Statistics

CDC Flashes Its Wee P At Us In Thin Effort To Uphold The Cult of the Mask: Coronavirus Update LVI

EXPERTS FLASH THEIR WEE P

Masks are the uniform of the effeminate.

You’ll have heard by now of CDC’s latest mask study, in which grown experts flash their wee p-values at us and present findings that can only be seen under a microscope.

Here’s the study link. Description:

To examine the association of state-issued mask mandates and allowing on-premises restaurant dining with COVID-19 cases and deaths during March 1–December 31, 2020, county-level data on mask mandates and restaurant reopenings were compared with county-level changes in COVID-19 case and death growth rates relative to the mandate implementation and reopening dates.

So they ignore the January peak and subsequent dramatic fall, which is seen below. A cynic would say because those numbers aren’t helpful to their thesis, but a Mask Cultist would cry “late data!” He’d have a point, but it’s weak because we know deaths begin to drop every middle January.

The immediate problem is population-heavy counties differ in all sorts of ways surely causally related to coronadoom health from scantly populated counties. Like age, fitness, fatness, access to quality physicians (and not the increasing number of quacks), and so on. The biggest is probably compliance rates.

Difficult to measure all this, so I’m on their side. But since we know these differences exist, we have to mentally add a certain plus-or-minus to the results, regardless what wee p-values say.

First results:

During March 1–December 31, 2020, state-issued mask mandates applied in 2,313 (73.6%) of the 3,142 U.S. counties. Mask mandates were associated with a 0.5 percentage point decrease (p = 0.02) in daily COVID-19 case growth rates 1–20 days after implementation and decreases of 1.1, 1.5, 1.7, and 1.8 percentage points 21–40, 41–60, 61–80, and 81–100 days, respectively, after implementation (p<0.01 for all) (Table 1) (Figure). Mask mandates were associated with a 0.7 percentage point decrease (p = 0.03) in daily COVID-19 death growth rates 1–20 days after implementation and decreases of 1.0, 1.4, 1.6, and 1.9 percentage points 21–40, 41–60, 61–80, and 81–100 days, respectively, after implementation (p<0.01 for all). Daily case and death growth rates before implementation of mask mandates were not statistically different from the reference period.

Using changes in rates of change is the wrong measure. They should have used changes in per capita actual rates. Can any one in class say why?

Anyone? Anyone?

Because the smaller the county, those less likely to have high compliance or mandates (in flyover places like South Dakota), the easier it is to have a large change in rates! Small samples are more variable. And this was the time of the very expected ramp up in testing. Meaning we know the rates were going to increase everywhere, and that larger changes would happen in smaller counties.

Besides, these are not increases in “cases”, which even the CDC now misidentifies. These are positive tests, not cases.

How did we get so bad at this so fast?

“But how did they do the stats, Briggs? I see they use wee Ps to claim causation, which I know is anathema to you.”

Yes. Every researcher when pressed says using statistics insists correlation isn’t causation, until it comes to his data, when that principle is inverted. He flashes his wee p-value at you and says “Eat this! I’ve proved my cause!”

Anyway, here’s the (rancid) meat (I’ve removed all footnote indicators):

Weighted least-squares regression with county and day fixed effects was used to compare COVID-19 case and death growth rates before and after 1) implementing mask mandates and 2) allowing on-premises dining at restaurants. Because state-issued policies often applied to specific counties, particularly when states began allowing on-premises dining, all analyses were conducted at the county level. Four regression models were used to assess the association between each policy and each COVID-19 outcome. The regression models controlled for several covariates: restaurant closures in the mask mandate models and mask mandates in the restaurant reopening models, as well as bar closures, stay-at-home orders, bans on gatherings of ≥10 persons, daily COVID-19 tests per 100,000 persons, county, and time (day). P-values <0.05 were considered statistically significant. All analyses were weighted by county population with standard errors robust to heteroscedasticity and clustered by state

Good grief. We don’t see data, but the mixed results of a slew of weighted regression models. We are as far from the data as the ACLU is to recognizing men who claim to be women aren’t women.

They repeat the above with changes in rates of rates of attributed deaths, coming to similar numbers.

Which is to say, numbers down in the “noise.”

“Come on, Briggs, you hypocrite. You always warn us about using terms like noise.”

True. Yet the biggest claim they make regarding deaths is “1.9 percentage points”, which is surely in the room for error given the causal effects not measured but which we agreed are there.

And don’t forget, these are parametric not predictive estimates. Meaning, almost certainly, the predictive estimates would show no effect. It’s easy as getting as BA in Communications to get a wee p-value out of thousands of data points.

UNMASKED DATA

Again we ask ourselves, if masks work, then why don’t masks work?

Most of us saw the panic over Texas returning to liberty. But don’t forget many Texans, especially outside cities, were mask scofflaws. Other states have since followed Texas, but also recall some states never panicked.

Here, using the COVID Tracking Data, are the attributed coronadoom deaths per capita (drop off at end due to late collections). The left column are states that panicked, the right column are states that did not panic, or panic as much, with mask mandates etc. (Texas officially panicked.)

I had to cut NY off at 200, which peaked at 600 because The Godmother, who not only panicked but panicked arrogantly, killed all those old people.

You cannot draw from this plot any story about masks working. Or about how panics saved lives. Panic only costs lives.

LA (Source):

This one isn’t as good, because it includes Texas as a no-mask state, which it is now, but only just was. And it uses smoothing, which is not the data. I show it as an example of how not to do it. Never smooth and then analyze without at least carrying the uncertainty of the smoothing through.

This is much better:

The only thing this lacks is mask use by locality, and attributed deaths. NYC, the city I know best, has usage well above 90%, usually 95%+, and it’s been that way since the summer (source).

Mask use did not prevent the winter spike. How could this be if masks work?

