All the good stuff, caveats, code, data sources and explanations are linked, some in Update III, and the most important in Update II, Update IV, Update V, Update VI, Update VII, Update VIII, Update IX, Update X, Update XI, Update XII, Update XIII, Update XIV, Update XV, XVI (doesn’t exist), Update XVII, Update XVIII, Update XIX, Estimated True Infections/Cases, Bayes Theorem & Coronavirus, and the Sanity Check Perspective, so go to them first before asking what-about-this-and-that. Skip to the bottom for the latest model. Thanks to everybody emailing me sources, including Ted Poppke, Jeff Jorgensen, Jim Fedako, Joe Bastardi, Philip Pilkington, John Buckner, Harry Goff, John Goetz, Warren McGee, Robert Kinney III, Paul Hainey, Darren Nelson. https://wmbriggs.com/post/30606/. I’m way, way behind emails.
This trick is from reader Randy Wysong. Open Google, enter any three digit number followed by new cases. Like this: 123 new cases. Quotation marks are not necessary.
Seems to work with four digits too! Looks like it’s from dodgy news sites, and from all times, but damn curious. Best explanation is from Adam Curry on “NO AGENDA EPISODE 1255 – ‘MASK = LOVE’“, start around 50 minutes.
It’s like we said at the very beginning: every new number is fed into the system as if it were news, and it is published as if it were news, and Google picks it up. It’s all automated. Pure propaganda and fear.
Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery that BLM terrorism confers coronadoom immunity. Bill de Blasio says so. De Blasio Tells Covid Contract Tracers Not to Ask Positive Cases If They’ve Attended BLM Protests.
Update: Link fixed Did somebody say conspiracy theory? Covi-pass comes close. I’m not saying it’s mark-of-the-beast or anything. But there is no earthly reason for this, no scientific justification, no sane explanation.
Putting all your health info on a chip a private company can control? And which you need to “return to work”? What could go wrong?
We All Scream
The JB Handley Blog kindly linked back to us, and has a nice breakdown of lockdown madness 2.0.
Perhaps some comfort can be had in the uniformity of the American coronadoom response. It started hysterical, proceeded to the middle phase of hysterical, and finally ended with hysterical.
This made it easy to know where you stood.
The first screech storm was to call those who warned of the virus’s origins, and who suggested curtailing travel from China, “racists”. No day went by without full-pitch roaring promises of millions of dead Americans, hospitals besieged, a medical crisis worse than Armageddon. Models said so.
The long middle full-pitch gibbering was the constant berating of those who violated lockdowns—think of that name!—people who took walks in the air, who dared get a haircut or who whined about returning to work to feed their families. Governments promised further and lengthier lockdowns if people didn’t behave themselves.
When it became obvious, even to government, that deaths were waning and the crisis subsiding, and that there was nothing much left for the caring professions to do, new screams arose that only bad people refused to wear a mask.
And, of course, the frenetic howling about “surges”, “spikes”, and “all-time highs” in new cases which followed from citizens regaining their liberty.
This was a second wave! We went right back to the first wave of hysteria, with threats of re-locking. After all, the media and politicians lectured, the surge was because of people finding their freedom and going outside.
Protest For Thee, But Not For Me
But only if they went outside to restaurants or Trump rallies. Venturing forth to riot, loot, vandalize, pillage, and “protest” conferred coronadoom immunity. No, really, that’s what the “science” showed.
Time on 13 June, only a half hour apart, ran these two headlines: “Physicians have joined protests in cities across the country, and an open letter signed by 1,200 health professionals says protests should not be shut down for fear of COVID-19 transmission,” followed by “Hundreds of far-right protesters defy COVID-19 restrictions to demonstrate in London.”
NBC News a day later ran these two headlines, a little more than an hour apart: “Rally for Black trans lives draws packed crowd to Brooklyn Museum plaza”, and “President Trump plans to rally his supporters next Saturday for the first time since most of the country was shuttered by the coronavirus. But health experts are questioning that decision.”
Newsweek on 22 June matched that feat, and ran these back-to-back stories: “‘No Evidence’ Black Lives Matter protests causes COVID-19 spike: Study”, and “Oklahoma reports highest ever daily COVID-19 cases after Trump Tulsa rally.”
