Science and Honor Betrayed, Let the Tumbrels Roll

 

When I was a kid, scientists in the movies were either good guys who used their knowledge and skills to solve the problem and kill the monster or the aliens or they were bad guys (“mad scientists”) whose ego caused them to misuse science in an attempt to rule the world.  Those movies never had incompetent scientists trying to fake science and skill to gain power and influence; that would be the movie we are seeing now.

We could start working the script with a long look at the execrable Neil Ferguson who became famous by persuading British authorities that millions of Britons would die from Mad Cow Disease.  He made equally stupid predictions about swine flu and bird flu.  There is nothing in this man’s professional record that would suggest he has any credibility, but damn if the U.K. and the U.S. didn’t base their initial response on his preposterous COVID model which was followed by his even sillier prediction of mass deaths if any nation dared let up on lockdown or closure interventions.

The Real Science Was Available

There was a lot of existing real science to guide our understanding of SARS-COVID-19, starting with the indispensable R. Edgar Hope-Simpson (1908-2003).  He began his medical practice in 1932-3, the year of a major influenza outbreak.  That experience prompted painstaking lifelong research into epidemic diseases.  He was one of the first to link chickenpox to shingles.  The insight that viruses could remain dormant in the body for decades shaped his understanding of other viral diseases.

One of his key insights was that a transmission model of a sick person transferring the infection to an adjacent uninfected person was inadequate and incomplete. If it were that simple, it would be easy to identify and isolate the infected.  The starting point would be more obvious.  The patterns of outbreaks would be different.  But flu outbreaks occur simultaneously across entire regions as if the virus was already widely present and was just waiting for the right conditions.  (Studies from stored sewage samples in Milan and Red Cross blood donation samples found that COVID-19 was likely already present across Europe and the US as early as the autumn of 2019.)  This introduces the notion of seasonality, a broad variance in conditions like temperature, sunlight exposure etc. that makes potential transmitters active and novel spread possible.

I recommend this article addressing the open questions posed by Hope-Simpson about the state of our knowledge about viral epidemics.

It’s the Seasonality, Stupid
The seasonality-driven behavior of flu epidemics also points to the likelihood of dormant agents awaiting the right conditions.  COVID-19 exhibited exactly this kind of pattern.  It does not mean that there is no personal transmission from symptomatic persons.  It does mean that that is not the only or perhaps not even the primary means of transmission.

Western Europe, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts all peaked in reported cases number in the initial wave on almost the same day in mid-April 2020 with identical case curves. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia shared a slightly flatter, identical curve a week later.  The entire southern tier of the US and Mexico shared an even flatter curve peaking at the end of July and early August.  The interior states peaked sharply in late autumn and the whole country saw a rise in early winter.  It is simply not possible that some lone travelers from China in early 2020 started a serial infection to cause these simultaneous regional outbreaks.

You could look at the changing slope of the case curve in any jurisdiction and predict within 48 hours when that number would peak (assuming consistent reporting). And yet the Director of the CDC spoke of “impending doom” at a time when US cases were clearly already on a downslope.  Minnesota’s COVID czar and Biden advisor Dr. Michael Osterholm predicted “10-14 weeks” of “our darkest days” almost on the exact day Minnesota’s fall-winter outbreak began its downslope.

Being oblivious to the seasonality of COVID also caused bizarre, magical thinking among journalists and people who should know better.  The mindset was to look at the time when cases were increasing, find some scapegoat or supposed cause then when the numbers declined, credit some policy intervention.  Anthony Fauci had the audacity (or ignorance?) to tell the US Senate on July 7, 2020, that the decrease in cases in NY was due to Cuomo and DeBlasio following CDC guidance.

Mask mandates as the cause of decreases in case numbers was an especially popular misconception.  One of the dumbest from the WSJ:

Below are the spring 2020 COVID case number graphs (Y-axis values removed) for NY, NJ, MA, Italy, and Sweden.  As an exercise for the student, identify the jurisdictions and indicate which did or did not follow CDC guidance.  Then explain to the class why Dr. Fauci’s assessment of NY case patterns was utter and complete BS.

