Covid 12/31: Meet the New Year

You may well be right. I guess we don't really know what the sampling bias is (it would have to be pretty strongly skewed towards incoming UK cases though to get to a majority, since the UK itself was near 50%).

Covid 12/31: Meet the New Year

I don't think it's correct to say that it remains stable at 0.5-1% of samples in Denmark. There were 13 samples of the new variant last week, vs. only 3 two weeks ago, if I understood the data correctly. If it went from 0.5% to 1% in a week then you should be alarmed. (Although 3 and 13 are both small enough that it's hard to compute a growth rate, but it certainly seems consistent with the UK data to me.)

I think better evidence against non-infectiousness would be Italy and Israel, where the variant seems to be dominant but there isn't runaway growth. But:
 - Italy was on a downtick and then imposed a stronger lockdown, yet the downtick switched to being flat. So R does seem to have increased in Italy.
 - Israel is vaccinating everyone fairly quickly right now.

Covid 12/31: Meet the New Year

Zvi, I still think that your model of vaccination ordering is wrong, and that the best read of the data is that frontline essential workers should be very highly prioritized from a DALY / deaths averted perspective. I left this comment on the last thread that explains my reasoning in detail, looking at both of the published papers I've seen that model vaccine ordering: link. I'd be happy to elaborate on it but I haven't yet seen anyone provide any disagreement.

More minor, but regarding rehab facilities, from a bureaucratic perspective they are "congregate living facilities" and in the same category as retirement homes. I don't think New York is doing anything exceptional by having them high on the list, for instance California is doing the same thing if I understand correctly. We can of course argue over whether it's good for them to be high on the list; I personally think of them as 20-person group houses and so feel reasonably good prioritizing them highly, though I'm not confident in that conclusion.

Covid 12/24: We’re F***ed, It’s Over

Zvi, I agree with you that the CDC's reasoning was pretty sketchy, but I think their actual recommendation is correct while everyone else (e.g. the UK) is wrong. I think the order should be something like:

Nursing homes -> HCWs -> 80+ -> frontline essential workers -> ...

(Possibly switching the order of HCWs and 80+.)

The public analyses saying that we should start with the elderly are these two papers:


Notably, both papers don't even consider vaccinating essential workers as a potential intervention. The only option categories are by age, comorbidities, and whether you're a healthcare worker. The first paper only considers age and concludes unsurprisingly that if your only option is to order by age, you should start with the oldest. In the second paper, which includes HCWs as a category (modeling them as having higher susceptibility but not higher risk of transmitting to others), HCWs jump up on the queue to right after the 80+ age group (!!!). Since the only factor being considered is susceptibility, presumably many types of essential workers would also have a higher susceptibility and fall into the same group.

If we apply the Zvi cynical lens here, we can ask why these papers perform an analysis that suggests prioritizing healthcare workers but don't bother to point out that the same analysis applies to 10% of the population (hint: there is less than 10% available vaccines and the authors are in the healthcare profession).

The actual problem with the original CDC recommendations was that essential workers is so broad a category that it encompasses lots of people who aren't actually at increased risk (because their jobs don't require much contact). The new recommendations revised this to focus on frontline essential workers, a more-focused category that is about half of all essential workers. This is a huge improvement but I think even the original recommendations are better than the UK approach of prioritizing only based on age.

Remember, we should focus on results. If the CDC is right while everyone else is wrong, even if the stated reasoning is bad, pressuring them to conform to everyone else's worse approach is even worse.

Why are young, healthy people eager to take the Covid-19 vaccine?

Mo Bamba (NBA) and Cody Garbrandt (UFC) are both pro athletes who are still out of commission months later. I found this looking for NBA information, and only about 50 NBA players have gotten Covid, so this suggests at least 2% chance of pretty bad long term symptoms.

Pain is not the unit of Effort

I think that the right amount level of effort leaves you tired but warm inside, like you look forward doing this again, rather than just feeling you HAVE to do this again.


This is probably true in a practical sense (otherwise you won't sustain it as a habit), but I'm not sure it describes a well-defined level of effort. For me an extreme effort could still lead to me looking forward to it, if I have a concrete sense of what that effort bought me (maybe I do some tedious and exhausting footwork drills, but I understand the sense in which this will carry over into a game-like situation, so it feels rewarding; but I wouldn't be able to sustainably put in that same level of effort if I couldn't visualize the benefits).

It seems to me like to calibrate the right level of effort requires some other principle (for physical activity this would be based on rates of adaptation to avoid overtraining), and then you should perform visualization or other mental exercises to align your psychology with that level of effort. 

Pain is not the unit of Effort

If most workouts are painful, then I agree you are probably overtraining. But if no workouts at all are painful, you're probably missing opportunities to improve. And many workouts should at least be uncomfortable for parts of it. E.g. when lifting, for the last couple deadlift sets I often feel incredibly gassed and don't feel like doing another one. But this can be true even when I'm far away from my limits (like, a month later I'll be lifting 30 pounds more and feel about as tired, rather than failing to do the lift).

My guess is that on average 1-2 workouts a week should feel uncomfortable in some way, and 1-2 workouts a month should feel painful, if you're training optimally. But it probably varies by sport (I'm mostly thinking sports like soccer or basketball that are high on quickness and lateral movement, but only moderate on endurance).

ETA: Regarding whether elite athletes are performing optimally, it's going to depend on the sport, but in say basketball where players have 10+ years careers, teams generally have a lot of incentive to not destroy players' bodies. Most of the wear and tear comes from games, while training outside of games is often preventing injuries by preparing the body for high and erratic levels of contact in games. (I could imagine that in say gymnastics, or maybe even American football, the training incentives are misaligned with long-term health, but I don't know much about either.)

Why are young, healthy people eager to take the Covid-19 vaccine?

You could look at papers published on medrxiv rather than news articles, which would resolve the clickbait issue, though you'd still have to assess the study quality.

Why are young, healthy people eager to take the Covid-19 vaccine?

Have you tried googling yourself and were unable to find them? (Sorry that I'm too lazy to re-look them up myself, but given that LW is mostly leisure for me I don't feel like doing it, and I'd be somewhat surprised if you googled for stuff and didn't find it.)

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