Coronavirus

The COVID-19 Disaster That Did Not Happen in Texas

Cases are rising mainly in states with stricter disease control policies.

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When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, lifted his statewide face mask mandate and his limits on business occupancy in early March, Democrats warned that he was inviting a public health disaster. Yet a month and a half later, newly identified coronavirus cases in Texas have fallen by more than 50 percent, and daily deaths have dropped even more.

Meanwhile, states with stricter COVID-19 regulations have seen spikes in daily new cases. This is not the pattern you would expect to see if government-imposed restrictions played a crucial role in curtailing the pandemic, as advocates of those policies assume.

Abbott's critics did not mince words. President Joe Biden said the governor's decision reflected "Neanderthal thinking." Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, said it was "extraordinarily dangerous" and "will kill Texans."

One reason those dark prophecies have not come true: The practical impact of Abbott's changes was much less significant than his detractors implied.

Most businesses in Texas had been allowed to operate at 75 percent of capacity since mid-October, when Abbott also allowed bars to reopen. It was implausible that removing the cap would have much of an impact on virus transmission, even in businesses that were frequently hitting the 75 percent limit.

While Abbott said Texans would no longer be legally required to cover their faces in public, he urged them to keep doing so, and many businesses continued to require masks. At the stores I visit in Dallas, there has been no noticeable change in policy or in customer compliance.

Conversely, face mask mandates and occupancy limits did not prevent COVID-19 surges in states such as Michigan, where the seven-day average of newly confirmed infections has risen more than fivefold since March 1; Maine, which has seen a nearly threefold increase; and Minnesota, where that number has more than doubled. Cases also rose during that period, although less dramatically, in other states with relatively strict COVID-19 rules, including Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Florida, a state often criticized as lax, also has seen a significant increase in daily new cases: 34 percent since mid-March. But Florida, despite its relatively old population, still has a per capita COVID-19 death rate only a bit higher than California's, even though the latter state's restrictions have been much more sweeping and prolonged.

In any event, COVID-19 surges are happening mainly in states with more legal restrictions than Florida or Texas is imposing. The Washington Post nevertheless says "experts…agree" that rising infection numbers are largely due to "a broad loosening of public health measures, such as mask mandates and limits on indoor dining"—a claim that is tenable only if you ignore all the countervailing examples.

States differ from each other in various ways that may affect the spread of COVID-19, of course, so you can learn only so much from comparisons like these. But several systematic studies have cast doubt on the effectiveness of broad legal restrictions.

While some researchers have concluded that lockdowns had an important impact, others say there is little or no evidence that they affected mortality rates or trends in cases. According to a Nature Human Behaviour study of 226 countries published in November, "a suitable combination of NPIs [nonpharmaceutical interventions] is necessary to curb the spread of the virus," but "less disruptive and costly NPIs can be as effective as more intrusive, drastic ones (for example, a national lockdown)."

In a 2020 National Bureau of Economic Research paper, UCLA economist Andrew Atkeson and two other researchers looked at COVID-19 trends in 23 countries and 25 U.S. states that had seen more than 1,000 deaths from the disease by late July. After finding little evidence that variations in public policy explained the course of the epidemic in different places, they concluded that the role of legal restrictions "is likely overstated."

That much seems safe to say in light of more recent experience in the United States.

© Copyright 2021 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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Coronavirus Epidemics Epidemiology Public Health Texas

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220 responses to “The COVID-19 Disaster That Did Not Happen in Texas

  1. CornPop just passed. He got the Covid while visiting colleagues down in Texas. I’m going to wait for Joe to get through his anguish before I expect him to give us all sage advice for moving forward, as a nation, in unity.

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  2. I almost wish I still had cable just to see how MSNBC and CNN spin the data.

    1. You can watch it on youtube. They republish basically all their stories only slightly delayed.

      And from what I can tell, they’re not so much spinning it as completely ignoring it.

      1. Or, put more succinctly, loudly screaming the exact opposite.

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      2. Why not? Worked for Sweden and Georgia and Florida.

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        1. I live in Georgia. It is just like every other place. I went today to Home Depot, Publix which is vaccinating people, and Walgreens who is as well. Everybody wears a mask and distances indoors.

          Outside we just walk around but keep distance. Since we are doing renovations contractors who show up are all wearing masks. We keep distance. As a courtesy I do the same even though I have had two doses (team Pfizer yay).

          I never stopped hugging my grandchildren. Family life has not stopped. Work goes on. Life goes on.

          Jabs in arms.

          The vaccines we have are powerful weapons. We can get there.

          1. Masks are just virtue signaling. There has never been any evidence that they stop the transmission of viruses, which are so small (.1 micron) they can even penetrate an N95 mask (allowing passage of as large as .3 micron).

            1. Except the viruses don’t float free in the air but in droplets that are larger than .3 microns

              1. Those droplets are from sneezes or coughs, where a bunched up handkerchief would be more effective than a thin cloth mask.

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              2. Incorrect. Scientists accurately determined that virus-laden AEROSOLS (infected particles that are much smaller than droplets and DO float in the air for hours) are the primary transmission mechanism. Aerosols are generated simply by breathing. In doing so, an infected cloud is created. Because masks have large gaps, they do not prevent the cloud from being created when exhaling. And those same gaps allow inhaling of an infected cloud.

            2. Yeah, they aren’t worth much to prevent catching the virus. But that’s not the point. They are useful to reduce spreading the virus. (Unless you’re an aerodynamics denier.)

              1. So why make everyone who isn’t sick wear them?

                1. Because you don’t know you’re sick until days later, and can transmit the disease even if asymptomatic.

                  1. So which is it? Does it transmiss through sneezed droplets or from non-sneezed regular breathing? Because if it’s the former then making everyone who isn’t sneezing wear masks is pointless fear mongering. If it’s the latter then masks are useless because virus particles are too small to be caught by anything below N95 grade respirators.

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                2. We (or some of us) learned that while wearing masks was primarily to prevent spreading the virus it actually did give some protection from being infected. Like many other things about this virus it was a learning process. Covid deniers seized upon this to attack the whole idea of taking precautions when it was, in fact, the medical community’s honest efforts to give the people new information even if it contradicted earlier assessments. This is how science works, people. New data brings new ways of thinking and acting. The anti-science claque in this country had an ideological motive for constantly attacking and ridiculing the people working their assess off (and sometimes dying) for the well being of the country.

                  1. There actually is no new data supporting your assertion that masks prevent the spread and prevent from getting infected.

                    But you spouting your delusional nonsense about learning that masks protect the wearer too does clearly prove the original arguments AGAINST masks – that a bunch of idiots will falsely conclude that wearing a cloth over their nose and mouth protects them from covid.

              2. Nope, this is laughably false.
                (And I’m not an aerodynamics denier)

                You are wrong. Stop denying the science and evidence.