Thanksgiving travel and the Sturgis bike rally were not “superspreader” events.  There were no “superspreader” events. No governor brought COVID-19 “under control.”  COVID did its thing in exactly the seasonality-governed pattern that would be expected.  Nothing anybody did altered that pattern anywhere.  Yet there was an astonishing volume of published garbage about policy impacts on COVID-19. And there is no sign that real scientific understanding is going to break through anytime soon given the enormous investments in bad journalism in support of bad policy.

Ignoring Actual Science
A restatement of WHO guidance published by Johns Hopkins in September 2019 entitled Preparedness for a High-Impact Respiratory Pathogen Pandemic summarized the state of the art with respect to handling an influenza-like outbreak. The science cited indicated that (a) quarantines and border closings were a waste of time and resources precisely because of the manner and timing in which these kinds of viruses spread; (b) Lockdowns and closures may or may not provide a short-term reduction in infections (“flattening the curve”) but won’t work if attempted for a longer duration.  Even if an extended lockdown provides further reduction, it would come at an unacceptably high cost, and (c) there is inconclusive data about the effectiveness of masks compounded by the likelihood of supply problems of high-end PPE in the event of sudden massive demand.

Sounds to me like WHO nailed it in Sept 2019.  Too bad the “experts” did not read much less follow their own science when COVID-19 hit.

First, Do No Harm
Our genius leaders (under the guidance of our “experts”) gave us economically destructive, porous, utterly stupid, and completely ineffective closures and lockdowns at horrific cost along with the asinine “phased” re-openings with elements like absurd restaurant capacity percentages as if some idiot actually believed there was a magic control knob in the governor’s office.    The science told us this would all be both ineffectual and needlessly costly.  One cannot approve or forgive this line of interventions and claim to be following the science or sincerely acting out of an abundance of caution.  Dozens of studies have confirmed that the lockdowns and closures had zero effect on COVID spread and that data began emerging over a year ago.  This is no longer disputable.

The “experts” have almost all blown off the disastrous rise in mental health issues for kids, the effect of delayed medical treatments, increases in suicides, and drug overdoses all directly attributable to the consequences of the programmatic attempts to curtail COVID, attempts which all failed as the science told us they would and we still did a lousy job of protecting the elderly.  I would argue that the evidence is clear that the NPIs killed more younger people than did COVID. Why were these costs (predictable and obvious from the beginning) never part of the policy equation? Voters getting tired of scare tactics, economic loss, and mask mandates weighed on the policy decisions but excess deaths among younger people (who were not at much risk from COVID) never seemed to be a factor.

The fact that kids rarely get COVID, very rarely experience symptoms, and are very, very poor transmitters is the science. However, that was never the basis for school-related policy.  Kids were knowingly hurt for the benefit of others and that injury had nothing to do with spread containment.

Where is the Spirit of Inquiry? The Scientific Impulse?
There appears to be no curiosity about the obvious failure of the NPIs.  In particular, why aren’t we exploring the reasons for the indisputable fact that mask mandates had no measurable effect on spread anywhere on the planet?  The infuriating response that MDs and surgeons know what they’re doing so only an ignorant rube would question the utility of masks is yet another symptom of the failure to do science and point to framed diplomas instead.  The actual numbers demand an explanation, not elitist snark.  Cites of studies that people who work in professional medical settings get COVID less often is not an answer–surgeons don’t wear the same mask to the Safeway or Pizza Hut then back to the surgical suite. Seriously, though why didn’t mask mandates work at all, anywhere?

