Michigan vs. Texas on COVID-19

 

Michigan is in the middle of a huge spike in COVID-19 cases. This despite the notoriously restrictive public health edicts issued there, such as travel restrictions, that go beyond what most other states employ. Texas famously has kept the restrictions to a minimum and has already stopped some of them, such as lockdowns and a state mandatory mask edict, much to the distress of the President. Yet Texas has seen and continues to see a decline of new cases and deaths.  It’s the same in Florida.

So, what’s going on?

I think a clue to the reason for this paradox is found on the Facebook page of Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s top aide, Tricia Foster. She just went to celebrate spring break in Florida, and pictures of her and her friends partying on the beach, sans masks, and physically very close, are to be found there. So while Michigan has had strict COVID rules since forever, even Whitmer’s aide is ignoring them because Michiganders are tired of it and don’t believe in the restrictions, while in Texas, at least in my experience, most people are still wearing masks, socially distancing, and so on when it’s appropriate because they choose to.

Regulations are, to a significant extent, irrelevant. Public health measures were adopted by people in Texas before the regulations went into effect and have continued after they’ve been rescinded.

Maybe letting the people decide for themselves gets better results.

The most important thing is good information. If the people know what to do and it’s up to them they will for the most part do the right thing. If the people don’t trust what they are being told because they have been repeatedly lied to by government officials who don’t take it seriously themselves then the people won’t act on that knowledge.

I suspect Michigan is like some other states. You can still get a haircut, eat out, travel, or whatever you like if you choose to despite restrictions, and a lot of people do.

Nancy Reagan pushed her “Just Say No” campaign against drug abuse in kids, but it was an educational campaign, not a policy agenda. Yet her “Just Say No” campaign is credited with a big increase in public awareness and concern about drug abuse. Michelle Obama militated for better nutrition in school cafeterias and actually got regulations in place enforcing that sentiment. The results were that kids threw food in the trash. It seems there is a basic difference here in methods and results.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Mostly about vitamin D, I’m afraid.

    • #1
  2. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Roderic: So while Michigan has had strict COVID rules since forever even Whitmer’s aid is ignoring them because Michiganders are tired of it and don’t believe in the restrictions, while in Texas, at least in my experience, most people are still wearing masks, socially distancing and so on when it’s appropriate because they choose to

    Roderic: Maybe letting the people decide for themselves gets better results.

    It was that way in South Dakota last year.  I’m in Raleigh watching the Masters with friends.  Although the hotel I’m in says “masks required,” there are many guests going maskless, and the staff are not enforcing the rules.  It’s the same way in my home town, and I suspect loose enforcement is happening all over.  The police only show up when government or mask Nazis call for help . . .

    • #2
  3. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    In New England, the central heating systems have a lot to do with the development of symptoms and consequent spread of upper respiratory illnesses. This is a fact of life in this part of the country. That’s why people who have wood burning stoves, for example, always put a kettle of water on top.

    When the upper respiratory tract gets too dry, the body responds by overproducing mucus. The human body often goes into self-destructive overproduction. (For example, that’s where acne comes from–it actually results from skin that’s too dry and the body overproduces oil to try to fix it.) The mucus creates a perfect medium for viruses and bacteria to multiply and then spread from one person to the next. The mucus accumulates more at night when people are sleeping than it does during the day when people are moving around and their circulation is better.

    Like Michigan, we’re seeing a spike in virus cases in New England right now, and I’m sure that’s partly a result of the heating systems that are still on at night. Texas covid-19 case counts went up last summer when people started spending time in air-conditioning at night. Central air-conditioning has the same drying effect on the upper respiratory tract as central heating.

    One thing that is keeping a lid on the case counts in New England right now is the routine for testing as soon as symptoms appear and then isolating people who test positive. We are doing a better job of containing clusters of infection.

    I’m hoping when this pandemic burns out, we will have mountains of data to examine that will enable us to construct a model of contagion that is accurate. I think there are complex equations involved that we need time to sift through. It’s really unclear which of the pandemic control measures were actually effective and which were not.

    • #3
  4. Gary Robbins Reagan
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Mostly about vitamin D, I’m afraid.

