For earlier entries “Against the Corona Panic,” see:
Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven,
Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen,
Was the lockdown necessary? Sweden continues to show, No, it wasn’t. Regardless of strategy used, the epidemic curves generally look the same.
I recently noticed, in passing, that the shape of the corona-death curves for Sweden and the USA were very similar. I hadn’t seen anyone graph them together on the same scale (on a per capita basis), so I did it. The graph is above.
They really are remarkably similar, aren’t they? The two curves show the same rise; peaks coming at the same time and reaching the same magnitude; sustained declines also at the same time and magnitude.
Despite it all, the flu epidemic runs its course. Despite all the huff and the fluff, the normal epidemic curves proceed as they always do, making the whole Lockdown effort a sad and tragic farce. Further comments on similarities and differences follow below.
[Update: Federalist raises a good objection to this graph the comments. Viewed alone, some might think: “See? The US curve is lower. That proves the lockdown was a good idea.” The point is, both are something like 25x to 50x below the predictions made in mid-March that justified the lockdowns. Regardless of strategy employed, both ended up following the same, low curve, peaking in late flu-season and tailing off by late spring. See my reply. Both Sweden and US death curves are dwarfed by the prediction curves.]
This USA vs. Sweden graph is a new one in this series, so I am leading with it here. Several other of the running Sweden graphs I’ve been running were updated for this post (Deaths and ICU-intakes; all-cause mortality; actual deaths vs. the predictions) and the four updated graphs and comments on them follow below.
Sweden was Right; the Media was Wrong
The pro-Panic side has always had those loudly insisting there was going to be a big surge in deaths in Sweden, any time now. Right around the corner, inevitable, just you wait! As if divine punishment for corona-blasphemy. To paraphrase quote a Swede for the occasion, How dare they not to lock down (Greta Thunberg, 2019). The media naturally also pushed this, or some implicit version of it.
Here was one CoronaPanic-pusher, speaking two months ago (April 29), stringing people along that his foretold apocalypse was just delayed, that’s all:
No big surge ever came.
For some reason I still see people pushing “deaths are about to mushroom in Sweden!” even now in late June, which just seems embarrassing. And yet they still run the show. The Corona Coup-d’Etat regime remains, and those pushing visions of doom unmoored from reality and more in line with religion remain in positions of relative prestige.
In the realm of evidence, absolutely nothing is on the side of the pro-Panic forces and the epidemic curves continue to complete themselves with the usual plodding dignity, regardless of what government responses were used or how much GDP damage Corona-Demagogues in elected office were willing to do.
The observed/actual/real-world data, not anybody’s models now, has proved Sweden’s no-shutdown strategy was right since mid-April has been all but indisputable since early May at the very latest, nearly two months ago. By mid- and late-April, we were able to grasp of the maximum extent of the epidemic and observe the passing of the peak. Once we could feel out the peak and see the decline path begin — well, everything else that has occurred could have been predicted, in outline. But with Corona, all that is out the window. (Remember: “We’ve never seen anything like this!” Oh, yes, we have. Several times a decade, in most places.)
The course of the epidemic in Sweden is interesting in itself. The surprise is when we run the per capita comparison with the US.
The US caved into the panic, imposed devastating shutdowns and lockdowns, the neew corona junta used its influence the world over to intimidate the high and the low to Fear the Virus. And for what? For a slightly lower death curve some of the time than Sweden had, which may not end up any different in the end? A flu season 1.5x as bad as usual, instead of 1.6x as bad? That was worth destroying the economy? Are we insane?
There was an almost total, lockstep nature to this, which was (and remains, as it is ongoing) disturbing.
I wouldn’t have believed it had someone told it all to me on Christmas Day 2019. Nice story there, but we aren’t nearly that irrational, we’d say.
It was all surreal. We (they) became this:
The people depicted in this cartoon, what would they think/say/do when presented with the data on Sweden and the fact that the epidemic in the USA followed effectively the exact same path?
Most of them tune it out. They tuned out (or “had tuned out for them”) the same when the experts were waving their arms frantically to get attention to this very fact back in April.
Some of them, no doubt, don’t believe it at all because it’s not what the media they consume — and which sets the narratives that control their lives — tells them.
Many of them are full-on members of the Corona-Cult and so will not be reachable by rational argument no matter what.
And some know it’s all, effectively, a hoax but want to push it anyway to make sure Trump is defeated, or for some other political-demagogic or personal reason(s).
What people do know, or rather have been trained to feel in the Corona Dispensation, is that those who die positive for this one virus, few though they may be, are truly VIPs:
The Corona-Panic defeated in four graphs
We can tell a story in four graphs on why the lockdowns were a mistake, an international chain reaction of terrible policy-making driven by (a media-directed) Panic. We can prove it now, as we have been able to since April, but more data is always welcome.
- Graph 1: The magnitude of the epidemic in Sweden (observed data) via ICU intake and Deaths curves;
- Graph 2: All-cause mortality for Sweden for the coronavirus period;
- Graph 3: Sweden’s deaths curve against the influential Neil “millions of deaths” Ferguson projections, released like a poison cloud onto the world on March 16;
- Graph 4: Deaths per capita per day, Sweden vs. the USA (posted above).
