Coronavirus

Despite Starkly Different COVID-19 Policies, the U.S. and the U.K. Saw Similar Drops in Cases Around the Same Time

The same is true of Texas and California, which suggests that legal restrictions are not as important as politicians imagine.

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Newly identified COVID-19 cases have fallen dramatically in both the United States and the United Kingdom since early-to-mid January, notwithstanding strikingly different government policies aimed at controlling the pandemic. The comparison casts further doubt on the assumption that broad legal restrictions play a crucial role in reducing virus transmission.

Despite the lockdowns that all but a few governors imposed last spring, the United States has seen more COVID-19 deaths per capita than the vast majority of countries. But it still has fared better than several European countries that imposed wider and more prolonged legal restrictions. The countries with higher death rates include the U.K, which has gone through several rounds of national lockdowns.

In early November, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded to surging infections with a new lockdown that closed most businesses, banned indoor gatherings of two or more people from different households, and required everyone to stay home without a "reasonable excuse." The rules were loosened in early December, then tightened again the week before Christmas. While the United States also saw a big increase in daily new cases in the fall and winter, it did not lead to anything like the nationwide lockdown imposed in the U.K., although some states did tighten their restrictions on social and economic activity.

Despite the stark difference in policy, both countries saw remarkably similar COVID-19 trends this winter. According to Worldometer's numbers, the seven-day average of new cases peaked in the U.K. on January 9; it peaked in the U.S. two days later. That number then fell sharply in both countries. As of yesterday, it was down 81 percent in the U.K. and 73 percent in the U.S.

Daily deaths are also falling in both countries. As of yesterday, the seven-day average in the U.K. was down 61 percent from the peak on January 23. In the U.S., it was down 43 percent from the peak on January 26. Given the dramatic drop in daily new cases that began more than a month ago, daily deaths should continue to fall.

"British experts attribute the decline to a strict national lockdown," The New York Times reports. "Vaccines don't explain it: Even though a quarter of the population has been vaccinated, only the earliest recipients had significant protection by Jan. 10, when cases there started to drop. Those early doses mostly went to health-care workers and elderly patients already in the hospital."

What about the United States? "Although the United States did not impose a national lockdown, voluntary changes in behavior, along with some degree of immunity in hard-hit communities, may have helped prevent an even worse outcome after the holidays," the Times says, citing Johns Hopkins epidemiologist Caitlin Rivers. "During the winter, when things were getting really bad, I think people saw how bad things were getting in their community and made different choices," Rivers told the Times. "They canceled gatherings, they stayed home more, they reached for the mask, and those things really do help, put together, to reduce transmission."

Here in the United States, Rivers thinks voluntary precautions were largely responsible for reversing the upward trends in cases and deaths. Yet in the U.K., according to the Times, "British experts" are crediting the government's decisive action. While Americans chose to be more cautious, in other words, Brits had to be forced. The premise that U.K. residents are more reckless than Americans and less inclined to comply with COVID-19 safeguards seems implausible, although it is convenient for lockdown enthusiasts.

The same story of starkly different policies and similar outcomes emerges from a comparison of Texas and California, the two most populous states. While California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered a new lockdown on December 3, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott did not impose new restrictions, and the state remained largely open. Yet since mid-January, the two states have seen almost the same drop in the seven-day average of newly reported cases, which has fallen by 85 percent in California and 81 percent in Texas.

Notwithstanding its much stricter regulations, California saw a bigger increase in new infections during December and January, when the seven-day average tripled. In Texas during the same period, the average doubled. Nationwide in the United States, the average rose 50 percent. In the U.K., it quadrupled.

Since politicians are more inclined to impose restrictions when they see infections rising dramatically, it is not surprising that Johnson and Newsom decided new lockdowns were necessary. But on the face of it, those policies, despite the economic and social costs they entailed, were not actually necessary to bring case numbers back down. Since jurisdictions that took a much looser approach saw similar declines around the same time, it seems official commands do not play as important a role in reducing the spread of COVID-19 as many politicians imagine.

