The State of the Pandemic

The Other McCain has a COVID-19 Update The latest surge is here. “Just in time for the home stretch of the presidential election campaign.”

At this point the media induced panic is more newsworthy than the pandemic. Which is why it isn’t reported on.

The number of COVID-19 deaths reported daily in the U.S. peaked six months ago, on April 21, at 2,742 daily. There was a belated summer uptick, which peaked at 1,851 deaths on July 30, and since then the toll has gradually but steadily declined. During the week of Sept. 14-20, the average daily death total was 782; during the most recent week, Oct. 12-18, the average was 725 deaths daily, a 7.3% decline in about a month, and about 30% lower than in the first week of August

Of course that news isn’t politically useful to the Left and their lackeys in the media, so it isn’t reported. Only “new cases” are reported.

Politicians Lie About How COVID-19 is Spreading

Because they lie about everything. COVID-19 emails from Nashville mayor’s office show disturbing revelation.

It would apparently be a problem for the Nashville mayor if the public discovered that COVID-19 really wasn’t coming from bars and restaurants.

Emails between the mayor’s senior advisor and the health department reveal only a partial picture. But what they reveal is disturbing.

The discussion involves the low number of coronavirus cases emerging from bars and restaurants and how to handle that.

And most disturbingly, how to keep it from the public.

I mean, how would you keep the sheep scared, if there was nothing to be scared of? How would you use COVID-19 as an excuse to issued draconian edicts if the disease wasn’t an issue?

“We raised taxes 34 percent and put hundreds literally thousands of people out of work that are now worried about losing their homes, their apartments…and we did it on bogus data. That should be illegal,” Glover said.

Science knows when politicians are lying. Hat tip ZeroHedge.

And can you guess which party John Cooper is a member of?

The Decline of Western Civilization

How did we come to be in this place? William Wildblood brings us Descent into Madness.

Without a spiritual background to life, it becomes merely a sorry succession of moments of seeking pleasure which eventually palls and then all that matters is avoiding pain. Our science is no longer the search for truth and understanding about the universe but a kind of technocratic support system crippled by ideology. Our art is the product of sterile minds digging into the body of the past and thinking they are making something new from the corpse.

The author of the piece linked above is from the Levantine tradition, and sees all other traditions as worthless. This is a time-honored stance of the Levant. Other people’s religion is mythology. My mythology is religion. That doesn’t alter the basic truth of what he is saying. If you truly believe there is no meaning in life, or in the universe, then what should you do with your life? Why should you get out of bed in the morning, work for anything that extends beyond your life? Why should you build anything? The Faustian Bargain is your soul for money and power; is that all you are working for?

What is the result of this nihilistic stance? When things don’t go well, there is no firm place to stand. Lockdown Evil

By now we’ve all gotten the message: you’re selfish if you’d like to do the kinds of things that once gave your life meaning.

For these people, life is about nothing but the avoidance of death.

Life is about more than “avoiding death,” or it should be. But with nothing to stand on, life becomes just a long fear of dying. “If you don’t have dreams, you have nightmares.” And the nightmare of a meaningless existence eventually starts to produce the following result.

Well, a terrifying statistic came out last week showing the grim – if entirely predictable – effects all this inhuman regimentation has been having on the young, particularly those between 18 and 24.

Here are some figures from the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. They are percentages of people who have considered suicide within the previous 12 months, organized by age. [SNIP]

Now, from the Centers for Disease Control, we find that percentage (for the 18-24 group) has leaped to 25.5 percent — and this survey asks not about the previous 12 months, but whether they’ve considered suicide just in the past 30 days:

The second graph is disturbing. 25.5% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 16% of 25 to 44-year-olds have “Seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days.”

And I would bet that the numbers skew to the low end of that second age range. It is too bad they don’t break it out a bit more, as in 25 to 30, etc.

We’ve taken away everything they love, deprived them of the opportunity to socialize and to experience those irreplaceable moments of youth, and demanded they accept this dystopia as the “new normal.”

