Monday, September 27, 2021

Covid vs Spanish flu chart

Brian Wesbury publishes weekly a great and changing collection of charts that I find quite interesting. Here's a chart that really got my attention:

Note how the Spanish flu was a lot more lethal than Covid-19, especially among the younger members of the population. Note also how people under the age of 45 have face an extremely low level of risk of dying from Covid-19. Especially children of school age. I really think national media have done a terrible job of not reporting these facts. Why in the world were school kids ever forced to wear masks? Why do I still see people in their 30s and 40s walking around outside by themselves and wearing a mask? This is just crazy. People have no sense of the risks they face. We knew back in April of last year that the only portion of the population at high risk from Covid were the elderly. Yet I'll bet there are many millions of people who either do not know this or who are overlooking this. 


Benjamin Cole said...

I agree with this.

Vaccinate all the elderly who want it, and move on.

But the federal government has a war on poverty, a war on global terrorism, a war on drugs, and a war on COVID-19.

Every federal war is fantastically expensive, eternal and yields very mixed results---ultimately, not worth pursuing.

wkevinw said...

Risks are a moving target over time (social/medical/safety).

There should have been some response, but I agree, that even today, masking under 18 year olds is probably not justified on a risk/benefit analysis. If one takes into account the herd immunity part, we should have gone to regular school attendance, without masks last year. I think (just as a person who deals with numbers and stats a lot), that the delta wave may have been many times less serious had we done that due to the immunity of the child demographic.

I did some amateur insurance/actuarial calculations last year. On a per capita-life years lost basis (the right way to measure this), Spanish flu was about 20x more serious than covid.

Continue to protect the vulnerable, and let the rest take their risks as one does in a free country.

Johnny Bee Dawg said...

The entire Covid response has been, and continues to be insane and overblown and creepy.

This is an excellent summary of COVID facts....complete with links to backing data:

CLICK LINK: 30 FACTS you NEED to know: Your Covid Cribsheet

Ian said...

Universal masking is necessary to prevent the emergence of new strains of the virus, which will mutate more rapidly the more people it affects. Masking is also necessary to prevent transmission to those who are at serious risk of death or disability from COVID-19. Moreover, this disease is still not fully understood and may carry health risks of which we are still unaware, even to children.

The solution to the pandemic is for people to get vaccinated. Instead of complaining about common-sense health measures, you should be encouraging your readers to get vaccinated.

EHR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K T Cat said...

My parents, both in the 85+ category, died within the last 5 years in the pre-WuFlu era. At 85+, just about anything can kill you. We all talked about that quite a lot as I was taking care of them. Those WuFlu stats are like garbage time passing statistics for a QB.

Maybe that's callous, but it's the way my parents used to talk, too.

Grechster said...

You guys are all diplomats...

The government response to COVID has had no respect for science, the Constitution, the average guy's intelligence, consistency, or for humanity. Pure f'ing madness.

randy said...

Ian, where I see fault with "everyone should get vaccinated" theme is that children are arguably more at risk from vaccine side effects - known and unknown - than they are from the virus. Since this began, more kids have died from the regular flu than from Covid. It makes no sense to impose the risk of vaccination on those with most of their life ahead of them - they should be protected above all.

For those 30yr+ not vaccinated? As Andrew Sullivan (an HIV positive, liberal commentator) wrote:

"So the obviously correct public policy is to let mounting sickness and rising deaths concentrate the minds of the recalcitrant. Let reality persuade the delusional and deranged. It has a pretty solid record of doing just that. So let it rip."

Grechster said...

Ian: Why are our leaders insisting that the vaccinations work while at the same insisting that we act as if the vaccinations don't work?

The vaccinations either work or they do not. If they work, why the hell would anybody care if others get vaccinated? If they don't work, why the hell would anybody care if others get vaccinated?

(Btw, even the terminology is wrong. Vaccinations prevent you from contracting a disease. By widespread evidence these "vaccines" are not vaccines. They are therapeutics.)

B. Gram said...

I'm a financial planner and not a scientist. I tested positive for Covid three weeks ago and it felt like I had the flu for a week. It wasn't fun, but at 48 and no underlying problems, my body did its job and fought it off. Now I have antibodies that could last for years (no one seems to know for sure). So, if my body has proven its mettle and fought it off, why would I need to be vaccinated and why would I be restricted from going on airplanes, concerts, restaurants, etc..?? I'm sorry, but it seems that something more sinister is at work here.

Brad Graham
Westerville, Ohio

Jeff V said...

