Betting on the Neanderthals

 

Place your bets: Will newly maskless (i.e. “Neanderthal”) states like Texas and Mississippi experience a surge in COVID-19 cases? Or will cases continue to decline into summer just like the rest of the country and the world? The real problem is that Texas, Mississippi, and Florida jeopardize the establishment plan (a) to take credit for ending the pandemic when it recedes largely on its own, chased by the vaccinations while (b) simultaneously asserting eternal authority such that “normal” activity can only be done from now on subject to revocable permission depending on the discovery/invention of new dangers. If cases in Texas and Mississippi don’t surge, it could threaten the plan.

We can’t drop the fear narrative too early. Saint Anthony Fauci increases the threshold for herd immunity every week–a clear indication that he is not ready to relinquish his role or inadvertently help Neanderthals roll back any newly invented governmental powers. He has gone from 60-70% to 80-90% as the threshold. If you graph it, and project forward, at this rate he will define herd immunity as a minimum of 106.5% sometime in May.

Experts were allegedly surprised last month that SARs-Cov-2/COVID 19/WuFlu case counts dropped in India. Similarly, the failure of Floridians to die in larger numbers has continued to stump top journalists. And stumping himself, renowned expert Dr. Osterholm (author of Minnesota’s COVID-19 response and top Biden WuFlu adviser) predicted a sustained 6-14 week surge in cases at the same moment the rate of new infections in Minnesota was actually declining and about two weeks before infection incidence peaked across the entire upper midwestern US.

In stark contrast, your post author modestly points out (witnesses can be produced who will confirm) that I correctly predicted two weeks and three weeks in advance the COVID case peak day in a dozen US states each prediction correct within 24-48 hours. That is because, apparently unlike leading” experts,” I believe in science, epidemiology, and math but mostly because I can read a graph.  Apparently, most journalists and their favorite experts start with the assumption that this disease should increases unchecked and any declines can only be attributable to NPIs (non-pharmaceutical interventions) implemented by enlightened governments. Hence, their constant surprise and bafflement in response to actual trends and events.

Here are some facts to help you decide whether to reach out to Las Vegas and/or your favorite UK bookmakers if they open the books for COVID counts in dissident jurisdictions:

  • Contrary to “experts” last spring, COVID-19 did do its thing in Gompertz-like curves like every other respiratory epidemic. That means, the numbers initially take off but the rate of increase soon declines because the bug runs out of prime hosts\clusters and optimal conditions. This has resulted in curves that strongly tend to have similar slopes on either side of the peak.  This is true in part because:
    • COVID-19 is seasonal See this and also this.  Factors like sunlight, temperature, humidity, and even seasonal changes in human behavior and biochemistry strongly influence optimal conditions for the spread which in turn helps to explain why:
    • COVID-19 has distinctive regional patterns. NY, NJ and MA had identical curves and all first peaked exactly on April 27. MD, PA, DE and VA peaked at the same time about two weeks later and have shared with nearly identical curves throughout. The whole southern tier of the US and Mexico all shared a peak period at the end of July and beginning of August with similar, lower, flatter case curves than those in the northeast US states in March and April. The central US regional groupings had common peaks in mid-November or early December.
  • COVID-19 has probably infected more than half of the US population by now (29 million reported positives multiplied by six at the low end of CDC estimates of actual infections) and like other COVID variants, that boosts long-lasting T-cell resistance.
  • Every state in the US has had waves in either the spring/summer and/or during normal flu season. Texas and Mississippi both first peaked in mid to late July. So, when these same optimal seasonal conditions for those two states roll around again in 3-4 months, more than half of their populations will have newly acquired T and B-cell immunity in addition to specific antibodies plus the number vaccinated by then.  COVID has no shot at an encore.
  • Contrary to claims and wishes of ardent mask-mandate defenders, there is no jurisdiction in the United States in which one can point to the graphs of case incidence and mask use/mandate implementation and find a correlation reflected in the case numbers. I have been told that masks work but even if in wide use that we should not expect that benefit to show up in the actual aggregate numbers of infections  (a position that does not sound very mathy or sciency somehow).  Therefore, lifting such a mandate should not be expected to influence case numbers either.

So, my bet is that (a) Texas and Mississippi will not experience a resurgence of COVID and certainly not anywhere near the rates at the same times as last year and (b) the reported infection incidence rate will be vanishingly small and the same as the other states in their same COVID regional pattern (GA and FL across to  AZ and CA).

