How do you feel about this statement?
Personally with all the disinformation going around, such as the tit-for-tat argument around whether or not someone actually died from COVID-19 but being included in the death rate regardless, I'm having trouble formulating any clear thoughts on this COVID-19 mess.
Not that I want to play into conspiracy theories, but it's questions like these that make me raise an eyebrow and I need others to weigh in with facts, sources, and anecdotal thoughts on the matter.
Is this actually a problem with the ethics of our leaders in the scientific community? It wouldn't be the first time data has been manipulated to favor a political or scientific agenda; I mean damn, prominent cases of unethical data manipulation have popped up just for COVID-19, and it's pretty novel.
Given that the virus is particularly hard on the elderly and particularly easy on the very young, simple arithmetic tells us the average age of death will be higher than "natural death", whatever that might mean.
(Personally, I would call death from disease pretty "natural")
Yes, as would I, but as we have seen being debated by professionals and laymen alike, death by COVID-19 is being attributed to those already dying in the first place. Do you find it to be scientifically ethical to apply COVID-19 as the cause of death to someone deemed, "dying," and even given an estimated time left to live based on a preexisting condition?
I think many lawmakers and policy makers, especially the ones in the insurance side of things would want the lines less blurry as it concerns cause of death. Within this context, I have to start questioning the ethics of the science behind COVID-19.
Yes, I've seen the claims, although not specifically for people already terminally ill that contract the virus. That would seem to me to be quite unethical...but at the same time I highly doubt there are a significant number of terminally ill people that get the virus.
Of course "terminally ill" means everyone on the planet. If a person is given a year to live and dies within two weeks after contracting the virus I don't see anything wrong with listing cause of death as the virus. If given two weeks and dies in one week with the virus that's another matter. But, as I mentioned, I don't think there are very many of those; certainly not enough to significantly change the numbers.
I also agree with your final statement. I'm just wondering if we are going to see a backtracking later on, sort of like an asterisks next to the death count listing that the federal guidelines for the time allowed for unethical data collection, or if we are going to keep the numbers the same. Some even argue that the numbers, despite the faulty pretenses, are way higher than they are saying.
I'm struggling to believe any of it with all the contradictory information, which leads me to believe something unethical is occurring with the data collection.
There is almost zero doubt that figures will be changed in the future. There are those out there that will used the numbers to politically attack with, and being higher or lower will affect how effective the attack is perceived to be.
So they will be changed, not from better data but for political reasons. What else is new in this country, where lies are accepted as truth and vilifying a political opponent is more important that honesty?
Meanwhile, the bottom line is that we will never get the "truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth".
So would you agree with the statement that the science behind the data collection could be labeled accurately as unethical?
Politicians can't directly tweak those numbers in their favor, and I think ethics as it concerns politics is a humorous topic to begin with, but those collecting the data have nothing barring them from, say, "massaging," the numbers with asymptomatic deaths being attributed to COVID-19. Which, I could agree is an unfair stance to hold on the grounds that I wouldn't even know where to begin on proving or disproving such claims.
This is why I can't break away from calling the science unethical, too many questions with too much room for error for it to be anything but scientifically unethical.
I have added a good link to give you an idea of the age of the largest percentage that has been infected with COVID. It will also explain many of the elderly that contracted the virus also had, as a rule, one or more underlying health conditions. In regards to how the death toll is being calculated, the CDC also has a page with a good explanation of how they are in the process of working on that... they report they won't be done until Dec 2020. It appears due to testing being poor in the first months it has been hard to provide an accurate death count for COVID. The CDC is combining those that were tested and positive for COVID and died,
and those that presented with possible COVID symptoms but were not tested. This has left some feeling the count is not correct. Some of the minds that many may have had COVID before it was discovered and they died of COVID and were not counted. You can see where the confusion comes in. Plus, we have many that had the virus and just stayed home. We will truly never know how many may have had the virus.
I'm highly excited to see how they calculate the margin of error on this once things finally come to a conclusion. Thank you for your valuable input!
Kyler, it takes a bit of tedious reading, but well, I will let you have a look and see what you think. And You're welcome...
I've taken my look, and once again I'm excited to see how this all plays out and the final margin for error listed. It is absolutely riveting, all the different facets both known and unknown. So much work goes into it all, then the media takes what they can and pushes their agendas with it, the dynamic absolutely fascinates me as much as it disgusts me.
Wanna speculate on when the media will shift views and stop using the numbers as a political agenda? I'd guess sometime during or right after the elections. My entire inspiration for this post was thinking that the ethics of science and the ethics of journalism do not mesh well by any means.