All of these are as of the June 28 updates.
Four months into the epidemic, what we see is mundane, which is to say a rather typical flu epidemic with the usual curves. There remains nothing unusual about this virus. All flu viruses, if tracked like this, would show the same curves. This is a strong flu strain of the kind every living adult has seen multiple times.
Anyway, onto the graphs:
(Graph 1.) The Deaths and the ICU-intake Curves for Sweden
First, the zoomed-in graph of the epidemic in Sweden along the two relevant curves:
Blue is the coronavirus-positive Deaths curve. Red the ICU intakes curve.
The ICU-intakes curve predicts the movement of the Deaths curve. Any potential rise on the blue Deaths curve is to be preceded by a rise in the ICU curve, so do not let anyone con you into thinking the Deaths curve is going to spike anytime soon.
ICU-intake data also gets finalized sooner than Deaths (for understandable reasons), and there remains no sign at all of ICU-intakes spiking. As such, anyone still predicting a spike in deaths in Sweden is misinformed or lying.
Much else can still be said for the exact reasons Sweden’s curves look exactly the way they do. The early spike, which looks like a little mound on top of a larger hill, I suspect is the Stockholm nursing home deaths. Each little plateau, I suspect, represents the regular circulation of the virus in another particular region: Breakthrough/spread/circulation preceded it by a period of weeks, and the deaths bunch up. Eventually there were no large areas left. Herd immunity meant the epidemic was over in most places.
(Graph 2.) All-Cause Mortality in Sweden, March to June 2020
Here is the all-cause mortality graph for the same period as depicted in Graph 1 (from Part XIV). The week beginning March 1 is Week 10:
And the latest update for Sweden, including the non-finalized data for Weeks 24 and 25:
(This is technically two graphs, but the second one is just the extension of the first by two weeks; call it 2a and 2b.)
As you see, Sweden is cruising along the upper-end of the normal range for Weeks 22 to 25. (May 24 to June 20). This four-week period comes in at cumulative +10.6 z-scores, or +2.65 average per week.
A close look at daily deaths suggest the turning point is May 23, as I discussed in the Sweden section of Part XIV on all-cause mortality. The short version of it is that any week with about <40 or <35 corona-positive deaths/10m/day will likely end up in or near the normal range, all else equal — or so the data suggests. This is also suggested in the US all-cause mortality data, which puts the US back in the normal range also in late May (see Graph 4‘s heavy black horizontal line for about where this threshold is.)
Granted, there is always some kind of normal fluctuation, but the general pattern holds.
Here are Sweden’s weekly all-cause mortality excess z-scores with per capita deaths (normal range is -2 to +2 z-scores; Substantial Increase is above +4 z-scores):
- Week 22 [+1.7 z-scores] averaged 38 corona-positive deaths/10m/day;
- Week 23 [+3.7 z-scores] averaged 34 corona-positive deaths/10m/day;
- Week 24 [+2.9 z-scores] averaged 31 corona-positive deaths/10m/day;
- Week 25 [+2.3 z-scores] averaged 19 corona-positive deaths/10m/day
(Death data not yet final for Week 25; it will rise above that ’19.’)
Teasing out the threshold at which corona-positive deaths push all-cause mortality above the normal range can be done by comparing the corona-deaths curve with the all-cause mortality deaths curve. It is likely something in the 30s/10m/day. I use this in the newest graph, USA vs. Sweden per capita, to put those numbers in perspective.
(Graph 3.) Revisiting Doctor Frankensson’s Monster
Next up, the same blue Deaths curve as above in Graph 1, but this time graphed against the Imperial College Neil Ferguson (“Doctor Frankensson“) projection curves.
Recall that Ferguson released his wild, “millions of deaths” predictions on March 16, which many see as decisive in causing the UK, US, and country after country after them to cave into the Panic, to one degree or another.
That graph alone is enough to discredit the Lockdown-pushers.
The pro-Panic side was simply wrong; Sweden was fine. It easily weathered a usual strong flu epidemic. Sweden’s nursing homes were the vast majority of the deaths; there simply never was a general threat here.
[Update: Comments by Federalist and Peak Stupidity lead to the insight that Graph 3 and Graph 4 may be conceptually combined. The ‘takeaway’ is that both US and Sweden curves are very low. The prediction curves towering over them. The Sweden curve is not appreciably different than the US curve despite the big gap in responses.]
(Graph 4.) “The coup de grace.” The USA vs. Sweden: Coronavirus curves very similar despite it all
Lastly, Corona-deaths in Sweden vs. the USA, per capita, graphed over four months.
The blue is again the same blue line as used above (Graph 1) and as graphed against the wild Neil Frankensson predictions (Graph 3). In this graph I also incorporate the findings from Graph 2 and its discussion. This is not a precise line (there are going to be natural fluctuations) but the true “normal range threshold” line will not be too far off. I find this line helpful to view the epidemic in proper context.
