Coronavirus

If Carelessness Gave Us the Current COVID-19 Surge, Individual Precautions Can Abate That Trend

Recent upward trends in cases and deaths seem to reflect virus transmission tied to holiday gatherings.

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Newly identified COVID-19 cases in the United States, after falling between December 18 and December 29, have risen to record levels since then, a trend that may reflect infections tied to Christmas and New Year's gatherings. Daily deaths also have climbed to record highs since late December, with no sign of letting up.

According to Worldometer's tallies, the seven-day average of daily new cases was more than 250,000 yesterday, down slightly from the high recorded on Monday but still seven times the average in mid-September. The seven-day average of daily deaths yesterday was more than 3,400, the highest toll recorded so far. The dip in deaths recorded between December 22 and December 27 probably was mostly a function of holiday-related reporting delays, which would have shifted the recording of some deaths that happened during the Christmas weekend to the following week.

COVID-19 symptoms that might prompt someone to seek testing appear two to 14 days after infection, which makes it plausible that holiday gatherings toward the end of 2020 contributed to the recent surge in daily new cases. The falloff in recent days could be a sign that the impact of those celebrations is abating.

Researchers at Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that "deaths often occur 2–8 weeks after the onset of COVID-19 symptoms." That suggests a lag as long as a month between laboratory confirmation and death, which means the daily death toll is apt to continue climbing for the rest of the month, reflecting the increase in newly identified infections since the end of last year.

The U.S. death toll—currently about 395,000, per Worldometer—has more than doubled since the beginning of September. The United States has seen more COVID-19 deaths per capita than all but a handful of countries.

If there is anything hopeful in this dark news, it is the impact that individual decisions have on trends in cases and deaths. The factors that drive new infections—such as gathering indoors for extended periods of time in close proximity with people from other households—are hardly ineluctable. If new cases continue to fall after the post-holiday surge, that will be further evidence that the course of the epidemic is largely determined by how Americans choose to behave in the months until vaccines are widely available.

It seems likely that dramatic increases in case and death numbers encourage people to exercise more care, which in turn helps counter those trends. The danger is that the success of basic COVID-19 precautions, reflected in fewer daily cases and deaths, may lead people to be less careful. If that's true, we could be caught in a self-perpetuating cycle of ups and downs.

It is one thing to resent arbitrary, scientifically dubious, and sometimes unconstitutional COVID-19 control measures imposed by frequently hypocritical politicians. It is quite another to eschew even sensible precautions, thereby endangering people around you, as if it were some sort of political statement.

At least half a dozen members of Congress tested positive for COVID-19 after they were sequestered in close quarters with Republican legislators who refused to wear face masks during last week's riot at the Capitol. The fact that such discourtesy and carelessness has become a badge of honor among many Trump supporters is understandable in the sense that they are taking their cues from a president who has repeatedly denigrated the value of face coverings, even after he described wearing them as "patriotic." But as a matter of basic decency, it is baffling.

San Mateo County, California, Health Officer Scott Morrow, an early advocate of lockdowns last spring, has criticized recent legal restrictions supposedly aimed at curtailing the pandemic, noting that they are often illogical and empirically questionable. But that hardly means he thinks Americans should throw caution to the winds and let the pandemic proceed unimpeded.

"I think people should stay at home, avoid all non-essential activities, wear masks, and not gather with anyone outside their households," Morrow says in a statement he posted on his department's website last month. "I've been saying this for about 10 months now. If you didn't listen to my (and many others') entreaties before, I don't think you'll likely change your behavior based on a new order. I appreciate that some of you think I (or the government) have magical abilities to change everyone's behavior, but I assure you, I (we) do not."

You may quibble with Morrow's advice, which on its face does not allow for "non-essential" but low-risk activities such as outdoor dining and recreation. But his basic point is valid: When it comes to reducing virus transmission, individual choices matter more than government policy. "What I believed back in May, and what I believe now," Morrow says, is that "the power and authority to control this pandemic lies primarily in your hands, not mine."

NEXT: Young Americans for Liberty Removes President After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

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  1. fuck off and die. Seriously let us live our lives don’t blame us for being human you fucking lizard people.

    1. fucking health official hasn’t missed a fucking paycheck all year. He can go straight to fucking hell.

      1. It would be pretty poetical if politicians’ pay depended on the average actual earned pay in their districts. Not unemployment insurance, UBI< or anything but cold hard earned take home pay.

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          1. At least half a dozen members of Congress tested positive for COVID-19 after they were sequestered in close quarters with Republican legislators who refused to wear face masks during last week’s riot at the Capitol. The fact that such discourtesy and carelessness has become a badge of honor among many Trump supporters is understandable in the sense that they are taking their cues from a president who has repeatedly denigrated the value of face coverings, even after he described wearing them as “patriotic.” But as a matter of basic decency, it is baffling.

            I would think that Jacob, Sullen Dick, a "libertarian," would understand. People don't want to be forced to wear a mask by their government. But Sullen doesn't disappoint. He finds a way to denigrate Trump and Trump supporters. Just FYI. The Trump methodology, and Trump movement doesn't die with Trump. It's going to keep going. And so if you think are getting fucked with too much freedom. Think again. Freedom is coming. It's going to find you. And it's going to inseminate you, Jacob "Sullen Dick." Freedom's cock length, girth, and flow rate, are beyond measurement. And they are going to fill up Jacob Sullen Dick's guts, and he's going to be shitting freedom for decades, like it not!

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            2. You are not very smart, Woodchipper for Preet Bahara.

              The fact is that the people who refuse to wear masks while out in public and social distance, like they’re supposed to are the ones who are screwing everybody else over.

              1. I get it. You hate freedom while you hide from this virus like you are going to live forever, but unfortunately are not. But freedom's coming, and it's going to "screw everybody over." Soon, you too will be full of freedom. Massive amounts of hot freedom. And until then, maybe you can contemplate on what kind of life you are going to live. Are you going to hide in your basement? Or are you going to live a heroic life? Accept hot freedom.

        2. Whoops, sorry, inadvertently flagged your post. Was aiming for the real spam posts above and below but mis-moused 🙁

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          2. Me too. I meant to hit the spambot and I accidentally hit Alphabet’s instead.

            I did agree with your post, Alphabet.

          3. Looks like it’s still there, and anyway, I’ve flagged others by mistake. Payback’s a bitch 🙂

        3. That is a fine idea that would never come to fruition, primarily because pols would then only run in the most prominent areas, you know, like where their kids go to school. Alas, we can dream.

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    2. the Flue is down because people are wearing mask but the Covid is up because people aren’t wearing mask. the two can not be true in the same universe. someone somewhere is lying to us.

      1. You better be careful with your logic. It can get you in BIG trouble.

      2. The flu is down because they’re dying of covid. Heart disease deaths are decreasing because they’re dying of covid. Cancer deaths are down because they’re dying of covid. Shark attacks, sky diving accidents, falling off a cliff deaths, and freezing to death (because you lost your job and can’t afford heat) numbers are down because they’re dying of covid.
        Seriously, does anyone really believe these figures?

