LW Coronavirus Agenda Update 3/​23

Last week I an­nounced the LessWrong Coron­avirus Agenda, an at­tempt to in­crease knowl­edge by co­or­di­nat­ing re­search be­tween LW par­ti­ci­pants. This post is an up­date on that. If you want to skip to ac­tion items, check out the last sec­tion.

Last Week’s Spotlight Questions

Last week I spotlighted three ques­tions I hoped to an­swer. Here’s how they went.

What should we do once in­fected?

Tragedy­ofthecom­ments pro­vided a great over­all an­swer and Wei Dai a spec­u­la­tive an­swer (much more likely to be wrong, but very valuable if cor­rect). I did some ad­di­tional re­search and in­cor­po­rated these into an over­all an­swer, which was im­proved by ad­di­tional sug­ges­tions from Ju­lia Wise and steve2152. This an­swer should still change as we learn more, but is in a more finished state than the first two ques­tions.

How can we es­ti­mate how many peo­ple are in­fected in an area?

We failed to find a dash­board that made ei­ther me or habryka go “yes, this is the one, I would be happy with just this.”

Honor­able men­tions go to two dash­boards that are at least try­ing to es­ti­mate true caseload rather than re­peat­ing offi­cial test­ing num­bers: Plague Plus, which uses re­ported COVID deaths to es­ti­mate prevalence, and to the Kinsa Smart Ther­mome­ter Dataset (sug­gested by Un­named), which uses smart ther­mome­ters’ phoned home data to es­ti­mate the num­ber of “ex­cess” fev­ers.

Where can we donate time and money to avert coro­n­avirus deaths?

Nei­ther of us found what we were hop­ing for here ei­ther. We’ll con­tinue to add op­por­tu­ni­ties to the link DB as ap­pro­pri­ate, and wel­come ad­di­tional sug­ges­tions. Un­til then I’d sug­gest be­ing on the look­out for high con­text op­por­tu­ni­ties that can’t be cap­tured in an­swers aimed at a broad au­di­ence.

Other High­lights Of The Week

This 22 page doc­u­ment on the biol­ogy, eco­nomics, and lo­gis­tics of test­ing for COVID-19, by Jeffrey Ladish, Ed­ward Perello, Sean Ward, and Tessa Alex­a­nian..

Oxy­gen Sup­ple­men­ta­tion 101 from Sarah Constantin

This video from vi­rol­ogy pro­fes­sor Michael Emer­man ex­plain the ba­sic biol­ogy of coro­n­avirus and epidemics

Changes To The Agenda

All three spotlight ques­tions are be­ing re­tired from the spotlight, al­though they re­main open to new an­swers and up­dates.

“What is the ba­sic sci­ence of coro­n­avirus?” is skip­ping its mo­ment in the sun due to be­ing pro­vi­sion­ally an­swered by the video linked above. That one re­quires a fair amount of bio back­ground knowl­edge, so the floor is still very open for con­tent aimed at peo­ple start­ing from square one. And of course if you find a bet­ter ad­vanced in­tro­duc­tory video, please in­clude that as well.

After think­ing about it, sev­eral mem­bers of the LessWrong team (plus me) have got­ten more con­cerned about the eco­nomic effects of coro­n­avirus, and I’ve added sev­eral eco­nomic ques­tions to the list. Sugges­tions from Romeo Stevens and Eli Tyre have also been in­cor­po­rated.

This Week’s Spotlight Questions

What is my prog­no­sis (short term or long term) if I am in­fected with coro­n­avirus?

We’ve at­tempted to an­swer these be­fore, but that was weeks ago, and there’s a lot more in­for­ma­tion ac­cessible now so I’d like to give it an­other shot.

What will the eco­nomic effects of a 3 week quaran­tine be? 3 months?

This is a de­liber­ately broad ques­tion, in part be­cause it’s not ob­vi­ous what the right spe­cific ques­tions are yet, and in part be­cause the right spe­cific ques­tions will vary a lot by lo­cale and we want peo­ple to be free to an­swer for any lo­cale they have in­for­ma­tion on.

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