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  1. Natural herd immunity is the reason why rates of new daily covid cases have plummeted in most states during the past 2 – 3 months, which can best understood by looking at graphs at:
    https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/new-cases-50-states

    The 35 states with the sharpest declines (i.e. >75%) in new covid cases, including many states where herd immunity is now transpiring are:

    North Dakota -93.3%
    Wyoming -90.3%
    Michigan -89.5%
    South Dakota -89.4%
    Arkansas -89.3%
    Wisconsin -89.2%
    Idaho -88.0%
    Mississippi -87.7%
    Nebraska -87.5%
    Missouri -87.4%
    Tennessee -87.4%
    Rhode Island -87.3%
    Minnesota -87.0%
    New Mexico -86.4%
    California -86.4%
    Nevada -85.7%
    Connecticut -85.5%
    Indiana -85.2%
    Alaska -85.2%
    Iowa (uncertain due to huge data dump)
    Illinois -84.6%
    Montana –83.1%
    Ohio -82.7%
    Arizona –82.6%
    Kansas -81.5%
    West Virginia -80.2%
    Washington -79.7%
    Oklahoma -79.5%
    Louisiana -79.0%
    Alabama -78.5%
    Colorado -78.0%
    Texas -77.5%
    Pennsylvania -75.7%
    Utah -75.4%
    Maine -75.2%

    1. A month ago, the CDC estimated (but Reason still hasn’t informed readers) a mean of 4.6 times more Americans were infected with covid (than tested positive for covid) in 2020, and that CDC was 95% certain that between 4.0 and 5.4 times more Americans were infected (than tested positive).
      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/burden.html#anchor_1607017301754

      Since 8.7% of Americans have tested positive for covid so far, 40% of Americans have been infected with Covid (.087 x 4.6 = .4), according to CDC data and estimates.

      And since >99.99% of those previously infected with covid remain immune (as just 6 Americans have been reinfected out of 28M confirmed cases), 40% of Americans are now immune due to prior infection.

      To date, 63 million doses of covid vaccine have been administered so far in the US.

      But fewer than half of those doses created new immunity, as about 40% of doses were given to previously infected Americans (who were/are already immune), about 10% were second doses (even though the first covid dose created immunity in about 90% of recipients), and because about 10% of covid vaccine recipients didn’t become immune after receiving the vaccine.

      So while 63 million covid vaccine doses have been administered, they’ve created immunity for only about 30 million Americans
      (63M x .6 x .9 x .9 = 30.6M).

      In sum, per CDC data and estimates, 49% of Americans are already immune from covid, and that percentage continues increasing daily.

      Unfortunately, Fauci and left wing media propagandists have refused to acknowledge CDC’s covid infection estimates (or subsequent immunity rates) because doing so would NOT please Biden, Pelosi, Schumer or the left wing news media who demonized Trump, Scott Atlas, Rand Paul, Tom Massie and others for the past 8 months for truthfully informing the public about natural herd immunity.

      1. Worldometers.info (whose projected new covid infections I consider close to reality, but not their worst case estimates) revised its projections over the weekend.

        They now project the following 26 states will continue experiencing huge declines in new covid infections during the next several months, towards attaining herd immunity.
        AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, DC, ID, IN, IA, KS, LA, MN, MS, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OH, OK, SD, WI, TN, UT, WV, WY.

        They now project the following 10 states will continue experiencing significant declines in new covid infections during the next several months, towards attaining herd immunity.
        DE, GA, KY, MO, NH, NC, PA, RI, SC, VA.

        They now project the following 8 states will see experience little or no decline in covid infections in the next several months.
        CT, HI, IL, ME, MA, NJ, TX, WA.

        Most notably, they now project the following 7 states will experience increases in new covid infections during the next several months. CA, FL, MD, MI, NY, OR, VT.

        Interestingly, Blue states comprise 13 of the 15 states projected to have small declines or increases in new covid infections during the next several months, while Florida and Texas are the only Red states.

        Looks like the Blue state lockdowns and mask mandates achieved their goal, which was to delay new infections, but which has also delayed the arrival of herd immunity in their states.