        1. Joe Biden does – – – – – –

          1. Bidet doesn’t believe anything, he simply reads the teleprompter as his brain turns to jelly.

          2. Let’s rephrase that, does anyone ALIVE believe that?

        2. Jacob believes it and if you don’t he wants to make sure you know you are just as horrible as Trump.

        3. Actually I think the flu is down because schools are closed. Kids get the flu in droves, unlike COVID.

      3. more people are at home working and not in schools and avoiding crowded spaces so it’s pretty fucking obvious that flu numbers would be down. Also more people got the flu shot this years.

        1. Shouldn’t the Covids numbers also be down, then?

          Oh, right, it’s a magic disease. It even knows which way to go through the fabric so it might infect you, but not others.

    3. Trouble is all yall dumbass Trumpers won’t even do common sense things like keeping your distance, washing yo’ nasty ass hands, and wearing a harmless little fucking mask. Ignorance over Science! My Freedom over Your Freedom From Dying! I have rewarded more than one Trumper who got to close with an egregiously stanky fart when they didn’t keep their distance at the supermarket.

      1. If the mask is harmless, then how would it work?
        I guess we’ll find out in 4-8 weeks.

        Why would you believe libertarians are “Trumpers”?

        And if you can smell the fart, the face panty isn’t filtering virions.

        BTW, what NIOSH rating does your face panty have? That will tell you what it’s rated to filter. HINT: It’s not rated to filter anything, even dust or pollen.

        This is why it’s a waste of time to explain science to a liberal or a pig. It wastes your time and annoys the liberal or pig.

        1. You’re being offensive to pigs. They aren’t that dumb.

      2. We’re all pretty sure your farts are stinky no matter whom you’re standing next to.

      3. How about you keep your distance if your scared and stay locked in your house. 99.7 survival rate brah…I guess you don’t believe in that science.

      4. Unless you are wearing an N95 mask you are not protecting others or yourself. Besides regression analysis of infections vs restrictions shows that mask mandates there may have as much as 2% effect on infections & the R value.

    4. Yup. They can stop shitting their pants over a fucking cold. I’ve refused to comply for the duration. When told I may have killed and old person, god, I hope so.

    5. Yup. The lying commies unreason lied before 2020 and they are lying now.

      I dont wear a mask and had big thanksgiving and christmas and new year family and friend gatherings. No kungflu transmitted. Even if it was, who cares?

      Everyone will be exposed to wuhanvirus sooner or later. It kills far less than 1% who get it.

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  2. “Recent upward trends in cases and deaths seem to reflect virus transmission tied to holiday gatherings.”

    Missing from Sullum’s article is ANY evidence that people gathered for the holidays. While complaining about the dubious conclusions of scientists, Sullum states an opinion based on nothing more than the incubation period of the virus and the date of the holidays.

    And by the way, his conclusion is easily refuted. The slope of growth in cases AND Deaths has been relatively the same since the end of October for Cases, and mid November for Deaths. i.e. BEFORE Thanksgiving and Christmas.

    I stayed the fuck home during the holidays. Everyone I know in my state did the same. They closed our fucking restaurants, and locked down everyone while sicking all the asshole karens on us. And yet California is the worst epicenter of the virus right now.

    But that’s Sullum for you. He has no problem spouting scientific nonsense while criticizing people for their scientific nonsense.

    1. none of what you say is relevant to the tyranny being imposed on us. This hasn’t and never has been about science or evidence so trying to argue rationally with charts and graphs is pointless.

      1. It is relevant to this article, and has some relevance to your point.

        There is an argument about whether or not any restrictions (i.e. oppressions) are justified in the name of public health. Whether you or I like it, that argument has been rejected by the majority of the country. Too many do believe that if you can guarantee public health, it is acceptable to keep entire cities in a choke hold.

        Since we have to have the argument, it makes sense for people to point out that despite these restrictions, public health has not improved. And the counter point among those who would oppress us is the same as every other religious zealot since Og accused Grog of making the sky god mad at us- our restrictions would have worked if you sinners had just been more faithful.

        Sullum thinks he is being reasonable by saying, “Yeah, maybe people did cause this outbreak by hanging out with their families…” but that is giving the opposition a stolen base. This didn’t happen. This disease was out of control long before we shoved grandma in a home alone on Xmas eve, and his attempts to be reasonable actually do much damage to the cause of freedom.

        1. Since we have to have the argument, it makes sense for people to point out that despite these restrictions, public health has not improved.

          Why do you assume people need rational logic to get us out of this mess when they ignored rational logic in order to get us into this mess in the first place? The fact of the matter is that people aren’t being rational. They aren’t responding to rational logic. No one wants to hear thoughtful conclusions based on evidence. This is what Idle Hands is saying I think. You can be correct all you want, but if no one is willing to listen to you what’s the point?

        2. I stayed home during the holidays because CT has onerous restrictions and a snitch line for reporting violators, and I figured there was no way to hide my car with VA plates in my sister’s driveway.

          Yes, holiday gatherings may have resulted in increased cases and deaths – especially because most holiday visits are with older people (parents, grandparents, etc…). But not entirely. Colder drier weather increases airborne transmission, and the virus is slowly evolving to become more transmissible.

    2. Sullum is just being a good New Nazi

      1. Can we get a new word for that? Calling people Nazis is always stupid and rarely accurate. Unless they are going around with swastikas on their arms saluting Hitler.

        1. I think it fits in some cases. Like when Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sandra’s both say we need mor nationalism and a socialist country, I am going to call them and all of their supporters nazis

          1. I could go for “Fascists”.

            1. “Fuckers” has always had a nice ring to it.

              1. But “fuckers” can be used in a jovial, friendly way. Like “I missed you fuckers.”

                1. I prefer “fuckhead”.

                2. And I reserve the right to use it in the case of certain congresspeople. Like when I’m gazing lovingly at my framed portrait of Barry Goldwater.

                3. “I missed you Fascists,” doesn’t have the same bonhomie, that’s true.

            2. I’d like this to be as offensive as possible and would therefore suggest “fucktard”.

              1. I vacillate between fucktard and shitstain. I like the implication of stupidity in fucktard, but shitstain has the additional disgust factor.

                If I lose my temper, I will escalate to ‘feckless cunt’. That usually gets the job done.

                1. Communist cocksucker
                  Socialist shitstain
                  Liberal asswipe
                  Demorrhoid.

        2. A Better Builder?

          1. We can add a uniform later if needed.

        3. That would miss the point that the left, including Reason, are behaving exactly as the German Nazis did in the early 1930s

          1. It’s disturbing how fast Reason drank the statist Kool Aid while trying to pretend it’s about “free minds and free markets.”

      2. he’s just a branch covidian.

      3. Sullum must be a soy boy in skinny jeans if he’s afraid of this cold. I’m sure he walks around by himself with a mask on outside, like a lot of the other followers of science. Although I like the premise of his article, let all the chicken shits responsibly stay home and the rest of us can go sit in a bar and enjoy a drink and some small talk.

