14 Comments

Great summary of the state of affairs. Thanks for the mention! I don't know why Gompertz does not get more consideration. It is a well-established Phenomenon and not at all difficult to apply.

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author

Thanks very much, Joel!

As you say it is kind of a summary, I had planned to burrow down into the detail of variants vs waves in Germany but wasn't satisfied with the results - perhaps in another post.

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How do you disentangle different waves when fitting Gompertz functions? Do you have software to decide how many functions to use, given some time series?

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Gompertz doesn't fit many of these waves when you look at hi-res data.

Delta being the best example. It was sequenced in late March 2020, but only caused an epidemic in July 2021.

There is no Gompertz function that can describe Delta prevalence.

There is not even a Richards function (which impresses me as bs anyway) that could describe it.

Hence Lancet articles straight-up lie about the time Delta was first sequenced, pinning it to October 2020.

It was sequenced all throughout 2020.

When using a linear function of the full vaccination rate as the growth coefficient in a Gompertz function though, Gompertz starts describing the entire Delta spread from the beginning of the clinical trials to 100% relative prevalence in summer 2021.

Vaccinations were the only growth advantage Delta ever had.

I know I keep going on about this like a broken record... :D

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I wonder why Germany in particular is suffering from so many excess deaths? When the 'pandemic' first hit, compared to England, they got off surprisingly lightly. This might be because they murdered less old folk with Midazolam or it might be because of Karl Friston's 'immunological dark matter', or a combination of both. It does suggest though that 'vaccinating' a population who already have a high degree of pre-existing immunity is not such a good idea.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/31/covid-19-expert-karl-friston-germany-may-have-more-immunological-dark-matter

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Measuring excess deaths is tricky. For example, you might compare total deaths during the pandemic (2020-2022) to pre-pandemic deaths (2017-2019). For Germany, you get 3072819 / 2826657 = 1.087. For England and Wales, it is 1768604 / 1601948 = 1.104. And it might look even worse for England and Wales after correcting for age. It seems that we in Germany are currently kind of catching up for some deaths we missed during the first Covid wave.

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Mar 3, 2023Liked by Witzbold

"Great Swine Flu Pandemic of 2009"

That was a pandemic? I was living in a small town in Wyoming at the time (population less than 5000) and we were aware of swine flu but I don't recall anyone I knew being sick. However, two friends of mine who had been vaccinated had to be life-flighted to a regional hospital. One was in a coma for months and recovered, but was permanently disabled. It did not occur to us at the time to ask if they had been infected despite vaccination, or if perhaps the vaccination had caused the illness. Everyone assumed the former.

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I hope it was clear I was trying to be ironic calling it that!?

Officially it was declared a pandemic, although most would consider it a nothing burger looking back on it.

The Spiegel article linked is quit good detailing the farce of virologists and epidemiologists chomping at the bit for a good pandemic ;)

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Yes, I saw the LOL. I agree that it was farcical as a pandemic.

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Mar 3, 2023Liked by Witzbold

Germany has done quite well in the Pandemic compared to the US especially when you consider they have 21% of their population over 65 compared to the US at 16%

Looking at excess mortality compared to 2019 (US in parenthesis)

2020- 4.8%. (19%)

2021- 8.9% (22%)

2022- 12.8%. (16%)

US is actually worse since there is no adjustment for pull forward effect which is less of an issue for Germany since they had fewer deaths early.

Now I don’t know exactly whats going on in Germany in recent months. Too much noise in weekly numbers for my taste, but they have been experiencing prescription drug shortages, high inflation and are entering a recession, and flu has made a bit of a come back and COVID as immunity wanes, so might be a few factors acting synergistically

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"I have tried to gleen (sic) some further insights from the correlations between variant waves and the test positivity curve but it remains inconclusive." I think this is because you have aggregate vaccination data (12+). If you broke it down by age groups (even young/old), you might find more insight?

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Yes! I think I just bogged down in the data and couldn't get any further. Maybe I'll give it another go, but probably with the German data.

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...which is most likely going to be a frustrating experience, due to vaccinations counts having been pooled as 18-59 and 60+. But we have been through enough frustrating experiences to not let that stop us, haven't we?

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