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On 11/20/2020 at 2:42 PM, Rochelobe said:

CDC Report released today on effects of mandated mask ordinances vs non-mandated counties.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6947e2.htm?s_cid=mm6947e2_w

 

This data is for Kansas from the time period June 1 to August 23.  It looks at the rates of cases across counties in Kansas before/after adoption of a mask mandate (in 24 counties) vs those that did not adopt a mask mandate (81 counties).

 

So, before the mask mandates were adopted (during July), the bolded text shows what the rate in the 24 counties that ultimately adopted a mask mandate in July (3 cases/100,000) vs the rate in the 81 counties that never adopted a mask mandate (4 cases/100,000).  Thus the rate was similar, despite the 24 counties having a much higher share of the population of Kansas (67.3%).

 

Then the CDC looked at the data ~1 month later, as the pandemic took off in Kansas, to when the governor stated a mask mandate:

 

So the effects of the higher population density were much more devastating on the 24 counties that adopted a mask mandate - during the one month prior to the mandate, they went from 3 to 17 cases/100,000 (~6x increase) while the non-mandated counties increased from 4 to 6 cases/100,000 (1.5x increase).

 

On July 3, the mask mandates started in the 24 counties, while the other 81 counties continued as before:

 

So one month later, the mandated mask counties had started to slowly decline, while the non-mandated mask counties increased by a factor of 2x from early July.  The nonmandated counties were "catching up", as the ratio went from 17/6 = 2.83x higher in the in the 24 counties vs 81 counties on July 3 to 1.33x on Aug 23.

 

This is the reason that medical officials have said and continue to say: "WEAR A MASK".

 

Yet, all we hear from a certain population "Ain't no cloth gonna protect you none, nohow."

 

Medical professionals never promised that masks would eliminate the virus, remove all risk, etc.  The goal all along has been to slow the spread as much as possible until the vaccine became available.  It is really concerning that a segment of the population cannot see this.  It is either gross stupidity or willful disregard for others.

 

Oh, and Sweden, the darling of the anti-maskers?  Well they aren't doing so good right now.  Guess that "herd mentality" decided to run over a cliff.

 

Summary:

                          Cases per 100000
  6/1 7/9 8/23 Notes
24 Counties   3  17  16 Counties adopted mandate July 9
81 Counties   4   6  12 Counties never adopted

 

 

 

Before I start, I always wear a mask indoors when at a public place and currently don’t eat inside restaurants.  Stating that so people don’t think I am anti-mask, anti-science.  
 

I find it interesting that the non-mandated counties have roughly 30% less prevalence than the mask mandated counties.  Now that data is back from August and things have definitely changed so it’s quite possible those non mask mandated counties have caught and surpassed the other counties.   Good case study for everyone to keep following. 
 

On the Sweden thing, most of the people I heard from didn’t say anything about Sweden and masks wearing, it was more Sweden and keeping the economy open as much as possible. 
 

hopefully people can hunker down as much as possible for the next three months, government can get economic money into the system, and we can all open up fully late spring.  

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12 hours ago, Archy1221 said:

Before I start, I always wear a mask indoors when at a public place and currently don’t eat inside restaurants.  Stating that so people don’t think I am anti-mask, anti-science.  
 

I find it interesting that the non-mandated counties have roughly 30% less prevalence than the mask mandated counties.  Now that data is back from August and things have definitely changed so it’s quite possible those non mask mandated counties have caught and surpassed the other counties.   Good case study for everyone to keep following. 
 

On the Sweden thing, most of the people I heard from didn’t say anything about Sweden and masks wearing, it was more Sweden and keeping the economy open as much as possible. 
 

hopefully people can hunker down as much as possible for the next three months, government can get economic money into the system, and we can all open up fully late spring.  

 

 

Lockdowns are problematic.  I think short term lockdowns (on the order of two weeks or so) were probably an effective idea early in the process to slow down rate of spread (e.g., when New York's hospitals were being overwhelmed).

 

However there is a difference between total lockdown and restrictions - e.g., no indoor dining vs "everyone stays at home and only allowable trips are to the grocery store, etc.".  I tire of the extremist response among many that "masks = total lockdown = communist state" that is sent out by many on the anti-mask side. (see the anti maskers that had planned to shop at HyVee a couple weeks ago)

 

The irony is that masking is used to PREVENT total lockdowns.  I agree we cannot sustain a total lockdown (as in one where no one goes anywhere, with the exception of designated people that deliver food/necessary prescriptions to everyone's door - that would be total lockdown).

 

I think the fact the non-mask counties started with approximately the same positive rate (4 to 3) then didn't increase as much (up to 6 instead of up to 17) prior to the mask mandate counties mandating things is primarily due to population density.  The 24 counties that installed mandates represent ~2/3 of the population.  Thus population density is much lower in the other 81 counties - leading to what I'd call "natural social distancing".  There is a reason the very rural ranching counties of Nebraska filled in last with positive cases and deaths (several Nebraska counties still don't have any deaths due to COVID).

