My Dad used that little saying to warn me that I had to be careful when listening to people, because not everyone is telling the truth. As an illustration he’d say that if one ship could cross the ocean in six days, six ships could cross it in one.
The math on that example actually works. But even a child can see it doesn’t make any kind of sense. But many of the numbers thrown around about COVID-19 aren’t so intuitively obvious. Take, for example, the “spike in new coronavirus cases.” Our benevolent dictators would like us to believe that “cases equals deaths,” and we aren’t doing very well, so they show this graphic (red line is USA).
If you don’t look for the little “log” indicator in the upper left corner, it seems like we’re still having lots of people die every day, so this works as a “little white lie” to promote the lockdown scenario. But our minds don’t work in logarithmic scales very well, so let’s look at the same data on a linear scale.
Presented this way, it’s easy to see that we are having about one fifth as many deaths daily as we had at the peak. What about cases? On a linear scale, there is an increase.
In this case, the log scale would hide the increase. In either case, even with an increasing case load, we aren’t seeing more people die. This means that, whatever the reason for more cases, we’re getting better at treating them. As a doctor reading the literature every day, I see lots of indications that this disease isn’t nearly as lethal as it seemed to be in the beginning.
But the new cases present a problem. What does this data mean? I can have lots of true numbers, but unless I properly tease out meaningful information, it’s just noise. And that noise lets unscrupulous people tell lies with a straight face. Let’s look at a simple example.
You are driving at 45 miles per hour. If you are in a 45 zone, this is utterly unremarkable. If you’re in a school zone, you are careless and reckless as you’re speeding. On an interstate highway, you might be slowing for construction or an exit ramp. Those are again normal. But if you’re in the left lane and not in rush hour, you are almost certainly obstructing traffic, and a citation is likely. It’s all about context.
The same applies to COVID-19 numbers. When Orange County Florida Mayor Jerry Demings went on TV to announce a mask mandate because we had 316 new cases in one day, he completely ignored context. He and Dr. Pino, his medical advisor, were treating COVID-19 like Medusa. One look and you will turn to stone. That’s utter nonsense. With 1.35 million people in Orange County, that number of cases every day for two and a half years would only infect twenty percent of the population. Such an emergency!
If you’re under age 60, and aren’t already sick with some chronic condition like Type II diabetes, your risk of dying is one fifth of the risk for all comers. That’s because COVID-19 is really nasty for people who have chronic diseases or are older than 80. Over 80, your risk is eight times more than in the general population. You are part of the key group we have to protect. We don’t need to protect the young healthy group. But the Quixotic Quislings of Quarantine are obsessed with keeping you under their collective thumbs. So they make the numbers sound scary.
In fact, if we take those same numbers, it turns out that the young healthy person has a COVID-19 mortality risk one-fortieth as big as the elderly and infirm. Peter Attia MD has taken CDC data and to create a slightly different table.
In this arrangement, simply being under age 50 has a risk twenty-six times lower than being over age 65. Now we can make the first step in creating context so we won’t be lied to with numbers pulled out of the air. For younger people, there’s no appreciable risk of dying from COVID-19. But let’s dig a bit deeper.
Our latest episode of the NOQ Report Podcast...
So far, we haven’t looked at where the increased number of cases are coming from. It turns out that there are at least two sources, neither of which should get us excited. When the virus first hit, testing was reserved for really sick people. As we’ve ramped up testing, a lot of other people are getting in the queue. That’s going to bump up the numbers without any actual increase in the number of infected people. You heard that right. The increased numbers aren’t meaningful. We’re just finding people with minor illness or no symptoms at all. The people with no symptoms don’t expose others to a significant viral load, so they are a minimal risk to the population. In fact, we can argue that their viral shedding is essential to the process of creating herd immunity.
As society opens up, we may also be seeing some small real increase in cases. But the group that’s getting the bug is a very low risk demographic, 18-35 years old. In other words, we’re seeing young healthy people get sick with something that looks like just another one of the dozens of afflictions that hit for a while and go away. The occasional unfortunate partyer gets laid out for a few days, just like he would with the flu. Then he recovers and resumes life. Remember, we’ve had 62 million cases of flu this season. Wuhan Flu is up to a staggering 2.2 million.
An increase in this age group fits perfectly with the increase in cases, but without an increase in deaths. And this age group, once infected and recovered, becomes part of community resistance to spread. If they’re immune, they can’t get sick and pass it on.
Taken in context, there is no “spike” in cases. Most are cases we simply hadn’t counted before because we didn’t know about them. There are a handful of new ones. But these present little or no risk to society. They may actually be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.
We need to re-open America… yesterday. Our elderly and infirm can be protected without squandering all our wealth on useless measures such as universal masks and social distancing. All those do is create a false sense of security for the uninformed, and an aura of authority for ignorant governmental figures. We are just as able to assess our risk as they are. And we should be free to assume responsibility for ourselves.
Check out the NEW NOQ Report Podcast.