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

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


This past week, we decided to have brunch across from the Atlantic Ocean in Delray Beach. Don't be shocked ... unlike far too many catastrophists in other states who remain barricaded in their basements, most (but not all) people in FL have decided its time to move on with their lives. We chose to take advantage of the weather and eat outdoors, although the indoor part of the restaurant was open. A few people arrived wearing masks—most didn't. By law in Palm Beach County, our local petty tyrants require masks when entering any indoor establishment. These are quickly removed once seated. The logic for this is ... well ... pretty weak, but what else is new. 

In SoFla, eating out-of-doors can be a year-round activity, so even the COVID squeamish can have some semblance of the restaurant experience. But as cold weather approaches in the northern half of the U.S., financially-stressed restaurants that must operate under catastrophist "scientific" guidelines will be faced with daunting challenges.

But wait, Team Apocalypse in some cities has come up with a "solution." For example consider this missive by Democrat Mayor Muriel Bowser in Washington, DC:

We just announced an investment of $4 million to help small businesses winterize outdoor dining areas and maintain outdoor dining operations in the District through the Streatery Winter Ready Grant Program.

So ... in the latest installment of covidiocy, the mayor wants diners to eat outdoors when the temps drop into the 20s and 30s—in tents? No worries, there'll be propane heaters for all.

The Victory Girls comment:

That’s her plan? Tents? With heaters of some kind? The science here is AMAZING! DC restaurants have been restricted to 50% capacity. And instead of ramping up to 75% capacity as Maryland did in the last few days, Bowser comes up with tents as the solution. TENTS. 

Let’s look at the science shall we? In the winter, one isn’t going to want to sit in a tent with the sides tied up to let cold fresh air through. Nope, people will want the sides down, the tent door closed, and heaters going. 

Oh wait… doesn’t that sound like INDOOR DINING??! 

Why yes, yes it does. But I guess being in a tent and eating food isn’t as dangerous as being inside a building and eating food. It’s all so very scientific or something. 

And how about those heaters? What kind of heaters will work best? Are we talking multiple stand up gas heaters? The overhead propane heaters? The choices are endless. Except for the fact that they will be futile during blizzards or major cold snaps.

... Sooo, back to Bowser’s scientific tent idea. How will this work? Make a reservation for your favorite place knowing you’ll be outside IN A TENT. Check the weather and realize that you’ll need to bundle up in about 30 layers. Take extra hand and foot warmers and hope you’ll get seated directly next to or under a heater. 

On to the dining experience! You order wine, hope it doesn’t arrive at the table resembling slush. You order a hot appetizer. Will it make it to the table before freezing? How about your entrees? How fast will you have to eat before your food turns cold? In fact, will you be able to eat, drink, and converse with your friends while your teeth are chattering 900 miles an hour?

You just can't make this stuff up. It'll be a joy to eat dinner while wearing a down jacket, earmuffs and gloves.

As I've stated many, many times over the past six months: 

  • Media-driven reports about COVID-19 that are inaccurate and context-free and that lack the granularity needed to understand the danger, lead to fear. 
  • Fear leads to hysteria. 
  • Hysteria causes politicians—particularly (it seems) Dem politicians—to make very bad policy decisions. 
  • Very bad policy decisions defy common sense and lead to a set of "rules" that defy logical explanation.
  • People who are not catastrophists begin to question the rules because they are inconsistent and don't make much sense.
  • People begin to disregard the rules.
  • And guess what ... nothing of consequence happens.
Sure, people still contract the virus. The majority are either asymptomatic of suffer mild symptoms, but life begins to return to normal.

Of course, Team Apocalypse fights VERY hard to stop that from happening. When hospitalizations and deaths fall precipitously, it becomes all about "cases." When the case count drops significantly, it becomes all about unproven and tenuous "long-term" effects.

And the small restaurants that are struggling to survive? Tents ... Tents... and more Tents.