    Are you suggesting a new vast mandatory national program to force northerners to ingest Vitamin D?  This calls for a new national program!  The folks from the government are only here to help us.

    (Incidentally, my physician swears by Vitamin D, and he suggests 5,000 units a day, after an initial 10,ooo units for a month.)

    • #4
  5. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Mostly about vitamin D, I’m afraid.

    I live in Michigan.  Vitamin D pills,  multivitamins, and Magnesium Citrate are all cheap,  and I take them all.   I suspect natural, sun induced Vitamin D is the most effective,  but the pills can’t hurt.

    Many in Michigan ( and many of the Blue States ) live in abject terror about Covid (and  terror about risk and life in general, I suspect ).   Living in fear can’t be good for the immune system.   I recommend the confidence that comes with faith in Jesus — death is not the final word.   While I trust Jesus, and my death would not be a tragedy since I have the faith in the afterlife,   I do try to prudently minimize risk of dying sooner by taking my vitamins, exercise,  spending time outdoors,   getting vaccinated,  and distancing myself from obviously ill people.

    I really do think it is the living in terror that is killing off the people in the Blue states.

    • #5
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Mostly about vitamin D, I’m afraid.

    Are you suggesting a new vast mandatory national program to force northerners to ingest Vitamin D? This calls for a new national program! The folks from the government are only here to help us.

    (Incidentally, my physician swears by Vitamin D, and he suggests 5,000 units a day, after an initial 10,ooo units for a month.)

    No, I am not suggesting anything mandatory.

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Many in Michigan ( and many of the Blue States ) live in abject terror about Covid (and  terror about risk and life in general, I suspect ).   Living in fear can’t be good for the immune system.   I recommend the confidence that comes with faith in Jesus — death is not the final word.   While I trust Jesus, and my death would not be a tragedy since I have the faith in the afterlife,   I do try to prudently minimize risk of dying sooner by taking my vitamins, exercise,  spending time outdoors,   getting vaccinated,  and distancing myself from obviously ill people.

    I really do think it is the living in terror that is killing off the people in the Blue states.

    Amen, brother.

    • #7
  8. Chris Oler Coolidge
    Chris Oler
    @ChrisO

    And as I check back in with Ricochet, once again Roderic is saying something interesting and sensible. Seems like it happens every time. Good stuff!

    • #8
  9. KCVolunteer Lincoln
    KCVolunteer
    @KCVolunteer

    Looking at data for Michigan;

     

    Starting with confirmed cases we see first a small peak during March and April of 2020, this coincides with increasing spring temperatures. The number of daily deaths are at their highest peak of the ‘pandemic’. This was the time that here in Michigan there were a large number of deaths in Long Term Care Centers (LTCC). Also, remember this was at a time when testing was limited and as little as 5% of the actual cases were confirmed. There is another small peak in mid May, the result of a 50% increase in testing and probably graduation parties. Note in the death graphic, there is not a matching peak of deaths at this time, an indication that younger people, who generally have less severe cases are likely contributors to the peak.  There is another jump in daily case counts the end of June 2020 that coincides with another 30% increase in testing, but again no jump in deaths. Daily confirmed cases and deaths then remain steady over the balance of the summer months. There is as small peak of confirmed cases in late September, probably the result of schools re-opening temporarily, and again no related spike of deaths. There is then an upswing in confirmed cases starting in early October with a the dropping fall temperatures, and a following increase in deaths towards a peak in early December. A short aside, the deaths probably would not have peaked as high during the second surge had the LTCCs been able to prevent new outbreaks in their facilities. The peak of daily cases is on November 10. This is 5 days prior to the state’s mandated increased lockdown measures, and since the delay to onset of symptoms is 2 to 14 days, the credit for declining cases after the 10th can hardly be given to these measures. Winter also, should not be blamed, as new cases and deaths decline steadily during winter until warming temperatures begin arriving in early March 2021. Spring and fall are the critical times for COVID, at least in Michigan.

    • #9
  10. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Mostly about vitamin D, I’m afraid.