Yes, in this case, the ethics of science and the ethics of journalism mix like vinegar and oil. You know what shocks me out of this mess -- being an RN, I am perplexed to why Doc's have gone along with adding COVID to a death record without the actual proof that a test could provide. Physicians as I have always witnessed use tests to verify, and are very careful when filling out a death record. I did see an interview given by a physician from California question why he was asked to add COVID to the record when a person died that had not been tested.
It is true that the hospitals had little testing capability for the first month, and longer in some states. It still seems odd that COVID would be added to a death record without the evidence of a test.
When COVID was first discovered we were in the midst of an A (H1N1), and B virus outbreak in 2019 -2020. A (H1N1) does look like COVID in regards to symptoms. B flu has more cold-like symptoms. The vaccine last fall was for A(H1N1) and B. A (H1N1) killed 174 children in the 2019 -2020 flu season. One could easily mistake Strain A (H1N1) for COVID. It has been my thought the death toll is off due to the lack of testing, and the symptoms being so close they were just considered and treated as COVID.
And I agree the media will take this all the way to Nov...IT has become a very politically charged subject.
My entire family became ill back in November, our doctor said we most likely had COVID-19, but perhaps you'd like to give some insights on the matter.
Started with my girlfriend who had horrible muscle aches and a dry cough for over one month that often saw her having to dismiss herself from work to cough for minutes long without stopping, then my son and I had a consistent dry cough for about three weeks. Would that be consistent with either h1n1 or COVID?
Considering we have been practicing safe civil disobedience since the beginning of this, have not been sick, but live right next to what was once the most dangerous county in the country we probably would have caught it by now. I think we already had it just like our doctor hypothesized.
The symptoms of H1N1 are the same. My family, as well as myself, were also ill with lower respiratory symptoms. I was treated at home for over a month. I am waiting to be able to get a titer test for COVID19. As of yet, I have not been able to get one. I am hopeful I had COVID19 and have antibodies to the virus. If not I will assume I had H1N1, although I did get my flu shot, and this year's flu shot was for A(H1N1) and B. I should have been somewhat safe from getting A. It would be wonderful if your daily and you had COVID, you would be less likely to get it again or if you do get it, it will be weakened by antibodies you may have built up.
In y opinion, I think many have had it, and hopefully, this will have built a birth of a herd immunity if it returns in the fall. Hopefully, it mutates into a strain that causes fewer problems.
Very interesting, so not only do I get to look forward to the margin of error, I also get to look forward to how much of this is attributed to h1n1, and how much goes back to COVID-19. You have been a wealth of knowledge, and for that I thank you!
Kyler, just have look at this link:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a … 7920301643
French doctors found Covid19 already in December 2019 in France. Someone without travelling activity or connection to China.
From my family connection to Russia i heard that in Nov. / Dec. 2019 Russia/Moscow region was struck by an unusual high amount of pneumonia cases.
Of course this is all no real evidence that the spreading started much earlier. Possibly we know more later.
There is not the one and only Covid19 virus. With every new infection the virus is prone to mutate. By now the mutations and variations are well over 10.000 worldwide. Links to Genome tracking project:
https://theconversation.com/the-coronav … een-136826
The interactive world map holds a time laps feature that allows to follow the spread and major mutations.
Reports here in Germany confirm your headline. Average Age of Covid19 deaths is higher than average life expectancy.
IMHO doesn´t tell very much. Life expectancy grows with your life span. A toddler has much ahead while a retired person may be sick, but has no more the risk to be overrun by a car while leaving the Kindergarden. You are born with 80 years span, but at 65 your life expectancy is possibly 84.
I could look at the issue like this (example): Average life expectancy (from toddler to elderly): 80 years. Average age Corona deaths: 81 years. Life expectency of elderly only (mostly hit by Corona): 84 years. I can say it takes statistically 3 years off lifetime from the elderly.
Ethical questions only rise, if you trade economic benefits with saving life. And - is an elderly person less worth than a young person. Certainly not. I think we are all humans.
I think it depends on the perspective you look at old people from, which isn't to say that I want to devalue the elderly, only to say the government and other policy makers regularly do. However, I don't want to discuss human value because even scientists have varying degrees of value for humans within different topics and we regularly see spates over such subjective things.
The way I'm looking at it due to the American federal guidelines: "If someone is asymptomatic, then they die, they attribute this death to COVID-19. At that point the data is then skewed unfairly."
I'm wondering if as this all simmers down, we can start exploring it with a little more logical callousness, we will start seeing those numbers drop as some say they will or if we are going to see them rise even further like others are claiming?
