The orderly control of pandemics always starts with quick and reliable testing as well as proactive and selective prevention… Neither of which are being practiced with the response to COVID. It appears that the current state of medical uncertainty (i.e., what is the true rate of transmission, rate of mortality, etc.) along with the global visibility (i.e., worldwide access to internet news, Twitter, etc.) continue to be the drivers for behavior around the world.
This posting (started March 18, 2020) will be updated frequently to share insights and perspectives on the progress with the coronavirus response.
A very apt quote:
“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”
One unintended consequence of the COVID chaos is the adverse effects that national lockdowns have had on cancer services and the treatment (or lack thereof) of other human ailments. A recent article in Guardian magazine highlights the severity:
Experts have warned that Europe faces a “cancer epidemic” unless urgent action is taken to boost treatment and research, after an estimated 1m diagnoses were missed during the pandemic.
November 2, 2022
It looks like it’s now come nearly full cycle. COVID served its purpose for the Leftists and the Chinese, so the folks that support the Democrats are asking for a “never mind”.
An Article in the Atlantic, “Let’s Declare a Pandemic Amnesty” is from those smug and self-righteous pushers of vaccines that did not vaccinate and masks that didn’t work. They are now demanding that everyone just forget about the whole thing (talk about Chutzpah!).
As the Chicago Boyz observed:
After having done her stalwart best for the Covid Crusade for more than two years – demonizing those who refused to get the vaccination or wear masks everywhere, or see our children locked out of school, or who suggested that ivermectin or chloroquine might alleviate the symptoms – Professor Oster now is suggesting that … really, it was all just a silly misunderstanding, she and her pals just got carried away but they meant well and didn’t know anything for certain, and why can’t we all just all forgive and forget?
We’ll see how this unfolds over the coming months, but the lack of contrition and/or closure is likely going to make this very contentious.
October 31, 2022
A great summary article from the Brownstone Institute that covers the failed history of all the forced COVID lockdowns and vaccine mandates. The story describes how the Leftists are already trying to rewrite history and justify their catastrophic failure:
More than two years since the lockdowns of 2020, the political mainstream, particularly on the left, is just beginning to realize that the response to Covid was an unprecedented catastrophe…
The narrative now goes something like this: Lockdowns never really happened, because governments never actually locked people in their homes; but if there were lockdowns, then they saved millions of lives and would have saved even more if only they’d been stricter…
By pretending that all of these horrors were attributable to public panic, apologists for the response to Covid are attempting to shift blame away from the political machines that imposed lockdowns and mandates onto individuals and their families. This is, of course, despicable and bunk.
Those who publicly spoke against lockdowns and mandates were ostracized and vilified—denounced by mainstream outlets like the New York Times, CNN, and health officials as “neo-Nazis” and “white nationalists.”
Anyone with half a brain knows that it was Fauci and company that formulated and promulgated all the wrong policies.
At this point, you would have to point to the folks involved with the Great Barrington Declaration and Dr. Scott Atlas as having the most pragmatic response to COVID. The further irony is that the source for the vast majority of COVID misinformation or disinformation tended to be the “officially approved” government sources.
Beyond the impact on lost learning for children and physical deprecation (including premature death) for the elderly, there are some significant long term implications from this event:
- American citizens are now even more cynical when it comes to the motivations and recommendations coming from government agencies (CDC, FDA, etc.) and elected politicians.
- The public now is much more skeptical about private health and legal organizations which heretofore were held in reasonably high regard, such as the AMA, ABA, etc.
It’s unfortunate and unprecedented, but we citizens now have the impression that all information and decisions are based first on the political lens with the impact on power as the most important consideration.
September 30, 2022
It’s very unfortunate, but the entire situation with COVID was likely cooked-up by some very bad people. Some interesting developments highlighted by Politico:
When Covid-19 struck, the governments of the world weren’t prepared. While the most powerful nations looked inward, four non-governmental global health organizations began making plans for a life-or-death struggle against a virus that would know no boundaries. While all four organizations claim to be independent organizations, they’re all actually founded and/or funded by Bill Gates.
The virus was released; millions died; over a billion young people were force-vaccinated under false pretenses. When it is too late to change anything, Politico is finally stating the obvious. Still, it is better than nothing.
Almost everything in the Politico article was known a year ago. Where was Politico then? Busy taking government COVID vaccine advertising money. The pandemic was a crime, not an accident.”
September 5, 2022
With the many obvious deficiencies of the so-called mRNA vaccines, those pushing the mandates and other methods of coercion have come out as being very poor leaders.
Remember that all 50 Democrat U.S. Senators voted for you to lose your job if you didn’t take the COVID vaccine.
— Dr. Roger Marshall (@RogerMarshallMD)
It became apparent that the Leftists figured out quickly that Democrats are much more comfortable playing the obsequious role of sheeple. Thus, the “mandates” became a simple method to root out those that are not willingly compliant with government edicts.
August 25, 2022
The “post mortems” are coming in and the CDC with Dr. Brix and Dr. Fauci are looking like the tyrannical fools that many recognized early on (particularly Dr. Scott Atlas). Dr. Marty Makary, from Johns Hopkins, shared his comments about the poor decisions made by those running the US public health agencies:
In short, Dr. Fauci didn’t deliver the basic research we needed so that public policy would be shaped by the best science. Because policymakers lacked good evidence to support their dictates, political opinions filled the void. So Covid-19 became a highly politicized health emergency—to all of our detriment.
August 4, 2022
This makes you ponder…
July 15, 2022
A good summary from Steve Kirsch about the “misinformation” challenge with COVID and the perceptions of the common citizen:
- People only trust their doctors for medical advice
- Doctors trust the FDA, CDC, Fauci, and the summaries on papers published in the peer-reviewed literature. They have no time to look at studies directly. They trust the government and the abstracts.
- The mainstream media only trusts Fauci, the CDC, FDA, medical journal articles that support the narrative, and doctors who support the narrative
- Members of Congress trust Fauci, the FDA, CDC, doctors, and the mainstream media
- The CDC and FDA take their marching orders from the White House. Their job is to achieve the vaccination goal, not to protect the public.
- Doctors who realize what is going and try to speak out risk losing their license to practice medicine, their hospital privileges, and their job.
- If you work at the CDC or FDA and speak out, you’ll be fired.
- Hospital CEOs will not speak out because they will be fired or their hospital will be punished (by the community, local press, and by the US government).
From this numbered summary, it’s clear that it’s very challenging to get to the “truth” about COVID, regardless of what that might be. However, in the interceding two years, it has become obvious that the interests of big government always take precedence over the truth.
June 24, 2022
The illogical positions taken by the so-called science-based government bureaucrats (CDC, FDA, etc.) continues to baffle me. Why are they focusing on jabbing infants with the mRNA needles? The data shows a severe lack of efficacy from the experimental “vaccine” along with the extremely low infection rate for young children… More from Kunstler:
The data tell us that people who got “vaccinated” and “boosted” are turning up with broken immune systems that leave them extra-specially open to repeated Covid-19 re-infection, and that each reiteration of the illness breaks down their immune systems even more…
there will still be a lot of people left in this country who are not vaccinated, not sick, and not insane — millions — and they are the ones who are going to keep the project of civilization alive here, including bringing judgment upon those who set into motion all the aforementioned calamities and wickedness.
All the angles that the Leftists used to justify the COVID tyranny are now coming unraveled (Does anyone else find it incredulous that the Democrats still insist that people have to be vaccinated or lose their jobs?). Here are some pertinent comments from Robert Malone on the latest data about COVID:
Vaccinated people can get COVID, and vaccinated people have been hospitalized with COVID. As I covered recently in another article, the data are irrefutable, and furthermore in most countries with intact reporting systems, the majority of people hospitalized and dying with COVID are vaccinated. The genetic vaccines do not stop infection, replication, or spread of the Omicron variants. They are not fulfilling their intended purpose.
After the interview with the former head of the COVID Task Force where she (Dr. Birx) exclaimed that most of their plans and mandates were based on “hope”, Dr. Malone had this to say:
Suffice to say, Hope concerning effectiveness of a vaccine using previously untested genetic modification technology is not sufficient justification for federal action to block early treatment options, mandate administration of unlicensed Emergency Use authorized vaccine product candidate to all members of the US Military, mandate administration of said product to airline personnel, mandate administration to federal employees and contractors, mandate administration to hospital employees, and attempting to mandate administration to private sector employees. There is no clause concerning Hope as an indicator of efficacy or effectiveness in the Emergency Use Authorization statute 21 U.S. Code § 360bbb–3.
June 10, 2022
Some money quotes from Sir James Kunstler about the Leftist Democrats and COVID:
And it’s getting harder and harder to conceal all that, especially their campaign to physically harm over 200-million people with mRNA “vaccines.” The body-count is rising — way higher even than deaths from the hypothetical “pandemic” that the “vaccines” were supposedly concocted to vanquish, and spectacularly failed to.
And was this Covid-19 “pandemic” itself cooked up tacitly to disorder the 2020 election with mail-in ballots so easily replicated, harvested, and stuffed by the bale into drop-boxes under cover of night? Kind of looks like it, more and more. And now, the Party of Chaos is so keenly desperate to stay out of prison that they apparently seek to repeat the trick in the fall midterm, which is otherwise quite certain to sweep them ignominiously off the game board like so many misplayed quoits.
June 3, 2022
As more information is released about the lack of efficacy from the mRNA jabs, it starts to become more obvious that the risk/reward of these “vaccines” does not support the wide-scale usage. We’re starting to see pediatricians backing away from their recommended use:
The risk-benefit of these shots for kids is particularly indefensible, the approval process has hardly inspired confidence, and pediatricians know that if they push too hard they risk backlash against all vaccines.
In any case, discussion of the mRNA jabs seems simply to have disappeared at well-child visits, even in the bluest cities and states.
At the same time, all of the usual mainstream media sites have remained silent about this phenomenon.