              3. Incorrect. Masks can capture droplets. They are useless against aerosols, the main transmission mechanism.

    2. There are two types of spin in this very article:
      1) Ignoring the impact of population density in “per capita” comparisons across various US states.
      2) Ignoring the number of citizens in states that are ignoring mandates, including the “red” counties in California.

      Also, there’s a bit of “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” going on here. As we learn more about how the virus is transmitted, scientific guidance is adjusted. For example: there’s no need to wipe down your groceries or be obsessively concerned about picking up the virus on delivery boxes. Nor is there much worry about catching the virus when outdoors unmasked provided you’re keeping reasonable distance from people outside of your household.

      1. Well this has to be one of the more retarded criticisms I have encountered.

        The main states cited for no mask policies
        Florida is 8th in population density
        Texas 26

        The main citations for exploding cases with harsher policies
        Michigan 17
        Minnesota 30
        Maine 38

        On average the loose policy states are denser. Your other criticism is actually full retard. It’s trump supporters causing the case explosions in blue states? M-Kay aren’t there more of those though in you know, red states?

        1. Well, if I was a “retard” I might just make the argument you’re trying to make because numbers are, apparently, hard.

          California registered voters for 2020 were 20.9M with 26% of them registered Republican or Republican-voting independents. That would be 5,434,000 conservatives, give or take a few.

          South Dakota has a total population of 885,000 (rounding up.)

          So no, there aren’t always more Republicans in Republican states. It depends on the states. California has almost as many registered republicans as Florida (5.2M).

          Let’s look at the states cherry-picked in the article and see how they measure up based on test positivity rate (how much the disease is spreading.)

          Florida positivity rate: 10.2% – Hospitalizations increasing
          Texas: 12.62% – Hospitalizations increasing

          California: 6.23% – Hospitalizations stable
          New York: 4.05% – Increasing
          Washington: 6.14% – Increasing
          New Jersey: 7.54 – Increasing
          Maine: 2.7% – Increasing (yes, not a typo… 2.7%)
          Minnesota: 6.78% – Increasing
          Michigan: 7.19% – Increasing

          South Dakota: 15.82% – Increasing
          Utah: 12.2% – Increasing
          Tennessee: 11.16% – Increasing
          Mississippi: 16.4% – Increasing

          (Notice that hospitalizations are increasing across the board? Likely due to the new variants that are easier to catch. )

          1. Ok full retard twice congrats. Only an utter moron would argue raw numbers of trump supporters rather than relative numbers. I didn’t think anyone was dumb enough that this would have to be spelled out. By your logic a state with 100% trump supporters and 200,000 people would be less at risk than a state with a billion people and 250,000 trump supporters.

            And your ignorant point about population density remains wrong.

            Finally hospitalizations are not a relevant metric given we are talking about the effect of policy on spread. Hospitalization rates are a function of many things.

          2. You’re using facts which have no value in the science denying claque in this country as the responses to your comments clearly demonstrate. Keep up the good work.

            1. He is fucking lying. Per the Texas Tribune, positivity rate is 5.5

      2. Incorrect. New Mexico, South Dakota, and Nebraska have very similar population characteristics. New Mexico engaged in a strict lockdown and mask mandate. South Dakota and Nebraska did not. The results? No statistcal difference. Infections and deaths were nearly identical.

  3. The purpose of the restrictions was never public health but to exacerbate the pandemic for cynical political gain, as I said from the beginning. Lockdowns force people to stay at home where the virus is most likely to spread, and mask mandates are just hygiene theater for people to pretend to comply in public while flouting the measures when alone with their vulnerable (especially the ones who express sympathy for republicans). Yet they won the propaganda war in most states, and we are still on the defensive, because too few of us were willing to fight. Ultimately the reason is that people see far more opportunities for profit and power in socialism (medicare for all, UBI, GND, gun control, alternative policing, etc) than in capitalism. And calling them liars and losers won’t change their mind.

  4. “…experts…agree” that rising infection numbers are largely due to “a broad loosening of public health measures, such as mask mandates and limits on indoor dining”—a claim that is tenable only if you ignore all the countervailing examples.

    The punishment for being so continually wrong? Continued citation by journalists and demanded deference by authorities.

  5. Welcome to The Re-Imagined States of America.

  6. It is clear from the data that republican freedoms in Texas cause democratic illness in Michigan.

    1. ^clinger

  7. Ok, so this idea of giving credit to Covid denialists for any success in mitigating the disease and death associated with the virus is fuckng bs. So there wasn’t a “mandate” from the cocksucker well that would carry some consequence in a vaccum but in the real world people were still wearing the masks because they were influenced by people who took this virus seriously. If all you had were TX Republicans and people like Trump and Ted Nugent and we were relying on their advice and social pressure Texas would have been ground zero for Covid death. So fuck you and fuck this idea of giving these pieces of shit any fucking credit.

    1. Science denier.

      1. Agreed he needs to follow The Science!

      2. He’s also probably an anti-vaxxer who believes that people spread the virus after they’re vaccinated.

        1. That makes no sense.

          1) We don’t know yet if the vaccine prevents the spread of the disease. We do know that it prevents *symptoms* in about 95% of cases. We should assume, in the absence of scientific confidence, that vaccinated people can still get and spread the disease.
          2) You can be pro-vaccination and believe vaccinated people spread the disease. That is the recommended assumption until we learn differently.
          3) Not all anti-vaxxers believe the disease exists; they believed Trump and the right-wing media that call it a hoax. Ted Nugent called it a hoax.

          1. Trump never called the virus a hoax. He said the Commiecrats’ claims that he ignored it and didn’t do anything about it were a hoax. I can’t stand Trump, but if he is to be blamed, so should the head of almost every other country.

          2. Is there any other example of a vaccine you can think of where you can in fact spread the disease after vaccination? I’m drawing a blank.

            1. Yes. A quick google got me this: https://nrvs.info/can-i-spread-whooping-cough-if-i-am-vaccinated-against-it/

              But you don’t really need that example to know that it is possible. Simply look at the effectiveness value of the two mRNA vaccines: roughly 95% effective and preventing illness. So roughly 5% of the time a vaccinated person can get the virus and get sick from it. At the very least, those folks can spread it and they won’t know they’re in the 5% until a couple weeks after they’ve become contagious.

              So when can we stop wearing masks? I’m not an epidemiologist so I cannot say for certain. But I’d expect that we’d be able to dump the horrid little things not long after we’ve reached some reasonable level of herd immunity though vaccination. So maybe 70-80% vaccinated? (just a guess.)

              On another note: Doctors are reporting that the 2020 flu season was dramatically lighter. They’re thinking the masks and social distancing helped reduce transmission. So while I don’t see mask mandates continuing beyond the herd immunity point, I do think the wearing of a mask when one is sick (like many Asian cultures do) may become more common in the US.

