The Global Warming Zone, the new number: The postmortem Right and Wrong

The coronavirus crisis, such as it was, is over.

People are no longer dying at a rate higher than any normal season. This is all cause deaths, meaning, hospitals aren’t being overwhelmed, meaning, kung flu isn’t killing people at a rate that would skew models higher than normal.

Not only that, if cases are rising but deaths aren’t this is a good thing, as it hastens herd immunity.

It’s finished. Kaput. Thus, the numbers we have are the numbers we should be using to judge how bad this crisis got.

Final result: Around 120,000 Americans officially reported as dead.

All right kids, it’s time for a new edition of everyone’s favorite game: Right and wrong!

We’re gonna look back at what I’ve said about things so far and see how my track record holds up. Get ready!

Wrong: Didn’t think the metro area would get hit as hard as it did.

This one I am including in all honesty, as I never gave a numbered prediction. But, it is true that I didn’t expect it to hit THAT hard.

Right: Coronavirus is extremely localized in terms of outbreak, hitting certain areas extremely hard and leaving everywhere else mostly alone.

My county never got hit in any meaningful way. There was a jump in deaths due to a nursing home, but outside of that we were mostly in the clear. This is true of several counties in NJ as well as the vast majority of the country.

Right: As soon as the weather warmed up, deaths would drop like a rock.

This is exactly what happened.

Wrong, soft prediction: Deaths would cap out around 50,000.

This was my “soft prediction”; I said this was where I suspected we’d top out.

I suspect right, but can’t prove yet, hard prediction: Deaths in America won’t hit 100,000.

If Stephen Crowder’s estimate that we’ve overcounted by about 25% is correct, we capped at 90,000 at the point all cause deaths dropped to normal seasonal levels.

Right: Fauci’s model was completely wrong:

Fauci originally gave the low number in America at 100,000. Normally someone would say that he MIGHT be right, given what we know at least. Except it doesn’t tell the full story; he also changed the model to a 65,000 low number and an 85,000 low number before getting back into the 100s. Models don’t work like that; see Dr. Briggs. This means his model is wrong.

Not to mention that – unless I’m misunderstanding it, and so far nobody has told me how I could be – he was counting deaths differently when he made the model then the CDC counted them, making the model’s prediction even more badly skewed.

And finally, if it really is true we’re below 100,000 dead, then even if we cop to his 100,000 dead prediction he didn’t reach it.

Right: Kung flu did not hit as hard as the 57′ or 68′ flus, adjusted for population.

Is it due to lockdowns? Well we have no evidence of this, yet plenty of evidence they did a lot of harm. Draw your own conclusions until the really hard numbers become available.

Right: Politicians tried to take credit for the end of the crisis. See: Cuomo smugly calling out the Southern governors for…not killing nearly as many people as he did. Sure, let’s put your track record under a microscope and compare. You may not like how things shake out.

So in terms of my major predictions, I got one wrong and one sort of wrong. Pretty good, I think.

Let’s go with new predictions!

  1. There will be a second wave, but of cases, not of deaths
    .
  2. The lockdown/open up/lockdown dance will continue until January, when the vaccine is rushed out
    .
  3. The baseball season and football seasons will shut down within a couple of weeks of opening up. This will be due to a few players testing positive after getting mild colds.
    .
  4. The vaccine will be mandatory, not by law, but by the vast majority of jobs. School jobs particularly.
    .
  5. Schools will open up but close within a month, until the vaccine is rushed out.

There you go. Let’s see how right I am. Unlike the previous predictions – outside of prediction 1, which would be fairly neutral news – I hope I’m wrong.

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The Global Warming Zone, Part Whatever: The news is good

Okay. Now I’m just some guy. I’m no effort. But I’ve been paying attention and come from the 2nd hardest hit state in the country.

So I want to make something really, really clear:

If anybody describes what is happening in the southern states using the same language as they used describing NYC and NJ, your alarm bells should go off. You are being duped.

Look, I keep saying this, and I’m no epidemiologist, but I have been looking closely at this for awhile and feel confident saying this: the rising cases in the South are a good thing.

Once more, for those in the back: Rising cases are a good thing.

Risng cases *with rising deaths* are a bad thing. But stop and think about this for a moment. Seriously. Really think.

How do you get rid of most viruses?

They get a bunch of people sick until eventually there’s nobody left.

Most of the time we don’t give this much mind. It happens.

This year, we got a 1957 level – actually, less percentag-wise – infection, which is unfortunate but ultimately considering your odds of getting the disease at those numbers as well as it’s less than 1% death rate and commonly asymptomatic effects, it is nothing to get panicked over.

