Statistics

The Aggravations Of Experts

The radio had on a woman frightened about passing on coronadoom to her kids via breast milk. That the lady was fearful isn’t surprising given the constant bombardment of coronadoom propaganda. The basis of the woman’s fear was created by experts. Her own imagination went to work on the structure those experts provided, and built a terrifying edifice.

Before we get to the main point, which isn’t coronadoom but the tyranny of experts, here’s an example of what I mean of self-made expert-caused panic:

Back to the radio. What was irritating was what the radio newsreader said: “We talked to certified lactation specialists who said…”

Certified lactation specialists!

For thousands of years women, sick or well, have fed their brood in the obvious way. It wasn’t until “experts” came along in the Twentieth Century with their charts and statistics, and for-purchase baby formula, that women found a better way.

Better, that is, until further experts came along, now labeled certified lactation specialists, and assured women that teats were tops. Some form of normality returned, but a normality certified by experts. Modern women believed their tits were not just decorative only when scientists finally told them so.

Regular readers will recall this (a perpetual theme) is an instance of scientism of the first kind. This is when an obviously true proposition, known to be true throughout history, is not announced officially as true until certified credentialed experts say it is true, preferably because these experts conducted “randomized” controlled trials.

It’s not that the experts’ information is wrong, or not always, but that it wasn’t needed. It gives false assurances and encourages belief in scientism of the second and deadly kind, which is the believe that science can answer all questions.

We are saturated in examples; lately we have a surfeit of coronadoom examples.

Take the theologians at Fordham University, highlighted in this story:

Reopening Catholic college campuses this fall presents a “wicked problem” with life-and-death consequences, several theologians said Tuesday.

These problems are “so complex as to defy any single solution” and “require ethical triage because every option, it seems, brings a potential for harm to someone in some way,” explained Patrick Hornbeck, professor of theology at Fordham University, at the start of the July 14 online panel, “Reopening Justly or Just Reopening?”

Complex? The meaning of life is nothing next to what do in the face of a routine virus outbreak. As I’ve said before, 2020 is the year experts pretended to forget all they knew about viruses.

After reading this, it’s clear we need a third designation for types of scientism. The first is the useless kind, when science is needlessly consulted. The second is when experts believe that all questions, moral, ethical, physical, and metaphysical, must be answered by science. The theologians come close to this, but what they display instead is pomposity. Scientism of the third kind is thus grandiose hubris.

It’s not wrong a man has an opinion on a subject which touches him, like coronadoom panic, but in which he is largely ignorant, like in the genetics of viruses. College professors who have to addle minds in the fall have to know whether to lay in a new supply of chalk or not. So it’s right they should take about reactions to the panic and how they might affect them or their students.

But it’s pomposity when the ignorant elevate their loose opinions in a such an absurd formal way, as if they are discovering new tenets of ethical behavior.

Formalization of the routine is everywhere. Call it the bureaucratization of knowledge, if you like. It is annoying wherever it is found.

It’s also related to attempts to quantify the unquantifiable. For some reason, a link to the physics journal EPL came across my path. Seems a typical outlet. What was aggravating was the prominent announcement on their home page that their “2019 IMPACT FACTOR” was “1.958”.

Not, mind you, 1.957. But 1.958. Which is better than 1.957. More impactful, a gross contemporary neologism and flawless indicator, when you hear its use, of a mind that has succumbed. Anyway, have we really reached the stage of science where we can measure a journal’s “impact” to the thousandth degree?

It’s not that this measure, and many more like it, is wrong: it’s that it isn’t anything. It’s a hollow shell dressed up to be something. Creators of “impact factors”, nauseating called a “scientometric index“, and a plethora of quantified “scales”, know that we can’t ignore numbers. They are realer than reality. How depressing.