The data does not support either. Really. Compare US to Sweden. Almost identical charts over last 20 months; except they look much better with the current 3rd wave. What’s the difference? They did not shut down their economy, quarantine the healthy, limit gatherings (except for large gatherings for brief periods) have mask mandates or mandate vaccines. Two radically different approaches with virtually the same results. Instead of condemning those who report accurate information do a little research. Masks do virtually nothing for anyone but especially the young!

As for the so-called “vax”, there are over 13,000 deaths and 600,000 adverse health reactions reported in the Vaers database. Israel is now reporting an efficacy of 30%. The emergency authorization for the vax requires a minimum of 50%. It also requires no treatment options, but there are several that are effective nearly 100%. So take your vax and stick it.

sarjoy said...

if I remember correctly, a while ago i read an article which stated taht the use of aspirin to alleviate symptoms of the spanish flu actually contributed to the death of children due to internal hemmorhaging

K T Cat said...


Compare US to Sweden. Almost identical charts over last 20 months; except they look much better with the current 3rd wave. What’s the difference? They did not shut down their economy, quarantine the healthy, limit gatherings (except for large gatherings for brief periods) have mask mandates or mandate vaccines.

I've done some work in network modeling and it always seemed to me like letting the thing rip through the young and healthy was the best approach. After they've had it, they turn into nearly-inert nodes in the network, far less likely to transmit it. So long as you protect the at-risk, whose characteristics were known after the first few months, you'd be in decent shape.

What obscures things here is our money printing. Simply conjuring up $2T or whatever it was out of thin air concealed what was really happening to the economy as a result of lockdowns. We all got to pretend that lockdowns had no cost.

Scott Grannis said...

Ian ("Universal masking is necessary"): There is absolutely no scientifically derived evidence that supports the notion that the masks in general and widespread use do anything to prevent the spread of a virus. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to the contrary, in fact: states and areas that are similar in many respects but different in that some had a mask mandate and others didn't show very similar patterns in the rise and fall of new Covid cases and deaths.

wkevinw said...

"There is absolutely no scientifically derived evidence that supports the notion that the masks in general and widespread use do anything to prevent the spread of a virus."

"The vaccinations either work or they do not."

This "absolutist/all-or-nothing" logic is part of the problem.

Vaccine history- flu vaccines have been long known to have actually less than 50% odds of targeting the right strain from year to year. However, there is a protective effect (semantics on whether this is vaccine or therapy- waste of time to argue about semantics); the flu vaccine reduces the severity even if you get the "wrong" strain. A lot like the covid experience.

Masks- they do "work", but not 100% for sure. And for the general population, which will not do very well at the details of donning and doffing the masks, keeping a non-contaminated one on, etc., they will have a lower success rate. For something as persistent and contagious as covid, basically, the masks serve to probably save some number of lives (attenuate the top of the wave), and to delay the spread of the disease. You see, once you take the mask off and end your isolation "covid is waiting for you".

Sweden probably had the right idea- they did take some action to mask and isolate, but allowed the right populations to go about their lives more normally. In the short run is was "worse", but in the long run it appears to be the better approach (as many had said early on)

Ian said...

Scott, there is, in fact, a large body of evidence that masks work to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as you could have seen through a Google search. I've done it for you and come up with this.

I'm sorry to see you've surrendered to the paranoid, anti-scientific irrationalism that has taken the Republican party.

randy said...

Ian, serious question because I haven't seen any answers for this - what metric would allow us to fully go back to normal - no masks, no shutdowns, no school closures etc. My view is that zero Covid is not possible, at some point we will need to accept living with it. It's similar to the flu.

Kirk said...

you disagree with me so you are therefore "paranoid, anti-scientific, irrational, and Republican" - and - it is perfectly OK for me to characterize you as such

Ian said...

I don't know, Randy. I'm going to trust the experts. What I do know is that everyone should get vaccinated. I've never seen any medical opinion justifying your view that the vaccine is worse than the disease for children. I'm not going to subscribe to Andrew Sullivan's substack to see the article you reference.

Fred said...


The article you cite does not support your claim that masks work. It cites no random study with a control group, the Gold Standard for scientific analysis, concluding that masks make a statistically significant difference in preventing Covid. The CDC's mask study of school districts in Georgia that was used to support mask mandates actually said (but you had to read through the entire study and fine print rather than the fake headline) that there was no statistical difference between districts that required masks and those that did not. The real difference between the school districts was those which used HEPA filtration systems in their buildings and those that did not. When you say, "trust the experts," are you referring to those who said for years that masks are not effective against respiratory viruses and should only be worn by those caring for an infected person (The WHO) or those who told their friends via email at the start of the Covid pandemic (Fauci) that it wasn't worth it to get a mask (and no, he didn't say it to his friends because he was afraid they might deplete the supply of PPE)?

