Author Topic: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."  (Read 1433 times)

Offline The Old Ruminator

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3470
The above attributed to Mark Twain.

Sorry to harp on about Covid-19 but this forum is the only place that wants to talk about it and surely there are folk here much cleverer than me.

I live in a town of 60,000 people. So far one resident has died ( no details ).

We have 15 Covid-19 patients in one of the biggest hospitals in the South West.

%1 of people who have died were under 45. (No details )

Maybe as many as %50 of people who have died were over 80.

Maybe %90 of people who have died had underlying risk factors.

Maybe nearly %80 of people have had Covid-19 without knowing.

So assuming 30,000 have died in a total of 65 million we have a headline figure of a very tiny percentage and that breaks down into areas we have seen above.

Now if you were doing a risk assessment for a reasonably fit caver under age 45 I wonder what the result would be. Maybe a one in a million plus chances of dying from Covid-19.

The same could be said for a reasonably fit 70-year-old living in the town in my statistics. OK the other factor of spreading the disease counts but initial rates of all types were grossly exaggerated. Similarly for SARs and Mad Cow Disease. Have we been led by the nose into a disastrous economical and social situation for relatively nothing ?

Offline 2xw

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 575
  • BPC, SUSS
What of the alternative hypothesis that deaths are low because of the measures in place?

Online JoshW

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 333
  • WSCC, YSS
Have we been led by the nose into a disastrous economical and social situation for relatively nothing ?

no

Online aricooperdavis

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 455
  • Exeter | The Lakes
    • Cooper-Davis.net
I believe that the South West has it pretty good, but I'm in Cumbria at the moment and 2 football matches and a lot of people running to their second homes has led to far worse numbers here  :down:

Online Duck ditch

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 119
Jobs over lives eh.  Nice. 
Test test test.  It’s pathetic that we have tested 1 and a half percent over the population after 6 weeks.  Commandeer workforce’s to produce it, along with Ppe.

Global cooperation is essential, . not all this USA first China first rubbish.  If not, we will have good countries who travel to good countries and shit countries like us not allowed to travel to the good countries.

The economy exists for people not people exist for the economy.  Surely.

You can’t sort out the economy until you sort out the health of the country.  The economy will get sorted then.  It’s not as bad as 5 years of war and the economy recovered then. 

 There are ways and means to help people through the rough next few months economically. There is no way out through the next few months if you are dead. 

What do I hear. I’m healthy I’m not going to die. The 1% who are dying would be dying soon anyway.  I’m not impressed with that attitude. 

Social distancing.  Keep it up.


Offline Dave Tyson

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 211
  • WCG/UCET
    • Wirral Caving Group
I believe that the South West has it pretty good, but I'm in Cumbria at the moment and 2 football matches and a lot of people running to their second homes has led to far worse numbers here  :down:
I can believe the football matches, but I would be more skeptical about the 2nd home owners. Most people are obeying the rules about social distancing regardless of whether they are in their primary or 2nd home and yet we still have around 6000 new cases/day. The government haven't get a f***ing clue why this is because they are not following up cases to try and understand the transmission mode - even a sample of traced cases might help here. I refuse to believe its down to supermarket trolley's stiles/gates in the countryside... I guess we get what we deserve, a government which cut the NHS to the bone, ignored the report about future pandemics and lost the plot early on despite having the evidence from Italy etc. They spent too much time pratting about with brexit and took their eyes off the ball. I reckon by the end of the year we will have 40000 deaths and an economy in free fall. People have short memories and so in just under 5 years time the stupid f***ers will be voted back in. No wonder the rest of the world is laughing at us!

Dave   

Offline pwhole

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1833
  • TSG, DCA, PDMHS
    • Phil Wolstenholme website
What if only 10% of people have had Covid-19 without knowing? 80% sounds rather ambitious. Testing is the only way to sort this out once and for all, and we're nowhere near that. I'm constantly watching the way people behave, and it's quite clear that many people cannot manage (or refuse to manage) social distancing. If they want to die, that's fine by me - but if they make me ill by walking too close I'll be furious, and it's happening a lot. I've said and written it so many times I'm bored sick, but the fact remains that a huge percentage of the population are neither smart enough nor healthy enough to be trusted with this - yet. I'm also very against authoritarianism, so aspects of this lockdown are making me very uneasy, but it's not what I'd call a lockdown anyway. Testing is far, far better than unleashing some toytown app on a toytown populace and hoping it works. Relying on the whim of consumerism is hardly a public health policy, especially when consumers are even more confused than usual.

