That was actually a fascinating interview. For people who don't have time to watch: two docs very involved in seeing patients and testing think the data says in some places like theirs, it's time to open back up. Reasons:
#1: The latest testing is showing a lot more people are infected than we knew, so the fatality rate is actually lower than the flu.
#2: Countries like Sweden are not doing much better with deaths than comparative countries, like Norway. I didn't understand that because Norway has 100 deaths and Sweden has 1,700.
#3: The way our immunity is built is through exposure to the virus. I didn't understand that either because we get immunity to the worst diseases via vaccines.
#4: Because Covid scares people from going to the hospital, they are not being treated for heart disease, etc., which combined take more lives than Covid. Great point.
First off, thank you, Sarah, for liking my conversation on tofu—it showed up in my notifications yesterday.
What’s their bias?
In the first minute of the video, Dr. Erickson starts by saying “As ER doctors, as physicians, as entrepreneurs.”
So from my perspective, there is a potential bias towards pronouncements that favor their urgent care business. If people aren’t going to their urgent care facility for a sprained ankle, they aren’t making money. So I viewed whatever they said through that lens.
I found a good article on the video from the same news station that included that video on their YouTube channel. Full disclosure: my observations below are based on reading that article, not from watching the 55 minute long video.
“When someone has measles you quarantine them. We've never seen the healthy, where you take those without disease and without symptoms and lock them in your home.”
There is a vaccine for measles, which means the risk of spread is significantly reduced in a population with a high percentage of vaccination. For a population with a strong anti-vaccination belief system, meaning that herd immunity may not be very high, you can see the devestating impact when a virus blows through the community.
An example of this was the 2013 measles outbreak that hit New York City because vaccination rates were too low.
If one or two cases of disease are introduced into a community where most people are not vaccinated, outbreaks will occur. In 2013, for example, several measles outbreaks occurred around the country, including large outbreaks in New York City and Texas – mainly among groups with low vaccination rates. If vaccination rates dropped to low levels nationally, diseases could become as common as they were before vaccines. (Source: cdc.gov)
So the doctors, imo, are ignoring the science that large outbreaks of COVID-19 can and will occur until we have a vaccine.
"In Kern County, we've tested, 5,213 people and we have 340 positive COVID cases. Well that's 6.5 percent of the population. Which would indicate a widespread viral infection similar to the flu," Dr. Erickson said. He continued, "So if you look at California, these numbers are from yesterday, we have 33,865 COVID cases out of a total of 280,900 total tested that's 12 percent of Californian's were positive for COVID."
We haven’t been testing the dead for COVID-19 because we do not have enough tests.
Jill Romann, the coroner in Douglas County, Colorado, asked the state health department for help getting the tests needed to determine whether deaths were linked to the virus. But she said the agency told her it was not providing them to coroners because it was prioritizing the tests for the living. She hasn't been able to get the supplies she needs from private labs either. "If you die in my county, I will not know if you died of Covid-19," Romann said. "I will, however, be able to tell if you legally smoked pot." (Source: CNN)
"Well we have 39.5 million people, if we just take a basic calculation and extrapolate that out, that equates to about 4.7 million cases throughout the state of California. Which means this thing is widespread, that's the good news. We've seen 1,227 deaths in the state of California with a possible incidents or prevalence of 4.7 million. That means you have a 0.03 chance of dying from COVID-19 in the state of California," said Dr. Erickson.
Again, if you aren’t testing a significant percentage of all deaths, you don’t have a basis to rely on the data or to extrapolate from it to draw definitive conclusions.
"I also wanted to mention that 96 percent of people in California who get COVID recover," he said.
If you overwhelm the hospital system, like in Italy, doctors will have to decide who receives treatment and who dies from lack of treatment (ventilators, for example).
So the number of deaths can increase just from more people leaving lockdown.
Additionally, for those who do survive the infection, serious permanent damage to their bodies can occur.