Personally, if it doesn't get some sort of large percentage correction for margin of error then I'd have to conclude that the data collection process was scientifically unethical.
Please, what is "scientifically unethical"? My innocent thinking is that science is neutral.
Science is no more neutral, if developments and studies are ordered/commanded by politics or organisations/corporations. Things are getting ethical, if politics or people holding power make use of results.
And things are also getting ethical (from the science side), if results are not published or agitated because scientists expect political implications (The Albert Einsteins or Andrei Sacharows for example).
About the issue of Corona death count. Isn´t it totally irrelevant if people die:
- from Corona: die from lung and multiorgan failure and Covid19 positive
- with Corona: die from heartattack, with Covid19 positive
- because of Corona: People die, because they were afraid to go to the hospital or were not admitted because ICU reservation to Covid19. These people are Covid19 negative, but die from all kinds of diseases that were not treated properly because of Covid19 priority.
All deaths must show up in a register, in a book. Should be easy to investigate and compare to recent years. I think some investigation is under way. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/202 … eaths.html
The way I'm looking at it is from the federal guidelines for determining cause of death. It tends to be vague and allows for someone who is already ill, such as someone in the ICU, to be counted as a COVID-19 death simply because they contracted the virus if the one determining cause of death deems it COVID-19. There is a lack of oversight as of yet, and the idea of counting deaths as they pertain to indirect effects of COVID-19, rather than actually being infected would be equally as valid to apply to the systems under which they live like laws surrounding COVID-19. However, scientifically if someone dies of heart disease because they couldn't get their heart surgery that was put off to keep the hospital clear, then heart disease should absolutely be the cause of death.
If people label deaths that occurred due to other reasons as COVID-19 deaths, solely because COVID-19 was making certain actions preventable such as elective procedures and non-priority treatments, then I'd absolutely argue that is unethical and politically motivated. We rarely, almost never, blame McDonalds and other fast food chains for heart disease and for that death toll, yet if we look at the American diet we can see that chains such as these and their subsidiaries are a leading cause of heart disease for many.
A really murky topic, and my source is just in case we want to read on the guidelines which are way too complex to quote directly in any appropriate manner.
Kyler, i understand what you mean.
But reading through the document you provided, isn´t that an official statement that there is not enough and mandatory testing done? There is no such diagnosis as "probably Covid19". Without testing - yes, you can write anything.
Yes, and that is sort of my point. I'm confused as to how they can push the statistics on a scientific level as ethical. It all seems like more of an obtuse way to ensure they have a reason to control people. Yet I don't want to go down the path of conspiracy and say that this is so the government can come and tell me not to wear my tinfoil hat, you know what I mean?
Taking the scientific stance on the death toll, the diagnostics guidelines, it's worthy of being thrown in the garbage as it is now. Basically, it is so deep in its infancy that it can't be called anything but unethical to push it all as staunchly accurate in any capacity. Or it can and I'm missing something as far as the logic outside of needing a reason to comfort/control the public opinion.
It all just seems like it causes more confusion than it is solving anything, except for allowing for the government to have a reason to lock everything down to the point of jailing people for exercising their rights safely but ignoring things like masks and keeping their now-failing business shuttered.
I'm excited to see how the science plays out, but by the time the dust settles we'll have another controversy and no one will care anymore, probably the election.
Kyler, found this link:
A Danish study on Corona impact on life expectancy.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/0 … tists-say/
With reference to my previous comment where i had suggested an age adjusted life expectancy to be used to measure the impact of Corona, the studies in these links do exactly this.
The studies come to results of Corona cutting off more than 10 years in Italy and the UK. A German study results in an average 9 years (link only German, can provide if desired).
The study results show a more severe impact than i had anticipated. I tend to accept the results. Corona is more dangerous than we think.
Lawmakers and policy makers must listen, if they're sensible people, to physiologists. Would like to know who you are to question ' the ethics of the science behind COVID-19. '
Does anyone need to be more than a curious citizen during this novel coronavirus to question anything they hear?
Also there's already been cases of unethical data collection leading to termination of employment, and even forfeiture of official studies. I'd say questioning it all is the safest bet at this point, not even taking into account politicians saying that the federal guidelines in America could allow the numbers to be, "massaged."
We can't quash human curiosity from a position of authority without allowing speculation, that's how we end up developing an ignorant society.
Of course anyone can write or say anything they please in a free country unless it exceeds the limit of their legitimate right to express their views. Nevertheless, I canNot see any sound grounds for questioning ' the ethics of the science behind COVID-19. ' There's Nothing wrong with the revision by scientists ( physiologists, epidemiologists, etc ) of the fatality-data in regard to the COVID-19 as they're competent to do it. And I think the determination of the real cause of death of someone with abnormal heart- or kidney-condition who tested COVID-19 positive is experts' job, and so we'd best leave it to the experts.
