You’ve heard it again and again:
The spread of the virus is your fault.
According to our opinion molders, any movements in the COVID-19 numbers are a reflection of the compliance, or otherwise, of the public with the usual array of the state’s so-called mitigation measures.
Now if we had any actual journalists, some of them would observe the absurdity of all this. After all, societies with little in common and remote from each other have seen exactly the same curves; we’re supposed to believe that this is because their peoples all complied, and then didn’t comply, and then complied again on exactly the same timetable?
Can people really be this thick?
Thus Elaine Godfrey at The Atlantic just wrote, “In November I wrote a story about how COVID-19 was overwhelming Iowa’s hospitals. Back then, public-health experts predicted another big surge after the holidays, but it never came. I went back to those experts to find out why.”
Those “experts” have been wrong over and over again, yet Godfrey still considers this mysterious.
She’d better follow up with these people who were totally wrong, ask them why they were totally wrong, and then uncritically repeat their answers to her audience.
Now she could have consulted people who have been right, and who have been critical of the public-health apparatus, to see if maybe these folks have some insight into why the always-wrong people were wrong yet again, but that would be journalism, and that is not Elaine Godfrey’s field.
No, instead she wrote a follow-up article called, “Iowans Were Scared into Taking the Virus Seriously.”
Yes, this is the best she can do: public-health officials did such a good job panicking about a “surge” that they persuaded people to change their behavior!
Know what the trouble with this is?
Iowan public-health officials must have scared people so much that the scariness spread into North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and Kansas, too, which had identical curves and declines in their numbers with no change in public-health messaging and no change in the public’s behavior.
Note, too, that this decline occurs during the holidays, when we were told there’d be a major spike. Yet in these states the numbers fell. Is that because people in these states got together and coordinated a gigantic decision to follow “public health” guidelines at precisely the same moment, or might climate zones and seasonality have more to do with it?
Naturally, Iowa’s relatively more laissez-faire approach had the usual suspects screaming and predicting doom. “Iowans can expect to see nothing less than a tsunami,” said Dr. Eli Perencevich. “In a lot of ways, Iowa is serving as the control group of what not to do.”
“Iowa Is What Happens When Government Does Nothing,” warned the Atlantic.
And then hospitalizations plummeted.
In late 2020 the authorities in Minnesota tried to claim that their most recent wave of ruining people’s lives had helped get their state’s case numbers down faster than neighboring states.
But in fact the numbers showed neighboring states doing as well or better than Minnesota.
Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana adopted completely different policies and implemented them at different times. And yet their hospitalization curves look strikingly similar.
It’s almost as if none of this makes any difference, isn’t it?
Well, a member of the mainstream media — on MSNBC, no less — finally, after months and months, asked The Question.
Her guest: White House COVID adviser and crazed doomer Andy Slavitt.
She asked him:
“Contrast states like Florida and California, California basically in lockdown and their numbers aren’t that different from Florida.”
Slavitt proceeded to do everything but answer the question.
He began with this:
“Look, there’s so much of this virus that we think we understand, that we think we can predict, that’s just a little bit beyond our explanation.”
This is all I’ve been asking them to say for the past year. Admit that they don’t fully understand it, and that it doesn’t behave the way their mitigation guidance seems to suggest it does. Finally someone admits it.
And then, on to the evasion of the question:
“What we do know is that the more careful people are, the more they mask and social distance, and the quicker we vaccinate, the quicker it goes away and the less it spreads, but we have got to get better visibility into variants, we don’t know what role they play, large events, etc.
“As we all have learned by this time, this is a virus that continues to surprise us. It’s very hard to predict. And all around the country, we’ve got to continue to do a better job, and I think we are, but we’re done yet.”
That’s it. That’s all he had to say.
Sorry we decimated your savings, took away your sources of joy, destroyed your business, and stole a year of your children’s lives. We’re just learning, you see.
And we “know,” said Slavitt, that the more people “mask and social distance,” the quicker it goes away and the less it spreads.
In fact, we “know” no such thing. Graph the results any way you like: lockdown stringency, people’s mobility patterns, mask mandate dates, whatever. The results are completely random. They absolutely do not show a clear pattern whereby ruining your life solves the problem.
Not to mention: the very California/Florida comparison the anchor is asking him about clearly contradicts this claim, but Slavitt just repeats it robotically anyway.
Slavitt also mentions “large events,” of which there have been precious few in California over the past year. But there have been a ton in Florida, where I live. Shouldn’t our state be marked by piles of corpses at the side of the road, and California be a paradise – especially since our state has a much higher elderly population?
Well, I’ve taken phenomena like this and assembled it in the form of charts that tell the story better than any essay can.
It’s a free eBook called COVID Charts CNN Forgot.