“I Am God”-Dr. Jed Hill (Alec Baldwin Malice (1993)

A good friend who is a world-class plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawyer once told me that an arrogant defendant was like money in the bank.  If a doc is going to act like a god then the jury will require that he deliver godlike outcomes.  That should go double for lawyers at blue-chip firms who overcharge and deliver nothing. Moreover, all professionals in public service have a duty of honesty, professionalism, and candor that should be a matter of sacred trust.  Dr. Fauci is Exhibit A for the depressing proposition that our permanent government is run by self-promoting, accountability-free incompetent weasels. How did that happen?

Look up at the diplomas on the wall, shut up and trust me is the mantra for much of what currently ails much in our society.  Mandatory reliance on very sketchy climate modeling, the complete fiasco of the world response to COVID-19, and the lightly credentialed new “scientific” understanding of race, sex, and society all reek of arrogance attached to political agendas that enshrine the “expertise” that claims to justify such agendas.

People think I’m kidding when I keep calling for show trials over the handling of COVID.  I am not. There has to be an accounting somehow. Science was betrayed.  Public trust was horrifically abused.  The rich prospered while the rest suffered.  The rule of law was bent to the breaking point.  There should already be tumbrels headed for the guillotine.  The bourreau should already be sharpening the blade.

How do we ensure that this never happens again if we don’t bring down those who failed, misled, and promoted their own importance at the expense of science, truth, and the welfare of the nation?

Thus endeth the rant.

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  1. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    What a great presentation.

    It will take a while to read through all the links, but I appreciate any body of knowledge emphasizing the real advances in understanding of a disease’s operational code and transmission – which these days means going back to individuals like R. Edgar Hope-Simpson.

    During that same time, a frequently fatal condition known as pellagra was examined. It was found to be a condition relating to the lack of a vitamin or mineral. Simply putting that nutrient back into the afflicted person’s diet brought them back to health.

    Imagine if a Dr Fauci had been around to oversee the matter. I presume he would have declared the data collected on the people who received the nutritional additives to be inadequate, then he would have shut down that study, banned discussion of the observations and insisted on waiting a year or two until a vaccine or some other  expensive medicine was developed. 

    This has been his approach with regards to HCQ and other COVID remedies, thus killing off who knows how many Americans. It also was  his earlier approach in his suppression  of bactrim to treat AIDS, killing approximately 17,000 AIDS patients.

    Then when AZT was released, he allowed false positives to convince healthy people that they were AIDS afflicted, and had them suckle at the teat of Big Pharma for their cocktail of AIDs drugs. These drugs  had many side effects and were super expensive. But as a Bill Gates proxy, he has never had to worry that such “mistakes” won’t be swept under the rug. Now his vaccine for COVID programs are killing and maiming Americans – 300 fatalities a week, and all unnecessary due to actual safe effective and available  remedies existing.

    • #1
  2. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    Old Bathos: Our genius leaders (under the guidance of our “experts”) gave us economically destructive, porous, utterly stupid, and completely ineffective closures and lockdowns at horrific cost along with the asinine “phased” re-openings with elements like absurd restaurant capacity percentages as if some idiot actually believed there was a magic control knob in the governor’s office.

    This has been bothering me, too. As if “when the infection rate drops below 4% restaurants can go to 50% capacity” is somehow “following the science” when it’s really just pulling numbers out of the air. No one had any basis for that kind of rule.

    And I don’t think we can say that the cases and deaths dropped this Spring/Summer because of the vaccines, when they dropped almost exactly the same way last year with no vaccines. 

    It’s maddening. Cases are going up? You people aren’t wearing your masks! Going down? It’s because of the rules the gov put in place! These things were probably going to happen anyway no matter what we did.

    Your point about the sudden breakouts over large areas is something I hadn’t thought about, but that is provocative.

    Sadly, I have no confidence that better information will be coming to us from the CDC or Fauci or the mainstream media. They can’t afford to admit they were wrong.

     

     

    • #2
  3. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Old Bathos:

    The insight that viruses could remain dormant in the body for decades shaped his understanding of other viral diseases.

