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Some Covid Links

Reason’s Jacob Sullum calls out the Houston Chronicle for citing weak evidence in support of mask mandates. A slice:

The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that schools require all students to wear masks, regardless of their age or vaccination status. But by and large, the studies that the CDC cited to support that recommendation did not even compare schools with mandates to schools without them, let alone “take into account all of these extraneous factors.” When it issued its latest guidance for schools, the CDC’s best attempt at a more rigorous analysis was a large study of Georgia schools published in May, which found no statistically significant evidence that requiring students to wear masks reduced infection rates, even before vaccines were widely available.

In a preprint study posted the same month, Brown University economist Emily Oster and four other researchers analyzed COVID-19 data from Florida, New York, and Massachusetts for the 2020–21 school year. “We do not find any correlations with mask mandates,” they reported. But they noted that “all rates [were] lower in the spring, after teacher vaccination [was] underway.”

David Henderson reports his encounter, on a recent flight, with an officious Covid hysteric.

“Thousands more people than usual are dying … but it’s not from Covid” – so reads the headline of a recent report by the Telegraph’s Science Editor Sarah Knapton. A slice:

Now, 18 months of delayed treatments may be starting to take their toll.

Dr Charlotte Summers, an intensive care consultant from Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, told a Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) event this week that patients were arriving at A&E with serious conditions that had worsened during the pandemic.

“There is an increase in non-Covid emergencies that are arriving at the front doors of hospitals from all the delays the pandemic has created already. Things like people presenting later with tumours, and therefore having bowel perforations and aneurysms and lots of other things that were delayed,” she said.

(DBx: But according to the ethical standard that has taken hold since March 2020, these non-Covid deaths are much less worrisome than are Covid deaths. The reason, as we are all now supposed to understand, is that the absolutely worst fate that can befall a human being – a fate incomparably worse than any other – is coming into contact with SARS-CoV-2. Covid and Covid deaths, you see, differ categorically from all other of life’s risks.)

TANSTAFPFC (There Ain’t No Such Thing As Free Protection From Covid.)

Good news from Norway: That country is today ending (almost) all Covid restrictions. (HT Dan Klein)

Dan McLaughlin defends Florida governor Ron DeSantis on the question of quarantining school children. A slice:

He’s right. As he noted, like many of the precautions taken at the beginning of the pandemic, making kids stay home from school if they were merely exposed to someone else was a common-sense response to an unknown, fast-moving virus, but one that was not actually based on scientific study. That’s fine as an initial precautionary response, but it’s not April 2020 anymore, and it is high time we stopped pretending that it is. We have inflicted enough on a whole generation of children already. European schools have not taken precisely the same approach as Florida, but they, too, have long emphasized keeping as many healthy kids in school as possible, and have not had much in the way of outbreaks as a result.

Michael Brendan Dougherty is rightly critical of “the overexposed Anthony Fauci.” A slice:

The one criticism allowed to slip through is a reference to his initial flip-flop on masks. But, even more recently, Dr. Fauci seems to be slipping up more and more. A few weeks ago, he was asked to comment on the video footage of packed southern college football stadiums. “I don’t think it’s smart,” he said. And yet, despite the dawn of football season and the southern states being uninterested in reimposing mask mandates, the Delta wave is collapsing in them. Fauci can read a chart like anyone else and has surely figured out that non-pharmaceutical interventions such as mask mandates make no substantive difference in the seasonal and regional waves of COVID. Surely he’s also noticed that every time someone predicts imminent doom from an outdoor gathering — especially one as unappealing to progressives as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally — nothing much happens. The expected revenge of cruel COVID on outdoor conservatives never comes. Then again, maybe this is just a case of knowing which battles to fight.

Lenore Skenazy reports that obesity among children has increased in the Covid era.

Jay Bhattacharya on Twitter:

Lockdowners who pushed for censorship are akin to book burners.

And more from Jay Bhattacharya on Twitter:

Zero-COVID and lockdown are dangerous ideologies. Devout adherents have caused enormous harm.