Some of those are in the link I provide at the bottom of this post. Masks have never been shown to work.

You know who agrees? WHO.

That’s what I’m asking. Who?

Exactly.

BOOK

The Price of Panic.

Website of similar name: price of panic.

THE NUMBERS

Sources: daily tests, CDC official toll number one, number two (the old weekly file, now suspect). Deaths by age. Covid & flu. WHO flu tracker. All current as of Monday night.

Daily tests:

Tests are dropping, but the rate of decrease slowed a bit. The CDC and others tried to gin the panic on “variants” these past two weeks, and that likely accounts for some of the slow in rate. The “variants” themselves might account for part, too.

Every positive test the media falsely calls a “case”, when it is only an infection with varying degrees of seriousness—and most are not serious. The media really does not know how to tell the truth.

Positivity rate of the tests.

Notice carefully that this is not dropping because tests are dropping. If anything, and all things equal, fewer tests mean larger positivities, because it’s more likely only the sickest are being tested.

The rate flattened a bit here too, and likely because of those “variants”.

CDC weekly ALL CAUSE death counts, or the Perspective Plot, from late 2009 until now. The late drop off is late counting: it takes up to eight weeks to get all data. We need to look at all cause deaths because we can’t quite trust the attributed COVID numbers.

The black line is deaths of any kind. The red is COVID. The blue line is flu+pneumonia (it’s the pneumonia that kills most flu patients). The blue is estimated starting mid year 2020 because CDC stopped separate reporting on flu. The suspicion is some flu and pneumonia deaths are being attributed to COVID.

The numbers are dropping like lobbyist donations to Nancy Pelosi. Maybe even faster, which we’ll see in a moment.

Here is the CDC deaths “involving” COVID.

See any reason to panic?

Here is another way to look at all deaths, the week-of-the-year all-cause deaths. This one tells the real story.

Dude. This is astonishing. You can see the black dots on the green line, which indicate the late counts. But before that, even with some late counts coming in, this is low. Real low. There simply is no crisis left. None.

Yet, of course, the coronavirus will be with us forever, as flu is.

The 2020 estimated “excess” deaths (using my extrapolation model) are closing in. About 490 thousand. Rose 3,000 since last week. It’s about topped out. I won’t report on this next week, but I’ll leave it in the chart.

MOST IMPORTANT: these are not all COVID deaths! They include deaths from the “solution” to COVID, too. Plus increased suicides, septicemia and other iatrogenic kills, cancers, heart attacks, and everything else due to lockdowns. Like car crashes, as we saw above. Plus, there were over 80,000 drug overdose deaths last year. This point cannot be over-emphasized.

Flu is still missing. Here is the WHO’s global flu tracker, which still shows flu has gone missing everywhere:

Flu is still gone the whole world over.

Here is the CDC official population mortality rates for the all causes other than COVID, and “involving” COVID (with and of; “involving” is CDC’s word).

POPULATION FATALITY RATES
                 Age      COVID OtherCause
1       Under 1 year 0.00001200   0.005400
2          1–4 years 0.00001300   0.002300
3         5–14 years 0.00000061   0.000091
4        15–24 years 0.00000180   0.000140
5        25–34 years 0.00001500   0.000830
6        35–44 years 0.00020000   0.002600
7        45–54 years 0.00056000   0.004700
8        55–64 years 0.00140000   0.010000
9        65–74 years 0.00340000   0.021000
10       75–84 years 0.00860000   0.050000
11 85 years and over 0.02300000   0.150000

I say this every week, too: No matter what age, there is at least about a 10 times or larger chance of dying from something else then COVID. If you’re under 44, the COVID risk is tiny. Our level of fear is in not in line with the actual risk for the majority of the population.

About masks in depth, see this article and this one. I am also working on a comprehensive article about masks. Hint: they do not work.

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Categories: Statistics

49 replies »

  1. So with average new cases under 70,000 in the past two weeks and what seems to be an average of 1.4 million tests per day, there’s barely enough virus to register the the expected 5% false positives?

    Is that your take-away?

  2. Rates of change are inherently noisy. Far better to integrate than differentiate, usually.

  3. I recently had someone try to claim to me that the flu is appearing to be cured because of all of us wearing mask. I tried to explain to him that it was actually because of false reporting of deaths. He refused to hear any of it. I just gave up it was not worth the fight to try to educate the ignorant.

  4. Wyoming is lifting its “mandate” on March 16th and the health czar actually didn’t throw a fit. Maybe he fears those he enslaves. Nope, can’t be. Maybe he just fears looking dumber and less scientific than he already does…..

    Flashing P’s of any kind draws zero reaction these days. I’m not sure where you’ve been, but in the real world, no one blinks at these things. Flashing an “expert” sign might draw attention in a blue world….until the bridge collapses in rush hour traffic. Then the expert lawyers sue the expert bridge designers.

    First study was invalid from sentence one. Too many factors not included. There is ZERO evidence that requiring a mask and closing restaurants are done by anything other than Democrat tyrants. All other factors vary like the phases of the moon, without the regularity. Therefore, useless, garbage political study.

    A .5 percentage decrease is enough to require masks? Kiss your steak goodbye, expect your kids wrapped in cellophane in schools, no more cars, etc. I can get a .5 decrease in ANYTHING using anything I want gone. Not a major feat. Works on stupid people daily. (We cannot under any circumstance use ACTUAL rates. EVER. Teacher knows why.)

    How did we get so bad at this so fast? It would a book series to explain……

    Prediction only exists in psychics and they are fake. Prediction is never possible with any certainty, especially timing of an event. (Says the woman who wants to throw a brick at her TV when that LYING PIECE OF GARBAGE Dexcom blood sugar continuous lying commercial comes on–prediction, my a**. LIARS ALL.) But humans always did love tossing live humans in volcanoes in the hopes of getting rain (or killing the villagers, I’m never sure which) and we’re as stupid as the witch doctors ever were….