    3. Yeah, people always miss that (or ignore it). If gatherings or the various interventions had any significant effect, you should see a change in the trend, or the slope of the curve.

      1. The only NPI I can think of that would have been decent is allowing at home testing and getting the gov away from doing anything.

      2. Even then, there’s this oft spoken about mutation that is supposedly significantly more contagious. Which if we did see a change in cases, would be as readily explained by that as anything else.

        I guess, unless that variety is still very localized.

        1. Which one? We’ve got a South African strain now, the anomalous UK B.1.1.7 strain, probably a few others.

          It’s a viral pneumonia. We’ve had, are having, and will have strains of them that go through the population and kill mostly old people every year. Coronaviruses, RSV, adenoviruses, and yeah, the flu.

          Sad, but destroying people’s livelihoods isn’t the right response.

          1. I tend to agree. I’m pretty willing to be skeptical but allow certain emergency measures, particularly very early during the pandemic, but 2 weeks should not have turned into indefinite state of emergency.

            1. Once you give government power, they are going to abuse it. And as they become less relevant to human society, they’re going to abuse it harder to try to force you to give them credence.

        2. There are lots of mutations circulating around. The US doesn’t do enough sequencing to really keep track of mutations. Viruses naturally evolve to become more transmissible – that is called natural selection, and is to be expected. The viruses circulating right now should be more contagious than the ones circulating in March of last year.

          But I am not going to hide in a hole like Saddam Hussein. Yes, wear a mask where it is required, but carry on with normal life as much as is allowed in your State.

    4. Many people traveled for the holidays. It was down about half from last year, but millions of people still got on planes or drove to see their annoying relatives. You can verify this by looking at how many people got on airplanes.

      1. And yet somehow the flu is at record lows.
        While the Covids are at record highs.
        Because masks and social distancing work.
        Except when they don’t.

        1. The “R” value for seasonal flu is low enough that masks and social distancing should kill a normal flu season – and it has. This is because enough of the population has existing immunity to the seasonal flu. SARS-2 immunity in the population is still at a low enough level that the spread is accelerating.

    5. Sullum is a fool for advocating masks when every study shows that they’re useless. Here’s a summary:

      Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses

      https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD006207.pub5/full

  3. Although several million Americans have acquired immunity via vaccines this past month, about 10 times more Americans have acquired immunity via covid infection (during the past month).

    By the time 10% of Americans receive covid vaccines, herd immunity will have already protected most Americans from covid in thousands of communities, hundreds of counties and dozens of states. But Big Pharma, Democrats and left wing propagandists continue to deceive Americans to believe that herd immunity can/will only be attained via mass vaccinations.

    Many studies (including ones by CDC and TX Health Dept) have found/estimated that 3 – 10 times more Americans have been infected with covid than have tested positive.

    Herd immunity occurs rapidly after two thirds of people (in families, workplaces, communities, counties and/or states) have been infected or vaccinated, and herd immunity protects most people after half have been infected or vaccinated, which is now occurring in thousands of communities, hundreds of counties and dozens of states.

    US counties with the highest rates of positively tested covid cases, which appear within days or weeks of achieving herd immunity, long before vaccines will have an impact. (Data as of 1/7/2021)
    Crowley, CO – 28.5%
    Dewey, SD – 22.3%
    Norton, KS – 21.8%
    Lincoln, AR – 21.5%
    Bon Homme, SD – 21.3%
    Chattahoochee, GA – 20.9%
    Bent, CO – 20.3%
    Buffalo, SD – 20.3%
    Trousdale, TN – 20.2%
    Lake, TN – 20.1%
    Buena Vista, IA – 19.3%
    Eddy, ND – 18.0%
    Ellsworth, KS – 17.6%
    Dakota, NE – 17.6%
    Jackson, AR – 17.3%
    Childress, TX – 17.3%
    Alfalfa, OK – 16.8%
    Lee, AR – 16.6%
    Foster, ND – 16.6%
    Lafayette, FL – 16.6%
    Seward, KS – 16.4%
    Nobles, MN – 16.3%
    Menominee, WI – 16.0%
    Hale, TX – 16.0%
    Big Horn, MT – 15.9%
    Lassen, CA – 15.9%
    Pawnee, KS – 15.7%
    Logan, CO – 15.6%
    Sheridan, KS – 15.6%
    Ford, KS – 15.5%
    Walsh, ND – 15.5%
    Wayne, TN – 15.3%
    Lee, KY – 15.3%
    Stutsman, ND – 15.2%
    Morton, ND – 15.1%
    Aurora, SD – 14.9%
    Nelson, ND – 14.7%
    Crocket, TX – 14.7%
    Texas, OK – 14.7%
    Potter, SD – 14.5%
    Burleigh, ND – 14.5%
    Benson, ND – 14.4%
    Dickey, ND – 14.3%
    Lyman, SD – 14.2%
    Sioux, ND – 14.2%
    Lubbock, TX – 14.2%
    McKinley, NM – 14.2%
    East Carroll, LA – 14.2%
    Lincoln, CO – 14.0%
    Toole, MT – 14.0%
    Yuma, AZ – 14.0%
    Davison, SD – 13.9%
    Chicot, AR – 13.9%
    Griggs, ND – 13.8%
    Rolette, ND – 13.8%
    Oglala Lakota, SD – 13.7%
    Plymouth, IA – 13.7%
    Faulk, SD – 13.6%
    Finney, KS – 13.5%
    Colfax, NE – 13.5%
    Nemaha, KS – 13.4%
    Beadle, SD – 13.4%
    Stark, ND – 13.3%
    Grand Forks, ND – 13.2%
    Madison, ID – 13.2%
    Douglas, SD – 13.2%
    Haywood, TN – 13.2%
    Lamb, TX – 13.2%
    Ramsey, ND – 13.1%
    Kearny, KS – 13.0%
    Potter, TX – 13.0%
    Crawford, IA – 12.9%

    1. Holman Jenkins amplified my argument in yesterday’s WSJ at
      https://www.wsj.com/articles/maximize-the-vaccine-11610494003?mod=opinion_lead_pos9

      excerpt

      Sen. Rand Paul was assailed for tweeting that his own natural infection was more than 99% protective against future illness, compared with 94.5% for a vaccine. He was not recommending people go out and indiscriminately spread the disease. But once you accept that we’re not just one or two preachments away from solving the problem of Covid with mask-wearing, it’s time to be grateful for the one upside of infection. “Herd immunity” was a taboo term when paired with the word “strategy” but needs to rehabilitated now as a description of the goal that both vaccine and natural spread are helping us achieve.

      The U.S. will soon reliably be vaccinating a million people a day but natural infections, by conservative estimate, were already putting a million a day in the U.S. on the path to natural immunity, though only a fifth of them showed up for testing.

      Either kind of immune response is considered almost sure to prevent serious illness from future infection. Less certain is whether either also prevents transmission. But as epidemiologists such as Yale’s Harvey Risch and Brown’s Ashish Jha independently predicted, new cases in the Dakotas are starting to fall precipitously with perhaps half their populations having experienced Covid 19.

