Taiwan has been an excellent source of Science Shield™ pictures. We’ve posted others before. Here’s a new one from a month or so back.
The Science Shield 8000™! When you need to pretend Science is happening. Find one wherever Experts are sold.
To be fair, I want to open up the comments to any and all Experts and Scientists. Go ahead and prove to us exactly how this Science Shield™ blocks the coronadoom. If any can successfully do that, I will give them one hundred American dollars cash. Watch this space!
Besides fun, Taiwan also affords us a wonderful insight into how panics happen, how they build, and how they resolve.
The country was praised by many at first for keeping the coronadoom contained. They were lucky in this in being an island, requiring all incoming travelers to have negative tests, quarantines, and so on. On an island where the airports and shipping can be assiduously watched, this watchfulness is easy. It is, of course, impossible in countries like the USA.
The praise stopped around this time last year. The net leaked, and there was a minor blip up in infections, and also some attributed deaths (on the order of flu in ordinary years). The government quickly locked everything down: restaurants shuttered, schools closed, IDs checked everywhere for everything, the whole litany. Mask mandates naturally.
This, as we have learned from looking at other data, is useless to stop the spread of a respiratory virus. But—and this is key—it was an excellent anti-inducement to venturing out to be tested. Since this was the first time the virus was noticed on the island, most people stayed home and shivered and cried “Save me!” to the government. (We followed all this in the old coronadoom weekly updates.)
In the lockdowns, testing suffered, and this quashed headlines of new “cases”. You can’t have a new “case” without a test. These non-“cases” being non-reported, the public and government calmed down.
All was well, things opened up a bit, but the mandates were kept. Until about a month ago, when the virus was again noticed.
Here, then, is the plot of attributed coronadoom deaths for Taiwan for all time through Saturday, 30 April, recalling the country has about 23.5 million souls:
Study this graph before reading on. Nothing noticeable except for last year’s blip. Not even now. The overall attributed population death rate is under 0.00004. In the States it’s about 0.003, so Taiwan is 100 times smaller. Also recall when contrasting numbers, that flu only returned everywhere in the world only a couple of months ago.
About a month ago, the Ominous Omicron hit. All over Asia and not just Taiwan. China flipped out and now locks 2 to 3 hundred million people down, many imprisoned literally because of their Expert-driven Zero Covid policy. China is crazy.
“How crazy is it?”
Taiwan isn’t that crazy. But it’s crazy enough. For the headlines of a very minor increase in infections (the media there as here wrongly call them “cases”) back in late March caused the public to once again seek out testing. Because the Ominous Omicron is highly infectious, there were more positive tests than the last wave a year ago.
These new tests generated new headlines, once more driving the population into panic. Only this time, because there were almost no deaths, people began to run out to get tested. Here’s a typical headline in the ramp up of the hersteria well after it started on 26 April from Taiwan News.
Do you see where it says that 99.7% of the positive tests are asymptomatic or mild “cases”?
Let me ask that again: Do you see where it says that 99.7% of the positive tests are asymptomatic or mild “cases”?
All right, here is a headline from Saturday, 30 April: “Taiwan ends April with record 15,149 new COVID-19 cases”.
Infections more than doubled in less than a week. Even with a mask mandate (golly).
Buried in the article is this: “Of the new domestic cases reported Saturday, 8,108 were asymptomatic, according to the CECC.” This does not include the mild infections: this is just those people with no symptoms whatsoever who showed up to be tested.
That’s 54% of the infections! Most of the people lining up for tests had no reason to do so other than panic.
This is panic all the way. When 99.7% of the infections require no treatment whatsoever, and when more than half don’t even have symptoms, it can be nothing else but panic.
Here’s the timeline of positive tests:
Notice the lack of correlation with attributed deaths: almost nobody is now dying from the doom. Why fear an infection that will almost certainly cause you no harm, especially if you are not elderly and otherwise ill? Panic and propaganda. The same answer there as here.
Now Taiwan’s CDC, called the CECC, was like ours. Its authorities generated and encouraged fear, hersteria, and panic at the beginning of the coronadoom. Again like our CDC, it kept with these policies until recently. It can’t keep this up forever, because of the tremendous damage government policies have done and are doing. Like here, many jobs were lost, businesses closed, etc., etc., etc.
