Do Legal Restrictions Account for the Downward Trend in New COVID-19 Cases?

The New York Times thinks so, but the data do not fit that hypothesis very well.


Three weeks after newly identified COVID-19 cases began falling in the United States, The New York Times is acknowledging the downward trend, which it attributes to "effective restrictions." That explanation fits neatly with the paper's reflexive enthusiasm for lockdowns, but it does not fit the data very well.

Consider Arizona, where the seven-day average of daily new cases, according to Worldometer's tallies, rose more than tenfold between Memorial Day and July 7. Alarmed by that increase, Gov. Doug Ducey ordered gyms, bars, movie theaters, and water parks to close on July 23, while indoor dining in restaurants continued at 50 percent of capacity, a cap Ducey imposed on July 11. But the downward trend in new cases, which had fallen by 82 percent from the July 7 peak as of yesterday, began well before the new restrictions could have had a measurable impact (taking into account the typical five-day lag between infection and symptoms that might cause people to seek testing). That suggests other factors are at least partly responsible for the decline.

Newly confirmed cases are also falling in Georgia, which did not respond to this summer's spike with new business restrictions. The seven-day average, which rose fivefold between May 25 and July 29, has fallen by 35 percent since then.

In Texas, the seven-day average of newly identified cases rose tenfold between May 25 and July 15. It has since fallen by nearly half. Gov. Greg Abbott closed bars and reduced the cap on indoor dining from 75 percent to 50 percent of capacity on June 26. Yet cases continued rising for nearly three weeks, longer than the maximum incubation period. The story is similar in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis closed bars the same day as Abbott. The seven-day average of daily new cases peaked three weeks later, when it was nearly 16 times higher than it was on May 25, then fell by two-thirds as of yesterday.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom closed bars, zoos, and museums on July 13, when he also banned indoor dining in restaurants. The seven-day average of daily new cases peaked 12 days later, when it was nearly five times the number on May 25, then fell for two weeks before rising again. The decline resumed in mid-August, and as of yesterday the average was down 42 percent from the July 25 peak. That pattern likewise does not easily fit the hypothesis that new legal restrictions account for most or all of the decline.

California's restrictions, including a total ban on indoor dining, are more severe than the statewide limits in Arizona, Florida, or Texas, which enforce a 50 percent cap. Yet the latter three states have seen bigger declines in confirmed cases, although they also saw bigger increases in June and July.

It is plausible that limiting the options for people to get together, especially indoors in close quarters, would reduce virus transmission. But it is difficult to disentangle the impact of government edicts from the impact of increased voluntary precautions, both of which can be expected in response to spikes in cases. Just as it is hard to assess the additional contribution of general lockdowns at a time when Americans were already responding to the COVID-19 epidemic by dramatically changing their behavior, it is hard to say how much credit relatively modest legal restrictions should get for reversing the recent surge in cases.

Given the timing of the downward trends in these Sunbelt states, attributing them mostly or entirely to new legal restrictions seems more than a little hasty. The Times alludes to voluntary changes in behavior just once in its story, citing a University of Arizona professor of public health policy who mentioned "news media coverage of the heightened risk" as one factor that helps explain the decline in cases. The implication, which the Times predictably fails to unpack, is that people responded to that "heightened risk" by being more careful—e.g., by limiting social interactions, avoiding crowds, following physical distancing guidelines, and wearing face masks in public places.

What about face mask mandates? Even if businesses were already requiring customers to wear masks, a legal requirement could help reduce disputes about those policies and increase compliance. Yet Newsom mandated masks in California on June 18, more than a month before new cases peaked in that state, while Abbott followed suit in Texas on July 2, nearly two weeks before that state's peak. Neither Arizona, Florida, nor Georgia has a statewide mask requirement, although some local governments in those states have imposed their own mandates.

"Of the states that are driving the decrease" in new cases, the Times says, "all have at least some local mask mandates, and most have paused or reversed statewide reopening policies." That gloss, which dismisses the absence of statewide mask mandates, elides the difference between imposing restrictions and delaying their removal, and ignores the states without new restrictions, makes the Times seem desperate to credit government policies for positive trends that ultimately depend on how people decide to behave.

Granting that legal restrictions have some impact on virus transmission, the extent of those restrictions is still a matter of controversy, given their substantial costs and uncertain benefits. The Times describes a "flattening" of the COVID-19 curve in states where restaurants are still serving customers indoors, for example. Does that mean Newsom went too far by banning indoor dining? Is there an important distinction between bars and restaurants, as DeSantis, Abbott, and Ducey seem to think, or is that premise dangerously mistaken? One thing seems clear from recent COVID-19 trends: The curve can be flattened without general lockdowns, without statewide mask mandates, and even (as in Georgia) without new, post-lockdown restrictions on businesses.