There is precedent: 1957 America did not panic and it became a footnote in history. Nobody that I have found seriously believes they should have locked down. It was just a bad flu year and they left it at that; they were a bit more than 30 years past the spanish flu after all. A lot of survivors were still alive; in comparison this must have felt inconsequential.

In America it seemed to be on pace to kill roughly 50,000 or so people (going by Fauci dropping to 65 and liberal counting methods), but tragically it swept through nursing homes thanks to incredibly bungled preventative measures, DeBlasio and Cuomo being the biggest culprits of this debacle. Take them out and we cut the number of deaths by anything from 40 to 50% – and this would be barely noticed.

Now the south is opening up, and cases are rising. Except they aren’t incompetents: (meaning, run by democrats): this time it isn’t sweeping the nursing homes. So cases rise, but among regular people and not sick old people, making it a regular cold that affects very unlikely people badly, you know, like a regular cold.

In any other year if something like this happened nobody would even notice.

The only recourse left is to argue the overpopulated hospitals are leading to serious problems. This little siren song has been claimed since the beginning, and never been close to true. If it is really true, then we should see all cause deaths from other illnesses rising sharply.

But it isn’t happening! All cause deaths are dropping! Guess the hospitals are handling it fine after all.

Yet still, using rising cases as a justification, places are being restricted again. This is a mistake; all it does is slow down the herd immunity, herd immunity that is demonstrably spreading in the exact sort of way we’d want, if we really want herd immunity.

Can you imagine a governor making this statement, when asked to close things down?:

“Given that all cause deaths have continued dropping at a regular pace, I see no reason to slow down herd immunity or bankrupt businesses, ruin livelihoods, and increase domestic violence and suicides. Thus, our state shall remain open for the foreseeable future until such a time as increased deaths force us to reconsider.”

No, of course not. It’s unimaginable.

Maybe you disagree. Maybe the rising cases spook you into preferring a lockdown. Okay, fine. Well and good.

But please, please remember this. Beat it into your brain:

Any time you hear someone talk about the south in the same manner as they talked about the north, *you are having the wool pulled over your eyes*.

It’s simply, provably not true.

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The Global Warming Zone, Some Big Number: It’s amazingly obvious

I think it is important, vitally so, that at least SOME of us don’t forget the sequence of events here.

Remember: NONE OF THESE ARE CONSPIRACIES. They are facts that were presented to the public

Claim: Fauci said 100,000 to 200,000 deaths, and he was right!

Truth: This is a highly misleading half-truth, at best. First, it is far from clear we hit 100,000 dead, and I doubt it. Second and more importantly, it is indeed true Fauci said that.

Fauci also said it would be 85,000 dead. Then he said it was 65,000 dead. Then it jumped back up again to 86,000, then back in the 100,000 range.

The other important point: Those changing numbers are a joke. Models don’t work like that. Fauci didn’t “update it with new information”, he was flat wrong and kept changing his predictions until he became right.

I don’t do the work of finding links, because 1) I’m lazy and 2) I’m venting more than trying to convince people. However, I invite anybody who disputes this to do their best to prove it. I promise to update accordingly.

Claim: Cases are rising. This is very bad news and things are getting out of control.

Truth: This is one of the more ridiculous claims to me. Remember discussions about herd immunity? And whether we should try that one out as a strategy to eliminate the disease?

This is literally the best possible scenario if you want herd immunity. It is literally ideal. The more people get the virus, the more become immune: A very good thing. If those people getting sick aren’t dying, this means that we’re getting the benefits of herd immunity with very little drawback.

And don’t even try with no “increased hospitalizations”. See previous post: We already know that’s not even close to true.

Claim: If you don’t wear a face covering or mask you don’t care about other people and are disgusting; it may be a good idea to keep them permanently. We know this because doctors and the CDC said so.

Truth: Up until only a few weeks ago there was a debate raging over whether masks did anything or were a good idea at all, and several doctors and scientists claiming they were actively harmful. The change to “masks are necessary and will make infections drop 80%” (look that one up) only arose when masks became publicly mandated.

I’m not gonna bother looking up old articles, which are hard to find, but I will show you an anecdotal point: leftist and coronavirus panic-supporter Randall Munroe admitting that the greatest value of homemade masks was that they reminded people not to get close to each other (and remember, the CDC only recommends cloth, that is, homemade, masks). Do I even need to explain why this is absolutely ridiculous justification for mandatory masks, possibly permanently, enforced by the rule of law? I hope not.

So: When I say “It’s amazingly obvious”, what I mean is “It is amazingly obvious that we have been repeatedly mislead about this virus”. Again, all of what I say here is not conspiracy theorizing or some sort of statistical analysis only able to be understood and explained by folks like Dr. Briggs. These were the sorts of things THE PUBLIC WAS TOLD BY OFFICIALS, until they pretended they didn’t.