 

However, once it starts to reach a certain point, then the limited close contacts outside your normal bubble (e.g., the rancher goes to town to get some supplies) starts to increase the rate and we end up with them still increasing slightly from June to July, then increasing at a higher rate from July to August (when they went from 6 to 12 - doubling the number).  This is a core of exponential growth.  It is altered somewhat by being exponential growth separated by "islands".

 

Of course, this type of behavior was pretty much predicted by all medical experts I heard during the April/May/June time frame - that it wasn't in rural areas yet, but unless they were vigilant it would be and it would possibly be worse, since they don't have the resources to handle it as well as the large cities.

 

To me what it shows is that pure social distancing without any other protection works well - sort of a duh thing that has been used since some of the small pox and typhoid outbreaks in the old West.  However, if you don't also augment, with things like masks and have any interactions, eventually it will spread to even sparsely populated rural areas.

 

When the data cuts off, the rural counties were still increasing, while the populated counties had started to decrease (at least until Labor Day hit and people repeated the same errors from Memorial Day and 4th of July).  I think it is interesting that the 24 counties reduced their rate despite the 4th of July holiday while the 81 counties doubled over the same period.  We can't be sure it is entirely seeded by close 4th of July social gatherings, but it would be interesting to overlay holidays with surges over the next month - when the initial exposure occurs and the next month when 2nd or 3rd generation exposures (from that holiday) are happening.

 

I was interested in seeing how the cases had evolved across the Nebraska and some of its neighbors - South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa.  I live in San Diego, so thought it would be interesting to do a direct comparison to San Diego - since population scale factor is not as steep (as comparing to all of California).  San Diego County is large (4200 sq mi), but minuscule compared with the states mentioned above.  It also has a larger population than any of those states.

 

Since mid-March, San Diego has had a mask mandate.  It has also had a couple of lockdowns and closed indoor dining for most of the spring/summer, with a brief opening in the last couple months, but now back to being closed.  Also, a curfew was just put into place from 10 pm to 5 am.  I'm sure all the anti-maskers are lining up to make their "communist state" arguments, but lets look at the data.

 

I used the worldometer site and looked at 7 day averages on 4 dates separated out over the past several months - May 20, July 20, September 20, and November 20.  I took the San Diego data from the county COVID website, which is linked from the worldometer website.

 

I then calculated each 7 day average vs 1 M people (standard normalization done with most sites) to see what has gone on in each state (and in San Diego County).

 

Cases.thumb.jpg.f8c29e8018464e0a57f051fedb4afc45.jpg

 

 

So, we see that San Diego, which has had the strictest restrictions has undergone a growth since 2 weeks after Labor Day (which is when things started increasing all around the country), however its growth rate has been much slower.

 

Again looks like masks help slow the spread, along with limited restrictions - e.g., no indoor dining, no bars, etc.

 

I realize it sucks for bars and restaurants that can't easily switch to take out mode, but what is the alternative?  Fill the hospitals, I guess.

 

Again, this plot is my pull of data from worldometer and not a full research analysis.  However, I think it does at least indicate that masks + some shutdown/restrictions is effective.

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12 hours ago, Archy1221 said:

Before I start, I always wear a mask indoors when at a public place and currently don’t eat inside restaurants.  Stating that so people don’t think I am anti-mask, anti-science.  
 

I find it interesting that the non-mandated counties have roughly 30% less prevalence than the mask mandated counties.  Now that data is back from August and things have definitely changed so it’s quite possible those non mask mandated counties have caught and surpassed the other counties.   Good case study for everyone to keep following. 
 

On the Sweden thing, most of the people I heard from didn’t say anything about Sweden and masks wearing, it was more Sweden and keeping the economy open as much as possible. 
 

hopefully people can hunker down as much as possible for the next three months, government can get economic money into the system, and we can all open up fully late spring.  

 

 

Just skimming, the rate of cases is higher in the places that had mask mandates, but the rate has increased faster in recent months in places without mask mandates. What is the population density comparison between the 2? I also wonder how many of the places that did not opt out of the mask mandate made that decision because their case rates were higher. (i.e. the high case rate led to wearing masks).

 

 

Quote

As of August 11, 24 of Kansas’s 105 counties did not opt out of the state mandate§ or adopted their own mask mandate shortly before or after the state mandate was issued; 81 counties opted out of the state mandate, as permitted by state law, and did not adopt their own mask mandate. After the governor’s executive order, COVID-19 incidence (calculated as the 7-day rolling average number of new daily cases per 100,000 population) decreased (mean decrease of 0.08 cases per 100,000 per day; net decrease of 6%) among counties with a mask mandate (mandated counties) but continued to increase (mean increase of 0.11 cases per 100,000 per day; net increase of 100%) among counties without a mask mandate (nonmandated counties). The decrease in cases among mandated counties and the continued increase in cases in nonmandated counties adds to the evidence supporting the importance of wearing masks and implementing policies requiring their use to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (16).