I think this the coup de grace against the Panic, if there ever was one, especially combined with Graph 3.
As already remarked at the top of this post, the two curves are remarkably similar. Given the enormous gap in responses, one can be forgiven for being surprised at this.
- The peaks come at about the same time (mid-April);
- The peaks reach almost exactly the same height (in the 90s per 10m-pop. per day);
- During the long decline period, deaths track each other remarkably well, generally within 10 deaths per 10 million population per day.
- The two countries were back below the proposed normal-range threshold within a week of each other in mid-late May.
Given that Sweden and the US had such very different mitigation strategies, one has to do some serious straw-grasping to come up with any meaningful differences in these curves. What we are left with is that the demagogues who pushed the lockdowns were wrong. that did not result in a Deaths curve any different than what a No-Lockdown policy would have been.
Here are the differences:
- Cumulative deaths are modestly higher in Sweden (5060/10m pop.) than in the USA (3670/10m pop.). There are a variety of possible explanations for this but here is one that doesn’t get too technical:
- Sweden’s corona-deaths curve starts earlier. Sweden broke past the 40 deaths/10m pop./day threshold by March 29, while for the USA it would be April 6, nine days later.
Indications are the virus began circulating in Europe earlier anyway. The dataset is not proper for precise, day-to-day comparisons because the US data is based on “date death was reported” while Sweden’s is based on “date person died.” In practice and in reality, there should not be regular jumps/waves in the data like that. The US curve should be smoothed out even more than my five-day-average does and moved somewhat to the left to correct for this.
What should we have done?
Knowing what we know now, of course the US should never have pulled the lockdown trigger. Having done so in mid-March, it should have rapidly re-opened once more information was in.
Continuing the disruptions, for month after month unnecessarily triggered a major recession; hurt millions for no real gain; imposed endless social disruptions; triggered a bizarre political cult outbreak and riots; caused a coming crash in the birth rate; shocking and sudden defeats for basic political freedoms; major defeats for churches and small businesses; thousands of unnecessary, near-term Panic-induced deaths; and far worse health outcomes, for years to come (due to recession) which will, of course, get no media attention from the bloodthirsty CoronaPanic-pushers.
The victims of the Panic. Almost all of us, to one degree or another, including the misguided but generally good people on the pro-Panic side, are the victims. All will suffer in quiet despair in some way, and already have, with more to come. This was all so unnecessary that it boggles the mind.
Will anything convince the pro-Panic side?
A brief look back over the Corona-Panic over the past several months.
In March and into April, I believed the key to the puzzle was randomized population studies that would show how widespread the virus really was, and which would show that it was not an apocalypse virus after all. This was already highly likely by mid-March from the earliest data, but the studies hadn’t been done yet.
Then is started happening: From all over the world, studies started coming out showing fatality rates in the range of a strong flu strain. I was sure the corner would be turned. To my surprise, people reacted negatively to these studies, either ignoring them or attacking them. The narrative-shapers continued pushing what they always had. The pro-Panic side had pulled off a coup d’etat and was not letting go.
By mid-April, I realized that many even normally rational people weren’t going to be persuaded by these academic studies. They were deeply emotionally committed to the Panic (see Part XII, Corona as Religious Cult). In April the data was steadily discredited the Panic, defeating it on really all fronts. People continued to grasp onto the Panic. I started to think “Sweden is the key.” Non-specialists might not be convinced by academic studies, but surely they would be convinced by actual, observed, real-world data out of a country that never shut down. If there was no “millions of deaths” equivalent in Sweden, surely that would be decisive in defeating the Panic, stopping the bleeding, and swiftly re-opening, as we should have in Easter.
(Had Trump been a stronger leader, he would have stuck to the Easter reopening plan. That they forced him off of it shows he is not in control of his own administration, and maybe never has been.)
Looking back on the Panic, I do think it makes a compelling case for
I have tracked the coronavirus epidemic curves in Sweden closely since April.
By mid and especially late April, it was clear Sweden’s deaths curve had reached its peak (and a somewhat artificially high one it was, in that many of those deaths were to due to systematic failures by refugee staff in Stockholm nursing homes; nursing homes elsewhere in Sweden got better flu epidemic protections).
Now, by late June, the epidemic curves have all but completed themselves. The epidemic in Sweden ends up being No Big Deal, unlikely to cause a full-year mortality spike worthy of particular note on its own terms (see Part XI). No one should have locked down; slowly, they will all have to admit we of the anti-Panic side were right. History will.
The IMHE (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation)’s influential modelling, which at one time pushed the same pro-Panic line as the discredit Neil Ferguson, now admits the final scope of the corona-positive deaths in Sweden will be 5,750, which was predicted here in early May. I predicted, based on the nature of the Deaths curve and the rules o these things, 5,750 in a comment to a post here, comment dated May 10.
The ballpark (somewhere in the 5000 +/- several thousand) was knowable already by mid-April and was repeatedly predicted on these pages (see especially Part VII and Part XI)
Deaths in this range mean Sweden has gone through a flu wave, comparable to those it sees regularly, and there will be no full-year mortality rise.
