[ExI] you'll never see this again

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Fri Jul 3 04:25:45 UTC 2020

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of
Keith Henson via extropy-chat
Sent: Thursday, July 2, 2020 9:01 PM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Cc: Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com>
Subject: [ExI] you'll never see this again

<spike at rainier66.com> wrote:


> Question please: how many will die, not from the virus but from fear 
> of
catching the virus convinces them to not see their doctor?  How do we count

The NEJM was discussing this in the issue out today.  I don't think a URL
will work, but I might be able to cut, paste, and email the article in the
unlikely event someone wants to read it.  It was a detailed description of a
case of a woman with breast cancer who will not get needed surgery due to
COVID-19 and what a video conference of doctors proposes as alternatives.

After this is over, we can count the excess cancer deaths.  They might well
run higher than the direct deaths from the virus.

Right now deaths are lagging behind cases.  That's partly due to the old
folks staying home and the young going off to super spreader parties.

For John Clark, the next milestone will be when the number of dead exceeds
the civil war casualties, something around 850,000.  Given that 1.1 million
was the bottom of one set of estimates, it seems fairly likely.


Could be a lotta people are thinking of this simultaneously.  Stanford
recently opened back up for doctors to have their regular rotations.  I
accepted my eye doctor but turned down my regular annual on the following
reason: sick people go to the hospital, and that is currently the only
indoor activity I have (groceries are ordered online, I go over, they load
them in the trunk.)  I estimate the risk of catching covid at about 1% if I
go, and risk of the big Adios at about 20% if I catch it, so about .002
sounds right.  We could play Ideas Futures, you give me two bucks if live, I
give you 1000 if I don't, OK good deal.

If I were to lose my sight, I couldn't read the internet and then I would
have no way of knowing about the latest conspiracy theory in the FBI, so my
life would be degraded way beyond 0.2% so I went to my appointment.  My
regular doctor checks me for cancer, which she cannot do over the phone, so
I refused the phone conference: I requested we wait until the pandemic
passes or I do from other causes.

That is what got me to thinking about it: I just went to an eye doctor but
refused my regular doctor, because my perceived risk was somewhere above
.002 for blindness but below .002 for anything my regular doctor is likely
to find in an exam.  Shrugs.

I talk and I listen.  Most people are not as data-driven as I am, so they go
with wherever the adjectives, nouns and verbs their favorite news sources
give them.  As a consequence, I see a wide spectrum, from those who consider
the risk negligible to those who are afraid to poke their noses out the door
(not exaggerating on that last one.)  I am somewhere in between, but
focusing on the data available to me and on reason to some extent, I chose
eye doctor but not regular doctor.  I speculate many will choose no doctors
until the thing blows over, even those on meds, including those whose
prescriptions expire or change.  The annual can't find all cancers but they
are better than nothing.  Some cancers which would otherwise be found in
time surely will be missed if annuals are skipped.

The most striking thing Keith: the crowd over and Stanford Med was about 10%
the usual crowd for midmorning Wednesday.  This causes me to think perhaps I
am on the less cautious  end of the spectrum, and didn't realize it.


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