    One of his key insights was that a transmission model of a sick person transferring the infection to an adjacent uninfected person was inadequate and incomplete. If it were that simple, it would be easy to identify and isolate the infected.  The starting point would be more obvious.  The patterns of outbreaks would be different.  But flu outbreaks occur simultaneously across entire regions as if the virus was already widely present and was just waiting for the right conditions. . . .

    The seasonality-driven behavior of flu epidemics also points to the likelihood of dormant agents awaiting the right conditions.  COVID-19 exhibited exactly this kind of pattern.  It does not mean that there is no personal transmission from symptomatic persons.  It does mean that that is not the only or perhaps not even the primary means of transmission.

    I feel very smart. I have been saying this had to be true since SARS-CoV 2 started, and I’ve always thought this had to be true of the flu.

    • #3
  4. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    There used to be an expression used in my husband’s family that I think describes what the public health officials have been doing in lieu of actual knowledge: “Just take two and hit the left.” :) That’s what they said whenever they weren’t sure what to do in a given situation.

    The entire quarantine timing advice was definitely based on that philosophy. “We don’t know.” That’s why they started at 21 days–the length of time fixed for other upper-respiratory diseases–which they later reduced to 14 days, which they later reduced to 10 days. It was all guesswork. That’s fine until you make it law and start fining people, putting people out of business, and harassing people.

    • #4
  5. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    MarciN (View Comment):

    There used to be an expression used my husband’s family that I think describes what the public health officials have been doing in lieu of actual knowledge: “Just take two and hit the left.” :) That what’s they said when they weren’t sure what to do in a given situation.

    The entire quarantine timing advice was definitely based on that philosophy. “We don’t know.” That’s why they started at 21 days–the length of time fixed for other upper-respiratory diseases–which they later reduced to 14 days, which they later reduced to 10 days. It was all guesswork. That’s fine until you make it law and start fining people, putting people out of business, and harassing people.

    In the UK, right before the Yule tide holidays, the public was told that maybe holiday gathering restrictions could be eased, if the public was willing to have more tightening up of freedoms in January.

    How does that proposition ever translate into being about health? Is COVID a big bad sinister version of Saint Nick, waiting to get a memo saying “COVID baby, don’t infect people during our loosening of restrictions, Dec 20th to Jan 3rd, and in return we will promote the idea of your awesome-ness in mid-January. Hope this meets with yr holiday plans, Dear Epidemic Sir, and Happy Holidays To You And Yours!”

    • #5
  6. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    MarciN (View Comment):

    There used to be an expression used my husband’s family that I think describes what the public health officials have been doing in lieu of actual knowledge: “Just take two and hit the left.” :) That what’s they said when they weren’t sure what to do in a given situation.

    The entire quarantine timing advice was definitely based on that philosophy. “We don’t know.” That’s why they started at 21 days–the length of time fixed for other upper-respiratory diseases–which they later reduced to 14 days, which they later reduced to 10 days. It was all guesswork. That’s fine until you make it law and start fining people, putting people out of business, and harassing people.

    “Two two and hit to left (or right)” is actually based on time-tested baseball wisdom.  I had several RBIs in high school executing exactly that maxim. I resent it being cast down into the level of Fauci-quality advice.

    It would have been a step up if they admitted “we don’t know” but instead we got ever-changing crapola and were continuously told that only rubes and vile Trump supporters would dare to question The Science.

    • #6
  7. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    Slate is complaining about COVID “noble lies” and how they results in a loss of trust:

    “Public health messaging is predicated on trust, which overcomes the enormous complexity of the scientific literature, creating an opportunity to communicate initiatives effectively. Still, violation of this trust renders the communication unreliable. When trust is shattered, messaging is no longer clear and straightforward, and instead results in the audience trying to reverse-engineer the statement based on their view of the speaker’s intent. Simply put, noble lies can rob confidence from the public, leading to confusion, a loss of credibility, conspiracy theories, and obfuscated policy.

