Category Archives: Public Health

Applying Rothman’s Causal Pie Model to the Death of George Floyd

Weighing relative causes visually is easier with Rothman's causal pie model

In the murder trial of Officer Derek Chauvin, the prosecution must demonstrate that the police officer’s knee on George Floyd’s neck constituted a “substantial” cause of Mr. Floyd’s death “beyond a reasonable doubt”. This presents a challenge in weighing relative causes of death, and this leads us essentially to causal inference. My blog post demonstrates […]

Why COVID-19 is Overrunning the US in Late 2020: Overlapping Epicurves

Data in simulated epicurves show frequencies and explain outbreak timing

While other countries have found a way to control their community spread of COVID-19 while waiting for the vaccine program to be implemented, the United States has totally failed at this. An epicurve is a diagram of the timing of an outbreak, and in other countries, this curve has been flattened. But in the United […]

Here is the Statistical Reason why Calculating the Coronavirus Mortality Rate is so Difficult

Purple top test tubes held by a hand with purple gloves in a lab

Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) registered on our public health radar as a communicable infectious disease amongst humans, countries try to calculate their coronavirus mortality rate (otherwise known as case fatality rate). As a result, many different mortality rates have been reported, causing confusion. This article from Business Insider reports country-wide mortality rates that range from […]