Now to the next bet:  What will be the exact date on which the Biden Administration will claim all credit and declare victory over ending  COVID-19? 

[ My earlier take on Fauci/Cuomo taking credit:   ]

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I won’t take your bet, but I’ll bet it’s sooner rather than later. Biden will probably take credit for the grass growing and the trees blooming, too. Thanks for your clear thinking, OB. It’s such a relief.

    • #1
  2. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    Texas and Mississippi are not “newly maskless.” Restrictions or no restrictions, people in these states, like people everywhere else, will continue to wallow in the aesthetics of crisis for eternity.

    • #2
  3. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Texas is in a bit of a no-win situation due to the flood of illegals coming into the state.  Some have already been diagnosed COVID-positive which will increase the state’s overall numbers.

    If Texas somehow fights its way through that situation, then the Progressives will say that it’s proof positive that the illegals are healthy and that there’s nothing to worry about concerning them.

    Don’t you just love Progressive-Think?

    Geez, that “comment” key is sensitive!  Just depress it and it sends twice!!!

    • #3
  4. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Old Bathos: Now to the next bet: What will be the exact date on which the Biden Administration will claim all credit and declare victory over ending COVID-19? 

    Would declaring victory mean that Biden has to go out in public?  De-militarize the Capitol? Open the schools?  End the vaccinations?  Have a State of the Unions Address?     I don’t see our Fascist Corporate overlords ever giving up power and putting Biden in front of a microphone.

    • #4
  5. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    The screeching is deafening.  We have a school board meeting Monday evening; we surveyed parents and staff and the results are interesting.  (We may see more results before the meeting).  School districts have full authority to decide – no local or state official can override a local decision (thank you Governor Abbott).

    A little over half of the parents and staff answered our questions:  

    Should we require face coverings for students age 10 and up?  

    Parents:  58.2 percent NO. Staff:  53.1 percent YES

     

    Should we require face coverings for staff?

    Parents:  56.8 percent NO.  Staff: 57.3 percent YES

     

    Quite a difference.  I’m on the drop the mask side but we will need to see the rest of the survey results and discuss it in depth. Our board has been unanimous about it being time to stop this.  Since over 90 percent of parents chose in school education, I suspect pro maskers are over represented in the survey sample.

    • #5
  6. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Old Bathos: Now to the next bet: What will be the exact date on which the Biden Administration will claim all credit and declare victory over ending COVID-19? 

    It’s going to be a while. The Democrats with bylines aren’t preparing the battlespace by reducing the level of fear that they peddle. Unlike Trump who put a confident face forward, when asked when normal will return, Joe answered, I hope a year from now. I don’t know why they aren’t trying to swoop in and take credit for Trump’s efforts.

    I expected a whiplash inducing change in reporting on Wu Flu after the election so that Joe could be presented as our savior by February. There was a small change, but as Texas and Mississippi are showing us, we need to be kept in fear.

    • #6
  7. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Great post. Thank you. I too think it is over.

    The weather is helping too. Viruses are very sensitive to temperature and humidity. Whenever we move from one season to another, during that transition, the viruses active in that temperature band start making people sick. Viruses are around us all the time–years ago I read that there are three thousand of them that we know of–but what makes them multiply–and that is their sole reason to exist, to replicate, the little monsters–are changes in the temperature and humidity.

    The year 2019 was a very warm year globally. I am the furthest person you can get from the climate change activists. But weather patterns do emerge, persist, and fade routinely around the globe. Those patterns are due to many geological factors–sun spots, lack of sun spots, underwater volcanoes, and so on–and whatever happened in 2019 and 2020 was anomalous. My kids will support my claim that I was out in my garden in December 2019, and I realized (and told my kids) that we were in deep trouble for viruses that winter. It was way too warm for that time of year. And in 2019 and 2020, Cape Cod never saw a deep freeze.

    The virus outbreaks were originally so noticeably in areas of similar weather patterns–Wuhan, Lombardy, Boston, all very similar–that some scientists were calling it a disease of latitude.

    Last summer, fall, and this current winter, we broke out of those mild weather conditions here on the Cape and I assume elsewhere too. We had some blistering hot days last summer (anything over 90 kills a lot of mosquitoes–Yay!) and some really deep freeze days this winter. I won’t be getting out into the garden for a month or so.

     

    • #7
  8. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Old Bathos: Place your bets: Will newly maskless (i.e. “Neanderthal”) states like Texas and Mississippi experience a surge in COVID-19 cases?