Will this matter to anyone still on the pro-Panic side, that coalition of true-believers, media-believers, fanatics, cultists, misanthropes, demagogues, and political or personal agenda-pushers? They continue to push for all manner of shutdowns and disruptions, and now that the anti-racism cult has faded after several weeks of activity, they are back pushing Corona.
It’s remarkable that they can do this against every piece of evidence we have.
Hail, excellent post as usual. It’s nice to know that not everyone is crazy. (Almost everyone but not everyone).
It worry that for many people, the only takeaway from the first graph would be that the per capita death rate for Sweden is higher than for the U.S.
Do you think the U.S. will suffer more deaths going forward relative to Sweden since the virus got started earlier in Europe?
Forgive me if you explained and I missed it, but how were deaths calculated? Was it just corona-positive deaths or was there an attempt to estimate deaths actually caused by the virus.
What do you make of the apparent recent increase in coronavirus cases in the U.S. Maybe it’s a regional thing. I know Texas and Florida are going backwards in terms of reimposing restrictions that had been lifted. It’s frustrating that the media and The Powers That Be seem to be pushing for a second wave and continued/increased restrictions.
Some of the most alarmist figures on the pro-Panic side, at the critical period in March, assured us that anywhere that avoided lockdown would have a per capita death rate tens of times higher than those that embraced Lockdown-ism. More than two hundred thousand dead for the year in Sweden instead of the usual 90,000-or-so.
Now, after months of observed/real/in-hand data, we see that nothing even close to that occurred. Just as key anti-Panic figures have been saying for a long time, most places went through the epidemic cycle without regard to their response policy. The two curves, US and Sweden, are very similar.
A combination of the “Sweden Reality vs. Imperial College Projections” graph with with the “Sweden vs. USA” graphs would make this point. If those were all graphed together, you wouldn’t be able to see any difference whatsoever between Sweden and the USA; the Corona-Death Prediction curves would tower over both.
I’d say no rational actor would have caved into media-led lockdown demands (economic destruction and much else) if it meant “maybe slightly fewer flu deaths.” They were dealing with a millions-of-deaths fantasy scenario which was recklessly released, and soon it moved past a Rubicon of rational debate.
In Sweden it is all those who are coronavirus-positive at death. It’s harder to say for some parts of the US, with some reports of “presumed COVID cases” being counted without being tested.
The way around any corona-death inflation is of course to go directly to all-cause mortality (with the caveat of places at peak-panic time that were experiencing Lockdown-induced excess deaths). We do see all-cause mortality significantly above the baseline in the US from very late March to about late May, almost exactly the same period as in Sweden (see the EuroMOMO graph). In the US, all-cause mortality has seemingly been back in the normal range for all of June and probably some of late May. Final data for June won’t be available for weeks.
The lesson any way you approach it: There was no big difference between Lockdown and No Lockdown over this one flu virus. All the epidemic curves pushed their way through as they always do (see also Part VIII); the real difference was that this time country after country fell to a Panic Pandemic.
More Re-Panic news today: Williams College has announced that there will be no fall sports, the second NESCAC* school to do so. This almost certainly means that the rest of NESCAC will follow suit.
My wife works in higher ed- she has a lofty post in the hierarchy of a reasonably prestigious east coast liberal arts college, and, if what I’m hearing is accurate, there is NO recognition among the movers and shakers of America’s colleges that the Kung-Flu is over- they are deep into doubling down. I’m at a loss to explain it- Corona Chanas a cult is the only thing that comes close- but the data is there for anyone to see, yet no one in our elite classes is even bothered to look.
Even if we had NO data, what do our eyes tell us? That this is a nasty flu if your old, compromised, or both? How many Americans, do you think, actually know someone who’s died, or even been sick In the last three months. Damn few is my guess. Yet we’re STILL going apeshit.
This guy, Tony Heller (never heard of him before today) nails your argument quite well, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqUwpqjG_j
* New England Small College Athletic Conference
GAnderson, many thanks for this and your regular comment-updates.
It’s disappointing. It’s not as surprising as it might otherwise be when we realize that the pro-Panic coalition has a perceived interest in continuing this (their interests are partly irrational-panic, but include a grab-bag of other interests and things), and has total control.
I remember in early March, before I got a handle on just how wrong the pro-Panic was on the evidence, feeling there was something really unhealthy going on, not related to a flu virus but to the Panic. I told myself the then-rapidly-escalating Panic would be over by April 1. These early indications that it won’t even be close to over by September 1 are just bizarre. I wouldn’t have believed it in early March.
Thanks for the link to the Tony Heller video. Everything he says sounds right. He puts the Corona-Panic arc together like a synopsis of a dystopian sci-fi novel or film, and one with a rather weak (absurd) plot. (I can already hear the people of the future laughing at us.)
I don’t know who Tony Heller is, but I see the presentation’s opening slide has “Pulling back the Curtain on Junk Science — realclimatescience.com.” I assume he is associated with, or runs, that website. And so it is that add a tally to the anti-Panic side for a Climate Change Skeptic.