              1. Well sure a failed vaccine can allow spread, you can obviously also die. I was really referencing a successful vaccination, but as your link states

                “There is also some evidence that if vaccinated you can carry the bacteria in your body without being sick (this is called asymptomatic), and that therefore there is a theoretical risk you could pass it on (known as asymptomatic transmission).”

                A theoretical risk is different than a proven risk. Also I imagine bacteria is different than a virus.

              2. We’re already over 70% herd immunity (either vaccinated or infected and recovered).

          3. The hoax was that the entire country, across all demographics, needed to isolate and wear masks. It was clear early on that anyone under 55, with no comorbidities, was at little risk. The science, therefore, would have dictated that those people could continue life as usual. But that is not what progressives pushed. Meanwhile, several studies from Europe showed that masks had little impact on virus transmission. The science, therefore, would have dictated that mask wearing be declared optional. But that is not what progressives pushed.

    2. Such a compelling argument. Doesn’t sound like a butt hurt school girl at all.

    3. So it sounds as if you are saying the people of the state of Texas were able to determine their own fate and make decisions on where they went and were willing to risk. When uncomfortable, they mitigated their own risk. Amazing!
      And who listens to Ted Nugent. Ted, by the way, got the Covid, got really sick and didn’t die. He is 72 years old.
      Meanwhile Sleepy the miracle worker has over 167,000 new deaths on his side of the ledger now in just a few short months. While he implements Trump’s vaccine plan to the accolades of the leg humping media. Way to ‘beat’ the virus!

      1. Texas has a widely dispersed population outside of its big three cities. That helped. If businesses are open, do Texan employees get to “determine their own fate” or do they have to do what their boss tells them or risk losing food and shelter? You make it sound like a lack of a mandate expanded choices for all Texans rather than merely shifting the decision from the government health services to profit-motivated employers. Further, the overall risk of going out of the home to buy food, medicine, see the doctor, etc increased in places where it was easier for the “Covid is a Hoax” crowd to run around acting like the disease didn’t exist. If they didn’t socially distance or wear masks, they put nearby people at higher risk of getting the disease. So the 70yo with diabetes had to measure their need to get supplies against the risk of some yahoo loudly claiming COVID is a “leebrahl hoax!” two feet from them in the pharmacy line.

        Ted got the benefit of a year’s worth of scientific discovery on how to treat COVID. He got lucky.

        You cannot implement a plan that doesn’t exist.

        1. “ do Texan employees get to “determine their own fate” or do they have to do what their boss tells them or risk losing food and shelter?”

          I would say they got to determine their fate more than they did in Michigan. Wouldn’t you?

          1. No, I wouldn’t.

            If the state mandates closures of certain kinds of businesses (like theaters and gyms) and dramatically reduced occupancy in other businesses along with mask mandates, fewer people are forced to work in unsafe conditions. Further, it reduces the risk of leaving the house and taking care of necessary chores or limited in-person shopping. Reducing the risk of being out in public increases meaningful choices for large numbers of residents.

            When the government lifts restrictions prematurely, more workers will be forced back into harms way and the unvaccinated will have to weigh higher risks of leaving home for necessities. Both of these types of people have had their choices reduced, not expanded.

            If firing off an assault rifle in public is made legal, have we increased choice? Have we let more people “determine their fate?” No, all we’ve done is let the morons who think spraying bullets in crowded areas is their right keep the rest of the country locked in their homes. Not wearing a mask in public–spraying your COVID bullets into the crowd–is not determining your *own* fate but determining the fates of the people around you.

            1. I’m not following at all. In the Texas case they can work or not work. In Michigan their only choice is to work. Nobody is forced to work in unsafe conditions. Quitting is an option. Maybe they can’t afford that but neither can business owners you shut down, and you don’t seem very concerned about that so obviously economic harm is not a factor for you.

              “When the government lifts restrictions prematurely, more workers will be forced back into harms way and the unvaccinated will have to weigh higher risks of leaving home for necessities. Both of these types of people have had their choices reduced, not expanded.”

              So by giving me more choice by having the option to take risks or avoid risks I have less choice. 1984 is calling. They want their propaganda back.

            2. “fewer people are forced to work in unsafe conditions”

              The unemployment lines are so much safer.

    4. Oh shut the fuck up. I feel sorry for you. At some point you won’t be able to blame Trump anymore. If anyone is a “denier,” it’s you.

      1. Now that’s what real TDS is.

    5. Jamie’s Cryin’

    6. “Ok, so this idea of giving credit to Covid denialist…”

      TDS-addled lefty asshole thinks giving ‘clever’ names to those who can read data somehow makes the data invalid.
      Do you have to be a complete ignoramus to be come a lefty, or does doing so unplug one ear so your brains can run out?

      1. we need a tds vaccine

        1. The 2020 election was just that. Trump? Dumped.

    7. You’re truly a retarded piece of shit, go lick some boot slaver.

    8. You do realize that Gov Abbott along with pretty much every prominent Republican encourages people to wear a mask, right? Nobody of note is telling people not to wear a mask. They are just saying that the police and government bureaucracy shouldn’t be fining and ruining livelihoods over it.

      Everyone believes you should eat your vegetables. Very few advocate that the police should roam restaurants ensuring that you do. People doing the right thing without being threatened is a good thing and doesn’t mean that we should use government force on the holdouts.

      1. But getting rid of the mandates dies mean that if a person, like me, doesn’t like to wear masks, then they are not required to! Tennessee has also divested themselves of any mask mandate & the state is doing well! You do realize that when wearing a mask, you are breathing back in the crap you’re supposed to breathe out of your system? That stuff gets in the mask, then you get it back into your body. When y’all dispense with the mask, you get to breathe in Good air instead of polluted air!! We’re healthier & china virus free without the mask.

        1. You do realize that if what you say is true, we’d have lost every nurse, doctor, and dentist to this mysterious mask disease, right?

          You also realize that, in the case of COVID, the mask isn’t doing anything to protect the wearer from the disease, right? It protects the people near you from catching your infection.

          1. No, it doesn’t protect anyone. The virus is so small that it will go right through the masks. That’s why every doctor was saying, in March of 2020, that there is no reason to wear a mask because they don’t stop the spread of viruses. They did a 180 because they didn’t want to confront the political tyrants who imposed mask mandates. I have no doubt that there are symptomatic people who are spreading the virus because they think their masks are protecting others.

            1. Good example of how some people are simply uneducable.

      2. Yeah, he “encourages them to wear masks (wink-wink, nudge-nudge) and then threatens private businesses from enforcing their own mask rules with criminal charges. Funny how some “libertarians” are just fine with that massive hypocrisy.

    9. On other words, the mandates and lockdowns weren’t necessary because people, when told the truth and not lied to (because they’re too dumb to handle the truth, ala Fauci) will measure risks vs benefits and take appropriate action on their own?