    “Noble lies are a trap. We cannot predict the public’s behavior, and loss of trust is devastating. The general population is far too skeptical to blindly follow the advice of experts, and far too intelligent to be easily duped.”

    https://slate.com/technology/2021/07/noble-lies-covid-fauci-cdc-masks.html

     

    • #7
  8. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Matt Bartle (View Comment):
    “The general population is far too skeptical to blindly follow the advice of experts, and far too intelligent to be easily duped.”

    Then why do so many of them still vote Democrat?

    • #8
  9. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Brilliant stuff, Bathos.

    Thanks.

    • #9
  10. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Matt Bartle (View Comment):
    “The general population is far too skeptical to blindly follow the advice of experts, and far too intelligent to be easily duped.”

    Then why do so many of them still vote Democrat?

    Well, it’s Slate. That line did give me some pause.

    • #10
  11. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Old Bathos: Western Europe, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts all peaked in reported cases number in the initial wave on almost the same day in mid-April 2020 with identical case curves. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia shared a slightly flatter, identical curve a week later.  The entire southern tier of the US and Mexico shared an even flatter curve peaking at the end of July and early August.  The interior states peaked sharply in late autumn and the whole country saw a rise in early winter.  It is simply not possible that some lone traveler from China in early 2020 started a serial infection to cause these simultaneous regional outbreaks.

    I’m inclined to disagree here.    
    1. There was a very early hot spot in Italy centered around Milan.   Milan, as it happens, is home to a large number of Chinese-owned firms whose workers come from and frequently go home to … Wuhan

    2 Travel and from Italy & NYC.   Can you say Mario Cuomo?Fugheddaboudit.  JFK.  LAG.  EWR.    

    3 Once the virus was in the NYC mass transit system it was game over.   NY NJ  CT MA  DC  all look alike because they are really all part of the Amtrak/NJ Transit/Metro North megalopolis.   The high population density and rapid public transit virtually guarantee that the virus will hit everywhere in the megalopolis simultaneously.   

    4 PA. MD DE VA.   The megalopolis bedroom communities.   But quickly give way to more rural, less densely populated areas.   Slower rate of spread.   

    This pattern fits precisely with the case data of the initial spread.

    • #11
  12. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Western Europe, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts all peaked in reported cases number in the initial wave on almost the same day in mid-April 2020 with identical case curves. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia shared a slightly flatter, identical curve a week later. The entire southern tier of the US and Mexico shared an even flatter curve peaking at the end of July and early August. The interior states peaked sharply in late autumn and the whole country saw a rise in early winter. It is simply not possible that some lone traveler from China in early 2020 started a serial infection to cause these simultaneous regional outbreaks.

    I’m inclined to disagree here.
    1. There was a very early hot spot in Italy centered around Milan. Milan, as it happens, is home to a large number of Chinese-owned firms whose workers come from and frequently go home to … Wuhan

    2 Travel and from Italy & NYC. Can you say Mario Cuomo?Fugheddaboudit. JFK. LAG. EWR.

    3 Once the virus was in the NYC mass transit system it was game over. NY NJ CT MA DC all look alike because they are really all part of the Amtrak/NJ Transit/Metro North megalopolis. The high population density and rapid public transit virtually guarantee that the virus will hit everywhere in the megalopolis simultaneously.

    4 PA. MD DE VA. The megalopolis bedroom communities. But quickly give way to more rural, less densely populated areas. Slower rate of spread.

    This pattern fits precisely with the case data of the initial spread.

    I thought that too when I read that. 

    I think this is where the “novel” comes into play. I think the dormancy trait kicks in to create the “second wave” and all later outbreaks. 