May 14, 2022
It’s becoming evident that the vaccines are not as effective as presented… An interesting set of comments coming from a former Pfizer executive:
Former Pfizer VP Michael Yeadon maintains that since the infection fatality ratio of COVID-19 has not been high, the vaccines should not have been mandated. Moreover, he heavily blasted the corporate media mantras that designate these as safe, effective, and necessary to end the Chinese Communist Party virus pandemic.
From an analysis performed by Dr. Robert Malone:
Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine has exceptionally poor durability of neutralizing antibody response (using a non-validated or “academic research” level test) against currently circulating viral strains.
April 29, 2022
The same political machinations with respect to COVID over the last 2 years are still active and continuing. Fauci is still playing both sides of the coin, and the Leftist politicians are still barking orders.
One bit of interesting information is this disclosure about China. Rebel News claims that there were 32,000 travelers from mainland China arriving in the US on hundreds of flights on Chinese airlines over four weeks in early 2020.
March 7, 2022
The first law of being a Leftist — never admit that you were wrong.
As mentioned on this cumulative posting numerous times, there a very few things in life that we can commit to with absolute certainty. You can see the quote from Voltaire that has been at the heading of this post for the last 2 years (“… certainty is absurd”). More importantly, the introduction to this posting identified one of the major issues with this COVID phenomenon is medical uncertainty.
A recent article in the Federalist about the Chutzpah of government bureaucrats when it comes to certainty:
Everything the Democrats and the “experts” got wrong and lied about for the past two years with Covid is not their fault. It’s yours! That’s the only conclusion to be drawn from the shockingly candid remarks made last week by Rochelle Walensky… In other words, the certitude with which Walensky, Anthony Fauci, and their adoring media spoke should not have been interpreted by “the public” as actual confidence.
“The experts” squandered their credibility and can never be trusted again.
February 26, 2022
An interesting chart that depicts the efficacy of Ivermectin used in Africa. It shows death rates in African countries that used Ivermectin (blue) versus those counties that did not (beige)…
Another interesting chart showing cases of COVID where there was a mask mandate versus cases where there was no mandate.
February 21, 2022
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) , which appears to focus more energy on “social ills” rather than communicable diseases, has become — unfortunately — very politicized. A recent article in the Daily Wire:
The CDC is a political organization as much as it is a public health organization….
A new report from The New York Times highlights the important COVID-19 data that the CDC has been withholding from officials and the public… the CDC has been gathering data since the COVID-19 vaccines were first launched last year, but they don’t want to make those numbers public because people might think the data means the vaccines don’t work.
February 9, 2022
You had to be paying close attention so you may have missed it, but just recently six Democrat governors decided to greatly reduce their onerous COVID rules. The States of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Oregon, and California all decided to remove their mask mandates. Unfortunately, the rational for this decision is disconcerting. As note by the Townhall web site:
So, what new science took place on Monday morning? What event occurred that was so earth-shattering that news of it was instantaneously broadcast from coast to coast, in such a short time and such an overpowering fashion that the leading government officials of states literally from east coast to west could all analyze it and come to new policy conclusions – which, by the way, all (coincidentally? I think not) mirror each other – in just a matter of moments?
Nothing. Nothing at all of note happened on the COVID scientific research front Monday. Or the day before. Or the week before. Or the month before.
If the science has not changed, then why has the policy changed? After all, these are the people who condescendingly admonished the rest of us to “follow the science.” It wasn’t the science that changed. It was the politics of COVID that changed.
The governors’ determination to change their policies without there having been any intervening change in the science proves that it was never about the science in the first place – it was always, always, always about the politics.
January 26, 2022
An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association explores the presence of side affects from the COVID mRNA inoculations. The primary takeaway is that there is increased risk of myocarditis from the inoculation for adolescent males under the age of 25 (It’s important to note that men under the age of 25 are at low risk of death or serious illness from COVID).
January 21, 2022
It is now obvious that the Democrat COVID policies for our country, such as vax mandates, have nothing to do with our health and safety. It’s all about identifying the citizens that will not be compliant with the Leftist cabal. As noted by Mr. Kunstler:
Let’s be honest: it’s getting laughable to seriously advocate vaxxing up a whole goshdarn population when it’s perfectly obvious now that the vaxxes don’t work and are making a lot of people sick with everything that can go wrong in a human body, plus Covid-19.
January 14, 2022
Here are some astute observations from a Twitter user:
We’ve lost 49,000 staffed hospital beds in the last 365 days and 16,000 in the last 30 days, and the Biden admin is celebrating SCOTUS letting them fire nurses and doctors who have already had COVID a couple times for declining a vaccine that does not reduce Omicron transmission.
I doubt that there are many folks that accuse Leftist Democrats of being logical or rational people.
January 13, 2022
The bizarre devotion to vaccine mandates, masking, and shutdowns continue… Some pertinent observations from a critical care physician:
…if you’re interested in being vaccinated or boosted, that’s your choice. But given Omicron’s obvious vaccine resistance (is which is likely to persist in future variants), the strategy of forcing a monovalent vaccine on the population during a pandemic has clearly failed.
…the escalating efforts to penalize the unvaccinated by their governments seem so irrational that it is not unreasonable to wonder: what the hell is going on?
…And by firing reluctant healthcare workers, who have a fairly high rate of vaccine hesitancy (I wonder why?), we are stripping the healthcare system of talent we now claim to desperately need.
We have a right to expect competence, not corruption, from our public health officials. It seems to me that they have been a big disappointment.
January 10, 2021
A recent editorial at American Thinker:
…if masks work, why aren’t they working? If lockdowns work, why haven’t they “stopped the spread?” What about vaccines? They were billed as preventatives, not therapeutics. If vaccinations are really preventative, why haven’t they stopped breakthrough infections? Why are many of the vaccinated acquiring and shedding the variants? In fact, why didn’t it occur to the leading lights in infectious disease, epidemiology, and public health that Covid would spin-off variants? Or did it occur to them but the information was suppressed? Many elites are more invested in narratives than truth.
January 4, 2022
An interesting commentary from Dr. Robert Malone. One of the key observations (as noted here as “Global Visibility”):
“…we have also been living through the most massive, globally coordinated propaganda and censorship campaign in the history of the human race. All major mass media and the social media technology companies have coordinated to stifle and suppress any discussion of the risks of the genetic vaccines AND/OR alternative early treatments.”
December 24, 2021
An update on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was one of the first “closed environments” with the wide-spread breakout of COVID in March 2020 (This cumulative posting discussed the topic on March 30, 2020). There is actually a web site dedicated to this pertinent history of COVID infections.
- Total tested: 3,068
- Total infected: 712
- Total recovered: 699
- Total deaths: 13
- Approximate days to recovery: 14 to 30
This results in these epidemiological metrics (which have changed very little since the original posting in March 2020):
- Infection rate: 23.2%
- Mortality rate (of those infected): 1.8%
- Mortality rate (of all passengers): 0.4%
It’s also important to note that the passenger demographics were not necessarily representative of a broader population. Namely, the passengers were over-represented by adults over the age of 60.
It would be safe to say that we’ve known about the virulence (or lack thereof) of COVID for nearly two years, but the politicians have avoided presenting a practical perspective.
December 22, 2021
A pertinent commentary from Cafe Hayek:
Covidocratic tyranny is no more justified by science than are any of the wrongheaded notions peddled by Trumpians, yet the consequences of Covidocratic tyranny are far more ominous than are the likely consequences of any policies that can reasonably be supposed to come to pass from Trump & Co.
Observing the expansion over the past two years of the biosecurity state, I detect enormous evil in what the vanguard of progressives incessantly works to do to liberal civilization.
December 20, 2021
What is the leading cause of death among young people in the US over the past couple of years? Is it COVID? Guess again:
“Families Against Fentanyl,” an opioid awareness organization, analyzed the data from U.S. government sources and found 37,208 died in 2020 and 41,587 died in 2021. Comparatively, data says COVID-19 killed more than 53,000 in the demographic in the same time period…. Fentanyl overdoses reportedly surpassed suicide, COVID-19, and car accidents as the leading cause of death for the demographic.
Where does most of the Fentanyl originate in the US? Across the open borders in the Southern US.
December 14, 2021
More on boiling the frog. This time from Rand Paul:
Senator Rand Paul, who is also a doctor, took aim at the COVID restrictions that have come down from the Biden administration and from Democrat leaders across the country. Paul said that the restrictions aren’t about curbing COVID, but about controlling the American people.
So the danger is when you let science be controlled by government, or by one sort of monolithic individual like Fauci. It really doesn’t have anything to do with science. Science usually discovers the truth eventually. But when science is dictated by the government, that’s when you get, you know, Flat Earthers
December 12, 2021
As we start approaching nearly two years since the start of the COVID obsession, there are other perspectives about the response that come to light. One pertinent commentary in particular was written by the famous author, Michael Crichton, back in 2005. He was delivering a speech in Washington DC about “Fear, Complexity, & Environmental Management in the 21st Century”. He talked about the resiliency of planet earth and the relatively minor actual impact on health from the Chernobyl disaster. He noted that there was much greater impact on human health — not from the radioactivity — but from the abject fear mongering:
But most troubling of all, according to the UN report in 2005, is that “the largest public health problem created by the accident” is the “damaging psychological impact [due] to a lack of accurate information…[manifesting] as negative self-assessments of health, belief in a shortened life expectancy, lack of initiative, and dependency on assistance from the state.”
In other words, the greatest damage to the people of Chernobyl was caused by bad information. These people weren’t blighted by radiation so much as by terrifying but false information. We ought to ponder, for a minute, exactly what that implies. We demand strict controls on radiation because it is such a health hazard. But Chernobyl suggests that false information can be a health hazard as damaging as radiation. I am not saying radiation is not a threat. I am not saying Chernobyl was not a genuinely serious event.
But thousands of Ukrainians who didn’t die were made invalids out of fear. They were told to be afraid. They were told they were going to die when they weren’t. They were told their children would be deformed when they weren’t. They were told they couldn’t have children when they could. They were authoritatively promised a future of cancer, deformities, pain and decay. It’s no wonder they responded as they did.