      So . . . Where does this leave your precious autocracy then?

      1. Pure nonsense.

        1. Dude, most people aren’t reading this thread anymore. And good thing, because you’re just depositing more idiocy with every new comment.

          Give it up.

    10. You do realize that over 10% of the population has tested positive. Which is pretty similar to the infection rate that we get from the flu every year. So as much faith as you’d like to put into the mask, it hasn’t seemed to do much compared to other strains of influenza. And while there was a higher mortality rate from Covid than the other stains of influenza, it didn’t even bring us it change our mortality rate from 0.80% to 0.95% If we attribute all of that change to covid, and none to the increase in suicides, homicides, and other detrimental effects of the year, We get a 0.15% mortality rate from covid.

      The 1918 flue had 3% mortality by itself, not from all causes. WW2 had mortality rates between 5-17% depending on the country (admittedly that was over the course of the war so should be amortized by the length of various countries’ involvement). So yeah covid was a problem. But good grief the amount of moral outrage from people who have zero sense of scope is tiring.

      1. You do realize that’s a bunch of hooey, right?

        “During January–December 2020, the estimated 2020 age-adjusted death rate increased for the first time since 2017, with an increase of 15.9% compared with 2019, from 715.2 to 828.7 deaths per 100,000 population. COVID-19 was the underlying or a contributing cause of 377,883 deaths (91.5 deaths per 100,000). COVID-19 death rates were highest among males, older adults, and AI/AN and Hispanic persons. The highest numbers of overall deaths and COVID-19 deaths occurred during April and December. COVID-19 was the third leading underlying cause of death in 2020, replacing suicide as one of the top 10 leading causes of death (6).”

        https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7014e1.htm#:~:text=During%20January%E2%80%93December%202020%2C%20the,(91.5%20deaths%20per%20100%2C000).

        1. Even the numbers you cite are pure statistical noise. The death rate varies every year, but aside from that “age-adjusted death rate” is literally bending the graph to draw your desired conclusion. It’s like saying “COVID deaths were up in 2020 compared to 2019”. Also, labeling COVID as the leading cause of death when everything from motorcycle accidents on up gets labeled as COVID. The CDC has completely demolished any trust and good faith it may have had over the last year. Might as well just start quoting the chinese.

          1. That’s as succinct a summary of the lying/ignorance about covid disease and death rates as I’ve seen. You deserve a Covid-denier and general science-denier badge for that pile of horseshit.

            1. you are a dead thread shitting retard

              1. Analysis: true.

      1. Let the hate flow through you…

  8. “At the stores I visit in Dallas, there has been no noticeable change in policy or in customer compliance.”

    Come on, Sullum! Your anecdote doesn’t represent the state. What about the baseball stadiums packed with maskless attendees? Wouldn’t the Fauci science call that a super-spreader event? Yet, the opposite is happening.

    The mask mandates do nothing!

    1. Mask mandates seem to actually cause harm.

      1. At some more sane point in the future, if it even happens before we stupid ourselves back into a new dark ages, this will be covered as one of the biggest mistakes in health history. Cure worse than the disease.

        1. Wearing a mask is worse than death.

          You heard it here first folks!

          /S

          1. I would rather die than live the rest of my life being forced to stay home or be in extreme discomfort every time I go anywhere. Live free or die.

            1. No you wouldn’t. That’s just idiotic posturing.

              1. No, actually some of us take our freedom seriously. Some, like you, are boot-licking lemmings who are only happy when you’re being told what to do. So let me order you know: go away.

          2. False dichotomy.

            “And the dealer wants you thinking that it’s either black or white. Thank God is not that simple, in my secret life.” – Leonard Cohen

          3. The cultish nature of the covid-denier claque can neither be denied any longer.

      2. Yep. And the more data we gather the more this seems to be the case. It’s really not surprising, because that’s what everybody agreed on last March before this thing went political. Rule #1 is “Don’t touch your face.” What are people wearing masks doing CONSTANTLY?

      3. Can you point me to any supporting info? I would imagine supporting info would be hard to come by, just as is supporting info on the actual effectiveness of masks (do they stop Covid 1% of the time? 80% of the time? Who knows? Who cares? Doesn’t matter, it “saves lives”) On its face this sounds plausible. I never actually bought a mask and instead re-used a blue mask I was given for months. Every now and then it would go in the washing machine.

        1. Supporting Info: https://www.pnas.org/content/118/4/e2014564118

          Mask use to prevent spreading COVID and other respiratory disease is backed by evidence.

          Honestly, this stuff is quite easy to find using your favorite search engine.

          1. It may be quite easy to find, but actually reading it was evidently too big of a hurdle for you.

            “Overall, direct evidence of the efficacy of mask use is supportive, but inconclusive. Since there are no RCTs, only one observational trial, and unclear evidence from other respiratory illnesses, we will need to look at a wider body of evidence.”

            “None of the studies looked specifically at cloth masks.”

          2. There was a record low number of flu cases this year:

            “As COVID-19 raged last year, the seasonal flu all but vanished, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

            https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2021/01/11/amid-coronavirus-flu-cases-record-low/4127197001/

            That was not a just a fluke. Where it was really practiced, mask wearing and social distancing not only helped contain covid but greatly reduced flu spread. Imagine how much worse the last year would have been if people were getting flu and covid.

            1. Covid = Flu

    2. Wow Dallas! that’s a great sample of Texas. Fucking moron.

  9. Didn’t happen in FL either. Know where it’s starting to happen? In the state that enacted the most tyrannical lockdowns, MI. You won’t see that on CNN.

  10. Once again, it’s about population density (and rave frequency). Not even Houston is close to NYC in terms of density. Hell, Houston is more sprawled than even the loosest Los Angeles suburb.

    Does not mean the virus won’t affect rural red states, it will, and it has. But when one looks at the specifics it comes down to population density and similar factors. The Dakotas, for instance can be attributed largely to government reservations. I’m in California (sorry) where I can see stuff county by county, and the worst counties (outside of LA) are the rural red counties… that happen to have state and federal prisons. California also uses hospital bed metrics, and rural counties don’ t have many hospital beds because stupid healthcare politics encourages hospital consolidation in large counties. New York’s problem wasn’t that they weren’t Blue enough, but that it had crowded subways and is densely packed.

    I mean, duh.

    Okay, the Houston bayous might not be ideal for waiting out the pandemic, but overall it’s a well distanced city all on its own. Austin is more dense, but it’s also a lot drier. Easing up restrictions in Texas is a no brainer. It’s New York City that needs a wall built around it.

    These people who are in love with the pandemic need a collective Atomic Murph. One doesn’t need to be a virus denier to realize that this virus porn can’t go on forever. Kids need to get back to school, their parents back to their jobs, restaurants and retail stores need to reopen, people need to stop freaking out.