The commenter refl, writing in the “Corona as Religious Cult” post here last month, proposed that there were predecessor cults to the Corona-Cult, some of them even civic cults (as Corona became) or quasi-civic cults. Refl pointed to climate change as a possible predecessor quasi-civic-cult. I have never really taken interest in the pro- vs. anti-climate change debate, but as for social movement dynamics, there is a good point here.
By chance, today on Youtube the video I was watching ended and a Dec. 2009 interview with Thomas Sowell came up on autoplay. I ended up listening to the interview. Sowell and the host at one point talk about global warming (lately re-branded as climate change). It was an eerie few minutes from 10.5 years ago, because replace a detail here and a word there and they were describing (one plank of) the Corona-Panic. (See interview here; the relevant section starts at 29:55 and goes a few minutes; see if you don’t see how much what they’re saying applies to Corona-Panic.)
I have been meaning to write a post collecting thoughts on what pre-existing social energies aligned under the pro-Panic coalition, in Feb./March, and what under the anti-Panic coalition (forming later; lost the initiative early). I think people will be studying it for years and years to come. The cases of these kinds of “predecessor cults” has a role, if not in direct chain then certainly in outline of how these movements work in our era.
Just saw an Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson- he talks to a Doctor Scott Atlas- who is also “one of us” (gooble gobble…)
Youtube banned Dr. Wittkowski and deleted his millions-of-views interviews for making the exact same points in his April interviews.
Top youtube comment:
“I think listening to the media was the real problem.”
Thank you, Mr. Hail, for another great essay or really, an expose, one might say, as people need to be EXPOSED to some truth and perspective. I like the 4 good graphs, along with your images for fun. I have tried to find a graph like your 4th (last one) for the US. I guess I could make one with data from a table, but I am truly miffed that it has not been any easy thing for me to dig up on the world wide freakin’ internet.
I know the shape of the curve of cumulative deaths is very similar, just from looking at total US deaths (FROM/WITH) the Kung Flu, even though I’ve only been caring enough to look at them for a month or so. (That is simply so I can see this phantom “resurgence”.) Ron Paul has new column debunking this resurgence, BTW, and I may mention my opinion on the early results of this un-intended(?) experiment later today on my blog*.
Two minor corrections, Mr. Hail: “… deaths are about the mushroom in Sweden!” in 1st paragraph after the “Sweden was right…” header. Obviously the “the” should be “to”, but it does indeed make sense the other way – I didn’t know the Swedes were into psychedelics so much. Also between the two graphs of “All-cause mortality”, “Weeks 24 an 25:” should be “…and 25” I know that is very picky, but you have such a great presentation that I figure you may want to fix those. (For my site I know I make the error of “and” and “an”, along with missing commas and homonym switches all the time.)
Great stuff. I wish Americans would all at least get a chance to see graphs like this from the Infotainment they enjoy, but that’s not likely. There’s too much invested in this thing.
* Sorry, readers and commenters (both of you on here so far!), but I’ll start posting again shortly
Thanks; here is the one I think you mean:
“The Media is Lying About the ‘Second Wave’,”
written by Ron Paul / June 29, 2020.
Ron Paul is now truly in old age (b.1935; turning 85 this summer) but has more sense (an/or courage) than seemingly every leader we have. (I still don’t know how many of the politicians pushing the charade are true-believers and how many are deeply cynical Corona-Demagogues who know the truth but don’t care.)
Ron Paul has clearly been willing to consume Corona-Skeptic and anti-Panic material, reflected in that article. The evidence is all on our side. That he leads his article with an attack on the media also shows he knows what’s really going on.
I see Peak Stupidity has commentary today on the Ron Paul article.
Do we have any indication Ron Paul reads comments to his articles at Unz? I always wonder.
Mr. Hail, I think guys like Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan, both syndicated columnists published on unz, don’t have the time or inclination to go specifically to that one site out of hundreds and maybe thousands that publish their columns. I wish they would, mind you, but Ron Paul is involved in many projects (at 85 y/o – good on him!) and Pat Buchanan puts out an occasional book still. He probably gives speeches here and there.
If they wanted to read comments for occasional entertainment or feedback, many of the other sites on which they are published have comment sections too.
Mrs. Michelle Malkin is also widely syndicated and has her columns on unz now. I was extremely surprised that Mr. Unz started her column there EXACTLY at the time that this Kung Flu panic was at it craziest (other than now, I guess). See, she is entirely anti-panic, and her first few columns that appeared on unz were on that subject. Mr. Unz must just have been in skim-mode again! That was slightly O/T, but I wanted to point out that Michelle Malkin wrote some comments back, even to me, but I don’t think she is keeping this up.
That was a long answer, Mr. Hail, but my guess would be no, just based on these high-level pundits’ time constraints.
To add a few things:
In Pat Buchanan’s case, he was once a regular on cable news, and even had a regular spot on MSNBC as a commentator. He was banned for MSNBC (Feb. 2012) I think over two books: His WWII/Churchill book that questioned the Good War narrative (published 2008), and especially his “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?” (published late 2011). (His prediction of political “suicide” by the US, made in 2010-2011, looks pretty strong as of mid-2020. I would argue the Corona-Panic fits in with this.)