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Categories: Statistics

36 replies »

  1. suggest carrying a 6 to 10 ft tape measure at all times. Minus that, a 6 ft piece of poly pipe will work fine. The Chinese use pool noodles, but they only require 3 ft for school kids. The kids wear them like stupid cartoon propellers on their head. (Laugh. If you want your kid sent back to school….and if you are smart, you WON’T laugh.). Then when attacked by Karens, you can demonstrate their stupidity while screaming back at them. If they argue, demand they pull out their OWN measuring device because if they cared……]

    The anointed Messiah Trump agrees that is again a CRISIS and we need masks (mine non-stained one says “Muzzled Pet) and to be terrified because it’s only going to get worse. He GAVE UP and is planning to let the commies have the place since no one ever backed him to any degree. Hey, better to burn and starve faster anyway.

    We have books for everything from pregancy to raising the brat. Why not lactation. Stupid people can’t be expected to know things. (Proving cave men were 1000% smarter than we are.) Don’t blame lactation experts—blame Dr. Spock. He was the original communist infiltrator to this country.

    The Catholic Church is a communist stronghold. So is the Pope. Sold out for 30,000 pieces of silver. In league with Satan now.

    Reality is a quaint notion now pretty much outlawed. It had a good run, but was tooooo hard. Welcome to the Matrix. (Neo is dead, the red pills are gone, so give up now and save time.)

  2. There is supposed to be an “I” to start my comment. Messed up my cut and paste.

    BTW, Neo died of Covid because he didn’t wear a mask or social distance.

  3. “Reopening Justly or Just Reopening?” *gag*… ‘Peace’ and ‘justice’, as those words are used by liberal Catholic shills, have nothing to do with peace, justice, theology, science, or any kind of truth. They are dog whistles to the Modernist zombies who hug themselves for all to see as they accelerate the suffocation of Christendom by cultural Marxism.

  4. I was told to stop walking in the hallway this morning by a lady condo neighbor who was unpacking her grocery cart. I waited till she went in her door and passed by. Immediately, she started yelling at me because I wasn’t 6 ft away from the grocery cart. There is more virus insanity than virus disease—by far.

  5. From video: “You haven’t got my problem”
    Oh honey … the word is problems.
    He doesn’t have your problem but it’s looking like a lot of people do.
    (the funny bit is she probably exposed herself to more virus talking to him – assuming he had it)

    Michael Dowd the insanity has gone viral – I was going to joke that if we could die from the insanity virus we’d outstrip the Covid deaths – unfortunately the juries still out on that one.

    I’m reminded of the Hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy where they put all the upper management types, hairdressers and phone sanitizers on an ark ship to escape their dying planet. The scientists, engineers and workers would follow along afterwards – right. Turns out those sneaky guys were all wiped out from an unsanitized phone.

    EPL: Nature had an impact factor of 41.577 in 2017 (most of those were probably incestuous – can a journal insist that you cite one of their own?)
    1.9 plus decimal points is nothing to brag about

  6. I procured a modest supply of propeller beanies. Now, when somebody demands I put on a mask, I will demand they put on a propeller beanie. Because I have the exact same authority, and it makes just as much sense.

  7. “A PRIDE of lions”
    “A MURDER of crows”
    A GAGGLE of geese”
    “A POD of whales”
    “An EXALTATION of larks”
    and now, thanks to the venerable Dr. Briggs, we have:
    “An AGGRAVATION of experts”
    Perfect!

  8. It is the immediate, unquestionable faith in anyone labeled an “expert” that takes my breath away.
    I have been labeled a cynic in my own home, because I dare to question!
    What is it in the human psyche that causes otherwise intelligent appearing people to do so?
    It’s now a personal game while out driving in town to see how many idiots I can spot wearing masks, alone in their car.
    People wearing masks out walking in the fresh air and sunshine are too numerous to provide interest.
    I weep.

  9. Good God. In a sane society that British lady in that video should be locked up in an insane asylum. Instead people like her are roaming free and making policies that are ruining the world for the rest of us.

    As Justine in von Trier’s “Melancholia” says, “The Earth is evil. No one will miss it.”

  10. In the spirit of profitably regarding (via Instapundit) US “journalists” as “Democratic [party] operatives with bylines,” I propose that we can profitably regard — being inaccurate only by exception — all US Catholic “theologians” as “the lap dogs of the salon.”