In all of these states, the decline in new cases has been followed by a decline in daily COVID-19 fatalities since earlier this month. Nationwide, according to Worldometer's numbers, the seven-day average of daily new cases, which exceeded 69,000 on July 25, had fallen to about 43,000 as of yesterday. The seven-day average of daily deaths fell from nearly 1,200 on August 4 to fewer than 1,000 yesterday. Independent data scientist Youyang Gu, who has a good track record of predicting COVID-19 fatalities, is currently projecting a nationwide death toll of about 227,000 by November 1, compared to about 176,000 now.

Is that number lower than it would have been without last spring's lockdowns, and will the ultimate death toll likewise be lower than it otherwise would have been? On that question, the Times seems to be hedging.

In late June, the paper noted that "the shared sacrifice of millions of Americans suspending their lives—with jobs lost, businesses shuttered, daily routines upended—has not been enough to beat back a virus whose staying power around the world is only still being grasped." The implication of that story was that lockdowns were lifted too soon and too quickly. But since the sweeping social and economic restrictions that most states imposed could not feasibly have been sustained until effective vaccines were deployed, it was inevitable that we would eventually face the situation we now confront.

The virus is still here, as everyone knew it would be. And to the extent that lockdowns were effective in reducing transmission, they left a population more vulnerable to infection than it otherwise would have been. In this context, it makes sense to concentrate on protecting Americans in high-risk groups rather than younger, healthier people who face a negligible risk of dying from COVID-19.

Recent data suggest we have had some success on that score. Even as cases spiked this summer, the nationwide crude case fatality rate—deaths as a share of confirmed cases—continued to decline, dropping by nearly 50 percent since mid-May. That trend largely reflects a younger, healthier mix of patients. The key to minimizing the death toll while we wait for a vaccine is preventing new cases among older, frailer people. The debate should focus on the best ways to do that rather than recriminations about what went wrong with lockdowns. And in weighing our options, it would be foolhardy to assume that government policy is all that matters while overlooking the crucial role of the decisions that each of us makes every day.

NEXT: The Fed Sees Lingering Economic Pain From the Pandemic and the Lockdowns

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    3. I disagree.
      Reason writers, and their preferred audience, cares very much what’s in the NYT.
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  3. Waiting for a vaccine? LOL.

      1. Or November 4?

      2. I’m waiting for guffman

    1. Waiting for your two-link post to be ‘moderated’.

  4. There is no mention what I suspect is responsible for the decline, which is that cases will decline as we approach herd immunity. Based on real world data, especially the Diamond Princess cruise ship example and what’s happening in NYC, it appears that the studies out of Europe on T-Cell cross-immunity were correct and that the threshold for herd immunity is much closer to 20% than 60-70%. Cue the rending of garments by the leftists. Open up colleges and schools, and that should get us the rest of the way there.

    1. Of course, the lockdowns will get all the credit in the MSM, even though they actually prolonged this pandemic without saving many, if any, lives, and likely causing loss of life due to other causes.

    2. Do you have a citation for these claims? I would like to share it with my colleagues.

      1. “what I suspect is responsible for the decline”

        It’s a suspicion based on the two studies on T-Cell cross-immunity out of Europe (Germany and Sweden I think) as well as the real world examples I also cited. I said all of this in my post. Can you cite an instance where a population’s infection rate is much higher than 20%? Another question, and be honest: Do you hope I’m right or wrong?

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        In a study by Grifoni et al.1, reactivity was detected in 50% of donor blood samples obtained in the USA between 2015 and 2018, before SARS-CoV-2 appeared in the human population.

        These results are roughly the same in every study I have seen.

    3. Yes. The virus is following normal epidemic curves in most places, just like any other respiratory virus. Deaths and infections are on the decline because the epidemic is winding down in a lot of places.
      People can judge for themselves, but I think it is becoming pretty clear that restrictions and masking and everything have very little effect on when an outbreak hits. Some places may have delayed outbreaks, but without eternal sealed borders and ridiculous restrictions, all those places are doing is delaying the inevitable. In places where the virus is widespread, this will be over long before there is an effective vaccine. I just hope the retards who presume to rule us are out of office or acknowledge reality by then.

      1. “…Some places may have delayed outbreaks, but without eternal sealed borders and ridiculous restrictions, all those places are doing is delaying the inevitable…”

        CA did a serious lock-down, the infection rate fell. Then emperor Newsom opened the gates a bit and infections increased, so he closed it down again.
        He thinks he’s helping matters rather than spreading it out.

