Giving Wings to your Dreams since 1955
Giving Wings to your Dreams since 1955

Statistical Significance

 

I work in an industry that is known for making precision measurements. The numbers are used for statistical processing.

 

Statistics is a science of quantifying trends and establishing a model of knowledge so that informed and traceable, credible decisions can be made. This applies to virtually every facet of life such as medicine, mechanics and public policy to name only a few subjects of interest.

 

These models are only valid for decision making if the following are observed:

 

(1) The raw data is actually accurate.

(2) Enough raw data is collected.

(3) The desired (political) outcome does not dictate what raw data (exclusions) will be used for processing.

(4) The data says what the data says. Do not alter the raw data if any semblance of objectivity is desired.

 

Allow me to make a statistical inference concerning CV-19 as of 24-Jun-2020.

 

Source: Virginia Dept. of Health - Coronavirus

 

(1) Total CV-19 case sickness = 59,514.

(2) Total deaths (CV-19 + other factors) = 1,661.

 

24-June is the 175th day of a year consisting of 365 days. If one wants to linearly extrapolate the infection/death rate to the end of the year then:

 

Infections:

(59,514*365)/175 => 124,129 (by the end of 2020).

 

Deaths:

(1,661*365)/175 => 3,464 (by the end of 2020).

 

This extrapolation assumes the infection and death rate remain the same, which in reality is decreasing, but we will leave the estimate alone for present discussion.

 

Lets look at the VA Dept of Transportation highway accident and death statistics for the most recent year (2019).

 

Source: Virginia Dept. of Transportation - Crash Facts (2019)

 

Highway Accidents = 128,172

Highway Accidents with Injuries: = 65,708

Highway Accident Deaths: = 827

 

If one makes even the most conservative and linear estimate of CV-19 infections/deaths you may statistically infer:

 

(1) A person in Virginia is 124,129/128,172 (0.96) times more likely to get sick from CV-19 than have a traffic accident.

 

Restated in recriprocal so not as a fraction, a person in Virginia is 128,172/124,129 (1.03) times more likely to have a traffic accident than become sick from CV-19.

 

(2) A person in Virginia is 124,129/65,708 (1.89) times more likely to get sick from CV-19 than have an injury in a traffic accident.

 

(3) A person in Virginia is 3,464/827 (4.2) times more likely to die of a CV-19 infection + other factors than die in a traffic accident.

 

But, in reality the CV-19 infection and death rate are decreasing rapidly now so a linear extrapolation is obviously innacurate.

 

I propose an educated guess (which is by admission an alteration of the raw data). I suspect the CV-19 infection total will be more like 85,000 by the end of 2020. Using the same fatality rate as current it would infer that 1,661/59,514 (2.8 percent) of those infected will die.

 

So, it seems reasonable to estimate by the end of 2020:

 

(1) 85,000 will have been infected by CV-19.

(2) 85,000 x 0.028 (2,380) persons will die of CV-19 + other factors.

 

To recalculate:

 

If one makes this revised estimate one may infer:

 

(1) A person in Virginia is 85,000/128,172 (0.66) times more likely to get sick from CV-19 than have a traffic accident.

 

Restated in recriprocal so not as a fraction, a person in Virginia is 128,172/85,000 (1.5) times more likely to have a traffic accident than become sick from CV-19.

 

(2) A person in Virginia is 85,000/65,708 (1.3) times more likely to get sick from CV-19 than have an injury in a traffic accident.

 

(3) A person in Virginia is 2,380/827 (2.9) times more likely to die of a CV-19 infection + other factors than die in a traffic accident.

 

Now if you ask me, I would infer in comparing CV-19 issues to VA Highway Accident Statistics:

 

We have had A HIGHWAY ACCIDENT PANDEMIC FOR DECADES.

 

Why are the highways open at all? Lets put some reasonable perspective in our decision making.

 

Conclusion:

 

It really is time to go back to work and have normalcy.

 

So for some sensible guidance right from the VDH website:

 

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These guidelines were posted by Virginia Department of Health on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and are still posted as of 14-Jul-2020.

 

How do I protect myself and others from the virus?

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can also use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, especially with unwashed hands
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Immediately dispose of the tissue and wash your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Practice social distancing by staying six feet away from others. Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Wear a face mask around others if you are sick or are caring for someone who is sick. You do not need to wear a face mask if you are not sick. Face masks are in short supply and are needed for health workers.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as tables, counters and desks, doorknobs and handles, light switches, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. You can find cleaning and disinfecting guidelines here.

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