Learning From Statistics

The two-week lockdown of the economy to flatten the curve of the coronavirus has now lasted almost a year. In some cases when the lockdown was lifted, the cases spiked, and the lockdown was reinstated. However, in other cases, when the lockdown ended quickly, there was no spike in the number of cases.

Yesterday The Federalist posted an article about the success of Florida in dealing with the coronavirus crisis. The article contains a number of graphs, so I strongly suggest you follow the link to read the entire article.

Here are a few highlights from the article:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis started lifting lockdown restrictions back in May, allowing stores and restaurants to begin reopening in all but three counties in South Florida. The stay-at-home order also ended at the beginning of May. Unlike New York and California, Florida never tried to bar people from going to religious services.

At the end of September, DeSantis lifted all remaining statewide COVID-19 restrictions. Traveling back and forth from COVID-conscientious Northern Virginia to Florida, I could notice a difference. In Florida, kids were going to school, wedding parties were throwing receptions, young people were studying at coffee shops, and families were taking Christmas pictures downtown on the square.

…Since April, Florida’s unemployment rate has remained better than New York’s and California’s.

Schools in Florida are open too, and have been since August. My brother goes to one of them. I’ve seen kids playing at recess.

Amid all this, Florida ranks 33rd in pediatric cases per capita, better than California, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The state of New York has not released its numbers on pediatric cases.

…Not only is Florida’s economy enduring the effects of COVID-19 much better than locked-down states, its death rates are below the national average. At the beginning of February, the Heritage Foundation reported that Florida’s death rate was 123.3 per 100,000 residents — a tragic number, but below the national average of 132 people per 100,000.

Florida’s experience is consistent with epidemiological experience and research, as the infectious disease experts who authored the Great Barrington Declaration pointed out last October: “Basic epidemiological theory indicates that lockdowns do not reduce the total number of cases in the long run and have never in history led to the eradication of a disease.  At best, lockdowns delay the increase of cases for a finite period and at great cost. ”

This is also consistent with recent, peer-reviewed research done on COVID spread in different countries that finds lockdowns and their severity have no ultimate effect. Numerous other recent studies make this conclusion.

Florida was also below the national average rise in total deaths per capita, which would include deaths caused by lockdowns in other states. As early as July, CDC Director Robert Redfield said of young people: “We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID.”

Nationally, there was a 16.9 percent increase in total deaths, regardless of cause. Florida’s increase was lower at 14.8 percent. Meanwhile, New York saw a 30.1 percent spike and California’s deaths increased by 18.6 percent.

If the states are considered laboratories to experiment with programs to see if they are successful, the rest of the nation should be following the example of Florida. That would be ‘following the science’ or at least ‘following the statistics.’

Freedom Wins

I understand that the coronavirus is serious. Recently updated statistics about the survival rate of the coronavirus show that age is a major factor:

For people age 0-19 the survival rate is 99.997%, for people age 20-49 the survival rate is 99.98%, for people age 50-69 the survival rate is 99.5%, and for people over the age of 70 the survival rate is 94.6%. These are the CDC numbers reported at Breitbart on September 25, 2020. So why are we quarantining everyone?

Meanwhile the lockdowns are having a negative impact on not only the economy but also the mental health of Americans. Oddly enough, the lockdowns seem to be highlighting the differences between blue and red states.

The Hill is reporting today that the Rose Bowl will be moved from California to Texas because of the growing number of Covid cases in California. California has some of the strictest lockdown orders in the country, and yet the number of Covid cases there is increasing. Could it be that lockdowns don’t actually work?

The article reports:

California’s ban on spectator sports has caused a College Football Playoff (CFP) semifinal game to move from Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena to AT&T Stadium in Texas.

“The game in Dallas will still be played in the mid-afternoon window on New Year’s Day,” said CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock in a statement. “We are pleased that parents and loved ones will now be able to see their students play in the game.”