  11. There had been a local mask mandate that has just been superseded by a state mask mandate. But there are differences. For example, the local mask mandate did not apply to children younger than 12, the statewide mask mandate does not apply to children 5 or younger. Because that’s what “the science” says. Of course, the old mask mandate also was done under the auspices of “the science.” I guess “the science” changed its mind on how the disease affects 6-11 year olds.

    Another difference was that the old mask mandate was set to expire in the early fall. The new mask mandate has no expiration date. In his press conference Governor Walz said that he would only rescind it when “the science” showed that it was safe to do so. But then he also said that he does not currently know what metrics would be used to make that decision. And seeing how that he now ignores the old metrics that he used to tout (like number of patients in hospitals) likely it will come down to an arbitrary decision with ad hoc statistics used to justify it. But it will be presented as a cold, inescapable decree of “the science.”

  12. Rudolph: Yes, it is disgusting the way politicians and media are trying to hid behind “the science” as a means to justify hysteria and arbitrary diktats with no legal or constitutional (never mind actual health) justification.

    Aside from absurdities like that arbitrarily shifting age standard, they also usually take no account of the type of mask used, as if it makes no difference whether one is using some homemade thing made out of an old-t-shirt, or a disposable mask, or a properly worn and fitted N-95 mask, etc. Of course, it doesn’t really matter because the point is not actual health and safety but compliance and publicly signalling one’s virtue, so any old face covering will do in order to show you submit. It’s the same principle behind Islam’s veil and burka rules for women – and not surprisingly it too means “submission.”

    The whole “social distancing” thing is another example where differing standards in various countries show appeals to “the science” to be a farce. WHO recommends 1 meter or about 3 ft, CDC 6ft (actually have been pushing for more!), some countries 2 meters, some 1.5 meters, some 1 meter, some 6ft, etc. Completely arbitrary and useless, though extremely damaging to civic live and sanity.

  13. I used this elsewhere but apropos here as well

    Unbelievable paragraph below! It’s From:
    https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/04/commentary-masks-all-covid-19-not-based-sound-data

    We know of workplaces in which employees are told they cannot wear respirators for the hazardous environments they work in, but instead need to wear a cloth mask or face covering. These are dangerous and inappropriate applications that greatly exceed the initial purpose of a cloth mask. We are concerned that many people do not understand the very limited degree of protection a cloth mask or face covering likely offers as source control for people located nearby.

    Follow the EXPERTS (into hell)

    Regarding the above (I think I read this last month (maybe in May)) – it goes back to April, so when I came back I didn’t notice the July 16 update:

    Editor’s Note: The authors added the following statement on Jul 16.

    The authors and CIDRAP have received requests in recent weeks to remove this article from the CIDRAP website. Reasons have included: (1) we don’t truly know that cloth masks (face coverings) are not effective, since the data are so limited, (2) wearing a cloth mask or face covering is better than doing nothing, (3) the article is being used by individuals and groups to support non-mask wearing where mandated and (4) there are now many modeling studies suggesting that cloth masks or face coverings could be effective at flattening the curve and preventing many cases of infection.

    The EXPERTS don’t want you to know stuff that might question their EXPERT opinion (Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re NOT out to get you)

  14. The TimeCorps is in play. How many people were shocked when Trump won the election. I wonder now if Hillary won the first time and everything blew up. Then the TimeCorp intervened and inserted a change to get someone more reasonable. It blew up again. Finally, they fell back on Trump and Voila, we are still here…

    Facial recognition is causing SkyNet to rule and destroy everything. TimeCorp to the rescue. It is now mandated that we all wear masks. Bwahahahaha … SkyNet can’t quite work anymore… (except we still have our phones… )

  15. Science has been corrupted by ideologues for centuries, since at least
    the Enlightenment. The real function of science is to generate an endless
    catalog of uncertainty and fear amenable to an infinite set of coercive agenda.
    It is far superior to religion which relied on simple blind faith to kill. We are
    now faced with an eye-watering panoply of tables, graphs, and gibberish
    most are ill equipped to discuss much less disagree with. A favorite on-line
    amusement today is the crucifixion of ‘the scientific heretic’ by legions of
    Darwinist gibbons spouting their latest ironclad misconceptions. When
    a thesis is proven completely wrong a year, decade, or century later, all is forgotten though a billion people are dead. In this respect science is
    the new and improved quantitative sledge in the toolbox of governance.

