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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The Missing Links



Friends, today I bring you a very interesting analysis of the pandemic conundrum.  Check it out:

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftheweek.com%2Farticles%2F904997%2Fcase-cautious-optimism-about-pandemic%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR2qY9Gj1py1_0v1STROGizNg5mDwEbXr0ZgTaROXT7JR7kU-f9bbYVZpsA&h=AT2YCnLTZwBtRwxZ-WYCgbKMjTS1tfvRTSZp9x94xq5wKjqPYcRJYwRK6Qk9Z_N7LGRvLeogvtPgFnxBjJFlvir9ZiEg9gCfXHRrhhJIzrBwSLFl6JF-Jg4ePBWTxPpFrA

If the author is right, then many of our extreme measures in dealing with the coronavirus were, if not exactly unnecessary, at least disproportional to the risk that most people bear.  Along those lines, note the graph above, which clearly demonstrates that, if you want to people to live (rather than die), making them poor is a very bad way to go about it!  And make no mistake -- the effect many of these extreme measures will be a rise in poverty, unemployment, bankruptcy, and despair.

It strikes me that we're making enormous decisions about shutting down the country, and spending and borrowing vast sums of money, based on very incomplete data.  What will the excess mortality of this pandemic be?  That is, how many of its victims would have died anyway, and at roughly the same time?  How deadly is the disease, i.e. what is its true mortality rate?  And, to figure that out, we'd have to know how many people already have it -- and, months into the pandemic, we still haven't made much progress answering that simple question!

In the final analysis, the rosier analyses like the one above may turn out to be correct, or they may be incorrect, but the fact is that much of our pandemic strategy is just...a stab in the dark.  We deserve better than that.

6 comments:

  1. Dr. Waddy Just for the record, the Mid West State I live in (next door to Colorado) offers the following statistics as of today April 7, 2020 Tuesday.

    17 Positive Cases in My County
    900 Positive Cases in My State
    223 Hospitalizations


    Of course our total population does not even compare with your State of New York, much less NYC itself.

    As a Mid West deplorable who voted for Trump, I hope things get better for your state, even for all the Left Wingers who live there too.

    I saw a map of the U.S. where the states that will suffer the most from this pandemic are predicted to be: New York, Nevada, and Washington State.

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  2. Dr. Waddy and Ray: You address a legitimate and well taken question and I cannot add anything constructive to it.

    I will presume, however; to raise an ancillary point: I know I comment often on Andrew Cuomo but I think it vital that we pay close attention to the actions of this most leftist executive in the country, both because he has assumed much, much more power in the last month and because he has garnered widespread positive commentary. He is the leftist pathfinder and his response to this sudden rise in his ability to dictate may well exemplify how a dominant American left means to reign. Future answers to the questions you have raised in this post may give us better informed standards on how to judge his performance so far but for now the "discovery phase"prevails.

    When the U.S. recovers from this blow it will be because of its magnificent health care establishment and its still puissant free enterprise economy. As a reflexive leftist Cuomo disdains both institutions and may see a prime opportunity to discredit them and to advance a view of unfettered government as the nation's savior both in this and in the certain to come "global warming holocaust" I think it behooves our country to regard this presumptuous man's ascent with very much doubt as to his motives.

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  3. Ray, the state-by-state situation is very interesting. Here in NY we have it bad, and it sure looks like we're at or near the peak. In most of the country the number of actual deaths is pretty low, even by flu-season standards. Whether it will ramp up significantly I don't know, but I'm not seeing exponential increases anymore. I think we may have this thing partially in hand.

    Jack, indeed we must be vigilant when it comes to power grabs, both from the left and from the right! The one thing which both parties have abandoned without a second thought is fiscal restraint...and to the extent that insolvency would create yet another pretext for empowering government (we would have to be rescued from our rescuers, after all), the future doesn't look bright!

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  4. I find it disturbing (in to which Dr. Birx eluded too) that ALL deaths are being listed as Covid 19. If one had an underlying illness, list it as Covid and so on. I do believe if one keeps digging into Italy, that is also the case.

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  5. Excellent point, Linda. There is no subtlety or rationality to our COVID-19 score-keeping. It's just a sick, morbid obsession.

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