    4. True. 34% of people in Berlin who were never in contact with covid-1984 still had T-cell immunity against it. T-cells detect other coronaviruses and the similar structures in covid-1984 and neutralize both types of coronavirus. There’s nothing “novel” about this one.

  5. The virus is going to spread. All you can do is slow it down a bit.
    I understood that “flatten the curve” meant the same number of cases/hospitalizations (the area under the curve), just spread out, but the politicians and journalists seem to have forgotten that. I believe the virus goes through cycles that the lockdowns and mandatory face masks have little impact on. Each cycle has a lower impact than the previous cycle. As the current cycle starts winding down, I’m still predicting the number of daily COVID deaths in the US will drop below 300 by the end of Oct.

    1. But do we want to slow it down? If immunity declines with time (a big if), keeping the infection rate slow but constant means that people can get reinfected, and the pandemic can go on forever. Even with a vaccine, what might matter is reaching a threshold of immune people, even for a short time.

      1. ^this^

        Also, no one forgot about “flattening the curve.” That was an outright lie from the get-go.

        1. Yes, and it was amazing how so many of the commentariat here who frequently acknowledge an inherent leftward bias in the press thought that it was an outright lie from the get-go. Almost like they understood a narrative was being followed right from the beginning. So many of them were also correct about the grossly overstated danger of fatality to those not otherwise vulnerable to any virus. Clearly a bunch of conspiracy nuts.

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      2. At this point, at least here in WA we do not want to slow it down. We now know the virus was running through the population undetected in December. Our healthcare system is in no danger, and we DO NOT want to drag our curve into flu season.

        So of course that’s exactly what Jay Inslee is going to try to do. Five months closed at this point, with no strategy or endgame in sight.

        1. One had better hope for a flu season much milder than expected.
          Get your vaccine.

      3. Unless there is a big problem at hospitals, I see no reason to slow it down. Everyone can make their own judgement on how to modify their own behavior. But enough with this fascist social engineering bullshit.

  6. As many on the left as are suffering from TDS, I worry about the many on the right that suffer from NYTDS.

    Come on, man. The Times is a bunch of idiots pushing an obvious agenda. They say stupid shit all the time, just like Trump does. Don’t make the mistake of letting them live rent-free in your head.

    1. Media outlets tailor stories to cater to their chosen consumers now. The Times is no different. The only joy many of us have now is pointing out to NYT contributors and subscribers that, as Gillespie says to Tibbs, “Man, you’re just like the rest of us… Ain’t ya?”

  7. Do Legal Restrictions Account for the Downward Trend in New COVID-19 Cases?

    No. When in doubt, always just take the opposite position of the NY Times. You’ll rarely be wrong.

  8. The NYT is a hyper partisan mess and should never be consulted for anything.

    1. Well there is a self-defeating comment if I ever saw one. Talk about an own goal.

      1. lol it’s cute how you try so hard

        1. He didn’t say something stupid, he will claim sarcasm.

  9. Other than the original 15 day shutdown the rest is political bullshit. There’s decades of studies on the use of masks in preventing infection in operating rooms. Many of them show reduced infections by not wearing masks. The MSM brushes them aside. Since the MSM is firmly in the Democrat’s hip pockets, the only places reporting these studies are Conservative sites, which are brushed off by the MSM. I read the papers for some of these studies and laughed my ass off at the procedures that were used. One study that was highly touted by CNN was from the UK where they just took a phone survey. One done at Florida International by “engineering students” was so lax that I’ve seen the Mythbusters use better science.

    1. I’ve read some of the studies that supposedly show masks are great too. Every one I’ve read is really weak and they often show no statistically significant effect at all either way. Any studies that actually say masks work make it very clear that it depends heavily on having the right kind of mask, worn and fitted properly, with proper protocols for doning and doffing and wearing them for appropriate amounts of time. Not putting some rag over your face all day that soaks up all the germs and shit you encounter.

    2. Exactly. There are studies going back at least to 1984, before anyone had a political agenda to flog, showing that wearing a mask during surgery slightly increases the risk of post-op infections. Post-operative infections were either about the same or reduced when surgeons didn’t wear masks. Surgical masks aren’t worn to protect other people or from viruses, anyway. They’re for protecting the OR personnel from blood, feces, and other crap that’s dripped, flung, squirted, and spattered during procedures. Study after study shows the inefficacy of N95 and cloth masks in preventing the spread of influenza viruses and bacteria, with the filtration efficiency of fabric anywhere from 3-33%. But then, face diapers are about submission, not transmission.

  10. I’m getting tired of Reason’s ongoing “so much of what’s happening is because people were already volunteering to act in a certain way” (i.e. socially distance, stay at home, wear face masks) line, because they don’t state what’s behind those so-called voluntary actions: a government that needlessly scared the shit out of everyone, claiming the virus as apocalyptic rather than something that is in reality 99 percent survivable.