      2. Worldometers (whose projected new covid infections I consider close to reality, but not their worst case estimates) revised its projections over the weekend.

        They now project the following 26 states will keep experiencing huge declines in new covid infections during the next several weeks and month.
        AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, DC, ID, IN, IA, KS, LA, MN, MS, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OH, OK, SD, WI, TN, UT, WV, WY.

        They now project the following 10 states will keep experiencing significant declines in new covid infections during the next several months.
        DE, GA, KY, MO, NH, NC, PA, RI, SC, VA.

        They now project the following 8 states will experience little or no decline in covid infections in the next several months.
        CT, HI, IL, ME, MA, NJ, TX, WA.

        Most notably, they now project the following 7 states will experience increases in new covid infections during the next several months. CA, FL, MD, MI, NY, OR, VT.

        Interestingly, Blue states comprise 13 of the 15 states projected to have small declines or increases in new covid infections during the next several months, while Florida and Texas are the only Red states.

        Looks like the Blue state lockdowns and mask mandates achieved their goal, which was to delay new infections, but which has also delayed the arrival of herd immunity in their states.

        1. Yeah, they managed to delay infections until winter when people are more likely to get sick from it.
          I’ve thought this all along, but there is more and more evidence for it as time goes on. Trying to slow spread over the summer was counterproductive and probably has caused more death than if everyone had just had a normal summer.

          1. Not to mention they created a huge backlog of medical procedures that didn’t just go away.

            1. Those are getting done. There was a backlog at first. I can tell you knee replacement surgery, endoscopes, all that is getting done. Dentists are open.

              Even the vets are open and working. We took two dogs and a cat to our new vet yesterday. It is different now. You drive up with your pet. The techs come out and pick up your animals. We spoke for 30 minutes with the doc on the phone then load them up and go. Was actually better. Instead of sitting in a waiting room we went to nearby Kroger’s and got shopping done.

        2. You have got to get more concise or I’m spam flagging you.

          1. He’s posting some great information that people need to see. I don’t always read it, but it should be encouraged.

            1. “He’s posting some information”

              6 times a day in all day every day in a format designed to evade length filters and that stomps all over threads.

              It’s been spam for weeks now so kindly fuck off.

                1. Stop spamming the thread and I will, cunt.

                  1. Dipshit, you can flag him all you please; the rest of us are happy to get good info and your action will have zero effect on that.
                    Fuck off and die.

          2. Nah Bill is pushing info to support the hypothesis he supports. I do not agree with him about natural herd immunity but he is willing to listen to other opinions and evidence.

        3. Eleven states with lowest covid case rates (and likely the lowest covid infection rates), indicating they’ll likely be the last states to attain herd immunity (and end their unwarranted business & school shutdowns, mask mandates and other restrictions), are all Blue states (although MD has a GOP Governor, its a Blue state).

          State – Covid case rate
          Hawaii – 1.9%
          Vermont – 2.3%
          Maine – 3.2%
          Oregon – 3.6%
          Washington – 4.4%
          New Hampshire – 5.4%
          Washington, DC – 5.6%
          Maryland – 6.2%
          Michigan – 6.3%
          Virginia – 6.6%
          Pennsylvania – 7.1%

          But it is doubtful any left wing media (including Reason) will reveal this important information, because doing so will make the GOP look good, and will make the lockdown and mask mandate loving Blue state governors look even worse.

  2. “which suggests that legal restrictions are not as important as politicians imagine. masks don’t work but that would mean Trump was right and awwwww fuck I can’t eat that much crow”

    1. Somehow the SleepyJoe regime has managed to murder 100,000 victims with the China virus.

  3. The most important reasons to impose lockdowns, in the U.S., was 1) to contradict Trump, who refused to impose a national lockdown policy ahead of the election, and 2) to rebuke Trump supporters. After all, if Trump supporters don’t want to do. . . anything under the sun . . . it’s the purpose of progressives to force them.

    Indeed, using the government to force the unwilling to do things against their will, for the general good (as progressives see it), is the whole purpose of progressivism. And the more people there are who oppose lockdowns, the more progressive governments, like those in California and New York, locked their economies down.