The Buchanan ban appears to apply to CNN and Fox. I don’t think Buchanan has been on cable news hardly at all in the past 8.5 years.
He is still a regular on the McLaughlin Group political talk show, which somehow managed to continue even after the death of its host, John McLaughlin, a few years ago. That show has been on the air since the ’80s and Pat has been a regular panelist, afaik appearing on the majority of the shows since it began. In the Youtube era when you can see people’s comments on shows, when he doesn’t appear the most common comment by far is, “Where’s Pat?” “We want Pat” etc.
Buchanan is also now into his 80s. Both he and Ron Paul clearly show signs of having come into political-social maturity before the cultural revolution that began, among the educated classes, in the late ’60s (the energies of which still largely drive discourse today, the current Black Trans Lives Matter The Most ideas being degenerate ideological-descendants).
I found it illuminating to read some of Buchanan’s editorials he wrote in the 1960s, before being hired by Nixon. His views and points are consistent over almost sixty years.
Mr. Hail, I know of most of what you wrote here. I have never read Mr. Buchanan’s editorials in (I believe) a St. Lous newspaper, where he worked before Nixon hired him. I got finished reading “The Greatest Comeback” a while ago, and he does mention his job in St. Louis.
Mr. Buchanan is a great guy, and he does show that his political upbringing is from a different, much-more-civil era in American politics, at least at the politician level. In some of his. columns on unz, I just have to scratch my head and think “do you realize who these people we are dealing with now are, Pat?”. They are not just some opposition party trying to cobble together support for their version of the Omnibus Bill, or what-have-you. The left is highly radicalized up through the top levels. They can only be dealt with with force.
If you mean this one:
As I realized while writing my reply to Federalist above, the US and Sweden curves would be about the same.
The way I graphed the first graph was corona-deaths/10 million pop./day, and conveniently that 10m is almost the same as Sweden’s actual population (10.4m). Long story short, if the USA’s were converted to per capita and placed on the same graph, there would be no visible difference between the US and Sweden curves. They would overlap. The Prediction curves would tower over both.
Mr. Hail- I posted another comment that seems to have disappeared
Whom, there it is!,
It’s here — wordpress flagged/moderated it;I saved it.
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Another NESCAC domino falls- no sports at Amherst this fall. Also, “”Tall Deval” Baker has decreed that anyone coming into MA from outside New England, New York and New Jersey must self quarantine for 14 days. I assume interstate rioters are excused from this requirement.
The governor of Massachusetts is saying no one from south/west of New Jersey may come to Massachusetts for any reason unless they will stay locked in a room for 14 days before engaging in their business and leaving? He’s making this peak-Panic-sounding order as of July?
It’s funny that our experts have concluded that the fatality rate is “in the ballpark of seasonal influenza” since April, but the panic-driven decisions are continuing, in many cases, into fall. And then the next flu season begins… (I am reminded of the notion ofthe Corona-Response decisions as religious imperatives.)
I am a reader of James Howard Kunstler (a writer; he runs a twice a weekly social-economic-energy-political commentary blog; see latest entry) which I recommend. A consistent point he has been making over the last five years is how there is distinct and systemic leadership failure in the USA. Not a very bad apples, but a situation wherein good people run away from public service thinking it toxic. Cynics might say this has always been true, but I don’t see a way to avoid seeing it as particularly acute in our time.
Kunstler has been a Corona-Neutral, mainly just not talking about it one way or another, but his criticisms of the way the US system has gone in our times really quite neatly align with the criticisms we of the anti-Panic side have had about the Corona-Panic.
In one sense, the Corona-Panic has been a chain reaction of leadership failures (the Gov. Patrick case being one in the chain) almost everywhere across the West, but the US as the leader of the West is the most important; its cave-in to the Panic guaranteed everyone else would, too, except for a few oddballs who did a light lockdown and pulled out of it quickly (and Sweden, the oddest ball of them all here).
I heard today that Texas governor Abbott has mandated masks- I thought he was one of the more sensible ones.
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More panic part Ii news: I checked into Twitter today- it seems to be completely controlled by the pro- panic people. Same at the Athletic- stories about The MLB are this player or that player testing positive, NO stories about any players dead or even sick. My prediction- no college or pro sports until at least fall of 2021.
We are insane- even if this were what we’re being fed- I see people walking alone, driving alone, jogging alone, all with their stupid, worthless masks on. I keep looking around, expecting to see Rod Serling.
It is classic groupthink.
Harvard has apparently just announced all classes will be online (only?) for the Sept. 2020 to May 2021 period. But no change in tuition. If I understand their announcement, they are allowing people to live on campus but will NOT allow them to attend classes. All classes will be on “Zoom.”
This is self-destructive madness beyond the point we ought have thought possible.