    • #12
  13. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Old Bathos: Western Europe, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts all peaked in reported cases number in the initial wave on almost the same day in mid-April 2020 with identical case curves. Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia shared a slightly flatter, identical curve a week later. The entire southern tier of the US and Mexico shared an even flatter curve peaking at the end of July and early August. The interior states peaked sharply in late autumn and the whole country saw a rise in early winter. It is simply not possible that some lone traveler from China in early 2020 started a serial infection to cause these simultaneous regional outbreaks.

    I’m inclined to disagree here.
    1. There was a very early hot spot in Italy centered around Milan. Milan, as it happens, is home to a large number of Chinese-owned firms whose workers come from and frequently go home to … Wuhan

    2 Travel and from Italy & NYC. Can you say Mario Cuomo?Fugheddaboudit. JFK. LAG. EWR.

    3 Once the virus was in the NYC mass transit system it was game over. NY NJ CT MA DC all look alike because they are really all part of the Amtrak/NJ Transit/Metro North megalopolis. The high population density and rapid public transit virtually guarantee that the virus will hit everywhere in the megalopolis simultaneously.

    4 PA. MD DE VA. The megalopolis bedroom communities. But quickly give way to more rural, less densely populated areas. Slower rate of spread.

    This pattern fits precisely with the case data of the initial spread.

    The problem is that the appearance was over very wide areas almost instantaneously. We know that COVID is not contagious enough to infect a whole “pocket” then spread geometrically outward that fast for the simple reason that most people are and continue to be resistant.

    You then have to explain why it did not get to Kansas and the Dakotas in a big way until late fall. Surely it should have reached them almost as quickly as it did western PA upstate NY—not six months later. Why did southern CA to GA have a curve more like Mexico, no peak until late summer? Surely those states have as much contact with NY as does MD. I agree that within regions the rural areas lag. There are new transmissions but the larger point is that the paucity of “pockets” and aberrant places means that the seasonality hypothesis is impossible to dismiss.

    Virginia is interesting. It’s curve was absolutely identical to PA, MD and DE in the first wave but now it more closely resembles North Carolina. If you drive south in Virginia and notice where the trees along the road stop being mostly deciduous and become mostly pines, that is a rough climate boundary. When the south of the state was in the right seasonality mode in July, the curve became more southern and less mid-Atlantic. I am too lazy to do a county grouping and plot the curve but I suspect it will be consistent with seasonality.

    To be clear, I don’t deny for a second that a sick, infectious person can transmit COVID-19 to a susceptible person through aerosols. The point is that that is by no means the only route and that long term dormancy and asymptomatic spread long prior to an outbreak of symptomatic infections has a significant role and we are kidding ourselves if our policy approaches pretend otherwise.

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Old Bathos: People think I’m kidding when I keep calling for show trials over the handling of COVID.  I am not. There has to be an accounting somehow. Science was betrayed.  Public trust was horrifically abused.  The rich prospered while the rest suffered.  The rule of law was bent to the breaking point.  There should already be tumbrels headed for the guillotine.  The bourreau should already be sharpening the blade.

    I know you aren’t kidding. But I have little hope that they will be held accountable. Especially as long as Biden is in office. Great post, OB.

    • #14
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

     Predicting the past is a lot easier than predicting the future. 

    • #15
  16. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Predicting the past is a lot easier than predicting the future.

    Meanwhile, “climate change” models don’t do EITHER.

    • #16
  17. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Predicting the past is a lot easier than predicting the future.

    The expert and leaders were not asked to know the future, just honor the science and base actions accordingly and not lie to us.  They had to know that the sum of these NPIs would (a) accomplish almost nothing and (b) at a terrible cost just as they had to know the likely origin of this virus. Insread it was self-image and political advantage all the way.

    I had always assumed that the internet, multiple media outlets and social media would guarantee that bullsh*t could never be crammed down our throats as on commie nations.  Instead it has amplified really bad ideas that can be simply packaged in emotional nuggets.

    • #17
  18. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    You then have to explain why it did not get to Kansas and the Dakotas in a big way until late fall. Surely it should have reached them almost as quickly as it did western PA upstate NY—not six months later.

