacob

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We'll see how this prediction holds up over the next few weeks, but the Spring/BA2 wave/bump is underway in the northeast and across parts of SE Canada. Cases are increasing across the NE, with NY having the largest increase so far. Ontario is seeing cases increasing pretty quickly as well. Michigan so far isn't increasing yet, which had the strongest spring wave in 2021. I suspect they'll start increasing this week.

One complicating factor for predicting this spring wave is that across Israel, Europe, and now Ontario, the demographic with the highest rate of infection for those under 60 is the boosted population. Doesn't appear to be significantly altering the course of the wave in those locations however.

I would say this has held up extremely well so far. Been a solid increase in the NE, but nothing like the first go around with Omicron.

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Keep this in mind when there's a summer bump/wave centered across the Sun Belt again. Will those who wrongly blamed last year's seasonal wave in the south on the lack of vaccines have the nerve to try it again? Currently spread is highest in the most vaccinated states, and there's a very strong correlation to that. It just so happens those highly vaccinated states happen to be where the spring stimulus is. This summer will be just the opposite (just like last summer), where the summer stimulus will be across areas with the lowest vaccinated rates. I would expect there to be a very strong correlation this summer of lower vax/higher cases. It'll be a correlation, but not a causation. Just like the current high rates/high cases is a correlation, not causation.

The following image is the current case rates in the US by state, with the X-axis being vaccinated % and the Y axis being the cases per 100k currently. Just remember this image when you start seeing things this summer get blamed on low vaccination rates in the south.

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Jacob

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Fortunately there's been very few posts in this thread over the last few months. COVID is still spreading far and wide across the US and world, but it continues to have less bite as time goes on. There's an uptick in cases all across the country currently, but very few people are getting seriously ill from it. Here's the US ICU numbers currently, which I've adjusted these to reflect the # of incidental admissions that there are, based on numbers we saw out of hospitals that released the data during the winter wave, as well as the British data on the subject.

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