Category Archives: Science

Helpful or harmful?

Ein einfaches Beatmungsgerät bauen? Das geht!. “Kreativität ist in Krisen besonders wichtig. Physiker an der Marburger Universität sind auf die Idee gekommen, Geräte aus der Schnarch-Therapie so aufzurüsten, dass damit Corona-Patienten weltweit beatmet werden können.”

The Breathing Project hat allerdings nach eigenen Angaben noch keine Zulassung für ihr medizintechnisches Produkt.

NPR: CPAP Machines Were Seen As Ventilator Alternatives, But Could Spread COVID-19.

Different ways to model a pandemic

Numberphile: The Coronavirus Curve. (YouTube, 22:17min) “Ben Sparks explains (and codes) the so-called SIR Model being used to predict the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).”

I played along at home and created my own version with Geogebra, but you can also find Ben Sparks’s version here: SIR Model.

Be sure to also check out the links in the description of the video.

3Blue1Brown: Simulating an epidemic. (YouTube, 23:11min)

“While here we looked at what you might call an “agent-based” SIR model, if you want to see what it looks like as a set of differential equations, Ben Sparks just did a lovely video on the topic over at Numberphile [see above].

There are a few reasons I like the agent-based model here, for demo purposes at least. It’s a bit easier to understand for those who are not comfortable yet with ODEs, for one. It also conveys how things are not deterministic; no real-world curve will look as smooth as the differential equations. It also makes it way easier to ask questions and bake other assumptions into the model. Introducing things like travel or community centers into the differential equations would get very hairy very quickly. For those who want to go much more deeply into this, the Institute for Disease Modeling has a lot of models free for people to look at and play with.”

“Gerät für Arztpraxen und Krankenhäuser”

Deutsche Welle: Bosch stellt Coronavirus-Schnelltest vor. “Weltweit wird derzeit mit Hochdruck an einem Schnelltest auf das neuartige Coronavirus geforscht. Der deutsche Technologiekonzern Bosch meldet nun einen ersten Erfolg.”

“Bislang beträgt die reine Testzeit laut Robert Koch-Institut (RKI) etwa vier bis fünf Stunden. Allerdings kann es zwischen Probenentnahme und Ergebnismitteilung dauern, auch weil die Tests oft von externen Laboren gemacht werden. Der Bosch-Test soll auch direkt in Arztpraxen oder Krankenhäusern durchgeführt werden können.

Das Analysegerät ist den Angaben zufolge bereits erhältlich, die Testkartuschen für den Sars-CoV-2-Virus sollen ab April zunächst in Deutschland und danach dann auch in anderen Ländern verfügbar sein. Die jeweils erforderlichen Zulassungen stehen einem Sprecher zufolge noch aus. Laut Bosch hat der neue Test auf Sars-CoV-2 eine “Genauigkeit von über 95 Prozent” und erfüllt die Qualitätsstandards der Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO).”

Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance

Tomas Pueyo: Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance. “What the Next 18 Months Can Look Like, if Leaders Buy Us Time”. (March 19, 2020)

Here’s the Epidemic Calculator that is being used in the article.

Older article by the same author: Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now. “Politicians, Community Leaders and Business Leaders: What Should You Do and When?” (March 10, 2020)

Deutsche Übersetzung: Coronavirus: Warum du jetzt handeln musst!.

Here in Germany all schools and daycare facilities have been closed for one week already and will remain so for at least the next four weeks.

Our state and our county have issued a general decree, imposing the following rules starting last night at midnight: All public places are closed, including roads. People are not allowed to leave their houses except to go to work, or to the doctor, or to shop for essential groceries. Gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. However, you are still allowed to go for walks by yourself or with people living in your own household if you keep at least two metres (six feet) of distance to other people. The decree is in effect for at least two weeks. (Our county shares a border with the Grand-Est region of France to the South, which has been declared an international risk area.)