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Gummi Bear
+ Your AuthorsArchive @gummibear737 I value intellectual honesty. Like history/science. Follow COVID19. I will always tell you my honest, hopefully unbiased, opinion Jul. 07, 2020 5 min read

This is the thread where I break down my interpretation and conclusions of how COVID infections work

I have asked @MLevitt_NP2013 his opinion on this analysis and he said it aligns with his thinking

Long thread coming up

Appreciate RT if you find it interesting

Since the beginning of the pandemic, alot of things didn't make sense.

When I first looked at the Chinese data on Covid I was certain it was fake. How to explain that Wuhan was overwhelmed, but the rest of the country was fine?

But the same was in S Korea, Japan, Viet...WTF?

Simultaneously I saw how it ravaged through Europe, then the US and then South America

I saw that Sweden, despite not locking down, was performing similarly to other countries

I saw how the virus was behaving differently in different states within the US

Things started coming together when I first saw @MLevitt_NP2013's research

Dr. Levitt is a specialist in Computational Structural Biology - also a Nobel Laureate - he doesn't care about theories and models

He cares about the data and has been studying it nonstop since Jan 28

What he was finding is a repeating pattern in how the virus behaves. Most of us saw it much later after countries like Spain and states like NY showed the same.

But he saw it earlier in Hubai, SK and the Diamond Princess

His major observation was that for the most part Covid behaves according to the Gompertz Function and tends to create a similar curve which tends to "burn out" around 15-20% infected or around 500-600 deaths per million

I will explain burn out later

Trying to test out this theory, I did my own analysis on Stockholm County because this was an area hard hit by Covid but where they didn't lockdown

I found that around 15% infection (by AB studies) the virus does indeed burn out on its own

Wow, amazing

But then I found some data that complicated things

Anti-Body studies in Ischgl (ski resort) put infections at 42%

In Bergamo it was 57%. NYC was I think 25%

So the burnout percentage is actually not a fixed characteristic of the virus itself, but variable

Other factors were at play.

Obviously, population density plays some role, but if this were the main factor then it wouldn't explain how China and Japan overcame the virus.

I did a thought experiment: What would happen if you lived in a city where everyone french kisses everybody you come into contact with. The virus would infect 100% of people.

So I thought, maybe human behavior has a significant effect on the virus

I also remembered these charts I had seen that show that infection rate actually precedes lock downs by 1-2 weeks

My interpretation is that people aren't stupid lockdowns and were voluntarily social distancing before it was mandatory

That was my experience in the weeks before

So first the Bergamo, Ischgl, NYC models: they were behaving as normal while the virus was circulating amongst the populations for many weeks/months.

So with no change in human behavior, the result is that people continue to be infected

Next we look at other countries in Europe like UK, France, Spain, Italy which locked down

I'm using the deaths per million chart to show that most of them are around 5-600 deaths per million

Death are not increasing in any of these countries, nor US states which were hit hard

Here you will see NY/Michigan and Spain/Italy

There is no increase in deaths, but keep in mind this is with basic social distancing still being practiced

So this must mean that lockdowns work! Wrong, lockdowns don't work any better than common sense social distancing practiced by Sweden which is close to burnout at 538 deaths/million which is around 10% overall. 15% for Stockholm county

Also, Romania and Poland managed to lock down very quickly. They locked down for months but as soon as they reopened, cases went back up. They are not going up exponentially because social distancing is still being practiced

Finally, we turn to Asia which seems to have largely contained the virus.

It stands to reason that if a small amount of social distancing can produce a burnout rate at around 5-600 deaths/million, then maybe extreme preventive measures can actually crush Covid

First off we can talk about a diligent system of contact tracing, wearing masks, taking temperatures, advanced information sharing

Then there is the experience they have from two decades of dealing with H1N1 and SARS. Populations are more disciplined

Finally, there is the issue of cultural differences. Asian populations are far more compliant in following rules than are Western democracies.

I remember a Covid delegation from China to Italy being shocked at what passed for a lockdown

So when I say that the virus burns out what I am really saying that depending on the behavior of people in a particular place the virus will die out after a certain number of people get infected.

Go back to normal behavior and cases are likely to rise again. Its a matter of math

I also want to address the seasonality/warm weather hypothesis: virus is weakening due to the summer

It is possible that this is one variable in that the virus is less lethal, but I have not seen evidence of that yet. Mortality rate dropping more likely because of more testing

I have seen no evidence that Asians have some sort of additional immunity to COVID.

If this were the case then the disparity between Wuhan and the rest of China would not be so large

Its possible but I would need to see some actual data in this sense.

What does all of this mean?
-social distancing/no mass gatherings is a new normal until vaccine appears or a real herd immunity occurs
-lockdowns not necessary, ever again
-not certain Asian style containment can work in the west. Germany probably the best we'll see

If theory is correct we'll know in another month or so because its easy to predict how countries/states should evolve

-Asia will remain at low levels
-Western Europe/North East US should not see rise in deaths
Rest of US and Europe will see slow rises but no exponential growth

Thanks for reading this far!

Sorry it's so long

We'll continue to follow the data and see how things evolve

I added a post on South America, in response to Dr. Levitt

When modified behavior becomes a cultural norm, it can make a big difference

Masks have not been scientifically proven to work, but neither has hydroxychloroquine

Neither should have become politicized 

Great info from @mjuneja89

Here is the article: 

Regarding my analysis:

You can follow @gummibear737.


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