Monday, May 25, 2020

HMD: A Short Guide To The Coming Calls For Re-Lockdowning; Or: Don't Let The Bastards Lock You Down

(Eh, I took some liberties with the title.)
   Expect the following additional strategies this summer, besides the creative massaging of good tidings into bad: [My emphases above and below.]
   – Hiding the numbers. We will hear about ‘surges,’ ‘spikes,’ and the ‘ballooning of the case count,’ without learning the numbers behind those spikes. A state will be reported as being in the grip of an exponential outbreak; if that outbreak meant going from five new cases one day to nine new cases three days later, say, those details will be omitted.
   – Specious parallelism. This strategy combines ‘hide the numbers’ with the irrelevant ‘as’ construction: President Trump is calling for an end to the lockdowns even as there are ‘worrisome reports of spikes in infections in countries like China, South Korea and Germany,’ the New York Times put it on May 12.
   – Coy double negatives and strained constructions. The risk of outdoor transmission is ‘not zero,’ according to a lecturer at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs quoted by the New York Times on May 16. (To be precise, outdoor infection accounted for .01% of 7,300 cases in China.) Caseloads are not rising but remain ‘steadily worrisome.’
   – Scary new models, revisionist models, and the continuing citation of discredited old models.
   – The conflation of new cases with new deaths, and no information about the recovery rate.
   – Concealing the locus of mortality. This is the mother of all fear-mongering strategies. Every coronavirus story that does not acknowledge the prevalence of nursing home deaths among coronavirus decedents is a story that deceives the public. It is now impossible to attribute the lack of such information to mere oversight. Preliminary estimates of the share of nursing home deaths in the national count range from 35 percent to over 50 percent. At the state level, the share of nursing home deaths among coronavirus deaths is 80 percent in Minnesota and West Virginia; 73 percent in Rhode Island; 66 percent in Pennsylvania; 59 percent in Massachusetts; 58 percent in Virginia; 57 percent in Colorado; and 55 percent in Connecticut. Abroad, 57 percent of all coronavirus deaths in Spain were in nursing homes; 53 percent in Italy; and 50 percent in Sweden. Add to those deaths people outside of nursing homes who are also elderly and/or infirm with serious preexisting comorbidities and you account for nearly all coronavirus deaths. Neil Ferguson, director of the apocalyptic Imperial College model that triggered lockdowns in Great Britain and the U.S., has conceded that as many as two-thirds of all people who die of coronavirus in 2020 would have died by the end of the year anyway.
   The corollary of those usually suppressed facts is the equally suppressed fact that the middle-aged and the young are at minimal risk from the coronavirus. The median age of coronavirus death in most countries is 80. Political analyst Phil Kerpen found that Pennsylvania has more Covid-19 deaths among people over 100 than among people under age 45, more deaths over age 95 than under age 60, and more deaths over 85 than under 80. An analysis of Spanish data found that the fatality rate for the infected was .052 percent for people under 60 — half of that for the seasonal flu. The typical coronavirus case is asymptomatic, and appears to have no lasting effect on the sufferer. Recent outbreaks in the U.S. have occurred overwhelmingly in nursing homes, prisons, and meat packing plants. And yet, virus coverage leaves the reader thinking that everyone is at equal risk.
The final point is the most important, to my mind. This information should have been shouted from the rooftops. Instead, it simply wasn't mentioned for weeks. I first read about it on conservative sites, and thought it had to be wrong--because even the MSM with which we are stuck would never suppress such information. Ignoring this information would be tantamount to intentionally creating a nationwide panic. And at that point I still thought that the MSM--again, even in its current degenerate state--would never go that far. But we didn't hear this from Trump's WuFlu team, either! WTH? Of all the crazy things I've seen in American public life in my lifetime, the suppression of this absolutely crucial information, and the resulting exaggeration/creation of groundless fear--and wrecking of the economy--may be craziest. The only things I can really think of that compare are the closely parallel cases of the Satanic Panic of the late '80s-early '90s and contemporary transgender madness. Even the crazy lead-up to Gulf War Episode II: The Phantom Menace doesn't compare.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home