And we have also taken away all of the things that traditionally supported people. A search for a higher purpose in life is for the superstitious. No one has ever been through what we are going through. (Since I don’t know it happened, it never happened.) Do families even offer the same support structure that was there traditionally?

So where do we go from here? I don’t expect that people will realize that they’ve been lied to, or even who did the lying. If you want to live in the world of Star Trek: The Next Generation, you need to be socialist and atheist, even if that really doesn’t work.

But it is more than that. Every part of the culture is under attack. Religion is obvious. Education has been systematically decimated by the Left for generations. History is boring, and has nothing to teach us. And so we have people who think communism is a good thing, and don’t know about the 10s and 100s of millions it killed.

Art has been systematically under attack for a couple of generations. I wish I could tell you where I saw this comparison, but I can’t. The comparison of classical and modern art.

Below are photos of 2 famous sculptures. One is Pietà by Michelangelo. It is in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It depicts the body of Jesus on his mother’s lap after he was taken down from the cross. The other is an abstract monstrosity, that doesn’t depict much of anything. Click either image for a larger view and more info.

Who cares what the name is Pietà by Michaelangelo

Civilizations come and civilizations go. And they rarely go quietly.

University Becomes Police State

It’s for the good of the students. Michigan College Will Digitally Track Students’ Movements At All Times.

A Michigan college is requiring students to download a phone application that tracks their location and private health data at all times in an attempt to protect them from the coronavirus.

There some gaps in their plan.

Though students are required to remain on campus, professors and administrators are not. When asked about this potential loophole in its “COVID-bubble,” the school declined to comment.

Because it is about control, not COVID-19

Privacy is such a 20th Century concept.

Hat tip to Moonbattery, who notes that this college already did away with free speech. Albion College Becomes COVID-19 Police State

College has already largely eradicated the concept of free speech among students. Freedom of movement, freedom of association, and privacy rights may follow.

Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste

Since the federal government paid 75% of costs for this project, your tax dollars were used. Even though I’ve been trying to give Chicago a break, they make it too easy with stuff like this. Brilliant use of taxpayer funds: McCormick Place hospital’s cost to taxpayers? $1.7 million per patient. How the deal happened.

Or you could call it “No dollar left behind.”

Taxpayers spent nearly $66 million fashioning McCormick Place into an emergency coronavirus hospital with 2,750 beds this past spring amid fears that COVID-19 patients would overwhelm hospitals in the Chicago area.

Those fears turned out to be unfounded. Just 38 patients were transferred to the sprawling convention center — meaning taxpayers’ cost for the makeshift hospital turned out to be more than $1.7 million per patient, on average.

Now the bids were not exactly rigged, and they were not exactly fair. The company that got a big piece of the pie has ties to the old Daley Chicago machine. Color me shocked, that the people with clout ended up collecting big bucks.

The other three facilities were in Blue Island, Melrose Park and Elgin in previously closed hospitals, where the costs of readying them for patients were considerably lower than at McCormick Place — a total of about $50 million for all three, records show.

The Army Corps itself chose the construction companies for the renovations required at the closed hospitals — none of which has treated even one patient.

Now, to be fair, something I HATE doing when it comes to Chicago politics, in March and April the situation in and around New York City was grim. The virus was going crazy. But then Chicago is not nearly as densely populated as New York City. With about half the population, Chicago has something like 8 times the geographic area to house that population. And as stupid as the politicians in Illinois are, they were not as stupid as Cuomo or de Blasio, apparently. At least they didn’t mandate that sick people be housed in nursing homes, with the most vulnerable citizens.

Because Keeping Criminals In Jail Is Unfair

We let them out and are shocked when they commit more crimes. Germantown homicide suspect released from Montgomery County jail in April due to COVID-19. OK, so I’m not that shocked.

The man accused of stabbing a 63-year-old Germantown father to death in July was freed from jail only months earlier, amid COVID-19 pandemic concerns, court records confirm.