    Fuck the chattering classes. If they dont’ want to leave their home they don’t have to. But don’t stop the rest of us. I get my second shot in a few days, and I plan to go out and get a drink in celebration. I’ll still wear my mask, but I’m not going to be living in fear.

    1. ” I’ll still wear my mask, but I’m not going to be living in fear.”

      Well, which is it?

      1. lol exactly

      2. Sometimes one might wear a mask just to keep stupid people off one’s back.

      3. People wear the mask to reduce the spread to the people *around them.* The cloth masks we’re wearing don’t protect the wearer.

        So, to answer your dense questions: both. It’s both. You* go out and enjoy life (no fear) and you wear a mask when indoors in public because you’re responsible and want to make sure you don’t spread the disease to others.

        *by “you” I don’t mean you specifically since it’s obvious you don’t give a flying crud about anyone–or at least your online persona is meant to convey that image. Here, I mean “you” to mean all responsible humans who are worth knowing

    2. Miami 13k/sqmile, detroit 4.5k/sqmile. Yup, you nailed it.

      1. San Francisco: 49sqm 7mx7m.

    3. Yes, density can play a role. However, people go to the grocery store everywhere, grocery stores are about the same density especially with 6ft mandates. It doesn’t matter if your neighbor lives 20ft from you or 2,000ft from you if you don’t interact with them. I share a wall with my neighbor, but to suggest I could catch covid from them is a bit of joke. And people also do not understand how dense Los Angeles is. The LA metro area is the second most dense metro area in the country people!! Simple data!! Its a myth that amazes me that people still believe it.

      1. LA Metro is actually #1, but comparing spread out metro areas full of lightly populated suburbs with strip malls and wide open areas isn’t terribly useful here, especially when “metro area” is an arbitrary measurement that doesn’t represent actual commute patterns. (The real NYC metro at the bottom of this post.)

        Los Angeles proper has a density of 8,484 persons per square mile.
        Long Beach: 9,348
        Anaheim: 7,043

        SF CA: 18,581
        Oakland: 7,528
        Berkeley: 11,580

        Miami: 12,645

        Houston: 3,842
        Dallas: 3,870
        San Antonio: 3,238

        But the NYC area blows everyone out of the water:
        Union City, N.J.: 54,138 persons/sq. mile
        West New York, N.J.: 52,815 persons/sq. mile
        Hoboken, N.J.: 42,484 persons/sq. mile
        New York, N.Y.: 28,211 persons/sq. mile
        Passaic, N.J.: 22,424 persons/sq. mile

    4. So, in other words, the things New York needs to do can actually be harmful if other states do them and national control of every aspect of life – even in an emergency, let alone outside one, is not appropriate.

      Well, there goes the national minimum wage then.

  11. “…The Washington Post nevertheless says “experts…agree”…”

    As does NYT, CNN, CBS, MSNBC, NPR and Newsom; ‘experts’ all!

    1. “experts all”

      As opposed to the “pulling it out of our asses” covid-deniers?

  12. I don’t know how long Reason and the rest of the media can keep pretending the virus isn’t seasonal, but I’m about sick of it.

    Nothing we do matters. Nothing we did EVER mattered, and the data is clear on this by now. Lift all restrictions immediately.

    1. Not all viruses are seasonal.
      Evidence shows that the masks and social distancing helped.

      The data is clear, but doesn’t agree with your statements here, which seem to claim that the disease can be spread without any human contact at all. (Otherwise, masks and distancing would “matter.”)

    2. There’s nothing more tragic (and deadly in a pandemic) than those who can learn but will not.

  13. that one day again will come where we all were happy and peace was there.

  14. in other states with relatively strict COVID-19 rules, including Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

    Fuck Phil Murphy.

    1. Also Larry Hogan.

      1. Whitler Sucks.

    2. Fuck Tom Wolf while you’re at it. and fuck dear Dr. Levine, who got promoted to the cabinet despite being Secretary of Health of the state ranked 46th in vaccine distribution. And also, you may recall, moving Mom Levine out of a nursing home right before proclaiming that Pennsylvania nursing homes could not refuse COVID-positive patients.

  15. The experts just won’t say that 30 million people recovered from COVID are immune and don’t transmit the virus. That information effects daily life to such an extent that the failure to address it is actually sinister.

    1. And we’re wasting vaccines on those 30 million right now. Move them to the back of the line.

      1. And then we’ll all be getting back in line for our bi-annual booster shots soon. Is it too late to buy Pfizer stock?

    2. If experts did say that, they’d be lying and deeply unprofessional.

      There is no evidence that acquired immunity is permanent. There’s no good evidence that acquired immunity lasts longer than 6 months. And there’s even less evidence regarding the effectiveness of acquired immunity from the main COVID variety preventing illness from the new variants.

      It’s hard to waste a vaccine that significant numbers of Americans (largely Trump voters/QAnon followers) refuse to take. Might as well give those doses to the people who want them.

      1. The “experts” say we need the vaccine because there is no evidence that immunity from actual infection is permanent. That isn’t completely true because they have seen that samples taken 17 years ago during the SARs epidemic have a T cell reaction to Covid 19 so at least a partial immunity is very likely.

        Meanwhile, there is no evidence that natural immunity isn’t permanent, and at the same time evidently there is growing evidence that vaccine acquired immunity doesn’t last long because the same experts are already talking about boosters.

        1. “The “experts” say we need the vaccine because there is no evidence that immunity from actual infection is permanent. ”
          What “experts” would those be? From the get-go, no one in the medical community had any idea how long immunity would last from being infected. And that’s still the case. We know that viruses which mutate frequently (like influenza and now covid in spades) will require regular boosters for protection against massive outbreaks. Furthermore, covid belongs to a family of viruses including the one causing “colds” (rhinoviridae) an illness for which no vaccine has even been possible to create. If you people stopped paying attention to the quacks and extremist conspiracy theorists you wouldn’t keep making such utter fools of yourselves. Unless you belong to that sort in which case….just stop.

  16. The problem with trying to get these restrictions lifted is the messaging. Most people know and accept that better hygiene, masking, and staying a bit apart helps. Statists dial that up to 11 and the hypothetical conversation is something like this. ‘This thing is good, so we need to force people to do it for their own good.’

    Libertarians are falling short on explaining why that doesn’t work. We allow the non-free press and Democrats to lie about us as science deniers and subhumans. I always try to be as clear as possible. Yes, these scientific measures work, but the purpose of policy is compliance. Knowing what works doesn’t help, actually doing what works does. Does coercing people with fines and jail time make them compliant? Thus far, the answer has been a resounding no.

    If you really want people to follow COVID rules, then they can’t be the sort of rules where you’re going to martyr people for bucking the government. Empower your people instead of shackling them.