    And it’s that fear that allows governors like Lujan Grisham and Whitmer to keep people in lock down until there’s a vaccine (Grisham stated as much in a recent ABQ Journal editorial)—not the rational actions of a populace acting of their own accord.

    And the sheeple will accept it hook, line, and sinker.

    1. As did Sullum. He always wears a mask.

      1. Yes, Reason always qualifies its so-called liberty-first ethos with, “but, don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying the virus isn’t dangerous.”

        1. To be sure…

      2. Well we all have a face
        That we hide away forever
        And we take them out and
        Show ourselves
        When everyone has gone
        Some are satin some are steel
        Some are silk and some are leather

    2. Your spot on…reason refuses to speak out against the lockdown or the ongoing restrictions. People have enmasse bought into the mask bullshit. The bottom line is all restrictions should have been lifted months ago.

      1. What’s the over/under on when we can give up on masks?

        1. Never.

          The downside is the total destruction of the cosmetics and cosmetic surgery industry.

          The upside: Listerine stock goes through the roof, and dentists are richer than ever.

      2. They never should have been imposed, even if it were the Andromeda Strain instead of a cold virus with a .05% fatality rate.

    3. 99.75% survivable.

    4. Ah, you have the real world where anything may be possible to achieve in practice, not leastwise voluntary deference to scientific optimism or quarantine (however you figure) or leadership taking care of it.

      This voluntary aspect leads one way to remind readers IMO that the state is not always the reason for human behavior, despite that it can be.

      But let’s be clear: a notable number of persons are not adopting each of these protocols. Plenty obviously are not wearing masks, and some even remove them once passing outdoor store security checkpoint.

      Intuitively, your opinion may be on-target. But no one really knew what sort of jeopardy the population was in for. It follows from global public record, from other epidemics such as SARS of the Russian Federation for example, as to why COVID -19 showed up as epidemic potential of the given magnitude. What tripped off the early assessment and whether the very criteria remain well-founded, I know not.

      Getting past leaders to liberty of this nation takes other than the requisite infantile-clearance mind, necessarily so. Every little breadcrumb of liberty helps make the difference, one way as reader or the other as participant.

    5. That’s really the most shocking thing. How readily people swallowed this shit. Seemed pretty fucking obvious by mid-march that people were way overreacting. I was sure that by now people would have figured it out and refused to go along. But I guess I underestimated the idiocy of politics and people’s inability to assess risk in a rational way.

    6. I agree with you on several points, but can we stop doing the “99 percent survivable” thing? That’s NOT a reason to ignore the virus. If the early expected threshold for herd immunity of 70% was right, and the virus was 99% survivable, that would be about two million American deaths. Even at 20%, it’s still about a half million. Neither of those is a “bring it on” kind of situation.

      1. No reason to ignore the virus by . . . whom? The state? If so, then you believe that our bodies do not belong to us but to the collective/state, and that the government is ultimately responsible for our well being.

        Furthermore, IS there a survivability percentage at which it becomes okay to ignore the virus? Every death is a tragedy to the people affected by it, but 2 million or 200,000 is statistically immaterial. If 500,000 people get X type of disease a year and 99 percent survive it? Damn, if I have to get a disease, sign me up for that one.

      2. According to the CDC’s website, of the 175,000 deaths attributed to covid-1984, just 6% died OF it. The other 94% had an average of 2.6 other co-morbidities that contributed to their deaths and therefore died WITH it. That’s 10,500 people who died OF KungFlu. Then consider that coronaviruses have been around in humans forever and cause up to 30% of common colds. This one is not novel and is so similar that at least in Berlin, 34% of people who were never in contact with covid-1984 still had T-cell immunity against it because their immune systems treat it as indistinguishable from other coronaviruses. There’s therefore already a huge segment of the population that has immunity, putting us far closer to the 70% herd immunity than most people realize.

        1. Yep. And yet, we the sheeple still accept this attenuated life. It’s almost as if we’re paying some kind of penance—a Puritan strain still runs through out DNA, only now it seems it’s the progressive who are “infected.”

  11. >>attributing them mostly or entirely to new legal restrictions seems more than a little hasty

    ran its course. fin.

    1. Why the hell are people so hesitant to make this obvious observation? It behaves like every other respiratory epidemic. How is this a surprise?

  12. Voluntary self control was the backstory behind the numbers falling on the east coast. The story that before the government had made it mandatory the people had already taken the precautions. I live in AZ didn’t see any significant change in behavior from March to now.