    “Quantity has a quality all it’s own.”
    Jugashvili

  16. John B() – The latest absurdity I’ve heard is that if one cannot blow out a nearby candle through a mask, that mask will protect one from coronadoom. My reply to that BS is to recommend the purchase a normal car oil filter (which is usually rated at 25 to 30 microns absolute), remove the filtering material and perform the same test. Can’t blow out the candle, meaning the openings in that material are @ 50 to 100 times the size of viruses.

  17. Bob

    Haven’t “seen” you in a while

    (noticed your rationalcatholic hadn’t been updated since march of 2019)

    FINALLY saw that you had commented somewhere sometime in June/July but you had me going there

  18. People in glasshouses, as they say. I don’t think I’d draw attention to self-appointed experts claiming to be able to answer any question, if I was a member of a religion whose priests and theologians did precisely the same, only with big brass knobs on. Meanwhile, your complaint is a strawman–the only time I ever read anyone claiming that science can answer every any question is in articles like this, written by people like you. And what’s wrong with advice changing in response to improved evidence, anyway? Would you prefer it if we stuck with wrong advice forever, like the Church’s claim that mental illness is caused by demonic possession?

    Regarding ‘coronadoom’, you live in a country where 1,100 people died of Covid19 yesterday, yet where many people are so stupid and selfish that they refuse to take the simple advice of wearing a facemask, for no reason, apparently, other than to exercise their right to be stupid and selfish.

  19. Midwives have always existed and there were wet nurses before the invention of formula. Evaporated milk diluted is also used.

    Women have always advised each other through the ages so perhaps you were poking your nose into a programme which was for girls only? All girls together?

    For about a month now, the media has been trying to push the notion that Covid 19 is a threat for children. It is not. The only “experts” claiming that it is, are on the media’s pay role or clearly trying to make trouble for Trump.
    See Dr Gupta on CNN. Never misses an opportunity to up the fear factor and overplay the doom. Sound a familiar tactic?

    The interesting story is finding out where people go to find out the truth. How do they know it’s the truth? They never show their rationale. They have no justification but their own hysterical outrage. Fear, or jealous anger, take your pick.

  20. Talk about strawmen. Swordfish pushing the false and idiotic trope that the Church believes mental illness is caused by demonic possession. In fact the Church makes a clear distinction between the two, and before any exorcism is ever authorized in a case of possible possession goes through rigorous medical testing to rule out any organic causes like ordinary mental or psychological illness or brain damage.

    And then the claim that 1100 people died “of Covid” yesterday. This is what we are told. Have you verified that each of these was actually “from” and not “with” Covid? Have you verified the ages and underlying conditions of each to be certain Covid was the actual cause of death and not merely a possible proximate contributor to the death of an already very ill person? How many were hospital acquired infections by people who went in for other reasons entirely? How many of these alleged deaths had no underlying conditions at all and were pure “of Covid” deaths? Were each of these claimed “Covid deaths” actually reliably tested and not just one of the proliferating “presumed” cases based on vague symptoms, and which doctors are being pressured to put on death certificates even when it has not been verified that it was the real cause?

    As for people being “stupid” not to take the “simple advice” to wear a face mask…there is no legitimate scientific evidence that general cloth face mask wearing by the general public (the vast majority asymptomatic and never tested for anything) outside a specific medical context in dealing with known infected people is effective in stopping the spread of viruses. In fact there are numerous studies showing this “simple advice” itself to be stupid. Wearing a cloth mask to stop a virus has been likened to trying to stop a bullet with a chain link fence. How about if I gave you the “simple advice” to wear chain link fence meshing around your midriff to protect yourself from being shot? Would you take that “simple advice” or think I was the stupid one for giving it?

