*deep sigh*

This is an example of reporting the study, and not the meta-analysis.

Meta-analysis shows NO CHANGE in pregnancy conditions. bmj.com/content/370/bm…
For entire U.S. states which have data (Florida and Oregon), there's been no change in birthweight trends or gestational age.
Also, I can't help but note that most of the studies showing beneficial effects are based on hospital and testing datasets.... but odds of complete and timely testing and hospital birth have been impacted by COVID-19!
ANd the study itself is.... oh man.

First of all, they exclude preterm births before 24 weeks, because Dutch guidelines advise against life-saving care for such births. Which, okay, you wanted to see if preterm births changed.... so you excluded very early births?
They also excluded an unexplained category of births with "inherently higher risk" of preterm delivery. Um, what? So you excluded women who... were at high risk?
Oh sorry forgot the link, here's the study: thelancet.com/journals/lanpu…
Also, their whole effect occurs after the March 9 advice; they get zero extra effect from the lockdown. Their hypothesis was the lockdown reduced preterm births. But that's not what they find. They find *advice about the pandemic* reduced the proportion of preterm births.
So reporting it as "the lockdown" is odd because of the 3 interventions they tested, March 9, the "advice" intervention, was by far the strongest effect. The lockdown on March 23 they found had ***no significant effect***. cc @Inkfish

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More from @lymanstoneky

16 Oct
This chart seems like a surprisingly strong endorsement of the Swedish approach.
People looking at this seeing Sweden’s death toll are assuming that Sweden’s death toll is because of low mitigation... but Finland had low mitigation efforts too! And Spain had high mitigation efforts!
It looks a lot like death tolls are not closely related to mitigation effort, but that the direct economic loss/death toll relationship *only exists* in countries with high mitigation intensity.
Read 6 tweets
16 Oct
This article correctly and powerfully documents the political pressures in the CDC.

It mysteriously downplays the fact that the reason CDC was so easy to push around is they flagrantly ignored the actual scientific literature on epidemic management FOR MONTHS.
The tosser line about how most scientists think travel bans don’t work is hilarious since we have quite solid evidence pre-COVID that travel bans DO work.
There’s abundant evidence masks work. Not CDC-publishes evidence alas because guess what the CDC has had a ridiculous and silly approach to epidemic fighting for a very long time!
Read 16 tweets
16 Oct
But WHY are they rare elsewhere? I still haven’t seen any empirical study getting at this.

Does the US have fewer polling sites? Inefficient machines? Longer ballots? Voters who take longer to make decisions? More bureaucratic hurdles? What’s the actual mechanism?
Because the only elections I’ve ever seen up close outside the US were in Hong Kong and Malaysia and in both cases I saw massive lines bigger than I’ve ever seen in the US but of course both cases are also *ahem* flawed democracies.
But figuring out exactly what factors drive precinct congestion seems.... important?
Read 5 tweets
15 Oct
Rather exciting professional announcement:
The upshot of this is: you can expect my writing on babies and stuff to continue, and that I'm gonna try to tie it all together into a ~~~BOOK~~~
Also feel like Very Online Religion just absolutely cruuuuushed it in this go-around with Novak y'all.
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct
One of the kindest things you can do for your child is to so intensively embed the signs and sounds of faith in them that when they get dementia, the stripping away of years of memory and toil reveals not a core of bitterness but the habits of heaven.
People facing memory loss have many anxieties. One powerful and acute anxiety is "who will I become? what will I be like?" The thing is by the time an adult is old enough to worry about this, it is often beyond their control. Those decisions were made decades prior.
Of course, who we are after dementia is not "who we truly are." That's a pernicious lie which is deeply hostile and injurious to people experiencing cognitive decline. That's not my point.
Read 6 tweets
13 Oct
This is a good question! Does anyone have comparable data on number of polling places and voting lines across countries?
American turnout for elections is comparatively LOW, yet we appear to have uniquely long lines and delays.

What’s going on?

Are the delays the cause of the low turnout? Unrelated? What causes them? Fewer polling stations? More ballot items to consider?
Like do other countries just have 5x as many polling sites??
Read 5 tweets

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