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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Covid Update: Media Fail

Just a quick covid update since the mainstream media is as usual failing us:

As I've been expecting, most places (islands aside) are having their time and catching up to herd immunity, regardless of lockdown policy. To quote one analysis:

"Despite what some claim, there are not three separate waves of coronavirus infections striking the U.S.. Using the example of just these three states, we find that different, geographically-separated states have been struck by a similarly sized wave of COVID-19 infections at different times as the coronavirus has propagated among the population in different regions at different times. That process has occurred regardless of whatever lockdown policies each state has had or maintained."

[Source: https://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2020/10/the-coronavirus-pandemic-in-us-at-seven.html ]

This is a bit old but still a good summary of the reality vs. the narrative -- lots of useful observations here (I have not personally verified all of the data in this, so double check anything you find suspect):


The dry tinder point is especially straightforward and explanatory (BUT I have not been able to verify that data in particular, so grain of salt). Also good coverage of the case-demic issue for those unfamiliar, as well as sane comparisons of the scale of deaths vs. prior years.

And if you have more time to spare, this is a longer interview by the same guy (Ivor) with the Swedish ER doc referenced previously:


Which again reiterates that life is back to normal in Sweden despite what the NYT wishes you would believe.

And for those who haven't thought this through: If a country is back to normal behavior, in any other circumstance than having both zero (or traceably small) cases and completely closed borders, and the death (or at least hospitalization) rate is not exponentially climbing, then they are at herd immunity by definition (at least for the current season).

So, please, all, just stop with the insane rationalizations about why Sweden has done so well/bad (yes, somehow y'all argue both at the same time as suits the agenda). Sweden was the control -- accept the outcome for what it is like the scientists y'all claim to be. (Again to be clear, I am not ruling out a winter wave in Sweden since the herd immunity threshold is probably higher then, though I will be surprised if it's significant since Sweden probably overshot their summertime herd immunity levels by a factor of two.)

Ivor makes the same point above that I did previously: The places that did manage to hold things off during the summer may end up killing more people by far by moving the brunt of the spread to the winter when people are more susceptible to dying (probably due to vitamin-D levels--so personal risk mediation is possible here at least).

One last shorter Ivor video because it's fresh and nicely illustrates the insanity of the media vs. reality:


Lastly, I want to apologize to, iirc, Peter Voss, Johann Gevers, and others who were poo-pooing the hysteria early on. While I do think the data even then showed this was something real and significant, I totally underestimated people's (mostly the media's) inability to temper their hysteria to the data as it evolved. The "shouting fire in a crowded theater" analogy was raised, and you have me convinced now that it's better to just quietly leave the theater than to alert anyone.

The saddest part about all of this is I know that the pro-lockdown contingent will manage to rationalize this all the way through a supposedly vaccine-aided re-opening and literally never see the other movie playing on the same screen all along. (And for this reason, I'm not really interested in rebuttals any more. I'm tired of it. Take this post as a useful update to those who want it, and for the rest, please just ignore it. Weirdly it seems we can watch our own movies and live in our own completely different realities and somehow both find consistency with our expectations. I just wish y'all didn't have to take down my economy in the process.)

But if there's a bright side to that, it's that human-level AI will be much easier to acheive than I thought.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com