    Both seem very unlikely. Seems more like viral burnout. Pretty clearly, the virus is not like a double tap to the skull from three feet away with a .45. It is much more like throwing gasoline on a smouldering fire. If there is no fire and you throw gasoline on something, nothing happens. People are exposed to gasoline every day at the pump and there are not a lot of fires in gas stations relative to the amount of gas pumped.

    People who were already dying of other comorbidities such as general old age or diabetes and obesity…. This thing acts like a catalyst. And there were plenty of those people around but the numbers have been thinned. When you think about how it has had an effect across the population, that makes more sense than any other explanation.

    The post mortem may read like that. More than herd immunity, the herd has been thinned. The ‘medical’ system has been a failure for decades in this country, people with the money paying to be kept alive and paying for more treatments and drugs to offset the decades of abuse that has been inflicted on their bodies.

    No one is talking about the recovered vs the deaths. According to the Covid tracking project which is supplying Johns Hopkins with data

    While there have been close to 170,000 deaths attributed to Covid, there have been closer to 2,000,000 people who were recorded as infected and are now recorded as recovered. So plenty of convalescent plasma around that might help children and others who are not already on a shortened lifeline due to genetics or self inflicted damage.

    Money doesn’t keep anyone alive, Ask Steve Jobs or Paul Allen. Oh yeah, you can’t can you. They didn’t have enough money to keep themselves alive.

    1. It wasn’t money that killed Steve Jobs. A repair guy stole his own personal iPad handheld with all his ideas (perhaps he had not made a backup?) But later he gave it back.

      I’d bet that losing everything and confessing to the world that he had felt the loss and didn’t have the security hammered down as tight an Apple mogul ought gave him more than a few stakes that day for him to eat later.

  13. It is also possible that the public started being more careful because it saw the same problems as caused the government to impose legal restrictions. Thus, cases would start falling before the beldated restrictions were mandated. If this is the case, then strong intelligent social messaging might have done the trick rather than calling the virus a hoax until it became an run-away pandemic fueled by a “fucking moron.”

    1. run-away pandemic

    2. At what point was it a runaway pandemic in the U.S.?

    3. It’s also possible that it’s a fucking mild respiratory virus that does what mild respiratory viruses do – find a bunch of hosts, make some sick, and kill a tiny percentage.

      Unfortunately, it didn’t take you

    4. There is no runaway pandemic. Infections reach a peak and then they decline. That is what has happened everywhere. That is just about the opposite of a runaway condition.

    5. Or the public had pants-crapping meltdown because they’re a bunch of retards who can’t assess the risk from a cold virus with an average fatality age of 80. Just 6% of the alleged 175,000 deaths are in people without comorbidities. 94% of the fatalities had an average of 2.6 comorbitidies that contributed to their deaths. 10,500 people have died OF KungFlu. There’s no pandemic, runaway or otherwise. No one’s calling the virus a hoax, but they are calling the panic-porn fear-mongering over a cold virus a hoax, a scheme, and a pretext for imposing dictatorship. Combine propaganda with self-infantilization and emasculation, and you have people begging the government to tell them when or whether they can earn a living, where they can stand, and what kind of filthy pathogen-collecting rag they should slap on.

      1. Comorbidities like obesity and asthma/allergies and high blood pressure – which is basically a huge swath of the american population. Also, “recovered” basically means “didn’t die.” It doesn’t take into account all the people who now have neuro issues, permanently reduced lung capacity and heart damage due to inflammation, even when they had zero symptoms. You kinda tip your cognitive biases with your KungFlu reference.

  14. “it is hard to say how much credit relatively modest legal restrictions should get for reversing the recent surge in cases.”

    They shutdown churches and businesses. There was nothing “modest” about any of that.

    Always kid gloves whenever countering something in the NYT (a brief respite from regurgitating the exact same publication uncritically).

  15. We are going to hear more about convalescent plasma treatment according to reports.

    It is nothing new. Over a century old and has long been seen in medicine as a “last ditch” or “heroic” option.

    It has shown promise in case series. The idea is easy to understand and makes empirical sense.

    It is not some miracle cure. There is no “deep state” involved here. Here is a link to a good review so people can decide for themselves.

    1. You really have nothing to offer the world

  16. Gee Jacob, that’s a long route to saying ‘Sweden was right along’.

    All this mixing up of casualty and correlation is dizzying.

    The lockdowns were NEVER rooted in any kind of science. They were based on a faulty model that erroneously predicted mass death and mayhem. Since we have astonishingly levels of Incompetence and corruption, it was only fitting politicians would buy into this crap. So attempting to figure out if they worked is a fool’s game.

    Let’s stop kidding ourselves.