December 6, 2021
Was it all just a dress rehearsal for boiling the frog on a global basis? Or just mass hysteria involving billions of people? A solid commentary from Sarah Hoyt:
Let’s say you’re one of those insane people who dismissed the low numbers of death/serious illness aboard the Diamond Princess because apparently people on cruise ships have “top quality medical care” (Coo-ey! Is the sky made of candy floss in your world?) in what world — even a candy floss sky one — did it make sense to close local grocery stores but keep Walmart open? In what world did it make sense to direct flow in stores so everyone crammed in through the same door, and everyone walked the same path (thereby a crowded/grimy, etc. path)? In what world did reducing hours of stores make sense? In what world did it make sense to wear a mask to your table then remove it to eat? (Are you less contagious when sitting?) In what world did curfews make sense? In what world did mask mandates outside in botanic gardens and zoos make sense? In what world did it make sense that you were hectored for getting out and driving around, while remaining your car?
November 29, 2021
From Matt Vespa at Townhall:
Ok, enough of this crap. It’s the Xi variant. It came from Wuhan, China. It escaped from a lab—and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s NIH funneled the grants for the gain-of-function research. Also, of course, the World Health Organization is behind this nonsense. It’s owned by China. They bought the 2017 director general election and here are the dividends.
When the so-called experts are more worried about the name instead of the actual virus—you know this game is over. “Omicron” is not more lethal. It might be more contagious, but who cares if everyone infected with it has not been hospitalized? Yeah, you read that right. The Xi variant, which originated in South Africa, is no cause for panic. That’s directly from the mouth of the South African doctor who found it. Stop panicking.
November 13, 2001
It’s unfortunate but most all actions and commentary from the Left are prioritized from a political perspective. They are no longer even pretending to be “bleeding heart” people. The Leftists do not care about lives or happiness. It’s all make-believe… From James Kunstler:
…most of the official measurements about Covid-19 are untrue, gamed, fudged, juggled, misrepresented, and weaponized for political purposes. In fact, despite all the obsessive-compulsive statistical measuring, everything that the public health officialdom and the medical establishment did to control the disease after January 2020, only made the pandemic worse and prolonged it.
November 12, 2021
With the Leftists, politics take priority over everything — including your life and well being. An interesting book coming from Dr. Scott Atlas:
Former White House Coronavirus Response team member Dr. Scott Atlas blasted Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Deborah Birx and former CDC Director Robert Redfield in a new book saying that he was “disgusted” by their dismissal of scientific data... Atlas says he presented data and studies showing that schools should be reopened and that children are not significant spreaders of the coronavirus but was virtually ignored by Fauci and others on the team…
Atlas said that Birx told him his opinion was “out of the mainstream” and said he was part of a “fringe” group of people who believed schools should be opened… Atlas says Redfield responded to the data by saying “the jury is still out.”
November 6, 2021
Some great commentary from James Kunstler:
The CDC and the FDA have unleashed a set of untested vaccines on the public that have been shown to produce alarmingly high rates of adverse reactions, both disabling and leading to death. The CDC’s VAERS system for reporting all that is so janky that doctors can barely use it and the CDC refuses to fix it; meanwhile doctors are being punished for even attempting to report adverse reactions. The whole of medical officialdom has militated aggressively against early treatments of Covid-19 with cheap and easily available drugs, even firing doctors who attempt to use the protocols.
The entire approval process of the various vaccines has been rife with fraud, gamed statistics, sabotaged trials, bait-and-switch scams, and unaccountable manufacturing screw-ups — all immersed in a stench of moneygrubbing. The drug companies have refused to fully reveal the contents of the vaccines. Now they are ramping up an urgent campaign to vaccinate children following rushed and falsified clinical trials, with the statistical certainty that many more kids will be injured or will die from the vax than they would from Covid-19 itself.
Citizens have a right to object to this, and to the illegal vaccine “mandate” invoked by the pugnaciously stupid “Joe Biden” regime. There is an awful creeping suspicion in the USA and in other countries that people who have received vaccinations are beginning to present fatal cardiovascular and neurological illness in large numbers, and that an attempt is underway to cover all this up.
October 20, 2021
Some readers have asked me about the meaning behind “boiling the frog” and what it has to do with the Coronavirus.
It starts with the Leftist view of “never let a crisis go to waste” (even if you have to create one). The notion of boiling the frog is an allegory that portrays how a frog is unknowingly boiled alive. The premise is that the frog is first put into a pot of tepid water which feels fine to the frog. The pot of water is then brought to a boil slowly, such that the frog does not perceive the danger and is easily cooked to death.
In this case, it is a metaphor for the situation in the US where we citizens have been lulled to sleep while perilous forces and corrupt leaders slowly destroy the country.
Strip-searched at the airport; bank accounts monitored by the IRS; telephone calls tracked by the NSA; forced to wear masks everywhere; school parents treated as terrorists; mandated risky injections; cancelled when not speaking the approved narrative; regulating the amount of soda pop for purchase; indoctrination of children in schools; increases in taxes to pay for illegal immigrants…
The illogical passion for the COVID “vaccine passport” has very little to do with ensuring health. In most cases, it’s the identity card that helps to identify who is pliable and compliant with the ruling class expectations.
Has someone been turning up the temperature near boiling?
October 19, 2021
Well, this is an interesting development. One day after sharing thoughts on the benefit/risk trade-offs for taking the vaccine, there is very pertinent news about the efficacy (or lack thereof):
Speaking during an interview with Fox News Monday afternoon, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield said that more than 40 percent of people who have recently died from Wuhan coronavirus in Maryland were fully vaccinated.
This strongly tilts the trade-off equation towards passing on the vaccine for now… Which leads once again to: “Why is there a vaccine mandate?” Why are major US corporations as well as State and City Governments buying into this tyranny? What is the rationale for taking punitive measures against people choosing to not obey this harsh trespass into their personal lives?
October 18, 2021
From my perspective, the determination of the need to get vaccinated is based on an individual trading-off these three primary factors:
- Mortality rate of the virus
- Efficacy of the vaccine
- Risk of vaccine complications
On the surface, the COVID mortality rate is certainly much less than bubonic plague or even other respiratory viruses. At the same time, it seems that the mRNA does not behave or perform comparable to traditional vaccines. The accepted thought process is it doesn’t necessarily avoid contraction of COVID but enables much less severe impact or hospitalization. Meanwhile, the VAERS registry indicates thousands of deaths in the US directly attributable to the vaccines.
Given the above, it’s hard to comprehend the passion or necessity for a vaccine mandate. Is it really based on a logical healthcare reason?
It becomes even more confounding when you throw into the mix the murky origins of the virus in China, the participation of Fauci and company in the development of the virus, and the colossal profits reaped by the pharmaceutical companies selling the vaccines.
It certainly feels much more like an undercover political action to get the proletariat accustomed to “boiling the frog”.
October 4, 2021
In his celebrated treatise, Anatomy of the State, economist Murray Rothbard argues that the state’s existence is predicated on convincing the citizens that its role is not just useful, but absolutely vital for the safety of its citizens. As a result, the state engages a group of individuals—whom he refers to as “court intellectuals”—who work closely with the government to convince the public that it is a benevolent organization working in the public’s interest.
Since its rule is exploitative and parasitic,” Rothbard writes “the State must purchase the alliance of a group of ‘Court Intellectuals,’ whose task is to bamboozle the public into accepting and celebrating the rule of its particular State. The Court Intellectuals have their work cut out for them. In exchange for their continuing work of apologetics and bamboozlement, the Court Intellectuals win their place as junior partners in the power, prestige, and loot extracted by the State apparatus from the deluded public.
October 3, 2021
What is the medical rationale behind the government issuing a mandate for vaccinations? What is the purpose of making the punishment for non-compliance so severe and punitive? Some reasonable comments from PJ Media:
No one expects a vaccine to be 100% effective. But the growing evidence of the ineffectiveness of the Covid vaccines makes the increasing authoritarianism of Leftist politicians all the more indefensible. People are losing their livelihoods for not wanting to get an experimental vaccine that has been increasingly shown to be ineffective. The monumental injustice of this grows more obvious by the day.
And another observation about this illogical situation:
What about those already infected? Why would Biden force companies and individuals to test if they have already acquired natural immunity? Seems to me this whole federal response to the virus constitutes an implementation of medical martial law.
At this point, it appears that the Leftists are deeply immersed in the Rahm Emanuel playbook — “Don’t let a crisis go to waste”. The only plausible explanation is it’s a method of “boiling the frog” as the Biden cabal attempt to institutionalize tyranny.
 Pertinent note: Don’t ever trust a VAJINO
September 27, 2021
Another update of the CDC hospitalization chart that I included in this posting from October 30, 2020.
Do mandated COVID mRNA injections make sense? Here is one viewpoint:
It might be one thing if the vaccines actually did prevent contraction and especially transmission of a virus deadly enough to warrant such measures. If these were sterile vaccines and the disease were more dangerous than the relatively mild (for the vast majority) Covid-19, there *could* be a case for mandates. We could debate it and I might disagree, but there would at least be a case. For example, it would have been difficult to argue against a vaccine mandate for smallpox, which killed 30% of those who contracted it and was stopped dead in its tracks by the vax.
When you combine the relatively low mortality rate of the virus, with the lower than expected efficacy of the vaccine, and then throw-in the apparent complications from the mRNA injection — it’s not a clear picture.
September 20, 2021
We’ve come to expect all of the double-crossing from the Leftist Democrats:
Dr. Anthony Fauci was “up to his neck” funding coronavirus research in Wuhan, which “just shows how incredibly stupid” he is, says Sky News host Sharri Markson. Ms. Markson has been investigating Anthony Fauci’s involvement in funding the Wuhan Institute of Virology and discovered his agency “had funded 60 projects at the Wuhan laboratory. Then he wrote a paper where he said gain of function research was worth the risk of a pandemic, and that he had even funded coronavirus research in conjunction with the Chinese military.”
