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

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Hysteria All the Way Down

Have you noticed that the media's COVID-19 death scoreboards and case counts are not nearly as prominent as they were a month ago? Maybe that's because deaths are dropping precipitously and hospitalizations are as well. In fact, the data presented in the once ubiquitous scoreboards has come into question.  Recent studies indicate that CDC data often conflated deaths that occurred with the presence of the virus with deaths that occurred from (because of) the virus. CDC data indicates that only about 6 percent of the deaths could be directly associated from the virus. The remainder may have been exacerbated by the virus, but on average, those who died had 2.6 co-morbidities (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, emphysema, COPD, obesity)—they were already old and sick.

But Team Apocalypse is undaunted in its efforts to keep schools closed, businesses shuttered and people paralyzed by fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Three new narratives are emerging: (1) there is a "long haul" effect associated with COVID-19 that can strike at any time after you have been sick, (2) even though most new "cases" are asymptomatic, every one of those people can infect others, and (3) vaccine approval is being rushed and therefore, any vaccine that is developed might be dangerous. The first two of these narratives are unsupported by scientific data and are likely false. They do, however, serve the purposes of catastrophists. The last assertion is true in the sense that vaccine development is moving quickly Team Apocalypse, of course, would prefer that it moved at a snail's pace to be sure nothing of importance happens until after the November elections.

Finally, there's the issue of testing and "cases." There is growing evidence that the current testing regime in the United States may be too sensitive, finding traces of virus that are long dead and yet labeling the person as COVID-19 positive. That same person is completely asymptomatic, cannot infect anyone, and yet, is forced to quarantine and undergo contact tracing (which is, generally, a waste of time and money at this stage of the pandemic).

Up to 90 percent of this people who test positive may, in fact, fall into a category of carriers who cannot infect anyone and who show absolutely no symptoms. Marlene Lenthang reports:

Up to 90 percent of people tested for COVID-19 in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada in July carried barely any traces of the virus and it could be because today's tests are 'too sensitive', experts say. 

Health experts say PCR testing - the most widely used diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the US - are too sensitive and need to be adjusted to rule out people who have insignificant amounts of the virus in their systems because they're likely not contagious. 

Today the PCR test, which provides a yes or no answer if a patient is infected, doesn't say how much of the virus a patient has in their body.

PCR tests analyze genetic matter from the virus in cycles and today's tests typically take 37 or 40 cycles, but experts say this is too high because it detects very small amounts of the virus that don't pose a risk.

Doctors say fewer cycle thresholds, meaning the number of cycles needed to detect the virus, hone in on those with greater amounts of the virus who do pose risks, according to the New York Times. 

Team Apocalypse rejects these data out of hand. Instead, they're champions of the current school re-opening chaos, and continue—against all logic, science, and common sense—to threaten new lockdowns as Joe Biden did recently. Hysteria all the way down.