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The Atlantic article on UNMC

 

The Hospital Best-Prepared for COVID-19 Is Nearly Overwhelmed - The Atlantic

 

Quote

But now about 2,400 Nebraskans are testing positive for COVID-19 every day—a rate five times higher than in the spring. More than 20 percent of tests are coming back positive, and up to 70 percent in some rural counties—signs that many infections aren’t being detected. The number of people who’ve been hospitalized with the disease has tripled in just six weeks. UNMC is fuller with COVID-19 patients—and patients, full stop—than it has ever been. “We’re watching a system breaking in front of us and we’re helpless to stop it,” says Kelly Cawcutt, an infectious-disease and critical-care physician.

 

Cawcutt knows what’s coming. Throughout the pandemic, hospitalizations have lagged behind cases by about 12 days. Over the past 12 days, the total number of confirmed cases in Nebraska has risen from 82,400 to 109,280. That rise represents a wave of patients that will slam into already beleaguered hospitals between now and Thanksgiving. “I don’t see how we avoid becoming overwhelmed,” says Dan Johnson, a critical-care doctor. People need to know that “the assumption we will always have a hospital bed for them is a false one.”

--

When it arrives, people with COVID-19 will die not just because of the virus, but because the hospital will have nowhere to put them and no one to help them. Doctors will have to decide who to put on a ventilator or a dialysis machine. They’ll have to choose whether to abandon entire groups of patients who can’t get help elsewhere. While cities like New York and Boston have many big hospitals that can care for advanced strokes, failing hearts that need mechanical support, and transplanted organs, “in this region, we’re it,” Johnson says. “We provide care that can’t be provided at any other hospital for a 200-mile radius. We’re going to need to decide if we continue to offer that care, or if we admit every single COVID-19 patient who comes through our door.”

 

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15 minutes ago, Moiraine said:

 

 

Just skimming, the rate of cases is higher in the places that had mask mandates, but the rate has increased faster in recent months in places without mask mandates. What is the population density comparison between the 2? I also wonder how many of the places that did not opt out of the mask mandate made that decision because their case rates were higher. (i.e. the high case rate led to wearing masks).

 

 

Yes:

 

Rate has increased much faster in non-mask locations vs mask locations since July when mandate went into effect

 

I didn't look at pop density, but the 24 mandate counties are 67% of the population.

Assuming similar sized counties that would be 67% of the people in ~20% of the space.  I should look at area of each county and add it up to get the real value.

 

I agree, the places that kept the mandate were seeing the reality - that they were struggling.  Sadly in other states (e.g., the Dakotas) there has been no recognition of this reality.

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https://www.newyorker.com/sports/sporting-scene/is-college-football-making-the-pandemic-worse?

 

For four quarters, at least, Graham Mertz, the quarterback for the University of Wisconsin, lived as if dreaming. A lanky red-shirt freshman, Mertz took the field for his first start as a Badger, in the Big Ten Conference’s season opener, on Friday, October 23rd, against the University of Illinois, and completed his first pass attempt, a gain of three yards. His second attempt gained twelve. His third, a pretty touch pass, went for a touchdown. Mertz completed his fourth attempt, his fifth, his sixth. He followed a conservative strategy, mostly screens and short passes, but grew more daring. He rolled out on a play fake and threw a touchdown off his back foot. He whipped another over the middle, a precise dart into the end zone. With less than a minute to go in the first half, he launched a fifty-three-yard touchdown pass to a streaking wide receiver. By then, he was fourteen for fourteen, with four touchdowns—he threw the ball seventeen times before he missed a target, and only then because the ball was dropped. (Graciously, he blamed himself.) He finished the game twenty for twenty-one, with five touchdowns. Patrick Mahomes, the best quarterback in the world, tweeted his amazement. J. J. Watt, the three-time N.F.L. defensive player of the year, posted a video of a man using a flamethrower, in tribute. Wisconsin won, 45–7.

In a normal season, the freshman quarterback would have looked up to see eighty thousand people cheering for him, chanting and singing and calling his name. But this was not a normal season. The cold metal bleachers were bare, and the cheers that followed each of his touchdowns were fake. When the song “Jump Around” played before the fourth quarter, the small cluster of cardboard cutouts that had been installed in the stands did not jump. When it’s empty, Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium has about as much charm as an old airport concourse. But a touchdown is still a touchdown, even if no crowd makes a sound. “He was smiling cheek to cheek after the first touchdown,” the tight end Jake Ferguson said of Mertz afterward. “He knew, and everyone in that huddle knew, that we were rolling.”

Two days later, Mertz tested positive for the coronavirus. Then it was reported that Wisconsin’s backup quarterback had tested positive as well. By midweek, the number of positive tests within the football program was up to twelve, and included the head coach—and the team’s next game, against the University of Nebraska, was cancelled. A week later, the number of cases on the team was up to twenty-seven. Two players for Illinois also tested positive, although it was unclear if they were infected during the game or somewhere else entirely. Wisconsin’s next game, against Purdue, was called off.

 

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