It is difficult to comprehend how we got into the position of having the man responsible for generating the coronavirus pretending to be the one working to stop it. Yet this Fauci guy is still there.
September 9, 2021
It is more than remarkable that the man responsible for funding/creating the coronavirus is still the person in power controlling much of our nation’s activities. From the American Thinker web site:
Never before in human history has a global pandemic resulted in the dismemberment of first-world economies, highly divisive universal vaccine and mask mandates, education-stunting school shutdowns, and the isolation of entire societies to the point of extreme mental health damage….
If I submitted a novel manuscript with a supervillain who conspires with his nation’s chief rival to do research that causes a global pandemic, and then is tasked with leading the response to this disaster, I would expect publishers to tell me the story is too far-fetched. And yet that is exactly where this story leads….
The release of the virus accomplished a number of objectives. It reversed the damage that the Trump administration was doing to China while resulting in a significant increase in China’s comparative power. It resulted in a strong move toward authoritarianism across the globe. And it resulted in the weakest and most compromised American president of my lifetime.
August 31, 2021
As indicated at the start of this cumulative blog, medical uncertainty adds a lot of confusion to the proper path in handling any pathogen. Unfortunately, this COVID situation has been exacerbated by the frequent flip-flopping on positions by the federal health agencies. Forgetting for a moment the intrusiveness of mandating an experimental vaccine, the efficacy of the mRNA calls into question any of the apparent logic.
We now have a epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School showing that natural immunity offers exponentially more protection than vaccines. This would imply that vaccine passports and mandatory vaccination do not make sense.
“Prior COVID disease (many working class) provides better immunity than vaccines (many professionals), so vaccine mandates are not only scientific nonsense, they are also discriminatory and unethical,” Kuldorff, a biostatistician and epidemiologist, observed on Twitter.
August 24, 2021
As a patriot in Australia so eloquently noted:
“COVID is Communism… They’re going to make you suffer until it seems like you have no choice but to accept it. You can’t let Marxists pose as professors and politicians for two whole generations in your country and expect to remain free and independent.”
August 21, 2021
An interesting observation about the realities of COVID — A recent article discusses the fact that the quantification of health risk is typically reflected in life insurance premiums:
“We find limited evidence that life insurance companies increased premiums or decreased policy offerings due to COVID-19,” researchers said Monday in a study analyzing more than 800,000 life insurance-policy quotes from almost 100 companies between 2014 and October 2020.
August 9, 2021
Make sure your COVID superspreader scorecard is up to date:
To recap, COVID DOES NOT exist:
• at BLM riots
• at Obama’s birthday bash
• at illegal alien border crossings
COVID DOES exist:
• at church
• in schools
• in gyms
August 8, 2021
Ignoring for a moment the tyrannical nature of mandating that citizens must get a vaccine or wear masks everywhere they travel, the push for mass vaccination is highly illogical at this point in time. One of the key driving factors is the lack of a clear determination of the efficacy of these inoculations. To further throw lighter fluid on the fire is the emergence of information indicating that those vaccinated may be the ones inculcating mutated variants and spreading the COVID.
Some interesting comments from a physician in Indiana:
Everything being recommended by the CDC is inconsistent with established Science and their own data. Masks are ineffective at preventing viral transmission, per the CDC’s and NIH’s own data.We cannot make respiratory viruses disappear… Vaccination changes none of this. The current vaccine is causing anti-body mediated viral enhancement, which has happened for all coronaviruses. Vaccines allow the virus to be come worse than it would with native infection.
This is followed up with a great description of expectations from Mike Rowe:
At this point, I’m afraid the government has but one course of sensible action – get the FDA on board, stat, and then, provide an honest, daily breakdown of just how quickly the virus is spreading among the unvaccinated, versus the vaccinated. No more threats, no more judgments, no more politics, no more celebrity-driven PSA’s, no more ham-fisted attempts at public shaming. Just a steady flow of verifiable data that definitively proves that the vast, undeniable, overwhelming majority of people who get this disease are unvaccinated.
July 29, 2021
Some astute observations from Posse Incitatus about the latest round of Washington DC tyranny:
When it comes to COVID-19, vaccinations, masks and lockdowns, the White House and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are the Keystone Kops on steroids.
I am not even sure how to begin analyzing the administration’s dizzying array of proclamations, policies, and actions regarding the need for mask wearing among the vaccinated, the super spreader meltdown at the southern border, and the subjugation of school children to the corrupt and evil teachers’ unions. It’s like jumping on a moving a merry-go-round — you’re not sure where you’ll end up.
Here is another interesting viewpoint from a friend that sent me this image:
July 26, 2021
A couple of months after the irrational lockdown in the Spring of 2020, the Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) provided an honest assessment of the lockdown. He wrote:
At peak in mid-April, COVID-19 patients occupied 2% of our 5,500 hospital beds and 48 of our 750 ventilators. Subsequently, admissions have been decreasing with very few patients now coming from the community, almost all now being from nursing homes. Of note, in the 36 UPMC-owned senior facilities we have had zero positive cases.
Our outcomes are similar to the state of Pennsylvania, where the median age of death from COVID-19 is 84 years old. The few younger patients who died all had significant preexisting conditions. Very few children were infected and none died. Minorities in our communities fared equally as well as others, but we know that this is not the case nationally. In sum, this is a disease of the elderly, sick and poor….
…. Epidemiologic prediction models have performed poorly often neglecting critical variables….
….For New York and a handful of other cities with high case rates as a result of density, travel and socioeconomic issues, they must open up in a measured step-wise manner with extensive testing, tracing and treatment.
But for the rest of the country, as people come out of their homes cautiously and safely, if we protect our vulnerable seniors, particularly those in nursing homes, we should be able keep case rates low, buying time for a potential resurgence as we bolster our supply chain and find effective intervention.
COVID-19 is a disease that ravages those with preexisting conditions – whether it be immunosenescence of aging or the social determinants of health. We can manage society in the presence of this pathogen if we focus on these preexisting conditions.
What we cannot do, is extended social isolation. Humans are social beings, and we are already seeing the adverse mental health consequences of loneliness, and that is before the much greater effects of economic devastation take hold on the human condition.
Nevertheless, all the government administrators ignored the empirical data and the lockdowns continued:
The UPMC recommendation was overruled by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, who claimed a superior grasp of medical science based on advice he was receiving from Pennsylvania’s health secretary Rachel Levine, a transgender doctor who had previously headed Hershey, Pennsylvania’s eating disorder clinic… Running an eating disorder clinic as a transitioned female in Chocolatetown, USA must present unique challenges. It does not, however, make Rachel Levine more qualified to address a pandemic than UPMC’s Chief Scientific Officer.
July 24, 2021
Here is an astute summary of observations pertinent to COVID:
July 19, 2021
The true pathology of COVID is similar to everything being manipulated now by the Leftists — they write their own fiction and censor anything that contradicts their meme. Lives don’t really matter for Democrats as they pursue tyrannical power. An example relates to studies pertinent to COVID:
When one of the researchers in Denmark conducting the first large randomized controlled trial of mask efficacy against Covid, was asked why they were taking so long to publish the much-anticipated findings, he promised them as “as soon as a journal is brave enough to accept the paper.” After being rejected by The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine, and JAMA, the study finally appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and the reason for the editors’ reluctance became clear: the study showed that a mask did not protect the wearer, which contradicted claims by the Centers for Disease Control and other health authorities.
A nationwide analysis in Sweden showed that keeping schools open throughout the pandemic, without masks or social distancing, had little effect on the spread of Covid, but school closures and mask mandates for students continued elsewhere. Another Swedish researcher, Jonas Ludvigsson, reported that not a single schoolchild in the country died from Covid in Sweden and that their teachers’ risk of serious illness was lower than for the rest of the workforce—but these findings provoked so many online attacks and threats that Ludvigsson decided to stop researching or discussing Covid.
“The Fauci-Birx lockdowns were a sinful, unconscionable, heinous mistake, and they will never admit they were wrong,” Dr. Atlas says.
June 30, 2021
An update of the CDC chart that I included in this posting from October 30, 2020. It’s somewhat striking how little the infection rate changed among those under age 50.
June 30, 2021
Another post-facto commentary similar to my analysis in April 2020:
Anyone who paid ten seconds of attention to the numbers of the Diamond Princess would shrug off the “Dread Plague Winnie.” Numbers don’t lie. Whatever the idiots on the left say, 2 +2 does very much equal four. And cruise ships that are disease vectors in the best of time show that if not everyone — of an older and more infirm population than we have — died, if in fact fewer died than would have died from rampant stomach flu, this was a nothingburger. Thinking and reality testing would have stopped the covidiocy.
June 3, 2021
As evidenced by the information presented in this cumulative posting, it should be obvious that I have been a naysayer on the severity of COVID. I will have to admit that it’s starting to appear that the political machinations appear to be worse than many imagined. It’s obvious that COVID changed the trajectory of Trump’s potential overwhelming victory, but now we’re discovering that it was potentially part of the Leftists’ plan for manipulation of the nation.
May 13, 2021
It’s rather interesting that personnel in the Federal Government feel the need to wear masks even after receiving their complete regimen of vaccines. The natural reaction from the public is that there must be no benefit from getting vaccinated. Alternatively, many US citizens may have come to the conclusion that the risk of adverse reaction from the vaccine may be of greater consequence than contracting COVID.
Now we have governors in Ohio and New York attempting to bribe people to get vaccinated by offering free food or free participation in a lottery. What does that mean? Are people resistant because they are now realizing that COVID has been blown out of proportion?
April 30, 2021
The craziness with the virus that originated in China just continues to flow. This soothsayer Fauci and the entire CDC leadership constantly expose themselves as borderline charlatans. Other pundits are now sharing their observations on how the CDC is undermining their own credibility:
The notion that the CDC is still recommending that fully vaccinated people wear masks in some outdoor settings is untethered from the data, and yet again sends the counter-productive signal that maybe the vaccines don’t work.