    I know the “price of panic”. I bought the book…

  5. Since the beginning of the masking theatre I warned people to be very careful when entering this debate. To do it in their terms (“mask work” vs. “masks don´t work”) is a problem, because it leaves the door open to either fake stats or, more important, to the improval of masks so they become actually able to stop transmission. If our point is only that “they don´t work” (and they don´t), it is a matter of time that they create super masks, and then we are doomed.

    Our argument must always be that it does not matter if they work or not, because to say that as they avoid transmission we must wear them is like saying that in order to avoid drownings and skin cancer we must close swimming pools and cordon off every beach. Our argument must include necessarily the lack of proportion of the measures, their shor-termism, and the future negative outcome of obstructing the very base of life, breathing, that their new stats won´t show.

  6. Sheri:

    Completely OT – but what the heck
    Since you have brought “IT” up or alluded to “IT” on numerous occasions

    Have you heard of Berberzine for “IT”?

    My wife just started, a friend at work just mentioned and has been on for some time
    https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1126/berberine
    (Go through ALL the review categories – there are dissatisfies (10%) throughout but …)

  7. If it’s Tuesday it must be… Doomsday! My favorite day since it always features a new episode of Young Doctor Killbriggs surgically ripping the revolutionary retards a new one — and with what style he wields the scalpel! — like a rapier, slashing sophistry to shreds, his plunging point popping pompous pinheads with gore galore. Great show. And the live audience laughing, cheering, and screaming for blood, the blood of the bastards murdering the world for profit and power.

    Healthy way to start the day.

  8. Rogelio:

    ”Our argument must always be that it does not matter if they work or not, because to say that as they avoid transmission we must wear them is like saying that in order to avoid drownings and skin cancer we must close swimming pools and cordon off every beach. Our argument must include necessarily the lack of proportion of the measures, their shor-termism, and the future negative outcome of obstructing the very base of life, breathing, that their new stats won’t show.”

    Excellent point.

    One does not save lives by ruining life.

  9. Sheri:

    I love it!

    I don’t know and can’t say but I get the impression Craig Johnson MIGHT be a mask wearer?
    (Apologies if it’s a Lone Ranger mask)

    Berberine contraindicated for type 1

  10. So basically, it sounds like CDC is simply manipulating its presentation of data to suit its preferred political outcome (and assuming any drop in “cases” etc., must be due to masks when they’ve failed to control for other factors). Quelle surprise!

    Meanwhile the only randomized control-group trial specifically done for Covid clearly demonstrated masks provide no benefit (and most pre-Covid mask research as relates to the spread of viruses showed the same). No matter – the scum ruining the world don’t care about facts or truth any more.

    Our idiot governor finally is opening public schools again – for a whopping two days a week! Apparently those two days the virus disappears, enabling school attendance, but it comes back with a vengeance the other 3 days of the week! My 3 nieces and other private school students have been back since August (except for December, when the Governor tried to shut them down too). Private school students and teachers have not been dropping like flies during those months, so you’d think the governor and school superintendents might have learned something, but the spineless pols still kowtow before craven, lazy public school teachers’ unions trying to milk Covid paranoia forever to keep from going back to their jobs. And the scum still keeps his tyrannical muzzle mandate in effect, and the idiot populace go along with it.

    Even in private schools that have been open, though, an element of paranoia remains. At a family dinner last night, my 13 year-old niece said she had to get tested the other day because she had a stuffy nose due to some seasonal allergies. Every ordinary sneeze or sniffle now is taken to be an apocalyptic sign of Covid! It’s madness.
    “I have this every year around the start of spring, I’m not really sick!” she said.

    My 14 year-old niece was incredulous that even some private schools are only going 4 days a week but take off on Fridays and do “zoom school” instead. “Do they think the virus is worse on Friday? It’s so stupid,” she said. She plays basketball and also couldn’t believe they were not allowed to do regular jump-balls to start the games this year – allegedly because the ref would have to get to close to the players. “We run around close to each other all game and the refs hand us the ball standing right next to us for free -throws and throw-ins…but they think it’s dangerous to do a jump ball!” She said she tried to get them to change for the championship game and allow a jump-ball start, but “the ref chickened-out and just did a coin toss for the ball to start instead.”

    It’s clear even kids can see through the blatant nonsense they’re being subjected to – perhaps even better than most adults. I think we’d actually be better off if we put a group of middle-school kids in charge of Covid policy.

  11. Indeed. Mass media and politician-induced global hypochondria is more deadly than the virus.

    Re. Stadson above: “I recently had someone try to claim to me that the flu is appearing to be cured because of all of us wearing mask” This is perhaps one of the most dangerous and insidious claims I’ve seen people make lately, because I’ve heard people make the leap from that to “We should all wear masks all the time in public now, forever – even “after Covid” – especially during flu season, it’s such an easy and selfless thing to do…”

    They really do want to destroy all normal life and social functioning forever if it allows them to pose as self-sacrificing saviors of mankind from the slightest threat of illness or death. Yet they seem not to understand that the world they’re building won’t be worth living in. A world fit only for soul-less automatons out of Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis,” mensch-maschines whose only purpose is to toil in slavery in service to the world’s rich and powerful. But they’ve forgotten Maria’s warning: “Between the brain that plans and the hands that build there must be a Mediator – the Heart.”

  12. “Texas returning to liberty”

    Sadly, this is not true. It is true that *the governor* is rescinding the mask mandate, but individual counties and school districts are not. In fact, they are continuing to mask children in schools after Spring Break returns.

    Additionally, companies can still require masks to be on premises. Granted that police cannot fine people for not wearing a mask, but police can be called to forcibly remove a person from an establishment if they refuse to wear a mask. That doesn’t seem like a return to liberty to me.