They even call the rush to release people hysteria.

He wasn’t a violent criminal before, but he is now, and a man is dead. Social Justice? Maybe, but no actual Justice.

I Sense a Great Disturbance in the Narrative

Who am I kidding, the media will ignore this. But you can still file it under, “Lies, Damn Lies and COVID-19 statistics.” Ohio Gov. DeWine tests negative for COVID-19 hours after testing positive.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tested negative for COVID-19 on Thursday hours after testing positive before he was set to greet President Trump at the Cleveland airport, according to a statement by the governor’s office.

Instead of meeting with Trump, DeWine returned to Columbus and was ultimately tested for coronavirus a second time.

You would have to know something about tests to have ever heard of false positives. The punchline…

“We will be working with the manufacturer to have a better understanding of how the discrepancy between these two tests could have occurred,” the statement added.

So he tested positive. He MUST be counted. That he later tested negative is beside the point.

I’m hearing echos of “I was for it, before I was against it.”

Lies, Damn Lies, and COVID-19 Statistics

The case of the disappearing antigens… A tale of two tests: Vermont town left puzzled by positive, then negative, COVID-19 results. Or – the only place I could actually view the article… The Wayback Machine’s copy.

So a small community in Vermont had 65 people test positive via the “new and improved” antigen test. But in Vermont that isn’t enough…

But in Vermont, positive antigen tests — a relatively new way of detecting an active COVID infection — require confirmation by another test: a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test, the gold-standard used by the government, hospitals, and professional sports teams. Of the 65 people who’d received those positive antigen tests, 48 would ultimately test negative via PCR. Liebig was one of them.
A community on edge was now a community confused.

Say that again. Out 65 people who tested positive with the antigen test, 48 tested negative with the better test. That is a 73.8 percent false positive rate. Only 26.2 percent of the people the first test said had the disease, actually seem to have had the disease.

If you read the fine print, the antigen test is still experimental, approved by the FDA under “emergency” measures for the pandemic

And not all states are as fastidious as Vermont. Rhode Island and Massachusetts accept the antigen test and publish the results.

No one is saying that people are lying, though the manufacturer of the test and equipment is in ass-covering mode. And I’m left with the feeling that people just want the data to be as “bad” as possible.

Lies, Damn Lies, and COVID-19 Testing Statistics

Oops. Florida’s recent record day for COVID-19 might not have been quite that high.

Seems one or more of the labs used were returning 100% of test results as positive. Or nearly 100%.

Orlando Health, for example, reported 512 positive cases and just 10 negatives giving the appearance of a 98 percent positive test rate.

On Tuesday, they sent 10 Tampa Bay a chart showing there are several more test locations in the same healthcare group with varying positivity rates.

“We’re looking into this,“ they said in an emailed statement, “But that 98 percent positivity rate is incorrect. Our positivity rate is 9.4 percent as of July 12.”

9.4 percent of 512 would mean approximately 48 cases of COVID-19. Not 502 positive test results.

There’s no politics in medicine, is there? Surely no company would LIE. Would they? So. Are they liars, or incompetent fools who should never do another COVID-19 test?

You Say “Mistaken,” I Say “Lying SOB”

Or, as I quote below… “Is this the zenith of fake news?” But then I’m incredibly cynical.

So the Mainstream Media is either ignoring this, or putting a positive spin on it. Mostly it seems they are ignoring it. After Severe Illness, NBC’s Dr. Joseph Fair Tests Negative for COVID-19 Antibodies.

So Joseph Fair has been a frequent “guest” on MSNBC giving interviews from his hospital bed talking about how awful COVID-19 is. Except his “suspected” case of the Kung Flu turns out to be just the regular flu, or something else.