    Health outcomes aren’t as simple as ‘follow the rules and you’ll be safe.’ We are unhealthy as a nation. We have the second highest obesity rate in the world. We’re unhygienic in general. We have horrible diet and exercise habits. That’s why countries like Japan and Korea didn’t have to lock down to the extent of some of our Blue States and they had dramatically better outcomes. Our personal health is so horrible that hundreds of thousands of Americans were going to die no matter what. It’s unfortunate, but should serve as a harsh reminder that the best way to stay healthy is to not get sick in the first place.

    1. We also have turned the general populace into shaming bullying squad. They effectively found another way to turn us on each other as you mention through terms such as covidiots, maskholes etc. Bullying is ok in their mind as long as it’s for the right cause.

      1. Your sort made your own beds and now have to sleep in it.

    2. We really aren’t falling short. It’s others who wilfully ignore.

      You can’t logic someone out of a position the didn’t arrive at through logic.

      1. Yes, this.

    3. Too much Collectivist, Group Identity broad brushing in this comment. My head hurts.

    4. My attempt at a libertarian perspective:

      People should be free to do as they please without government interference as long as they don’t impinge on the rights of others.

      Spreading deadly diseases impinges on the rights of others.

      People who spread deadly diseases either willfully or through negligence are legally liable for losses.

      Wearing a mask and social distancing is a responsible response that reduces the risk of spreading a deadly disease and is a positive defense against a charge of negligence.

      1. How far down that slippery are you willing to travel? If my Grandmother catches the garden variety flu and kicks off because you walked into my house for 5 minutes and spread it, do you go to jail?

  17. It is seasonal and nothing else we do matters much.

    1. …says no peer reviewed study on COVID-19

        1. Ignore…was trying to use a thumbs-up emoji.

  18. Of course, this is a lie. The death rate in TX was higher than CA (1,721/M vs 1547/M). But don’t let arithmetical fact get in the way of continued lying about this.

    1. Of course, this is a lie. The death rate in TX was higher than CA (1,721/M vs 1547/M). But don’t let arithmetical fact get in the way of continued lying about this.

      You appear to have the IQ of a turnip that’s been left to rot in the field. The point is with regard to what has occurred since the significant easing of restrictions in states like TX vs states that did not ease restrictions or even increased them, not who has had the highest overall death rates since the beginning of the pandemic.

      1. I hardly expected the cult of ignorance to accept any facts.

        1. I hardly expected the cult of ignorance to accept any facts.

          You mean, like the fact that your offered statistic in no way refutes the point of the piece you’re so ineptly commenting on?

    2. DigiMed, you didn’t say where you got your numbers or what the time interval is, but you appear to be using numbers for the entire pandemic.
      Using Johns Hopkins data ending 4/20/2021, the 7-day averaged daily death rate per million population is 1.99 for California and 1.86 for Texas. The COVID-19 total deaths per million population since 2021-3-15 is 116.87 for California and 107.39 for Texas.
      Since the Texas mandate was lifted, the Texas death rate has been about 7% less than the California death rate.

  19. The be clear, there was a Covid disaster in every state and country in the world. I look at a map and even I, brilliant epidemiologist that I am, struggle to draw broad conclusions about the efficacy of a policy considering the massive amount of death all over the place.

    Just do what the CDC says and shut the fuck up. You wouldn’t want to be caught being a petty whiny asshole and encouraging your readers to cause more death out of a misbegotten crusade to turn a fashion accessory into tyranny.

    Tyranny is forcing people to die for the sake of your bad ideas.

    1. There hasn’t been a Covid disaster in Maine, other than the government policies. Nobody is forcing anyone to die, but financial ruin and suicides are up.

      1. Did you ever care about the suicide rate before right-wing talking heads fed that concern into your brain holes in order to fuel your partisan tribalism?

        You know what gets a lot of people killed by suicide in this country? Access to guns. Go on, share your deep concern about suicide rates.

        1. I don’t care about suicide rates – except when a policy you’re pushing raises them.

          1. So just like what I said.

            What do you think you get when Republicans win on fear and racism? A cookie? The soft gentle glow of knowing your culture, trash though it may be, won the old-fashioned way, with genocide and authoritarianism?

            Did you ask for consent from the word “freedom” before you tied in up in your rape dungeon and had your way with it?

    2. Except that there wasn’t.

    3. It’s hard to do what the CDC says when they keep changing it.

      1. They have a website.

        1. Well who could then possibly argue with that??

          “The CDC spox Fauci is a confabulatory. I shan’t believe a word he says.”
          “They have a website maintained by Science™!”
          “Shiiiit, negro… that’s all you had to say!”

          1. All it takes is basic literacy, or a friend who is literate.

      2. It’s almost like they change their guidance based on new evidence and experience!

        Too confusing for the average Republican, I guess.

    4. I’m curious how you define disaster.

      1. Lots of dead people, traditionally.

        1. Then I guess we are continually in a disaster. Or is there some special line somewhere between 3 million and 3.3 million annual deaths where it suddenly becomes a disaster?

          1. Yup, there is a “special line.” There’s a baseline death rate based on expected death from age-related causes, suicide, seasonal influenza, etc. Governments track this.

            OTOH, the 9/11 terrorist attack killed 2,977 people.
            COVID-19 (as of today) has killed 568,000 people in the USA.

            These deaths are above the baseline. We started two wars over 2,977 people, one of which is still killing American soldiers, but cannot even get behind wearing a cloth mask in public after the deaths of over half a million.

            1. What if I told you that the war on terror was wrong? Wouldn’t that make the handling of the rona 190 times worse?

            2. COVID plus the effects of the lockdowns killed 568,000 people in the USA. Since how COVID deaths are counted was never cleaned up, we don’t know how many died from COVID, but only how many more died of all causes than normal. And the lockdowns have definitely caused deaths:

              Stress kills, and the lockdowns have left many people with a stressful cut in income. Social isolation stressed everyone who actually obeyed the rules, except extreme introverts. Many medical checkups and procedures have been delayed by up to a year; either that killed people, or much of what doctors did was useless or counterproductive. Suicides and murders are both up. When the streets nearly emptied about a year ago (and cops were reluctant to make traffic stops and talk to strangers through an open car window for 15 minutes), many people who were still driving lost all regard at all for the speed limits. That probably didn’t cause an increase in traffic deaths, but now with traffic nearly back to normal, they’re still driving 50mph through 25mph city residential streets and entering intersections 3 seconds after the light turned red.

              1. Lie big or go home, amiright?

            3. OK, but there are many years where deaths during the winter season are considerably higher than the baseline. So where is the dividing line between normal stuff that hardly anyone even thinks about (like a bad flu season) and this? Why is 80,000 OK, but 300,000 a disaster (I say 300k and not 500 because the 500 figure includes two seasons and is only comparable to two consecutive flu seasons)?
              And mass murder is not comparable to a disease that mostly kills the old and infirm and it’s a pretty disgusting comparison. Thousands of people die from various natural causes every day. Just looking at the raw number without considering who is dying and how is nuts.