    Concerning this CDC study, when I saw that the CDC put this out, and the resulting fanfare on Twitter, and after thinking about it figured out that this is nowhere near as interesting as they say. The reason for that is because what it measures is not masking effectiveness but *mask mandate* effectiveness.

    As far as I can tell this study doesn’t say one thing about *masking* effectiveness. The study effectively states this at the end “Second, compliance with and enforcement of policies were not measured.” But compliance and enforcement are key indicators of how effective something is.

    With that in mind the real question is, of course, if masks work at reducing COVID-19 in the population. If there is a mask mandate, but 80% of the people were already wearing masks at the time of the mandate, the actual power of the mandate, itself, is not in the masking of individuals (unless, of course, it was that last 10% to get us over 90% that was the kicker).

    Looking at the COVIDcast data at Delphi it does not seem like there is any correlation between mask *usage*and daily cases, deaths, or whatever. To me, if there is a change in daily case counts but no change in mask discipline that breaks the thesis that masks can significantly affect the outcome of a respiratory pandemic. So if the power of the mandate is not in the masking, itself, then by what means is the mandate efficacious?

    Here in Texas the cases did start to plummet a few weeks after the mandate, followed by deaths. It would seem like the mandate worked.

    Perhaps it did. But *why* did it work? A second rapid increase in daily new cases as well as fatalities began in September. During that time mask usage remained constant. So if masks explain the drop, what explains the rise?

    IMHO, what explains the rise is not the mask usage but the change in behavior. A *lot* of people self-quarantined in the July/August timeframe because they freaked out (I took the family on vacation to Yellowstone instead). But with the end of August and school people changed their behavior again. And, lo and behold, cases started rising while mask usage remained constant.

    So, did the mask *mandates* work at slowing the spread? Yeah, they probably did. I can accept that. *Why* they worked, however, seems unlikely to be the masking itself but the effectiveness in drumming up fear. And the result seems to be that we gave ourselves a month long reprieve, and that’s it.

  13. “The ‘cult’ of mask wearing”?
    Rather a big cult when more members are in it than out of it.
    I’d call it the necessary evil of mask wearing and leave it there.

  14. The vaccine is known to be less effective against two varients in particular the Brazilian and the SouthAfrican one.
    ~So it’s not a surprise that there are cases occuring where vaccination has been completed.
    ~Many particularly nursing home workers come from a background that is vaccine hesitant, too.
    ~no vaccine is 100% fullproof

    More claims of surprise at what isn’t a surprise from those vaccinophobes isn’t a surprise either.

  15. “I’d call it the necessary evil of mask wearing and leave it there”

    Once you start rationalizing the “necessity” of capitulating to and cooperating with evil, you are well and truly lost – and helping to build a tyrannical and evil world not worth living in.

    Ditto your chatter about “variants” (this seems a peculiarly British obsession these days – as if no virus ever mutated, and as if mutation necessarily means “worse.” Flu mutates every year as well – that’s why Big Pharma is always pressuring people to get a new flu vax every year. Cha-ching!).

    The only thing that matters is that none of this insanity – masks, vaccine obsession, “variant” scare-mongering, etc. – is remotely justified for a virus that 99.98% of people survive contact with and is literally no more deadly than ordinary flu (and for some demographics, actually even less so). As Rogelio rightly said, it doesn’t even matter if these measures “work” in whatever vague or marginal sense one can claim by manipulating stats – they are still an unjust and insupportable imposition on living life itself.

    And regarding the vaccines: How many people are truly giving informed consent for what many probably think is a fully approved and proven-safe vaccine? How many know they are really part of an ongoing trial, with unknown long-term side-effects? How many know they can’t even sue if they are injured by one of these experimental transfection agents? If I were tied to chair with a gun to my head and given a choice between volunteering to be a lab rat for an experimental mRNA vaccine or being injected with the virus itself, I’d take the virus itself with zero hesitation.

  16. Notice how Joy and the MSM always refer to “the vaccine.” There’s three different vaccines currently in use in the US, and they fit into two very different approaches (mRNA vs. exposure to inactive/weak virus). But they are all collectively grouped into “the vaccine.” We hear about how “the vaccine” is nearly 100% effective, except that it isn’t so effective against certain “variants”, and it has barely any side effects. It is of course absurd to think that three separate vaccines developed by different companies and using two drastically different approaches would perform so identically in all ways (and if you dig into actual studies on them, they do not). But the narrative obscures all of this by simply referring to “the vaccine”, which is not really any of the existing vaccines but rather an ideal vaccine that serves whatever purpose they want it to.

  17. Just slightly tweaking official pandemic narratives by introducing the expression: “Vaccine Consenter” reveals how much of the general public perception is a Public Relations Campaign product:

    DENNIS [clearly not a “Vaccine Consenter”] quips: “If I were tied to chair with a gun to my head and given a choice between volunteering to be a lab rat for an experimental mRNA vaccine or being injected with the virus itself, I’d take the virus itself with zero hesitation.”

    DENNIS [and his ornery lot] comprise the “Vaccine Hesitancy” cadres of Gatesian pandemic nomenclature. “Vaccine Hesitancy” is just one of the catchy expressions which top-shelf Public Relations firms have dreamed-up for their generous Government and Corporate paymasters. Another expression recently getting worn thin in Britain/EU MSM is: “Data not Dates” (clever that one).

    Somehow I cannot help but equate “Vaccine Consenter” with “Volunteer” as in: ‘So now lads, which one of you brave soldiers volunteers to scout the enemy’s forward lines tonight? Whereupon ALL seasoned platoon members take one full step backwards in unison, leaving the newest recruit standing front and center, brimming with new found enthusiasm and not a single drop of undignified hesitancy.

