APOD: Novel Coronavirus Attacks Humanity (2020 Jun 02)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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rj rl
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Re: APOD: Novel Coronavirus Attacks Humanity (2020 Jun 02)

Post by rj rl » Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:29 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:33 pm
Some people need to get a life, or build their own apod site, if they can't deal with an editor tossing out something of general scientific interest, not just astronomy, a few times a year.
ditto.

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Re: APOD: Novel Coronavirus Attacks Humanity (2020 Jun 02)

Post by Ann » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:02 am

Since I am one of those who were not happy with the Coronavirus APOD, I just want to add that the APOD and Starship Asterisk* are very important to me. I dread the day when the editors of this site give up and throw in the towel.

Thank you for posting new APODs for us every day!

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Re: APOD: Novel Coronavirus Attacks Humanity (2020 Jun 02)

Post by TheZuke! » Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:11 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:19 pm
TheZuke! wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 3:08 pm
wilhuf wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 12:34 pm
Authors have hypothesized that some viruses arrived from meteors, and exist in low orbit over earth. It would be interesting to see a link to a report on this.
Another theory on the origin of virii is that they devolved from more complex organisms.
That is seen in a salmon virus that has vestiges of eyes.
A virus is a sort of parasite. It depends entirely on other organisms in order to propagate itself. So it seems like something that would have only evolved after the more complex organisms it depends upon. Either evolving from those organisms, or from scratch. I can believe a living microorganism might arrive on a meteorite, but a virus seems very unlikely (unless it is from someplace like Mars, already hosting a nucleic acid based system of life).
Okay, my memory may have fooled me on this one, when I first read about the salmon parasite, I thought it was describing a virus,
here is a link to what the parasite I was referring to (I think) :(

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Re: APOD: Novel Coronavirus Attacks Humanity (2020 Jun 02)

Post by MarkBour » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:29 pm

Update: (And if you look at the big picture, it can give some added appropriateness to posting about the Coronavirus on a site like APOD.)

I've been watching this landmark approach for a while. All of the following numbers are roughly round numbers at this point. Worldwide, 10 million confirmed cases, 500 thousand deaths. (The U.S. having a 25% share of both totals, with 2.5 million cases and 125 thousand deaths.) These reported amounts have been consistent in that the number of deaths is around 5% of confirmed cases for a while now.
.
Click to play embedded YouTube video.

These numbers are grim and horrifying to me.

Unless humanity has a medical breakthrough, the mathematics point to some harsh realities about our future. 500 thousand deaths in 6 months will only slightly slow population growth, which was recently estimated at 230 thousand per day (390 thousand births per day minus 160 thousand deaths per day.) However, this virus has got our attention. Interestingly, our changes in behavior, designed to slow the number of deaths, might actually do more to slow population growth. There's no avoiding that the number of births and deaths will have to match up at some point.

When I think about this in terms of APOD, it is like a report on a planet. I'm reminded of that beautiful song by Julie Gold, "From a Distance", recorded by Bette Midler.
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Re: APOD: Novel Coronavirus Attacks Humanity (2020 Jun 02)

Post by MarkBour » Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:42 pm

--
Update: COVID-19 death estimates have passed 1 million

I thought I would post that another grim milestone has been passed. Worldwide reported deaths attributed to COVID-19 infections have passed the 1 million mark, according to all of the data-accumulation sources I have seen. Whether these counts are accurate, or should be viewed as low or high, is completely unresolved in any literature I've seen to date. Here are 3 articles, but I did not see any of them suggesting the numbers should be viewed with any bias, just that all of them felt that longer term we will be able to combine different analyses to improve our assessment.