          2. In fact the death rate went up nearly 16% in 2020 vs. 2019. That is a huge deviation from the average and can only be accounted for by covid deaths. But keep on trying to pretend otherwise-as if you would stop.

            1. ” In 2020, approximately 3,358,814 deaths† occurred in the United States. From 2019 to 2020, the estimated age-adjusted death rate increased by 15.9%, from 715.2 to 828.7 deaths per 100,000 population. ”
              Source: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7014e1.htm#:~:text=In%202020%2C%20approximately%203%2C358%2C814%20deaths,828.7%20deaths%20per%20100%2C000%20population.

            2. You apparently didn’t notice that I specifically cited those numbers in the comment you are responding to. And entirely missed the point. I am in no way claiming that covid deaths are all fake. I think the numbers are somewhat inflated because of the extremely high rate of comorbidity and citing covid as a cause of death whenever it is present, but I’m not pretending it’s not a serious illness for many people.
              My question is not “is covid killing people?”. My question is why do these numbers justify the unprecedented authoritarianism we have seen in response. We go through flu seasons where 80,000 extra people die fairly often and hardly anyone bats an eye. If we tested every dead person for flu, it would probably be even higher. So at what point does it go from “meh” to “oh my god we have to destroy the economy and fuck up everyone’s life and take away people’s rights”? Taking the official numbers at face value, I still say it is absolutely not worth the damage to people and the erosion of freedom that the responses have caused.

        2. Your definition is too subjective.

          1. Admittedly, the line between being alive and being dead is fuzzier than doctors will usually admit to us.

            1. Well there’s dead and mostly dead.

    5. I, brilliant epidemiologist that I am

      Then why are you the branch manager of a sperm bank in charge of soliciting donations?

      1. Gotta love the Jr High gay jokes. Never cease to amuse.

        1. When development stopped at 13 for these types what else would we expect.

    6. No, tyranny is someone telling me to shut the fuck up and listen to someone else.

  20. Maine?! We’ve gone from almost no COVID to very little (currently we are fourth-fewest active cases per capita). It might have “tripled” but c’mon man. I don’t think we are statistically anywhere near comparisons to New York, Florida, Texas, or California due to our small population size. Governor Mills has definitely overplayed her “emergency” powers, but using Maine as an example in any argument is unwise.

  21. Yeah I don’t think there’s much to conclude from the data other than that states with higher populations and population densities have more deaths.

    Notably, DC is doing better than Maine and most other states. Guess it must be all the freedom.

    1. Yeah I don’t think there’s much to conclude from the data other than that states with higher populations and population densities have more deaths.

      I know that you’re clinically braindead, but the comparison to note here is how things have changed for each state after some stood pat (or clamped down harder) and some eased restrictions…not which states have more deaths (or rates thereof). If state A maintains its restrictions and infection/death rates increase, while state B eases its restrictions and both rates decrease over the same period of time…saying “State A has a higher population density” means absolutely nothing.

      1. Speaking of ooze for brains…

        A state having restrictions isn’t a measure of how well the citizens adhere to those restrictions. So comparing state results based on a list of declared restrictions means absolutely nothing.

        1. a list of declared restrictions means absolutely nothing

          In which case, supporting the declaration of restrictions is idiocy, and so is opposing the end of such declarations. Which means anyone who criticized Governor Abbot for the latter can be removed from the list of people who have any idea what they’re talking about and safely ignored.

          It’s so nice when supporters of tyranny provide the arguments that refute themselves.

        2. Speaking of ooze for brains…

          That’s an odd way to introduce yourself, but…OK.

          A state having restrictions isn’t a measure of how well the citizens adhere to those restrictions.

          If a state imposes measures like max capacity restrictions for restaurants, bans on crowded public entertainment events, etc then there most certainly will be far few crowded restaurants, public entertainment events, etc than in those states to do not impose such restrictions. The fact that there will be some non-compliance does not render the existence of the restrictions meaningless.

          Your claim is as stupid as saying that a comparison of highway fatalities between areas with high speed limits and those with lower speed limits is “meaningless” because some number of people exceed the posted speed limit.

      2. It’s a lot of fuzzy math. It can take weeks for people to die from this virus, so pinpointing policy cause and effect is not necessarily the best use of our time. Maybe just stop looking for excuses to breathe virus on other people and be a grown ass man.

        1. Say what?

          “pinpointing policy cause and effect is not the best use of our time”

          Are you out of your fucking mind?

          1. Has no one ever told you that if you have nothing to say it’s better not to say it?

  22. In South Carolina (where I live), the Governor (McMasters) lifted the mask mandate on March 5 when we were having about 1200 cases per day. Two weeks later there was a slight uptick to 1300 but then it’s dropped off to less than 1000. March 29 had a very odd uptick to over 4500 which is inexplicable.
    This week it’s been less than 1000 at the start, then 750 and then less than 300 for the last two days. About 40% of the state population over 16 has been vaccinated with at least one shot and 27% with both.

    1. If 40% of the state has had at least one vaccine, lifting the mask mandate means the other 60% have to restrict their activities even more to avoid getting COVID.

      COVID vaccination is not proven to prevent infection or transmission. It’s only proven to prevent getting sick (symptoms) in roughly 95% of people and even then only for those variants it’s been tested against. There’s some concern that the South African variant isn’t well-covered by the current vaccine.

      1. lifting the mask mandate means the other 60% have to restrict their activities even more to avoid getting COVID.

        No, it doesn’t, because as you said just six minutes before you posted that, state mandates are meaningless.

      2. Depends what you mean by prevention. It is never going to be 100%

        So Israel, look at the chart, has dropped to around 200 cases per day from a peak of about 10,000.

        That did not happen by accident.

  23. “Cases are rising mainly in states with stricter disease control policies.” So let’s not lift a finger to control a fucking pandemic. This latest one has killed 3.01 million humans worldwide and counting. More of these babies are coming and one may be far worse and kill you and yours, but never mind all that. Wearing a little mask and getting a shot is so terribly inconvenient, not to mention that Bill Gates may implant a tiny tiny microchip in your arm, and such an infringement on your God-given liberties. It’s a hoax, y’all, just like Biden’s election! So boy howdy, party hearty and invade the Capitol, and don’t forget to Make America Great Again!

    1. Yeah we’re doing so well stopping it now that only the places trying to stop it are getting worse.

    2. Why are you assuming that masks and other measures are actually working? What you are arguing against is mostly a strawman. The argument is that evidence doesn’t give much reason to think they do work. That’s at least a question that everyone should be interested in. If the measures aren’t very effective, then they need to be stopped because of the huge harms they cause. And if masks don’t work that well (in the ways people actually use them), then they may just create a false sense of security, exposing some people to more risk.