On where the thresholds of deaths/day for the Normal range and the Substantial Increase range are for Sweden, a subject dealt with in this post:
With data now complete into late June, from both the Swedish Health Ministry (total corona-positive deaths and ICU-intakes) and EuroMOMO (total all-cause morality thru Week 26), it looks like corona-deaths in Sweden per day are about as follows, all else equal:
20 corona-deaths/day will push the total just above the EuroMOMO-defined “Normal” range.
40 corona-deaths/day will push the total just above the EuroMOMO-defined “Substantial Increase” range.
The standardized numbers per 10-million population are 19 and 38, respectively. This continues to be in line with the estimate I made June 28 and posted here (see graph’s heavy black horizontal line; though it is mislabeled as being the Normal Range line).
Sweden dropped below 40/day in the five-day-rolling-average already on May 25, briefly exceeded 40/day again on May 28-30, then fell back below and has never gone back up. It dropped below 20/day on June 22.
With new corona-deaths for the past two weeks not enough to guarantee Sweden’s all-cause mortality goes above its normal range , it’s fair to say that June 22 marks the well-and-true end of the epidemic in Sweden by any possible fair measure; anything thereafter is arguing over minutiae, the abject forcing of a narrative.
The barrier of more interest in dating the end of the epidemic in Sweden is the Substantial Increase range (as above, apparently +40 deaths/day in Sweden [+38 in standardized form per 10m population). March 29th was the first day to break the 40 deaths/day barrier in Sweden. By the measure of deaths, the most lagging indicator, the Wuhan-Coronavirus epidemic is something worthy of any note at all in Sweden for an eight-week period, late March to late May, with the other epidemic curves (transmissions, symptoms, hospitalizations, ICU intakes) preceding it.
(For the USA, it’s the same story with slightly different dates; above the 38 deaths/day/10m threshold between April 6 and May 17, six weeks, hovering near the threshold thru May 22.)
When countries crossed the thresholds is really only of interest to specialists. Absent the global Panic and the religious cult that emerged, it would have been that and no more.
The tail-off in the epidemic curves in Sweden has continued and shows no signs of reversing. Levels at <10 deaths/day are likely by mid-July. June 15 to 30 had a cumulative 124 ICU intakes (<8/day), down from near 40/day for most of April.
So the epidemic can be pronounced over in Sweden. There was never any need for any extreme measures to overcome this particular flu virus, as predicted by the anti-Panic side and the expert consensus since mid- and especially late March. The lockdowns should have been lifted on Easter Sunday.
This is a good article.
View at Medium.com
<blockquote“The immune response to the virus is stronger than everyone thought”
“The original article was published in the Swiss magazine Weltwoche (World Week) on June 10th. The author, Beda M Stadler is the former director of the Institute for Immunology at the University of Bern”
The three points he makes were being made already in March, but by mid-March pro-Panic forces had broken through the cordon-sanitaire of rational discourse and began seizing control of the state itself. Lines eventually hardened, and by now anyone making medical evidence-based arguments is likely subject to partisan attack.
Re: His point that it’s not a new virus. Dr. Wodarg was the first I am aware of who directly attacked the scare-mongering idea that this was “a new virus.” All the Corona discourse was sold as if from a movie script. There are ALWAYS “new” viruses, otherwise no viruses would ever spread at all given the herd immunity mechanism. They are always evolving into new strains, literally many new ones every year. This one was on the bad side, but no big deal in the grand scheme at all. Unless 2018, which also had a bad strain or two, was also a catastrophe.
People were deceived, or deceived themselves.
It’s time for “Against the Corona-Panic, Part XVI.” Maybe it could be “Against the Corona-Panic, Part XVI: The Second Wave of Stupidity.”
Obviously, the CoronaPanic rules vary by jurisdiction in the U.S. but we were finally starting to see some overall loosening of the severity of the restrictions. Now, though, we seem to be going in reverse. Just when it seemed that the Powers That Be were finally coming to grips with reality [without admitting as much], they are once again tightening restrictions and canceling events farther into the future.
Mask Mania has really taken off lately. Even assuming that wearing masks works pretty well in preventing the spread of the virus (which I doubt), it seems to me that it’s still an exercise in futility. Isn’t the virus going to spread, even if a bit more slowly, until it more or less dies out for lack of sufficient number of hosts?
In other words, can we assume that X% of the population will contract the virus regardless of the use of masks (which are assumed for the sake of argument to be moderately effective)? If all of that is true, wouldn’t it be better to get it over with more quickly while the truly vulnerable are wearing masks, isolating, etc.?
Or is it possible to defeat a virus that’s already fairly widespread in a population by limiting it’s spread through wearing masks and curtailing social interactions? Could the virus die out before reaching the X% mentioned above?
Mask wearing is irrational on its face (so to speak). The forced compliance is long since at least as much via peer-pressure as by some kind of state edict.
I believe good anthropologists will be able to look at the mask craze as a sign of what was really going on (needless to say, major virus crisis it was not). The most popular post in this series was Corona as Religious Cult. It doesn’t tell the full story, but I think it gets a lot of the way.