    I think it’s a population density/public transit thing.   One case on a tractor in Kansas is not equivalent of one case on the subway in NYC or the T in Boston.

    I’m not denying a seasonal factor, especially later in the year.    But to me, the initial phases are nicely explainable without it.

    • #18
  19. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    “I’m a scientist. I don’t believe in anything.”

    • #19
  20. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    “Honor”?  I believe that quaint concept went into the crapper last year.

    P.S.  Great post…

    • #20
  21. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    You then have to explain why it did not get to Kansas and the Dakotas in a big way until late fall. Surely it should have reached them almost as quickly as it did western PA upstate NY—not six months later.

    I think it’s a population density/public transit thing. One case on a tractor in Kansas is not equivalent of one case on the subway in NYC or the T in Boston.

    I’m not denying a seasonal factor, especially later in the year. But to me, the initial phases are nicely explainable without it.

    But why did NY, NJ, MA and most of Western Europe rise and fall in an identical, simultaneous  pattern? Surely there should have been some variance, some difference based on who was exposed first, especially if the spread were geometric.  And can we attribute fewer cases in rural areas solely to later exposure to active infections after the initial outbreaks rather than proportionately fewer asymptomatic contacts well before the outbreaks?

    Maybe some clever people can generate a better transmission model out of the incompleteness of competing transmission modes. 

    I was surprised that the subways did NOT increase cases faster. On the other hand, NYC cases initially seemed to be higher in larger households in denser low-income areas more suggestive of infectious spread. 

    Airlines and interstate truckers regularly visit Kansas. It is simply not possible to have stayed away from the bug for six months. Again, the fact that about a dozen states including Kansas peaked at the same time is not consistent with the gradual personal transmission model. 

    • #21
  22. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    You then have to explain why it did not get to Kansas and the Dakotas in a big way until late fall. Surely it should have reached them almost as quickly as it did western PA upstate NY—not six months later.

    I think it’s a population density/public transit thing. One case on a tractor in Kansas is not equivalent of one case on the subway in NYC or the T in Boston.

    I’m not denying a seasonal factor, especially later in the year. But to me, the initial phases are nicely explainable without it.

    But why did NY, NJ, MA and most of Western Europe rise and fall in an identical, simultaneous pattern? Surely there should have been some variance, some difference based on who was exposed first, especially if the spread were geometric. And can we attribute fewer cases in rural areas solely to later exposure to active infections after the initial outbreaks rather than proportionately fewer asymptomatic contacts well before the outbreaks?

    Maybe some clever people can generate a better transmission model out of the incompleteness of competing transmission modes.

    I was surprised that the subways did NOT increase cases faster. On the other hand, NYC cases initially seemed to be higher in larger households in denser low-income areas more suggestive of infectious spread.

    Airlines and interstate truckers regularly visit Kansas. It is simply not possible to have stayed away from the bug for six months. Again, the fact that about a dozen states including Kansas peaked at the same time is not consistent with the gradual personal transmission model.

     

    The answer is obvious, isn’t it?

     

     

    Chem-trails.

     

     

    • #22
  23. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Big Brother has transitioned into Big Mother, “Do as I say, not as I do,”

    Great post, Bathos.

    • #23
  24. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    But why did NY, NJ, MA and most of Western Europe rise and fall in an identical, simultaneous  pattern?

    I’m not convinced they did, in any way that anyone predicted quantitatively in advance. With a control group for purposes of comparison.  

    • #24
  25. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    If there is such dormancy of the virus, where and how does it reside in the meantime? Is it the strands of nucleic acids constituting the virus are present, but a new head of the virus evolves? Also, why doesn’t the immune system trigger a response to the dormant virus?

    Given this, shouldn’t the theory that the virus arose in a Wuhan lab be thrown out?

    Is there anything that could have been done to mitigate the spread?

    • #25
  26. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    But why did NY, NJ, MA and most of Western Europe rise and fall in an identical, simultaneous pattern?