“It is clear that people with only mild symptoms (usually a dry cough and fever) will make a full recovery without any long-lasting damage to their bodies, but some scientists believe evidence is mounting to show that those on the moderate to severe end of the spectrum (who experience breathing difficulties and pneumonia) may be left with permanent lung damage.” (Source: Aljazeera)
Based on the fact that large outbreaks can occur if a vaccine does not exist, that the actual death rate is unknown, and that survivors with even moderate symptoms such as breathing difficulties can suffer permanent lung damage, I conclude that the doctors’ argument to end the lockdown is unsupported by the facts.
However, I’m always willing to listen and learn from folks with different or more knowledgeable perspectives. What’s your take on the doctor’s video, @Eldridge.
It's funny, I was checking for spam posts in the middle of the night and saw this one and wondered if it was spam. So I meant to watch the first 5 minutes, but it drew me in so I watched the whole thing and I read the comments on YouTube. It has gone viral with 2.5 million views in just a few days and 12,000 comments.
It went into my dreams and this morning I kept coming back to it.
One perspective they have is, just as with the flu, the cause of death is rarely Covid. They die with the flu, or with Covid, but they had underlying problems that made it so they couldn't survive Covid or the flu. Docs often don't list flu as a cause of death because kidney disease, heart disease, yada. But if they die with Covid, the cause is listed as Covid.
One thing they and everyone agrees on is testing. Because asymptomatic people can infect, that's a major reason we're keeping people at home, because unlike Germany, Taiwan or South Korea, we don't have a lot of testing. The lack of testing may be responsible for an additional tens of thousands of deaths and a crippled economy. It's the one thing the federal government could stay focused on and fix.
Comparing it to the flu, tho, bothers me because of this chart. I know, flu deaths are underreported, but even if you take that into consideration...
Sweden is an interesting case, their top Doctors predicts herd immunity in Stockholm in a matter of weeks. The did have many more deaths compared to neighbor countries but if they achieve herd immunity will they have fewer deaths in the long run? Also 50% I think were nursing home deaths.....?
Yeah, Sweden seems a fascinating case study. From what I can tell, they seem to be growing more concerned, with more cases in the last few days than they predicted, and they’re talking about closing some pubs and restaurants if people don’t conform better.
On the other hand, they’re sticking to the big picture of achieving herd immunity and coming out better in the long run, so we’ll see.
I have to hand it to those doctors who were respectful and stuck to the data. I respect this kind of debate far more than angrily storming the capital with assault rifles over your shoulder.
*Love to tofu!* Glad to know it showed up, I am trying to learn this website. I desire to leave Facebook more often.
My communications abilities lack, please don't misunderstand my brief reply for lack of interest in your well written response
"What’s their bias?"
Always a good question to ask; since they have administered about half of the Covid tests in their county I would not think that their bottom line has been as effected by the Shut Down Order.
"We haven’t been testing the dead for COVID-19 because we do not have enough tests."
I have a friend that is a nurse and one that is a pharmacist in a hospital, they both say that here in Phoenix doctors ARE running tests on dead people, car crashes ect.. and listing Covid as a cause if they test positive. Both of my friends say "where are the people that are dying of heart disease every 37 sec" (according to the CDC) "Where are the chronically ill?" They both have been asked to take all there vacation time and last week got their hours cut. These people are a very small sampling in one small area but the Doctors remarks spoke of things I think are going to grow in testimony
Well the docs stirred up quite the controversy. Even Elon tweeted about it:
They appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News. But I think her credibility has been hit pretty hard by her promotion of Hydroxychloroquine.
But then there’s this:
In a rare statement late today, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine declared they “emphatically condemn the recent opinions released by Dr. Daniel Erickson and Dr. Artin Messihi. These reckless and untested musings do not speak for medical societies and are inconsistent with current science and epidemiology regarding COVID-19. As owners of local urgent care clinics, it appears these two individuals are releasing biased, non-peer reviewed data to advance their personal financial interests without regard for the public’s health.”