The editors of Issues & Insights (I&I) provide a deep dive into COVID-19 data and find, unsurprisingly, that there is a lot of good news, that the case fatality rate (CFR) for the United States is among the lowest in the world, and that the virus is no longer as significant a threat as it was in April or May. These numbers, backed by actual (as opposed to the Democratic party's) science make all members of Team Apocalypse nervous, so they avoid them like (excuse the pun) the plague.

One of the more interesting and least discussed metrics is deaths in excess of the expected number of fatalities. People die in this and every other country every day of every year and there is a seasonally adjusted number of "expected deaths" that is computed by the CDC and others.

I&I comments:

... deaths in excess of the expected numbers of fatalities. The Centers for Disease Control chart below shows that total deaths, the blue bars, have fallen below the threshold for excess deaths. Stanford biophysics professor and 2013 winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry Michael Levitt called it “a huge milestone.”

There’s no better method for gauging the severity of an outbreak of disease than counting excess deaths. Our World in Data says “excess mortality is a more comprehensive measure of the total impact of the pandemic on deaths than the confirmed COVID-19 death count alone.” According to an opinion piece in STAT, “measuring excess mortality gives a clearer picture of the pandemic’s true burden.”

Unfortunately, the most recent data available is from the week of Sept. 5. The Centers for Disease Control promises to update its data by 5 p.m. Eastern every Wednesday. But the page has not been updated since Sept. 9, so we’re missing the week of Sept. 12. Given the trend, though, we’d expect the total number of deaths to fall yet again below the threshold. If this continues to happen over the next several weeks, what does it mean?

Before we move on, we feel its important to reiterate that COVID-19 is not fully responsible for the death total that surged past the expected threshold. The lockdown response has been deadly.

“Federal data show deaths in 2020 have exceeded those of previous years in numerous categories,” the Wall Street Journal reported last week. “Doctors and health researchers say the fatalities reflect the ways the pandemic has amplified stress and financial strain while causing many people to avoid hospitals for fear of infections.”
As much as Team Apocalypse screams bloody murder when this subject is raised, the "excess deaths" graph indicates that throughout the COVID-19 crisis, deaths have generally remained BELOW the predicted numbers—until recently, when deaths have risen above those predictions. It's likely, therefore, that many of the deaths presented on the Team's scoreboard would have occurred in any event (recall that almost half of all deaths were of people over 80 years of age) and that as the lockdown begins to take its toll, excess deaths are occurring because of it.

The Dems and their trained hamsters in the media, of course, would NEVER admit to this because they need an angry and scared populous who will blame the GOP for all of it. Imagine for just a moment if an honest and thorough examination of the measures discussed by I&I were presented by the nation's media. I wonder who the populous might blame then.


Team Apocalypse love, loves, loves to talk about "death" as they celebrate the 200,000 "death" milestone they've looked forward to for weeks. Because their pitch is to people who are either innumerate or uninformed, they avoid percentages associated with death because ... well ... those percentages might calm people and reduce the fear. Can't have that.

Anyhow, a quick look at survival rates using numbers just announced by the CDC might be instructive. The survival rate for those who actually get COVID-19 is:

0 to 19 years old:  99.997%  (but we close down schools)
20 to 49 years old:  99.98%  (but we close down businesses)
50 to 69 years old:  99.5%   (but we lockdown states)
70+ years old:  94.6%  (might have been a really good age group to focus on)

So ... we shut down the country, wrecked the economy, ruined lives and livelihoods, closed schools, and otherwise terrified the populous for a virus that even in the worse case, even with co-morbidities, and even with the clear recognition that death statistics are ... uh ... questionable (see below) has a survival rate of 99.9% on average. Bravo.

And the death statistics? Let's say you have one or more co-morbidities (e.g., heart disease) and have a PCR test that come back positive. You have no symptoms, wait 14 days, get tested negative, and go about your life. 59 days later, you die of a heart attack. In some states, your test records are searched when your death certificate is filed and your death is put up on the Team Apocalypse scoreboard because you had a positive test. It's a guess, of course, but it's likely that a non-trivial percentage of the reported deaths have nothing to do with COVID-19, but their entry on the scoreboard does make the virus more scary. Bravo.