    Are you suggesting a new vast mandatory national program to force northerners to ingest Vitamin D? This calls for a new national program! The folks from the government are only here to help us.

    (Incidentally, my physician swears by Vitamin D, and he suggests 5,000 units a day, after an initial 10,ooo units for a month.)

    Vitamin D levels are way too low in much of the world.  Practicing endocrinology in Massachusetts I became a vitamin D fanatic 10-12 years ago when I found that in October, when northern hemisphere levels are highest, 97 of 100 consecutive non-supplementing patients had low vitamin D.  You can hardly overdose on it, so Gary’s Doc is giving good advice, even in sunny Arizona (where I am today with my daughter and our Grand Canyon sunburns).

    North of the Mason Dixon line, no one makes vit D from November-March because the necessary wavelength of sunlight is filtered out by the atmosphere due to the low solar elevation.

    Natural or synthetic vitamin D does not matter, they are metabolized into the same compound in the kidneys.

    When Dr Mrs Doc Robert and I got covid together in December I superdosed on vitamins C and D, she did not and called me a silly Pauling devotee (which I do not deny). I was sicker to start with and got well quicker.   She had residual sensory loss (now resolved) and I did not.  I am an overweight diabetic and she is not, so one would have expected her to do better.  

    Did my use of vitamins give me the better outcome?  Only God knows.

    • #10
  11. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    It has little to do with masks; Covid is seasonal. Texas will go up again (I predict) when it gets hot enough that everybody is mostly indoors. That could well be when Michigan drops. The Corona Porn people will — assuming I’m right — take that to mean that Michigan is virtuous and Texas is evil (or Neanderthal).

    In reality, the virus is going to do what it does, and after two or three rounds it will fall into the general pool of viruses out there that some people get and others don’t get. So if you are immunized by having had the disease or by injection, you should be out there living your life. It’s to your advantage to be exposed to (and have your immune system defeat) the virus and its variants. The more of us that do that, the better off we are.

    Vitamins help, too.

    • #11
  12. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Roderic: Nancy Reagan pushed her “Just Say No” campaign against drug abuse in kids, but it was an educational campaign, not a policy agenda. Yet her “Just Say No” campaign is credited with a big increase in public awareness and concern about drug abuse.

    Did the rate of drug use go down?

    • #12
  13. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    I made my last visit to Michigan this last weekend. My middle son and I flew up, loaded up a U-Haul with the stuff we inherited from my mom when she died two weeks back, and drove it down to our homes in Texas over the weekend. 

    My impressions of the trip:

    1. Michigan is in deadly fear of a disease that is really not deadly. You cannot convince them otherwise, so screw ’em. They get the punishment they deserve for their fears. And they are punishing themselves. The few Michiganians who are not paralyzed by Covid fears seem to be doing okay.
    2. Illinois and Michigan were downright creepy due to their fears of Covid. Indiana was okay – sort of  “they pretend to tell us how deadly this disease is and we pretend to believe them.” No one seemed to really believe it is that dangerous, but – eye-roll – we keep up the masking because it makes our betters feel better.
    3. The further south you got, the saner people became. The night clerk at the motel we stayed at wasn’t wearing a mask, but those at national chain fast-food places were.
    4. When I got to Texas life got normal. We went down US-59/I-69 from Texarkana to get to Houston. Wherever we stopped people were getting on with normal life. We stopped at a plain-Jane restaurant in Atlanta, TX for a meal. (Jack’s Fine Foods. Doesn’t look like much but the food was great!) No one was wearing masks or bothering with social distancing. 

    Boy, I am glad to be home.

    • #13
  14. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    Yeah, I don’t think that has anything to do with it. This is a cold virus, and it does what cold viruses do. I suspect that it shows itself to roughly the same extent that people are fearful of it and constantly testing for it.  If we went back to treating it like a cold (only testing hospital cases where doctors believe it is the primary illness at play), it would “disappear” everywhere.

     

    • #14
  15. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    with the stuff we inherited from my mom when she died two weeks back

    Condolences, Mark. I don’t believe I have seen anything about this earlier.