Contributing to the problem is the fanfare with which government officials munificently bestow new “allowances” upon millions of Americans who have already been engaging in the newly-permitted actions for months. There’s a massive disconnect between the elites making preposterous decisions and the lived experience of actual people.
March 15, 2021
Did anyone ever anticipate in March 2020 that the facts of a pandemic would become so politicized and warped by the media for political advantage? Commentary from Victor Davis Hanson:
…Dr. Anthony Fauci were, as humans and like our politicians, contradictory and sometimes dead wrong. They presented arguments from authority rather than from fact—and then constantly changed narratives without admissions that prior assertions were flat-out wrong. Often their narratives were shaped by media flattery, political polls, and the election year 2020.
The media in 2020 further assured us that the Trump Administration’s promised 2020 COVID-19 vaccination was a myth, another Trump-brand brag. Politicians like Kamala Harris virtue signaled to the nation that she would not take a Trump endorsed vaccination.
March 9, 2021
Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor at Stanford University Medical School, recently commented that COVID lockdowns are the “biggest public health mistake we’ve ever made…The harm to people is catastrophic… I stand behind my comment that the lockdowns are the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 years. We will be counting the catastrophic health and psychological harms, imposed on nearly every poor person on the face of the earth, for a generation.”
This makes you wonder about the true source and trigger for the spread of COVID. It’s amazing that for many elitists it is politics and power that is more important than life itself. It is pretty clear that the Chinese Communist Party and the former cabinet members of the Obama administration were facing an existential crisis with Trump running the show. The consequences of Trump remaining in offices meant jail terms for some Democrat members of 3-letter offices, as well as financial impact in the trillions for China.
How will the world react when they discover that China and the American Leftists conspired to release this mild pathogen as part of disrupting the further emergence of populism in the United States?
March 4, 2021
It defies any sort of logic, other than the fact that most everything the government does is based on political machinations:
Schools and businesses are still closed in many places. There are still issues with vaccine distribution. Yet, immigrants crossing the southern border who test positive for COVID are being allowed to move freely into the United States. This defies common sense and everything we have been told about the danger of COVID for a year.
March 1, 2021
Some compelling results from recent studies of lockdowns and the COVID:
” In short: there was no practical difference in effect between countries that locked down and those that didn’t. Or even shorter: whatever benefits lockdowns give are dwarfed by their enormous costs….
This study was complemented by Canadian infectious disease expert Dr. Ari Joffe in his study “COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink” (November 2020). Here, he stated that “The costs of lockdowns are at least 10 times higher than the benefits. That is, lockdowns cause far more harm to population well-being than COVID-19 can.”
February 23, 2021
I return again to the introduction of this cumulative blog posting that began almost one year ago — namely, the notion of medical uncertainty. These government bureaucrats lack the normal humility to accept that physiology and epidemiology are subject to great amounts of uncertainty. Instead, they impugn their own reputations when they pretend to be soothsayers. Now that there is a year of data and results to review, they only appear to be even more foolish… An interesting and practical perspective from Jordan Schachtel:
Across the globe, citizens remained firmly trapped in perhaps the most self-destructive mass social psychosis in human history, convinced that a respiratory virus (that causes a disease with a 99.8% recovery rate) was responsible for their economic and societal devastation. The authoritarians did as they wished, without a hint of pushback.
People are rightfully outraged by another ongoing narrative shift attempt led by the likes of Dr. Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates, countless government health bureaucracies, and other leaders of the corona hysteria movement. We’re now being told that the vaccine is not in fact a ticket to normalcy. Instead, we’ve been told that even with the vaccine, people still need to wear a mask, social distance, and act as if fellow human beings are nothing more than mere vectors of disease.
February 16, 2021
I have to admit that Dr. Boudreaux has highlighted this world-wide obsession with Coronavirus as bordering on being mind boggling:
This obsession strikes me – in what I no longer doubt is my lunacy – as being as idiotic as obsessions can become… Why does illness from Covid differ categorically from illnesses from other sources? My fellow human beings seem now to be willing to suffer without limit deaths from causes other than Covid – to avoid Covid they’re willing to endure indefinitely isolation and misery and tyranny – they seem to have a fetish to be frightened out of their skins by incessant reports of Covid’s devilish dangers and to react to these reports like mindless lemmings.
With everything we know now about this viral affliction, the most fascinating aspect is the sheer size of the world-wide panic. As I mentioned in an earlier segment of this long posting, Orson Wells would never have imagined such a wide-spread sense of constant apprehension among billions of people.
January 24, 2021
My first posting on this topic indicated the importance of medical uncertainty, but I should have included political uncertainty… For example, have you noticed the remarkable overnight change in the publicly-disclosed virulence of COVID? Now that the Leftists are running things in DC, Coronavirus is on the run:
It’s a very bizarre phenomenon but the same virus that was destroying all of middle earth, the virus that was the justification for America to elect a dawdling hair sniffer who loved to let kids rub the hairs on his legs (under water no less), has suddenly—disappeared.
Every cable news channel that kept the latest deaths (which was always a random and manipulated figure), new infections (which we only knew from a surge in testing), and the neon glow lettering that had announced them on permanent display in the lower third or in static boxes on one half of the screens have just suddenly vanished.
January 17, 2021
At one point, the government “scientist” declares that we need to keep everything locked-down. Ten days later, the same leader declares the opposite. Do you think that this is a clear illustration that: a) there are still large amounts of medical uncertainty, and b) government bureaucrats will always play both sides of the coin.
December 26, 2020
A great summary from American Thinker:
The COVID-19 pandemic was at first a mysterious adversary. Its infectiousness and deadliness were unknown. So the citizens initially accepted the imposition of limits to their innate rights to move freely and work, but since the arrival in our country of this new virus, we have clearly learned that:
- COVID-19 is not as deadly as initially feared.
- The risk of death is mostly limited to those who are elderly and infirm.
- Various low-cost and low-risk medications effectively help to treat the disease.
- Public health officials cannot accurately forecast the spread of the virus.
- Tabulations of deaths from the virus are uncertain and appear inflated.
- Nobody knows how effective masks are in halting the transmission of the pathogen.
- Government directives are mostly arbitrary, inconsistent, and contradictory.
There is an agenda from the Deep State that has nothing to do with ensuring the safety of US citizens.
December 25, 2020
Our experience with the vagaries of COVID highlights the difficulty in declaring absolute conclusions and closure on scientific topics. When this cumulative posting was initiated almost one year ago, I highlighted the fact that there was a tremendous amount of “medical uncertainty”. Unfortunately, this uncertainty hasn’t been reduced as much as you would expect — especially given the amount of money that has been expended to better understand the pathology of COVID… Here is a good summary of the wild swings involved with the observations and recommendations:
Coronavirus lived on surfaces until it didn’t. Masks didn’t work until they did, then they did not. There is asymptomatic transmission, except there isn’t. Lockdowns work to control the virus except they do not. All these people are sick without symptoms until, whoops, PCR tests are wildly inaccurate because they were never intended to be diagnostic tools. Everyone is in danger of the virus except they aren’t. It spreads in schools except it doesn’t.
December 8, 2020
With all the suppositions about the primary causes for the spread of COVID, I’ve been relatively surprised by the fact that nary a researcher has focused on the potential impact from the use of cell phones. No, not the digital aspect of using cell phones. I’m talking about the high-touch and physical exposure to germs on the hand-held device… that is now used more than anything within the household.
If you overlook the sensational stories about cell phones as playgrounds for bacteria. It makes you wonder if the constant handling of these devices is a potential accelerant for transmitting the COVID pathogen.
November 28, 2020
I never expected that we would be in this state of uncertainty about COVID nearly 9 months since it hit the mainstream. There are lingering questions about the reliability of the testing; the efficacy of wearing masks; and the deaths resulting directly from the pathogen.
Beyond the apparent global irrational response to this affliction, my only conclusion is that we’re all going to get the COVID antibodies one way or another — either by a controlled vaccine or via natural contaminations.
November 22, 2020
The first chart below shows the latest comparison of mortality rates from coronavirus versus other major pathogens from the last 100 years.
November 20, 2020
It would seem intuitive that face masks and “social distancing” [I really hate that phrase] would help reduce the spread of a pathogen. It’s important to note that we’re talking about rank-and-file citizens wearing them everywhere, not about the efficacy for healthcare providers. Nevertheless, the real questions are: do face masks for everyone really work? Are these emerging governmental policies about wearing masks everywhere backed by actual scientific evidence?
The Danmask-19 trial was conducted earlier this year and they finally published the results. The study was based on a randomized controlled trial, making it the highest quality approach for gathering scientific evidence. The conclusion from the Danmask study is no statistically significant difference between those who wore masks and those who did not when it came to being infected by COVID.
November 16, 2020
I absolutely do not deny that COVID is real and once again making life extremely challenging for those involved in providing healthcare. Hence, all my postings are about framing the response to this virus in realistic terms.
It appears that the CDC has admitted that it counted 51,000 heart attacks over the last 6 months that resulted in deaths… as deaths from COVID.
At the same time, there is a recent report about a study of the efficacy of lockdowns based on a military-enforced quarantine. The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study that goes to the heart of the issue of lockdowns. The question has always been whether and to what extent a lockdown is capable of suppressing the virus. This study used nearly 2,000 US Marines following strict orders and provided some very interesting results. The most important finding from the study: extreme quarantine plus frequent testing and isolation among military recruits did nothing to stop the virus.
Always remember that nature made a virus like a prickly weed with many tentacles to carry it to new hosts.
November 2, 2020
An article in the New England Journal of Medicine stated, “wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection… the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.” An article by Yinon Weiss in the Federalist includes some interesting time series charts. Here is one in particular that shows the timing of the mask mandate in California followed by the large increase in cases.
As Yinon Weiss summarized: “Many powerful institutions have too much political capital invested in the mask narrative at this point, so the dogma is perpetuated.”