  18. The disappearance of the flu

    My guess and the possible reason; the transmission vectors have been eliminated.
    Many Elementary schools are open, but they don’t allow the children to be in close contact to each other. They would normally be less than a foot from each other all day long while talking exuberantly and grabbing at each other and touching common surfaces constantly.
    Nightclubs are closed and popular sport bars are closed or at less than 50% capacity.
    People don’t go to work with a slight fever, sporadic cough or the sniffles.

    If we did that every year, then maybe the flu season would dissipate.
    But, any competent public official with an ounce of wisdom would know the cost is far greater than the benefit.

  19. You only need to compare FLA to CA in terms of infection rates and deaths to know that if masks do any good, the effect is very small…. but the statistics is fun 😉

  20. I believe there is almost nothing we are doing which is significantly changing the trajectory of the pandemic. I think people’s general awareness probably leads to an overall modification of our behaviors in a way that decreases transmission to some degree — for instance maybe people wash their hands more often than they did a year ago; maybe they’re more aware of people talking “in their face” so to speak and so keep their distance a bit more than they used to. Suspension of church services and concert/arena/theater events has likely smoothed out the time course of disease transmission through the population. Having said that, there is a flaw in your reasoning if you point to graphs and say “look, no differences, so masks don’t work.” The flaw is that you don’t know how the same graph would look if the mask conditions were reversed or in some way different. We cannot assume that transmission would be the same in every state at every point in time, so crude comparisons of case numbers by geography are virtually meaningless with regard to learning about causation of anything.

  21. “We hear about how “the vaccine” is nearly 100% effective, except that it isn’t so effective against certain “variants”, and it has barely any side effects….”

    Rudolph makes some good points. One other thing I don’t see talked about at all in the mainstream media really is how studies looking at vaccine efficacy in the real world versus the controlled environment of the volunteers that were part of initial trials shows far less efficacy than Pfizer, Moderna, et al. claim. The people who volunteered for clinical trials tended to be relatively young and healthy, not from the most at risk groups of the over 70s, obese, or those with other underlying conditions. But I saw a report last week saying that some initial anti-body studies among general population receiving “the vaccine” indicate that antibody production in people defined as obese (more and more clearly the biggest risk-factor for susceptibility to Covid) is about half of that claimed by Pfizer, Moderna, etc. after their initial trials.

    And for anyone who thinks that any claims of Pfizer, Moderna, and other companies boosting their vaccines should be taken at face value and without skepticism, here’s an good thread: https://twitter.com/SCRAP_IRON_RYAN/status/1368747044811202560

    “Has Pfizer ever been found guilty in a court of law for scientific fraud? The answer is: YES.

    Has Pfizer ever been found guilty of bribing doctors? The answer is: YES

    Has Pfizer ever been found guilty by a jury of racketeering fraud? The answer is: YES.

    Has Pfizer ever been found guilty of using children in life changing medical experimentation without the knowledge or consent of their parents? The answer is: YES

    Has Pfizer ever lied to regulators about the safety of their products? The answer is YES.

    Has Pfizer ever been found guilty of breaking international law including the Nuremberg Code for unlawfully experimentation on human subjects? The answer is: YES

    Should you trust Pfizer? The answer is: NO”

  22. Dennis,
    I’m not justifying evil in some pure theoretical form. Merely using the phrase which is in common use regarding facts of life.

    “You can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs. “

    I’m more interested in the discussion about why you feel the way you do about what’s been going on. The trouble is that discussion goes nowhere, usually.
    I get that it’s about freedom and politics, for example, I understand that better than you know.
    I would like to put a hypothetical question to you, for example, but fear the discussion is too open and public for people to really respond as they would, truthfully in a more discrete, everyday discussion.

    We are all, presumably, aware there’s an audience here. I try to ignore it because it alters my responses.

    Most of the points raised above seem focussed on matters that are being misrepresented on both *Political sides.

    I wouldn’t listen to the cable news networks for scientific information.
    Listen to those scientists directly, not the quotes and misquotes from politicians and media middle.

    So much commentary assumes that the entire world is divided in to two distinct camps. That is also propaganda, pushed by the angry people on both sides. Not everybody is angry about this.
    There’s a a full spectrum as there so often is.
    It would be good to find points of agreement if there’s to be resolution.

    This disease has raised numerous political and social questions and fights.
    These are things that have simmered in the background for years. What is happening to America has happened in a lot of places, politically, with regards to the globalist agenda, climate change propaganda, PC politics etc.

    When all the dust has settled, there’s going to be a lot of good coming from the situation.

  23. Here’s a perfect example of scaremongering over “variants” (from the UK – surprise! And know their researchers are reliable, right? Just ask Neil Ferguson and Chris Witless!) as reported in RT: https://www.rt.com/uk/517717-britain-covid19-deadly-variant/ (Headline: “More contagious British Covid-19 variant has ‘significantly higher mortality rate’ than other strains, says UK study”):

    “The strain of Covid-19 originally discovered in Kent, South East England, is associated with a much higher risk of fatality, according to new research carried out by the universities of Exeter and Bristol…is 30-100 percent more deadly than other Covid-19 variants in circulation. ‘Coupled with its ability to spread rapidly, this makes B117 a threat that should be taken seriously,’ said Robert Challen, a researcher at Exeter University, who co-led the research. Challen’s team found that the new variant caused 227 deaths in a sample of 54,906 patients, while 141 people died in a sample of the same number of people who had been infected with other Covid-19 strains.”

