“We should take [Coronavirus] seriously. But we should take the rest of our society seriously, too, and take appropriate measures that allow us to get back to school, to work, and to resurrecting our economy,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), M.D
“Every closed school is parents who can’t go to work. Every closed school puts at-risk kids more at risk. Every closed school that is closed out of fear and not reality is a tragedy we should avoid.”Click here to read more.
Just yesterday I watched David Muir gleefully declare that top vaccine candidate was being stalled in phase 3 trials because one person had had an adverse reaction. The fact that the vaccine may not be available in early November seems to have generated a gasp of relief from the media despite the fact that hundreds of people are dying in the USA and thousands worldwide each day that we don’t have the vaccine. But it’s a slam against Trump, so all those lost lives are worth it to the media, whom I’ll call “Antifa will a microphone” from now on.
David then looked into the camera and reassured us that the vaccine manufacturers would “follow the science.” That phrase seems to be a new devotional recital of the progressive Marxist religion. Funny, coming from a bunch of people who avoided the intellectual commitment of actually studying science throughout their higher education.
Biden chimed in earlier, declaring that he would slow the vaccine development and definitely would extend the lockdown. Obviously, neither black lives nor all lives matter to him. When his declaration didn’t go over so well, he rephrased, saying, “I’ll take the vaccine if scientists approve it.” Again a solemn declaration of religious devotion, more evidence that progressive Marxism is a faith, where synthetic gods, such as science, are believed in, rather than rationally understood. I just wonder who Joe and David think makes the vaccines, possibly bricklayers?
Possibly David and Joe are looking for “settled science.” That is, if 29,999 scientists say the vaccine is 100% okay and one says it’s not, then they’ll hold it back until everyone agrees that it is 100% safe. I’ll point out that a characteristic of a fanatical mass movement, progressivism in this case, is the demand that the impossible happen before they release their strangle hold on society.
I used the example of 30,000 scientists on purpose, because in AstraZeneca’s third phase trial they have 30,000 test subjects, and only one had a severe negative reaction. That was enough to cause David and Joe and most progressive true believers to slam on the brakes and knell trembling before their “follow the science,” admonition. But just for the fun of it, let’s actually use science to decide whether the vaccine should be slowed because of one adverse reaction.
Let’s give the benefit of the doubt to the scientists who are running the trial and give them a few days to see if they can determine why this particular individual had a problem. Possibly they can figure out whether the person who got sick had some condition that makes it unwise for others like them to be vaccinated. This should be no problem because scientifically we know that not every person needs to be vaccinated for the society as a whole to have herd immunity.
[ Sidelight link, David and Joe, tell me it ain’t so: Poor Countries Use Hydroxychloroquine to Keep Their COVID Death Rates 77% Below Richer Countries. This seems to be in conflict with studies done in the US. Looks like we need to review the data coming from India,South Korea, Turkey, Brazil and others that allow HCQ and figure out why it works there and not here. ]
At this point, I have to digress and point out that the progressive Marxists, like Chairman Kamala, have stated that we must have a law requiring everyone be vaccinated, once scientists approve it. This again proves that “follow the science” is an article of faith, not a rational understanding of science, because in the science of epidemiology there exist this scientific principle called herd immunity. Now the progressive Marxists will dismissively say, “Oh you mean that crazy shit Sweden tried?” Sweden’s herd immunity, or something else, seems to have worked, because they have been getting along at low infection levels for over a month. However, I’m referring to the original form of the idea, which has been empirically proven through years of practice. It is that you can make a whole herd of livestock immune to a disease by vaccinating a fraction of the herd, that fraction being determined by the communicability of the disease.
If you are capable of actually following the science then you know that you do not need to force every person to take the vaccine against the will of some. You can just skip over the few that resist and everything will be just fine. Indeed, what if the scientists find that people with certain characteristics will never be able to take the vaccine safely, and what if there is no other safe vaccine? Herd immunity means we can skip over these people and all will still be okay.
So why does Chairman Kamala want us all to be forced to take the vaccine? Remember that an axiom of progressive Marxist is that everyone has to be in lockstep. If they could, they would make us all wear identical uniforms. If they could they would make us all the same sex, and they are trying to do that. Regarding the few who would be endangered by the vaccine, they would decree that no one take the vaccine, because if they did, it would be unfair to those few who cannot take the vaccine, or they would say that those who are endangered by the vaccine must take it anyway. Either way, or any other way they come up with, is bound to be an mindless authoritarian mandate.
But let’s go to the most interesting case; one that requires critical thinking rather than faith in synthetic gods. The case is: What if this is the only vaccine that is available, say on November 1st. There are no other vaccines on the horizon and the scientists find that one person in 20,000 will get severely sick from the vaccine and there is no way to prescreen for that person. What is the science-based thing to do?