  24. A virus needs only one thing. It needs a host.

    Local outbreaks are expected in an infectious pathogen. More virus out there in the community more cases. The transmission is exponential.

    The defenses we are using are weak and we are all worn out and tired of this.

    Jabs in arms. We have been using slingshots. Everyone gets a free AR-15.

  25. Masks don’t work. People still get sick! Physical distancing doesn’t work. Have y’all tried to stay 6’ apart from another at Walmart or Home Depot while shopping & not at the cash registers? Impossible to do. Yet the survivability rate is still 99.5%!!!! Personal responsibility is the key!!

    1. Personal responsibility means:
      1) Not passing on misinformation like “masks don’t work” and “survivability rate is still 99.5%”
      2) Not risking other people’s lives needlessly by spreading your COVID breath in your local Walmart. Wear a mask.
      3) Recognizing that “personal responsibility” includes being responsible for your impact on the other people around you.

      1. Except we can look at the actual data from the actual real world. Masks do nothing.

        1. Especially if they’re not worn. I guess you’ve decided to ignore the huge outbreaks from some maskless church gatherings that have happened over and over all across the country. I know facts are not your friends but constant lying isn’t going to win you any new ones either.

  26. Short memories, people. It’s the weather, and the variants.
    Northern states are climbing, and will until people get outside. And previously safe behaviors aren’t so safe when there’s more aggressive virus in the stale indoor air.
    Let’s talk again once air conditioning season has been underway for 6-8 weeks in the South.

  27. The federal government is so confusing! I know because a talking head on Trump TV told me so! No, I did not read the CDC’s website, thank you very much. As a member of the party of personal responsibility, I choose to go through life as a mindless fuck doll being passed around by rightwing slimecucks. And if I infect you, it’s Obama’s fault.

  28. I feel like this author may be making more of a rather simple situation. We know from last year that when the weather got nice (but not necessarily too hot to drive people inside to A/C) that people spent more time outside or with windows open, etc. & cases went down. In the south right now, the weather is awesome! Up north, it’s still borderline; and if you go into parts of Canada where cases have been surging, it’s still cold!

  29. Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions means Inviting Disaster in Texas?

  30. We shouldn’t use deaths/hospitalizations to gauge, as they are what they are. They’re going to be a function of the spread – along with a population’s health. Unless you can control for that… So the focus should be on reducing the spread and balancing that with economic costs.

    I defer to Trump’s former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who’s conservative politically – and was an undergrad econ major – but who also understands the medical side. See this video for his perspective on the recent trends, including TX, FL, MI and the northeast.
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1382778174430400513

    But also, whenever one refers to any of the mandates – masks or capacities – you have to factor in the degree to which they’re actually being practiced. We (WI) had capacity mandates that the Sheriffs’ said they wouldn’t enforce, & mask mandates that people ignored.

  31. I’m putting this up for the covidiot above who claimed that the disease has a survival rate of 99.5%. First, the way mortality is determined is called the “case-fatality rate” which is currently 1.7%. Compare that to the longstanding average case fatality rate for influenza at .9% which means that covid is twice as lethal as the flu.

    1. Cases are a bad measure. They don’t count the asymptomatic. Try again.

      1. It is indeed complicated. The PCR test is highly reliable when paired with clinical signs and symptoms. That is not what happens in the general population.

        One factor is the ability of the test depends on the viral load at a given time. If I am exposed and have the virus I am likely to test negative for at least a few days and negative again a few weeks later. Then there are sampling errors due to inadequate sampling. Those result in false negatives.

        Then there are false positives. Say the false positive rate is 5%. If you test a population with a low prevalence the odds that a positive result is a true positive decreases.

        One thing we know is that the vaccines we have are highly effective and there is good evidence that they not only prevent most clinical illness but also transmission rates.

        Jabs in arms.

        Many people have guns or devices like alarms, locks and ring doorbells to protect themselves and homes from invaders. Here is a free one. It is safe and effective.

  32. Has it been determined that wearing or not wearing masks is the sole reason for the change in covid cases?

  33. Correlation or causality? Seems to me that this pandemic defies simple, one dimensional explanations. Lots of cold climate states where infections spiked. Florida is an outlier, but maybe some other vector? We seem to need simple explanations, but maybe there aren’t any.

  34. Its very big accomplishment if its true. Umzugsservice Wien

  35. We are in Vienna and working but the situation is not good here. Gärtnerei Wien

  36. “Mission Accomplished”?

    I’m happy to see that the more permissive governmental approaches in states like Texas hasn’t yet caused a spike in cases and deaths. It took a few months last year, as well, for Texas and the other red states to catch up to the coastal states; perhaps this time around the vaccines will arrive in time to stop big surges.

    But as things stand, you’re declaring victory for a deregulatory approach while the pandemic is still swirling. New York’s heavy-handed approach, for all its insanity, its pseudo-science, its nutty politics, will leave us highly vaccinated and ready for the summer. We’ll see how Texas fares as the summer comes.

  37. Of course, you are begging the question.

    When did we agree that it is isn’t currently a disaster? Over 50K dead Texans isn’t enough for you? Did you forget that Abbott blocked local governments from implementing their own public health measures (like mask mandates).

    Moreover, ignoring the role of federal policy at the start of the pandemic is highly dishonest. If not for the malfeasance and nonfeasance of the Trump administration, America would be far better off. Hundreds of thousands of American’s didn’t have to die.

    Tripe like this piece is an insult to reason.

  38. Brazil

    India

    Oxygen. Not enough oxygen.

  39. Whenever you see phrases like “experts agree”, “follow the science”, “evidence based”, you are seeing marketing or politically motivated agendas and definitely not having anything to do with actual empirical evidence. These are all phrases designed to take advantage of the most gullible and least informed into blindly trusting garbage. Science is now as neck deep into cancel culture and a propaganda outlet as academia, the main stream media and many other institutions in America these days and should not be taken at face value.
    It’s unfortunate, but America is now a very low trust society (and should be considering integrity, pride, etc…. are mostly a relic of the past) and just about everything should be taken with a big grain of salt. The biggest problem in America is widespread culture rot. All other problems from increasing crime to poverty to debt to the pathetic excuse for human beings who gets elected into office these days are symptoms of culture rot.

  40. Red states are getting the last laugh in this pandemic, or at least the latest laugh. It’s not over till it’s over, but with vaccines ramping up the days of sky high daily case rates are numbered.

    1. Major.

      There are no colored states. There are only citizens to protect.

      I have yet to laugh about any of this very serious disease. I will do my best tomorrow. Fight.

      Best advice is jabs in arms. Go. Be brave soldiers.

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