Love, Luck, And Technology

It was 20 years ago today/Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play.
The Beatles

Tim is always with me.

That’s not a metaphor.  It is a biological fact.

You see, 50 years ago, I was diagnosed with kidney disease.  Back then, such a condition was often a death sentence.  I knew kidneys excreted waste products and looked for ways to help mine out.

So, I started running – 30 to 50 miles a week.  For decades.  In the middle of that, in the early 1980s, I met Tim Schreiner while at Lockheed Martin, and we became friends.  He ran with me too, and we liked the same bands and the cool stuff we helped build at LM.

Some 21+ years after my diagnosis, the kidneys failed, and I went on dialysis for a year and a half.  Then I got a cadaveric kidney transplant, but it never worked right, and after another 6+ years, I was once again on the verge of kidney failure.

Enter Tim.  Ten people offered to give me their kidneys.  Tim demanded to be put at the front of the line.  He tested, matched, and decided to save my life.  I knew life would be better with a good kidney, but I never knew how much.  Tim offered me so much; I can only hope to repay society a fraction of what he did for me.  20 years later, we’re both doing fine.

#transplant #love #luck #technology

COVID-19 Over Time

Weeks ago, we considered the world’s countries populations on the horizontal axis and the number of their COVID-19 cases on the vertical as the points in blue, below. Several countries formed Upper COVID Infection Limit (those with white triangles inside blue circles). The regressed blue line through these points described 98.5% of their variation.

By May 22, things changed, indicated by the green dots. While the US still led the world in infections, and all states on the Limit in April remained there, some other countries reached this unenviable level (i.e., the line through the green dots with white squares, correlated to 98.4%). The case count in Bahrain more than doubled; Kuwait’s infection rate went up nearly 5.5x. Along with Qatar, with over triple the cases of a few weeks ago, these Gulf States were hard hit. This phenomenon is baffling as most countries in Africa to the west and Asia to the east are doing better.

Peru and Chile did especially poorly, dispelling the idea COVID might be hemispherically-based. Vitamin D levels are of particular interest. Low levels of it correlate to high European mortality rates (

#covid #inthistogether #innovation #health #covid19analytics

COVID-19: Wealth, Density, Population, and Latitude

In the last post, we discovered an Upper Infection Limit for COVID-19.  Its cases positively correlate to density (as expected) and per capita GDP (not expected).  After Mike McRae wrote that “COVID-19 Deaths Are Being Linked to Vitamin D Deficiency (Health, May 1, 2020),”  I decided to dig deeper.

I found COVID-19 has a Lower Infection Limit at work, too.  Shown in white below, the line describing this threshold has an adjusted R^2 of 93.5% and a P-value of 3.05E-06, reflecting that it did not come about by chance.  The difference in the countries that form each line is just as significant.

Excepting Qatar and the United States, all of the countries along the upper curve are European, and their southernmost extent is 37°55′ N (the southern tip of Italy).  The nations forming the Lower Infection Limit are Asian or African, and, if we remove India and China, their northernmost point is 28°32’N (Myanmar), with most of their landmasses in the tropics.

Given the relative success of the tropical countries, should we increase sun exposure in northern climes?  How does sun angle to the ground regulate Vitamin D uptake and Coronavirus inflection rates?

#COVID #COVID19 #population #infection #VITAMIND

COVID-19 Analysis in 4D

Many variables are at work in the COVID-19 pandemic.  Analyses in 4 dimensions help visualize them.  In markets, such structures use prices as objective functions.  As the virus seeks to replicate, its goal is to infect hosts.  We see each infection as a case.

At right, we plot countries’ populations against their COVID-19 cases on April 28, 2020.  Each dot signifies one of the 163 nations in the study.  Unchecked, only the size of the global community caps the number of cases.  However, we observe a yellow line marking the disease’s Infection Limit on that date.  That line is well-correlated (98.6% R^2); there is little chance it came about accidentally (P-value of 8.21E-10).  Countries on or close to that frontier are worse off than those far away from it.

The green side plane represents an equation derived from the population (set to 720,000,000), density, and GDP per capita (P-values in turn of 3.13E-35, 0.68%, and 5.90E-35).  While we would expect infection rates to go up with density and population, its strong relationship to GDP is unexpected.  Wealthier nations have more resources to fight such outbreaks, but it appears their travel patterns more than offset that.

#covid19 #covid19research #covid19analytics