Leaving BizarroWorld

      58 Comments on Leaving BizarroWorld

While I was taking a grief break, a handful of states – including my state of Tennessee – decided to leave BizarroWorld and begin opening back up for business. This sparked outrage among people who’ve spent three years screaming that Trump is a fascist dictator, but now want him to act like a fascist dictator instead of allowing governors to decide what’s best for their states. The term the perpetually-outraged crowd kept tossing around was putting the burden on the states.

Ohhhh, I see. Freedom to make your own decisions is a burden now. Well, no worries … there are plenty of politicians who will gladly lift that burden from you.

As soon as Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and a few other states announced they were phasing out the lockdowns, The Twitter universe exploded. The perpetually-outraged crowd tweeted their usual pearls of wisdom … you know, stuff like Well of course, these Republican governors don’t mind sacrificing people’s lives just so businesses can get back to making money! and This just proves southerners are stupid!

Nothing amuses me quite like stupid people calling intelligent people stupid. That’s why my all-time favorite Twitter exchange is this one:

Him: Your stupid.
Me: I believe you mean “you’re stupid.”
Him: No I’m not! YOUR STUPID.

The satirical news site The Babylon Bee captured the Twitter reaction quite nicely:

Satire, sure, but pretty close to what I saw online. For example, this tweet could certainly pass for satire, but it wasn’t – it was a real, honest-to-god tweet by one of the enlightened, blue-checkmark journalists on Twitter:

Boy, that held up well. The blue-check journalist made this bold prediction on April 20, nearly four weeks ago. The Georgia bloodbath failed to materialize. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, because the apocalyptic predictions were based on assumptions we know aren’t true. Namely …

1. COVID-19 is an especially deadly virus
2. Only a small fraction of the population has been exposed, thanks to the lockdown

The second incorrect assumption prompted the first incorrect assumption. If you count the number of deaths and then assume the only people who’ve been exposed are those who show up in hospitals needing treatment, the death rate will appear high. But the enlightened, blue-check journalists seem to have missed the news about the actual exposure rate. This article, for example:

A team at the University of Bonn has tested a randomized sample of 1,000 residents of the town of Gangelt in the north-west of the country, one of the epicenters of the outbreak in Germany. The study found that two percent of the population currently had the virus and that 14 percent were carrying antibodies suggesting that they had already been infected — whether or not they experienced any symptoms. Eliminating an overlap between the two groups, the team concluded that 15 percent of the town have been infected with the virus.

Other studies have found even higher exposure rates:

Nearly one third of 200 Chelsea residents who gave a drop of blood to researchers on the street this week tested positive for antibodies linked to COVID-19, a startling indication of how widespread infections have been in the densely populated city.

The Mass. General researchers ― who excluded anyone who had tested positive for the virus in the standard nasal swab test ― found that 32 percent of participants have had COVID-19, and many didn’t know it.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we’re tanking the economy, bankrupting businesses, and putting people out of work to protect ourselves from a virus that’s sooooo deadly, people can have the antibodies in their systems and be totally unaware they were ever exposed.

Dr. John Ioannidis – one of the voices of sanity from the beginning – also conducted a study to see how many people in a California county had already been exposed. Based on those results, he calculated the death rate. Are you ready?

Wait for it … the death rate among people exposed to coronavirus appears to around 0.1% — which is pretty close to the death rate for seasonal flu. And yet the bed-wetters want to stay locked down as if the Super Flu from Stephen King’s novel The Stand is out there waiting to pounce on anyone who goes outdoors.

To be clear, I’m not saying going into lockdown in March was a mistake. We didn’t know how deadly or widespread the virus was at the time, and the fear of overwhelming the medical system was legitimate. We’re past that now, and yet many people – including politicians — seem to have forgotten why we went into lockdown mode in the first place. A professor from Stanford recently summed up the situation nicely:

Policymakers and the public have not received several key messages that are critical to alleviate fear and guide a safe reopening of society. That has led to a gross failure in policy at the state level:

There has been a failure to remind everyone that the stated goal of the policy – total lockdown and whole-population isolation – has been accomplished in most of the United States, including the epicenter of New York. Specifically, two curves, hospitalizations per day and deaths per day, have flattened. The goal was to prevent hospital overcrowding and, aside from a few in the New York area, hospitals were not overcrowded. Today, most hospitals stand under-filled, necessitating layoffs of personnel. More importantly, it was never a policy goal to eliminate all cases of COVID-19. That is impossible, unnecessary and illogical, when 99 percent of infected people have no significant illness from it.