    We threw away 100 years of established science because we’re run by complete morons. And now for the next few years I have to read articles about how ‘restrictions worked’ when clearly the trade-offs show we lost the plot. At best, it was Pyrrhic Victory. At best.

    We still hear ‘we may have to wear masks even with a vaccine indefinitely herp, derp, herp’ from public health officials. Tam, Fauci, etc. They should all resign.

    Know what I think based on an endless stream of listening and reading experts? This stupid fricken virus is over blown to criminal levels and is hardly ‘novel’. It’s acting exactly how virologists said it would. I fail to see what’s so lethal about it and why we find ourselves in a situation where states like Maine take retard to another level by asking restaurant workers to wear human cone shields, schools weaponizing desks with plexiglass while mandating kids wear masks (child abuse right there), and my wife’s school deciding they can’t use the fricken fridge and micro-wave (despite it being shown the virus doesn’t spread from surface as first thought).

    We’re micro-managing our ives to the point of anti-humanism deluding ourselves into thinking we can ‘beat’ viruses billions of years old. I want to wring and throttle people’s necks.

    Superstitious bull shit all this. It’s the fog of fear.

    Now its all noise and politics as politicians look to protect their asses.

    Quick word on masks as it pertains to Quebec. In June, we experienced mid-double digit cases (whatever that means anymore) in the 70 per da range. Then it went up soon after and into July to c. 150. On the 18th, they mandated masks, where the figure permitted at the level and has since come off.

    Good luck convincing me it was because of the masks. It’s a coincidence. The way I see it, shut the fuck up and let this thing burn threw the population and get on with it already. Everything else is kabuki theatre.

    The end.

    1. Your argument requires us to agree that hundreds of thousands of deaths are no big deal.

      1. No it doesn’t.

        1. Oh so it’s just incessant whiny bitchery about hygiene measures? You know who else does that? Undisciplined children.

      2. Tony
        August.24.2020 at 9:22 pm
        “Your argument requires us to agree that hundreds of thousands of deaths are no big deal.”


      3. No. Hundreds of thousands of deaths would have occurred no matter what we did. That’s the point. With what we did, we are going to see many more deaths caused by the response to the virus in addition to the inevitable deaths from the virus. Your argument relies on assuming that the horrible economic and social destruction that has happened is no big deal. Go fuck your mother.

      4. Your argument requires you to believe that there were really hundreds of thousands of deaths, or that anyone should throw their freedoms away over these particular deaths when the three million people who die annually in America never prompted that kind of hyperventilating panic before. 250,000 Americans die every year from medical mistakes. You’d be better off advocating for hospitals tweaking their procedures a little.

        Just 6% of the “175,000” figure actually died OF covid-1984. The rest had an average of 2.6 co-morbidities that contributed to their deaths. Good luck parsing which of those 3.6 things killed someone. But if it makes you feel more panicky, go ahead and count them.

    2. A real lockdown (everyone stay in your house for 3 weeks and don’t go out) would have helped. Most people (except “essential” workers) stay in your house for 6 months, but go to the grocery store, the bank, the Home Depot, or whatever doesn’t stop anything.

      1. Either lock it all down and everyone actually shares the pain together or eat a bag of semi-softened dicks.

        Vote for me.

      2. But would it have helped, or only delayed? Unless it is contained early enough to really prevent spread, it seems to me that it’s all pointless and the most that can be done by a drastic total lockdown is delay it.

        “Lockdown” should never even be considered in a purportedly free country. It’s shocking that people accepted that language and didn’t storm the state capitals demanding some resignations.

      3. No, it wouldn’t have helped. Jesus christ, how did you get over the fence and out of North Korea?

    3. We learn that no one currently has a monopoly on immunological responses nor socioimmunological responses.

      That obviously suggests economic shortage of some type, there in the informational society of recent yore.

      Optimism on approach can at least hope to make certain inferences:

      • A lot of young people get to confront a timeless social, or social-historical problem.

      • A lot of people people (such as herein) get to probe for where the bill for target action has ended up and determine sensical criteria for what constitutes public biological threat.

      Hopefully there would be some consideration going into the equal and also qualifiable prospect of biowarfare, which could look a lot like any dissemination of viral spread. Oh, this this was a bio-warfare attack from nature. But we could be scratching our heads about any mutant virus, such as “why has Ebola gotten a temperate climate profile and no longer tropical,” and wondering, early on, stuck with similar questions as began with COVID-19

      For all involvement to-date, say it ain’t so and that any prospective bio-warfare, nature’s or otherwise, won’t lead us down the same sketchy path so dependent upon walk-this-way, follow-the-leader quarantine plans that just rolled out these past months.

      Yes, this COVID-19 scare obviously looks like what vigilance can consequence. But does it pass the muster hands-down?