Offline Bob Mehew

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1311
  • breaking knots is fun
I go back to the table presented in the paper referred to long ago in a separate thread which was said to be the reason why the government called a lock down, see
https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk:8443/bitstream/10044/1/77482/14/2020-03-16-COVID19-Report-9.pdf

Now what are your data sources?  You may be right but no one has yet offered any break down of that one in twenty chance of dying as an over 70 year old. 

Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3423
  • Mendip Caving Group
Pretty much impossible to social distance in the city without locking yourself away & people haven't, so it's mostly there. Much easier in rural districts.

Offline pwhole

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1833
  • TSG, DCA, PDMHS
    • Phil Wolstenholme website
I'm looking out of my window now at the 24-hour supermarket across the street - there are two shop workers smoking and chatting outside, next to a group of three guys all huddled together chatting, with a homeless person sat on the floor next to them trying to cadge a fag. That's six people in about five square metres. But it is late! And there's a faint breeze.

And I'm working in a pair in a '2m-wide' cherry picker basket in the morning - with a cartridge mask and goggles. Grim, but doing my best :(

Offline ZombieCake

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 981
  • I like Witches
Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2020, 11:50:01 pm »
If you look at the press an Imperial College professor involved in certain advisory capacities has been exposed for double standards (maybe a Strangler's cover version of events could be called 'Shagging Around'), and has an interesting history when it comes to predictions if whites published is real. Media hype or not it's out there.
Best way to control a population is fear, whether real or imagined.
No doubt there is an issue with the virus, but with at least two senior medical resignations over wilfully flouting the rules they suggested and getting caught out will undermine the public's opinion over what is being told and to what extent it is really truthful.

Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3423
  • Mendip Caving Group
Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2020, 06:52:46 am »
During the peak of mid April there were twice the average number of deaths for the time of year. The majority of these extras were in care homes & involved Covid19:
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending24april2020

Online Duck ditch

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 119
Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2020, 10:35:31 am »
Shagging around hilarious. 
I think we all know that sex takes priority for a lot of people.  I don’t think it means that they thought the virus isn’t contagious. 
My favourite around this is John Major and his moral family values campaign, while shagging his health secretary. 
I’m assuming people are being sarcastic on this thread.  I find it difficult picking up sarcasm these days.
Conspiracy theories are weird things.
The virus is real.  The world is a globe. Vaccines work and Armstrong walked on the moon.
I have some sympathy as I felt for the biggest conspiracy of them all..  I believed in god.  It made me talk bollocks for half my life.

Offline Fjell

  • player
  • **
  • Posts: 103
Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2020, 10:39:07 am »
When I was 6 I prayed very hard for an Apollo moon rocket kit for Xmas. It didn’t happen, and I was subsequently very disillusioned with the whole theory.

Offline andrewmc

  • BCA ind. rep.
  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 861
  • EUSS, BEC, YSS, SWCC...
Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2020, 12:49:51 pm »
Some of the most interesting data, for me, comes from the Covid symptom tracking app:
https://covid.joinzoe.com/data

It suggests a peak symptomatic infection rate of 2 million or so (although there will be a lot of assumptions in this, and there could be a similar number of asymptomatic cases). This would tally well with the results of an antibody test somewhere in the US that found a few percent had been infected. That would give a reasonable underestimate rate for the UK of something of the order of magnitude of 100 ish (i.e. 10-1000) since our testing was crap.

PS every armchair statistician will now appear to suggest obvious things like age, gender etc. that could be making the app-originated predictions wrong. I'm sure they've thought of those, given that there are appear to be several statisticians involved... you can attempt to correct for these things, you know.

PS 30,000 deaths (so far) out of maybe 2,000,000 would be a 1.5% death rate, which is _bad_.