And the pretending actually worked! That’s the amazing thing.

This is what fear does to you, people. When you willfully stop thinking, it’s always Year 0. And let’s not overlook the role of public education in this trainwreck either.

Just wash your damn hands so you’re not all gross. But you can stop sanitizing the door knobs now. It’s time – and has been for awhile.

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The Global Warming Zone, Part Bajillion: Do Not Trust Hospitalizations

Another argument I had, by people who refuse to see the truth. Remember my older posts. These people can see. They choose not to, because they are scared.

There is one and only one statistic worth looking at, and that is deaths. Explained by Dr. Briggs: https://wmbriggs.com/post/31431/

They’re also pushing “hospitalizations.” After lockdowns eased, people started to go to the doc for complaints they’ve been waiting on. They get tested. Lo, coronavirus is found. And the cancer patient (or whatever) is now listed as a coronavirus hospitalization.

That’s it. How do we know this?

*Deaths are dropping*. The end. There’s your proof.

Read the article. Deaths have no just dropped, they have dropped dramatically. There is nothing to worry about. There is no crisis.

“But deaths are rising in NJ!”

  1. Oh yeah, the state that has had some of the strictest restrictions in the country is suddenly having its deaths skyrocket when Southern states open for far longer and that never had restrictions anywhere near our level, is the one dropping in deaths. That makes sense.
  2. Remember how we have some of the most liberal counting methods in the world? Given that knowledge, what do you think is going to happen when hospitalizations – because they’re no longer turning away people – go up, and cases rise? Do you think that we’re suddenly not counting deaths liberally anymore, in one of the most scrutinized states in the country.
  3. Day to day fluctuations do not a trend make. The trend is deaths lowering at an incredibly fast rate.

People. Why are you still trusting the health organizations that have been wrong over and over again, lied and lied over and over again. You are the same people who call the media fake news. Have they suddenly turned honest about this incredibly politicized issue in an election year?

The proof is there. Act like a normal person again. Take normal precautions like you would any other time. Don’t be gross. But stop with the panic

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The Global Warming Zone, Part Eleventy-Billion: Scattered thoughts at the ending

As always, I won’t post links; you can dispute me if you believe I said something wrong. This isn’t cutting edge commentary, just scattered thoughts.

Bullet points!

. It’s over. Deaths have dropped to next to nothing, DESPITE the increased testing leading to rising cases

. We need to discuss something important here: That cases are rising and deaths are not is A) A good thing and B) Proof that this was always a crock.

Why?

  1. Rising cases with no deaths is basically the best case scenario for getting herd immunity
  2. Why is this happening now when more people were dying before?

    The answer is obvious: Because coronavirus was pretty much only a major threat to nursing home residents. To anyone else, it was a normal cold that occasionally got bad. If it hadn’t swept through nursing homes we wouldn’t even be talking about this. Now states are opening, people are out and about getting mild colds, but getting tested for it. This is why cases are rising, but surprise! MOST – obviously not all, I am not an idiot – people who get a cold are fine. Some are even asymptomatic. It’s not something worth getting fussed over.
  3. What does this tell us? That the way we handled this was a massive failure, an utter debacle. I still think we’re probably below 100,000 deaths; Stephen Crowder estimated we were around 90,000. Still, this is higher than I thought. Why?

    Because there was basically ONE demographic that needed to be protected, and only in one, relatively small, area of the country, and we failed them completely. Blame De Blasio, if you’d like. Not only that, the lockdown was totally and utterly unnecessary, a complete waste of time; as the rising cases are proving, literally all we had to do was avoid sick old people for a few months. And instead we put sick people in nursing homes and locked the rest of the population in their homes, and pretended it was for our own good.

. But, there is good news. The media is trying – oh are they trying, so very, terribly hard – to drum up panic about the reopening states. It isn’t working; they’re still re-opening. People are tired of it. There’s even talk of Trump ending the emergency. I say again, it’s over, or at least, it’s ending. I mean obviously states should just completely open up immediately and people act normally again – but we take what we can get.

. On that note, I stand by my contention that Trump handled this horribly – it’s insane he still hasn’t fired Fauci – and still handled this better than virtually anybody else we could have had in office.

. Our country and academia are too far gone to examine this as the debacle it was, but hopefully the few intelligent folks left will look at this in years to come and call it what it really was: The coronavirus panic of 2020.

. To pivot: It is remarkable to observe the whiplash people have had about masks. It’s now a crusade – despite mere weeks ago everybody questioning if masks were even a good idea. Now, if you don’t wear masks, you apparently lack basic courtesy for your fellow man and are one of the reasons cases are increasing.

