[ExI] biker bump

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Sun Aug 30 03:00:46 UTC 2020



Dang, I am so annoyed at me for not having thought of this idea sooner, when
we coulda gotten some useful data.


We have long realized the Sturgis bike rally in SD could be a super-spreader
event.  If we model the expected catch rate by the nearby community college
(ignoring for the moment that the students wear masks and the bikers do not)
I did some estimates, then estimated the expected biker bump in cases and
about now the increase in covid deaths in the state.


I was previously annoyed with me for not seeing if we could track that, but
let myself off after I learned that the medics dang well have been thinking
about this for some time and already had a way to trace their new cases to
the rally by asking the patient one subtle, brilliant question:  Did you go
to the Sturgis rally?


OK, they did that.  It was silly of me to think they would overlook
something so obvious.  Now we have new case rates coming in from states, and
it occurred to me we are still missing an important number: the percentage
of Sturgisers from each state.  If we had that number we could see if the
event was a super-spreader.  Ja?


Without that number we still can't really tell.


But I blew that, because I realized we could have had a good easy way to get
that number: just have volunteers go around and write down the state from
the license plates.  From a sample of a few thousand bikes, we could have
had a good estimate of the fraction from each state.


OK so we know the data would be clustery for an understandable reason:
bikers have clubs and clubs ride together, arrange to meet at Sturgis and
hang together often.  So it wouldn't surprise me if a walker down Sturgis
streets would see 30 Michigan plates in a row.  So we would need enough
volunteers to get perhaps 20k bikes, or ideally to make an audio recording
into a phone: California California Michigan Iowa Iowa Iowa (and so forth)
then transcribe it after the fun is over.


Bikes park close together, so a single prole could collect 50 bikes in a
minute if she hustles her buns. 


Oh we sooo coulda done this.  Had we done it right, we would be in better


But wait.  If I thought of this, others probably did too, and there were
half a million proles at that rally.  OK cool, now if we can get those
numbers, we are ready to calculate.


Minnesota is reporting about 1000 cases they can trace to the rally.  But
Minnesota is close to South Dakota and it is a big state where biking is
popular, so they woulda supplied a lotta bikers, who were not catching while
they were back in the state, which should have slightly reduced their rate
during the rally and increased it the week after.  I am looking at the data
and I don't see it.


I will keep watching, but for now I would say Sturgis was a possible
spreader but not a super-spreader event.  So far.


One can anticipate graduate studies and senior projects written about this,
which are perhaps really just thinly-disguised but perfectly valid excuses
to go to Sturgis.


OK then.  Stand by for the answers to rumble in.





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