    • #15
  16. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    with the stuff we inherited from my mom when she died two weeks back

    Condolences, Mark. I don’t believe I have seen anything about this earlier.

    I hadn’t posted this earlier. I was too busy, and I do not advertise in advance when I am absent from my home. It’s not that I don’t trust Ricochetti, but a lot of stuff is on the Main Feed, when it can be seen by anyone. I’ll do a post about it in a day or two.

    • #16
  17. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Roderic: It seems there is a basic difference here in methods and results.

    That, Sir Roderic, is what I call an understatement! Good post. Isn’t common sense refreshing?

    • #17
  18. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Roderic: Nancy Reagan pushed her “Just Say No” campaign against drug abuse in kids, but it was an educational campaign, not a policy agenda. Yet her “Just Say No” campaign is credited with a big increase in public awareness and concern about drug abuse.

    Did the rate of drug use go down?

    It did, but whether it was due to Nancy Reagan’s campaign is hard to say because the war on drugs was ramping up at the same time.  Penalties for drug use and incarcerations went through the roof.

    Nevertheless, the public attitudes about drugs inculcated during the Just Say No era continue to impact us even today.

    • #18
  19. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Yeah, I don’t think that has anything to do with it. This is a cold virus, and it does what cold viruses do. I suspect that it shows itself to roughly the same extent that people are fearful of it and constantly testing for it. If we went back to treating it like a cold (only testing hospital cases where doctors believe it is the primary illness at play), it would “disappear” everywhere.

    As the pandemic winds down and people at risk are vaccinated this is increasingly true.  The disease is showing up in younger people who have mild disease, people who would not have been tested early on.  But earlier in the course of the pandemic there’s no question that this was a deadly disease and nothing like a cold.  Even now people are dying from it, and a COVID death is different from a bad case of the flu.

     

    • #19
  20. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Mostly about vitamin D, I’m afraid.

    Are you suggesting a new vast mandatory national program to force northerners to ingest Vitamin D? This calls for a new national program! The folks from the government are only here to help us.

    (Incidentally, my physician swears by Vitamin D, and he suggests 5,000 units a day, after an initial 10,ooo units for a month.)

    No, just an educational program to get people to take Vit D. And doctors to check levels. Most of the time commercial labs, under Medicare directives in particular, refuse to cover the Vit D levels I order. We have to struggle to get the tests paid for, and we have to struggle to get patients to take Vit D (most won’t–I see patients who visit after visit remain Vit D deficient, and I talk myself blue in the face trying to get patients to take Vit D supplements, and they just won’t do it).  A vigorous educational program. We Endocrinologists tend to view Vitamin D deficiency as related to a lot of problems, including heart disease, cancer, cognitive dysfunction, osteoporosis, balance problems that contribute to falls and fractures, immune disorders, infections, &etc. But no one pays any attention to Endocrinologists. Least of all the patients we see. 

    A large majority of the public is deficient in Vit D and sunshine doesn’t get them to good levels in most of the US. I have practiced in Washington, D. C., California, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Arizona, and Georgia and the large majority of patients in those areas are deficient in Vit D. Hard to make a case that Vit D deficiency is worse in Michigan and the Northeast than in the areas I have practiced, but, since I have not practiced in those areas, maybe it is worse. If so, it must be really, really bad. 

    For over half a century the daily requirements, promulgated by the government, were for 400 IU a day. This proves to be a quarter of the needed supplement amount (1600 IU a day) for optimal supplementation (always taken with meals!!). Experts have pointed out that those requirements were set during war time and were focused on the bare minimum requirement to avoid disease states (rickets, for example) but even in treating osteoporosis patients, the medical standard was to advise supplementation  of 400 IU a day for the better part of my (40 year) medical career. And still, the system is designed to discourage adequate Vit D supplementation. 

    Take your Vitamin D, folks.

    • #20
  21. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    Roderic (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Yeah, I don’t think that has anything to do with it. This is a cold virus, and it does what cold viruses do. I suspect that it shows itself to roughly the same extent that people are fearful of it and constantly testing for it. If we went back to treating it like a cold (only testing hospital cases where doctors believe it is the primary illness at play), it would “disappear” everywhere.