    1. And now they’re getting ready to force those who don’t reside or vote in California and New York to bail their state and municipal governments out with our future paychecks–because they locked their economies down.

    2. I’ve been pointing that out since last March, when 5 left wing Democrat Governors of northeast states (Cuomo, Wolf, Murphy, Lamont, Raimondo) issue nearly identical press releases the same day stating that massive (but unwarranted, unscientific and economically disastrous) business lockdowns would begin in those states several days later.

      The lockdowns imposed by those Democrat governors were nearly identical, and all required nursing homes to admit covid patients from hospitals (which Cuomo is now taking heat over, but not the other 4 governors or PA’s tranny Sec of Health Richard/Rachel Levine, who Biden nominated for Assistant Sec of DHHS).

      Clearly, those five Democrat governors (whose primary political goal was to remove Trump from office) conspired to destroy America’s economy just because they wanted Trump out.

      1. You can add Whitless in Michigan to that list.

    3. Yeah, when you think about it, it’s really not such a strange thing that there are such stark political divisions about this stuff. And it’s not just team politics. The biggest real political division, I think, is between people who think that government can and should do everything and those who think it can’t and shouldn’t try. I think it was Sowell who called it the constrained and unconstrained view of government. Add all the insane propaganda from the unconstrained camp and it’s really no surprise at all.

      1. It’s why the claims of partisan divides on certain issues is so patronizing.

        You can’t think maybe there’s a reason it falls along partisan politics other than tribalism?

        If my tribe is freedom lovers, then hell yeah, I’ll make that my tribe.

  4. No shit. It’s almost like it’s a seasonal virus that behaves like other similar viruses. And herd immunity works better than any interventions. Who could have guessed?

    1. A certain casino owner I think.

      1. Or pretty much the whole world just over a year ago.

        1. Um, no. Something north of world in fact could not.

          1. *north of half the world

    2. Define herd immunity for me and give me examples of it occurring in nature where it occurs better than any intervention.

      You could start with influenza (human and animal variants) and then go to rubeola (measles), Hepadnaviridae (hepatitis B), enterovirus C (polio), lentivirus (HIV) the list goes on.

      Please show me how doing nothing is a great idea.

      What you and I are in the midst of is a heroic effort by the medical and scientific community to combat a very serious pandemic virus. You are going to dismiss that. The politics are going to take credit and blame.

      The virus is the enemy. Destroy it.

      1. Most places are ending up in the same place regardless of mandated NPI’s. That much is clear in the data all over the world. Lockdowns will not be treated kind by history as they are demonstrably a net harm.

        The virus is only serious en masse to those over ~65. The age stratification has been steady since about May of last year. The actual data driven way to apply the trillions of dollars that was spent would have been to shield the older, vulnerable population that happens to be much smaller than the entirety of the rest of the age demographic. Let the younger population live according to Swedish-like guidelines, so the economy is not cratered any more than the effect of voluntarily imposed self restrictions would naturally have.

      2. A respiratory virus cannot be destroyed. Zero covid is utter nonsense.

        1. Zero virus was achieved for SARS in about 18 months, apparently through quarantine and contact tracing. A vaccine was ready to test, but it was dropped because there were no more cases.

          But SARS was easy to identify. Almost everyone with SARS was sick enough that keeping them in the hospital and taking precautions against transmission made sense before doctors even knew there was a new disease – and they were visibly ill soon after the disease progressed enough for them to be contagious, so contact tracing was only needed for a day or so before hospitalization. And if a suspected case of SARS was actually influenza, he belonged in the hospital anyway.

      3. This is one of the worst main stream misconceptions floating around out there, I think. Anyone that buys into it probably hasn’t spent any time actually studying the subject. My copy of Gordis Epidemiology (probably the most critical textbook in any EPBI program) addresses it on page 24 (very early in the book), and defines it as “the resistance of a group of people to an attack by a disease to which a large portion of the members of the group are immune.” It is the concept on which vaccination DEPENDS, because not all members of a group will be possible to vaccinate, will consent, or will respond positively to the vaccine.

