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comment by veen

    It is important to understand that this study, and other observational analyses like it, onlyidentifycorrelations: these relationships are not necessarilycausal. That is, one cannot read thisstudy, or others like it, to imply that changing one of the variables in our model would changedeath rates; we can only say how the death rates and the variables analyzed move together. Wetake much care in stressing this throughout the note.

I feel like study 1 missed that memo - he jumps from 'we have a significant result of one of our 5 parameters, controlling for the rest' to 'so therefore PT is the driving cause', paying lip service to but not actually addressing the fact that there's a plethora of things that public transit use could be a proxy of.

So ignoring that one and focusing on the much better second study; it's interesting that it seems to be such a significant factor. I'd be very curious if these results could be repeated in non-US metropoles like Singapore or Tokyo.

You've been the one who pointed out to me that PT in the US is, effectively, poor people transport. So while I'm not surprised that PT increases risk, I'd also not be surprised if there's simply an unaccounted poverty variable that would explain most if not all of this correlation away.

kleinbl00  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The bar for publicity for any given study has been dropping for a while, but when COVID hit it gutterballed.

We're also talking about economists giving their hot epidemiological takes; I don't know of any other profession that we would tolerate like that. If physicists decided to discuss anthropology there would be howling.

It's not entirely fair to discuss "public transit" in the United States as homogeneous, either. BART is useful. I hear NY's subway system is, too. I've found Portland's MAX to be handy to get around while my experience in three or four American cities is that the minute you invoke a bus, you're fukt. Still, I can see it being an easy trend to point at. The line where the mentally-ill homeless soil themselves and people hop on and off to sell headphones is unlikely to have the same level of sanitation where white yuppies take their kids to the Santa Monica Pier on Saturdays. More than that, all the buses around here now say "ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY" on them, as if the people riding the bus to work in the middle of a pandemic needed a reminder of their uber-shitty social status.

'cuz I tell you what if you were riding into downtown on the Express in order to save on parking, you've been working remotely since March. And all them brown people you used to mentally express solidarity with don't even remember you anymore.