Becoming the Radical

Well, it’s happened. I am now officially in the coronavirus “radical” camp.

Originally – and I stand by everything I’ve said – I denied the virus was a hoax, and still do. The deaths happened. Trump’s initial one month shutdown was not a bad idea. There was a time in April where, in the U.S. things got scary for a couple of weeks in the metro area.

I am now a denier. So I’m going to write it here, in bold letters:

There is no crisis. We should have no restrictions. We should not be counting cases. We should not be worrying about anything.

What turned me into a radical is a look at the stats. All cause deaths Just. Aren’t. Rising. They stubbornly resist all attempts by the media to fudge. This means hospitalizations are not a crisis either (if they were, all cause deaths would be rising). In fact, this is a best case scenario in terms of hastening herd immunity, which is going to happen sooner or later and if people aren’t dying might as well go with sooner right?

What’s turned me into a real radical here is that I’m starting to see the damage play out among people I talk to. One teachers forum is full of nothing but panicked teachers convinced we’re going to see mass die-offs throughout the year. What bothered me is the one teacher who said – when she learned her district is opening in person – she informed her aging parents they wouldn’t be able to see each other for a few months, then burst into tears. People are quitting their jobs, with no safety net.

One person I talked to in a forum, a devout and faithful Catholic, still refuses to receive the Eucharist because he is worried about the health of his elderly mother-in-law.

Baseball has had a surge in cases. Oh no! Not told: It’s a mostly asymptomatic surge. It still may lead to cancelling the season.

“Cases” is another lie. How many of these “cases” aren’t cases at all, but mere positive tests?

End the madness. There is no crisis. Read Dr. Briggs. There is nothing to support our reaction.

I’d say “This has to stop!” but we all know it won’t.

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23 Responses to Becoming the Radical

  1. I do think one of the things that has to be taken into account is that while all cause deaths for the whole US are not rising, it need not necessarily be the case that all cause deaths are not abnormally high in certain localities. I agree that universal restrictions now (and maybe even before) are ridiculous, but restrictions in certain places might still be warranted.

    • Why, though? Really? What proof do we have the restrictions even did anything?

      • I guess it depends on the restriction/plan of action. Mandatory “at risk population shopping time” doesn’t seem unreasonable, and if a hospital is actually getting too full some restrictions might lower the number of cases enough for them to prepare and get their feet under them or for temporary facilities to be set up (like the unused ones in New York; they were needed, but Cuomo decided to send the “overflow” patients to nursing homes instead).

        I have a friend who is a nurse in Houston who says her hosptial is very very close to capacity. I also have a friend who is a nurse in Dallas and her hospital barely had any cases last I talked to her. With that data, no restrictions in Dallas and a 1-2 week lockdown in Houston to set up temporary facilities doesn’t seem unreasonable.

        I agree generally that the response has been ridiculous, the mask issue was handled with complete dishonesty and arrogance, the politicians and experts have been capriciously hypocritical, etc. But like you said Covid isn’t nothing, and it’s still possible for certain localities to be having/come to have problems with it that need addressing.

        Maybe I’m the crazy one, and everything should just go back to normal everywhere, I don’t know. I’m glad I’m not a government official at the moment because I don’t even know what I know anymore.

      • With that data, no restrictions in Dallas and a 1-2 week lockdown in Houston to set up temporary facilities doesn’t seem unreasonable.

        Well, this is the point of my question: Why?

        Why do we think a 1-2 week lockdown would make a difference? Do we have data to support this? Would it be better or worse than doing nothing?

        Why is the lockdown the right play? It was assumed from the start but it’s a big assumption. Has the data borne out – we should have months of it now – that it does anything?

      • I have no idea. My point wasn’t that I know what to do or if any restrictions are reasonable, the point I was trying to make (poorly, as it turns out) was just that I don’t think (with what I know) that restrictions are unreasonable full-stop. Local restrictions might still be reasonable (or they might not be), but all of the data analysis that I see tends to be over large areas (states or countries) rather than small ones (cities or counties).

        In other words, the response by the town in Texas with a hospital that is having to kick people out to make room for new cases should be different from the response by a rural town in Wyoming with a half dozen cases which should be different from big cities on the East Coast who are seeing declines in cases. What those responses should be I have no idea, Or maybe not, maybe there’s nothing we can do that won’t make things worse. Who knows? Who’s even trying to figure it out?

        Briggs has done a great job showing the national data, and the absurdity of the nationwide response. I just don’t think national data can dictate local policy (just like I don’t think local data should dictate national policy).

      • In other words, the response by the town in Texas with a hospital that is having to kick people out to make room for new cases should be different from the response by a rural town in Wyoming with a half dozen cases which should be different from big cities on the East Coast who are seeing declines in cases.