      The practical implications are obvious. Don’t spend vaccine in the short term on people who have already been exposed if at all possible. A second implication: Unlike other countries, the U.S. has been strangely resolute in pretending that “confirmed cases” are the measure of the epidemic. Seldom has there been a clearer test of how the media sets the agenda for politicians. The press repeats this misleading statistic a thousand times a day to no real purpose, leaving us only less certain where we stand in the herd-immunity race. Underplaying the disease’s true prevalence, we have (without realizing it) conditioned people to be less careful even as we preach at them to be more careful. We cause them to underestimate their exposure risk and overestimate their death risk. Now we’ve put ourselves in the weird position of being unready to use vaccines optimally to stop the epidemic as soon as possible. We find it hard even to admit to ourselves that natural immunity is helping to bring our goal within reach.

      1. “In the past two months, the number of new covid cases has dropped by 90% in North Dakota, and by 80% in South Dakota, indicating that those two states are very close to attaining herd immunity.”

        With Idaho right behind — the number of cases per day has dropped by about 50% over the last month>

        BTW, if there was a Like button here, I’d be hammering the heck out of it on each of your posts.

      2. “In the past two months, the number of new covid cases has dropped by 90% in North Dakota, and by 80% in South Dakota, indicating that those two states are very close to attaining herd immunity.”

        With Idaho right behind — the number of cases per day has dropped by about 50% over the last month.

        BTW, if there was a Like button here, I’d be hammering the heck out of it on each of your posts.

      3. Update. US counties with the highest rates of positively tested covid cases, which appear within days or weeks of achieving herd immunity, long before vaccines will have an impact. (Data as of 1/15/2021)
        Crowley, CO – 28.8%
        Dewey, SD – 23.0%
        Norton, KS – 21.8%
        Lincoln, AR – 21.8%
        Bon Homme, SD – 21.5%
        Bent, CO – 21.4%
        Chattahoochee, GA – 21.2%
        Trousdale, TN – 20.7%
        Lake, TN – 20.6%
        Buffalo, SD – 20.4%
        Buena Vista, IA – 19.6%
        Eddy, ND – 18.2%
        Ellsworth, KS – 18.1%
        Dakota, NE – 17.9%
        Jackson, AR – 17.7%
        Childress, TX – 17.5%
        Alfalfa, OK – 17.4%
        Lee, AR – 17.1%
        Lafayette, FL – 16.9%
        Foster, ND – 16.7%
        Nobles, MN – 16.6%
        Big Horn, MT – 16.6%
        Seward, KS – 16.5%
        Hale, TX – 16.5%
        Menominee, WI – 16.4%
        Lassen, CA – 16.4%
        Pawnee, KS – 16.1%
        Sheridan, KS – 16.0%
        Logan, CO – 16.0%
        Ford, KS – 15.8%
        Walsh, ND – 15.8%
        Wayne, TN – 15.6%
        Texas, OK – 15.6%
        Aurora, SD – 15.5%
        Lee, KY – 15.5%
        Morton, ND – 15.3%
        Stutsman, ND – 15.3%
        Potter, SD – 15.2%
        Yuma, AZ – 15.1%
        Nelson, ND – 15.0%
        McKinley, NM – 14.9%
        Santa Cruz, AZ – 14.8%
        Lyman, SD – 14.7%
        Burleigh, ND – 14.7%
        East Carroll, LA – 14.7%
        Lubbock, TX – 14.6%
        Benson, ND – 14.5%
        Dickey, ND – 14.5%
        Sioux, ND – 14.4%
        Davison, SD – 14.3%
        Chicot, AR – 14.3%
        Lincoln, CO – 14.2%
        Madison, ID – 14.2%
        Rolette, ND – 14.1%
        Toole, MT – 14.0%
        Crocket, TX – 14.0%
        Cass, IL – 14.0%
        Oglala Lakota, SD – 13.9%
        Plymouth, IA – 13.9%
        Griggs, ND – 13.8%
        Finney, KS – 13.8%
        Nemaha, KS – 13.8%
        Colfax, NE – 13.8%
        Faulk, SD – 13.7%
        East Feliciana, LA – 13.7%
        Lawrence, IL – 13.6%
        Beadle, SD – 13.6%
        Minnehaha, SD – 13.6%
        Woodward, OK – 13.6%
        Douglas, SD – 13.5%
        Haywood, TN – 13.5%
        Stark, ND – 13.5%
        Lamb, TX – 13.5%
        Gove, KS – 13.4%
        Fayette, IL – 13.4%
        Grand Forks, ND – 13.4%
        Scurry, TX – 13.4%
        Kearny, KS – 13.3%
        Crawford, IA – 13.3%
        Ramsey, ND – 13.3%
        Potter, TX – 13.3%
        Republic, KS – 13.2%
        Golden Valley, ND – 13.2%
        Whitfield, GA – 13.2%
        Sanborn, SD – 13.1%
        Henry, IA – 13.1%
        Culberson, TX – 13.1%
        Maverick, TX – 13.1%
        Dodge, WI – 13.1%
        Coddington, SD – 13.0%
        Sevier, AR – 13.0%
        Pickett, TN – 13.0%
        Obion, TN – 13.0%
        Sioux, IA – 13.0%
        Jones, IA – 13.0%
        Towner, ND – 13.0%
        Madison, LA – 13.0%
        Clinton, IL – 13.0%

        1. 98 counties in the US have surpassed 13% of people testing positive for covid, which means they’re within days or weeks of
          achieving herd immunity.

    2. Also note that a large federal or state institution was the source of covid outbreaks in many/most of the counties with the highest rates of covid cases.

      Amazingly, no news stories have been written about this yet.

      Crowley, CO – 28.5% (State Prison)
      Dewey, SD – 22.5% (Indian Reservation)
      Norton, KS – 21.8% (State Prison, Nursing Home)
      Lincoln, AR – 21.5% (State Prison)
      Bon Homme, SD – 21.3% (State Prison)
      Chattahoochee, GA – 20.9% (Fort Benning US Military)
      Buffalo, SD – 20.3% (Indian Reservation)
      Trousdale, TN – 20.2% (State Prison)
      Lake, TN – 20.1% (State Prison)
      Buena Vista, IA – 19.3% (Tyson Meat Packing Plant)
      Eddy, ND – 18.0%
      Ellsworth, KS – 17.6%
      Dakota, NE – 17.6% (Tyson Meat Packing Plant)
      Jackson, AR – 17.3% (State Prisons)
      Foster, ND – 16.6%
      Lafayette, FL – 16.6% (State Prison)
      Data as of 1/7/2021.