According to Hancock, the decision to move the game was mutually made by the CFP’s management committee and the Tournament of Roses, citing the “growing number of COVID-19 cases in Southern California.”

The article concludes:

The Rose Bowl’s inability to accommodate players’ families had caused coaches and school officials to complain, the AP noted, with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly even going as far as to say the school’s players would boycott the game if they were selected and their families couldn’t attend.

Notre Dame is now scheduled to play Alabama in the game. 

According to Hancock, it has not been determined if the game played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington would still be referred to as the Rose Bowl. If not, this would be the first time since 1916 that the Rose Bowl has not been played.

I also suspect the game is being played in Texas so that it would not be subject to the whims of the Governor of California who seems to have no logic behind his shutdown orders. At least in Texas the teams involved can be pretty sure the game will be played.

 

 

Have You Heard About “The Great Reset”?

Logic indicates that shutdowns have not worked–we were supposed to be shutdown for two weeks in February and that was going to end the virus. Well, it’s December, and we keep doing the same thing over and over and getting the same results (the definition of insanity). If we claim to be using the scientific method, it seems like we are not paying attention to the results of what we are doing. So might there be something else going on? Enter “the great reset.”

Summit News posted an article today about “the great reset” and how Americans who have heard about it feel about it. CBN News posted an article about “the great reset” on December 8th.

Summit News reports:

A majority of Americans who have heard of ‘The Great Reset’ – an agenda to push for further globalism and technocrat control of human behavior – oppose its objectives.

A survey by Rasmussen Reporters and The Heartland Institute reveals that 53% of likely voters oppose the Great Reset, compared to 42% who support its goals. 4% said they were not sure.

While swing voters are more likely to oppose the agenda, opposition between Democrats and Republicans splits broadly down party lines, with 72% of Democrats supporting the initiative and 76% of Republicans rejecting it.

According to the survey, “Americans understand that national sovereignty is superior to global governance. Further, according to the data, Americans are wary, as they should be, about the World Economic Forum’s anti-capitalist Great Reset movement. Apparently, Americans are well-aware that globalism is not the answer to U.S. policy issues.”

As we have previously highlighted, the Great Reset, a movement started by World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab, is fixated on using the coronavirus crisis to re-order the world and advance draconian surveillance technologies to track and control human behavior.

Schwab recently published a book called “COVID-19: The Great Reset” in which he said that despite the pandemic not representing an “existential threat,” it should be exploited to completely re-order the world and usher in a technocratic transhumanist dystopia.

Legacy media outlets like the New York Times are still claiming the “Great Reset” is a “conspiracy theory” even as world leaders openly announce it.

CBN News reports:

The Great Reset has been labeled a conspiracy theory and parts of it sound like a conspiracy theory, but everything we know about it comes from the global elites themselves, who have been quite open about it. 

“This is not a conspiracy theory. This is a well-documented movement among many of the world’s most powerful people,” says Justin Haskins, the Editorial Director at The Heartland Institute and a leading authority on the Great Reset, “Fundamentally, this is a radical and complete transformation of everything that we do in our society,” Haskins adds, ‘It will change the way businesses are evaluated, it will coerce businesses to pursue left-wing causes.”

The Great Reset was unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where many of the world’s most powerful people go to offer solutions to the world’s problems.  They have said that the coronavirus pandemic as a historic opportunity to change the way the world operates.

Make no mistake–the election fraud that elected Joe Biden was part of “the great reset.” Right now President Trump is the major obstacle to this plan. What happens in the next month will determine whether or not America remains a sovereign nation.

When Fear Rules

Europe is preparing for another Covid-19 lockdown. Britain is preparing for another lockdown to extend to December 2. The number of coronavirus cases in these areas has skyrocketed, and that is how the countries choose to deal with the disease. But what about Sweden, a country that never went into full lockdown?