Ian said...

Fred, I guess that's why the authors of that article didn't include the Georgia study. These are studies that compare incidence of COVID among masked and unmasked populations and find significant differences. That's good enough for me, and it's good enough for the medical experts, but it's not good enough for Trumpy anti-vaxxers, who can't distinguish between what's true and what they want to be true.

Fred said...


I do believe in science that is based on generally accepted standards for testing and confirming hypotheses rather than "junk science" which you seem to admire. You are dead wrong to say that the "studies" in the article you cite meet those standards. I have been cross-examining experts in cases for 35 years and I can tell I would have no trouble showing that your studies are worthless to prove the point you try to make. I am also not a "Trumpy anti-vaxxer" but am in fact fully vaccinated because I believe the vaccines went through rigorous testing through trials to show that they are very effective at preventing serious disease and death. By the way, many of the "anti-vaxxers" are anti-Trump minorities. I know it's hard for you to believe, but Trump actually pushed the vaccines through in lighting speed. I would say that by simply accepting headlines that say "trust the science," you are no different than a person who believes the Earth is only 10,000 years old because the Bible says so.

Ian said...

If you think there's a problem with the studies, you or anyone else is free to make the case. A good enough argument would convince the medical experts, who are open to debate. If someone does manage to sway their opinion, I will be the first to accept the new consensus. But until then, I'm going to take my guidance from doctors rather than some guy on the Internet.

I want to understand this about people like you. If there is no good evidence for the effectiveness of masks in preventing infections, why on earth do you think the government requires us to wear them? It's a burdensome requirement that stirs up ire among voters, so why would the government require masking unless it produced some benefit? Do you think that any of us enjoys wearing masks? Do you think that the intent of these requirement is to persecute you? Do you think that our elected officials have it in for you and want you to suffer? I don't get your mentality.

randy said...

"It's a burdensome requirement that stirs up ire among voters, so why would the government require masking unless it produced some benefit?"

I'll take that one. It creates the illusion that they are "doing something" - to deflect from the the view that problems that could have been handled better haven't. It's not really that important whether it really serves a purpose or not. (Sort of like banning horses at the border. Or the uproar over voter id.) As a bonus, it serves to stir up the political divide, re-enforcing democrat leaders power over their base. So much on both sides is 99% performative.

randy said...

They are all corrupt - the GOP, DEM, scientists, economists, FBI, CIA and all the other 3 letter bodies, the corporate leaders, the media - all of them. Either for power or money or prestige or fear. All corrupt. Happy Weds.

Grechster said...

What about those of us who have natural immunity?

"The science" says that not only is this type of immunity the best kind but it also says that vaccinating a person with natural immunity is more harmful than helpful.

Why is any conversation about natural immunity STILL absent from the thugs who make up our government? Why do they not care about those of us who have natural immunity?

Why would I listen to these people who advocate something that, according to the science, is harmful to my health? And why would I listen to them when they have repeatedly been caught in lies?

Where is the respect for the ability of the citizen to make his/her own choices for him/herself?

Ian: "What I do know is that everyone should get vaccinated." That is a damn fool statement, Ian. You have the comfort of the establishment behind you but that is just one dumbass statement. The entire body of science behind this whole issue does not support it.

The Cliff Claven of Finance said...

To Ian
And I risk getting this deleted. Your ultimate trust in the government, "studies" and "experts", is the mark of an ultimate gullible fool.

Masks do very little -- next to nothing -- almost 100% of virus aerosols pass through.

COVID statistics exaggerate cases hospitalizations, and deaths compared with methodologies used to compile such numbers for influenza or pneumonia prior to 2020

Short term adverse vaccine side effects are the worst in US history -- worse than all other vaccines combines since records were kept in 1990 (unprecedented)

The fast decline of vaccine induced antibodies is unprecedented in vaccine history.

No vaccine manufacturer can change vaccine formulas faster than the vaccine mutates, resulting in much less than 95% effectiveness ... for a limited number of months.

The 2021 Delta variant is less deadly than the 2020 COVID that 99.8% of people survived under age 70.

People are counted as unvaccinated for five week from the first shot until two weeks after the second shot -- that is dishonest.

If the vaccines worked as promised, no boosters would be needed and the number of vaccinated people in the hospital would be near zero -- that is not happening (except for false claims by liars) and Israel is one of many examples.

The vaccine does not prevent infection or spread

The vaccinated are at no risk from the unvaccinated.