    As the pandemic winds down and people at risk are vaccinated this is increasingly true. The disease is showing up in younger people who have mild disease, people who would not have been tested early on. But earlier in the course of the pandemic there’s no question that this was a deadly disease and nothing like a cold. Even now people are dying from it, and a COVID death is different from a bad case of the flu.

     

    I am not saying that it is the same as the cold, I am saying that it is a cold virus and, in that sense, it will behave like the cold.  In other words, if you test for it everywhere, you are likely to find it.  If you only test for it when necessary (i.e. hospitalizations where covid is the suspected primary cause of illness), you will find those cases where it differs greatly from the common cold.  

    The reality, though, is that there are virtually no “mitigations” that have been shown to be at all effective, so all of the widespread testing gets us absolutely nowhere.  But people don’t like the seeming randomness of this.  So they demand that we treat it as something that it is not.

    • #21
  22. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Roderic (View Comment):
    Nevertheless, the public attitudes about drugs inculcated during the Just Say No era continue to impact us even today.

    Somewhere hear I think I have something for this:

    • #22
  23. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):
    Take your Vitamin D, folks.

    Amen, brother!

    • #23
  24. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    I am not saying that it is the same as the cold, I am saying that it is a cold virus

    Slight correction, both are coronaviruses, so related. It would be like saying humans are gorillas. No, both are great apes, but neither is the other.

    • #24
  25. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Mostly about vitamin D, I’m afraid.

    Are you suggesting a new vast mandatory national program to force northerners to ingest Vitamin D? This calls for a new national program! The folks from the government are only here to help us.

    (Incidentally, my physician swears by Vitamin D, and he suggests 5,000 units a day, after an initial 10,ooo units for a month.)

    Vitamin D levels are way too low in much of the world. Practicing endocrinology in Massachusetts I became a vitamin D fanatic 10-12 years ago when I found that in October, when northern hemisphere levels are highest, 97 of 100 consecutive non-supplementing patients had low vitamin D. You can hardly overdose on it, so Gary’s Doc is giving good advice, even in sunny Arizona (where I am today with my daughter and our Grand Canyon sunburns).

    North of the Mason Dixon line, no one makes vit D from November-March because the necessary wavelength of sunlight is filtered out by the atmosphere due to the low solar elevation.

    Natural or synthetic vitamin D does not matter, they are metabolized into the same compound in the kidneys.

    When Dr Mrs Doc Robert and I got covid together in December I superdosed on vitamins C and D, she did not and called me a silly Pauling devotee (which I do not deny). I was sicker to start with and got well quicker. She had residual sensory loss (now resolved) and I did not. I am an overweight diabetic and she is not, so one would have expected her to do better.

    Did my use of vitamins give me the better outcome? Only God knows.

    In my areas of practice  Vit D deficiency seems to be present in 80 to 90 percent of patients, so a rate of 97% is indeed worse in Massachusetts. That is an impressive number!

    • #25
  26. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Massachusetts has experimented with everything suggested by everyone over the past eighteen months to try to control the spread of this virus. :-) Given that our death toll is near the top of the chart for the fifty states, we can say without qualification that most of the methods didn’t work. :-) 

    So we have stopped doing a lot of the things suggested at the beginning, and now we are heading toward the ideal control measure, which has been around for centuries because it works, and it is the one we all wanted when this started: Isolate people with active symptoms. Do not isolate healthy people. 

    It’s the testing that has enabled us to return to something close to normal here. Cape Cod is fully booked for the entire summer season right now. :-) 

    • #26
  27. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Roderic (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Yeah, I don’t think that has anything to do with it. This is a cold virus, and it does what cold viruses do. I suspect that it shows itself to roughly the same extent that people are fearful of it and constantly testing for it. If we went back to treating it like a cold (only testing hospital cases where doctors believe it is the primary illness at play), it would “disappear” everywhere.

    As the pandemic winds down and people at risk are vaccinated this is increasingly true. The disease is showing up in younger people who have mild disease, people who would not have been tested early on. But earlier in the course of the pandemic there’s no question that this was a deadly disease and nothing like a cold. Even now people are dying from it, and a COVID death is different from a bad case of the flu.