        Above you classify entire virus general and contend that herd immunity has not worked on them, when in fact herd immunity was in play for quite a long time. Herd immunity is what stopped the spanish flu species. These days flu vaccination never reaches anywhere near optimal levels, so the vaccination contributes to herd immunity and produces a condition which causes severe strains to die down. We also might consider plague as an example – why did plague subside if herd immunity doesn’t work? Does herd immunity eradicate viruses? No, but there has only been one human transmittable virus ever eradicated in documented history, and that is smallpox. That took natural immunity, an extensive vaccination program, and large scale coordinated efforts for over a century.

        1. A quick additional note about something else I think you may be misunderstanding – herd immunity is a concept, not a strategy. Nobody is suggesting that we use herd immunity as the strategy and expose everyone. The suggestion is that we leverage this concept in order to produce the best possible outcome. In order to do so the idea is to risk prioritize protection, so that we can maximize the protection afforded to those most likely to suffer injury or death from Covid. On the other hand we might do something like keep schools open in order to maintain maximum normalcy, and because children are at a very low risk of death (about 0.002 average IFR for children 0-19). Vaccination is part of this strategy, though obviously there are concerns regarding mRNA vaccines because it is a new technology which has yet to be shown effective and safe long term. mRNA vaccines have had mixed results in trial over the last 30 years, including serious inflammation, chronic immune conditions, and death. If these mRNA vaccines do continue to prove effective and safe, this is a tremendous breakthrough.

          With regard to NPIs, you could read the September 2019 GMPB Report by Hopkins. Just prior to Covid they were warning that NPIs are generally only effective on small populations and for diseases with relatively low communicability. They warn that NPIs are generally pursued for political reasons. Otherwise we have an overwhelming body of quality evidence suggesting lockdowns don’t work, as this Reason article suggests. Mask research is not quite as mature, but in 50 years there has been no randomized controlled trial that has been able to show masks having statistically detectable effects on airborne viral infection. There are some that show masks have a mechanistic effect on droplet dispersion, but researchers are now questioning their assumptions regarding AVI transmission mechanisms because the research is indicating that an effect on the assumed mechanisms is not having a significant associated effect on infections. For mask research you might consider reviewing Cowling, B. et al. (2010), bin-Reza et al. (2012), Long, Y. et al. (2020), or Bundgaard, H. et al. (2020) (this is the ‘Dutch’ mask study). Source control has an even less mature body of research than masks as AVI PPE, but no study which attempted to address source control has ever found masks to provide a statistical reduction in AVI via source control. It should be noted that masks as PPE and as source control for AVIs are generally noted to require further study, but broadly speaking only very marginal effects are expected (given that more significant effects would have been detected in the 50 years of mask vs AVI study).

          1. One last point – I use ‘masks for AVI’ very specifically here. Masks have shown efficacy against bacteria, dust, etc. I also am using ‘masks’ to refer to N95 and under. There are some specialized masks which may have an impact on AVI, though research is sparse. It appears that if a dangerous agent that small is present, they are usually working with isolated specimens and/or wear fully sealed and positively pressurized suits.

            FINALLY FINALLY, all of this has been a discussion of efficacy and certainty with regards to research and practical effects. I am not commenting on the ethics or political science elements. Personally I favor the ethics of liberty and careful political institution construction, but in this comment chain I am simply attempting to speak objectively.

  5. which suggests that legal restrictions are not as important as politicians imagine

    Who knows this? Is this public information? I DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO GET A REAL JOB!

    /politicians.

  6. Fauci is a liar. He’s ignoring the CDC, and keeps making bombastic statements like “No epidemiologist believes…” when he’s being directly contradicted by various top, well-respected epidemiologists.

    1. Is there some reason Trump never sacked him or couldn’t? He’s a career bureaucrat/administrator who has gotten lots of stuff badly wrong.
      Should have replaced him with Scott Atlas, but I doubt he would have wanted the job.

      1. Fauci was one of many left wing career swamp rats at DHHS who Trump decided to not get rid of (but should have).

        As one who has dealt with DHHS officials and bureaucrats for the past 35 years, I’d bet that >90% are Democrats, and that most of them voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2020 primaries.