    Let’s look at those numbers (“from,” “with”, underlying conditions & co-morbidities?…we don’t know, but let’s assume the numbers can be taken at face value in the first place; nor do we know what test methods were used to confirm existence of particular discrete “variants” of Sars-Cov2 in these “patients”):

    New “variant”: 227 deaths in 54,906 “patients” = .4% CFR in that sample (and remember CFR is always much higher than IFR, so .4% CFR probably amounts to true IFR in ordinary flu range like the old strains)

    Other strains: 141 deaths in 54,906 “patients” = .2% CFR in that sample.

    Sorry, but a .2% difference in CFR (with corresponding IFR much, much smaller) in a relatively small sample compared to overall population, just does not warrant this amount of continued scaremongering, continued tyrannical lockdowns, the mask cult, etc.

    This insane projection of hypochondria onto the entire global population over minuscule threats must end, or it’s just all over for civilization. Put a fork in it, and pray for an asteroid to put us out of our misery.

  24. “When all the dust has settled, there’s going to be a lot of good coming from the situation.”

    Highly doubtful. I can’t even begin to imagine how anyone could see any good at all coming in the reasonably foreseeable future. The prospects for life and the world are as bleak as they’ve been in at least a half century. A grim technocratic-corporate-surveillance-state future devoid of real life, liberty or love, and presided over by a corrupt, decadent empire fronted by a senescent, dementia-riddled puppet and lead by midwits pushing “woke” ideology on the world as Western Culture continues its decline into utter ruins.

    Thomas Mann ends “The Magic Mountain,” as Hans Castorp lies face down in the Flemish mud, his European idyll fallen into ruins, with this rather forlorn appeal to hope for a world restored: “And out of this worldwide festival of death, this ugly rutting fever that inflames the rainy evening sky – will love someday rise up out of this to, too?” I think the prospects for the world to come as we approach 2030 – that apparently magical year the Great Resetters have chosen as their benchmark – are even more grim now than they appeared in 1918. Our culture is certainly far worse; can one even imagine a work anywhere near the caliber of “The Magic Mountain” being inspired by current events? Ha!

  25. The opening salvo of Public Relations with the phrase “flatten the curve” (March 2020) should have awakened more people to the impending Medical Tyranny. Flattening a curve on an x/y axis graph does not reduce the area under that curve. The area under the curve represents q=QUANTITY. Whether q=QUANTITY represents cases, or fatalities, or positive-tests it doesn’t matter. ‘Flattening’ THE CURVE does not result in a lowered TOTAL QUANTITY. Once tools of numerical analysis are blindly seeded to “government experts”, interpretations are bound to get opportunistically twisted.

  26. I am hoping to developing a web application to allow people to query for businesses near them that are face-friendly, i.e., don’t require their customers to wear masks. It will be searchable, filterable by type of business (grocery store, restaurant, hardware store, etc.), with a proximity function, showing the closest face-friendly business to a given location (for instance, to where you live). I for one would drive many miles, many towns over, to patronize a face-friendly business over an unfriendly one. Further, the database will include businesses that are unfriendly, & relevant information about *why* they are unfriendly–required by local government, or by choice. If required by local government, the option will be available to send correspondence to the local government demanding changing the rules. If it is by the choice of the business, one will be able to send automated (& customizable) correspondence to the business in question expressing customer preference for a face-friendly policy.

    My hope is to enable the public to speak with their pocketbook, where that is possible, & to protest both to government & businesses where it is not. We definitely need a more unified & coherent voice.

    I am writing here in hopes of gauging the level of interest in such a thing. I am an experienced web & mobile application full-stack developer, but I will need to volunteer my time coding the app, & will need to spin up a server to run it, as well as substantial time researching & populating the database. If people think this would be of value, I will make it happen. Also I would be interested in hearing people’s sense of whether this would be something people would be interested in crowdfunding this project.

    Kind regards,
    Henry

  27. Sounds like a great idea Henry. Not sure how to go about building the database, etc., but I’d definitely use it if something like it existed. If you could know in advance which places were sane, it’d be better than just going somewhere and hoping you don’t get harassed for not wearing a muzzle.

    Of course, I suspect most – especially small businesses – are just going along to avoid persecution by local and state authorities, so the key is getting state mandates (of dubious legality and constitutionality anyway, but people seem to mindlessly follow) out of the way, and I think you’ll see most businesses ditch their requirements as well. We need more to follow the lead of Texas and others.

  28. Dennis,

    I am in Montana. About a month ago, the incoming governor cancelled the ’emergency order’ mask mandate of the previous governor. However, many businesses have continued to require masks of their own accord, including all of the grocery stores in my town. I do see some people flout that, & do it myself when the store is less full, & have yet to see anyone be hassled for it (mostly older people don’t wear them, the ‘most vulnerable’ but who nevertheless seem to have retained the most common sense). Even though Montana is undoubtedly more relaxed on this than places like the East Coast, there are still the propaganda billboards, the scolding letters to the editor, & private businesses continuing their own mask requirements. I do know several people who have been turned out of businesses for refusal to wear a mask, in the neighboring city of Bozeman.

    It seems that the removal of government impositions is not enough in this climate of hysteria to bring us back to normalcy. The private sector needs to know that large numbers of their customer base don’t want this. I also believe that once people who are on the fence–going along to get along–see enough other people not wearing masks, there could be a tipping point, psychologically, where they no longer feel that herd pressure & will tear off the masks themselves.

    For the database, I intend to start by simply going through pre-existing business registries (online Yellow Pages) & asking each open-to-public business for their mask policy. This is what I & my acquaintances have been doing informally. For instance, the local Ace Hardware threw up 8-foot-high plexiglass & all the employees were masked long before anyone else was doing anything like that. I promptly started patronized the local True Value, where they only started wearing masks after the atrocious former governor made them liable to penalties for not doing so, never hassled customers who didn’t, & took them off the day the mandate was done away with. So I will start with my town & work outwards. I would also welcome any volunteers who wanted to do the same for their areas & beyond (there would be an admin interface for managing business entries). I also imagine it might be useful to have some sort of user rating or comment capability, to allow other users to see how going ‘unfaceless’ works in practice at different businesses.