MedPage Today: How Accurate Is the Coronavirus Death Toll?
CDC website: About US Cases and Deaths
WebMD: How Accurate Are Coronavirus Death Counts?
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Re: APOD: Novel Coronavirus Attacks Humanity (2020 Jun 02)

Post by MarkBour » Sun Jan 17, 2021 6:41 am

An update on this topic.
MarkBour wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:19 am
(Posted June 02, 2020)
I'll list the facts, as best we know them today from the current world-wide collective reporting. As of the date of this post, about 376,000 people have died from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the current rate is about 4000 deaths per day at this time. Of course, only time will tell if the forecast in the APOD caption will be correct.
MarkBour wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:29 pm
(Posted June 29, 2020)
All of the following numbers are roughly round numbers at this point. Worldwide, 10 million confirmed cases, 500 thousand deaths. (The U.S. having a 25% share of both totals, with 2.5 million cases and 125 thousand deaths.) These reported amounts have been consistent in that the number of deaths is around 5% of confirmed cases for a while now.
MarkBour wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:42 pm
(Posted October 04, 2020)
Global Total Cases: 34,804,348 . . . . . Global Total Deaths: 1,030,738 . . . . . . . . . . <== Numbers from the WHO
According to the reporting agencies I am aware of -- similar to the list in my previous post: Worldometers; Johns Hopkins; the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) -- listing only U.S. data; the World Health Organization (WHO); and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) -- the world has passed another unwanted milestone of 2 million deaths from the Sars-CoV-2 virus pictured in the APOD.

(Posted January 16, 2021)
Global Total Cases: 92,506,811 . . . . . Global Total Deaths: 2,001,773 . . . . . . . . . . <== Numbers from the WHO

So, I guess time has told. The APOD editors were correct to predict very early on, that "millions will die".

On the hopeful side, a number of vaccines that appear capable of altering the trajectory of this battle have been developed. On the concerning side, we have seen some variant strains appearing around the world, which may complicate the battle. However, one full month after the U.S. FDA, the U.K. MHRA, and many other national administrations have approved and released vaccines, the case and death curves have not yet shown any signs of bowing to our medical response. The current daily worldwide death rate is now around 15,000, dwarfing the 4,000 per day I reported in the post of last June. The worldwide total charts from the W.H.O. are unflinchingly smooth --

Capture.png
W.H.O. webpage capture, click to enlarge

The IHME is projecting that with rapid vaccine rollout, this picture will begin to improve by March, but nevertheless, they also project that the global death toll will reach 3 million by May, 2021.

A couple of other measurements. The deaths versus cases ratio has improved over time, dropping from 5% early on, to just over 2% now. It's hard to say whether this is anything other than the facts of data collection over the course of the pandemic, or if it is becoming less deadly in some real sense. Also, for those of us in the U.S., we have continued to hold our market share of cases as the months have passed, with about 25% of the world total. Our share of deaths has slid some, from 25% earlier, to about 20% now. Still, the carnage here is staggering, we have joined the exclusive 1000-club of countries who have had more than 1 person in 1000 of their population die.
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Re: APOD: Novel Coronavirus Attacks Humanity (2020 Jun 02)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:08 pm

MarkBour wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 6:41 am
An update on this topic.
MarkBour wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:19 am
(Posted June 02, 2020)
I'll list the facts, as best we know them today from the current world-wide collective reporting. As of the date of this post, about 376,000 people have died from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the current rate is about 4000 deaths per day at this time. Of course, only time will tell if the forecast in the APOD caption will be correct.
MarkBour wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:29 pm
(Posted June 29, 2020)
All of the following numbers are roughly round numbers at this point. Worldwide, 10 million confirmed cases, 500 thousand deaths. (The U.S. having a 25% share of both totals, with 2.5 million cases and 125 thousand deaths.) These reported amounts have been consistent in that the number of deaths is around 5% of confirmed cases for a while now.
MarkBour wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:42 pm
(Posted October 04, 2020)
Global Total Cases: 34,804,348 . . . . . Global Total Deaths: 1,030,738 . . . . . . . . . . <== Numbers from the WHO
According to the reporting agencies I am aware of -- similar to the list in my previous post: Worldometers; Johns Hopkins; the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) -- listing only U.S. data; the World Health Organization (WHO); and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) -- the world has passed another unwanted milestone of 2 million deaths from the Sars-CoV-2 virus pictured in the APOD.

(Posted January 16, 2021)
Global Total Cases: 92,506,811 . . . . . Global Total Deaths: 2,001,773 . . . . . . . . . . <== Numbers from the WHO

So, I guess time has told. The APOD editors were correct to predict very early on, that "millions will die".

