Robby Soave reports on the deranged detachment from reality of the bureaucrats at the CDC. Here’s Robby’s wise conclusion:
The proper response is to ignore the CDC en masse. People who are vaccinated should feel free to resume normal activities, particularly if these activities only involve other people who are also protected from the worst effects of COVID-19—either because they are vaccinated, or because they are young. We don’t need to wait until the vaccine is available to kids—something that won’t happen until much later this year, or early next—to start letting them enjoy normal childhoods again.
Early on, Gov. DeSantis promised to protect Florida’s elderly. He didn’t stuff Covid patients back into nursing homes, like some other states, and instead set up special nursing centers for elderly Covid patients discharged from hospitals. Though dealt a terrible demographic hand, he governed judiciously and saved lives. Florida’s death rate among seniors is lower than California’s and New York’s.
Mr. DeSantis also saved livelihoods and quality of life. Florida reopened quickly and its unemployment rate is 4.8%, compared with 9% in California and 8.8% in New York. At the governor’s direction, every student in Florida has had access to in-person instruction since September, and places of worship have been open and offering solace to Floridians since May.
One year out, Florida is a Covid success story. You can blame Mr. DeSantis for that.
—Rachel Gambee, Dartmouth College, religion
The Neil Ferguson 2.2 million dead forecast for the US was a “worst case” or “do nothing” scenario, leading some to believe his model is vindicated since we locked down and ended up with fewer deaths. The problem with this claim is that Ferguson never published the alternative NPI mitigation scenario models for the US (he did publish them for the UK where they’ve all been surpassed, meaning he overestimated the effectiveness of those NPIs and lockdowns as a whole).
So what was Ferguson’s mitigation projection for the US? We won’t ever know unless his US model run shows up in a FOIA request somewhere (hint: Birx and Fauci’s email accounts). But he did make a public statement to the NYT on 3/20 of last year where he said the “best case” US outcome was 1.1 million dead – presumably with mitigation measures.
In either case, his US projections were wildly wrong, and remain indefensible.
You are leaving out the most damning criticism of Ferguson’s model: he predicted that the bulk of the 2.2 million deaths (or 1.1 million as the best case) would have occurred by August 2020. This was certainly a factor in creating urgency among politicians. By early August, the reported death toll was about 150,000.
Once zero-risk thinking becomes reflexive – and institutionalised in law – it leads you into a cul-de-sac of systemic self-harm.
Globally, with a few notable exceptions, a “covid death” is a death “from any cause” following a positive test.
In one blackly hilarious case, a man “died of coronavirus” after being shot by the police, with his 7 gunshot wounds being listed as “complications”.
That’s how loosely defined “covid death” has become, it is more or less meaningless.
(DBx: To be clear, I fully support vaccines. I believe that the fear that some people have of vaccines is as overblown and out-of-context as is the fear that many people have of SARS-CoV-2. But Knightly is correct to note that if the same appallingly loose criteria for classifying deaths as “Covid deaths” were applied to classifying deaths as “vaccine deaths,” the official vaccine death toll would be inaccurately much higher.)
New research from WHO and partners shows that the COVID-19 pandemic is severely affecting the quality of care given to small and sick newborns, resulting in unnecessary suffering and deaths.
A study published in the Lancet EclinicalMedicine highlights the critical importance of ensuring newborn babies have close contact with parents after birth, especially for those born too small (at low birthweight) or too soon (preterm). However, in many countries, if COVID-19 infections are confirmed or suspected, newborn babies are being routinely separated from their mothers, putting them at higher risk of death and lifelong health complications.
This is especially the case in the poorest countries where the greatest number of preterm births and infant deaths occur. According to the report, disruptions to kangaroo mother care – which involves close contact between a parent, usually a mother, and a newborn baby – will worsen these risks.
I don’t recognise acquaintances who approach me in the street. It seems strange and artificial to chat with someone masked, like a pantomime of normality. I can’t imagine what this must be like for deaf people who depend on reading lips – one minority we don’t talk about much these days.
As our toddlers were having haircuts, a mother to whom I was chatting confided to me that her son resembles her. ‘I don’t know what you look like,’ I told her, chilling that conversation, since I had clearly transgressed the tacit ‘act like it’s normal’ Covid rule.
No, dear friend, what I will mostly retain of the Covid period will not be gratitude that me and my family came out just fine.
I will remember the sudden intrusiveness of the State and the transformation of our society, the unquestioning obedience of the citizenry, the stifling conformity and the utter lack of solidarity as the professional classes holed themselves up and depended on working-class people to fetch them things.
I will remember the stupidity of masking small children and sending in nurses to collect their saliva at nursery and primary schools because everyone is toxic, even three-year-olds.
I will remember our callousness as we sacrificed young, hopeful people at the start of their lives, eager to make their way in the world; our cruelty to the elderly and fragile, to whom this whole circus is supposedly dedicated, whom we abandoned to die surrounded by extraterrestrials in hazmat suits.
I will remember how we isolated single people and deprived the healthy elderly of the comfort of winding down their hard-earned days in the (albeit toxic) company of their loved ones.
I will remember the ease with which we dismissed precious human interactions. We all depend on the touch of a hand, a friendly smile in the grocery store, a night spent dancing with friends in a sweaty club and the dawn subway ride home afterwards, happy and laughing. That’s how I met you, dear friend.