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Today’s must-read

Friday, Oct 30, 2020

* NBC 5

A Chicago doctor took the podium during Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing to ‘set some facts straight’ on misinformation being spread amid a surge in coronavirus cases across Illinois.

Dr. Emily Landon, an infectious disease expert at University of Chicago Medicine, told media while she’s worried about the record high 6,363 coronavirus cases set on Thursday, she’s also worried about ‘misinformation and fatigue’ that she says has grown across the state.

“Today, I want to set some facts straight,” Landon began. “First of all, inconsistent recommendations are not evidence of a conspiracy, nor are inconsistent data. They’re evidence of a changing knowledge and epidemiology.” […]

“In different situations, different metrics mean different things,” Landon said. “For example, when testing rates are low or changing rapidly, the test positivity rate may not mean quite the same thing as when testing rates are stable, or when the testing rates aren’t increasing as much as the cases.” […]

“There are new data coming out every day. Science is learning,” Landon assured. “We change our guidance, because we learn something new. Changing advice should make you feel good that we’re making progress.”

* KMOX

There has been widespread disagreement about the ban on indoor dining in the Metro East, and other places in Illinois. Dr. Landon said the last time the ban was imposed, it worked in stopping the increase in positivity rates.

Yep.

* Another NBC 5 story

As temperatures cool down, more people have moved to dining indoors, which Landon said is a major spreading spot of the coronavirus. She said “there’s no way around” Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s recent order to shut down indoor bar service and dining in most regions in Illinois.

“Over 100 (coronavirus) cases were linked to one bar in Michigan in a week. And over the summer in Minnesota, 29 bars and restaurants started clusters that spread throughout the community” Landon said. “Shutting down bars and restaurants and putting in mass mandates changed the trajectory of the pandemic in Arizona, Texas, Florida, San Diego, Washington, DC, Illinois, I could go on.”

Officials said the major issue with bars and restaurants is the need to remove a mask in order to eat or drink, which could lead to a further spread of the coronavirus.

Landon said the spreading is not the fault of any particular restaurant, but rather that the spread is inevitable. She reminded that people with the coronavirus are contagious before experiencing symptoms.

“The reality is, that restaurant can be perfectly safe from 6 to 8 p.m. and become a super spreader event from 8 to 10,” Landon said. “It all depends on whether or not someone with COVID walks in the door.”

* AP

Dr. Emily Landon, a medical director at the University of Chicago’s medical school, said two factors facilitate the virus’s spread in winter, especially at restaurants: Colder air is drier, and the droplets that transmit the virus become even smaller.

Add to that, she said, what people do in a bar or restaurant.

“There are only a couple activities where you have to take your masks off around other people, and that is dining in a restaurant and going to a bar,” Landon noted. “There is just no way to escape the risks (of COVID-19) when you go into a restaurant.”

* ABC 7

New data comes in every day as science continues to learn, Landon said, which can lead to disagreements, but disagreements are a normal part of the scientific process.

“We change our guidance because we learn something new,” she explained. “Changing advice should make you feel good about our making progress. Disagreement is a normal part of every process, and there is no right way to handle a new pandemic. But we’re all in the same boat and we should try to row in the same direction as much as possible.” […]

Landon said studies have found that indoor ventilation in most buildings is not enough to prevent COVID-19 transmission without masks. That is one of the reasons bars and restaurants carry a higher risk of transmission; it’s not possible to eat and drink while wearing a face covering.

* WGN TV

The governor said his decisions were guided by models done by research experts which show when we might see spikes, including one developed by University of Chicago scientist Sarah Cobey.

While she wasn’t available for an interview Thursday, Cobey was recently quoted in the downstate Belleville News-Democrat questioning the governor’s reliance on the positivity rate.

“I have been very critical of their use of this metric and basically almost all of the metrics they’ve proposed so far because they are not scientifically founded,” the paper quoted Cobey as saying. “They’re roughly right, but they’re not metrics you want to hang your hat on.”