      1. 20 states with the highest covid case rate (i.e. positive tests) are
        https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/09/01/816707182/map-tracking-the-spread-of-the-coronavirus-in-the-u-s#curves

        ND – 12.5%
        SD – 11.8%
        UT – 9.8%
        TN – 9.7%
        RI – 9.7%
        WI – 9.6%
        IA – 9.5%
        NE – 9.3%
        AZ – 8.8%
        KS – 8.7%
        AR – 8.7%
        OK – 8.6%
        IN – 8.5%
        ID – 8.5%
        AL – 8.3%
        WY – 8.3%
        IL – 8.3%
        NV – 8.2%
        MT – 8.2%
        MS – 8.2%

        So far, 7.07% of Americans have tested positive for covid.

        1. In the past two months, the number of new covid cases has dropped by 90% in North Dakota, and by 80% in South Dakota, indicating that those two states are very close to attaining herd immunity.
          https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/new-cases-50-states

      2. You mean folks locked up and isolated form each other have the highest rate. So lets have everyone do that!

      3. The available ICU bed availability in California happens to be the second lowest population county. How can this be? Because of major high security prison in the county. There is a single hospital with only 250 beds. Not ICU beds, total beds.

        Do the math. The problem is not wild raves by rightwingers in Lassen County. It’s the stupid prison system. Only way it could be worse is if Cuomo happened to be governor and mistook the prison for convalescent hospital and started housing positive cases there.

        1. And, FWIW, these hospitals do know how to loadbalance people to other hospitals. They have been doing it in flu seasons for decades.

    3. We really should have been engaging in continuous, large-scale antibody testing since late spring. The country would have a much better handle on progress if that were the case. With all of the problems of PCR testing, these numbers are pretty well meaningless from a policy perspective.

      1. Yes, large scale continuous antibody testing should have been conducted starting last spring, or summer, or fall, or even now.

        But Big Pharm, Big Medicine, Democrats and left wing media propagandists pushed for (and got) only large scale PCR testing for active covid cases, which only last two weeks).

        But since we know that 3-10 times more Americans were infected with covid (than have tested positive for covid), Fauci, CDC officials and the news media (including Sullum) should inform the public that 100-150 million Americans have already been infected with covid (and thus are immune), and should plan/implement sensible public policies accordingly (e.g. exempting those who already recovered from covid from wearing masks, social distancing, and school/business lockdowns).

        1. Close, but no cigar. Everyone needs to be exempted from all the useless theater ..

        2. The CDC put out some data right before Thanksgiving, and some of the media reported on it (NPR…for one). By Nov. 20th, the CDC estimated that there may have already been about 100,000,000 infections in the U.S. Few other media sources reported on this data.

          Today, using the same CDC metric, we are nearer 170,000,000.

          The math is actually quite easy, and we can figure this way:

          We know the infection fatality rate is around 0.23% (CDC data, not mine).

          We are at 380,000 Covid deaths in the U.S. So, the missing number we need is “out of how many infections”.

          380,000 Covid Deaths is 0.24% of about 170,000,000.

          There’s our answer. 170,000,000 infections in the U.S. to date.

      2. Who in the hell wants to submit to continual antibody tests? I had one in June, mainly out of curiosity as to whether what I had in March was COVID, and the woman doing the blood draw couldn’t find the vein after poking around for several minutes (she was a new hire), and then had to call in the woman with another lab contractor who had the experience necessary to do a proper blood draw. All that for a highly accurate antibody test that was negative anyway. And fingerprick tests aren’t accurate enough for much.

    4. These are the tests with the combined false positive and false negative total of 56%, so they’re almost as accurate as flipping a coin.

  4. At least half a dozen members of Congress tested positive for COVID-19 after they were sequestered in close quarters with Republican legislators who refused to wear face masks during last week’s riot at the Capitol.

    C’mon. At best, it’s theoretically possible. But to imply definitive causation? Jacob, you used to be better than that.

    1. It also ignores that Pelosi literally brought a COVID infected person into Chambers in order to vote for her speakership. But of course, Dems can’t transmit the disease, only Repubs can.

      1. As evidenced by the the comparison of the riots/protests in the summer to the deftly named ‘Super Spreader’ event at the Capitol.

      2. They shouldn’t even be physically present anyway. I actually do think there is likely real political and practical advantage to making Congress WFH and having Congresspeople seated in their district and states.

    2. Not just that, but it should be quite easily verifiable whether Republicans in the chamber passed it on.

      Did they test positive? If not, and there is no indication that any have, Sullum needs a massive glass of shut the fuck up.

      And even if one or more might have had it, is there any clear causation? Or are these fuckers just trying to score points by being lazy as fuck knowing full well they have a non-critical audience?

      JFC.

    3. The funny part is the videos actually show Democrats without face masks as well. Sullum is just an idiot.

      1. Oh, and just a week after Nancy brought in a known covid positive person in order to get her speakership.

    4. Masks are useless to stop the spread of any virus. There is more than 100 years of science to back that up. The only science that supports mask wearing is political science. Shame on the medical establishment for capitulating to the politicians instead of pushing back against their tyranny and incompetence.

  5. This article is completely vapid and an affront to any liberty minded person and no different from something published in any mainstream publication.

  6. The current surge is at least partially the result of the government’s failure to implement Charles Koch’s open borders agenda. There are so many highly-skilled doctors eager to immigrate from Mexico to the US so they can help our overcrowded hospitals. But instead they’re stuck in Orange Hitler’s concentration camps.

    Fortunately President Biden will liberate those camps on his first day in office.

    #OpenTheBordersToShutDownTheVirus

    1. Despite claims, there’s no evidence of overcrowded hospitals.

      Referring to “Orange Hitler” just marks you as a shithead.

      Believing Bidet, the racist, rapist, anti-semitic, child-molesting Nazi with Alzheimers is capable of anything beyond reading a teleprompter confirms this fact.

      Mexico also has closed borders, btw, though flights are open. And doctors with valid credentials can be hired on temp bases as needed.

      The issue here is that licenses reflect political requirements more than practical. But you totally missed that.

      1. OBL is skilled at the parody thing, FYI. Good one, OBL.

  7. SleepyJoe will fix this problem. DAY ONE.

    1. I beat you by one minute.

      (Please don’t call him “Sleepy Joe” though.)

      #BidenIsAsSharpAsEver

      1. “#BidenIsAsSharpAsEver”

        Unfortunately, this is true.

      2. He was being ironic.

        You’re just a Nazi shithead.

  8. The “surge” is due to the virus being seasonal like the cold and flu.

    1. That people are still pretending that seasonality isn’t the primary factor in when we see “surges” and what they look like is just shocking. I probably shouldn’t be shocked anymore.

      1. What really bugs me is the fatality numbers given to the media are people who died “with” the virus, but when it’s reported they change it to “from.”

        1. I just wish they’d discuss it. “From” versus “with” is actually not always clear-cut. But they should say that and have that discussion.

          A lot of folks who discuss Science with a capital S though seem unaware that all numbers have error bars, and that all stat’s meaning are ultimately defined in some way by a human being.

    2. Flu season is… seasonal. This “surge” was predicted back in March.

      I think Singapore style flogging is cruel and unusual. But I’m willing to give it a go on the panic-mongering media. Karens, however, deserve all the woodchipping Section 230 will allow me to suggest.