On October 28th, Medical Life Sciences reported the following:

A new observational study by Swedish researchers shows a significant decline in death rates among hospitalized patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Their study titled, “Decline in mortality among hospitalized covid-19 patients in Sweden: a nationwide observational study,” was released online as a preprint on the medRxiv* server.

…The virus’s immense capacity to infect populations and spread rapidly has put enormous pressure on the healthcare system in general and on hospitals in particular, wrote the researchers. Those admitted to hospitals with COVID have a mortality of over 20 percent. Thirty-four percent of patients require intensive care. The proportion of patients requiring ICU admission is between 17 and 32 percent wrote the team. These numbers are derived from studies conducted between February and April 2020. With time, the understanding of the infection and its management has improved, and thus survival has also improved with time.

This new study was undertaken among Swedish patients to see if there has been a change in mortality rates among hospitalized COVID-19 patients across the nation. The researchers attempted to see 60-day mortality (defined as death from any cause within 60 days of index hospital admission), mortality rate of the COVID-19 patients for both non-ICU treated, and ICU treated patients during the first 4 months of the pandemic. The data came from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (NBHW).

Please follow the link to the article. It is too complex to try to summarize.

Meanwhile in California:

The science does not support this. It is simply a power grab by a state government drunk on its own power. The answer to the coronavirus is found in improved treatment of the virus or a vaccine. We may never get rid of this thing, so it is time to learn how to deal with it. We have successfully dealt with diseases in the past that were just as dangerous, and we can successfully deal with this one.

Why Are We Still Doing This And What Does It Accomplish?

On October 7th, Newsweek reported the following:

More than 6,000 scientists have signed an anti-lockdown petition saying that coronavirus policies are causing “irreparable damage.”

The petition, which is named the Great Barrington Declaration after the town in Massachusetts it was signed in, was written on October 4 and has signatures from at least 2,826 medical and public health scientists, 3,794 medical practitioners and over 60,000 members of the general public.

It was co-authored by Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard; Dr. Sunetra Gupta, a professor at Oxford University; and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor at Stanford University Medical School.

“As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection,” the petition says in its opening line. “Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.”

…The petition also discusses its approach for vulnerable people, noting that implementing measures to protect this group “should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19.”

The petition offers a number of examples of how to protect vulnerable people, such as recommending that nursing homes use staff with acquired immunity and delivering groceries and other essential goods to those who are retired.

“Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal,” the petition says.

It goes on to say that simple hygiene measures, such as handwashing and staying home when sick, can help achieve the goal of herd immunity, while also noting that young adults should work from home and advocating a full reopening of the economy.

Meanwhile, Just the News posted an article today contrasting the current economic conditions between red and blue states.

The article reports:

As Democratic candidates across the nation harp on the economic devastation they attribute to the Trump administration’s mishandled COVID response, a closer look at state by state unemployment data reveals something far different: a tale of two economies on starkly divergent paths out of crushing shutdown economics. In “red” states, economic recovery is in full roar. “Blue” states, meanwhile, lag far behind, still staggering under unemployment levels associated with the deepest recessions. Suspended somewhere between these two poles are politically mixed “purple” states muddling through with fittingly middling unemployment numbers.

Just the News reviewed  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment data by state for August (the latest data available).The national unemployment rate — which now stands at 7.9% — was 8.4% in August. However, the economic pain represented by that number was not spread evenly across red, blue and purple states — far from it. Fueled by broader, faster economic reopenings following the initial coronavirus crash, conservative-leaning red states are by and large far outpacing liberal-leaning blue states in terms of putting people back to work.

Just the News found that 9 of the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates are are led by Republican governors (Montana, led by Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock is the lone exception). In startling contrast, 9 of the 10 states with the highest unemployment rates are led by Democrats (the exception being Massachusetts, led by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, a critic of President Trump).

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. This article illustrates why local elections matter. The states whose voters put Republicans in their state government are doing much better than the states being run by Democrats.

Did Sweden Get It Right?

Hot Air posted an article today about the way that Sweden dealt with the coronavirus. From the start, they followed a different path than much of the world.