  17. The other day I read an insufferable piece from Nanny Bloomberg from some douche Harvard lawyer called Cass Sustein about how much of a virtuous shit stain he was for thinking of others. Blah, blah, blah gibberish. It’s all so tiresome.

    In another Bloomberg article, there was a comment from a man who stated he was 60 years-old and rode his bike with a mask (RE-TARD) because he too cared for others and wasn’t belligerent.

    I’m at the point now where I don’t care to even live in the same ZIP/Postal code with these people.

    When the Zombie apocalypse comes, these people will put me in danger.

    For the last four years, people infected with TDS ( a virus with a far higher R-number than Covid) helped some of us realize the people we need to keep at bay in our lives because they were unhinged but this mask thing only flushed out still more people I look at with a crooked skeptical eye.

    It’s one thing to wear a mask voluntarily which I support. It’s quite another to advocate mandates (based on weak evidence) and claim you’re virtuous in doing so.

    No you’re not. You’re a pain shitting authoritarian sucking the cock of the credentialed elites and pseudo-science.

    As one famous former commenter once said, ‘Fuck off, slaver’.

    1. Sounds like you have a serious emotional problem on your hands.

      1. Projection.

  18. We really don’t have any true data on much of anything concerning this fake pandemic. It’s so easy for certain factions to manipulate every little stat. And for sure and for certain, you do not lockdown healthy people. Never mind that for every action there is often an reaction or unintended consequence. We are not hearing about the effects of masking, distancing and lockdowns that are going to occur to people and may result in more deaths than the actual virus (although I do not believe for one minute it is a virus). There is a huge psychological debt to be paid. One that likely cannot be measured because there is no true way to define it. The NY Times is another socialist controlled media rag that has lost all credibility. Even the once illustrious Cosmo magazine has become nothing but a liberal hack show.

    1. California shut down first and has had the most compliance with mask wearing. It also has the most cases.

      1. About in the middle for per capita cases. The top six states in per capita cases are deep red plus Florida.

        1. So real real payoff for all the mandates.

        2. Yes, but look at the DEATHS, Tony. You know, the metric you keep harping about. Florida blows blue states out of the water.

          I mean, do you even try?

          1. Surely you aren’t suggesting that states with higher populations have higher numbers of deaths.

            1. I think you act like a mendacious twit for its own sake.

              THE CASE/PER DEATH rate in Florida is lower. MUCH lower.

              NY/NJ/MASS/CT all have among the highest death rates in the West.

              You’re so-called intelligent blue states.

      2. I don’t suppose anyone has ever deliberately exposed themselves in order to get a break from a job or revel in the fashionable aspect? I mean, that looks like a mere 5 trillion in vacation money in the short term, but in the long term just think what sort of dream it could buy!

        Funny, after producing all that value I feel strangely infected … I wonder if I should see an economics professor for at least one good semester …

        Anyone could be planning to make the cut out of this recent, mass bureaucratic collusion with the “popular consciousness.” However, it was an intelligent man who once said that we need to figure out what we know we know as well as what we know that we do not know — attributed to astronomer Copernicus a few centuries on past.

  19. The surge in cases started two weeks after the mass protest super spreader events started. The surge in daily deaths happened two weeks after that. Cases and deaths are falling again because the people who attended the mass protest super spreader events have already exposed most of the people in their network (including the people who didn’t attend the mass protest super spreader events.)

  20. So the argument is that we know what measures work, but you’d prefer if people took them on their own and government didn’t require them. Okay. Distinction without a difference except to people who want to flout behavioral changes because Trump told them it’s a fake China Democrat virus or whatever.

    1. Tony, public health officials were pulling policies out of their asses.

      Sure we can plausibly observe or study the measures worked to some degree. But look at the big picture. They were put in place to slow (not stop) the spread because you can’t stop a virus. You can’t micro-manage our lives much longer.

      All we did was delay the inevitable. Sweden hasn’t reported cases in the last few days and likely won’t see a ‘second wave’. We may still ‘spikes’ because we’re still not out of lockdowns fully. We’ll see in the fall how things play out but my take? Damn the torpedoes.

      Death rates will not be what they were in March notably because we’re prepared, immunity will hopefully isolate the vulnerable as proper, and have treatments.

      The CDC announced asymptomatic people don’t need to test anymore even if they’ve been in contact with infected people.

      Know what that may indirectly indicate? They don’t need masks either.

      We can live with this virus. We always have as a species. This one is no different. Time to end the panic. End all the madness.

      What’s it going to take for you to grasp the suppression theory is wrong headed?