Weeks! After health organizations were *openly admitting* the benefits were questionable *at best*, and some authorities even explicitly advising against them! It’s awe-inspiring to behold.

Anyway, wash your hands folks. But not because of kung flu. You should do it anyway – let’s not be gross.

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The Global Warming Zone, Part 22: Look, I don’t know anymore

I was going to call this “Winding down” or “Time to wind down”, but honestly I have absolutely no idea how much longer anything is going to last. This is why I changed the title of this series from “No, I’m not worried” to “The Global Warming Zone” – after Trump decided he was going to listen to Fauci and lockdown for another month, leading the governors to follow in a panicky chained reaction, it became clear there was reason to worry. And there was.

Well-meaning people have tried to tell me that years from now we’d be able to tell our kids and grandkids about living through a pandemic. Call me grumpy – I AM grumpy – but I don’t see the appeal. “Yeah, in the Great Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 we all did nothing at home, and unless you lived in one of like five small areas dotted around the country there wasn’t any outbreak to speak of”. What a story. Not exactly the apocalypse. I suppose if we don’t come out of the lockdowns soon enough then when the recession becomes a depression we’ll have some stories to tell.

Joseph Moore says this:

It is so clear now that the costs of lockdowns and social distancing exceed by far any benefits that it is sheer evil perversity that any remain in effect.

The problem is that this is simply not true. Oh sure, it’s clear to me, and to Moore, and to Dr. Briggs and some other commenters here. But to the world at large? Not in my experience of talking to co-workers or friends. Not according to what the polls say. It is apparently not clear to people that the lockdowns weren’t needed.

And why would it be? Numbers are being breathlessly reported upon daily. We are probably at the nadir in places like Britain, yet they’ll never go down to zero. We have been breathlessly promised by model after model that we’ll be in the millions dead number without lockdowns. And now thanks to whatever juicing magic has been happening it turns out that as far as the general public is concerned Fauci’s original model wasn’t even wrong and we will hit 100,000 dead at least – doesn’t it stand to reason, then, that if the model was right about this it would be right that without the lockdowns we’d be at millions dead?

I’m going to let you all in on a secret: Coronavirus is a type of cold virus. There is no cure or vaccine for the common cold. A vaccine isn’t coming. Neither is the miracle cure we’ve all been hanging our hats on. Have you noticed yet that every single “game-changer” that’s occurred has had zero effect on public policy? Have you noticed that after seeing a couple headlines float by you basically never hear about it again?

Oh, I’m sure a vaccine will be made, long after all of this is in the rearview mirror. Unless it is required by my job I will NOT be getting it, and I suggest nobody does.

“Unless it is required by my job” is the crux of the issue, of course: I will literally have no choice but to get it if the choice is between that and not working. Unfortunately, I suspect that is going to be what will happen to the vast majority of us. Cross your fingers that whatever gets injected into us doesn’t kill anybody.

Believe it or not, I actually think – and this may shock people, and I may get some pushback – that governments DO have the authority to enforce lockdowns. If a government can’t use its power to try to enforce restrictions for the good of the public health, it’s pretty much useless. Fine. But does the government have the right to shut down church gatherings (actually, I doubt the bishops even have the right to do that)?

And how many lives can government policies directly ruin before we rise up and say that prudence has become a gross abuse of power?

Naturally the principle of subsidiarity would have solved all of these issues all along. In a sane world the five areas that broke out would have had strict regulations imposed, travel to and from would be slowed to a bare minimum, nursing homes would be locked off…and the rest of the world would go on as normal. By 2022 we forget this ever happened and it becomes a footnote like the 57′ and 68′ flus.

That isn’t what happened, and now we’re here. And as I said before, it’s all our fault, because we’ve offloaded our ability to critically think about things onto Experts(TM).

But come on, guys. Stop your whining. Don’t you see this is a chance to strike back at the gloablists? Stop bitching.

Because obviously as prices skyrocket, people lose their jobs, and business after business go belly up – it’s the globalists everyone should be concerned over.

There is hope, though it may seem paradoxical considering what I said earlier: While everyone SAYS they support lockdowns and SAYS they support social distancing, in my experience virtually nobody actually does. What I mean is, if you see people interact in public, they don’t really care about the guidelines, whatever they say. As soon as restaurants open, people go. Motorcycle groups are hanging out.

So politicians WILL roll things back. It’s just going to be a consequence of “allowing” things people are already doing.

Throughout all of this, our hope is in Christ, and good Christian men are admonished to not be anxious. So keep heart, friends. We’ll be fine.