Is there anyone here who isn't leaving the data to the experts?
I wholly trust the experts to do their jobs but that doesn't mean I can't seek verification, and I just want to know the opinions of my fellow man on the topic. As such, your input is greatly valued despite trying to invalidate casual layperson conversation.
I can only speak for the UK. In the UK, gathering all the data for the ‘Daily Government Briefing’ to the Nation at 5pm is complex, and the ‘Official Data’ Released is subject to ‘Revision’ due to missed cases and a lag in reporting e.g. the figures given over the weekend and on Monday is always ‘artificially low’ because a lot of the deaths are not reported over the weekend. Therefore, to compensate the data is averaged out over a 7 day rolling week.
All the daily data has to be collected separately from the four countries within the UK, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland; and then compiled together to give a National overall figure for the UK.
For the first six weeks the UK Government only included people who “died in hospitals who had tested positive for covid-19” as the ‘Official Figure’. But as with Italy, and other countries, it became apparent in time that people were dying of covid-19 in ‘Care Homes’, but their deaths were not being included in the official Government data. This oversight in the UK was highlighted when the ONS (Office for National Statistics) published its monthly data, which showed deaths in the UK in the previous month was far higher than the national average for previous years, than that which could be accounted for by the Official Government figures for covid-19 deaths.
The ONS is an Independent Government Department. An Independent Government Department in the UK is a Government Department that is NOT answerable to the Government, but only answerable to Parliament e.g. prevents a government from any involvement in the Department for ‘political reasons’ (a safe guard).
Since then, the Government’s Official Figures now include not just deaths of people who die in hospitals who tested positive for covid-19, but also all deaths in ‘Care Homes’ and at ‘Home’ (and elsewhere) where covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate.
However, this is still believed to be an under estimate as total deaths in the UK since the Pandemic is still way over the national average for previous year; even when you take into account the ‘Official Figures’ for covis-19 deaths.
So to partly answer your question: International comparisons of covid-19 deaths can be misleading, partly because how Covid-19 deaths are recorded differs from country to country e.g. it’s likely that in poorer countries like India and Africa a lot of covid-19 deaths go unrecorded simply because they don’t have the resources to test for covid-19 for all deaths.
Given that there is no perfect solution; ‘Excess Deaths’ e.g. the number of deaths above the average in previous years, is by far the better measure of more accurately recorded Covid-19 deaths, as It measures the additional deaths in a given time period compared to the number usually expected, and does not depend on how COVID-19 deaths are recorded.
Therefore if you want an indication of the true impact of covid-19 in the USA I would suggest finding accurate statistics (from a reliable source) of the total number of deaths by month in the USA for 2019 and comparing it to this year.
Example of some historic data for the UK is quite revealing:-
For example in England and Wales in the week ending 17th April 2020 (the peak week in the UK for covid-19 deaths), there were 113% more deaths than in the same week in 2019; which is the same percentage at for Spain when they reached their peak. 71% of those excess deaths in the UK were associated with Covid-19; obviously, some of the excess deaths identified will not be directly due to COVID-19, but of the remaining 29% of excess deaths it’s likely that a proportion was due to Covid-19 but not properly identified as such on the death certificate e.g. lack of testing!
I keep seeing people in these forums talking about the Covid-19 being fatal to only the elderly; but that isn’t the case. People of all ages (and not always with underling health conditions) do die of covid-19; albeit the older you are the greater the risk Covid-19 will be fatal, and if you have an underlying health condition e.g. diabetes, asthma etc. the risk of it being fatal is also higher.
For the week ending 24th April in the UK: The Data collected by the ONS, showing Covid-19 on the death certificates by age group:-
• Age group 15-44 = 103 deaths
• Age group 45-64 = 823 deaths
• Age group 65-74 = 1189 deaths
• Age group 75-84 = 2614 deaths
• Age group 85+ = 3507 deaths
On 4th April a 5 year old child became the UK’s youngest victim to die of covid-19 up to that point; the youngest victim to date in the UK is now a six-week old baby who died of covid-19 yesterday.
Below is the deaths from Covid-19 published by the UK Government Yesterday; showing the 7 day rolling average to take in account the fact that data for the weekend doesn't get reported until later in the week.