The article reports:

In the global battle against the pandemic, few countries drew as much scrutiny and frequent criticism as Sweden during the early days. While the United States and most of Europe shut down their economies and put everyone on lockdown, the Swedes largely went about their business with no mandates for the wearing of masks or prohibitions on public gatherings. Sweden initially experienced a surge of novel coronavirus cases as compared to its neighbors. And then it felt like we stopped hearing about them quite so much. So what’s been going on?

As this report from the Associated Press indicates, what’s been going on has largely been… not much, at least in terms of the virus. Sweden only made slight modifications to its policies after the initial surge, but largely stuck with the herd immunity strategy. And now, just as much of Europe is experiencing a second surge in cases, Sweden has some of the lowest numbers in all of Europe. So did their herd immunity strategy actually work?

The Associated Press reports:

Now, as infection numbers surge again in much of Europe, the country of 10 million people has some of the lowest numbers of new coronavirus cases — and only 14 virus patients in intensive care.

Whether Sweden’s strategy is succeeding, however, is still very uncertain.

Its health authorities, and in particular chief epidemiologist Dr. Anders Tegnell, keep repeating a familiar warning: It’s too early to tell, and all countries are in a different phase of the pandemic.

The article at Hot Air continues:

Among Sweden’s population of ten million, they currently have a total of 14 people in ICU beds fighting COVID. In the past two weeks, they have reported 30.3 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. By comparison, Spain is at 292.2 and France reports 172.1. That’s a rather startling difference.

The article concludes with some interesting speculation:

This should leave us to wonder if that wasn’t the ideal solution from the beginning. If we had locked down the nursing homes and provided relief to everyone over the age of 55 so they could stay home, along with anyone with a doctor’s note saying they had underlying respiratory or immune system issues, could we have just left the rest of the economy running? The idea of requiring a doctor’s note wouldn’t be any big deal. Most employers do that already for many Human Resources functions, including the use of sick time for more than a day or two. Further, the death toll in New York City wouldn’t have been anywhere near what we saw were it not for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s disastrous order forcing nursing homes to take in COVID-19 patients and forbidding the screening of new residents.

What would our current death toll be today if we had followed that path? The vast, vast majority of healthy people under the age of 55 who contract the virus still come out the other side alive and without any serious, permanent health issues. There are some who are hit very hard to be sure, but the same can be said for other diseases that we live with (or, in some cases, don’t) every year. We’ll have to wait until the second wave has finished washing over Europe to be sure, but it’s starting to look as if the Swedes were onto something all along.

We can’t turn back the clock, but we can keep this in mind in dealing with future diseases.

I Can’t Figures Out If This Is Good News Or Bad News

Yesterday Townhall posted the following headline, “Oops: It Looks Like the Vast Majority of Positive COVID Results Should Have Been Negative.” It seems very likely that we have been snookered!

The article reports:

According to The New York Times, 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.

“Most of these people are not likely to be contagious, and identifying them may contribute to bottlenecks that prevent those who are contagious from being found in time,” warns The Times.

So, if overtesting is causing “bottlenecks” that keep us from identifying contagious people in time, what does The New York Times believe the solution should be? More testing!

The article concludes:

It looks like the CDC was right, and not The Times, when the CDC issued guidance saying not everybody and their mother should get tested for COVID-19. 

If the coronavirus has made one thing clear, it’s that so-called “scientists” and “experts” are wrong all the time. They can’t accurately forecast a virus, they tell us different things about the effectiveness of a face mask, they insist the virus can’t spread at leftwing protests, and there’s a myriad of other examples too long to document here showing us the “experts” are really just making it all up as they go along, with their political biases on display for everyone with eyes to see.

There are some serious questions currently arising as to the necessity and wisdom of locking down our economy at all, much less continuing lockdowns. It may be time to take a another look at what we have done and what we should do in the future in dealing with the coronavirus.