There has been a failure to reassure everyone that we fully anticipate more cases will occur, whether we test or not, with continuing relaxation of today’s isolation. Since millions of people have the highly contagious infection, and half are entirely asymptomatic, that spread is fully expected. Even though we will see headlines sensationalizing the next projection, the models are already set to adjust upward for less strict isolation.

There has been a failure to educate the public that the overall fatality rate is not only far lower than previously thought but is extremely low in almost everyone other than the elderly… While somehow escaping attention, updated infection fatality rates (IFR) are less than or equal to seasonal flu for those under 60 in France, Spain and the Netherlands. Less than 1 percent of deaths occur in the absence of underlying conditions. Of the exceptionally rare deaths in children in New York City, only one tragic case out of 15,756 COVID-19 deaths – 0.006 percent – was a child without a known underlying condition.

The medical system was successfully saved from being overwhelmed, but in the meantime, the bed-wetters moved the goalposts. They no longer talk about flattening the curve. Now they want us to stay locked down UNTIL IT’S SAFE!

Say what? Until it’s safe?! They apparently believe if we just stay inside long enough, the virus will disappear, and then we can all come out to play again. They haven’t the grasped the fact – and it is a fact – that the virus is here, it’s not going away, and it will spread. I’ll say that again for the slow-witted: the virus is going to spread. And one more time: THE VIRUS IS GOING TO SPREAD. Most of us will be exposed at some point, just as most of us are exposed to cold and flu viruses every year. And just like every year, the vast majority of us will be fine.

When I’ve bothered to debate the issue online, I’ve noticed a curious psychology at work: despite the increasingly good news, some people are very, very wedded to the idea that everything is awful and we’re in the middle of an unprecedented disaster. You simply cannot get these people to accept any good news.

For example, I posted a picture The Older Brother snapped of the ER waiting room at the hospital in Illinois where they took my mom. Here’s your “overwhelmed” hospital:

No line whatsoever at the emergency room. That’s good news, right? But a guy on Facebook jumped through mental hoops so he could continue believing the hospital was, in fact, overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.

They don’t take Covid cases into ER. Most hospitals take Covid cases into different area to avoid spreading the infection. At my local hospital there are huge signs outside saying “Don’t enter if you suspect you have Covid”. Arrow direct you to a different area of the hospital.

Good grief. I’d finally had enough of his doomsday attitude, so I got a bit nasty in my reply:

Ahh, I see! The hospital where my mom was taken is, in fact, overwhelmed with COVID cases, but we’re just not seeing it in the picture because those people entered by a different door. Whew! Thanks for figuring that out. For a moment there, I was afraid we actually had a hospital in the U.S. that isn’t swamped with COVID cases. That would blow our entire world-view, and we can’t have that.

Nice try. My brother has been following the situation in Springfield. The hospitals are not overwhelmed with COVID cases, period. People are not dying for lack of treatment. The entire county of nearly 200,000 people has had 53 cases total, and four deaths — two women in their 70s and two men in their 90s.

Sorry, I can see you really, really, really don’t want to accept that there are many areas in no danger of being overwhelmed, but I’m afraid the good news is what it is. Sometimes we just have to take our lumps and accept the good news, no matter how emotionally attached we are to believing it’s all disastrous everywhere. Keep your chin up … maybe some really, truly, horrible disaster will come along eventually to confirm your world-view and brighten your day.

I’m especially amused by the brave souls who’ve been telling us since 2017 that they’re members of something called #TheResistance – equating themselves with people who risked their lives to sabotage fascist military operations. Now we have politicians actually behaving like fascists … issuing orders to arrest and fine people for daring to be outside without a mask, encouraging citizens to snitch on each other, etc. The mayor of Los Angeles even announced the city will cut off water and electricity to any “non-essential” businesses operating without the city’s blessing.

As far as I can tell, members of #TheResistance don’t see a problem with all this authoritarian overreach. In fact, they’re outraged that people are actually resisting the authoritarian overreach. Those danged protestors want to kill people, doncha know.