      1. Place a comma after ‘immunity’.

      2. Technically we just lived with every virus that has ever come along, except for the ones who died. In all your walls of text I’m not finding a coherent policy response that isn’t “maximum death so I don’t have to have any responsibility for anything.” I’m sure you’ll still be on the principled, pragmatic side of death if you’re the one with a rube shoved down his throat.

        It all feels like the desperate flailing of someone when their favorite politician has caused so much death and everyone in American is watching it happen.

        Maybe that absolute shitshow of a convention will convince enough voters that he’s actually doing the right thing.

      3. It’s worse than that. Tony is the dipshit buggy driver who’s calling for the end to the automobile after the first couple of car fires or manufacturing recalls.

        If, instead of modelling: “If this is like the 1918 epidemic unless we lock down, 2.2M people could die.” the forecasters had said “If this is like the 1957 or 1968 epidemic, 1-200K people are going to die, we need to move to isolate the sick and elderly while working to find effective treatments.” Not only would we have been more accurate, better accounting for the vast array of direct and ancillary technology that’s crept up since 1918, but we’d have been better off socially and economically for the last 6 mos. and we’d be better off going forward as well. And the funniest part is, all the above is patently obvious, some people just won’t admit it and/or refuse to accept it.

        Unfortunately for Tony, he took a career as a coachman in the era of automobiles or a coal miner in the era of natural gas and doesn’t know any other way except to defend his poor choice of a career. For people like him, learning to code is too hard.

        1. 2.2 million people did not die.

          Does this mean we saved 2 million lives?

          1. No, because millions were never in danger to begin with.

            I don’t think people are quite grasping the nursing home event was a one-off. They seem to think what happens to the elderly will happen to the population at large like the Spanish flu. Our perception of its alleged lethality is based on that outlier.

            Now unless this so-called novel virus does mutate into something more nastier (which doesn’t seem to be echoed from the literature I read), don’t expect it to kill or spread to the degree being claimed by people who are panicking about the fall/winter.

            We’ll see.

            But if it does come back more vicious, tell you what, you’re gonna need a bigger mask.

        2. He’s not getting it.

          He’s so focused on lives saved it’s clouding the reality that a set of policies to attempt something as impractical could lead to more misery as was the case with the lockdown.

          Classic ‘do something, do anything and if you don’t you’re a nasty human’. A guy like Tony has to be forced to face the human toll of such actions to see the ‘unseen’.

          The Diamond Princess incident was the perfect petri dish for what was going to come. Had officials followed what happened there, they would have done what we’ve always done and isolate the sick and not shut down. That’s the policy that would have been best.

          But to people like Tony this sound and sane approach was unacceptable. Nope. You had to go with the faulty models predicting mass death.

          Now you have Bill Gates saying millions more will die.

          These criminals are making sure to keep people in total fear and control as they pretend to care and play science experts.

          1. What people like Tony don’t realize is that, given the long incubation time of the WuFlu, it’s contagiousness, and the fact that 90% of the peole who get the thing never even know they have/had it, the vast majority of the people who have died were dead the moment that Chinese researcher first caught the damned thing. They were the low hanging fruit.

    2. The argument is that it’s a fucking cold virus just like all the other coronaviruses that cause colds. It has a lower fatality rate than seasonal flu and is deadly almost exclusively to the elderly with co-morbidities. In Sweden, where they didn’t adopt any of your “behavioral changes,” the median fatality age is higher than the average life expectancy. What the fuck are you melting down over, again? The only “measures that work” on viruses are hand washing and coughing or sneezing into your sleeve. Face diapers don’t work. Surgical masks don’t work. “Distancing” doesn’t work. Dictating where people can stand and when or whether they can earn a living doesn’t work. I want to flout “behavioral changes” because the change you’re talking about makes as much sense as putting a traffic cone on your head so meteors will bounce off it.

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  23. The irony that last year, my 4 year old learned the old fashioned way in which his body fights germs and how he can help it with good hygiene to this covid world.

    Last night, my now 5 year old said he hates masks and he doesn’t want to wear it because he’s good at fighting germs.

    5 year olds are smarter than democrats.

    1. Who is making your child wear a mask?

      Kids under 12 should NOT be in a mask. That’s child abuse.

      Heck, no one should be in a mask.

      1. You’re wrong. Further, since this thing is as deadly to those under 20 as the seasonal flu, we should all wear masks and shut down schools from December through March. Every year. After all, if it saves just one life…

        1. For the children!

  24. “Do local restrictions account for the downward trend in new covid-19 cases?” Why don’t you ask Sweden? They didn’t shut down, they don’t wear face diapers, and their schools are open. You’re talking about stripping rights from people over a fucking cold virus with a .05% fatality rate. It’s less dangerous than the seasonal flu. Fuck your vaccine, fuck your face diaper, and fuck you.

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