The government anti-science actions to "fight" COVID, and reduce our freedoms in unprecedented ways, reminds me of the first years in Germany under H i t l e r.

COVID will be with us for the rest of our lives.

Animals can be COVID carriers, so it is not going away.

Just like the 1918-1929 swine flu is still around over 100 years later.

So now we have 220 viruses that affect human health.

There were 219 in 2019.
Now there are 220.

The world will survive as the COVID virus mutates into less deadly forms, as is typical of viruses in the past.

Jeff V said...

My comment above was directed at Ian related to his comments about universal masking and vax mandates. I thought I posted my comment as a reply to his comment...not to Scott (I agree with the original post). But I now see that others have argued against his comments as well. I wish the media worked like this board! Where unsubstantiated propaganda is soundly rejected...rather quickly!

K T Cat said...

Re: masks. They are simple mechanical filters. Filters that fit poorly don't filter well. If you used an improperly-sized air filter on your car, you wouldn't drive around imagining it did much good.

Re: "studies." I'm an old research scientist and reading what is being used for justification these days from "the scientific community" makes me sick. My profession is utterly degenerate. There are pockets of honesty, but, for the most part, they have been suppressed.

See also:

My suggestion: get the vaccine, skip the masks. Move on with your life.

wkevinw said...

KT Cat- research scientist here too.

Yes, especially the academic R&D folks have been terribly compromised/corrupted. How about those profs going to trial for espionage or tax/reporting crimes...? Crazy.

Masks: if one knows how to use them correctly, masks are certainly helpful in the prevention of spread of this disease. Not all people can/will do that, and masks are not equally protective. An N95 fitted mask (sometimes called N95 fitted medical respirator), is extremely effective. Anything not fitted (as most are) is not as effective. Duke University has done all the "engineering/mechanical" studies on these (for many years). Again, the performance of the mask depends on the skill of the user- like many things- e.g. tennis racket, golf club...etc.

The results from mask experiments by the general public will not reflect skillful use.

Scott Hammond said...

NYT's story today titled 'The right to health' draws on the Revolutionary War to imply vaccination mandates have foundations in historical precedence. Specifically the story recounts how George Washington mandated vaccinations for the military.

The story has one specific line that stood out to me 'Revolutionary War method killed 2 percent or 3 percent of recipients'. The point the story makes is that vaccinations have gotten safer. It seems woefully inadequate reporting to not cite the COVID death rate today is LESS than the death rate of of historic vaccination procedures.

I miss the days when the news reported facts; today there are just a series of viewpoints asserted.

Grechster said...

Scott: I didn't read that NYT story. But the lethality of COVID doesn't hold a candle to that of smallpox. That's even truer for the age group of Washington's soldiers. Also, smallpox resulted in horrible outcomes even short of death, like blindness.

Btw, isn't it something that it still isn't socially acceptable to talk about obesity in relation to COVID? Jonathan Isaac's now-viral answer classily reminded everyone that age and physical fitness shouldn't be ignored. Of course, these factors are ignored by this idiotic government.

The Cliff Claven of Finance said...

TO THE "FACE DIAPER" advocates
who may claim to know science
but obviously never read
any studyies of masks:

How about some common sense,
if scientific studies are over your head:

If ordinary masks worked,
this epidemic would have been over
in a few months.

If N95 masks worked,
medical doctors, nurses, etc,
would all be safe while working
with very sick COVID patients
in hospitals.

If the vaccines worked as claimed,
other nations yould not have
so many alreadt vaxxed citizens
in their hospitals with COVID
or post vaccine side effects !

If the vaccine was as "safe" as claimed,
the VAERS (and related European data too)
would not reflect the worst short term
adverse side effects in US vaccine history
(and that is true even if you ignore
the fact that a large majority,
perhaps 90% or more,
of adverse side effects
are never reported to VAERS).

The long term adverse side effects
should have been known BEFORE Emergency
Use Authorization, but the EUA's were granted
after only two months. So the long term
adverse side effects remain a mystery.

There is decent evidence that
for people under age 40
the vaccine is more likely
to cause serious injuries
or death than infections
with the current COVID variant.

Climate change "science"
in the past 30 years was strike one.

The study replication problems
were strike two for scientists.

COVID "science" is strike three.

The reputation of scientists is now in the toilet.
Especially those ignoring the mask studies,
and claiming masks are effective and needed.

Scott Hammond said...

Grechster I'm not sure what you mean by 'obesity in relation to COVID'. If you mean as a country we have FAR more annual deaths from obesity than for COVID than I think that is: 1) true, 2) an excellent point, 3) something that hasn't received nearly enough attention (my earlier point about poor journalism).