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The Global Warming Zone, Part 21: The reason we’re stuck inside

Dr. Briggs’ post today is a must-read, one of his most important, and I urge you all to read it. But today’s post is not about that. Instead, I’m going to respond to one of the comments. From JR Ewing:

1.) How can people still credulously believe these predictions after the past two months? Models can – and should – work both ways. When the model verifies, that means you got some input correct, but when they don’t verify, that logically MUST mean *you got some input some input WRONG.”
The reason that these model predictions keep busting is because this is obviously not as dangerous as we initially ASSUMED it was. PERIOD. END OF STORY. We now have DATA that shows that it’s not as dangerous to the general population. Antibody tests that show a preponderance of asymptomatic and minor cases. Hospital data. The fact that South Dakota and Georgia and Texas and Florida and Sweden haven’t plunged into the fiery abyss. All kinds of data that is being ignored and not plugged into the models.

2.) The other thing I don’t understand is why there haven’t been riots among the nonbelievers in these states where the politicians refuse to acknowledge reality? I know Minnesotans are “nice” (It’s true, I have experience with them), but they’re still humans and they should have a breaking point. Michigan too. At some point, you’re obligated to push back. Hard. Ask Thomas Jefferson. And I’m not talking about waving a bunch of handmade posters out on the lawn.

These are great questions, and I’m going to answer it with personal experience, so take it as you will. I’m not going to link to stats again, you all know the score – look it up if you disagree with me and dispute in the comments. If I genuinely got it wrong or didn’t address it elsewhere I’ll cop to it.

The short answer to both questions is this: Fear. People are TERRIFIED of this virus, and I mean utterly petrified.

Let me give you an anecdote.

So this is a real conversation with a sane person – seriously, I will vouch for this human being with my life – who is absolutely ironclad that we should be acting as if this virus is the black death. He refuses to eat any food outside of a grocery store setting, he social distances from his family inside of his house, he only eats food with gloves and a fork and knife, and he has the grocery store food sit in another room for a day before he’ll consider eating it, and has the boxes or packages sprayed down with disinfectant. He eats with gloves on or with a fork and knife, and his family does the same. He won’t drive or let anyone in his family drive, because that means eventually you’d have to deal with a gas station attendant (NJ, everyone!). He also thinks any attempts at all to lift any restrictions are insane.

I disputed his interpretation of things more than once. This is how the conversation went. Get ready, this dialogue will be long:

Me: The models have been wrong. Why are you listening to them?”

Him: Why do you think you know better? The models are the best things we have to go on in terms of predicting the future.

Me: Oh, come on. Did you see the models? They’re obviously ridiculous. Kung flu broke out big in like five total, incredibly localized areas. Fauci’s model said we’d quadruple the world death count in a month without complete lockdown. How does that make any sense?

Him [Keep in mind that at this point, it looks like we WILL hit 100,000 dead with the juiced number count]: But he was right! Not only are we going to hit 100,000 dead, cases still aren’t dropping and outbreaks are happening in areas that are opening!

Me: We live in NJ, and it STILL hasn’t hit big outside the metro area. In the biggest hit area of PA, the Lehigh Valley, 62% of cases are from the city of Allentown, a filthy, sardine-packed disaster zone.

Him: Yeah, but again, cases aren’t dropping despite all of this time passing.

Me: The case count isn’t dropping because they’re ramping up testing. I mean, of course the case count isn’t dropping. The whole point of the “flatten the curve” nonsense was to try and prolong things as long as possible. That was the stated goal! And the death count IS dropping, and juiced.

Him: The deaths aren’t dropping quickly, and every time it looks like it’s getting better it just keeps going.

Me: And it STILL HASN’T LEFT HE METRO AREA. For Pete’s sake, it targets nursing homes, you’ll be fine. Plus, the numbers are totally bogus on the death counts. Want me to show you?

Him: Okay, and I’ll find articles saying we’re undercounting.

Me: So read everything and COME TO YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS [this is the point, as you can see, both of us are starting to get more and more frustrated with the other]. Don’t just listen to the models and the media just because the people telling you this stuff call themselves experts!

Him: But they ARE experts and we’re NOT, so who’s more likely to be wrong?

Me: Likely? What do you mean LIKELY? The data is ALL THERE. Just look through the conflicting information, read the alternate opinions, and come to a conclusion yourself!

Him: But how do either of US know? We’re not scientists and the numbers haven’t been getting better! Between two options, one of which kills thousands or millions more people and one doesn’t, why are we taking the chance that the one that DOESN’T say it’ll kill people is right? Look how infectious it is! [At this point we’re both really emotional.]