    The stupid ones are those who take pseudo-scientific advice (largely given for political reasons in order that politicians can be seen to be “taking action”) in order to assuage their exaggerated fear and paranoia, and who take smug self-satisfaction in being able to publicly advertise how much they “care” by wearing a pointless face diaper as they go about their daily business (even to the ludicrous point of driving alone with a mask on, or walking alone in a park wearing a mask with no one else within 50 ft – I’ve seen those too, though thankfully few so utterly stupid). The stupid ones are those who would bargain away their human dignity in order to buy such smugness and false protection, and who want to make everyone else in the world miserable by forcing us all to pretend to be as fearful and paranoid as they are of breathing the air anywhere or interacting with anyone like sane human beings.

  21. @ Dennis,

    “Swordfish pushing the false and idiotic trope that the Church believes mental illness is caused by demonic possession.”

    The context of my sentence was that this *was* claimed by the Church, but it is idiotic to claim there is such a thing as demonic possession anyway.

    “And then the claim that 1100 people died “of Covid” yesterday. This is what we are told. Have you verified that each of these was actually “from” and not “with” Covid?”

    No, did you verify they weren’t? There isn’t any such thing as a “pure Covid death”, just as there’s no such thing as a pure flu death. You die from pneumonia, organ failure, and other causes, but that doesn’t mean that the pneumonia wasn’t due to Covid19. You are also completely ignoring all the people who don’t die, but who are hospitalised and suffer debilitating symptoms for months afterwards.

    “The stupid ones are those who would bargain away their human dignity […]”

    I don’t see anything dignified about being a stupid, selfish moron who can’t even be bothered to put up with a small inconvenience to potentially save other people’s lives.

  22. I agree with Swordfish’s statement regarding causes of death. certainly, in the data which is produced meticulously daily by PHE and constantly reviewed, the definition of the death count is always clarified when spoken of by our medical officers. The Government politicians do the same by THEIR lead on how to refer to the numbers. They have gone to great lengths to point out that the only true way of getting close to knowing the actual figures is by looking at age adjusted all cause mortality. There has been no alarmism on an official basis. Quite the opposite.

    “Died and tested positive for covid 19”
    The very fact they are so laborious with repeating that fact shows that they are not exaggerating or overstating the case but simply giving a figure.

    I do think too many individuals have crowd sourced information from the internet, aided and abetted by politically motivated social media. The media feeds the right as well as the left. The right, (some of them), are evidently unaware.

    Media on the left is trying to wind up the right, which is very easy. Just as there are people thinking it’s fun to wind up the left. Fun and games for some, a great source of humour it is, but excuse for war, rioting, looting, murder, rebellion, for some who can’t handle their emotions.

    Not a wise thing for a responsible person to be doing. MSM, one day, will be taken in hand.

    Human dignity is not defined by whether or not a mask is worn.
    It hurts some people’s pride, greatly.

    Pride and dignity aren’t the same.
    Self respect is what is at steak. People feel they’re dismantling their bases which they fought so hard to keep. It’s all in the premises. Those premises contain uncertainty and a lot of fear.

    Each ‘side’ in the false covid divide, thinks they have the moral high ground.
    There is no divide, there is just the truth. Nobody knows for sure what to do for the best and there is no such thing as no risk.

    If you draw a line in the sand and tell yourself that’s it, I’m not wearing a mask on pain of death. Well, when they’re mandated your choice is of your own creation.

    Listen to the anaesthetist from Georgia who tells the it like it is and is still a Trump supporter.

    Furthermore, if cloth masks aren’t up to your impeccable infection control standards, buy a surgical one. They’re not in short supply so much now.

  23. Joy and Swordfish

    Can’t disagree … I dropped the from/with argument long ago
    Don’t know if I ever seriously took it up because I knew the CDC would revise according to some model in the end just like 80,000 flu deaths had been reported for the 2017/2018 flu season turned into 61,000.