    3. Agreed, but this is earlier and more pronounced: the typical flu season usage spikes where I am happen in Q1, not Q4, and we rarely see ~30% of our inpatients with FLI or pneumonia (this in an area that experienced the biggest initial wave of any region).

    4. Respiratory viruses are seasonal because (1) cold weather has lower humidity which dries out exhaled droplets, making them able to travel farther, and also dries out mucous membranes in your nose and sinuses, and (2) people gather indoors more when it is cold outside.

  9. So four Dems and one Rep (Chuck Fleischmann, TN) were in the same room, and the Dems think the Rep gave them the ‘rona? Only just plausible if Fleischmann can be proven to be one of the ones who was not wearing a mask, and even that’s a stretch.

    At least two of the Dems were reported to have already received the first of the two vax doses.

    This does not say much for the effectiveness of the vax or the masks.

    1. No one seriously claims that masks are completely effective anyway. At best it provides a small marginal benefit. Any assumption that an infection must have come from someone without a mask is ridiculous. But people put so much faith in masks that it may well make things worse by creating a false sense of security.

      1. I think that many folks have a view point of “If I do everything right, I am safe. If someone DID get sick, it’s because they were irresponsible, but it won’t happen to me because I am responsible.”

        Some portion of the mask crowd is that way.

        1. more than 50% are that way it’s a disgusting malevolent cancer of a mentality.

        2. Oh, I know they do think that way. It’s crazy. And I think that all the pro-mask propaganda has really created a false sense among a lot of people that masks are far more effective than they actually are.

      2. At best it provides a small marginal benefit.

        My favorite is when the they parrot the scientistic “facts” that it provides a benefit to both the wearer *and* the people around them as well as decreasing the severity of the infection if you do catch it. Like facts are axioms and science isn’t a way of assembling facts to gain knowledge or understanding but simply a process for generating, stringing together, and spewing truth, whether the facts, as assembled, make sense or not.

        Prison walls don’t just keep prisoners in, they keep innocent people out! It’s science! Moreover, all the time and energy prisoners expend getting out of prison walls is time and energy they don’t expend committing crime!

        A whole-home air conditioner doesn’t just cool you, but anyone else in your home! Further, if you do suffer from heat exhaustion or a heat stroke, owning a whole-home air conditioner makes it less severe! Science!

        1. Yeah, it’s as if they think that hypotheses are the end point. The model says this works, so it must be so.

  10. Hey Sullum, get on the Ashli Babbitt case!

    1. Yes, no one is asking why a guy snuck behind an unarmed protestor and shot them in the neck. While at least 4 officers had her covered on the front side

      1. That’s because she thought bad things, so she deserved it.
        Sullum and his pals would love to give the Babbitt treatment to a lot of wrongthinkers.

  11. Sullum repeats the face mask myth in congress without bothering to check if true. He doesn’t note that democrats were also without face masks and it’s on camera.

    1. You’d almost think he has an agenda.

    2. No different than his 30 articles on the myth of the cleanest election ever despite the dozens of indictments and thousands of found votes.

    3. He’s a socialist shitstain promoting agitprop. This was obvious a long time ago.

  12. “Carelessness” aka China.

  13. The thing I will be so happy to see go away after COVID is the incessant subject of mask wearing and the righteousness that something that is almost inconsequential can generate in people.

    1. What makes you think it’s ever going away?

      1. My bet is that it will finally go away in 2023. With bouts of scatter moral scolding for a decade to come.

        We’ll start to come out this summer, then someone will get sick and the media will panic and everything will lock up again. By winter the vaccine will finally be distributed enough that we could genuinely stop with the lockdowns, but then it will be Flu Season again, and another spike, and more panic, and more lockdowns, with Governor Newsom instituted “Triple Purple” quarantines. Then summer of 2022 we start to come out finally, as everyone is vaccinated. But some stupid anti-vaxxer meetup with start a new cluster and so more panic and lockdowns. And another Flu Season in winter 2022, because Flu Season is… seasonal. Then “Quadruple Purple Quarantine” and Newsom self-appointed as Emperor for Life.

        Finally, summer 2023 we tell the media to go fuck themselves, have a mass woodchipping of Karens, and get on with our lives. That’s my prediction.

        1. No. It will be next summer. Next winter will merely be ‘a bad flu season’.

          The tipping point for the virus itself – tipping from pandemic to endemic – is a few months away. Hopefully people get their first exposure via the vaccine rather than the virus – but regardless enough of that will happen in combo to tip.

          Is there going to be enough disparate class impact from this virus to keep the political shit going? IDK. Maybe. Hopefully not. But any conflict re policy options (and NOT the purely partisan shit of commenters here) has already happened and is only going to get more stark from here and there is no more trust of other side.

          Are the antibodies from vaccine long lasting enough to keep virus from mutating faster than the population can react/adapt? IDK. Maybe not. But hopefully so. And again – there is nothing in future that is going to change from what we’re doing now. This first vaccine rollout has public health elements. Future ones will not. So it is up to the virus itself – whether it becomes ‘just another part of flu season’ (good case for deaths) or ‘just a normal predator of the weak in the herd’ (bad case for deaths and life expectancy). Tell me when the US actually starts talking about dealing with those co-morbidities rather than just taking them for granted. Or don’t. It won’t happen.

          1. Amazing how much you two are willing to give up your freedoms for at the most gaslighting amount of deaths being 0.003% of the population with the vast majority of those in an age group whose yearly death rate is 8% of the population already.

            1. Well at least I now comprehend either how willing you are to lie or how utterly stupid you are

              .003% of the population of the US is roughly 10,500. You’re not worth another word.

          2. The US, i.e. the government? Fuck dude, in this country we won’t even let the insurers rationally account for co-morbidities, aka pre-existing conditions. Just think of brick that would be shit if Medicare/aid began phasing out reimbursements or increasing copays as BMI increased, among other carrots and sticks that could be leveraged.

            1. Hell – I think in our medical system, the only way we could have approached a ‘voluntary solution’ would have been to allow all courts to deem that everything covid related would be not required to be covered by any insurance at all.

              It was all something new after the prices for said insurance were determined. So why should courts include that under any contract? Let all businesses drop medical. Let govt not allow Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements.

              Wouldn’t have been a good way of dealing with covid. But at least it would have been a way for Americans to stop being so fucking stupid.

          3. Deaths peaked for one week in April, statistically irrelevant to the year. At this point, Covid is a cult and a fad, and only shitheads are wasting any time paying attention to it.

            The vaccines are a pile of shit. I also have a vaccine, and I guarantee 99.86% of the people getting it won’t die of the Covids. My vaccine is normal saline.

  14. Wow, you win the dumb article of the day on Reason. It is a a very dumb crowd so you really earned it

    1. Someone had to step into the void left by Shikha.

  15. So the dip before Christmas was the result of spotty reporting during a holiday season, but the spike after Christmas is the result of people celebrating Christmas. Maybe the spike was merely the return to the overall trend! Why so eager to morally scold those who celebrate Christmas with their families? Stop it with the moral scolding!