Me: Because lockdowns kill people too! Because actions have consequences and we have skin in the game too! Because all of the information is out there any you don’t need to be an expert to use common sense! Why are we letting fear of a virus that kills people in dirty and tightly packed cities and nursing homes stop us from even CONSIDERING that a total country lockdown for months might be an overreaction? The models AREN’T RIGHT. WE’RE NOT GOING TO HIT FAUCI’S LOW NUMBER. THE DEATHS ARE JUICED.

Him: SOME articles say that, and SOME say we’re undercounting, why risk it?

Me: DON’T risk it! Read the articles! Make a judgment using your own brain! We’re adults who make decisions with major consequences every day, but suddenly we need to delegate a major worldwide lockdown to men with suits?

Him: Easy for you to say, you’re young. I’m older and not as healthy, I’m more at risk.

Me: Sure. MORE. But considering where we live, and considering that I assume you and your family would be washing your hands either way, it’s not a lot of risk. Even people your age are almost definitely going to be fine even if you DO get it.

Him: Maybe. Probably. It’s the CHANCE you won’t be.

Me: There’s always a chance! At what point is it okay to say “Hey, maybe it’s okay to go out and get coffee.”

Him: When cases start dropping and there’s a vaccine.

Me: There won’t BE a vaccine and they’re ramping up testing, so it won’t drop. Look, things are not as bad as you’re saying. Come on. Just look into alternate perspectives, I’m not saying agree. Draw your own conclusions.

Him: Sorry, but when there are alternate perspectives, and the one being touted by experts is the one saying thousands or millions will die with no lockdown – that’s what we should be listening to.

END SCENE

Okay. Do you get the key point there?

Let me summarize it:

This person is so utterly terrified of this virus, so petrified of it, that a man who absolutely positively will not trust the media on ANY subject whatsoever will take what they report on the virus as absolute gospel…because it’s a non-zero possibility.

He won’t consider other perspectives and judge for himself which is more likely…because EXPERTS disagree and viruses are so terrifying that if an expert says to be scared, we HAVE TO be scared, and doggoneit, by law if necessary.

He will say the same on masks. I will say masks are dumb, I will explain why, I will point to articles explaining why, and instead of considering them he will simply say that other articles disagree and they MIGHT be right so we should listen to them.

Because of the virus, people have literally – not figuratively – suspended their ability to critically think. They CAN do it; they do it for other subjects. But viruses are scary, so they won’t, because the possibility of their thinking being wrong terrifies them. Better to put the onus on the experts.

It’s a handing off of responsibility. If the experts say so, listen to them. At least whatever happens, we know we listened to the EXPERTS. Meanwhile the effects of their decisions weigh down heavily on all of us.

And it’s all of our fault. As many people agree on these lockdowns as on apple pie. Because people refuse – refuse – to think.

Fear isn’t fun, but making scary decisions is a national part of life. The Americans of 1957 knew that. They knew a pandemic was coming. And they chose to do nothing. And it worked! The economy was fine and it was a footnote in history.

What will our legacy be? “Well, maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad but honestly it MIGHT have been so nobody wanted to take the chance.”

What a legacy. What a generation. We should all be ashamed.

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The Global Warming Zone, Part 20: Why people like me matter

I was ruminating on this for awhile.

I’m not an expert in any sense of the word. I’m bad at math. I’m not particularly knowledgeable in virology or epidemiology. And I don’t pretend to be.

But this is why, not my opinion specifically, but the opinions of people LIKE me are relevant.

Here’s the thing: I was originally a dyed-in-the-wool “Trump didn’t do enough, why isn’t the national guard enforcing lockdowns” guy. The first guy I saw who disputed this whole narrative was Dr. Briggs, a professional statistician, then Joseph Moore, a slightly less professional statistician.

On its own, that two credentialed people happened to disagree with an overwhelming narrative means pretty much nothing. I wasn’t a regular reader of Dr. Briggs before this, after all, just an occasional one.

What this experience did, though, was cause me to start doing a few things:

  1. Look at the numbers myself
  2. Actually try to understand the logic behind the people making all of the claims
  3. Try to understand what the models were saying

Do you see what I’m getting at?

Essentially, reading people who disagreed with the consensus didn’t convince me on its own, precisely. What it convinced me to do is not accept the “expert” consensus just because they’re experts, and not listen to people who told me I wasn’t smart or educated enough to understand things.

Because you know? It isn’t magic. It all involves real numbers and real events anyone can see. This is why I referred to Fauci’s model as the glaciers-melt-by-2020 model: Because you don’t NEED to be an expert to realize how ridiculous it was. It’s fair to say that only an expert could have possibly cooked that one up.