All of this was, of course, entirely predictable. As I’ve written in several posts and explained in my Diet, Health and the Wisdom of Crowds speech, The Anointed always follow the same pattern:

To solve a problem, they come up with a Grand Plan, which nearly always involves spending more of other people’s money and restricting more of other people’s freedoms. Check.

Because they are so supremely confident in their own intelligence, The Anointed don’t feel the need to provide evidence the theory behind the plan is correct, and will happily dismiss any evidence the theory is wrong. Check.

Once The Anointed come up with a Grand Plan, the plan is now The Good, so people who oppose the plan aren’t just opposing a plan … no, they’re opposing The Good itself, and they would only do that for one of two reasons: 1) they’re stupid, or 2) they’re evil. Check.

This just proves southerners are stupid … these Republican governors don’t mind sacrificing people’s lives just so businesses can get back to making money.

I began using the term The Anointed after reading Thomas Sowell’s terrific book The Vision of The Anointed. Although I don’t talk about it as often, he also spelled out the alternative vision in the book. He calls it The Tragic Vision. That may sound like an oh, life is awful philosophy, but it’s not. In fact, I’ve found that people who share The Tragic Vision are generally happier than those who share the attitudes of The Anointed.

That’s because while The Anointed are forever dissatisfied and constantly trying to force their version of The Good on us (often making things worse in the process), The Tragic Vision accepts that life on earth will always be imperfect. Those with The Tragic Vision understand that our choices in life are rarely between The Good vs. The Bad; our choices are usually between alternatives that are neither all good nor all bad. That’s just how life is. If you accept and embrace that, you’ll be happier. You may even find yourself engaging in what author/philosopher Joseph Campbell called joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.

The coronavirus is here, it will spread, and it will kill people. That’s bad. However, that doesn’t mean staying in lockdown is The Good. Life has to go on. We’ve faced worse pandemics without panicking and trashing our economy. A nasty flu killed perhaps 80,000 Americans in 2017-2018, but we didn’t shut down the world. In 1969, a flu came along that killed somewhere between a million and four million people worldwide, including more than 100,000 Americans – and that was when our population was only 205 million. The same death rate today would translate to 160,000 dead Americans. But life went on.

Much as The Anointed and the bed-wetters would like to believe the lockdown is about The Good (savings lives!) vs. The Bad (opening up society again just so some greedy business owners can make money), the issue isn’t so childishly simple. Yes, when we start mingling with each other again, more people will become infected and a small fraction of those people will die – and that will happen whether we end the lockdown today or two years from now. It sucks.

But if you really want to see a spike in deaths, just wait until we social-distance ourselves into a worldwide economic meltdown. And unlike COVID-19, which is mostly killing people who are already old or frail, an economic meltdown will end up killing people of all ages.

If you’re afraid the coronavirus will pounce on you and kill you the moment you step outside, here’s the solution: stay home. Lock yourself in your mom’s basement UNTIL IT’S SAFE! (But don’t forget to tweet about how you’re a brave member of #TheResistance. )

Meanwhile, don’t expect the rest of us to stay locked down, and don’t whine about how stupid and evil we are for calling for life to return to normal. It’s time to leave BizarroWorld. Some of us have already left … and despite the predictions of those genius blue-check journalists, we lived to tell the tale.

I’ll close with a quote from the Stanford professor:

The total lockdown may have been justified at the start of this pandemic, but it must now end — smartly, without irrational, unnecessary requirements contrary to medical science, common sense and logic. The goal of the strict isolation was accomplished in the overwhelming majority of places … It’s time to stop the cycle of becoming frantic as we see what are totally expected changes in hypothetical projections. Instead, let’s use empirical evidence and established medical science.

The time of failed leadership must end, or we are committing national suicide.

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58 thoughts on “Leaving BizarroWorld

  1. Jennifer

    Welcome back. We live in Texas. I can’t believe some tweets I’ve read about the massive upticks in infections and deaths we have allegedly had here since we “reopened.” And to be honest, we haven’t really reopened at least in Austin, where we are. Very few restaurants have opened, gyms are still closed, most hairdressers are choosing not to work. If there’s an uptick in cases it’s because of more people getting tested as more tests become available. As far as the massive increase in deaths…. twenty people died yesterday. Out of almost 30 million. It seems like that’s been what I have been seeing daily since this whole thing started two months ago. Being that we have had a total of 1360 people die as of yesterday, out of 30 million, that looks like about 20 a day since the first cases started being reported here. I am not sure where people get their numbers.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Tennessee is opening up, but gradually. Restaurants have to leave half their tables empty for a few more weeks. The gym where I work out is open with reduced hours, and with a limit on how many people can be in the building at a time.