Again like here, the authorities had a use for juicing the panic initially (for all the many reasons we know), but then the utility of the panic wore off—especially as elections near. This is all terrible, because it is the duty of leaders to be a positive moral force and to provide at least a show of strength to their people. Not in the coronadoom: for most countries, terror and panic was the preferred response. But at least all the oligarchs grew richers.
Anyway, the terror strategy worked beautifully. People indeed panicked. They cherished their fear. They do still, in many cases. And now leaders are having a hard time quelling the terror they instigated. You have to laugh.
Before we come to that, a word about vaccination, which many will credit with the easy spread of the Ominous Omicron. Wait. Hold up. I meant with the decline in deaths.
Here’s where Taiwan’s media does a better job than the American press. First, an article from China Times (a Taiwan paper), which tries to argue that lack of vaccination leads to more positive tests.
The first column shows the number of shots: 0, 1, 2, or 3. The second are the number of positive tests in a certain time period. The third are the number of people across the country in the shot categories. The fourth is the rate per million of positive tests.
It appears those with no shots have higher rates of positive tests. The article asks you to infer the vaccination is working well against the Ominous Omicron.
Problem is, the denominator is wrong. It’s not the number of people in country in each category that’s important: it’s the number of people in that category who show up for testing.
The unvaxxed there are, as here, not loved. They are therefore subject to more propaganda. So it’s very plausible more unvaxxed are showing up to be tested. I haven’t been able to discover any source with testing and vax status.
Here’s another media improvement, best seen in this headline from Focus Taiwan: “Woman to get millions in compensation for vaccine-induced blood clots“. The vax was the AZ, and the lady was in her 40s. You never see that kind of reporting in the USA.
Nor do you see this (indeed, if you try that here, you will be canceled):
They report on possible deaths caused by the vax! Amazing. This is a few weeks old (the “New” is in the week this was reported).
Two things stand out. One, the number of attributed coronadoom deaths total for all time is under 900 in Taiwan. Which makes the possible vax-caused deaths much higher. Two, even though a table (in the article) right above this shows the Pfizer vax being administered even more than the AZ, there are no adverse events reports for Pfizer. Curious.
Anyway, back to how I believe the panic will end. It ended in the States in part when SCOTUS semi-stifled the vax mandate, and in another part when a judge whacked the mask mandate. But it will end mostly because midterm elections are coming.
Only ideologues believe the Putin Price Hike nonsense. People outside the Zoom class and NPR listeners were hurt bad by coronadoom “solutions”, and politicians are trying to run from those “solutions” as fast as their still-semi-panicked populace will let them.
Same thing in Taiwan. Their elections come a bit later than ours. Already opposition candidates are reminding people about the failed “solutions.”
Yet how can the government calm down beast they created? By stopping the testing frenzy.
Officials thus announced “Taiwan to limit PCR tests to those with positive rapid COVID test result”. So you can’t get the official test (the ones reported on above) without first testing positive on a cheap home-based one. Word in the news was that lines were out the door to buy these cheap ones. Even so, this move to make PCR tests harder to get will slow down testing.
Second move was to force a registration and quarantine system (which comes with additional testing) on people who officially test positive and on their close contacts. This didn’t exist before, and began on Sunday, 1 May. There will be much less ardor for testing when the fun goes out of it.
These moves alone can’t end the panic. That requires the help of propagandists. Starting sometime this or next week, I predict, they will have fewer positive tests to report. Here’s the link to check. The decrease in reporting will, with the other moves, diminish the desire to get tested, because people will think the virus is abating.
Which it may or may not. Because the Ominous Omicron is harmless to 99.7% of those it infects, and because it infects so easily, it should still spread with ease. Especially because officials at Taiwan’s CDECC have announced, even at the peak of this panic, relaxation of the island-wide economy crushing restrictions.
As one report yesterday said, “Despite new COVID-19 cases continuing to surge in Taiwan, the country will continue to gradually relax restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the virus”.
No panic lasts forever. These words from Charles Mackay, author of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, are oft-quoted, and for good reason: “People it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”
The people who started the panic and drove the herd mad are beginning to recover.
Buy my new book and learn to argue against the regime: Everything You Believe Is Wrong.