I’m not saying “It isn’t complicated”. I’m saying the reasons WHY it’s complicated aren’t hard to understand, and you don’t need a degree in epidemiology or statistics if you want to draw your own conclusions from what we’ve been told.

And if you still think what I’m saying is arrogant, consider this: None of the experts have at any point even been particularly close to right this entire time.

So what exactly do you have to lose by looking at things for yourself? What’s wrong with seeing what’s going on and drawing your own conclusion?

Because the conclusion I’ve come to is this: Trusting the experts on this issue was the wrong decision all along.

More discussion here – this one is a must-read.

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The Global Warming Zone, Part 19: Getting to the bottom of things

Checklist time, boys and girls. Once again, I don’t have much new to add to the discussion, just sharing my thoughts. Maybe the organization will help you?

  1. So far I still don’t see any reason to think my read of the numbers is wrong: To get the number Fauci’s model was trying to predict, you need to subtract pneumonia comorbidities. I don’t see other people bringing this up but then it wasn’t exactly advertised. What does means, well…several things. But most prominently, the model is more wrong than we thought.
  2. The circular reason is maddening. People questioned it was overblown and criticized a lockdown. Now time has passed and uh oh, overall deaths ARE up! Something strange IS going on!

Is it because of the virus? Frankly at this point it’s getting more and more likely the answer is “probably not, overall”.

Is it the lockdowns? Well, as Dr. Briggs pointed out, we have very good evidence it’s killing people in the U.K. That seems grimly plausible. Maybe I’ll do U.S. ballpark math later.

Is it lies, damned lies, and statistics? Weeeeeeeelllllllll…

The overall flu season, taken in conjunction with all respiratory diseases, isn’t set to overtake the 2018 season. This leads me to believe excess deaths are due to two things:

1) Deaths being clumped into a couple of months. Unless there’s a wave 2 as severe as wave 1, and there probably won’t be since coronaviruses don’t really work like that, it’s most likely the “clumping” cools off from here.

2) Lockdowns kill people. We have strong evidence they do in England, which means strong circumstantial evidence it’s killing SOME people in the U.S.

3) I took a look at this article about alternative opinions on the coronavirus, and suggest you do too. I applaud the effort made here, but am still not overly impressed all told. It includes lines like this:

One under-discussed aspect is that the COVID symptoms are particularly severe, causing torment on levels that have left both survivors and health workers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The pandemic should perhaps be judged not only on the numbers of deaths, but also on the deeply detrimental effects.

PTSD? Huh? Extended family down in Florida got it. She said it was bad. She doesn’t have PTSD. In fact, no source is linked pointing to evidence of PTSD despite the rest of this article being rather impressively sourced.

Dying of a respiratory illness is a bad way to go. You tend to drown in your own phlegm as you literally hack your lungs to pieces. It ain’t pretty. Guess what? If your respiratory disease gets so bad you’re gonna die, it’s gonna look bad. If healthcare workers are getting PTSD out of it, well, I’m not gonna judge but where is this epidemic of shell-shocked veterans I’ve been promised?

We also get this:

Scales are inevitably hard to grasp when they get too big, but we might consider that if 280,000 people died as a result of a dramatic meteor strike, say, this would be seen as one of the worse tragedies of modern times. When that number die mostly out of sight, oddly we shrug. Knowing people who have died or lost loved ones brings the reality home, of course.

A pretty little piece of logic. Do dramatic meteor strikes that kill hundreds of thousands of people in one fell swoop routinely sweep through populations every year, like diseases do?

Or, even simpler, a thought experiment: What is the difference between a single person dying of a meteor strike and a single person dying of a disease at any given time?

Keep in mind: This “mere” 280,000 is only roughly 3,000 people higher than the 1957 flu killed, adjusted for population, in the United States alone. And we’re talking worldwide here. It’s a short page on the CDC website. Nobody remembers it or talks about. And America specifically did nothing about it.

Let’s take a look at the infamous Sweden.

It’s a few days old, but as far as I can see the deaths per million hasn’t shifted.

The question here is not, “Did more people die in Sweden than some people did in countries that had lockdowns for longer?” The answer is yes! Of course! Nor is the question “Did deaths go up after the lockdown was lifted?” Once again the answer is “Yes, duh.”

Rather, the REAL question is “Sweden better off overall with no lockdown?” I haven’t double checked but I’m willing to bet that compared to historical trends in pandemics they’re doing fine. And their citizens don’t seem to be complaining – isn’t that the real litmus here?