  2. Bret

    You can’t even use the official case & death counts. They’re largely fraudulent!

    I’ve seen plenty of non-msm reports in the twittersphere, and confirmed with friends who are nurses & other medical professionals — Hospitals are labeling patients as covid cases even in extremely doubtful situations to preclude lawsuits, as well as obtain govt funding; especially so with deaths. This whole thing has turned into a dystopian nightmare exposing how corrupt the govt-entrenched health care system is…

    …for those who possess any curiosity whatsoever, that is. As you aptly illustrated, the nation is sharply divided into two over this, and it is falling along political lines (sadly, but not surprisingly). Those who trust Government Almighty and other venerated elites (i.e. The Anointed) have put up a big Wall (ironic?) in their brains banishing any information to the contrary.

    It’s a CLOWN WORLD, where facts don’t matter even a tiny bit. All the news companies are tabloid sellouts now, and corporations are spinelessly bending over to stay in the Deep State’s and Fake News Inc’s good graces. Holy crap, what is going to happen next?

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yup. I saw that Colorado, to their credit, recently revised how they count coronavirus deaths, which immediately reduced the number by 20%.

    2. Mags

      Generally speaking, I do agree that the two sides are diving along political lines. However, I am a Democrat and I’m in full agreement with Tom on this. So there are outliers. I tend to always question the status quo. Therefore, keto low carb for 9 years.

      1. Tom Naughton Post author

        I was surprised — and not in a good way — to see lockdown vs. open-back-up dividing along political lines.

      2. Bret

        Mags, my hat is off to you if you are a Democrat and seeing through this mess of disinformation.

        Often I fear we are all locked in partisan echo chambers, both left and right. Warms my heart to see counterexamples.

  3. Firebird7479

    For those of you who have paid attention, there is a gym in New Jersey that defied Governor Phil “Hitler” Murphy’s Executive Orders and opened for business today. The local police notified them that everyone there was in violation of that order, but “have a nice day. Stay safe,” then left to the cheers of gym members and supporters.

    This is the gym where I train. Governor Hitler said in his daily briefing, sans face mask (again) that, “Don’t think tomorrow will go so well. Anyone showing up will be fined.” I can leave my gym, walk three doors down the strip mall to the Dollar General and buy cans of tuna, toothpaste, soap, etc. that any other customer recently picked up and put down on the shelf with no repercussions, but I cannot pick up a dumbbell, barbell or weight that a fellow gym owner recently used? (They gym is operating at 20% capacity and hands members individual spray bottles with disinfectant).

    New Jersey has had a little over 10,000 residents die with/from Covid19 (however they want to market it). That’s 0.116% of the population. And we are still in lockdown. You point that out and some residence laugh and say, “But you’re going to kill grandma and grampa!”

    Yeah, well, Gov. Hitler has tanked the economy. Soon Grandma and Grampa’s kids and grandkids will go hungry. So will will Grandma and Grampa.

    Over a death rate of 1.116%. Which makes me wonder what is in Murph’s stock portfolio and what industries he is short on.

    1. Firebird7479

      BTW, the mother of one of the co-owners died “With” Covid19. An elderly woman with diverticulitis, her condition flared up. They took her to the ER. She was tested. Negative. She was sent to a rehab facility for the diverticulitis. A couple of days later she wasn’t feeling well. Went back to the ER. This time the test for Covid19 was positive. She’s off life support and waiting to die.

      Where did she contract Covid? THE ER!

      1. Lori Miller

        Iaonnidis has said the elderly shouldn’t have been rushed to hospitals where they could get the virus, and Malcolm Kendrick has said the elderly shouldn’t have been rushed out of hospitals back to nursing homes where they could get the virus. Maybe the answer is to bring back al fresco hospitals from the days of TB outbreaks since, in some places, most new patients have gotten the virus while sheltering in place.