October 31, 2020
All we seem to hear about COVID from the mainstream media (CBS, NBC, ABC, NY Time, WaPost, etc.) is the case rate of the virus tremendously increasing and becoming more threatening. Meanwhile, I’ve been insistent that a better metric for determining the level of impact is the hospitalization rate from the pathogen.
If you visit the CDC site where they are accumulating the data on hospitalization, you will find a useful web-based charting tool on this topic (of course, it’s only as good as the source data that they are collecting). In the image below, you can see that I was able to generate a weekly hospitalization rate by age group. This clearly shows a couple of phenomena:
- The hospitalization rates are not increasing by any significant amounts over the last 5 months
- The rates differ dramatically by age group with those over age 65 having a rate that is roughly 4X of those under 50 years of age
October 17, 2020
Some comments about Dr. Fauci and this “lock-down syndrome” from a well-known physician:
I think some have accused him of being responsible for this crime against humanity. The reality is never in human history have we locked down a whole society. You quarantine the sick. You quarantine the vulnerable. You don’t shut down the whole country. What he is suggesting is scientifically antithetical and unsubstantiated. I’m shocked that this man has any sort of podium anymore. He’s been wrong so many times. It’s terrible!
Herd Immunity is how ALL pandemics end. Whether it’s induced by the use of vaccine or not. Under the age of 60 this virus acts as a prototype of the coronavirus vaccine. It makes you a little bit ill and you move on.
October 16, 2020
Here is an interesting story to throw into the ring about Covid and the use of masks. I can’t vouch for the veracity of the data, but it’s certainly a pertinent perspective to include:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just published a report about a study that showed almost 71% of infected case-patients “always” wore masks...The study indicated that some of these people might have become exposed to the virus when they removed their mask to eat or drink at “places that offer on-site eating or drinking.” However, the agency noted that it could not decide on the exact location the exposure to the pathogen occurred.
The study offers insight into the reality that tens of thousands of Americans that are wearing masks are acquiring COVID on a daily basis. This would seem to indicate that adherence to mask wearing has limited impact on stopping the spread.
October 12, 2020
If you missed some of the recent “unpopular stories” about COVID, there are two significant developments that run counter to beliefs of the folks that greatly enjoy centralized control. In fact, some of these events have been buried or even censored by sites such as Google:
1) World Health Organization – This world-wide organization reversed course and made public statements that advise against the use of punishing lockdowns. After more than six months of home lockdowns became a favored political tool of global governments, the WHO is calling for a swift end.
2) Great Barrington Statement – This is a petition signed by more than 8,000 medical and health scientists around the world that expresses grave concerns about the negative physical and mental health impacts from the prevailing lockdown policies. Note: this is essentially the position espoused by Dr. Scott Atlas, advisor to Mr. Trump.
These positions obviously cast severe doubt on the heavy-handed lockdown approach advocated by Mr. Biden and the Democrats. Thus, we will wait and see the results from the continued politicization of public health.
September 16, 2020
For the record, the CDC said last week that there have been 175,866 deaths in the US “involving” COVID. This represents 0.06% of the U.S. population. Of those deaths, 79% were people 65 years old or older. Americans 55 and older represent 92% of fatalities. The percentage of deaths that are 34 years old and younger is less than 1%.
We then have this chart of US deaths over time involving COVID by State, showing the greatest concentration in New York and New Jersey.
September 1, 2020
As noted in the ‘Core Philosophy’ section of this web site, I generally avoid using the word ‘never’. I say that due to the recent comments from the Governor of Florida who exclaimed “We will never do any of these lockdowns again…”
While I view the responses to COVID as unnecessarily leading to mass hysteria (to a level that would make Orsen Welles jealous that his “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast never had this type of impact), I fear that in the future there will indeed be a pandemic that has a calamitous mortality rate. Thus, the Governor may want to qualify his statement by saying “…never do any of these lockdowns again for COVID-19”.
August 30, 2020
As this posting declared at its origin in March 2020, reliable testing is a key pillar for managing the outbreak of a pathogen. Unfortunately, we are slowly discovering that the testing is anything but reliable. We’ve observed that situation in Ohio when the governor was declared to be COVID positive one day, and then certified to have a negative result the next day. I’ve personally observed this situation on numerous occasions in the last month with representatives at some of our customers.
We are now entering the unfortunate realm where politics is quickly overtaking anything remotely respecting objective science. Even America’s equivalent of Pravda (The New York Times) has published an article questioning the efficacy of COVID testing:
… potentially 90 percent of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 have such insignificant amounts of the virus present in their bodies that such individuals do not need to isolate nor are they candidates for contact tracing. Leading public health experts are now concerned that overtesting is responsible for misdiagnosing a huge number of people with harmless amounts of the virus in their systems.
August 20, 2020
I’ve just read an excellent article from Brad Schaeffer that describes the most dangerous pathogen is irrational fear, and the current response to COVID clearly fills that bill:
That fear has now spread like a pathogen of its own into our daily lives. We willingly surrender liberties while being subjected to the judgments of those whose visceral anxiety over the virus is so burned into their emotional make-up they will turn on, sometimes violently, anyone who doesn’t wear a mask in public.
At the same time we have a recent survey from investment company Franklin Templeton where the Chief Investment Officer wanted to determine the differences between public perception of COVID versus the reality. This is summarized nicely in the piece entitled, “They Blinded Us from Science“:
Americans still misperceive the risks of death from COVID-19 for different age cohorts—to a shocking extent; The misperception is greater for those who rely more on social media for information…
From a public interest perspective, we believe the top priority should be better information and a less partisan, more fact-based public debate. It is shocking that six months into the pandemic so many people still ignore the basic mortality statistics, with perceived risk driven by political leanings rather than individual age and health. Misperceptions of risk distort both individual behavior and policy decisions.
August 7, 2020
This is one of the better articles that takes a broad analytical perspective on COVID and the efficacy of lock-downs (or lack thereof):
When China first deployed lockdown in January to “defeat COVID-19,” The Washington Post approvingly quoted a Georgetown University professor as saying, “The truth is those kinds of lockdowns are very rare and never effective…”Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pandemic planning documents state non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing are ineffective once a disease infects 1% of a region’s population…. Nature always finds a way. No respiratory virus ever needed a “lockdown” to dissipate. What it needs is herd immunity, preferably sooner than later, preferably developed by the young and healthy to minimize mortality.Publicly available data shows no causal relationship between government orders and COVID-19 mortality outcomes.
As indicated in March, during the origins of this posting, it’s pretty clear that the government ‘leaders’ are playing the politically expedient game. In addition, this health care situation provides all the narcissistic political class the opportunity to exercise their tyrannical oversight.
July 29, 2020
The Director for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Robert Redfield testified this week that suicides and drug overdoses have surpassed the death rate for COVID-19. Redfield argued that lock-downs and lack of public schooling constituted a dis-proportionally negative impact on young peoples’ mental health… This is what’s referred to as the law of unintended consequences:
“We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID. We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID,”
You have to give Dr. Redfield credit, he is generally very candid about the incentives and reality associated with COVID:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield agreed that some hospitals have a monetary incentive to overcount coronavirus deaths as they do deaths for other diseases… deaths are being overcounted by 25%.
July 16, 2020
Here is how one writer explained the intentional spreading of COVID panic by the New York Times:
In the weeks and months since then, the paper’s coronavirus doctrine was set in stone. It goes like this. This is a terrifying pandemic. Many millions will die. Everyone is vulnerable. The only solution is to lock down. If we don’t lock down, it is Trump’s fault. Therefore Trump is responsible for all death. That message has been repeated [by the NY Times] thousands of times, every day in every way, ever since.
July 6, 2020
The problem I have with the medical prognosticators involved in forecasting the impacts of COVID is similar to the issues that I have with those attempting to predict the climate and the weather. Namely, these are all very complex systems where investigators have a severely limited understanding of the cause & effect relationships. Thus, any person with experience in the sciences and engineering knows that these cannot be predicted with any amount of certainty (in addition, the science is never settled). As a more practical example, you can bring three physicians into a room to review a patient with an unknown illness and you’re likely to get three entirely different diagnoses. That’s just the nature of scientific uncertainty.
Now, if you apply this knowledge of uncertainty to Dr. Fauci, you realize that he is in an untenable position. Unfortunately, he has chosen a path of projecting himself as the pandemic soothsayer. This is summed up in a recent editorial from Victor Davis Hanson:
But the omnipresent Fauci himself unfortunately has now lost credibility. The reason is that he has offered authoritative advice about facts, which either were not known or could not have been known at the time of his declarations.
The point is not that he is human like all of us, but that in each of these cases he asserted such contradictions with near-divine certainty—and further confused the public in extremis.
Here we are 4 months later with much more data and insights, and COVID is still being treated as if it were equivalent to the medieval black plague… Do you think there is a reason which has nothing to do with science (except perhaps “political science”)?
June 25, 2020
How do you like these apples?
Nearly 25 million Americans may have contracted the coronavirus, a figure 10 times higher than the number of confirmed cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Thursday…
For every one confirmed case, Redfield said, the CDC estimates that 10 more people have been infected.
Once again, this would imply a much lower mortality rate than the “experts” were predicting two months ago. In addition, it highlights how useless and insane the lock-down methods are in controlling the outcomes.
May 21, 2020
Reference the update on April 16 below about the crazy mortality statistics and causes of death that we are likely to see. You can now see what’s happening based on this headline today in the Sacramento Bee: “California hospitals saw sharp drop in heart attacks during COVID-19 shutdown“:
The results, published as a research letter in the New England Journal of Medicine, show that although California avoided the kind of dire outbreaks seen in Italy and New York, the specter of infection may have kept people away from the hospital.
The rate of hospitalization for heart attacks was nearly cut in half, falling by 48% from the beginning of January until mid-April. The study used data from Kaiser Permanente’s 21 medical centers in Northern California and the Central Valley and measured the rate weekly.
“There’s no intervention that we’re aware of that could drop the true incidence of heart attacks by this much,” Solomon said. “In other national emergencies like earthquakes or terrorist attacks, heart attack rates go up due to fear and anxiety. And there’s a ton of fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic.”
