The news is generally fake news, even with COVID. Tired of getting played by the Left? Me too.
When you hear something is based on a model, find out who did the model, what assumptions went into it, and can you see the code. Ask more questions. If you’re denied any of the above facts, you can generally assume the creator of the model can’t defend it.
Remember that all models are wrong, some models are useful. “All models are wrong” means they all have boundary conditions, many of which are unknown until it’s too late.
I’m posting this as I listen to a bunch of 30-something gals lament the prospective 2-month lockdown and anxiety over cough symptoms. Don’t tell me the panic has no effect. Real evidence-based researchers and experts have been trying to debunk the outrageous claims by other “experts” who are so often wrong but never discredited. TOwards that end, John PA Ioannidis has published a new paper in an effort to calm the panic:
Early reported CFR figures also seem exaggerated. The most widely quoted CFR has been 3.4%, reported by WHO dividing the number of deaths by documented cases in early March.7 This ignores undetected infections and the strong age-dependence of CFR. The most complete data come from Diamond Princess passengers, with CFR=1% observed in an elderly cohort; thus, CFR may be much lower than 1% in the general population; probably higher than seasonal flu (CFR=0.1%), but not much so. Observed crude CFR in South Korea and in Germany8 , the countries with most extensive testing, is 0.9% and 0.2%, respectively as of March 14 and crude CFR in Scandinavian countries is about 0.1%. Some deaths of infected, seriously ill people will occur later, and these deaths have not been counted yet. However even in these countries many infections probably remain undiagnosed. Therefore, CFR may be even lower rather than higher than these crude estimates
If COVID-19 is not as grave as it is depicted, high evidence standards are equally relevant. Exaggeration and over-reaction may seriously damage the reputation of science, public health, media, and policy makers. It may foster disbelief that will jeopardize the prospects of an appropriately strong response if and when a more major pandemic strikes in the future
After this epidemic fails to result in the death rates and calamity predicted, bureaucracies and kook researchers will say that the extreme measures they recommended worked. It will be a decade of post-hoc; ergo propter hoc.
This is great for bureaucracies and the Left. Anyone going along with the panic is squandering their credibility.
WM Briggs provides one. Don’t worry, he’s not a lone “unqualified” statistician like the “experts” – he provides plenty of evidence from other experts that COVID has been massively overblown. Experts don’t always agree. Experts make mistakes. Over time, one would hope that the experts who are wrong would be weeded-out of the system, but they’re not. They seem, rather, to profit. Huh (?)
The comments, of course, are a goldmine:
“British scientist Neil Ferguson ignited the world’s drastic response to the novel Wuhan coronavirus when he published the bombshell report predicting 2.2 million Americans and more than half a million Brits would be killed. After both the U.S. and U.K. governments effectively shut down their citizens and economies, Ferguson is walking back his doomsday scenarios.”
Oops!That whole “flatten the curve” thing. You know, so the hospitals won’t be “overwhelmed.” Yeah, forget it. I misplaced a couple decimal places in my “models.” It’s not 20 “million” dead, it’s 20 “thousand.” You can open up the economy again. Thanks!
“Ferguson is now retracting his modeling, saying he feels “reasonably confident” our health care system can cope when the predicted peak of the epidemic arrives in a few weeks. Testifying before the U.K.’s parliamentary select committee on science and technology on Wednesday, Ferguson said he now predicts U.K. deaths from the disease will not exceed 20,000, and could be much lower.”“The Imperial College report was also the basis for the modeling used by the website COVID Act Now, which local and state officials in the U.S. then used to issue “shelter-in-place” mandates. COVID Act Now, which was founded by a handful of Democratic activists in Silicon Valley, is an online mapping tool that generates models predicting coronavirus hospitalizations, which have also already proved to be wildly inaccurate.”
So Silicon Valley played us again with a bunk model from some kook Brits. Who benefits?
I’m not sure if anyone reads this blog so I’m probably pissing into the wind. Also, debunking falsehoods usually just makes people cling to them even harder. This COVID “pandemic” is the biggest mass hysteria I’ve seen in my life. We’re on track to lose fewer people worldwide than the 2017/2018 flu season by a long shot (probably half). The social distancing and other mitigation efforts have been effective, but at what cost? An economic crisis. This will be the next thing the media whips us into a panic over in a 6-hour news cycle.
The truly terrifying thing is that none of us can think anymore. We’re being given over to unstable minds. When a real crisis hits, we’ll be unable to deal with it.
Calm down. Seriously.