    Part of my Neanderthal thinking is that I don’t really care whether there is a surge in “cases” unless it’s accompanied by a surge in hospitalizations and deaths. And my understanding is that hospitalizations and deaths as a proportion of “cases” has been going down dramatically. 

    • #8
  9. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Texas and Mississippi are not “newly maskless.” Restrictions or no restrictions, people in these states, like people everywhere else, will continue to wallow in the aesthetics of crisis for eternity.

    Yeah, Mrs. Tabby and I (we live in Texas) expect stores and restaurants that are part of national chains to still be restrictive (Target store has already said so).

    We are curious to see how our local church will respond, as we have some vocal members who seem to relish living in fear, and try to insist that everyone else live in their level of fear.

    We do expect our favorite coffee shop restaurant to be pretty loose, as they have been pretty lax about the restrictions ever since they were allowed to reopen at all back in May. They have a small and stable staff, and have not had a mass outbreak of Covid. 

    • #9
  10. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    MarciN (View Comment):
    I am the furthest person you can get from the climate change activists.

    Sounds good to me, how do I get there? I’ll ride anything, plane, train, car, donkey :>)

    • #10
  11. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Great essay, Old Bathos.

    Polling numbers are in on the “Doctor I Trust the Most” Award:

    • #11
  12. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    No. Neanderthals isn’t a perfect anagram of Netherlands. But it’s close and it explains Amsterdam.

    • #12
  13. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Great post, Bathos!  More common sense here than from our government officials.

    • #13
  14. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Texas and Mississippi are not “newly maskless.” Restrictions or no restrictions, people in these states, like people everywhere else, will continue to wallow in the aesthetics of crisis for eternity.

    Yeah, Mrs. Tabby and I (we live in Texas) expect stores and restaurants that are part of national chains to still be restrictive (Target store has already said so).

    We are curious to see how our local church will respond, as we have some vocal members who seem to relish living in fear, and try to insist that everyone else live in their level of fear.

    We do expect our favorite coffee shop restaurant to be pretty loose, as they have been pretty lax about the restrictions ever since they were allowed to reopen at all back in May. They have a small and stable staff, and have not had a mass outbreak of Covid.

    In Cleveland, I see more and more people walking outside completely alone, at least 100 feet from the nearest person, and wearing a mask.  Or driving alone in a car and wearing a mask.  In fact it can be difficult around here to find people who are showing their faces at all.  It’s like a Zombie Apocalypse.

    I got my first Covid vaccine shot yesterday and I joked with a guy who walked out of the building with me, who kept his mask on while walking to his car.  I said “Now that we’re vaccinated you can take the mask off!”  Another vaccinated  guy behind us groaned “You can take your own chances, Buddy.  I’m keepin’ mine on.”

    • #14
  15. Marythefifth Member
    Marythefifth
    @Marythefifth

    I’m in Dallas. I doubt I’ll find a building, even my small church, where masks will not still be required for who knows how long. Our church has a couple of those fearful squeaky wheels. It just takes one. I must remember that every time I open my mouth, how easily one person can spoil things for the rest.

    • #15
  16. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Great essay, Old Bathos.

    Polling numbers are in on the “Doctor I Trust the Most” Award:

    You forgot Dr. Doolittle!

    • #16
  17. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Great essay, Old Bathos.

    Polling numbers are in on the “Doctor I Trust the Most” Award:

    You forgot Dr. Doolittle!

    Doctor Doom

    Dr. Feelgood

    Dr. J

    Doctor Octopus (Marvel wasn’t too big on abbreviations)

    Dr. Nick Riviera

    Dr. Oz

    Doctor Detroit

    • #17
  18. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Great essay, Old Bathos.

    Polling numbers are in on the “Doctor I Trust the Most” Award:

    You forgot Dr. Doolittle!

    Doctor Doom

    Dr. Feelgood

    Dr. J

    Doctor Octopus (Marvel wasn’t too big on abbreviations)

    Dr. Nick Riviera

    Dr. Oz

    Doctor Detroit

    Doctor Doctor

    • #18
  19. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Great essay, Old Bathos.

    Polling numbers are in on the “Doctor I Trust the Most” Award:

    You forgot Dr. Doolittle!

    Doctor Doom

    Dr. Feelgood

    Dr. J

    Doctor Octopus (Marvel wasn’t too big on abbreviations)

    Dr. Nick Riviera

    Dr. Oz

    Doctor Detroit

    Doctor Fever!