May 20, 2020
A deadly virus in not a new phenomenon on our planet. Societies, without our modern technologies and much less equipped to deal with epidemics, have been managing the outbreaks for centuries. The most fundamental approach is by identifying those that have contracted the illness, quarantining those that have become infected, and sequestering those with the highest risk of mortality. For some reason, here in the 21st century we are doing everything tushy-backwards by locking down 99% of the healthy people and introducing financial calamity. Of course, States such as New York are the worst at handling the situation:
The sad news from the Land of 10,000 Lakes (and nearly 50,000 state employees) is that Minnesota has been implementing the disastrous Covid-19 strategy made famous by New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The essence of the plan is to forcefully reduce the income of people at low risk, while simultaneously increasing the chances of virus exposure for those at high risk.
It’s almost beyond belief that governors like Minnesota’s Tim Walz and New York’s Mr. Cuomo would impose impoverishing lockdowns that restrict so much of everyday life—while systematically endangering the elderly who bear by far the greatest risk.
May 17, 2020
It is interesting that COVID now appears to be the preferred explanation for most illnesses and deaths. In fact, it seems to becoming a universal diagnosis of what ails the entire human race.
While it should be emphasized that most, if not nearly all doctors are genuinely concerned about the health of their patients and about COVID-19 — which is a real disease caused by a real virus — it should be remembered that much harm has been done to human beings by fake science and by extending science beyond its capacities to observe and to analyze more than material realities. Scientific formulas and projections can cause great harm when extended beyond the scientific method into metaphysics.
May 11, 2020
Using the data of the relatively controlled settings of the Diamond Princess cruise ship (see earlier data in this posting) and the USS Theodore Roosevelt war ship (neither of which are representative of a typical civilian population), we’re starting to an infection rate pattern in selected samples of approximately 25% and a fatality rate of roughly 0.1% :
The USS Theodore Roosevelt had a crew of 4,800. Given the acute sample, testing was holistic. This yields an actual infection rate of roughly 23 percent, and among those infected, the fatality rate is 0.09 percent. Among the Roosevelt’s entire crew of assumedly healthy and able-bodied sailors, on a floating Petri dish, during the thick of viral outbreak that shut down all schools and placed healthy citizens across America under house-arrest, the fatality rate was .002 percent.
May 10, 2020
The public policy lunacy continues with the VAJINO governor of Illinois stating that his rules will remain in place until the coronavirus is eradicated… Eradicated? How do you like that one? It’s tantamount to: “I am the dictator of this bankrupt State until further notice”. And how about the largest head fake in history being played on the population of this planet: “social distancing”. Who made up this cockamamie phrase and concept?
Very likely, you already instinctively know that the guidelines suggesting that it’s somehow helpful to keep a six-foot space between healthy people, even outdoors, is not based on science, but just an arbitrary suggestion we’ve been conditioned to accept without evidence.
And your gut feeling would be right. There’s a reason that “social distancing” wasn’t a buzzword common to the American lexicon prior to 2020. There’s very little science behind “social distancing” at all.
There is a thousand years of history that you control epidemics by identifying and quarantining the infected… not the healthy!
May 7, 2020
This is a good summary statement from Newt Gingrich:
Today, the combination of news media desperation for something about which to be hysterical, the Chinese Communist Party’s role in hiding and then lying about the new virus, and absurdly overstated claims of supposedly scientific modelers has led to the greatest self-inflicted economic disaster in history.
May 7, 2020
Shutting down the economy has wide-ranging consequences that politicians are just starting to discover. One of the most important for state political leaders is the resulting reduction in tax revenue (Somebody needs to tell these economic illiterates that no sales activity means no sales tax collection). Governors who maintain state-wide lock-downs are making a mistake. They think that they are somehow magically safeguarding citizens from COVID. They have forgotten that the lock-downs were intended to only reduce the height of the infection curves to avoid overwhelming hospitals. Unless there is an immediate cure or vaccination, the area under the curve remains the same. Thus, the reality is these lock-down governors are actually exposing us to higher mortality risk from unemployment and poverty.
May 6, 2020
The law of unintended consequences strikes again. With coronavirus, it’s like squeezing a balloon and having the latex distort simultaneously in multiple directions. The latest is the lack of people visiting the hospital emergency rooms when faced with a life-threatening situation:
Across the U.S., doctors call the drop-off staggering, unlike anything they’ve seen. And they worry a new wave of patients is headed their way — people who have delayed care and will be sicker and more injured when they finally arrive in emergency rooms.
May 4, 2020
Well, it appears that the prognostications are becoming reality. As noted in the April 16 posting below, the public will start seeing a gross distortion in the cause of deaths. I have not reviewed the sources of their data, but the chart below is a compilation of absolute numbers from Citizen Free Press:
April 27, 2020
With more human testing and data capturing, we are starting to gain additional insights about infection and mortality rates. However, this knowledge hasn’t really reduced the quantity of spurious claims about the seriousness of this pathogen. At this point, every ailment that somebody contracts leads to the question “Is this a result of COVID?” As a result, you can surmise that most claims about coronavirus that appear in the daily news still begin life based purely on anecdotal observations, which often end up disappearing from the news without any follow-up.
…most criticism of the Stanford study has been aimed at defending the lockdown mandates against the implication that they’re an overreaction. “There’s some sort of mob mentality here operating that they just insist that this has to be the end of the world, and it has to be that the sky is falling…”
Most disagreements among scientists, he notes, reflect differences in perspective, not facts. Some find the Stanford study worrisome because it suggests the virus is more easily transmitted, while others are hopeful because it suggests the virus is far less lethal.
The irrational fears inculcated by the media have led the country to unrealistic expectations — State governments are now behaving as if it’s practical for absolutely every citizen to avoid ever being stricken with COVID.
April 22, 2020
Making large changes in operating policy often results in unintended consequences. I used hyperbole and sarcasm in the April 16 posting about coronavirus and the primary causes of death in the United States (see below). Namely, the fact that people are ignoring the magnitude of deaths from coronary disease and cancer. One tends to lose perspective when there are no daily internet updates on the other 7,000 deaths that occur every day in the US. As a result, we are going to soon be seeing the impact and likely collateral damage from the panic introduced with the total focus on COVID:
Before the coronavirus hit, tens of thousands of people across the state sought emergency help each day. But in the weeks since the virus began its spread throughout the U.S., those numbers have plummeted by a third to a half…
They worry people are dying at home from conditions that could have been treated and others who survive will now suffer from serious, chronic conditions resulting from their failure to seek help… And at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, stroke cases also have dropped by half, while people being treated for heart attacks are down 30%.
April 21, 2020
Engineers recognize that most decisions in life involve trade-offs. There are rarely ‘silver bullets’ that solve all your problems without any residual consequences. This is especially true in cases that involve uncertainty and require careful risk management.
Naturally, there are numerous unplanned consequences from the hysteria raised around the COVID pathogen. As indicated in this initial posting on March 18 and the time series presented in the posting on April 16, there are likely going to be other significant impacts on public health. One example is the situation where patients afflicted with the most common causes of death (coronary and cancer diseases) are not seeking or receiving care:
Because of social distancing amid the Covid-19 pandemic, hospitals and doctor’s practices have cancelled routine screenings and non-essential surgeries. The dire predictions of the experts and pronouncements of the elected leaders may be causing some Americans to fear going to seek medical care for life-threatening illnesses.
It’s important to note that these are not just anecdotal comments from the mainstream media attempting to inflame emotions. A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine notes:
As the coronavirus pandemic focuses medical attention on treating affected patients and protecting others from infection, how do we best care for people with non–Covid-related disease? … Cancer care, which often involves immunosuppressive therapy, tumor resection, and inpatient treatment, has been disproportionately affected by Covid-19.
This situation emphasizes the importance of maintaining a broader perspective on overall wellness and healthcare.
April 20, 2020
If you’ve been following the still murky but ever evolving COVID story, you are probably aware of the approach that Sweden is taking to manage the virus:
Sweden opted for a different approach to tackling coronavirus: cities, schools and restaurants have remained open. This was judged by critics to be utterly foolish: it would allow the virus to spread much faster than elsewhere, we were told, leading to tens of thousands of deaths…
Sweden hasn’t declared ‘victory’ – far from it. It’s still early days in this pandemic and no one really knows yet how the virus will spread once restrictions are lifted and what excess mortality it will have caused when it’s all over…
…the actual situation isn’t far away from the ballpark suggested by professor Tom Britton in a study that was released this weekend: that between 25 and 40 per cent of the Stockholm population have had the virus and that the region will reach herd immunity in late May.
April 16, 2020
To put the amount of death that occurs on a daily basis into perspective, it’s important to understand that there are more than 200,000 people that die each month in the United States. Approximately 60% of those deaths are from heart disease and cancer.
With the CDC’s latest method of determining the cause of death (as well as State’s making arbitrary decisions), the chart below is my notional projection of what the likely time series chart for 2020 will look like for deaths in the US. Overall, monthly deaths will not change by much even with the presence of the coronavirus. However, one reaction will be, “Wow, look at that big bump for coronavirus deaths in there”. This will be followed by, “Yes, with all of the people driving much less, it makes sense that deaths from car accidents decreased.” The most interesting comment will be something like, “Hmm, I wonder why the deaths from heart disease, cancer, and respiratory disease all decreased so much.”
This is a projection of what will be reported based on the ‘incentives’ of declaring all deaths as COVID-related. It’s not at all a reflection of the likely reality. It’s a cynical way of saying that the mainstream media is so distorted that they will draw the conclusion that coronavirus magically reduces deaths related to cancer.
Sources of historical data:
April 16, 2020
It may be a little early, but the analysis from a renowned scientist on the advisory board of the world’s largest pharmaceutical company has his own observations about locking down the world:
Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel has mathematically shown us that coronavirus closures were a mistake. It’s a tough reality. Americans lost their jobs and businesses went under because the United States, along with most first world nations, acted on the chilling predictions of a severely flawed model, a reading of Professor Ferguson’s tarot cards.