    2. Bret

      Don’t worry, Firebird. The Democrats will do a rain dance to make trillions of $$ fall from the sky, so that we can all stay on unemployment forever, i.e. UBI. Next stop, “universal healthcare,” which will surely be Cloud 9 for everyone after the evil profit is taken out.

      Then we can all sit in our confines for the rest of our days, loyal & happy government dependents.

      1. Firebird7479

        He’s opening the beaches. though! He’s not going to let the tax revenue generated by the summer tourism season go to waste.

        UBI wouldn’t be so bad if there was something backing it. In Alaska, for instance, citizens get a check from the oil companies in exchange for drilling in the preserves. The oil producing Arab Nations kick back $ to the people to share the wealth the oil brings. But, they can afford that. Here in the US, it’s all counterfeit money. They just keep tacking zeros on the end. People are thinking how great it is that the government is taking care of them with the stimulus check but soon, that money won’t buy anything because so little will be produced and what little will will be too expensive!

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Yup, creating money isn’t the same as creating wealth. The more money you create, the less wealth each dollar represents.

          1. Bret

            And the harder the kick to the groin to the lowest-paid, lowest-skilled (i.e. poorest) people.

            It’s an infuriating scam.

    3. Firebird7479

      They arrested gym members for violating Governor Hitler’s “Executive Order” that forbids going to the gym. Heard in the jail cell later that day:

      What are you in for? Armed robbery.
      And you? Assault
      How about you? Bench pressing at the gym.

      1. Tom Naughton Post author

        You mean they’re in jail, where they can catch the virus from each other?

        1. Firebird7479

          Released with citations. But they are releasing convicts to save them.

          Now Governor Hit — er Stalin — so as not to offend anyone (even though Stalin killed 10 million people) has the local cops waiting on the main road outside the parking lot, pulling over members as they leave in order to write them a citation — away from the media.

          Somebody stuffed paper towels in the toilets and caused the drains to back up…the Board of Health swooped in and wrote them a citation for Health Code violations.

    4. Michele

      I just can’t get over how offensive it is you are calling your governor Hitler. I am not disputing the facts in your post. But calling someone who you think it overstepping their authority the name of the most horrible human being in modern history is incredibly offensive and diminishes the crimes Hitler actually committed.

        1. Michele

          Yes. I don’t think it’s appropriate for anyone. Unless they are murdering millions of people.

      1. Firebird7479

        I care only long enough to respond by saying these tactics were used by the Nazis. Other than that, I couldn’t give a toss if you are offended.

  4. Lori Miller

    Is there anyone less self-aware than healthy young people, with virtually no risk of getting sick from the virus, who become shut-ins, demand crack-downs, and call themselves The Resistance? Do they know their namesakes risked a bullet to the head?

    If the doomers were better at using Google, they could see the media has been predicting disaster in two weeks for the past two months. In Google, click on Tools, any time, and select your dates. Makes it easy to look at predictions from weeks or months ago.

    They could also look at CDC data showing three times as many hospitalizations for the last flu season as for COVID19. For us over-50s, our odds of ending up in the hospital because of COVID19 or because of the flu last season are about the same.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I assume these youngsters who call themselves #TheResistance have never picked up a history book. They clearly don’t know what “fascist” actually means.

  5. Robert

    The Anointed in the media are also attempting to destroy hydroxychloroquine, a drug that’s been around for 65 years and used by millions of people to treat lupus and other autoimmune conditions. It’s also given as an anti-malaria drug. Clinical studies on hydroxychloroquine for covid patients show it to be highly effective in reversing the disease with very minimal side effects. The other drug, remdesavir, is new and the side effects are not well known. By the media’s logic, hydroxychloroquine is the “unproven” treatment. I’m calling BS on this one. Follow the money. Pharmaceutical companies don’t make money on cheap generics. A cheap generic that could be mass produced and was highly effective against the virus would a massive hit in the pocketbook for the pharmaceutical companies.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Big Pharma is likely opposed to using an existing cheap drug, yes. But I’m afraid we’ve also reached the point where Trump Derangement Syndrome is so prevalent among the mainstream media, they will automatically oppose anything he favors. If Trump announced he likes puppies, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, the New York Times, etc., would immediately run stories on the dangers of owning puppies. As Eric Weinstein (find him on Twitter) has tried to remind them, you can’t prove you’re smart by putting a minus sign in front of anything Trump says.