On a positive note, maybe that is the good in all these masks ... can't get obese if something is standing between food and a mouth. There is hope after all!

The Cliff Claven of Finance said...

COVID deaths are rare for people under age 70
So age is the major factor

Those in nursing homes have the most risk from COVID,
with their age, and serious medical conditions

Also obesity is a major factor,
which is often accompanied by
high blood pressure and diabetes.

If the vaccines worked as promised,
people in hospitals for COVID would
increasingly be ONLY unvaccinated people.
The opposite is happening.

The vaccine does not prevent infections,
but should reduce symptoms, and hopefully
keep people out of the hospital,
at least for a few months after the injection.

But I have read many articles about vaccinated
people in the UK, Israel, and elsewhere, ending
up in hospitals for COVID.

For example, I just finished an article that said:

"According to the most recent data that was released by public health officials in Wales, UK, vaccinated Individuals accounted for a whopping 87% of all new Covid hospitalizations last week – even though 69% of the citizens are considered ‘fully vaccinated.’

The data also revealed that 99% of positive tests were from people under the age of 60 and that 63% of the total were vaccinated."

Vespasianus said...

It is ironic that we called "Spanish" flu a pandemic originated outside of Spain and at the same time we cannot call Covid the "Chinese flu".

Ian said...

I've been looking through the comments and reading the links. One thing I've noticed is that while there is plenty of criticism of some studies arguing masks are effective, no one cites studies that prove the ineffectiveness of masks. That's because there aren't many, perhaps none, that have stood up to analysis. This article cites 41 peer-reviewed studies demonstrating that masks are effective, and 8 studies that were being reviewed when the article was written. They come from all sorts of different sources, so there's no arguing that this is just CDC propaganda.

Also, the article notes that one study that proved mask effectiveness did not stand up to peer review. That's proof that the mask studies are science, not just propaganda.

Masks work. They work better if they are very well-fitted, but they still work enough to reduce infections even if they're not. Of course, we should all make sure that we're wearing our masks with the best fit. That's a much better use of our time than complaining.

randy said...

Ian, a pretty good article today on the likely path of Covid.

It would be fair for you to point out that we pay attention to experts when their conclusion suits us. But the article is common sense in my view. I'll grant your positions seem well considered and not clearly partisan - and credit for swimming against the tide here. I still hold that since I'm vaccinated, the risk to me is negligible and a mask is unnecessary to protect me. And the unvaccinated have made their own choice - not for me to adapt to protect them. Those are choices I make based on my best judgement about where Covid is headed - as stated in the article. I genuinely feel not succumbing to what I see as irrational fear is doing more social good as an example, than perpetuating the national neurosis. I've tried to teach my kids (now adults) to not live in perpetual fear - live your life. Trying to still be that example.

wkevinw said...

"Masks work. They work better if they are very well-fitted, but they still work enough to reduce infections even if they're not. Of course, we should all make sure that we're wearing our masks with the best fit. That's a much better use of our time than complaining."

Note- the Duke University web site (where there are lot of studies on different types of masks), a typical mask made of "t-shirt material" is ~50% effective against the virus they test. (which is smaller than covid by the way).

So, I would say the average person walking around is getting about 50% protection. That's better than 0%, but you can see why there would be arguments that say "they work!", "they don't work!".

In a free country public places are allowed the basic rights and freedoms, UNLESS a specific type of emergency has been declared. This is just like declaring war. If we are going to make these requirements, the government should declare this type of emergency and be done with it. The government is full of timid, power hungry people. That's how they get there.

Ian said...


I hope COVID becomes endemic soon, and kudos to the WSJ for giving a positive mention to vaccine mandates, which are really the way to end this pandemic. With 2K people still dying per day, COVID is clearly not endemic yet. I think it's necessary for all of us to go on wearing masks because all of us can still spread the virus regardless of vaccination status. Also, I view my mask as a way of telling all the anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers that I'm not going to give into their lunacy. I hold the default assumption that the medical experts do not enjoy seeing me suffer unnecessarily and can be counted on to tell me when it's safe to ditch the mask just as soon as it is.

Grechster said...

Roy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roy said...

"A year later, 45% of COVID patients in Wuhan still have symptoms"

"BuT iT’s No WoRsE tHaN tHe FlU" - religious fundamentalists, pseudo economists and other people lacking real critical thinking.

Personally, I'm going to do whatever I can not to get it.

BTW similar results from the UK just with far worse symptoms. We haven't seen nothing yet.

randy said...

