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How do you deal with people cargo culting COVID-19 defense?

I do become cynic, but mainly when I'm thinking about the long timescales involved between "thinking from first principles" over "risk/benefit analysis" and "scientific consensus" to "political rule-making". On the level of individuals, I'm becoming more and more ok with people "engaging in socially approved rituals against COVID-19". When institutions like the WHO and the CDC, or like the RKI and the STIKO in Germany, often fail at proper reasoning, we can't expect normal people to do better.

Concerning the security people with less masking: Accodring to the German work protection law and the "DGUV Regel 112–190", employees need to have a break of 30 minutes without ANY mask after wearing a non-ventilated FFP2 mask for 75 minutes. This is not feasible in the average workplace environment, so there is no practical way to enforce FFP2 mask use, as employers would need to grant those 30 minutes. Apart from nurses and doctors in direct contact with COVID-positive patients, even hospitals only mandate surgical masks for all staff.

Covid 4/15: Are We Seriously Doing This Again

The clinical trials on children by Moderna and Biontech have end dates somewhere in 2022, thus I had supposed we won't see any approval in 2021. That assumption seems to be wrong and I'm happy to stand corrected.

I still believe we're missing something when we complain about the "abundance of caution" concerning 19 year old women, but hardly talk at all about the abundance of caution delaying vaccinations of a 15yo.

Covid 4/15: Are We Seriously Doing This Again

Why are we saying "stopping J&J and AstraZeneca is a terrible idea, even if it was for younger women only" but on the other hand we don't question that around 20% of the population (those younger than 18yrs) will not get any vaccine at all in 2021?

Covid 4/1: Vaccine Passports

Prediction: Countries with high approval ratings of vaccinations will have high approval ratings of some equivalent of a vaccination passport, leading to a high adoption rate of vaccination passports and causing vaccination rates to climb. And vice versa.

I'd like to add to the analysis on vaccination passports: about 1/4 of the population - those below the age of 18 - will not be offered a vaccine in the next months, probably not even in 2021 (at least in Europe). So the argument that once everyone who wants her shot could easily get it we quickly need vaccination passports for all the reasons mentioned in the post has to either somehow exclude children or it won't work for another year. No vaccination passport for children also means way less benefit from vaccination passports for parents.

Covid 3/25: Own Goals

I'm not arguing vaccination vs. no vaccination for young people, I'm arguing that it might not be such a bad idea for young women with a corresponding risk profile to wait a few months (at least half of which will be spent in lockdown anyways) for Biontech or Moderna.

Should you skip Astrazeneca today in order to get Biontech tomorrow? I'd say yes. Should you skip Astrazeneca now for Biontech in September if you are a young healthy woman? Maybe.

Covid 3/25: Own Goals

I agree that stopping Astrazeneca rollout was a very stupid thing to do, but once the damage is done, I'm not so sure about resuming Astrazeneca vaccinations without any changes to recommendations.

So far, about 70 women between 20-40yrs died due to Covid in Germany. About 85% of overall Covid deaths seem to appear in connection with comorbidities. It is probably safe to assume that comorbidities play a higher role in younger patients, but let's stay conservative: about 10 women between 20-40yrs without comorbidities died due to Covid in Germany. There are around 10 million women in Germany between 20-40yrs. Let's say 8 million without relevant comorbidities. We get a risk of death due to Covid of about 1 in 800000 for healthy women in that age group.

So far, about 15 women were diagnosed with cerebral vein thrombosis in connection with an Astrazeneca vaccination in Germany. Those numbers differ from the UK's because in the UK mainly older people were vaccinated with Astrazeneca. In Germany, many younger healthcare workers got Astrazeneca. 4 women between 18-55yrs died due to thrombosis, so we can assume 2 of those deaths appeared in women between 20-40yrs.

So far, about 1.8 million Germans have been vaccinated with Astrazeneca, most of them elderly and/or people with comorbidities. So let's assume, again conservatively, that 0.5 million of those doses went to women in healthcare between 20-40yrs. We get a 1 in 250000 risk of death due to vaccination with Astrazeneca in that age group.

All this is not considering severe illness and long Covid. But it is also not considering declining cases due to warmer temperatures and (very) slowly approaching herd immunity due to vaccinations.

I'm not sure at all whether I would recommend Astrazeneca to young, healthy women who do not have a considerably above average risk of infection. At least not without having a deeper and way more thorough look at those numbers first.

We should not raise awareness

"We should raise awareness of lions on the other side of the river." = I prefer a world where I'm regarded as someone who prefers to make other people spread the meme "There's a lion across the river.".

Suspected reason that kids usually hate vegetables

Let me add to your data: Kids' tastes vary. A lot.

My 8yo only likes a very small selection of vegetables since he was little. Best chance to get him to eat vegetables? In the shape of boring, textureless soups. Sometimes, reverse psychology helps better than expected. When we told him "This is for grownups, kids usually don't like this", he often would at least try the food and sometimes even like it.

Thinking about this, I might be on to something here. This might set expectations just right, whereas "Try this cauliflower, it's delicious" is destined to disappoint.

My 4yo on the other hand was exposed to unhealthy food at way younger age than my 8yo. Fast food, chocolate cake, salt pretzels, everything you shouldn't feed your kids at an early age. Now, she loves most kinds of vegetables and for dessert(!), she will prefer cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, and olives over most sweets (ice cream being the main exception here). With some kids, some parts of parenting are easy; and nobody knows why.

Why indoor lighting is hard to get right and how to fix it

I have compared a professional luxmeter with the free app "GPS Status" which also displays a Lux value. The readings were within 30% tolerance for normal lighting situations. A smartphones light sensor will clip at some (high) value though. This clipping value can easilly be tested by pointing the sensor directly towards the sun.

It might well depend on the smartphone model. My tests were done with an older Motorola and a Oneplus 6. I'd guess a free app will be sufficient for most purposes.

April Coronavirus Open Thread

That German study only refers to Germany's COVID-19 hotspot area and does not apply at all to the larger population.

There are also connections to a PR agency and one of that agency's founders was the former head of the notorious "Bild" tabloid newspaper. Given the fact that on the one hand a PR agency should be able to provide a correct narrative, and on the other hand the study's results have been reported wrongly quite often, you should take that study with a grain of salt.

(German) source:

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