Doctors assumed Dr. Joseph Fair had the coronavirus when he was severely sick in May. But with a negative antibody test, his illness “remains an undiagnosed mystery”

Mystery? Right. Other people aren’t so blinded to Dr. Fair’s position. ‘Anti-science saga’? NBC contributor who documented harrowing battle with Covid-19 NEVER had the virus.

I don’t usually quote RT, because I usually find it only slightly more reliable than the old Soviet-era Pravda. But like I said, most of the media is ignoring the lies told by MSNBC and its expert.

The dramatic televised saga of a doctor’s struggle to overcome coronavirus has ended in embarrassment after the NBC News contributor quietly admitted that there’s no evidence he ever had the virus. Is this the zenith of fake news?

Info Wars is even less kind. Fear Mongering: MSNBC/NBC Contributor Lied About Having COVID.

So if he didn’t have COVID-19, does that mean we should reexamine our relationship to the good-old-fashioned-flu? Or what? He was in the hospital after all, so I guess we can believe that he was sick with something. Maybe.

How Did They Rank This List?

Because it seems some rankings are off to me. Texas doctors rank activities posing greatest risks for contracting coronavirus.

The Texas Medical Association ranked 37 activities on a scale of 1-10

“Walking in a busy downtown” is given a low-to-moderate risk score of 4. Really??! Given the way COVID-19 tore thru New York City, I would say that walking thru that “busy downtown” was something far north of 4. But hey, I’m not a Democrat.

And of course on of the High Risk activities, is “attending a religious service” while “flying by airplane – in a tightly enclosed space with recirculated air is only a moderately high risk activity. Now which are Democrats almost guaranteed not to do?

And I know there are various kinds of camping, but how does being out in the wilderness have any score above 0?

But these are doctors! There’s no politics in medicine! Or something.

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Because they’re incompetent. The Feds Sent More than 1 Million Coronavirus Stimulus Payments to Dead People, GAO Says.

More than 1 million stimulus payments totaling nearly $1.4 billion were sent to deceased Americans during the federal government’s unprecedented emergency spending in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IRS says it must be returned. But that isn’t even the worst bit. The SBA is in even more disarray.

Hat tip to Clayton Cramer, who notes…

As long as they keep voting!

Trust the Science, Except When It Isn’t Trustworthy

Facepalm X 2Because this looks more like the smear job than a serious science paper. A mysterious company’s coronavirus papers in top medical journals may be unraveling. The suspect company is known as Surgisphere.

So there was a paper published in The Lancet, that caused the halt of a bunch of of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 studies. Now that paper seems to be falling apart.

Today, The Lancet issued an Expression of Concern (EOC) saying “important scientific questions have been raised about data” in the paper and noting that “an independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere and is ongoing, with results expected very shortly.”

The New England Journal of Medicine had problems with other data from Sugisphere, and issued a similar EOC.

While the Science Magazine article deals with the science, The Guardian took a look at the company behind the data. That is an interesting read. Surgisphere: governments and WHO changed Covid-19 policy based on suspect data from tiny US company.

A search of publicly available material suggests several of Surgisphere’s employees have little or no data or scientific background. An employee listed as a science editor appears to be a science fiction author and fantasy artist whose professional profile suggests writing is her fulltime job. Another employee listed as a marketing executive is an adult model and events hostess, who also acts in videos for organisations.

This is the organization responsible for halting numerous random trials of hydroxychloroquine.

Media Bias? Anti-Trump Bias? General insanity? Why would you say that?

Hat tip to Clayton Cramer.

When Comparing the US and European Countries, Always Consider Rate per Million

The US is much bigger than the UK, or Spain, or Italy. We are probably larger than The UK plus Spain plus Italy combined. So when you look at “total number” of anything, we likely have more. You need to consider the rate of each country. UK suffers second-highest death rate from coronavirus | Free to read. OK, so a lot of things are the rate per 100,000. You know what I mean.

Excess deaths is a number that comes from the actuaries. It doesn’t rely on testing. It looks at “What were the expected number of deaths, due to history, and how has that changed?”