First let’s describe our vaccine as best as we can. We’ll say that it is 100% effective in stopping people from getting COVID and being hospitalized from COVID. This means some people may still get a mild case even though they have been vaccinated ( this is only my guess). However, .005%, that is five thousandths of a percent of the people vaccinated with go to the hospital with adverse reactions to the vaccine.
The rational person knows what to do, even if she is not a scientist. It is: Promote the vaccine with the warning that a small minority will get sick from it. Vaccinate as many people as you can and hope sufficient numbers will volunteer such that you achieve herd immunity.
That is what our intuition says, but what do the numbers say? First, we let’s assume that only 80% of the population gets vaccinated and that is sufficient to declare herd immunity. In the process of doing that we will have sent approximately 13,000 people out of our entire population of 320,000,000 to the hospital with severe reactions to the vaccine.
How many people did we save? This gets complicated. We don’t really know how close to herd immunity we are now. One thing we can say for sure is if we were to vaccine 80% of the population with our hypothetical vaccine, then we all could stop worrying about COVID. We could have giant street parties where we kiss anyone we want, and we then could get back to our normal lives. That alone might be worth 13,000 people going to the hospital. But let’s make a real low guess at how many lives would be saved with this program using our hypothetically imperfect vaccine. We’ve had 4,200,000 known infections to date. Let’s say that without the vaccine deployment we would have at least 50% more infections. Based on the current cumulative death to infection data our vaccine program that would save 73,000 lives. So our intuition seems overwhelmingly right, get that vaccine out to us ASAP, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris be damned.
As if I haven’t been wordy enough already, let’s do one more what if: What if at this very moment we learn that this vaccine will never work. To further complicate the problem, we learn that for some obscure scientific reason, no vaccine will ever work. As a society, we’re stuck with COVID19 into the forseeable future.
What would happen if we just decided to do as our ancestor did for 6000 years, which is to quarantine off those people who are infected with the plague and then go about our business?
I suggest that we each should make science based decisions about what we would do. Some may decide to continue limited and guarded social contact and others may decide to party until the cows come in-all based on science. How would we do that?
For one, we’ll all look at this COVID death by age group table, data from over 100,000 US COVID deaths. Then we’ll compare the probability of death by COVID with death from other things we tolerate regularly, like suicide, or auto accidents, etc.
This first table shows how many people out of 103,339 COVID deaths were in each age group. For example, of the 103,339 deaths, only 5 were between 1 through 4 years of age. 125 of the 103,339 people were in the age group 15 through 24 years of age. As we see, very few people under 55 are dying from COVID. Around 93% of all COVID deaths are people who are older than 55. If you are older than 55, then you should be careful; older than 65, then be more careful, and if older than 85, be very, very careful.
You might say that before you go party crazy and forget all lockdown guidelines, you would like to know how likely you are to die from COVID compared to some other common risk that you take daily, like the possibility of dying in an auto accident. I have only researched a few examples: one for young people and one for old people. We’ll use this next table to figure it out for both. This table shows how many people died of COVID versus those who died of all other things for each age group. For example, we see that the 5 COVID deaths for children 1 through 4 years of age was only .4% of all deaths for that age group. In fact, COVID is a very minor cause of death for all people below 25 years of age. In fact, in 2018, 180 children and teenagers died of the flu, which is more than COVID has killed, and we never shut down the schools for the flu. Maybe we shouldn’t shut down the schools for COVID either.
Other things that kill teenagers: 2364 people, ages 16 through 19, died in automobile accidents last year. Roughly 1650 teenagers died from homicides and suicides. Each of these is over 10 times greater than the number who died of COVID.
For old people, it’s different. About 10% of the deaths of people older than 65 are from COVID. By comparison, 660,000 people over 65 die from cardiovascular disease each year, which is about 8 times greater than COVID deaths. Still we old people should take COVID seriously.
One idea might be to let everything be open and let everyone judge for themselves how cautious they should be. If an old person sees a restaurant where tables are crammed together, maybe she shouldn’t go in there, whereas twenty year olds can just cram right in.
While we’re at it, let’s look at one more table, the COVID dead by race table. After all, Benito Mussolini Newsom has said California counties cannot reopen until they solve the issue of racism in COVID death rates.
The US population at large is: 60% White, 18.5% Hispanic, 13.5 % Black, and 5.6% Asian. The COVID death portion divided by the population portion is respectively: .888, .892, 1.77, .91. All the major racial groups are about the same except Blacks, who stick out like a sore thumb. Mussolini might ask, what is it that makes Blacks different from everyone else, health wise. The answer is already known: Hypertension. Hypertension is also a major comorbidity factor with COVID. The great mind of Mussolini should come up with a method to solve the hypertension problem on his own time and stop penalizing everyone, including blacks, by maintaining the lockdown over something that is impossible to solve.
Ah, but that is a trademark of progressive Marxism, isn’t it?