April 12, 2020
There are going to be numerous articles and commentaries soon about the abject failures once again of the government organizations that are charged with the mission of managing public health. In particular, the derogatory reviews are going to focus on the lack of anything useful from the WHO, CDC, and FDA. Examples are already emerging:
The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) most public failure is its most recent, the blocking of any private production of coronavirus test kits during the initial outbreak. How many Americans will pay the ultimate price for this policy remains to be seen?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) mission states as its priority “confronting global disease threats through advanced computing and lab analysis of huge amounts of data to quickly find solutions.”… Apparently not. The most consequential failure involved a breakdown in efforts to develop a diagnostic test that could be mass produced and distributed across the United States, enabling agencies to map early outbreaks of the disease, and impose quarantine measures to contain them.
Rest assured that the New York Times and Washington Post will chime in and claim that it was all Trump’s fault.
April 10, 2020
An update on the more detailed information coming from the controlled setting in Iceland:
Iceland’s randomized tests revealed that between 0.3%-0.8% of Iceland’s population is infected with the respiratory illness, that about 50% of those who test positive for the virus are asymptomatic when they are tested, and that since mid-March the frequency of the virus among Iceland’s general population who are not at the greatest risk – those who do not have underlying health conditions or signs and symptoms of COVID-19 – has either stayed stable or been decreasing.
April 9, 2020
This is a story about the observations from a phlebotomist taking hundreds of blood samples for coronavirus. While the data is more anecdotal/informal than scientific/controlled, it nevertheless illustrates the problem when not testing a reasonable cross-section of the population:
The number of patients coming through the testing center who appear to have already had coronavirus and gotten over it is far greater than those who currently have the disease…
Of those who contract the coronavirus, around 25 percent may be asymptomatic… A recent study of 1,000 people in the Heinsberg District of Bonn, Germany found that 15% of the population had contracted the virus, many unknowingly and without symptoms.
This would appear to provide support for the previous observations about the Diamond Princess, South Korea, and Iceland where wider testing provided much greater insight. When fighting an epidemic, the most important first step is understanding the nature of the pathogen to enable the rapid introduction of wide-scale testing among a representative sample of the population. It’s important to note that a representative sample is not just those coming to the hospital with manifest symptoms.
When the Government is trying to quarantine the 99% of the population that doesn’t have the virus instead of the 1% who do, that’s the first sign that the people employed full-time to watch for these problems (CDC) have majorly failed. As you would probably expect, the CDC — the Center for Disease Control — was too busy focused on racism and obesity.
April 8, 2020
And here you go! As indicated in this posting back on March 18, the politicians will exclaim “It would have been even worse if I wasn’t in charge”. Here is the first:
Dr. Robert Redfield, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), predicted that the death toll from the Chinese coronavirus will be “much, much, much lower” than the models have projected due to Americans following social distancing recommendations.
Medical uncertainty and global visibility led all the politicians to take the extreme route of attempting to lock-down the world, without any regard for a rational approach to risk management.
April 6, 2020
An editorial in the Wall Street Journal uses a variation of the phrase made famous by Charlton Heston — “Let Our People Go”. The focus is clearly on the notion that locking everyone in their homes is not the path to success:
We’re seeing the economic destruction wrought by blunt government instruments of prohibition. It’s time to let free people show how they can both fight infection and produce the wealth that is essential to good health.
While market-based indicators suggest that the financial markets may be stabilizing, economic activity, especially in the U.S. is still in freefall.
I realize that most people don’t like to bother themselves to understand the intricacies involved in a ‘supply chain’, but it’s essential as part of realizing that you can’t lock everyone in their homes and expect to have food items available for sustenance.
The simple supply chain illustration that I use for my wife is refilling the shelves at the grocery store. I explain: to get the 1 gallon jug of milk at the local Kroger store, you need someone working to milk the cow; another person to pasteurize the milk; another to package the milk into containers; another person to load the pallet of milk containers onto the truck; somebody to drive the truck to the Kroger distribution center; another person to unload the delivery truck; yet another person to stock the shelves; and finally someone at the grocery store to take your money when you purchase the milk… then multiply that by the 5,000 or so items available at the grocery store.
April 5, 2020
It’s about 3 weeks since my initial observations (noted in the intro at the top of this posting) and little has changed… This editorial provides a very good summary of the current lack of perspective being practiced by the political class:
The “experts” are people of genuine theoretical scientific knowledge but no real-world experience and no capability of risk assessment beyond the specific risks in their chosen field. They are focused on the virus and only the virus, because it is not their job to worry about anything but the virus. They could, without blinking an eye, recommend a six-month in-home lockdown. You could scream, “But people will starve by the millions!” That is not their concern. If they starve to death in their homes, they did not die of coronavirus and thus the “experts” have done their jobs. It doesn’t help that almost all of them are government employees for life guaranteed to receive full pay and benefits until the end of the known universe. They are not capable of grasping the concept that no work equals no pay, no insurance, no food, and finally nowhere to live.
April 4, 2020
Another case study on coronavirus response is South Korea (home of Samsung, Hyundai, and 23,000 US troops). This geographically small country adjacent to China, started turning the tables in the middle of March:
So how is it that the South Koreans got a handle on this virus without stopping the economy or shutting down the country? South Korea has a crowded population of some 52 million people crammed into a geographical location about the size of Indiana, a perfect situation for a pandemic to spread – but it didn’t.
They were also very proactive, in testing and separating anyone who tested positive for the virus, whether they were showing symptoms or not. Because as you are correct, the majority of the cases are quite mild. It’s just very contagious… We had our scary moment too, when we had 5000 cases in one city and it really made people nervous and afraid. But the government and the medical staff just keep handling it very matter-of-factly, and because they didn’t quarantine everyone — it didn’t make us panic.”
April 3, 2020
Here is another relatively controlled setting for the establishment of more reliable statistics… As epidemiologists around the world try to get a handle on the actual prevalence of coronavirus and its true mortality rate, Iceland has been doing the testing that is necessary to determine an objective set of parameters. Of course, while Iceland is a controlled setting similar to the Diamond Princess, it may not be representative of more populous nations.
About half of the people who tested positive reported no symptoms, underlining the importance of general testing in estimating the prevalence of infection…
Iceland’s response to COVID-19—which features aggressive testing, contact tracing, and quarantines of infected people but no general lockdown—is also strikingly different from the response in the United States, where the federal government squandered the opportunity to take a more proactive and targeted approach. Iceland began testing people in early February, weeks before its first confirmed case.
April 2, 2020
It’s appears that the Diamond Princess ship is lifting its quarantine after a detailed disinfection process:
The restoration group completed a Level-3 deep cleaning (highest level) of the entire ship. The Japanese Ministry of Health and CTEHLLC both monitored and approved this process,” the tweet read. The ship has been held in a shipyard in Yokohama Harbor in Japan…. Some passengers said on Twitter they received health check forms asking if they had symptoms such as a headache, fever or coughing. Passengers who tested negative and had no symptoms still had to get their body temperature checked before leaving.
The ship’s operator, Princess Cruises, said in a statement Tuesday that 169 people who tested positive recently were still on the ship as they waited for transportation to hospitals.
As you can see in the data from the March 30 posting below, some of the numbers in this recent story don’t seem to jibe with the numbers in these statistics (169 “who tested positive” versus 109 [712 – 603] still infected). Perhaps the 169 includes passengers that “recovered” but did not pass the exit criteria?
March 30, 2020
At this point, the most reliable statistics about the virulence of the coronavirus would appear to come from the relatively controlled situation about the Diamond Princess cruise ship. There was a well-publicized outbreak among its 3,711 passengers and crew in January and February 2020. The passengers were held aboard the ship in constricted quarters with 3,068 of the ‘guests’ tested for the virus. The latest statistics from that situation indicate the following:
- Total tested: 3,068
- Total infected: 712
- Total recovered: 603
- Total deaths: 10
- Approximate days to recovery: 14 to 30
This results in these epidemiological metrics:
- Infection rate: 23%
- Mortality rate: 1.4%
It’s important to note that many of those that tested positive for the virus did not manifest the typical symptoms.
March 18, 2020
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am weary from the overwhelming focus on the coronavirus… Frankly, people are behaving as if it’s the black plague with everyone catching skin lesions and a 50% fatality rate.
My executive summary of the situation: the combination of medical uncertainty (what is the true rate of transmission, rate of mortality, etc.) and unprecedented global visibility (worldwide access to internet news, Twitter, etc.) has resulted in the reaction that we have now. That is, this combination has resulted in politicians taking the path most logical for them — being extremely risk averse without regard to cost/benefit. The political “cover your rear” position is one of demonstrating to constituents that you are doing everything possible to save every life. This enables the politician to exclaim “It would have been even worse if I wasn’t in charge”.
Now, for a little more detail (Please note that I’m an engineer acting as an amateur epidemiologist in describing the nature of potential viral epidemics). It appears that the quantitative factors listed below are the best predictors of the virulence of coronavirus (or any pathogen for that matter). You’ll note that I made ease of transmission (airborne versus contact) and level of mutability (virus changes structure as it multiplies) as sub-factors of the rate of transmission.
1. The rate of transmission
1a. The ease of transmission
1b. The level of mutability
2. The mortality rate
From reading recent papers in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the few takeaways that I have are:
- The most common manifestation or correlation from a biological test is leukopenia (low white blood cells).
- The costly CT exam has been the second most useful predictor of the presence of coronavirus (presence of glassy areas in the lungs).
- It appears that there has been the lack of any reliable and quick diagnostic methods
I haven’t seen any reliable or statistically significant quantitative data about these set of factors that I listed above. Based on the NEJM articles, I am assuming that most of the data is just now being generated and analyzed, and the greatest fears are the unknowns around 1a and 1b above, along with the absence of any reliable diagnostic testing.
Thus, here we are… “sheltering in place”, and waiting for the 21st century version of the black plague to come and get us… the mob mentality survives.