Offline andrewmc

  • BCA ind. rep.
  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 861
  • EUSS, BEC, YSS, SWCC...
Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2020, 12:53:22 pm »
But mostly just this:



from here:
https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/covid-19-florence-nightingales-daigrams-for-deaths/

The graph spirals around clockwise, giving the number of total deaths in England and Wales each week. See anything significant happen in the last 4/5 years?

Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3423
  • Mendip Caving Group
Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2020, 02:00:42 pm »
Fewer people die at new year...?

Offline Dave Tyson

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 211
  • WCG/UCET
    • Wirral Caving Group
Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2020, 08:20:14 pm »
Interesting graph which certainly shows the death rate has shot up in the last two months. A lot of the extra deaths will be directly due to the virus, but there will be quite a few indirect deaths due to people with heart conditions, cancer etc. avoiding going to hospital and dying at home. It will be interesting to see the graph in two years time - a lot of people who had underlying conditions have sadly perished over a short space of time and that may show in a decrease in the death rate in subsequent years. This is assuming that we don't have a really bad flu epidemic in the coming winter. If that happens then all bets are off. I think most scientists are waiting to the end of the year to see what the excess mortality is compared to a five year average as that will be a reliable statistic to compare against other countries.

Dave

Offline Graigwen

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 470
Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2020, 08:22:59 pm »
Fewer people die at new year...?

Fewer people are recoded as dying.  Then after the holiday period things catch up.

.

Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3423
  • Mendip Caving Group
Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2020, 08:39:25 pm »
Yes, same on bank holiday weekends.

The numbers are in my earlier link.

Offline Speleotron

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 549
  • YUCPC, ULSA
Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2020, 09:36:57 pm »
a lot of people who had underlying conditions have sadly perished over a short space of time and that may show in a decrease in the death rate in subsequent years.
Dave

I don't think this is going to happen. I think it's incorrect to say that people dying of Covid were going to be dead soon anyway (and it's a bit dismissive of them). Many of the co-morbidities which make you vulnerable to covid are things you can live with for years or decades before they kill you, if they even do. Things like diabetes, COPD, hypertension and obesity. Covid kills in 2 to 4 weeks so what are the odds that all these people were just about to die of a decades-long condition when they got Covid?
In search of taverns measureless to man

Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 3423
  • Mendip Caving Group

Offline Speleotron

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 549
  • YUCPC, ULSA
Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2020, 10:32:14 pm »
Although it's not the virus that actually finishes you off:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-does-the-flu-actually-kill-people/

Some previous major epidemics:
https://www.expressandstar.com/news/uk-news/2020/03/03/history-of-major-virus-outbreaks-in-the-uk-in-recent-times/

Coronaviruses aren't related to influenza viruses at all so I don't know if we can assume the same for Covid-19. SARS-CoV-2's mode of action isn't well understood we're only now seeing a new raft of symptoms and complications.
In search of taverns measureless to man


Offline pwhole

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1833
  • TSG, DCA, PDMHS
    • Phil Wolstenholme website
Re: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2020, 11:06:30 pm »
That spiral graph is a beautiful thing, and the best model of the data I've seen.

This development is potentially quite scary if proven and goes back to my previous points about sex in the future. As in, how little there might be between 'new' couples - without national testing at least:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/07/covid-19-found-in-semen-of-infected-men-say-chinese-doctors

However, a very interesting article recently surfaced, albeit briefly, about tobacco smokers - erm - getting less Covid-19. You'd think it might have been on the news by now, but it seems it's not a very interesting issue for most of the media - it being somewhat problematic I suppose. That bloody science can be awkward sometimes. But some French researchers find it so interesting that a trial of nicotine patches is awaiting approval:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/22/french-study-suggests-smokers-at-lower-risk-of-getting-coronavirus

The more technical article with the report findings is here:

https://www.qeios.com/read/FXGQSB.2

I often get told off for smoking, understandably I suppose. So I'm trying really, really hard to be neutral here - ever the saint. Maybe snuff could be due for a comeback?  :halo:

 

Main Menu

Forum Home Help Search