Drowning in Coronavirus Research, Part 80

By September 1, 2020 Commentary

Yet another paper attempting to correlate state lockdown and mitigation measures with mortality.  Pretty pointless if you ask me, given the complex set of factors to entangle.  As far as I can tell, all you need to know is that Peru has the harshest set of lockdown measures of any country and the highest per capita death rate.  And the lockdowns started there a long time ago.   Anyway, I guess I can’t blame the modelers for trying.  (Medrxiv Paper)  Not sure about the quality of the authors.  With those caveats, the modelers found a correlation between population density and mortality.  They found no significant correlation between days of mandated lockdowns and number of total deaths up to peak mortality or to the peak mortality.

Concerns have been raised about private equity firms purchasing health care businesses.  Might lead to lower quality.  Private equity owns nursing homes.  Did they have a worse record in regard to CV-19?  (SSRN Paper)  No they did not.  They were 7% less likely to have a nursing home resident case and 5.4% less likely to have a staff case.  They also were more likely to have adequate personal protective equipment.  Nursing homes that were once owned by private equity, but were no longer so owned by the time of the epidemic did worse than average.

Back when I was just writing an uninteresting nerdy health research site (and not unleashing my sarcastic, sometimes nasty side), the National Bureau of Health Economics was one of my favorite sources of good research.  They have some CV-19 papers, also very good, and this one is on the disproportionate effect of the lockdowns on disadvantaged workers.  (NBER Paper)   They were looking at the impact on remote versus non-remote workers.  Guess which group tends to be low-income and minorities.  They used a large ongoing survey of employees for their data source.  Non-remote workers had three times the job loss of remote ones.  And they had worse respiratory health consequences and were less able to engage in protective behavior.

The shutdown forever ninnies are currently obsessing about children either getting infected or having a role in transmission.  Bad timing for them, as a large study from Germany examining household transmission is released.  (SSRN Study)  2482 children aged 1 to 10 and an equivalent number of one of their parents were tested for current or past infection.  Only two, a child and the corresponding parent, had active infection and only 70 had antibodies indicative of past infection.  Children were three times less likely than an adult to have been infected.  The study took place during a school closure but some children were able to attend day care if the parent was an essential worker.  There was no difference in prevalence between children who did and didn’t attend day care.   There were four times more pairs of a positive parent and a negative child than the reverse.

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