Looking at breakthrough death rates for the vaccinated - the NYT says "The United States government has not closely tracked the vaccination status of everyone who has been infected with the virus, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has so far identified 2,900 people who were vaccinated among the 100,000 who died of Covid since mid-June."

But that's misleading (as usual for NYT), primarily because it's not age adjusted. According to another CDC analysis, the age adjusted rate is more like 0.1% of deaths are vaccinated. That would put the age adjusted count at 100 rather than 2900. What does that mean? I dunno, most of those 2900 the NYT reported were much older and likely had other complications that they may have been dying from anyway. As KT Cat noted, it's sad but death will come to older folks one way or another.

Back to the age adjusted 100000 * 0.1% (or 100 people) - it's reasonable to guess that those also had some other complications. The takeaway is the typical vaccinated have extremely low chance of death from Covid. Wearing a mask then, would be for protecting the unvaccinated or simply for social solidarity.

Carl said...

The US has done quite poorly considering the Covid disease burden, when compared to other similar countries (both before, during and after vaccine roll-out), despite a world-record 'investment' per GDP.

Why is that?

It is a multi-variable question but some of the key variables (politicization, unnecessary acrimony, common sense suspension due to biases) are in full display in the above exchanges..

Obviously the coronavirus does not care and it will take advantage of the confusion created and maintained by humans. It's about biology, evolution..
It's a good thing that the Covid virus and variants were much less lethal and virulent but, once adjusted for contagiousness and virulence, 'we' have not done much better than during the Spanish Flu.

wkevinw said...

""A year later, 45% of COVID patients in Wuhan still have symptoms"

"BuT iT’s No WoRsE tHaN tHe FlU" - religious fundamentalists, pseudo economists and other people lacking real critical thinking.

Personally, I'm going to do whatever I can not to get it."

Anecdote- my early 20's daughter got covid (along with many of her friends of a similar age) about 6 months ago- as a calculated risk- to get the immunity. Two weeks later she ran a good half marathon. (She has been fit her whole life).

The alarmists know very well that there has to be an age adjusted fatality statistical analysis. I do some statistics for my job (R&D for ~ 40 years in a non-medical science field).

Did you know that the average age in India is a full decade less than the USA? It's about the same in the continent of Africa, and about 5 years less in South America.

The age adjusted statistics are the way to study the fatality rates. You have never seen them in the popular media because the average Joe won't understand and the left-leaning powers that be don't like that "science".

I did a polynomial fit and the fatality vs age fits well as soon as you even get up to the power of 2 (squared), and gets better with higher powers. Anyway, it's non-linear, so the correct policy response based on the science is different for different ages.


The CDC strategy of containment assumes that the virus can be contained like Ebola.
Below from:

"There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be contained. Lockdowns are not sustainable. The virus has resumed its spread following the relaxation of every lockdown no matter how long or strict the lockdown. The virus clearly can survive for long periods of time in a dormant phase. This dormant phase could be in a secondary host species, or in asymptomatic human carriers, or in some kind of biofilm. Lockdowns of Young people (decrease of green interactions) have no benefit and can be counterproductive. Control of interactions among the Elderly (decrease of red interactions) or between the Young and Elderly (decrease of blue interactions) are necessary to reducing the number of deaths. The risks and benefits of social interaction are different for each individual and subjective in nature, so the choices of restricting interactions can be made only by the individuals bearing the risks."

wkevinw said...

"once adjusted for contagiousness and virulence, 'we' have not done much better than during the Spanish Flu."

Using the actuarial measure of life years lost, the Spanish flu was about 20 times worse than covid.

Carl said...

"Using the actuarial measure of life years lost, the Spanish flu was about 20 times worse than covid."
Of course, the Spanish Flu was much worse.

The idea was not to delve into a polynomial and statistical rabbit hole (although i can if you really want). The idea was to show that despite huge capacity (scientific advances, financial resources, human capital etc), 'we', humans of the developed world, have done quite poorly versus the potential to curb the effects of nature on humanity.

To prophesize "protect the vulnerable" without a realistic and applicable plan is not really constructive (more like magical thinking). The story of the coronavirus spread in the US has been one of, before vaccines, high levels of community spread and then spread to community members at risk and second, after vaccines, high levels of community spread and then spread (also reaching the vulnerable, immunocompromised etc) through the unvaccinated population.

Where i live, 97% of MDs got vaccinated and i think 3% of outliers is a reasonable number. The 3% say let it rip but at least the 3% are not taken seriously.

The age-segregated data does show that vaccines are only marginally superior in younger age groups (at the individual level) but it's such a no-brainer at the population level.