We also get this:

Hoax proponents consistently claim the death figures for 2020 are merely normal (or even less than normal) but this no longer stands scrutiny, whatever cause the fatalities are put down to. These claims are either a misunderstanding based on figures from before the pandemic properly took hold or a blatant misunderstanding of how the death numbers are compiled. Now that the deaths and tests are being recorded at least a little more accurately than they were even just two months ago, and because figures are in any case usually three weeks or so behind the real totals, statisticians point to the recent figures as showing a clear upwards trend of deaths that is far beyond normality. Indeed, some think the global figures may be twice or more what we know, with many non-hospital cases (care homes for instance, whose residents are being wiped out at alarming rates) only recently having been included. There is also a marked increase of deaths which are officially not COVID-related, as people fail to report symptoms of other conditions they would previously have gone to A&E for, afraid of burdening the system or catching the virus, and/or because other areas of health care have been detrimentally diverted into COVID measures.

First off, I don’t know why all of this is under “hoax proponents” when it should be under the “the response is overblown” label, but whatever. The corona death number has been shown to be nonsense – see the Dr. Briggs article above (by a guest writer). But more than that, it is the respiratory disease/flu season death number up to the latest week we should be looking at, to figure out if the flu/respiratory disease death number this year is any worse than 2018 up to the latest week.

News flash: 2018 is still worse. That’s a CDC link, by the way.

So much for that. Puts the kibosh on the whole thing, doesn’t it?

Except not really. Overall deaths do seem to be up…except we’ve had all of these lockdowns! What gives?

There aren’t a lot of possibilities. We’re back to:

  1. We are undercounting corona deaths. Literally all evidence points to the contrary at this point. Do I need to spell it out any more?
  2. Lockdowns kill people.

Remember: Flu season numbers simply are not enough to justify this panic. Now we have to look at worldwide total death numbers to figure it out.

Don’t worry. If you switch statistics around enough, you’re bound to hit on a scary number eventually.

Good news: The beaches are opening in NJ soon!

I’m sure churches are juuuuuuuuust around the corner.

 

 

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The Global Warming Zone, Part 18: Where being wrong makes me more right

I wasn’t going to make another post so soon after the last one. Then I read Dr. Briggs’ article for today, and something occurred to me:

There is probably an error in yesterday’s post.

Dr. Briggs writes this:

The CDC also reports deaths with pneumonia and COVID at 17,122. Now I’d think this is a proper “and”, meaning you can’t add these to the COVID total, but I don’t know. It may be that their report of COVID alone is without pneumonia. I can’t make out from their description what they mean.

Let’s assume Dr. Briggs’ original interpretation was right, and mine – which added the numbers – was wrong.

If so, things change DRASTICALLY.

Let’s look at the CDC’s explanation again for adding this pneumonia category (which sources indeed agreed made guidelines looser – see my post on April 10):

Pneumonia deaths are included to provide context for understanding the completeness of COVID-19 mortality data and related trends. Deaths due to COVID-19 may be misclassified as pneumonia deaths in the absence of positive test results, and pneumonia may appear on death certificates as a comorbid condition.

So this change loosened restrictions and was made after Fauci released his model.

This means for the CDC numbers to accurately reflect the criteria Fauci was using when he released the model, we would need to subtract every death that’s a co-morbidity with pneumonia!

So subtract 17,122 deaths.

Now you get this:

21,454 deaths

This raises some questions. For example, if the numbers are, on average, 10 days behind, how are we supposed to interpret them in light of the coronavirus tracking project’s numbers?

Well, the explanation I got was that numbers appeared to be increasing by 20,000-25,000 every two weeks, which would just about do it, right?

But wait. That doesn’t make sense anymore without the pneumonia comorbidities. That means they’re going to roughly double in ten days. And how did this number even come about in the first place?

A little fishy, I’d say. So, let’s stick with that 10,000 deaths number. The pneumona cormibidities number is making everything screwy, but we’re now at a comparative blip at 31,454 deaths.

Now let’s be nice again and assume half of those co-morbidities are kung flu deaths. Remember, this wasn’t apart of Fauci’s original model, but we’re being generous here. Let’s add 8,561 deaths.

Now we get this:

40,015 deaths.

Still over 20,000 deaths LESS than our official numbers, and almost certainly not going to get close to 100,000.

Can you imagine being that catastrophically wrong, and as a result causing a massive countrywide recession that puts unemployment in the ballpark of 20% while killing thousands of people due to overzealous lockdowns?

It’s hard to fathom. If I were Fauci, I would be desperate to get those numbers juiced too. I’m not saying he’s lying. I’m say that if it were me, I’d be reaching for some way, any way, not to be SO catastrophically wrong. Think of the consequences if you were!

So, think we’re gonna hit the 150,000 deaths of the 1968′ flu? How about the 250,000 of the 1957′ flu?

Place your bets!

And wash your hands!

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