The ECDC Data, Differences in Data Sets & Reporting, and a Possible Death Rate Resurgence

So many sources have shown total deaths in the USA to have already surpassed 50k. Now, even those sources are undercounts, we are sure. (NYC has experienced 4000 deaths more than would be expected for the period of the pandemic even after subtracting deaths confirmed to be a result of COVID-19.) Nevertheless, data collated by the European Center for Disease Control & Prevention are considered just as “official” and yet aren’t the same as those presented by the USA CDC. Since I started off with the ECDC data, I have to continue to use it for consistency’s sake, but it is interesting to note that it appears to be somewhat behind.

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Hey, USA! How are those death Projections?

Well, despite my dramatic and terrifying underestimate of how US residents would pull together and alter their behavior to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, there are still many COVID-19 deaths happening around the USA. Looking at graphs, the growth of the disease looks a lot more linear than exponential lately, and that’s a very, very good thing. With linear growth, each doubling takes twice as long as the last doubling, which means that we buy ourselves lots and lots of time to make vaccines and take more preventative actions before reaching megadeath-scale numbers. Of course, this is still much worse than negative growth rate in COVID-19 deaths or just stopping the disease in its tracks, but when the choice is between linear growth and exponential growth, as it was for the USA at the end of last month, you have to choose the former.

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I’m Glad Pandemic Modeling Isn’t My Job

So just recently I wrote a post pointing out how reasonable it was to expect 6 doublings of COVID-19 deaths in the USA by early May (which would have given us a bit over a quarter million total persons dead), and how after that even one more doubling would be an unthinkable tragedy. But we’re not seeing doublings on the rate I feared (and which seemed reasonable given a comparison to other nations then-current rates of doubling when they had initiated nationwide stay-at-home policies before the USA). Commenter militantagnostic was early on the case, informing me on April 6th:

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US COVID-19 Death Rate: Understanding a link

So I linked to one important source I used in my non-professional but (hopefully) mathematically literate guesswork about how COVID-19 deaths in the US will increase over the next while. What I didn’t appreciate at that time was that the graphic that they used to discuss geometric growth in deaths in various countries is a dynamic graphic. Every time a country updates its total deaths on its own official websites, which happens once a day or more for Eurpoean and North American countries, the graphic itself updates. This means you can’t click on the link from a past article (or in this paragraph) and get easy access to the numbers I used when writing a particular blog post.

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Hand washing getting repetitive?

Now you have instant options! The website “Wash Your Lyrics” will generate a poster copied from the NHS but with the lyrics to the song of your choice – automatically, no typing of lyrics whatsoever. Input the song name and artist & away you go! My first creation was based on Bikini Kill’s Tony Randall, off the album Reject All American. This is how it came out:

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Trump is Killing to Save Morality

You could just go read Wonkette who covers this well, but if you like, you can get a taste here:

Abortion is already illegal in Kenya, but Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), the organization that had previously been providing low-cost contraception to these women, is supported by the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which has refused to comply with Trump’s demands and stands to lose $100 million in funding as a result. Shockingly, no anti-choice organizations have stepped up to help provide that funding or those services.

Long story short, because these women are now unable to access contraception, they are getting pregnant with babies they cannot afford to have and are turning to illegal and dangerous abortion methods instead.

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What is Glorification Anyway? Shannon Watkins Seems Unclear on a few Concepts

Wonkette brought my attention to an essay published by the James G Martin Center for Academic Renewal. It was written by Shannon Watkins and has a whole bunch of things to say about how awful, awful, awful campus feminism is. Then it adds a few things about how hopeful it is that the situation is changing and that anti-feminist groups are on the rise. Yippee! The article itself can be found here. It is intriguingly titled “Campus Feminism: The Real War On Women.”

Stunningly, it fails to grasp the basic idea behind the labeling of “The War on Women”, which was that when certain policies are adopted – policies like instituting (or maintaining) abstinence-only sex “education” – more women die. If someone is advocating for policies that cause increased deaths (or that correlate with increased deaths and have at least a plausible mechanism for causation), labeling that advocacy part of a War on Women is metaphorical but has a reasonable underlying comparison between advocating the policy and promulgating a war: deaths result. However Watkins seems impervious to such points and presents no evidence that more women die when campus women’s and/or feminist centers are permitted to flourish or that more women die in a given jurisdiction when policies favored by those centers are enacted.

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USA in last place. I am not surprised.

NewScientist has a brief article on an international comparison of the health systems of 11 wealthy, industrialized nations. Each system was ranked on its performance within 5 different “domains”.

The domains were ease of access to healthcare, how equal access is to people of different incomes, administrative efficiency, how well the care process works for people who use it, and how good the health outcomes are.

So I know my friends in the States are dying to know, how did the US perform?

“We measured performance quality across five domains, and the USA fell short in all five,” says Eric Schneiderof the Commonwealth Fund think tank in Washington DC.

Of course you MAGA mavens out there are going to insist that this is all the fault of the ACA, but hold on to your hat, you’ll never believe this:

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