Days of Change

Lies and Statistics

February 23, 2021
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As we’re nearing the end of real COVID concern where only irrational COVID panic remains, I’d like to write about the numbers. I’ve been following the numbers for most of the pandemic. One of the important things about a communicable disease is that population sizes are relative. A super spreader would have to be the only infected person in a group and be in contact with a large enough number of people who were not immune. Calling large gatherings super spreader events make a lot of assumptions.

Wikipedia’s numbers for the US are largely based on hospital reporting and also include percentage increase per day. Daily reporting is garbage, as can be seen in my previous post. Hospitals don’t report correctly on the weekends, so I made each week a data point and used percentage increase (which will only be an above zero value) because it shows trends and cases and deaths can be plotted on the same axis.

Part 1: The Downward Slope

Things got bad in April because, especially in individual cities, because traditional treatments were ineffective People were hanging on, but eventually dying despite complicated treatments. Also, medical workers were also suffering from coronavirus which they could get either in the hospital or among the population. The virus did stop running unchecked by May, where the increase was around 10% of the infected population per week. The increase in deaths was now lower than the increase in cases. This indicates that most of the nursing home massacres had ended and doctors were developing strategies, even if people were still being infected.

Part 2: The Spike

As rates were going in the right direction, a super spreader event undid what momentum was started by lock downs and social distancing. Starting in May, when the rate of increase was below 20%, two peaks are noticeable in the chart. The biggest is in July for cases and in August for deaths. The nationwide BLM protests began in the last week of May. Almost exactly 2 weeks later, (the approximate incubation time of COVID) the trend in cases reverses from downward to upward. 4-5 weeks after that, the spike in deaths shows up as people infected around June die. Much like compounding interest, this early exposure to COVID probably led to hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths. The next biggest increase occurred following Election Day. Despite all the fear mongering, Christmas and Thanksgiving were followed by declines in percentage of cases, not increases.

Part 3: Inflection

Cases of COVID have increased at a slightly higher rate than deaths. Some of this could be due to better outcomes, better protection of at-risk groups, or early deaths of people at risk. In any case, about a month ago, new case growth started lagging the rate of deaths. That’s the vaccine. If the current trend continues, (and the slope has been going about a month) new cases could be a rarity everywhere by Spring. This week marks the first time case growth per week has been less than 2%. As of today, the 7-day increase is only 1.5%.

I think that so much was done wrong because of “experts” and “scientists” who lied, made up things and didn’t follow their own advice. There was the social distancing guy who was visiting his married mistress during lock down. Liberals saying China shouldn’t be banned from travel to the US. Black Lives Matter protests were supposedly okay. Anthony Fauci told us to wear no masks then 3 masks until 2022. Don’t believe the science. Verify the science. Verifying is part of the scientific method. Don’t put faith in experts. Use reason.

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February 19, 2021
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I started listening to Rush Limbaugh in 1991 when the national show was in its early stages. I watched the TV show. I have a couple books and a few (VHS) videos. I generally talk about Limbaugh and the book 1984 as early influences on my political beliefs. Even given that, I was surprised at the number of times I mentioned Limbaugh in my blog over the last 12 years of so. Lately, it was in terms of his early and consistent support of Donald Trump, which I didn’t share. I was going to write about Rush’s impact on the conservative movement, but it’s all in my posts.

Rush started as a 16-year old DJ in MIssouri. After a few other gigs, he was able to use the end of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” to host a program where he could talk about conservative ideas without some weenie liberal co-host. As he used to say, “I am the balance.” While liberals, to this day, whine about the end of that doctrine, its existence would be pointless now, because they have moved on to claiming there is only ONE side to issues like abortion, the environment, gender and economics.

Without Limbaugh, it is unlikely Roger Ailes would have become a big producer in radio, started America’s Talking and eventually helm Fox News. Andrew Breitbart started doing what did because of listening to Rush while delivering pizzas in LA. Unfortunately, important innovators in conservative media are gone, but Limbaugh leaves behind a Republican Party with a strong conservative wing and the knowledge that “alternative” media can survive and flourish.

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    February 2021
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