    • #19
  20. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Texas and Mississippi are not “newly maskless.” Restrictions or no restrictions, people in these states, like people everywhere else, will continue to wallow in the aesthetics of crisis for eternity.

    Yeah, Mrs. Tabby and I (we live in Texas) expect stores and restaurants that are part of national chains to still be restrictive (Target store has already said so).

    We are curious to see how our local church will respond, as we have some vocal members who seem to relish living in fear, and try to insist that everyone else live in their level of fear.

    We do expect our favorite coffee shop restaurant to be pretty loose, as they have been pretty lax about the restrictions ever since they were allowed to reopen at all back in May. They have a small and stable staff, and have not had a mass outbreak of Covid.

    In Cleveland, I see more and more people walking outside completely alone, at least 100 feet from the nearest person, and wearing a mask. Or driving alone in a car and wearing a mask. In fact it can be difficult around here to find people who are showing their faces at all. It’s like a Zombie Apocalypse.

    I got my first Covid vaccine shot yesterday and I joked with a guy who walked out of the building with me, who kept his mask on while walking to his car. I said “Now that we’re vaccinated you can take the mask off!” Another vaccinated guy behind us groaned “You can take your own chances, Buddy. I’m keepin’ mine on.”

    It’s this way all across this otherwise fine state. Rural? Urban? Doesn’t matter.

    Head to downtown Columbus? Masks everywhere. Chillicothe? Cyclists in masks. Norwalk? Masked pedestrians. Attica (population 899)? Old ladies in masks waiting to cross the street. Milan? Six-year-old girls in masks playing in the park.

    I swear, things are becoming worse, not better.

    • #20
  21. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Texas and Mississippi are not “newly maskless.” Restrictions or no restrictions, people in these states, like people everywhere else, will continue to wallow in the aesthetics of crisis for eternity.

    Yeah, Mrs. Tabby and I (we live in Texas) expect stores and restaurants that are part of national chains to still be restrictive (Target store has already said so).

    We are curious to see how our local church will respond, as we have some vocal members who seem to relish living in fear, and try to insist that everyone else live in their level of fear.

    We do expect our favorite coffee shop restaurant to be pretty loose, as they have been pretty lax about the restrictions ever since they were allowed to reopen at all back in May. They have a small and stable staff, and have not had a mass outbreak of Covid.

    In Cleveland, I see more and more people walking outside completely alone, at least 100 feet from the nearest person, and wearing a mask. Or driving alone in a car and wearing a mask. In fact it can be difficult around here to find people who are showing their faces at all. It’s like a Zombie Apocalypse.

    I got my first Covid vaccine shot yesterday and I joked with a guy who walked out of the building with me, who kept his mask on while walking to his car. I said “Now that we’re vaccinated you can take the mask off!” Another vaccinated guy behind us groaned “You can take your own chances, Buddy. I’m keepin’ mine on.”

    It’s this way all across this otherwise fine state. Rural? Urban? Doesn’t matter.

    Head to downtown Columbus? Masks everywhere. Chillicothe? Cyclists in masks. Norwalk? Masked pedestrians. Attica (population 899)? Old ladies in masks waiting to cross the street. Milan? Six-year-old girls in masks playing in the park.

    I swear, things are becoming worse, not better.

    You actually want to go to downtown Columbus?  Don’t get me wrong; I used to eat down in German Village once a week and I played basketball at the Schiller Park Rec Center twice a week.  Now, I would never go into downtown Columbus; especially after dark.  

    • #21
  22. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    In Cleveland, I see more and more people walking outside completely alone, at least 100 feet from the nearest person, and wearing a mask. Or driving alone in a car and wearing a mask. In fact it can be difficult around here to find people who are showing their faces at all. It’s like a Zombie Apocalypse.

    I got my first Covid vaccine shot yesterday and I joked with a guy who walked out of the building with me, who kept his mask on while walking to his car. I said “Now that we’re vaccinated you can take the mask off!” Another vaccinated guy behind us groaned “You can take your own chances, Buddy. I’m keepin’ mine on.”

    It’s this way all across this otherwise fine state. Rural? Urban? Doesn’t matter.

    Head to downtown Columbus? Masks everywhere. Chillicothe? Cyclists in masks. Norwalk? Masked pedestrians. Attica (population 899)? Old ladies in masks waiting to cross the street. Milan? Six-year-old girls in masks playing in the park.

    I swear, things are becoming worse, not better.