  29. I will further add that simultaneously with the mask mandate’s revocation, the Montana legislature passed a law making private businesses immune from torts regarding COVID-19. Even in a situation of complete civil & criminal legality, many businesses have continued to require masks of their premises. Something more is needed to get things closer to normal, & I’m hoping that free-market pressures might work to that effect.

  30. Perhaps the most depressing “flying during Covid” story I’ve seen, simply because it’s not taking place in March 2020, but now…and even after a year of this, and all we know now about how overblown this virus is, it just seems to be getting worse still. People wearing not just masks but full bodysuits, gloves, and goggles while flying (even kids!)…Covid test before flying plus multiple temperature checks during a single flight (and still a 10-day “quarantine” after passing all tests!), and being told by flight attendants to drink wine with a mask on! (After they had all de-masked for 30 minutes or so to eat their in-flight meals already anyway! Utter madness): https://twitter.com/goddeketal/status/1369919988799315971

  31. Henry: Yes, it may be the case that some private businesses will still try to keep their own masks rules after mandates are gone, but without the cover of the threat of state force, they may at least be weakened, and more of the public may be emboldened to flout them, encouraging more businesses to realize they are futile. Before my state (KY) had a mask mandate starting in mid-July, I went to Kroger, Target, etc. for several months without a mask, despite signs at the store entrances requesting people wear them, and never had anyone bother me. People only started to be bothered by stores once our brain-dead governor issued his lawless mandate and helped encourage the growth of the mask cult. People really seem to think they have some moral obligation to follow unjust laws (which aren’t even real laws, but tyrannical “mandates” by wannabe dictators claiming authority under the guise of a phony “public health emergency”).

    Hopefully things like your database of “face friendly” businesses could also help put pressure on businesses if they get bad ratings or see businesses drop if people avoid due to continuing muzzle enforcement. Of course, so many people seem so taken in by the mask cult, they may actually see the “face friendly” places as the ones to avoid! Such are our perverse times.

  32. Anyone who’s noticed the lack of statistically significant excess deaths for the year 2020, the fact that no one in the US has officially died of influenza or pneumonia since this began, and the curious fact that the Wubonic Plague supposedly has all the exact same symptoms of the common cold–you may already know that on any given day 3% of Americans have a cold–has already reached some conclusions. We already notice the odor of bullshit wafting over all of this ever since a year ago, when it became obvious that, despite obvious, crudely staged video “smuggled out of China” of people dropping dead in the street, this wasn’t Captain Trips. If there were anything to it, the CDC wouldn’t have gotten caught again and again inflating the numbers, and hospitals wouldn’t have gotten caught again and again putting down people who had been decapitated in automobile accidents as “COVID19 deaths.” If any part of it were true, they wouldn’t have to censor people on the Internet for pointing out that the Emperor not only has no clothes, but he’s naked, drunk, and blowing kisses to the crowd from the palace balcony again.

    The Rice Rabies was never anything but a political cudgel with which Leftists beat wypipo, and it’s popular among them because all the pinched-face Karens out there playing Junior G-Man Mask Police haven’t had this fun since they got to be hall monitor when they were eight years old. There’s nothing to it and there never was, just like “global warming,” “systemic racism,” and every other fictional bogeyman the SJWs want us to fear.

    It’s all lies, all of it. These people are evil and insane, and the truth is not in them. Not a word they say is to be believed, including “a,” “an,” or “the.”

  33. Dear Dennis,
    “Ditto your chatter about “variants” (this seems a peculiarly British obsession”
    No, even a school child knows that viruses mutate.

    “ these days – as if no virus ever mutated, and as if mutation necessarily means “worse.””
    No, that’s also always been made clear by our commentators who are responsible for the health response AND those who aren’t.
    The Kent variant, for example, it washed might be less lethal. A less lethal and more transmissible type will probably evolve in time and wash out the more lethal strains, with any luck…but that’s what you’d be relying on.

    “ Flu mutates every year as well – that’s why Big Pharma is always pressuring people to get a new flu vax every year. Cha-ching!).”
    So?

    Like I said, nobody is actually surprised that the virus has mutated.

  34. The Kent virus, it was hoped, might be…less virulent or lethal.

    As it happens it was always the infectiousness that was a problem.
    Just the same reason as for the original covid 19, highly infectious, new disease so no natural or man made herd immunity leads potentially to massive death figure in a large population all in a timeframe that overwhelms emergency services.

    The virus which started from Kent is stickier due to an alteration of the electric charge on the protein.
    So easier to catch, not easier to transmit for the infected person, if you get my meaning.
    “more transmissible”. is the public health perspective.

  35. As to projection of hypochondria onto the world’s population I’d say it’s you and those with the same mindset who are doing the projection.

    Unless projection means something else today.

    Most healthcare practitioners in the UK spend a good deal of their time talking people OUT of their anxieties, not the other way around. Same goes for making public announcements and pronouncements.

    Stress and anxiety doesn’t affect the outcome but they WLL affects the individual’s ability to deal with the outcome. It’s true in all examples.

  36. @Joy,

    I assume by the ‘error in the last sentence’ you mean ‘WLL’. But the real error in your last sentence is the entirety of it. Stress & anxiety do in fact affect the outcome of a disease, heavily. Research the nocebo effect, voodoo death, etc. It is an established fact that stress dampens the immune system, often severely. Therefore, a public health response (including coordinated media campaign) that maximizes, rather than minimizes, stress & anxiety, as the coronavirus response has done, is exactly wrong. That is why up until February or March of 2020, established public health recommendations (e.g., WHO pandemic guidelines 2019) advised against essentially all of the unprecedented (since the middle ages) ‘non-pharmaceutical interventions’ we have been subjected to, which have not ‘controlled’ the disease anywhere, & have wreaked public health & societal ills of their own. The preservation of organic normal life was an essential public health technique & goal of its own, until the lockdown cartel steamrolled everyone with their shockingly successful fear campaign.