And yes, Covid is becoming endemic and we'll learn to 'live' with it while there are so many fundamental questions that remain in the extend-and-pretend category. i can't wait for the divisive debates.

Iris said...

Absolutely right Ian. I am a scientist and know that 1:500 unvaccinated Americans
will die from Covid, but fewer than 1:5000 vaccinated.
So if I am immunized, why do i still wear a mask? Simple. No vaccine is 100 percent, Delta ia highly infectious, and even vaccinated people can get a weeks-long illness (like my vaccinated friends up the street who went to an all- vaccinated wedding).
So, I dont want to get sick, or make others sick.
The pandemic is ebbing. Save your outrage for important stuff, not masks.

Iris said...

An N of one! Very convincing! You need to be vaccinated because you CAN get reinfected, and vaccines build higher immunity than natural infections.
But hey-go be a hospital test case! The docs and nurses dont have enough to do, right?

wkevinw said...

" I am a scientist and know that 1:500 unvaccinated Americans
will die from Covid, but fewer than 1:5000 vaccinated.
So if I am immunized, why do i still wear a mask? Simple. No vaccine is 100 percent, Delta ia highly infectious, and even vaccinated people can get a weeks-long illness (like my vaccinated friends up the street who went to an all- vaccinated wedding).
So, I dont want to get sick, or make others sick.
The pandemic is ebbing. Save your outrage for important stuff, not masks."

Scientist here too. I wear a mask in the right situations. The people advocating multiple masks, masking while on the walking trail, etc.= "outrage...for...masks".

"even vaccinated people can get a weeks-long illness"-Depends mostly on age and accompanying medical conditions.

Also note, I am not young any more, but have been fit most of my life. I have been wanting to get the virus from the start to get the immunity to be done with it. Didn't happen. Got vaccinated. Thank goodness we live in a free country.

honestcreditguy said...

their can be no vaccine for an animal reservoir carried virus unless we wipe out all animals...

If you have no comorbidities your chances of dying in accident if driver are worse.
98.6% of folks live with one co morbidity and covid
96.4% if more than 2

Obesity and old age, if your obese, this is your wake up call

The 68 Hong Kong flu would have killed 5 million Americans today, we are an obese nation.....and aging demographic now....

HDX said...

Scott, I call BS on Brian Wesbury. Talk about revisionist history!!!

Wesbury hyped covid week after week after week. At least once a week, he blogged the latest death and case statistics. I know that several First Trust customers literally told him to knock it off. His hysteria was absolutely ridiculous.

More to the point, he is supposedly an economist or a market pundit. While breathlessly babbling about covid, he wasn't talking about the economy.

Covid was never a serious problem (except to those with already compromised immune systems -- elderly or chemo patients). It was always mass hysteria. And Wesbury didn't help.

I'm sure an alleged "doctor" is going to comment that they think covid is serious, but they also claimed it wasn't serious for BLM protests yet was serious for Trump rallies. No one with actual science or medical background would make such a STUPID suggestion. Viruses don't know what politics a person is or isn't protesting.

The Cliff Claven of Finance said...

Ian the mask studies, usually before the cOVID age say that
masks are slightly effective, usually in a range from 0 to 20% effective.
which is often no statistically significant.

The low part of the range is for those cheap 50 cent masks that most people wear
The high end of the range is for N95 masks.
If fitted perfectly to the face
N95 masks they can do much better
than 20% effectiveness.
But nowhere near 95% with viruses.

The N95 filtering face piece respirators may not provide the expected protection level against small virions.

Some surgical masks may let a significant fraction of airborne viruses penetrate through their filters, providing very low protection against aerosolized infectious agents in the size range of 10 to 80 nm.

It should be noted that the surgical masks are primarily designed to protect the environment from the wearer, whereas respirators are supposed to protect the wearer from the environment.

The Cliff Claven of Finance said...

Iris says:
"I am a scientist and know that
1:500 unvaccinated Americans
will die from Covid,
but fewer than 1:5000 vaccinated."

You are speculating.
That is not science.
What kind of scientists are you?
A social scientist?

You say 1 in 500 (or 10 of 5,000)
unvaccinated will die from COVID,
I suppose, because that has already
happened in 2020 and 2021.

But then you predict
(wild guess) only 1 of 5,000
of vaccinated will die.

Your proof -- 'because you say so?'
The disease has mutated since 2020.

The current variants appear less deadly.

The mRNA vaccines have been found
to create short term antibodies,
that make them appear to be great, at first,
and then effectiveness falls apart like
a cheap suitcase, in four to eight months.

The 2021 vaccine formulas
are NOT 95% effective against
the Delta variant.