     

    My first wife died of the flu.  She went from being well on Monday night to sniffles on Tuesday night to dead on Wednesday morning.  

    My second wife and I had covid, we were as sick as one can be without requiring hospital care.

    A flu death is worse than a bad case of covid.

    • #27
  28. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Roderic (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Yeah, I don’t think that has anything to do with it. This is a cold virus, and it does what cold viruses do. I suspect that it shows itself to roughly the same extent that people are fearful of it and constantly testing for it. If we went back to treating it like a cold (only testing hospital cases where doctors believe it is the primary illness at play), it would “disappear” everywhere.

    As the pandemic winds down and people at risk are vaccinated this is increasingly true. The disease is showing up in younger people who have mild disease, people who would not have been tested early on. But earlier in the course of the pandemic there’s no question that this was a deadly disease and nothing like a cold. Even now people are dying from it, and a COVID death is different from a bad case of the flu.

     

    My first wife died of the flu. She went from being well on Monday night to sniffles on Tuesday night to dead on Wednesday morning.

    My second wife and I had covid, we were as sick as one can be without requiring hospital care.

    A flu death is worse than a bad case of covid.

    Sorry to hear that.  People die from the flu every year (30,000?).  This year apparently the flu has been eradicated.

    • #28
  29. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    Hammer, The (View Comment):
    The reality, though, is that there are virtually no “mitigations” that have been shown to be at all effective, so all of the widespread testing gets us absolutely nowhere.  But people don’t like the seeming randomness of this.  So they demand that we treat it as something that it is not.

    I agree that with the testing being so uneven that it’s impossible to tell anything from reports of new cases.   A dead body is a fairly easy thing to count, though, so death rates ought to be a reliable if trailing indicator, and I don’t believe that over-diagnosis of COVID deaths is a thing.   Going by that there is no difference between strict lockdown states and lax states, so now we know.  The good news is that the vaccines appear to be having an effect.

    • #29
  30. Hammer, The Member
    Hammer, The
    @RyanM

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Roderic (View Comment):

    Hammer, The (View Comment):

    Yeah, I don’t think that has anything to do with it. This is a cold virus, and it does what cold viruses do. I suspect that it shows itself to roughly the same extent that people are fearful of it and constantly testing for it. If we went back to treating it like a cold (only testing hospital cases where doctors believe it is the primary illness at play), it would “disappear” everywhere.

    As the pandemic winds down and people at risk are vaccinated this is increasingly true. The disease is showing up in younger people who have mild disease, people who would not have been tested early on. But earlier in the course of the pandemic there’s no question that this was a deadly disease and nothing like a cold. Even now people are dying from it, and a COVID death is different from a bad case of the flu.

     

    My first wife died of the flu. She went from being well on Monday night to sniffles on Tuesday night to dead on Wednesday morning.

    My second wife and I had covid, we were as sick as one can be without requiring hospital care.

    A flu death is worse than a bad case of covid.

    My in-laws and sister and brother-in-law all had covid.  My sister lost her voice for a week, and all of them lost their sense of taste, except my brother-in-law, who felt very mild symptoms for a few days.  He has an employee, though, who is 34 years old and died.  People die of colds and of the flu.  I don’t doubt that if we treated colds and flu in the same way that we’ve been treating covid (massive testing, expanded definitions, censoring any sort of debate and eliminating decades of research and wisdom and accumulated knowledge, creating incentives for miscategorization, creating incentives for power grabs, authoritarian rule, and enabling powerful lobbies to benefit either through direct profit, or through putting competitors out of business, or simply by allowing them to “work from home”) – if we did this for the flu and for the cold, I have very little doubt that those things wouldn’t look like national emergencies as well.

    No, they are not all the same thing.  But they are all in the same category of thing, and none of them is so different from the others as to justify the absolute destruction that has been forced on literally the entire world over this past year.  None of them is enough to justify the ongoing transformation of our free society into a technocracy, where individual rights are all but nonexistent, and where the constitution is nothing more than a historical curiosity.

    • #30