Excess deaths is internationally recognised as the best way to compare countries’ performance in handling infectious diseases. Chris Whitty, the UK’s chief medical officer, called excess deaths “the key metric”.

No false positives. No false negatives. No fudging numbers because there is a financial incentive to count a death as being from COVID-19. Just statistics.

So here’s the image of the day. The relevant bit is the left-most graph. To my way of thinking, anyway. As always, click the image for a larger view. Well, almost always.

The article was published on May 28th, but clearly the data is older than that. Still not too old, and the point is still valid.

Now considering the relative death rates, tell me again, how awful the US response has been, or how horrible our health care is. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Oh, and then consider that a lot of the problems we have are a direct result of some bone-headed decisions made in New York and Michigan and couple of other Blue States.

Where Would We Be Without Experts?

Go read the whole thing; it isn’t long. But I will highlight the stats, which caught my eye. COVID-19: The ‘Experts’ Are Clueless.

Something really went wrong in New York.

The per-capita death rate in Georgia remains 88% lower than New York’s; Florida’s rate is 93% lower and Texas is 96% lower.

Of course with more than 70,000 people per square mile, and a governor who set things up to kill old people in nursing homes, it’s hard to see how a virus wouldn’t ravage that city. And state.

CDC, COVID-19 and Math

Because they never published the stats. CDC warns antibody testing still too inaccurate to use for coronavirus-related policy decisions.

The math is the point, but the upshot is that about half of the positive antibody tests are false positives.

In other words, less than half of those testing positive will truly have antibodies.

It is crazy, that they are only telling us these stats now.

Keeping Violent Criminals in Jail is Unfair

So says the Left. Released Early Due To Coronavirus: Former Weld County Inmate Now Accused Of Strangulation.

A former Weld County Jail inmate, who was released early from a two year sentence due to COVID-19 concerns, is now accused of attacking and strangling someone one month after his release. The Windsor Police Department is now searching for Christopher A. Vecchiarelli, 36, after they say he attacked a woman, leaving bruises in several places and fracturing her arm.

Someone will say his infraction didn’t mean he should be exposed to COVID-19. Should the woman he attacked have had her arm broken?

Better Living Through Chemistry

Trust the science? Only if it is trustworthy. Canadian study finds that enzymes in cannabis could treat COVID-19.

It is actually a fairly thin conclusion, but I love the fact that it has been screamed from the rooftops by the likes of Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the BBC.

It is funded by a company that is in the Cannabis industry. It’s like a study on smoking funded by a tobacco giant.

The researchers in Alberta, Canada, conducted a study using artificial 3D models of oral, airway and intestinal tissues coupled with a limited sample of high CBD Cannabis sativa extracts modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels.

The study hasn’t been peer-reviewed, though that may be coming, it won’t be here any time soon.

I am so very tempted to include a video here. Either “She Blinded Me With Science” or “Weird Science.” I’ll let you decide.

COVID-19 Death Rates Vary by Race in the UK

A RACIST virus. Labour calls for bosses to risk-assess staff given higher BAME Covid-19 death rate.

BAME is a British acronym for “Black and Minority Ethnic.” Those communities have a higher death-rate from the virus.

An Office for National Statistics study found that, if just considering age, black women were 4.3 times more likely to die from a Covid-19-related death, and black men 4.2 times more likely, than their white counterparts.

Once socio-demographic and self-reported health and disability factors were taken into account, black people were still twice as likely to be killed by coronavirus.

People of Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian and mixed ethnicity also had a higher risk of death compared with the white population.

Though they didn’t break out the numbers for those last groups.

New York vs West Virginia

One part travelog, one part dig at the smug jackholes on the East Coast. Dining at the Longbranch.

Thousands of New York nursing home patients have died because of Cuomo’s policy, while West Virginia is the only state in the country to have tested every nursing home resident for COVID-19. Tell me again, New Yorkers, how much smarter you are than these rustic hillbillies.

Heh.