    I wear a cloth mask or “paper” mask without hesitation. I don’t consider myself a sheeple.
    Because I KNOW I’ll forget it, I keep it on my ears or around my neck and sometimes forget to pull it down off my nose or under my chin when I get in the car. Apologies to anyone that’s offended or amused

    Joy said: ” buy a surgical one.” No thanks, when I was six or seven I was given a “souvenir” mask to take home from the hospital. I don’t know how real it was, but when I tried it I became extremely nauseous. About ten years ago, my wife became concerned enough to order me a stress test. When nothing turned up, the doctor ordered another test to verify my lung capacity. Turns out my lung capacity is about 80 percentile, however my gas exchange was measured about 130 or 140 percentile (I’m thinking the higher number can’t remember).

    There’s every indication that this was/is congenital. A salient point is that my blood pressure has always been prehypertension (130/90). I’m grateful no doctor got excited enough to prescribe medication … it’s what my body needed. I can’t (could never) blow up a balloon to save my life and during my work physical, the doctor kept having me try to float the ball or piston or whatever several times and finally gave up (I think he thought I didn’t know what I was doing). No, I can handle cloth face masks but probably wouldn’t do well with the real thing. No I don’t wear it 8 hours a day as “required”.

    Joy – l ron hubbard responded on the IQ post

  24. “ I don’t see anything dignified about being a stupid, selfish moron who can’t even be bothered to put up with a small inconvenience to potentially save other people’s lives.”

    Again, the stupid ones are those pushing mask tyranny based on pseudoscience (or actually no science at all, just fear mongering and posturing as “doing something”). The mass masked degradation of liberty and human dignity is not a “small inconvenience,” nor is it “saving other people’s lives.” You are exactly the kind of useful idiot media and politicians rely on. Congratulations for playing your assigned part so well.

    Even the WHO’s recent change of mask recommendation was admitted to be from political pressure having nothing at all to do with “the science” ( because there is none supporting this insanity). What a vile and disgusting world this is. It just gets worse, more sickening , contemptible, and disgusting every day.

  25. The ‘experts’ are back! Everybody expects the experts!

    Canadian health dept OKs strangers having sex if they wear masks, don’t look at each other

    The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control insists that the only advisable restriction on sexual behavior during the COVID pandemic is that people shouldn’t face each other.

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/canadian-health-dept-oks-anonymous-sex-during-covid-as-long-as-partners-wear-masks

    “The BC-CDC’s “COVID-19 and Sex” page sets the tone for the advice to come with a declaration that “messages that discourage or shame people from sexual contact can be harmful and may discourage people from seeking essential sexual health services.” The page then explains that while it’s unclear whether semen can transmit the coronavirus, any sexual contact can spread it via touching and transfer of saliva through kissing.

    After stating the obvious, that the virus cannot spread through self-masturbation or via the internet, the agency acknowledges that the risk of catching COVID-19 increases alongside a person’s number of sex partners, yet it does not declare any firm boundaries on the subject.

    The BC-CDC then offers a list of measures one can take to “protect” oneself during sexual activity, including washing before and after, asking partners about their health, keeping their contact information on hand to notify them of any change in diagnosis, and the use of condoms.

    Most controversially, the page lists a variety of measures to reduce or eliminate every aspect of sex other than genital contact — wearing masks; avoiding kissing; choosing positions in which partners don’t face one another; and the use of “barriers, like walls (e.g., glory holes), that allow for sexual contact but prevent close face-to-face contact.”

    Hey, this is the logical route to go when you believe in unreality…

  26. John B,
    Lung function can always be improved somewhat even if it starts at sub optimal.
    Good on your Dr. My Dad says the same thing verbatim about his BP. You’re right some people have measures that suit their system. The only way to know is to test yourself with your own monitor and then you’ve got a proper idea. Calibrate it with the other one, too. The one who had CPR is doing that now.

    Most people don’t care or aren’t driven enough to do something about it unless it impinges or is restrictive. Everybody’s fitness can improve. Mine starts tomorrow again with swimming.

    People in the highest mortality rate for age, have a ninety percent chance of doing fine. Some still won’t know they’ve had a ‘cold’.