    The truth is that we’re in the middle of Flu Season. Where ALL respiratory viruses, not just the flu, annually spike. COVID is not exception. Cold weather causes surges in respiratory viruses.

    This surge was predicted back in March for Chissake! And we’ll get another next Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb timeframe! Bet on it! We’ll have more lockdowns a year ago, with the same fucking moral scolds: “All your fault because you invited your cousins over for Christmas dinner, you awful people!”

    Gawd, the pandemic makes idiots of everyone.

    Hell, I’m still seeing CUMULATIVE INFECTION CHARTS being used by the media to whip up panic among statistically innumerate journalists. Sigh.

    1. This. Way too much focus on blips. I suppose that’s just part of life itself being forced into becoming a news cycle

    2. This surge was predicted back in March for Chissake!

      Hell I projected that – with deaths – back in Feb – here It won’t hit the US until next fall/winter.

      And without projected deaths in Jan when the virus first popped up and became obviously not just a little ‘novel’ virus/variation.

      None of this is a surprise at all.

      1. You also predicted a CFR of 3% and a population infection rate near 60% and at some point 100% of the population catching it.

        1. READ THE FUCKING LINK IN THE COMMENT ABOVE. IT IS EXACTLY WHAT I FUCKING SAID YOU PERPETUALLY LYING SACK OF SHIT.

          YOU ARE BEYOND WORTHLESS AS A HUMAN BEING.

  16. “But as a matter of basic decency, it is baffling.”
    Why? When have they every had decency? Have you read their comments here?

    1. Why should I give a shit about some octogenerian fuck who smoked two packs a day and is morbidly obese? They can lock themselves in their house and avoid the Covids. I have things to do.

      1. Why should anyone give a shit about you? You think you have a veto over everyone else simply because you’re an asshole?

  17. The cuck is signaling again. Bleat. Bleat. Bleat.

    This coming from a guy who never missed a paycheck and can cower in his home while writing illogical hote takes.

  18. If Carelessness Gave Us the Current COVID-19 Surge, leveling Wuhan and bejing Can Abate That Trend

    Fixed that for you

    1. Your ideas intrigue me and I should like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    2. ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
      This guy gets it.
      ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  19. That suggests a lag as long as a month between laboratory confirmation and death, which means the daily death toll is apt to continue climbing for the rest of the month, reflecting the increase in newly identified infections since the end of last year.

    I understand the journalistic desire to create some unique tidbit for every news story. And certainly covid should be part of every news cycle at this point.

    But imo, the reality is that this (the current data) is nothing more or less than ‘this is all just part of the second wave’. Not much of a journalistic hook – but the truth. It is pointless to try to pinpoint this gathering or that time of year or anything else small/micro.

    It’s ‘flu season’ – which is just northern hemisphere shorthand for weather/climate is ideal for respiratory transmission of virions. It’s probably peaking about now but basically this is a plateau from late Nov to mid Mar. Another eight weeks or so before tailwinds turn into headwinds.

    It is now uncontrollable community transmission time for the virus. Prevalent enough so that any significant size gathering will have a contagious carrier. Not prevalent enough so that herd immunity begins to slow things down when the contagious run into the immune. The time when exponential growth and capacity breaches could really get ugly for the next few weeks. But also the time as Sullum writes when individuals begin to pay attention and do preventive things themselves. I wish we could actually find out where we are in this – but this is not the sort of data that is being provided or updated (and possibly not being collected either).

    And on the bright side, we have a vaccine that is beginning to roll out now. The public health stuff related to the vaccine roll out is the FIRST thing that the US has done right in this whole mess. There does seem to be a distribution priority that is both funded and with a public health focus.

    But the story doesn’t really change from week to week

    1. On the reality side, the “Vaccine” is a pile of shit.

      I have developed a vaccine, and I guarantee 99.86% of those receiving it won’t die of the Covids. My vaccine is normal saline.

      Can everyone please stop shitting their pants over a fucking cold?

  20. Headlines a year from now:

    “New study says lockdowns exacerbate pandemics because of pervasive cheating and because viruses are most likely to spread at home”

    “Study says most deaths resulted from SYMPTOMATIC transmission”

  21. Sure is nice to have libertarian content providers in our lives, so they can repeatedly remind us how awful it is when people don’t conform!

  22. The winter surge is the normal winter surge in respiratory infections that happens every single year. The attempt to fear-monger this and blame the surge on normal social behavior is reprehensible.

  23. Huh? An article where Sullum isn’t freaking out about Trump?

    If he doesn’t declaim him twice a day, how is he going to get that fat brown envelope from rich Uncle Charles?

    “The fact that such discourtesy and carelessness has become a badge of honor among many Trump supporters is understandable in the sense that they are taking their cues from a president who has repeatedly denigrated the value of face coverings, even after he described wearing them as “patriotic.” But as a matter of basic decency, it is baffling.”

    Ahhhh, there it is. It just wouldn’t be Reason without Sullum demagoging.

    1. And the value of face diapers is highly questionable. Yeah, they likely do something more than nothing. But not by much. I’m so sick of being told it’s discourteous or whatever. It’s fucking discourteous to talk to someone with your face covered too.

      1. They are social engineering, nothing else

    2. Trump hasn’t even denigrated face coverings. Just said it was an individual’s choice.

    3. Does rich uncle Charles live in British Columbia?

  24. The Libertarian Case For Minding Your Betters And Doing What You’re Told

  25. I keep hearing about personal responsibility in these articles as it pertains to masking and following orders. Its always someones fault for not masking, going out, gathering etc. that I got sick is what I hear. Do any of these authors ever tackle the need for personal responsibility as it relates to exercise or healthy eating? For those of you that support these rules and force them onto me, do I get to blame you for not having the personal responsibility to be healthier and limit the effects of the virus? A bit tongue in cheek as I would never want this; Is grub hub and ubereats by allowing bad food to be delivered liable to me for allowing you to take away my life?

    1. This is what’s ridiculous. At what point do individuals who are susceptible to the Wu Flu have to take personal responsibility for their own health? Here’s a suggestion: if you’re someone at risk for rona, don’t go to the family Christmas party. Stop expecting everyone else to be responsible for your personal health and safety.

      The vast majority of people who test positive will not get sick. The vast majority of people exposed will not get sick. If you’re in the minority, at some point, it’s your own responsibility to make decisions about your own health.

    2. Age and metabolic health seem to be the biggest factors in risk from covid. One of those can be addressed by most people. It is disgusting that people refuse to bring it up as an intervention that could actually make a big difference. There is some reason to believe that it also accounts for some of the dramatic differences in death rates between countries. How healthy are your old people?

      1. Refusal to bring that up is not about ‘disgust’. It is a complete lack of any public health mindset.

        Obesity and diabetes and such has been a health problem for decades. Most prevalent among those who have the least access to the current medical system. And now this significantly changes the costs/risks/burden of those co-morbidities on our entire medical system.