        1. Also note that for decades, Fauci has worked at NIH, whose primary role is doling out hundreds/thousands of multimillion dollar research grants to large universities with huge medical systems.

          While NIH grants are touted as pioneering public health research, the vast majority of NIH grants are just political handouts to left wing researchers at left wing universities, who have indoctrinated students to believe that America is systemically racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc.

          1. “While NIH grants are touted as pioneering public health research, the vast majority of NIH grants are just political handouts to left wing researchers at left wing universities, who have indoctrinated students to believe that America is systemically racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, etc.”

            You see how that gives you away. You post as if you were interested in science yet you have an agenda.

            1. An agenda against retarded liberal claptrap? Hell yeah.

            2. Fauci funded GoF research in Wuhan.

              1. I don’t know about that.

                When I was a student I worked summers and on campus on grants in research labs. Was more a basic learning experience than anything.

                I do not recall any indoctrination about sexuality or any of that claptrap in organic chemistry, molecular biology, physics, or calculus.

                I support smaller government. The argument for that in terms of basic scientific research funded by public money are open to debate within the libertarian community.

                1. NIH funded the lab in Wuhan through the guy (Peter Daszak) who invented the “No see um” method used by the Wuhan lab.

            3. Any objective review of NIH grants (they’re all publicly available) quickly reveals their political bias.

              Virtually every NIH grant to study sexual or racial differences of a disease (i.e. those who get, are hospitalized, or die from a disease) has generated journal articles, press releases (and subsequent left wing news articles) claiming the US healthcare and public health systems are sexist and/or racist.

              Virtually every NIH grant to study climate change has generated journal articles, press releases and subsequent news articles claiming the earth and all of its inhabitants will be toast in ten or twenty years unless America joins/rejoins the Paris climate accord (that allows China to greatly expand its carbon emissions for the next decade or two).

              1. Bill

                I give you cites when I make a claim. To science based articles. I really do not follow the NIH budget nor where the grants go.

                Perhaps you can show me something

                Learn something every day

  7. Sullum, do you really think you will escape the contempt and scorn due you? You were a fucking cheerleader for the lockdowns, assclown. Now you want to pretend to reestablish your libertarian bona fides. Uh, no. Too late.

    Sorry assclown, we see through your bullshit. Maybe your wife and daughters believe the horseshit you put out, but Readership sure in shit don’t.

    You used to stand for something. Now you are a shadow of your younger self.

    1. Someone else was going cold turkey on reading Sullum articles. I think I am going to have to do the same. How many comments can be made about him being an assclown before the readers are exposed as assclowns for reading?

      1. I got it out of my system, Chuck P. No more assclown comments about Sullum.

        I will however, reserve my ability to say he is a useless POS, well past his prime.

  8. Almost 50% of Americans (per CDC data and estimates) are now immune from covid (40% due to past infection and 10% due to vaccines).

    Since half of Americans cannot contract or transmit the covid virus, they should NOT be subject to lockdowns, mask mandates or any other restrictions that were imposed purportedly to reduce covid transmission.

    If Sullum and Reason were still libertarian, they’d have at least advocated for rights of covid recoverers, and for vaccine recipients.

    1. Really? Cite the 40% number. Cite anything.

      No MSM.

      1. Fuck off and die, goebbels.
        Real fucking soon.

  9. The article is quite valid bit did not go far enough. Many (I note Yale’s David Katz, again) not only said the lockdowns would be ineffective but that they would spread COVID to the most vulnerable more quickly. While not all examples are as obvious and stark as the Cuomo killings, the high rate of deaths in low income communities was most likely the result of locking older, high risk family members in the home, while their younger family members (essential workers) came back from their jobs in healthcare, grocery stores, etc with a fresh dose of the virus every day. More generations housed in smaller homes is a fact of life in minority communities.

    This was always an obscenely anti-science approach.

    1. According to WHO documentation as late as Oct. 2019, they were against lockdowns. Around March of 2020, the CCP convinced WHO to change their tune. Lockdowns are the policy of the CCP.

