The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Science, History, and Common Sense

When science, history, and common sense aren't on your side, there's only one viable option—use fear, uncertainty and doubt to force politicians into really bad decisions that will be supported by enough people because ... fear, uncertainty and doubt. As the months pass, and the deleterious affects of the national shutdown become more and more obvious, those of us who were against the shut-down policy from the beginning have been vindicated. 

Let's consider science, history, and common sense.

The shut-down policies supported by the catastrophists on Team Apocalypse (lead by the Democrats and their media flunkies) have absolutely no historical and little scientific basis for their positions, despite the words of their public health oracle, Dr. Anthony Fauci. The models that were used as a catalyst for fear, uncertainty and doubt have been proven to be grievously inaccurate. The initial data that fed those models and led to very bad policy decisions were incomplete and have now been proven to be seriously inaccurate (on the high side). The public was allowed to make the erroneous assumption that "flattening the curve" would cause fewer cases of COVID-19 or cause it to disappear. That will not happen. The proven epidemiological concept of herd immunity* is almost never mentioned. The risks associated with shutdown were never thoroughly modeled in the mad rush to "mitigate the virus" and "flatten the curve." Most hospitals are now under-utilized with empty beds and little income. Cohorts that are least effected by the virus (children and people between 18 and 50) suffered the most by shut-down policies. Now, some blue cities are suggesting that schools will not open in the fall, even though children are the least affected by the virus. All of this and much more defies science, history, and common sense.

And now, we have reports that deep blue cities like LA have decided to remain closed for three (!) more months or until an undefined number of tests are conducted or a vaccine is developed. This defies science. It defies history, and it defies common sense. Yet it's a narrative that has been widely adopted by Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media.

Holman Jenkins comments:
You will be hard-pressed to find a scientist anywhere who maintains we don’t need to learn to live with the virus. Our incoherent lockdowns plainly lacked a scientific rationale for how to reopen when most of the public remains uninfected. An MIT group calculates that the desired benefits in terms of hospitals and the elderly could have been achieved far more cheaply by isolating the vulnerable rather than everybody, and with far less damage to civil liberties.

For some families, sheltering in place now appears to have increased their risk rather than reduced it. For most individuals, the danger was flu-like, which never before led to them being stripped of basic rights. Banning outdoor activities appears to have been absurd overkill. The notion that a vast testing and contact-tracing scheme is plausible and could halt the epidemic, much less is a requisite condition to resume most of our economic freedoms, would likely fall to sixth-grade math. Start with the challenge of identifying millions of asymptomatic carriers among millions of others whose symptoms are due to the common cold or flu.

That politicians took steps out of panic is understandable. That these steps were unjustified by the science that existed then much less now doesn’t mean their motives were bad. 
But what about the motive of those who insist that the country remain closed—indefinitely? Are those  motives, as Team Apocalypse claims, all about concern for people's lives or is their insistence on prolonging the shutdown about something else?

You'd think that the Dems and their media flunkies would be more subtle about the "something else," but we live in crazy times. They want fear, uncertainly and doubt to continue and escalate throughout the summer and into the fall—right up to the election in November, 2020. They're doing everything possible to ensure that happens—let the country, its economy, and its people be damned.

*  In a way, it's kind of amusing to watch the machinations of Team Apocalypse when they are faced with hard scientific evidence that conflicts with their narrative. That's happening right now with herd immunity. This from the left-leaning Chicago Sun Times [indented, italicized comments are my fisking of the piece]:
Central to the argument of many proponents for an immediate reopening of the country is that doing so would lead to the quick building of herd immunity among Americans, slamming the brakes on the spread of the virus. As Americans came down with COVID-19 and recovered — if they did not die — they would become immune to catching the bug again or passing it on.
Why not mention that has been the case for every other serious SARs outbreak in the past 100 years. There is NO scientific reason to believe that COVID-19 would be any different, and to suggest otherwise is scientifically dishonest.
But an array of medical experts have poured cold water on that notion in recent weeks, including Fauci on Tuesday. While it is “very likely” that people who have recovered from COVID-19 enjoy “a degree of protection,” Fauci said, nobody yet knows how intense or prolonged an exposure to the virus is necessary to gain immunity or how long it lasts.
As usual, an appeal to Team Apocalypse's oracle, Fauci. There are dozens of eminent epidemiologists who disagree with the notion that herd immunity would not be ineffective, but of course, the one who supports the catastrophist narrative is the only voice that has been chosen by these writers.
Nor, he said, do we yet understand the full and long-term effects of the virus. He noted, for example, that doctors have just recently discovered the virus can cause “a very strange inflammatory syndrome” in children.
What an absolutely bogus argument. Fully understanding any virus can takes years. Are we to remain paralyzed with fear until we "fully understand." BTW, that's why we use historical precedent—to understand. The "syndrome" noted is an edge case, concerning, yes,  but exceedingly rare. The chances of a child becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 are so low it's represented as 0.0 on most tables of denoting hospitalizations.
In order for Americans to develop herd immunity, experts say, an effective vaccination against the coronavirus must be developed, and the earliest that might happen is late fall or early winter.
This is a half-truth. A vaccine will broaden herd immunity, but allowing the virus to spread naturally among a population that is VERY unlikely to be threatened by it will achieve the same result. Protect seniors, but otherwise, open up the country.
In the meantime, what are we to make of supposed expert medical advice from the likes of radio talker Rush Limbaugh, who’s all for throwing open the country and pursuing herd immunity right now?
Are these writers so ignorant of other  expert opinions that they believe there are no medical experts with impressive CVs  from prestigious institutions who disagree with Fauci? 
To take them seriously is to risk running out of coffins.
To take them seriously is to correct a well-intentioned policy mistake that if allowed to continue could destroy our economy and our health for years to come. Unless of course, the whole idea is to destroy our economy to gain political advantage. Come to think of it ...maybe deep down that's exactly what Team Apocalypse wants—more and more coffins and a dollop of economic wreckage for dessert.