In the article, Cobey argues the metric is only useful if there is enough testing happening in a region. A high positivity rate in an area which averages very few tests may not be indicative of how widespread the virus has become.

During Thursday’s daily coronavirus briefing, University of Chicago Dr. Emily Landon praised Cobey as a world-class scientist, but said the governor makes his decisions based on a variety of information.

“In a pandemic, no one has a monopoly on expertise,” Landon said.

Take some time today and read Dr. Landon’s entire address.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

26 Comments
  1. - Blue Dog Dem - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 6:32 am:

    ‘In a pandemic, no one has a monopoly on expertise’.

    No truer words.


  2. - Gone McCreedy - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 7:15 am:

    The Governor has a long winded explanation from a Doctor. While a wonderful thing, it will just be caught up in the white noise.

    The public has a simple message, open up the bars and restaurants. I can predict which message will get through, and it isn’t the doctors.


  3. - Pundent - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 7:27 am:

    The majority of us are listening to the governor and the doctors. Are there those that don’t? Sure. But not enough to save the economy or the restaurant industry. But enough to spread the virus and prolong the pandemic.


  4. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 7:36 am:

    Listened to it yesterday, it was a great speech. We have to learn as we are going along.

    I’m going to restaurants and bars when the pandemic kicks up again, as it is now? Nope. The rightful anger people are feeling about businesses should be directed toward those who willfully are not practicing/stressing mitigation measures, like the anti-maskers and the president, who wants us to believe we no longer have a problem.


  5. - JS Mill - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 8:36 am:

    =The public has a simple message, open up the bars and restaurants.=

    You are now messaging for “the public”? Because there are plenty that are saying “follow the science”.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 8:38 am:

    === In a pandemic, no one has a monopoly on expertise’.

    No truer words.===

    This is on brand… - Blue Dog Dem - embracing “alternative facts”


  7. - Bruce( no not him) - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 8:41 am:

    Now if only people will listen and heed the words. Nah, they’ll listen to their neighbor on the facebook. we are doomed.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 8:41 am:

    === The public has a simple message, open up the bars and restaurants.===

    I think I you have simple message and “simpletons” confused.

    The simpletons don’t support science. They want folks sick for a buck.


  9. - essentially working - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 8:46 am:

    ““In a pandemic, no one has a monopoly on expertise,” - Oh the irony….
    On a side note, last time I checked “simpletons”, or people the “experts” disagree with, still have rights.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 8:51 am:

    === last time I checked “simpletons”, or people the “experts” disagree with, still have rights.===

    “We have a right… to be simpletons and lack facts”

    That’s Facebook thinking, lol


  11. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 8:52 am:

    Yes they do have rights. Deciding public health policy for everyone else isn’t one of them.


  12. - deesendem - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 8:54 am:

    I just looked through the daily reported cases since the governor started sharing them in his daily press conferences. We got as low as the mid 400s in mid June with a positivity rate of 2%. That was the result of the hard work we all did from mid march up to that point. Yesterday’s new case number was 6363, with statewide positivity at 6.9%!! How can anybody say with a straight face that we have this under control! This virus is highly contagious, and the lasting effects are still not fully understood. I would love for restaurants to stay open, but, unless we can find a way to keep the cases and positivity low, its simply irresponsible to do so, and is basically a middle finger to those in the health care field who we call heroes to make ourselves feel good. These frontline workers are in danger every day, and our fatigue with safety measures is only jeopardizing them more. We need to get this back under control. The restaurants and bars need to close, and the feds need to step up in a big way to provide support to both the employers and employees in these affected industries. If we cant step up and right the ship, this next wave will devastate our city, state, and country.