    I’m not convinced they did, in any way that anyone predicted quantitatively in advance. With a control group for purposes of comparison.

    First, nobody predicted it because we were told there would be no Gompertz curve, no familiar viral behavior—the virus was so unique we could all die unless we hunkered down as ordered.

    Second, it was a fact that states and even countries had nearly identical peak days. That was happening right in front of us (not that the CDC noticed). Go look at the data on Worldometer or elsewhere. It is in the public domain. The seasonality was almost rigid. That it happened is not hypothetical.

    I did in fact correctly predict the shared peak date for KS, ND, SD and NE (Nov 15+-1) about two weeks out through the not-so high tech means of looking at the change in slope in the case curve. You don’t need a control group or a complex model to do that. Once COVID case counts increase, it will not be a varied or random pattern.

    I have no idea as the complete list of conditions COVID needs to break out. I do not know how it runs out of suitable transmitters or ideal conditions. I do know with some certainty that when it does it’s thing, the pattern will be very similar across similar (even non-adjacent) regions that share seasonality ingredients and there will be a distinct curve.

    • #26
  27. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Hang On (View Comment):

    If there is such dormancy of the virus, where and how does it reside in the meantime? Is it the strands of nucleic acids constituting the virus are present, but a new head of the virus evolves? Also, why doesn’t the immune system trigger a response to the dormant virus?

    Given this, shouldn’t the theory that the virus arose in a Wuhan lab be thrown out?

    Is there anything that could have been done to mitigate the spread?

    Good questions. When it got out is an open question. You can’t mitigate what you don’t know exists. Look at the article I linked about similar questions about dormancy posed by Hope-Simpson.

    • #27
  28. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    I was surprised that the subways did NOT increase cases faster. On the other hand, NYC cases initially seemed to be higher in larger households in denser low-income areas more suggestive of infectious spread. 

    But they did.    That’s why the cases in the megalopolis were so high.  Initially of the top 50 counties in the country in terms of case count, 35 were counties that touch Amtrak/Jersey Transit/Metro North.    Those plus Detroit and Chicago metro areas…a few other urban areas.

    The virus arrived in Kansas and the Dakotas etc, but the population density is such that infections just spread more slowly.   There just aren’t as many person to person contacts as there are in denser areas.

    • #28
  29. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    I was surprised that the subways did NOT increase cases faster. On the other hand, NYC cases initially seemed to be higher in larger households in denser low-income areas more suggestive of infectious spread.

    But they did. That’s why the cases in the megalopolis were so high. Initially of the top 50 counties in the country in terms of case count, 35 were counties that touch Amtrak/Jersey Transit/Metro North. Those plus Detroit and Chicago metro areas…a few other urban areas.

    The virus arrived in Kansas and the Dakotas etc, but the population density is such that infections just spread more slowly. There just aren’t as many person to person contacts as there are in denser areas.

    All valid observations.

    Now account for the distinctly non-random timing and the larger regional outcomes. I specifically want to know why the COVID case count in Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota all peaked on Nov 15 2020. How was that the result of randomized, surprisingly late exposures from people in contact with infected subway riders back East? The point you are not addressing is the fact that a weirdly uniform, regionally determined, distinctive pattern occurred and predominated everywhere which should not be the case if the spread were entirely or even mostly from serial contact with actively infected persons. This was exactly the reason Hope-Simpson started looking for explanations arising from dormancy and seasonality. And why our whole model of COVID transmission with magic 6-foot permutations, massive random testing, mask kabuki and 46.8% occupancy in restaurants is so whacked. The experts really don’t have a handle on transmission. 

    • #29
  30. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    So, what do we do now?  Simply disobey our “betters”, always and everywhere.  A Free People should never go down like this again.

    https://rushbabe49.com/2021/07/28/hello-citizens-the-health-nazis-want-to-put-yall-back-in-chains/

     

    • #30