  10. It’s been obvious that seasonality trumps anything we do for like 8 months at this point, when the virus “moved down” into the sunbelt but disappeared everywhere else — just like Hope-Simpson predicts.

    The recent “experts are baffled” articles are hilarious. If you don’t understand the role seasonality plays by now, YOU CAN’T CALL YOURSELF AN EXPERT.

  11. Now the dictator of NJ is trying to induce panic about the new strains of the virus.

    1. do you mean the one that has been the dominant strain in the UK for months?

    2. Fuck Phil Murphy.

      1. No, and thank you. However, some people may find his beaver teeth attractive.

  12. A new virus has properties that are imperfectly known.

    One thing we can be certain we don’t need in a pandemic is the input of skeptics of collective action. Your job is to shut up and follow instructions.

    1. Your job is to shut up and follow instructions.

      You picked that up from your boyfriend, didn’t you?

    2. Your job is to shut up and follow instructions.

      And the Experts are going to settle on the right set of instructions for everyone any day now.

      1. We are on Year 2 of “15 days to slow the spread”

    3. Can you not post anymore? Simple instruction to follow.

      1. It is hard to tell if this is Tony or fake Tony.

    4. “A new virus has properties that are imperfectly known.”

      No. You and your ilk did this because of your own irrational fear, no take backs or excuses.

      We knew you were wrong and told you but you didn’t care because you wanted power. You’re evil.

      1. No?

        It is not possible that some things in science can be unknown.

        1. New vaccines have properties that are imperfectly known.

          So, are anti-vaxers cool now?

          1. Hell, the COVID vaccine apparently seems to have no actual benefits and will still insist you behave the exact same as you did before you got the vaccine.

            Seems like a hard sell to say “You need this vaccine…but it won’t actually improve much of anything”

            1. No actual benefits?

              https://www.Sejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2034577

              Published in NEJM. Read it for yourself.

              “The mRNA-1273 vaccine showed 94.1% efficacy at preventing Covid-19 illness, including severe disease. Aside from transient local and systemic reactions, no safety concerns were identified. (Funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; COVE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04470427. opens in new tab.)“

                1. So no need for restrictions, as the risk of hospitals being overwhelmed is nil.

    5. Well, good morning, Captain Jackboots! Hey, Tony, could you go REEEEEEE over at Vox, do us all a favor? Thanks.

  13. Of course now we are hearing that the new strain is coming and soon things will be horrible again…hogwash. The newer strain has been the dominant strain in the UK for almost 2 months, yet those numbers are crashing just like the U.S. numbers…will politicians ever get tired of trying to scare us?

    1. The new strains are not causing increased hospitalizations because they are only increasing in communicability not virility, which is the usual way a respiratory virus mutates.

  14. do you mean the one that has been the dominant strain in the UK for months?

  15. If things aren’t going well that means you aren’t locked down enough. If things are going well that means the lockdowns are working, but you need to lock down more to seal the deal. It’s heads I win, tails you lose, but with sCiEnCe.

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  18. I think the comparison between the more ‘formal’ lockdown in the UK compared to the US ignores that towards the end of 2020 the UK had a variant of Covid-19 which has been assessed to transmit between 40-70% more than the traditional ones. Whilst that variant is in the US, its prevalence is no where near the level seen in the UK. So if the differing lockdown approaches made equal effects, then rate of infections in the UK would still be much greater than the US. The UK lockdown reduced numbers of a more infectious variant compared to the the US approach which was dealing with a slower spreading virus. The comparison isn’t comparing apples with apples.

    1. All of the new variants come from places with hard lock downs. None of the lock downs correlate with any change in case rates, hospitalizations, or death rates.

      1. You understand basic biology. Nucleoside substitutions are random. It does not matter from whence they came.

        We are talking about a single stranded RNA virus which has rapidly spread with humans as the vector. Darwin was correct but we are not talking about bird beaks here.

        It is barely more that a year.

        The virus is the enemy.

        1. The environment, the hosts, and the virus form a feedback loop. If you constrain one (hard lock downs, so locally transmission is reduced), the selection process for particular variants is increased.

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