On the hopeful side, a number of vaccines that appear capable of altering the trajectory of this battle have been developed. On the concerning side, we have seen some variant strains appearing around the world, which may complicate the battle. However, one full month after the U.S. FDA, the U.K. MHRA, and many other national administrations have approved and released vaccines, the case and death curves have not yet shown any signs of bowing to our medical response. The current daily worldwide death rate is now around 15,000, dwarfing the 4,000 per day I reported in the post of last June. The worldwide total charts from the W.H.O. are unflinchingly smooth --


Capture.png
W.H.O. webpage capture, click to enlarge

The IHME is projecting that with rapid vaccine rollout, this picture will begin to improve by March, but nevertheless, they also project that the global death toll will reach 3 million by May, 2021.

A couple of other measurements. The deaths versus cases ratio has improved over time, dropping from 5% early on, to just over 2% now. It's hard to say whether this is anything other than the facts of data collection over the course of the pandemic, or if it is becoming less deadly in some real sense. Also, for those of us in the U.S., we have continued to hold our market share of cases as the months have passed, with about 25% of the world total. Our share of deaths has slid some, from 25% earlier, to about 20% now. Still, the carnage here is staggering, we have joined the exclusive 1000-club of countries who have had more than 1 person in 1000 of their population die.
Turns out epidemiologists generally know their stuff, and that their models are pretty good. The tricky thing with epidemiology models, compared with many other scientific models, is the huge social factor. The output of the models depends so much on the behavior of people, and predicting that is nearly impossible. Except maybe in the U.S., where we can assume a high percentage will act stupidly.

No evidence the virus has become less pathogenic. The improved prognosis stats are almost certainly a consequence of having developed better treatment methods.

Interesting paper in Science this week, suggesting that once the disease becomes endemic, it will join the four other similar coronaviruses that cause the common cold. There's a suggestion that one of those coronaviruses jumped to the human population more than a century ago and caused a pandemic in the late 1800s that killed over a million people, and which seems very like COVID in its symptoms. The argument is that COVID will be a very minor illness, just another cold, in a population that has a high exposure history. That could happen in as little as a year with high vaccination, or take several decades without. The latter case, of course, resulting in many more deaths. Once endemic, vaccinations would not need to continue, assuming that either exposure or vaccination would make subsequent infections much milder.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Novel Coronavirus Attacks Humanity (2020 Jun 02)

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:53 pm

This pandemic reminds me of this one! https://www.history.com/topics/world-wa ... u-pandemic My Dad's oldest brother died from it! I remember my Father telling me about it when I was a little kid! This outbreak may be as bad or worse; but medicine has come a long way's; So the outcome should hopefully be better; but use good hygiene while we are waiting for the shots! wear your masks and distancing!
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Re: APOD: Novel Coronavirus Attacks Humanity (2020 Jun 02)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:33 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:53 pm
This pandemic reminds me of this one! https://www.history.com/topics/world-wa ... u-pandemic My Dad's oldest brother died from it! I remember my Father telling me about it when I was a little kid! This outbreak may be as bad or worse; but medicine has come a long way's; So the outcome should hopefully be better; but use good hygiene while we are waiting for the shots! wear your masks and distancing!
The little school I teach at had just opened back then, and the students were excused for three months, and then did outside classes. So I make sure that our current students represent the second time that the school has had to respond to a global pandemic. They will be a part of history in the same way as the people from 1918 are. (Happily, none of the current students have asked why the kids back then couldn't just work from home on their computers!)
Chris

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Re: APOD: Novel Coronavirus Attacks Humanity (2020 Jun 02)

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:55 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:33 pm
orin stepanek wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:53 pm
This pandemic reminds me of this one! https://www.history.com/topics/world-wa ... u-pandemic My Dad's oldest brother died from it! I remember my Father telling me about it when I was a little kid! This outbreak may be as bad or worse; but medicine has come a long way's; So the outcome should hopefully be better; but use good hygiene while we are waiting for the shots! wear your masks and distancing!
The little school I teach at had just opened back then, and the students were excused for three months, and then did outside classes. So I make sure that our current students represent the second time that the school has had to respond to a global pandemic. They will be a part of history in the same way as the people from 1918 are. (Happily, none of the current students have asked why the kids back then couldn't just work from home on their computers!)
:lol2: Probably the closest thing back then was an abacus! :mrgreen:
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!