    As for your ideas about healthcare workers in the UK talking people out of their anxieties, I don’t buy it. Having worked in the healthcare industry in the US, as a surgical tech & as an EMT, I can say that in my experience healthcare workers are the biggest hypochondriacs around. Not all, obviously, but on average, as a group. Constant exposure to the worst things that can happen to a human body predisposes them to worry about those things more & perceive the risk of those things as greater than the real risk. Just ask any doctor catering to medical students–as the students begin studying a new disease, incidents of students seeking medical care or advice for that disease go up dramatically. All in their heads.

  37. Joy, you seemed to have missed my point about variants, which is that the “variant” obsession is being used (and it seemed to start as a particularly strong obsession in the UK from what I’ve seen in the media, and spread to the US and other places from there) as the latest form of fear porn to exaggerate the threat, and to scare people to death again about Covid – always grossly exaggerated to start with – in order to keep the Covid panic industry, lockdowns, face muzzles, concomitant “vaccine” obsession, “contact tracing” surveillance state, etc., going indefinitely.

    Your own lines about the so-called “Kent” variation are a case in point: “Just the same reason as for the original covid 19, highly infectious, new disease so no natural or man made herd immunity leads potentially to massive death figure in a large population all in a timeframe that overwhelms emergency services.”

    Just pure fear-mongering of the same unjustified type people like the noxious Neil Ferguson and others were putting out a year ago, which we now know was greatly exaggerated and based on models flawed from the start. There was never a “massive death” figure” (in relation to prior years’ all-cause death or of prior years’ deaths from flu-like or respiratory illnesses) or “overwhelmed emergency services” in the first place! Just pushing more of the same discredited fear porn over “variants” now.

    I find it astonishing that you think the only response to the issue of Big Pharma pushing annual flu shots because of variants is simply, “So?” (And as the Pfizer CEO said the other day in an investor call, he see’s a “great opportunity for our company” with Covid too, because he thinks people will need a third Covid shot soon, and annual “boosters” from now on as well). You don’t think any deeper thought needs to be put into whether this is really justified by the actual risks/IFR of either flu or Covid? You don’t think we should be concerned whether Big Pharma is simply pushing more and more vaccines to line its pockets, whether truly medically justified or not (over-vaccination is a serious issue that has grown in the past few decades, and has been credibly linked to the massive rise in things like autism)? You don’t think we should be concerned about potential long-term side-effects of experimental mRNA vaccines rushed to market for a virus 99.98% of people survive contact with? You don’t think we should find something odd in the fact that never in history had there been an effective vaccine for a corona-type virus, but suddenly within a year of a supposedly “novel” virus arising, there are now 13 such vaccines in use worldwide? “So?” is all you can say…and but muh “massive death” and “overwhelmed emergency services”!

  38. Dear Harry,

    You’re right when you speak of the effect of stress on disease and the immune system.

    That’s bread and butter to most/all experienced clinical staff. To those who it is not, they are not of sufficient quality that they would be ideal placed in a position of clinical decision making of any great importance. Juniors of medical and clinical professions, whilst hot on anatomy and physiology, being fresh from having taken exams, are not so hot when it comes to clinical reasoning which is a fundamental type of skill that is developed over time (with any luck). That kind of reasoning not being only the kind worked into a computer programme or even a protocol.

    I wasn’t clear in saying that stress and anxiety do not affect the outcome.
    How does this sound;
    Stress and anxiety at best will make no difference to the outcome of a situation that is out of your overall control.

    I was referring to the epidemic response around the world to which Dennis had referenced a mass paranoia and hypochondria pushed by health care providers. That is plain wrong. Media re the agency who push false information, often knowingly. There are other bad actors, too.

    So I speak directly to the stressing such as talk of Doom and gloom, impending horrors to come and so forth. Briggs usual themes. Individuals have no control over the situation as in all matters of politics. They can only change their own behaviour and act in such a way as to prepare for adversity and understand to what extent there are actions that they might take to help themselves themselves or others.

    If you remain calm you can think straight, is what I meant. I was not speaking about a given individual who has a respiratory crisis. The same is true though inn that case. Calm is the way.
    Knowing the truth and not reacting to false information or misconstruction from meddlers and stirrers. They too are selling solutions to non problems, religious ones, often, and fear of the unknown, shame and guilt are their currency.

    To your point about the affects of stress on physiology you’ll find me frequently referring to this going back years on this site. I hope I’ve made things a bit clearer. It’s the subject of many medical comedies and not without cause. Addisons disease is a good example of the opposite kind of problem. How the nervous systems interact with the immune system and endocrine systems is confounding in its complexity.

    Telling the truth calmly and clearly and with sensitivity is vital in giving information to patients.
    It’s a mainstay of the field in which I work and that is also true for all thinking clinical staff. You would fail if you alarm the patient unnecessarily. Choice of words is important and tailoring what you say to whom you say it is the skill that must be learned. Nobody gets that right all the time but correcting misinformation is so important.

    I wonder why there is so much cherry picking of sound bites and random papers quoted here and there. Peer review is supposed to be public enough so as to sort the wheat from the chaff. Criticism and argument are part of that process. I understand what’s been happening in many areas of science in that regard but all can scrutinise the data from public Health England and from the Office of national statistics. Papers are published and open for scrutiny. Politics has got in the way, self serving media are helping the wrong side if it is expedient for them to do so.

    I have more faith in the general public than you though, it seems. I’ve worked with them for many years and groups are always different from individuals on their own.

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