        It ain’t easy to address any of this but:
        Let’s not talk about it because ‘it’s their choice’.
        Let’s not talk about this because someone else will solve it if its a problem.
        Let’s talk about it only in vague generalities so we don’t have to pay for those without access.
        Let’s completely lie about changes in costs/risks/burdens because its better politics
        Let’s not even discuss how to change us even thinking about this because its all a slippery slope to something.

        Hard to even imagine a more constipated to-do list to address a problem.

        1. I’m just saying it disgusts me.

  26. The current surge is a virus acting like a virus.

    Unless it was all those unmasked Republicans in the Capitol.
    Or all those unmasked Democrats everywhere that they issued proclamations and ignored them.

  27. Carelessness didn’t get us to any surge. CHINA gave us Covid-19 and our own gubment exploited it along with their pals the media to put us in lockdowns/shutdowns, to wreck the economy, etc. all to defeat the bad orange man…

    1. What about the Elvis impersonators? Where do they fit in all this?

      1. Depends on if they wear masks, I suppose – – – – – –

  28. “Carelessness” did not give us the Kun-Fu virus, CHINA did!!

  29. your agenda shows through your mask

  30. …and so, Mr. Sullum, what’s the fatality rate among confirmed cases up to now? If you’ve done your research you’ll know that it remains stubbornly below 1% for the majority of healthy people under 65 years of age. Well under 1%…like, 0.5% or lower if you’re between 60 & 65. And it falls off dramatically for people below 60.

    You know, I wish this bloody virus did turn it’s victims into brain eating zombies…at least there would be SOMETHING to get excited about!

  31. The Eurozone deaths are over 610,000. The ever scientific and diligent Germans (model Euro country for COVID control) are getting pounded worse than the USA. The Brits are getting shellacked. Obviously Boris Johnson and Merkel (as well as their careless citizens) are all dummies who can’t follow rules. Reason has it all figured out.

  32. “The U.S. death toll—currently about 395,000, per Worldometer—has more than doubled since the beginning of September. The United States has seen more COVID-19 deaths per capita than all but a handful of countries.”

    Comparing the entire United States to countries the size of individual US states is statistical nonsense.

    That is made obvious by considering the range of mortality rates within the US itself.

  33. Carelessness didn’t do shit. Winter did.

  34. If Carelessness Gave Us the Current COVID-19 Surge

    Seriously? What if it didn’t? Gee, then everyone writing panic clickbait and tearing their hair looks like a fucking idiot, don’t they?

  35. > If Carelessness Gave Us the Current COVID-19 Surge

    No dumbass, CHINA gave us this and all COVID-19 surges.

  36. So Sullum, it looks like you got ratioed here. Maybe you should do your homework before writing a piece of shit article.

  37. OK, let’s do the math.

    It takes up to 14 days for the Covid symptoms to appear. Today is January 15; 14 days back takes us to the day after New Years.

    It takes 2 to 8 weeks for death to occur after the onset of Covid symptoms. That would take us before Christmas and, indeed, back to early November. So how does this somehow prove that Christmas and New Year’s get together’s caused the spike in deaths? The bulk of the death would’ve occurred among people infected 4 to 10 weeks ago.

    1. Stop expecting logic. I got ten bucks that says everyone will be required to wear two masks at all times under the Biden administration. No he can’t order a mask mandate, but he can coerce the states into doing it by withholding funds for noncompliance.

  38. Multiple studies indicate that if you have a blood level of at least 40 ng/ml of 25 hydroxy Vit D you have almost no chance of catching Covid, and if you do catch it your chances of getting a fatal Cytokine storm are about nil.

    Unfortunately it takes some time of supplementing your Vit D3 intake to get up to that level. And if you have a high BMI you need a high daily dose to achieve a protective level.

    Hundreds of thousands of elderly people’s lives could have been saved by this information.

    But THAT information might have prevented Biden from successfully stealing the election, because mail in balloting would not have occurred.

    Sanjosemike (no longer in CA)
    Retired surgeon

    1. The 6 January 2021 JAMA Network article titled “Sorting Out Whether Vitamin D Deficiency Raises COVID-19 Risk” linked below challenges your assertions. I apologize if my comment appears overly aggressive. I’m merely a retired engineer so don’t really have a right to weigh in.

      https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2775003

  39. There is NO increased outbreak. This are nothing more than normal flu cases being called covid. You can no longer use the PCr test to increase cases since it has been proven that the test results are more than 80% false.

    If you want to seclude yourself in your closet Sullum, be my guest. I never will adhere to any more distancing or seclusion or avoiding my family and friends. Covid IS FAKE!

    1. Don’t you think making a statement like “it has been proven that the test results are more than 80% false” in a publicly-accessible forum like this merits a citation or reference to an impeccable, highly credible expert? Of course, I’m assuming that you’re being honest.

      If this is a normal flu, what is causing hospitals and their ICUs to fill up in many locales? What accounts for the reefer trucks to hold corpses that have overflowed the morgues and funeral homes in several locales? Is all of that just theater in aid of a massive conspiracy to harm the US economy?

      1. Here’s a link you might have provided: “Systematic review with meta-analysis of the accuracy of diagnostic tests for COVID-19”. It concludes: “RT-PCR remains the gold standard for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in sputum samples. However, the combination of different diagnostic tests is highly recommended to achieve adequate sensitivity and specificity.” I’m confident that you and the vast majority commenting so boldly here are intimately familiar with the formal terms “sensitivity” and “specificity”.

        https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196655320306933

  40. I just can’t care anymore. I can’t. I’m spent.

    My parents are in their 70’s, and we missed Christmas. If one of them dies this year, there’s no way I’ll be thinking, “Well just thank God we didn’t gather for Christmas – we might have caught a virus with a better-than-95% survival rate!”

    It’s hard to be afraid I might die of COVID when increasingly restrictive measures have made life barely worth living. But I have no power. None. I can make eloquent arguments about qualify of life being as important as avoiding death but they don’t help or change any minds. If anything, someone will blame Trump and assume I’m an ignorant Trumplican for opposing this state incursion (with no end in sight) into the way I live my life and the choices I make.

    1. *quality of life

  41. The CDC put out some data right before Thanksgiving, and some of the media reported on it (NPR…for one). By Nov. 20th, the CDC estimated that there may have already been about 100,000,000 infections in the U.S. Few other media sources reported on this data.

    Today, using the same CDC metric, we are nearer 160,000,000 at the least.

    The math is actually quite easy, and we can figure this way:

    We know the infection fatality rate (IFR) is around 0.24% (CDC data, not mine). It is likely lower, nearer to 0.15% perhaps.

    We are at 380,000 Covid deaths in the U.S. So, the missing number we need is “out of how many infections”.

    380,000 Covid Deaths is 0.24% of about how many?

    Our answer is about. 160,000,000 infections in the U.S. to date.

    And, this assumes that the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) is as high as 0.24%. It is likely closer to 0.15%. If the latter IFR is used, we are closer to 250,000,000 infections to date, and we have reached herd immunity.

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