      1. Nix

        The trouble with Chloroquine and Hydoxychloroquine is that as effective malarial drugs they are only of use to the tourist who is in the malarial zone for a few days or weeks, people who live there don’t use these drugs as they cause liver failure. Whether or not it is an effective Covid-19 drug I don’t know, but my non-pharmaceutical daughter doctor suggests not.

        1. Zek

          Not sure where you get that information. Every US soldier deployed to the Middle East for the last couple decades has taken antimalarials for the duration as a prophylactic. Typical deployments are from 6-12 months depending on branch of service. Suspect everyone that went to Vietnam also took them. Quite a long term history of use? Deployed myself 2 years and never heard of liver damage as an issue.

          Additionally, I’ve not heard of anyone with lupus or arthritis having liver issues despite long term use.

    2. SteveR

      As I understand it, Hydroxychloroquine is a zinc ionophore, in other words it enables zinc to enter cells, and when zinc is in cells, if the virus gets into that cell it won’t be able to replicate.
      But as with the Mayo clinic’s shameful investigation of the efficacy of Vitamin C by using inadequate doses, I expect that hydroxychloroquine will be studied in the most inappropriate way and will ignore zinc altogether.

  6. Kathy

    Well said. You didn’t mention the H2N2 flu pandemic in 1957 (Asian Flu) that killed an estimated 1.1 million people worldwide, and 116,000 people in the US alone. I’ve asked tons of people if they even remember this one, and so far no one has.

    Also, during the “great pandemic” in 1918, at one point 20,000 people were dying in New York each day, and it didn’t even make the paper.

    People are using the wrong math. They think that you take the number of deaths and divide that number by the number of confirmed cases. That works out to be about 5% (which still means 95% of people with confirmed cases survive). However, that’s a bogus number because we don’t know how many people actually have or have had the virus. Who’s getting tested these days? People who have symptoms. Once you add in all those people who had mild or even NO symptoms, the percentage of deaths goes way, way down. But, we’ll never know that number. The only numbers that matter are based on population, or “per 100,000 people.” How many people in the *population* died of COVID? In Maine we have 1.3 million people. So far, there have been 70 deaths here. That’s a mortality rate for the entire Maine population of 0.005%. These are the numbers we should be looking at.

    People like to be afraid of things. Have you read “State of Fear” by Michael Chrichton? Part of the premise of the novel is that people WANT to be afraid of something at all times. Good read.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I have read “State of Fear.” I agree with the premise. I suspect if we kept looking back in time (and had accurate data on those times), we’d find several flue pandemics worse than this one that didn’t cause a panic.

    2. Geoff

      I think another factor along your lines is also thinking that the virus only got here when they reported it in Washington. My mom had a wicked sickness for three weeks in Dec. that the family doctor had no idea what was going on. She’s going to ask to get an antibody test, but I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts (you can keep the doughnuts) that it was covid.

      State of Fear was a great book as is Prey both which are really close to what we have going on now.

      1. Tom Naughton Post author

        Yup, lots of doctors reported treating people for a flu-like illness that couldn’t be identified in November and December.

  7. Geoff

    Trying to stop a virus is like trying to stop a tsunami with sandbags along the beach. A virus is just like any other natural disaster in that we are absolutely powerless in the face of it, sure we can mitigate but nature is always going to get the last laugh.

    Bet you are glad you got out of California with its lockdowns until “August” until August comes and its, “Well, just 2 more months I swear!”

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Seems every decision the California state government makes is designed to make me glad I got the hell out of there.

      1. Firebird7479

        Newsom told Californians to stay put…ordered everyone not to take a vacation…then took a vacation to Montana.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          The usual for The Anointed. Do as I say, not as I do … just like the guy who recommended social distancing in the U.K. and was caught getting together with his mistress.

          1. Firebird7479

            Yep. Governor of PA is still issuing strict lockdown orders while deeming the furniture company he once owned as “essential”. The Health Director demanded that Nursing Homes take seniors who are infected with Covid — but not before removing her mother from one and quarantining her in some luxury hotel.

  8. Desmond

    So Galileo Galilei (after he plead guilty) is sentenced to house arrest by the Roman Inquisition, and the Catholic Church has gotten 400 years of bad press as a result. Millions of Americans are put under house arrest without trial, and our “representatives” are heroes. Now that’s political and scientific advancement.

