Archive for coronavirus epidemics

a French paradox?

Posted in Books, pictures, Statistics, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 28, 2022 by xi'an

There has been some debate (in France at least) as to why the country was one with the highest rate of infection (among West European countries), still rising [with half a million new cases reached on 25 Jan., almost 1% of the entire population].However, the increase in the number of ICU admissions has been much less dire, with hospitals still operating below maximum capacity (although in tense conditions) and a stable death rate (in the entire population) below the US and the UK rates [and therefore a decreasing fatality rate].While arguments on a much higher testing rate have been discarded, other explanations for the elevated levels of contamination include the general slackness in enforcing and respecting distanciation and protection rules, as shown below by the more limited decrease in commuting (although there are many confounding factors), and the high contamination rate among young (and not yet vaccinated) children and their unrestricted access to schools…While the vaccination rate is rather high (at 93% of people above 12 being vaccinated to some extent), it could explain for the lower fatality rate and hence for the country being one of the best achievers in terms of excess mortality.

Xs Xplain’d

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2021 by xi'an

tempDavid Spiegelhalter is starting a column in The Guardian about COVID-19, the first installment being about excess death statistics. Arguing rightly that it is “fairer to look at what has happened to the total number of deaths”, since this is an objective quantity (in countries with trustworthy death statistics). The discussion on how many of the excess deaths can be attributed to the pandemic is somewhat confusing, though, as little can be said with enough confidence, between the positive impact (flu deaths have plummeted, 30% less traffic deaths in France, &tc.) and the negative impact (stress, harsher economic or social conditions, &tc.) A worthy warning: the deficit in “other” deaths during the second wave is partly due to the extra deaths during the first wave, esp. for fragile and elderly persons.

will it ever get better?! [verbatim]

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2020 by xi'an

“…after his defeat in the 1800 election, Adams wrote bitterly that “we have no Americans in America,” and that “a group of foreign liars, encouraged by a few ambitious native gentlemen, have discomfited the education, the talents, the virtues, and the property of the country.” Adams was so disgusted that he refused to attend the inauguration of his successor, Thomas Jefferson.” Sean Willenz, 11 November

“This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying.” Ted Cruz, 03 May 2016

“No sitting president — no presidential candidate, with the partial exception of Jackson in 1824 — has refused to accept the results of an election. I’m not surprised that Trump is threatening to do so, but refusing to accept the results of an election may be a bridge too far.” James T. Campbell, 11 November

“There is no enchanted village in Pennsylvania full of 50,000 Trump voters that we haven’t heard from already. It doesn’t exist.” John Fetterman, Pennsylvania lieutenant governor, 13 November

and it only gets worse [last round?!]

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2020 by xi'an

““A lot of what we’ve done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election. They won’t be able to do much about [Amy Coney Barrett election] for a long time to come.” M. McConnell, 25 October

“We’re not going to control the pandemic” White House Chief of Staff, 26 October

“The International Criminal Court (ICC) plays an essential role in delivering justice to the victims of some of the World’s most horrific crimes. Its independence and impartiality are crucial characteristics of the Court’s work, which are fundamental for the legitimacy of its judgements. The sanctions announced by the United States administration on 2 September against two Court staff members, including its Prosecutor, are unacceptable and unprecedented measures that attempt to obstruct the Court’s investigations and judicial proceedings. The European Union (…) will resolutely defend it from any attempts aimed at obstructing the course of justice and undermining the international system of criminal justice.” [EU High Representative] Josep Borrell, 03 September

“Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States has defended the dignity of human life everywhere and always. He’s done it like no other President in history (…)  in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning.” M. Pompeo [when signing the Geneva Consensus Declaration]

[signing the Geneva Consensus Declaration] marks another giant step backwards for the United States as it joins a list of countries willingly endangering people’s health and lives. The United States’ stance flies in the face of human rights and decades of health research. This is about people living full lives that are their own – not the lives that the government has prescribed for them,” Tarah Demant, Amnesty International

[Amy Coney Barrett] is the most openly pro-life judicial nominee to the Supreme Court in my lifetime. This is an individual who has been open in her criticism of that illegitimate decision Roe v. Wade.” Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican Senator, 27 October

“Last week, the Supreme Court acquiesced to another attack on the voting rights of all Americans. In a 5-3 decision, the court blocked a trial judge’s ruling permitting Alabama counties to offer curbside voting as a reasonable accommodation to disabled voters.” Ari Ne’eman, The New York Times, 28 October

“In this election America faces a fateful choice. At stake is the nature of its democracy. One path leads to a fractious, personalised rule, dominated by a head of state who scorns decency and truth. The other leads to something better—something truer to what this newspaper sees as the values that originally made America an inspiration around the world.” The Economist, 29 October

Berliner Schnauze

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , on October 15, 2020 by xi'an
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