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Some Covid Links

It’s difficult to follow ‘THE science’ if ‘THE science’ is so self-contradictory and confusing.

Pro-lockdown Covidocrats escape to Florida to evade their own absurd restrictions. (HT Tim Townsend) Two slices:

Speaking at a press conference, [Florida governor Ron] DeSantis quipped that he would be a “pretty doggone wealthy man” if he “had a dollar for every lockdown politician who decided to escape to Florida over the last two years.”
Unfortunately, DeSantis did not expose the “lockdown politicians” he said have been traveling to Florida.

However, one such incident made national headlines in May.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), who enacted intense COVID restrictions, traveled to Florida in April despite blaming travel to the Sunshine State for a wave of COVID infections in Michigan. Whitmer claimed she traveled there to visit her sick father.

First-year GMU Scalia School of Law student Robert Fellner explains why he organized a petition against GMU’s possibly harmful – and certainly irrational – requirement that all faculty, staff, and students receive a Covid booster.

Matt Shapiro writes insightfully about Covid data and motivated-thinking presentations and misinterpretations of these data. (HT Jan Jekielek) Three slices:

If I can make one claim proudly, it is that I quickly recognized that COVID was a disease that was moving and spreading both regionally and seasonally. The entire reason that I do my monthly data posts in several rough regions of the United States was to demonstrate this fact. It is, in my opinion, impossible to understand COVID by looking at voting patterns or mitigation regimes or by setting two regionally disperse states against each other, especially if we’re looking at metrics within a narrow time window. We have to look at this as a sickness that hits region-by-region and is in line with seasonality changes that drive people indoors.
Things that are “impossible to ignore” when [Paul] Krugman decided to use a single week of data have become incredibly easy for him to ignore when a different week no longer makes his point. A metric is found that supports a narrative; in this case, the narrative of “Republicans are the cause of COVID”. But when that metric doesn’t support the narrative, it is the data that is abandoned, not the narrative. The narrative lives on and the people committed to the narrative will find a different context-less metric that helps them tell the story they were always going to tell regardless of the data.
There was an occasional hint of self-awareness, like when a data journalist from The Economist asked why Florida was getting hit so hard despite high vaccine rates.

The answer (which is growing tedious with repetition) is that Florida was part of a region that was having a severe COVID surge. The really important question here is “wait, if vaccines rates are as protective at a state population level as these charts imply, why *is* Florida having such high COVID rates?”

This was an important question that was largely ignored. So powerful was the narrative that vaccines would stop all COVID surges in their tracks that there has sprung up a conspiracy theory that the only possible explanation for this is that Florida is faking their vaccine reporting rates. This is nonsense, but it’s evidence of how strongly a narrative belief guides people’s view of the world.

Daniel Nuccio reports on the efforts of several sensible commercial-air pilots to fight vaccine mandates – and on the Catch-22 irrationalities that many of these pilots confront.

For those of you who doubt that Covid Derangement Syndrome is real, read this post by el gato malo decrying such Syndrome and the “karentopia” that it encourages. A slice:

there is, simply put, a class of people here who do not want to go back. this purported crisis has given them meaning and elevated their long simmering social fears and barely suppressed panic/safety seeking instincts into what they mistook for virtue.

the fact that others followed them in this mistake allowed it spread and has given it range and duration previously unimaginable.

all perspective was lost to hobgoblins and we surrendered to the neurocracy: rule by the most neurotic; and those who have been atop this newfound karentopia would like to stay there.

Beijing continues its mad, cruel, and lethal pursuit of zero Covid. And such tyranny is not uniquely Chinese or communistic; it’s the inevitable result of this pursuit. A slice:

Basic food supplies and patience are running low in Xi’an after two weeks of lockdown.

Confined to their homes since December 23, residents in the Chinese city famous for its Terracotta Army have been reduced to bartering for food with cigarettes and electronics as they complain on social media over the lack of essential supplies.

For Chinese president Xi Jinping, who is expected to claim another five years in an unprecedented bid for a third term later this year, it is a faltering start to a crucial 2022.

Omicron and China’s inadequate vaccine against the fast-spreading variant risks pushing the country’s zero-Covid strategy to breaking point, as it runs out of time to stamp out cases ahead of athletes arriving for the Winter Olympics next month.

(DBx: Of course, the people who suffer, and will continue to suffer, most from Beijing’s totalitarian Covidocracy are the Chinese. But we in the rest of the world will suffer also as our commercial and cultural contacts with the Chinese will be severely reduced. National conservatives in America, along with Progressives in America, will applaud the severing of commercial contacts with the Chinese as being an alleged source of greater American prosperity. But they are mistaken – just as mistaken as they’d be if they argued that, say, a severing of the commercial connections between Americans east of the Rockies with Americans west of the Rockies would enrich Americans on both sides of the Rockies.)

Novak Djokovic Denied Entry to Australia Ahead of Australian Open.”

AJ Stand tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

I live in Africa … there is no upside [i]n lockdown … only rich people enjoy their TV in lockdown.

Jay Bhattacharya tweets:

French Pres. Macron: 5 million fellow unvaccinated citizens are “non-citizens.”

Canadian PM Trudeau: the unvaxxed are “misogynistic & racist” extremists

Pres. Biden: the epidemic is a pandemic of the unvaccinated

Does progressive leadership require demonizing the other?

Gavin Mortimer accuses Emmanuel Macron of “crossing the line” in his “war on the unvaccinated.” A slice:

Prime minister Jean Castex called the suspension of the debate ‘irresponsible’ but that perhaps was a more apt description of the remarks made by Macron to a French newspaper that were published last night. In an interview with Le Parisien, the president explained why he wanted the vaccine pass bill implemented: ‘I’m not trying to make life difficult for the French,’ he said. ‘But the anti-vaxxers, I really want to piss them off. And we will continue to do this – to the end.’

This would be achieved by making their lives a misery. ‘I won’t send [unvaccinated people] to prison,’ said Macron. ‘So we need to tell them, from 15 January, you will no longer be able to go to the restaurant. You will no longer be able to go for a coffee, you will no longer be able to go to the theatre. You will no longer be able to go to the cinema.’

Jay Bhattacharya talks with Lex Fridman about Covid and Covid (over)reaction.