  13. - Pundent - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 8:56 am:

    = people the “experts” disagree with=

    It’s not that the experts disagree with you, they don’t hold your “opinion” in any regard because it’s not based in anything. My mechanic may disagree with my cardiologist, but I don’t go to him for a second opinion.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 8:59 am:

    If you’re cheering against the governor and the experts, you’re cheering for infections or worst.

    That simple enough? How about that?


  15. - DownSouth - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 9:13 am:

    Dr. Landon is a gem, and such a great public speaker. I only hope after the election comes and goes, yet the virus does not, some folks may finally realize that this is real, it’s deadly, and it’s up to all of us to do our part to control and stop the wildfire like spread.

    I shudder to think how some of this group of very vocal naysayers, “My rights!” people would have responded to the sacrifices made during WWII.
    Thinking rationing, victory gardens, and working together for the common good of the nation would be completely lost on them.


  16. - Moe Berg - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 9:18 am:

    Democrats really need to do a better job of redirecting people to our abandonment by the federal government.

    We could take care of restaurants and bars, their owners and employees, just as well as we’ve taken care of large corporations. The resources are there.

    Instead, by failing to be repetitious on that point, Pritzker is owning a problem he’s not created and, frankly, he also can’t solve.

    Say what you will about Republicans, they do a much better job of articulating an easy-to-understand message and saying it repeatedly.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 9:32 am:

    === they do a much better job of articulating an easy-to-understand message and saying it repeatedly.===

    Agreed.

    It’s easier to repeat “be selfish, think of yourself”

    It’s “harder“ to think of others and have a narrative to be there for others.

    Raunerites at their core are selfish and willing to hurt others, the minority of constituents they represent thrive on anger and division.

    You feed on others’ anger, and in this case their selfishness too, that’s the “easy” road.

    It is ironic those Raunerites that claim “faith”, they readily forget about “their fellow man”

    It is indeed easy


  18. - bogey golfer - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 9:41 am:

    =Colder air is drier, and the droplets that transmit the virus become even smaller.=

    My friend from Dallas mentioned this to me months ago. Even if you are staying at home, invest in something to put more humidity into your house this fall and winter.


  19. - @misterjayem - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 9:45 am:

    “In a pandemic, no one has a monopoly on expertise”

    Very true.

    But even in a pandemic, some people still have no expertise whatsoever.

    – MrJM


  20. - Jibba - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 10:16 am:

    For those who need a simpler message: Don’t go anywhere indoors where 100% of the people aren’t masked and you can’t maintain a 6 ft distance at all times. Obviously, some exceptions apply, but they better be critical, like a doctor visit.


  21. - illinifan - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 10:21 am:

    Keep going through this with folks who cite the changing numbers as the reason they know all of this is a made up crisis AKA hoax. I keep pointing out this is a new virus and as we learn our numbers and information will change. The numbers will change for years after this is resolved as the scientists will review data and death certificates and keep updating and the numbers will actually go up not down. But hey why would facts and science matter.


  22. - Eastside - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 11:36 am:

    It was great for the choir but probably counter-productive to the demographic they claim they need to reach.


  23. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 11:37 am:

    It remains exceedingly difficult to explain flexibility… to the mentally rigid.

    It’s complexity is greater than just Black or White.


  24. - Unconventionalwisdom - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 1:51 pm:

    =“First of all, inconsistent recommendations are not evidence of a conspiracy, nor are inconsistent data. They’re evidence of a changing knowledge and epidemiology.”=

    Well stated and those words need to be repeated and repeated and then repeated again.

    But make no mistake there is a fatigue factor in all of this and it will grow making things worse.

    Can only hope for a vaccine by early next year.


  25. - thisjustinagain - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 2:37 pm:

    The Good Doctor’s message will be lost in the tumult of naysayers’s bleatings. Now we need a second vaccine to cure stupidity….(sigh).


  26. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Oct 30, 20 @ 2:47 pm:

    Now we need a second vaccine to cure stupidity….(sigh).

    We’ve had one since Gutenberg…but they hid it…in books.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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