Friday, October 30, 2020

CoVid Link by Lyman Stone

I have linked to his unwelcome information before. This thread is the newest information. I don't bother to discuss the issue much anymore, because people have made up their minds and are not accepting contrary information. There are many issues, including "What are the best safety measures?" "What lockdown measures are voluntary and which imposed by the government?" "Did any of them help or did they just destroy people's lives?" "Were many results inevitable no matter what we did?" and "Is herd immunity just about to happen, especially if we push it along? Why is that taking so long?"  

Those are difficult enough.  But everyone is easily distracted to other issues that are infuriating. "Were the initial estimates accurate?" As there were umpty-leven initial estimates, which ones do you mean?  I know!  Why not cherry pick the ones that make your argument look better and keep focusing on how someone on the other political side is stupid!  That'll work. People try to compare apples and oranges in terms of countries.  Canadians are big on this, even though Ontario and especially Quebec - geographically the places that might have been America and contain a large percentage of the population - are roughly like American states in their numbers, and the great empty stretches of Canada are like the great empty stretches of everywhere else.  Conservatives make excuses for Sweden's high numbers because they want them to be right, and liberals deplore Sweden's high numbers, even though they are quite low now, because they want them to be wrong.

A reminder again that much of our lockdown behavior is voluntary, of businesses that feared exposing their employees or their customers to disease, and no government made them do it.

Except perhaps an early spike in deaths related to untreated diabetes there are not more deaths from  the shutdown than from CoVid, including suicide and homicide.  there are claims that abuse has increased, but thus far all I have seen is anecdote.  I don't know what the proper tradeoff is, deaths of elderly people versus jobs for younger people, but it is important that we operate from real numbers, not pretend ones. 

Carnegie Mellon has some data showing at least some value to mask wearing.  Pretty good correlation, but you can make the slope steep or shallow as you like.


David Foster said...

Critique of the above mask analysis, here:

Assistant Village Idiot said...


Donna B. said...

From March 23, 2020:

" an ideal world with unlimited mask supplies everyone would wear surgical masks just to prevent themselves from spreading disease."

We don't live in an ideal world.

Anonymous said...

In Canada we have just passed 10,000 deaths. We are having to deal with the physics involved with getting tired of and just ignoring the facts. We are turning this around, slowly.

In your country its not the same.

Brad said...

What I have said since April is that the direct covid-19 pandemic effects are serious, but not catastrophic. An excess mortality in the short term of 10-15%, and this is heavily concentrated in the elderly and sick. We have 2.8 million die every year and about 10-15% more than normal will die. Tragic. Absolutely. Worth the economic catastrophe? Not even close. Several studies are showing that when you do calculations in life-years, the direct loss from covid is overwhelmed by reduced health and life-years due to economic problems. And that doesn't even include the deaths in poorer countries where our reduced economic output causes malnutrition and deaths in poor countries. I get all the initial fear and lockdowns. But isn't it time to stop only focusing on direct deaths and measure our very leaky lockdowns against their FULL effect? We die of countless things every year. Maybe we could stop shining the light on only covid deaths.

And... while it is harsh to say, the LEAST productive of society are being killed. Average age of Spanish Flu death - 28. Average age of covid-19 death - about natural life span of 76. I say this as someone 64, fat and with hypertension. IF I die, my kids get the money and move on! And the state (my kid's taxes) doesn't have to pay for my Medicare!

Jonathan said...

The public-health argument isn't wrong, but there are other ways to frame the question than as, Should everyone wear a mask? Clearly, I should wear a mask since I am protecting elderly family members whose lives are much more valuable to me than are the lives of young people I don't know. A better-quality mask costs a few bucks, which I pay, along with other costs of protecting my family members. I consider such expenditures to be worthwhile even if I don't know how effective my protective measures really are.

Public-health arguments can be helpful in making governmental or institutional spending decisions, but such arguments are mostly irrelevant for individuals and their personal risk-tradeoffs. One of the great crimes of technocrats, "ethicists" and other bureaucrats, and of the (mostly) ignorant journalists who enable them is to obscure important distinctions between the institutional and individual cost/benefit matrices in many situations.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ Jonathan - a good distinction

@ Brad - your comment brought to mind other things I have been thinking throughout the pandemic, which I will post on soon, both agreeing and disagreeing with you. Thanks.