This was not an unusual pattern.
We’ve Got Numbers
Nevertheless, cases did rise after lockdowns eased. A rise in cases sounds bad; at least, the media did its level worst to make it sound bad.
Is it? Well, a case (manifest illness needing or having official treatment) or an infection (just catching the bug, and no treatment needed or sought), are not as bad as a death from the bug. Here is a picture of the CDC’s official weekly COVID-19 deaths, current as of 26 June (the latest numbers available):
There is no “spike” or “surge” in deaths.
It’s important to distinguish between these official CDC deaths and media-reported deaths, which have been consistently higher by about 10% (see the Atlantic’s COVID-19 Tracking Project). As of 26 June, the CDC ascribed 109,188 deaths to coronavirus, while the media said 118,031, almost 9 thousand higher.
The CDC’s numbers are also likely too high, with some deaths with coronavirus being labeled of or caused by coronavirus. Nobody knows the extent of this overstatement, which might takes years to sort out.
What we can do instead is look at the all-cause death reports. These are the weekly counts of deaths from any cause, normalized by population, from 2009 until late June (the CDC has two official sources, which have minor differences; both are plotted here).
The spike caused by coronvirus and seasonal flu are obvious, but then so is the drop off in deaths at the end. The drop off is not as dramatic as it seems, because it takes, according to the CDC, up to eight weeks to gather all reports, though after about two weeks the counts are usually more-or-less complete. The last three weeks are indicated with black dots.
Since this graph is difficult to read, here is blow up, showing the actual counts (not per capita):
The solid line are the all-cause deaths, whereas the dashed line are the same subtracting official COVID deaths. Again, these numbers are subject to revision, but it’s clear, even with delays in reporting, the count of deaths have dropped to usual seasonal levels.
The crisis, at least with respect to deaths, appears to be over. True, deaths might surge again at some future date, but that is a trivial logical true. Deaths might also drop if people start eating better, and that is another logical truth.
On The Case
If deaths are dropping, how are “cases” rising? The infection is probably still spreading somewhat, but most “new” cases are revealed because of testing. When people were locked down, many avoided going to the doctor and hospital for non-COVID ailments. After the lockdowns eased, they returned to have their bunions checked, were given routine covoronavirus tests, and were found either to have an active or past infection. If positive (active or past), they were officially recorded. Hence the “surge” and “spike”.
The media, incidentally, is nowhere close to distinguishing between new and old cases and infections, reporting all tests as if they are new and serious.
Testing is also ramping up by official policy. For instance, the media trumpeted that Oklahoma recorded its “highest single-day increase” in cases. But they forgot to report that the state advertised free testing for that day, which led to higher than normal testing rates.
You can’t find what you didn’t test for. Even using the media’s worst-case-scenario numbers, by 27 June there were 2,498,822 reported positive tests and 119,156 deaths. That’s a death rate of 4.7%. There is no way the virus is killing 4.7% of the people it infected.
What’s happening is that most infections and cases aren’t being measured. This is not in the least unusual. Most who had the bug never had treatment, and many didn’t even know they were infected.
We can picture this using more careful estimates of infection and case rates got by planned surveys of testing (rather than just looking at hospital reports; details are here). The estimated true rates give an idea of the true number of infected and true cases, defined as infections needing but not necessarily receiving official treatment.
The tiny solid line at the bottom are the reported number of cases, which are now about 2.5 million (as noted above). The true number of cases are, however, anywhere from 10 to 40 million. The true number of infections are 45 to 80 million.
Increased testing is revealing some of these previously unmeasured infections and cases.
They Won’t Let The Fat Lady Sing
These numbers suggest we are close to herd immunity, the point at which spreading the disease to new people becomes difficult to impossible. The drop, and continued fall in both official COVID and all-cause deaths, also indicate we should be growing less and not more concerned.
It’s curious, then, that that media and government officials at certain localities suggest the crisis is growing worse.
These people tell us routinely how smart they are, meaning they must know the statistics shown in graphs like those above. Why they are selling a message opposite of what the data tells us is therefore an open question, which I’ll let the reader answer.
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