Short term adverse side effects are the worst
in the history of US approved vaccines.

The time period of vaccine induced effectiveness
is the shortest in the history of US approved vaccines.

The pre-vaccine survival rate for people under age
75 was about 99.8%, so even a perfect vaccine
could not improve the survival rate by more than
0.2 percentage points.

And these current COVID vaccines
are as far from perfect
as any vaccines in US history.

Your 1 of 5,000 death rate wild guess
for the vaccinated is malarkey
-- no one knows that number.

Hospitals in other nations
with high vaccination rates
are filling up with vaccinated
patients. Check out Israel.
Don't hospitalizations
and pain and suffering count?
Or only deaths?

Vaccinated people in the hospital
for COVID or COVID shot side effect
was not supposed to happen.

Meanwhile, people like you
don't even notice the data,
and keep singing Kumbaya about
your beloved vaccines !

The Cliff Claven of Finance said...

Iris said:
"You need to be vaccinated because you CAN get reinfected, and vaccines build higher immunity than natural infections.'


Johnny Bee Dawg said...

Masks DO NOT slow the spread of a virus.
We are in crazy land.

Vaccinated people get virus, get Covid and spread Covid just like anybody else...especially after a few months of being "vaccinated".
Its not a vaccine, it is a therapeutic. It lessens symptoms once you get Covid for a good 4-6 months after getting the shot.
Your shot does not protect anybody but YOU. Your own body, only.

All the above is science and data. Anything else is politics and disinformation.
Lets watch our free society as they march us down the crazy trail.

Frozen in the North said...


The data for the Spanish flu is that nearly 700,000 Americans died from it, which is about the same for Covid...unless of course, you think that covid is BS. First, there is no doubt that children do not, in general, due from Covid, but they are vectors. So Parents and teachers (median age 42 in the US) are at risk.

Masks were never to protect the wearer, it was to protect others. Doctors in operating rooms don't wear masks for their health but for the health of the patient.

How did America go from "the greatest generation" to "I cannot be bothered to keep my fellow citizen healthy" I just don't understand, the logic or intentions? UP here in Canada (yep) Alberta decided to "eliminate all covid rules" in June of this year. Now hospitals are full and nearly 50% of all covid cases are in Alberta and BC.

But I get it, Americans have become so used to having "other people pay for their stupidity, why should the "me too" generation change its rules for a small virus.

Finally, and this is my favorite thing of the week, turns out the Cuban missile crisis was entirely fabricated by Kennedy and Krutchev! No wonder the people no longer trust their government when one of the most important events of the cold war was 100% fabricated by Kennedy so that he would win the midterms.

The Cliff Claven of Finance said...

the Atlantic was wrong.
The crisis was not fabricated.
It was real.

The US missiles were placed in Turkey
when Eisenhower was US military
commander in chief, before Kennedy
took office.

Kennedy allegedly didn't
even know about them
when he became president.

They were removed in trade for
the USSR removing
their missiles from Cuba
But it was a scary month.

There is a story that a US destroyer
came close to sinking a Russian nuclear sub
near Cuba with depth charges.
I don't know if the story aas true.

I don't recall if Kennedy ever claimed
his Cuba blockade was effective ...
at least some of the USSR missiles
in Cuba were already operational.

The Cliff Claven of Finance said...

To Johnny Dawg.
Masks may have a slight protective effect
for infected people who go out in public
and cough and sneeze towards other people.
Masks reduce the spray distance.
Barely worth mentioning.

Vaccines do have two negative effects on case counts:
-- Vaccines do not prevent spread, although many people don't know that,
and they stop / reduce social distancing ... which should increase spread

-- Vaccinated people can carry a high viral load without
symptoms, or with mild symptoms, not knowing they are infected,
and then they unintentionally become "super spreaders".

I'm not sure how much vaccine protection is left after six
months, but it appears antibody counts are down at least 50%.

I do know there have been an unprecedented number
of adverse side effects from the shots, usually
in the two weeks after a shot, which gets defined as
an "unvaccinated" period,
when "partially vaccinated"
would be a more accurate description,

2020 with no vaccines
= lots of dead Americans from COVID

2021 through September, with three vaccines
= even more dead Americans than in 2020

How is that a success?

Iris said...

Not a social scientist. I am a professor at a medical school, I deal with data management every day, and my "predictions" were based on actual death rates. MY reinfected friends had zero underlying conditions, and are super glad that their prior vaccinations kept them out of the hospital.
Is it really worth the risk not to be vaccinated? Thinking people don't "sing kumbaya"- they get the shot.