    The mask thing as a child for you, was probably association and the smell of the thing. Stuff used to smell of ‘medical things’ in wards. Now everything’s covered in dinosaurs, mutant ninja turtles, and they use non smelly stuff. I think you call it alcohol rub in the US we call it surgical spirit…

    (I had a teddy bear on my IV plaster when I was in last, it wasn’t taken off quite right. Only as an adult have I ben an inpatient.
    When I was four, I took off round Newbury Park Health centre GP practice (where I later worked), throwing chairs in my wake to avoid having an injection. So certain was I that “nobody’s sticking a pin in me’.

    Later I was the one in the practice holding arms for little ones. Mums were sent out of the room. It’s generally the Mums that set the children off. Just as happens with adults in various ways.

    Come to think of it, some plastic can smell nauseating and sense of smell is very acute for children.
    Re your mask:
    It’s all the others wearing one to protect you that works. You know you haven’t got the lurgy, so you wearing one just makes up the numbers and keeps up appearances.

  27. Joy

    Lung function

    At the time of my employment physical, I bicycled everywhere … to school to jobs … easily putting on 35 to 50 miles a day. Don’t know how many standard deviations 80% represents (I know there are people operating with half a lung but don’t they generally need oxygen)? After the third try, I think the doctor chalked it up to the test taker

    As for the mask, I know the smell you mean, antiseptic kind of smell, as I remember it didn’t have a smell. While I’m sure it wasn’t an N95 mask, it was probably real enough and it made me sick trying to breath through it (I’ll grant it might’ve had a plastic smell – what were masks made of circa 1963 – but I was motivated to use it). Could I use one today? don’t know

  28. John B
    Not sure what test you mean:
    The 80% you speak of is not saturation of blood gas, which is the measure for whether someone needs oxygen, That is measured with the peg they put on your finger.

    What you’re describing sounds like a spirometer.

    The capacity is to do with the amount of volume of air. In and out.

    There is a thing called a VPQ test which they will be using for covid when they discover by radiological tests how much blood supply compared to functioning lung is present which should be 100%. All of it
    So lung tissue can be fine but blood supply not exchanging oxygen due to blockages or clots.

    Then there is the ability to breath out at a certain rate which is the test often spoken of by asthmatics , where it’s breathing out that’s a problem due to increased pressure in the bronchi which in turn means you can’t clear the old air and refresh, so a deficit builds up.

    Then there’s the absence e of lung tissue for all kinds of reasons I won’t list one of which would be having only one lung or lobes/segments removed. That would affect lung capacity but not necessarily oxygen saturation as the body adjusts.

    So it’s oxygen saturation in the blood which determine whether or not you require oxygen. That doesn’t require user compliance! You can imagine there are a tonne of ways the system can be impeded.

    You were probably being asked to blow into a cardboard pipe for as long as you could and as fast as you could. It actually takes some skill to get it right anyway.
    The patient has to have a few gos. I reckon you were fine but being too polite with the breath out.
    False positive!

    Wasn’t casting aspersions on your fitness.
    Assuming your test was correct (which it probably wasn’t, since you haven’t had it retested and confirmed). You make the point that you were able to cycle and so your fitness was fine. Oxygen saturation would not have been affected necessarily and you would have noticed. Perhaps high altitude or other kinds of unusual situations might show it up but more likely but was a poor test.

    Re covid, according to our chief medical officer asthmatics, mild or moderate, aren’t particularly having an increased problem unless the asthma is very brittle. It is usually still relative to age and other factors such as weight as there’s more tissue and heavier loads to move. The inflammatory response is what is causing the surprise in some people particularly males who may be very fit. That has helped add to the alarm.

    I wasn’t even a twinkle in 1963 so can’t comment on the masks. Sounds to me like you’ve got a thing about them. Best get one and test. Nausea wouldn’t be the first sign of low oxygen.
    Low blood pressure or low blood sugar, maybe. Or association! You’re still remember it.

    You may very well be just as normal as can be.

    I noticed that someone’s using your name in some sort of sting operation. Pretending to be a Lord Of The Rigs character. I will humour him.

  29. Lord Of The Rings and other typos, sorry, it’s Briggs fault.
    If not, it’s Donald Trump’s fault.

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