Covid and Taiwan

“A society of about 24 million people, Taiwan has had only 449 confirmed cases of Covid-19 — and seven deaths.”

“according to the government’s health data, the majority of Covid-19 cases in Taiwan have been imported and not the result of community transmission.”

So only a handful of cases internally among 24,000,000 living and working and moving about shoulder-to-shoulder? And those were from migrants?

“Taiwan did not have to impose harsh lockdowns in response to the virus, as many other countries (and jurisdictions within the US) have had to do.”

And no lockdowns or shutdowns either?

Covid and life expectancy

How much life expectancy has been lost to Covid itself? How much life expectancy has been lost, and harm caused by the shutdown lockdown mitigation approach? Sweden for example saw this dilemma very early on an chose to not shut down and lock down.

Much of the Media in a veritable panic continues to blare “200,000 Americans have died from Covid!”.  Is that true?  Does that headline need context?  Does that headline cause more harm than help?

The key public health metric is life expectancy. Natural life expectancy or life span, is averaged for a population but varies by individual, their genetics and how well they managed their own health.  Public health is charged with helping a population maximize or realize their natural expected life span.

One study of 50,000 college students in the US revealed 2 hospitalizations and 0 deaths.
265,000,000 world wide are facing starvation including many children from covid lockdowns and shutdowns.
Research shows that a child pushed into poverty loses 15 years of life expectancy.

If an 80 year old, with a natural life expectancy of 72 years today, is suddenly lost to any pathogen, society gained 8 years.  From a public health perspective, none was lost at all.

A big win!  And most everyone says he/she led a good life, maybe a great life. Had a chance to marry, attend college, see their kids graduate from college and so on.

“What is the average life expectancy of someone in a nursing home [before Covid]?

The average length of stay before death was 13.7 months, while the median was five months. Fifty-three percent of nursing home residents in the study died within six months. Men died after a median stay of three months, while women died after a median stay of eight months.”

Now, lose a 5 year old to the flu (for example) and society has LOST 95 years of life expectancy. Not to mention the emotional grief for everyone, not just relatives and friends.

A devastating loss.

Covid, the virus itself, is not the problem.  The possible bout of ARDS from the body fighting the virus is.  But only a tiny fraction of a fraction of the populace is at risk. The very elderly with serious co-morbidities are the only group with a significant statistical chance of a bad outcome from contracting Covid-19.

“In 1968, at the height of the last great influenza pandemic, at least a million people worldwide died, including 100,000 Americans. That year A.M.M. Payne, a professor of epidemiology at Yale University, wrote:”

In the conquest of Mount Everest anything less than 100% success is failure, but in most communicable diseases we are not faced with the attainment of such absolute goals, but rather with trying to reduce the problem to tolerable levels, as quickly as possible, within the limits of available resources…

Alt-E, batteries and E-waste

Think about the overall environmental footprint and $costs of acquiring mineral rights, mining, manufacturing (with very dangerous cancer causing chemicals) just the batteries.

Now consider that all on a scale that would even put a dent in a dent of the energy needs world-wide. Now consider all of the places and times where alt-E simply won’t work.

Now consider the environmental footprint and $costs of recycling and disposing of just the battery e-waste on that world-wide scale.

If any of the above is even possible. China controls 90% of the world’s REE.

A complete environmental disaster. And that’s just for the batteries alone.

E-waste is already a huge problem and will be the NEXT existential man-made threat to the world.

And a social justice problem because poor people and poor countries will have the waste dumped on them.

Headlines in the news …

“Turkish President Erdogan denounces police raid at a mosque in German capital, saying the actions were “obviously nourished by racism and Islamophobia”

“Joe Biden calls climate change the ‘number one issue facing humanity’”

Covid and the positivity rate

If people that played soccer today were tested for a sprained ankle, the positivity rate for sprained ankle would be high and certainly higher than a truly random sample of the overall population.

People being tested for Covid now are overwhelming those that experience symptoms or have a good reason to believe they were exposed.  Therefore the positivity rate will be skewed higher.  So, more testing obviously means more cases will be found, and with biased testing, the positivity rate will be much higher.

Some population groups are tested entirely or truly randomly and they show a much lower positivity rate.

Lastly, many more people of all age and health spectrums that contract the common cold bug for which there is no vaccine get really sick and miserable.  Lost work and school days, etc.  Many if all age and health condition groups never know they even caught the Covid bug.

Policy has NEVER been zero cases of anything at any cost.

The strategy that has been debated for months should be to focus resources on the truly vulnerable to a bad outcome from Covid.

Those that are vulnerable to any pathogen should take steps to protect themselves and friends and family should assist to that end.

At this point in the history of covid, stats are meaningless without context.
New cases, new hospitalizations, deaths attributed to covid?
Who are they, where are they, why are they?