Nathan, as your comment is so long and I only have a few minutes to get through typing this before I must switch back over to Game of Thrones for the girlfriend (night time entertainment ritual) I'd like to say that I am extremely interested in what you have to say. Your input on my previous thread was enlightening, to say the least, and as such I'm looking forward to reading this one the second I get the chance to.
We all don´t know nothing not.
May i contribute a little to the nothing. A couple of studies in Germany:
- 80% of reported Corona deaths never saw a hospital (most died in elderly care homes)
- hospitalization rate of active cases was in the range of max. 5%.
- active lung assistance in ICUs (ventilators, oxygen) less than 1% of active cases.
- recent autopsy study of corona deaths showed: 65% had died from blood clogging, 30% from lung failure
- average age of reported Corona deaths: 81 years and rising.
Make of it what you want. Me think, blood thinners may help against Corona, but certainly not against open wounds in Game of Thrones.
Yep, similar pattern in UK e.g. a lot of covid-19 deaths not in hospitals; with a high percentage of them being in care homes, but also a small number elsewhere, including at home.
According to data collected by the ONS: Deaths from any cause in care homes in the UK have increased by 220% since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Yet only 35% of all deaths in care homes during the pandemic have been attributed to Covid-19; so there is speculation that this is an underestimate and that the total increase in death in care homes (relative to previous years), which from the 13th March 2020 to 24th April 2020 was 5,440 deaths, would be a more accurate indication of the scale of the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic on those living in care homes.
Data collected by ONS (Office for National Statistics) for the UK for week ending 24th April, comparing total deaths vs deaths attributed to Covid-19, is as follows:-
• Hospitals: Total deaths = 8,243: Covid deaths = 4,841
• Care Homes: Total deaths = 7,911 deaths: Covid deaths = 2,794
• At Home: Total deaths = 4,834 deaths: Covid deaths = 423
The graph below is data collected by the ONS that shows the percentage increase in deaths in the UK, from any cause, since the start of the Pandemic until 24th April.
Addon to my comment:
https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2765 … hort-study
To me this is already hardcore literature for doctors.
I didn´t know that very rarely autopsies of Covid19 deaths are made. In this study from Hamburg Medical University coroners looked at 170 deaths and a cohort of 12 were examined in depts, whatever that may mean. I get a shiver, when i think about it.
Wow, an impressive study. I was aware that there hasn't been a great number of autopsies on Covid-19 victims e.g. lack of resources due to the impact the pandemic is having on the medical profession.
So this study is certainly important; and I'm sure there will be many more autopsies and related studies in the future to help the experts better understand the virus and potentially find improved ways of fighting it and protecting against it etc.
After having read all this I'm going to have to conclude that, perhaps, my problems once again fall back to American media and the government politicizing this whole mess. Left, right, and center we are getting all kinds of different information. I live right next to what was considered the most dangerous county in the US at one point as it concerns COVID-19, and it was also the first county to start opening up all public spaces. As of now, I can go out and hike any trail I want so long as I don't park in the parking lot of state and national parks (so dumb, but appreciated to be allowed to walk through parks and trails again).
I'm going to need to dig a lot harder, more from a study perspective and less from a "news" perspective on this one it seems.
Kyler, you have a point there about American politics and media. For me in Europe it is unbelieveable how much partisan argumentation and heated debate is associated to any kind of topic.
I have the feeling with my comments, that many times i find myself inbetween the frontlines, I guess, it is the same with Nathan.
It's generally disgusting and perturbing to try to take part in American politics from a fair and impartial stance. People will sooner use everything they can to hurt you and invalidate your arguments unfairly than let you disagree with them in any capacity. It's volatile here, getting worse, and much of my articles touch on the topic such as my article, "Modern Problems: Trickle-Down Cruelty," which basically encompasses the entire reason Americans are so barbaric as it concerns politics.
I concur with Chris, as a European I also find the level of partisan argumentation and heated debate in American politics and media so unbelievable.
On a societal level, it is way worse than what you watch on TV. By my perceptions, the entire social paradigm here in America, not just political, is shifting to major polarization in every direction; effectively, we are being isolated from even our own party because of the hate and vitriol being bred rampantly. Then again, people call me a drama queen and hate doesn't really matter in a two party system where general elections are symbolic.
I worry for the long-term, nonetheless, because with all the politicking in the media there are less and less knowledgeable people and as it becomes okay to harass people so long as they aren't on your side then everyone is going to keep being bitter and regressing. Trickle-down cruelty is a bitch.
Thank God you all are safe. I don't know much about this virus except that it's highly contagious.Unfortunately we all have to live with this virus. There is no choice. That means likelihood of an earlier death is more. What are the odds? That needs to be worked out.
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