        On this, we agree. What I am saying is: Stop making it a thing: Hospitals got crowded in 2018 too. This is a problem that invites local solutions. It is manifestly no longer a national crisis, or something that most people even need to worry about anymore. Maybe in certain, specific areas people should be being more careful. But on the whole? We’re doing fine.

        It is a cruelty to tear apart parents and children and man from God over this Boogeyman.

  2. Rudolph Harrier says:

    I think what is the most damaging now is the uncertainty. No one knows what the next restrictions will be and when (if ever) they will be lifted. If you are a restaurant, you might be forced to have only outdoor dining, then be allowed to have limited indoor dining, then be forced to do carry-out/delivery only due to a “surge of cases.” Each of those models requires different preparations and different levels of staffing.

    Similarly, teaching might be done purely online or in a hybrid model where only a portion of the students are present, or in person with various types of restrictions. And most likely each institution will vary between all three of these models throughout the semester (in fact, this is Governor Walz’s explicit program, with each school’s method of delivery being determined by the number of cases in their school district each week). At my institution we were supposed to do a hybrid model where half the students would be present each day and watch videos online the next day. But now the administrators decided that attendance would be optional and any student could decide to only participate electronically for whatever reason. This sunk my plans to require student presentations in one class, and it also screws with how students will submit work since most do not know how to format things properly for a Math class and now I’ll have to spend a week just talking about that. That is, of course, assuming that something else doesn’t change which screws up my preparations even further. If it was just one set of restrictions throughout the semester I’d be annoyed but I could deal with it.

    And psychologically it’s not helpful either. The people who are terrified are not going to be any happier because this weeks rules on what is safe and what will give you certain death are different than last weeks.

    • Yes. I can’t predict what will happen next. It is maddening. But teachers seem convinced that there will be a lot of death.

      • Rudolph Harrier says:

        Just received an e-mail that the SECOND half of the semester will be online only, including final exams. Rationale is that people travel more at that time and thus will be at a higher risk of spreading the disease than in the first half.

        I spent the last classes in complete misery since I had to do everything last minute. I wanted to get everything prepared over the summer to avoid that. But since the standards change every week it’s not even worth preparing until the last minute, since the old preparations become irrelevant anyway.

        I’m very close to just focusing on the teaching aspect and throwing out assessments completely, and then resigning if this goes on for another semester.

  3. Chad says:

    Right there with you. Don’t submit to madness of despotism.

  4. Chad says:

    Curious, does Dr Briggs have a podcast or YouTube? I haven’t kept up with his take on things at all, have mostly listened to those holding the opposing opinions of you and I, and been convinced by just seeing how ridiculous they are. Would like to know more, as most of the other opinions I hear besides mainstream are heavily in the conspiracy theory camp of no virus and its all 5g type stuff

  5. Advenedizo says:

    The summer wave is different than the winter/spring one.

    In my country, Spain, during March and April 45000 people died, among s population of 45 million. Now in the summer there are cases, but people are not getting very sick.

    If I have to guess, it is the D vitamin rush due to the extra sun. But it is just a guess.

  6. John says:

    I’d say that this is a justification for optimism here, in a sense – we know that things aren’t that bad, and won’t turn out bad either. So though some or even any people are still afraid and the atmosphere / media want us to still be uptight (though maybe not as much as before), we should have hope and confidence because we know nothing will come of this.

    Eventually, even the media will have to admit everything is over. So though the world may still be panicking, we can smile because we know the sun will come at the end. We literally know there is no danger, so no fear for us, even if it infects others.

  7. GRA says:

    My state is one of the better ones with reduced cases and deaths, though you’d think we just entered Stage 3 by official state briefings. Just today our governor was on the telly warning the entire state that if we don’t continue to wear masks and keep social distancing we’re all fooked. He patronized the youth saying “you can get it too and spread it too.”

    • GRA says:

      Also wanted to add that the governor said he’s thinking of fining people for no masks. My city’s mayor hypothetically waved her finger and said that if city residents don’t obey social distancing she’d clamp down on social restrictions and move back the clock, reinforcing Stage 3, or even Stage 2, state guidelines.

      Note: My state is in Stage 4.

  8. Joseph Moore says:

    In part 2 of his serial book, Alex Berenson traces the pandemic response planning done by the CDC, the WHO and other health organizations. At no point, even if an order of magnitude or two worse 1918 style pandemic happened, did any of them recommend general lock downs as a response. Too uncertain that they’d do any good, and the cost was astronomical.

    That changed on a dime.

  9. Elostirion says:

    Somewhat pertinent,
    UNZ ran an article about Sweden’s (long-term) success with the ‘rona sans lockdown way back in June

    Most curious are the now forgotten/aborted attempts at linking ‘rona with every possible debilitation under the sun: from birth defects to kidney failure. One author draws parallels to an outbreak of Zika.

    All the usual caveats concerning the lovely commenters over at UNZ apply.

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