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Significant fitness

Last September, in my efforts to recover from a knee injury, I hired a personal trainer.  When we made the original plan, it ended on 31 December 2021 and he added the slogan “New Year, New You” to the plan. It’s the new year and, thankfully, big progress. I just committed for another three months and I’m really looking forward to every single upcoming workout. It’s fun! However, like many new things, there are new insights and … surprise surprise, some are statistical.

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Significant fitness
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The devil is in the detail

On August 2, 2021, the US government announced it had met its goal of 70% vaccinated. But what does that mean? 70% of what? And what does vaccinated mean? Well, they meant that 70% of US adults has received at least one dose of vaccine. That actually means 59% of the population in the United States has received at least one shot (and thereby are fairly well protected against the COVID-19 disease with the possible exception of the delta variant). It corresponds to 69% of those 12 and over (who are eligible for the vaccine in the US). But in terms of the entire population, those fully vaccinated (with one or two doses, depending on the vaccine used) make up 50%. The risk of catching the disease for vaccinated people is relatively low, but much higher for unvaccinated individuals.

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The devil is in the detail
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Did Hamlet wish for better data?

To open or not to open? that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

And by opposing end them.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Did Hamlet wish for better data? 

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Did Hamlet wish for better data?
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Data for whom? Being mindful of racial disparities

As the United States makes progress towards a state of “normality,” the country has set an incredible pace for vaccine production and distribution. But what information is lost in the big picture?

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Data for whom? Being mindful of racial disparities
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Missing the evidence

A story in the Guardian on February 28 is headlined Pfizer vaccine may be less effective in people with obesity, says study. As the story says, the ‘study’ in question is a preprint. That’s not necessarily a problem; preprints have been a valuable source of up-to-date information during the Covid pandemic, at least when used with care.

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Missing the evidence
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People are not plants … and a little meditation

On this Groundhog Day, I should be focused on how many weeks are left in winter.  Instead, I still find myself in that period of reflection spurred on by the arbitrary change of number associated with our calendar.  As for many, 2020 was marked by much change in my life. I attribute much of the positive to attempts to build various mindfulness practices into my life.  As a statistician, I often find myself in a tension between caring and not caring about results of research on such practices.  Why the tension?

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People are not plants … and a little meditation
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The Danish face mask study

The Swedish approach to the COVID-19 crisis stands out compared to the rest of the developed world in several ways. One of these is the extremely low percentage of the population wearing face masks.

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The Danish face mask study