    I think you are right!  The mask mandate in Ohio specifically states that you don’t have to wear a mask outdoors unless you cannot safely distance six feet from other people.  Ohioans seem to have interpreted this as an order to wear masks 24 hours a day.  I wouldn’t be surprised if some take them into the shower and to bed at night.

    • #22
  23. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    You actually want to go to downtown Columbus? Don’t get me wrong; I used to eat down in German Village once a week and I played basketball at the Schiller Park Rec Center twice a week. Now, I would never go into downtown Columbus; especially after dark.

    My brother lives right next to German Village on the East side.  It is supposedly worse than German Town.  In fact my brother used to share his duplex with a serial killer.  But get this.  The house next door, which had basement walls shearing more than four inches off its foundation, just sold for 275 Grand, as is.  In my small section of Cleveland, housing prices have more than doubled, in just the last two or three years.  They are selling brand new condos for $600,000.00 and they are going like hotcakes.  I think this proves scientifically that wearing masks raises housing prices.  (This is just as scientific as the junk they are feeding us about catching the virus)

    • #23
  24. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    You actually want to go to downtown Columbus? Don’t get me wrong; I used to eat down in German Village once a week and I played basketball at the Schiller Park Rec Center twice a week. Now, I would never go into downtown Columbus; especially after dark.

    My brother lives right next to German Village on the East side. It is supposedly worse than German Town. In fact my brother used to share his duplex with a serial killer. But get this. The house next door, which had basement walls shearing more than four inches off its foundation, just sold for 275 Grand, as is. In my small section of Cleveland, housing prices have more than doubled, in just the last two or three years. They are selling brand new condos for $600,000.00 and they are going like hotcakes. I think this proves scientifically that wearing masks raises housing prices. (This is just as scientific as the junk they are feeding us about catching the virus)

    Yeah, the stories about housing in Columbus are unreal.  I live in a retirement community south of the city but from my friends who still live there, houses are actually selling for thousands of dollars over the asking price and the average time on the market is less than a week.  Not good for young folks who are just starting out.

    • #24
  25. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    CACrabtree (View Comment): You actually want to go to downtown Columbus? Don’t get me wrong; I used to eat down in German Village once a week and I played basketball at the Schiller Park Rec Center twice a week. Now, I would never go into downtown Columbus; especially after dark.

    Only during the day, and only to ogle at the old buildings (or maybe visit the Franklin Park Conservatory, if the world ever becomes normal again).

    You’re right, though. True downtown Columbus, as opposed to urban neighborhoods around downtown, doesn’t have much to offer except some woebegone protest camps on the statehouse lawn.

    • #25
  26. Kephalithos Member
    Kephalithos
    @Kephalithos

    CACrabtree (View Comment): Yeah, the stories about housing in Columbus are unreal. I live in a retirement community south of the city but from my friends who still live there, houses are actually selling for thousands of dollars over the asking price and the average time on the market is less than a week. Not good for young folks who are just starting out.

    There are retirement communities south of Columbus?

    • #26
  27. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment): Yeah, the stories about housing in Columbus are unreal. I live in a retirement community south of the city but from my friends who still live there, houses are actually selling for thousands of dollars over the asking price and the average time on the market is less than a week. Not good for young folks who are just starting out.

    There are retirement communities south of Columbus?

    You betcha.  Way out in the boonies where the sky is blue, the grass is green and the kids don’t try to put a gun in your ribs…

    • #27
  28. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment): Yeah, the stories about housing in Columbus are unreal. I live in a retirement community south of the city but from my friends who still live there, houses are actually selling for thousands of dollars over the asking price and the average time on the market is less than a week. Not good for young folks who are just starting out.

    There are retirement communities south of Columbus?

    You betcha. Way out in the boonies where the sky is blue, the grass is green and the kids don’t try to put a gun in your ribs…

    Off topic but one of my favorite places to kill an hour or three while waiting for a flight in Columbus was here. Well worth the price of admission.

     

    • #28
  29. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    philo (View Comment):

    Off topic but one of my favorite places to kill an hour or three while waiting for a flight in Columbus was here. Well worth the price of admission.

    I’ve gotta ask my brother about that place.  Maybe he’s been there.

     

    • #29
  30. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Steven Seward (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    Off topic but one of my favorite places to kill an hour or three while waiting for a flight in Columbus was here. Well worth the price of admission.

    I’ve gotta ask my brother about that place. Maybe he’s been there.

    I’ve heard stories that they used to have a rather famous “volunteer” or two there.

    • #30