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COVID-19 brief for friends and family

As anyone who have checked the google doc recently knows already, I haven't been maintaining it. It is now so out of data I consider it to be doing more harm then good, and have killed the link. I think most people have found better resources by now, anyway.

COVID-19 brief for friends and family

Hey ianps, sorry for the silence (really busy time for me). I just found an article suggesting that in 4 tracked instance of infection in pregnant women, both the mother and baby have been fine, and the virus was not transmitted to the child.

Are there good EA projects for helping with COVID-19?

If you're reading this and have wet lab biology experience (say, have run > 50 PCRs in your life) and would be interested in helping with a project please message me.

Likewise if you have experience making epidemiological models and/or stochastic process models (markov chain monte carlo etc).

I am considering starting 2 projects that require some work to design/ pitch and want to gauge skills/ interest before I invest that time.

A brief sentence about your background would be cool. Thanks!

COVID-19 brief for friends and family

Carry hand sanitizer and do a quick hand sanitization before you touch your face?

Clothes can pick up virus but are much less likely to come into contact with surfaces then your fingers.

You could also keep a pocket full of latex gloves and either wear all the time then remove (carefully without contaminating your hand) before touching your face, or carefully putting on before touching your face.

COVID-19 brief for friends and family

Face, sort of. The major vector of infection is getting virus into your noes/ mouth/ eyes etc, not really by touching your forehead. But instrumentally, I think full face is what makes sense here. Once you have touched your forehead, your face is not a clean zone anymore; when you go to bed and put your face on your pillow, you'll (possibly) be transferring virus there. Likewise once you thoroughly wash your hands once home and let yourself rub your face, you could be recontaminating your hands and spreading the virus from your forehead to some mucus membranes. Even if this wasn't the case, I think it is also easier to self control a "no-face" rule than make a judgement about exactly where your mucus membranes are every time you have a face itch (that itchy place near my eye is still skin, right?)

My first also implies avoiding touching your hair, but I haven't followed up on this (I avoid it myself and think it would be prudent in general but don't know what standard practice is among e.g. health care workers)

COVID-19 brief for friends and family

This is a good idea. I'll add a recommendation on something to this effect in the doc. Thanks!

COVID-19 brief for friends and family

Yeah, its a good point.

On personal risk: a calculation I am stealing from a friend (who I believe does not want credit) suggests a young person's risk after catching is around 1000 micromorts (based on ~.1% young healthy person's IFR). This is doubling or tripling your risk of dying in a given year. See also Beth's comment about chronic fatigue, and note the unknown immunity period etc. I'm not super psyched about those personal risks (if I were to catch it).

This stands if you take best guess if you take the median parameters for things. It seems like if we were to actually propagate uncertainty over the values of parameters like per-age IFR, long-term follow-on conditions like chronic fatigue, infection risk in location of origin, infection risk in San Francisco, infection risk from domestic and international air travel, the posterior distribution looks pretty different. In particular, I'd guess a mildly risk averse (say 75th percentile) decision point would say that cancelling EAG saves a fair bit more than 10 micromorts per person, given how bad current information is.

Other random things:

-SF seems a likely place for an early outbreak given community transmission was first documented in Nor Cal and east asia travel links

-There might be some signalling benefit

-EAs probably have higher risk of infecting other EAs outside the conference

-Conference attendees are generally young but some may be at much higher personal risk because of age or comorbidities.

I don't know if these points are conclusive. On a meta-level, my doc is really intended for friends and family and is not trying to weigh in on this point.

COVID-19 brief for friends and family

I think it is a little low but right order of magnitude (lower when you asked this question).

COVID-19 brief for friends and family

Thank you for doing this. Has been on my list to look at for a while and am really glad we have numbers to work with.

Activism for COVID-19 Local Preparedness

My guess is that this is referencing Harvard School of Public Health's Marc Lipsitch who was quoted projecting this in this article (I think, I'm now paywalled so can't confirm) somewhat out of context and subsequently defended the range in this podcast.

Dr. Lipsitch is well respected in public health and epidemiology communities, FWIW

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