  9. Eric

    I prefer to use numbers from New York City than numbers from Europe. (From a Five Thirty Eight post on May 13): ‘Even if this early estimate is correct and 21 percent of New York’s 8.4 million residents have already been infected, that comes out to 1.8 million people, which still puts the current fatality rate at 1.1 percent, or more than 10 times that of the seasonal flu.’

    As someone in the age range that COVID-19 considers a tasty snack, I will continue to self-quarantine. However, I am a firm believer in personal risk management. If you and your family choose to mingle in crowds, I for one appreciate your willingness to improve herd immunity.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Seems unlikely that the true fatality rate in NYC is ten times what’s being seen elsewhere, unless the population of NYC is particularly old and frail. But sure, self-quarantine if you feel at risk. I’m glad you’re not calling for areas like mine, with very few deaths, to stay locked down.

  10. Paul B.

    It’s not split entirely on political lines. I am not a Republican or Trump supporter, and consider myself a social liberal and a fiscal moderate. But I am dismayed at this severe over reaction. I think the covid 19 virus is definitely worse than a bad flu year, but it’s not THAT much worse, certainly not to the extent that we should drive the economy off the cliff and consign many millions of our people to unemployment, poverty, physical and emotional loneliness, and government dependence. I am dismayed that people are so afraid of each other now, and so willing to accept restrictions on their liberty that are in keeping with neither the Constitution, nor what science actually tells us about this virus. Have we gone totally insane?

    Your commentary on this issue is, as usual, perceptive and right on.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I don’t think it’s split along strict political lines either, although more of the stay-in-lockdown crowd — certainly among politicians — seem to be liberals.

      1. Kate R

        Could this possibly be because most huge urban centres are more liberal? And they are the areas more affected by viral spread. I think the response to the risk of this illness will become more tailored to the conditions of rural vs suburban vs town vs big city, as time goes on and scientists feel more confident in interpreting the data.

  11. Robert

    One of the narratives the Anointed/Radical Alt Left pushes is that libertarians and conservatives don’t believe in science. That is a lie. I definitely believe in science. The fact we can flip a switch and have light, transmit sound and moving pictures all over the world, the fact that crossing an ocean went from months to more hours etc. were all made possible by science. I know you believe in science as well. I’m interested in where the anti-vaccine mindset comes from. I’m definitely not anti-vaccine. Measles, polio, and many other diseases that were once common are now mostly unheard of because of vaccines. I’ve even heard that vaccines somehow “cause” autism. That just seems ludicrous to me. I know correlation is not causation. Maybe people who had their kids vaccinated also had them tested for autism sometime after that and blamed the vaccine. I’m interested in your thoughts on the subject. I’ve seen a lot of social media posts about people refusing any covid vaccine developed because of that attitude.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Both “Galileo’s Middle Finger” (Alice Dreger) and “The Silencing” (Kirsten Powers, a liberal who worked for Bill Clinton) list many examples of lefties trying (and often succeeding) to destroy the careers and reputations of scientists whose conclusions went against The Narrative. That’s why the radical left is talking about “different ways of knowing” … i.e., ignoring science.

      As far as vaccines, I don’t subscribe to either all-or-nothing position. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick wrote one of best analyses of the issue I’ve seen:


    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I wouldn’t judge Sweden’s policy based on one week. Since the virus will spread and will kill people when it does, Sweden may have simply front-loaded the deaths.

    2. Terry Jones

      Hi Bong Kim;

      what you (and the rest of us read): was a manipulation by the English-speaking MSM: what poor old Anders actually said was here


      …. they just twisted his words; I can go and find you his correction: the answer is: don’t believe our MSM: they are out to spread lies. They manipulate; they twist; slavery is freedom; war is peace; poverty is wealth; love Big Brother.

  12. tony grenier

    it amazes me how some people are acting…you’d think if you walked out your front door, you’re going to be dead before you hit the sidewalk….i wonder if some of these people are collecting more in unemployment benefits than they made while working….actually some of my employee’s here in Wisconsin are getting a $600 a week kicker that stops at the end of June….and they don’t want to reopen until then….i guess i can’t blame them…

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’ll put it this way: I suspect very few people who want us to stay in lockdown have lost any income because of the lockdown.

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