This from Swiss Propaganda Research:
(By the way, Swiss Propaganda Research now has a new series of updates for July, recently published. They are the gold-standard of consistent anti-Panic/reality-based information. They have done a great job compiling everything on Corona-Reality in an easy-to-digest way — Admittedly unlike here, as I have been making attempts at very detailed analyses, attempts at original work, investigation, or information compilation.)
What Federalist said. Here in Central Minnesota things are less crazy than back home in Massachusetts; fewer masks, and there were even ball washers at the golf course we played at yesterday. However- everyone I talk to seems to be sure of two things, neither to my knowledge true- that hospitals are overflowing and deaths are skyrocketing in Texas and Florida.
A Corona-game one could play is: Take any Corona headline at random, and find “Where’s the hype,” or more fully, “Where’s the point at which at unmoors itself from reality to indulge in fantasist-doomer-hype.”
Texas and Florida, for whatever reason, had among the lowest death rates up to now. Probably in part because neither were subject to cold-weather flu seasons and spikes that began in cold-weather March. Up to early July, the per-capita corona-positive deaths in Texas were way below those in other states, around 1/10th the per-capita deaths of Sweden (the guidepost for an no-lockdown first-world death rate). If deaths do rise, it means they catch up to normal, which is not some kind of catastrophe but something roughly in usual flu range.
There is nothing anywhere to indicate this one flu virus has the potential even 1/50th some of the predictions tossed about in March.
Central MN Panic part II update. Went to the gym today- it’s the only time I watch TV news. MSNBC is completely unhinged- they’re going with a “we’re gonna need refrigerated trucks to hold all the bodies In Arizona” . They also spoke to a Congresscritter / pediatrician from Washington about opening school in the fall- she’s against it, because even if the kids don’t get sick, what about the teachers, bus drivers, custodians, etc…. I also got screamed at by my wife’s cousin because I don’t believe this is the end of the world- and he’s a boy, not a Karen.
My prediction is that schools will not open in the fall, and even a semblance of normal life will not be back until at least fall of ‘21
I’ve been surprised by some personal interactions, too.
The way that this works is, we (most of us most of the time) want to be pleasant to other people. We see people panicked and we usually on’t fight them on it. Unfortunately non-confrontationalism can end up sliding into the role of Enabler.
What I want to say to people is: It’s July. “What happened to Flatten the Curve? That was late March and April. Everyone expected an April re-opening, or maybe a May 1 full national re-opening. What are we ding? It’s July.”
Sweden, whose modest measures probably did “flatten the curve” there somewhat, has now completed its epidemic cycle. There are very few new corona-deaths in June and July, nothing that comes close to pushing it to high-mortality. But now by mid-July, it looks like the last few of the deaths are occurring, right now, the tail-off period. It’s over, the last of the last. You won’t be surprised to hear this, but CNN published a headline something like: “Deaths in Sweden are now near zero; Here is why that’s NOT a good thing.”
So, just to shore up my arguing points, what’s going on in AZ, TX, AND FL, is the completion of the epidemic curve?
In a word, Yes.
The lockdowns were a disruption to the process but now they’re coming back and laggards are catching up to the norm, as would be expected. There is nothing alarming about that.
The center-piece graph of this post shows the Deaths curve as roughly similar in the USA and Sweden into mid-June. Timing, shape of curve, and peak were all similar:
But, as Federalist observed in a comment here, the USA’s is slightly lower, which would lead some to say, “See, the lockdown strategy was RIGHT!”
In fact, we can assume it means the US (or some parts of it) were behind Sweden, which represents the full extent of the epidemic. The US was likely to eventually catch up, which means a slight increase once lockdowns were ended. This means some thousands more deaths (but as there are 3 million all-cause deaths per year anyway, a few thousand more dying of/with one particular flu virus is not worth the attention being still given it).
If for any reason Texas was lagging in deaths and had a death rate 1/10th as high as other places, we would expect it to catch up, in time, to the national norm. Early in the Panic cycle it was understood better. Those setting the narrative had to defer to it. Just remind people of the now-memoryholed phrase, “Flatten the Curve.”
I’d like to say, I always retain naive hope the Panic will unravel “soon.” I remember in early March predicting it would be over by April 1 or maybe by Easter (April 12). I still hope it unravels long before your prediction of full normalcy not before 2021 Q3.
At this point, it’s hard to see a near-term full-unraveling of the Panic. The groupthink has dug in deep.
It’s a label I’ve stuck with, “Corona-Panic,” but it’s been so long now that Panic doesn’t seem fitting. It’s something more systematized now. I was calling Corona a religious cult as early as April* and in May published a full and very comprehensive essay on the matter, arguing that Corona meets every one of the criteria of a “cult” in anthropology.
It’s now July, and, as you say, against all sense/reason/decency, people are still pushing and indulging in the Panic. Anti-Panic people are now more within the realm of ‘heretic’ than ever, despite the full weight of all the evidence on our sided (if anyone cares about evidence; religions tend not to).
* – Timestamped all over the Unz Review, there are many cases of me, writing under “Hail,” calling Corona a cult in comments back to early April, which was back before very many were calling it a cult.
I should say here, as a sidebar: I stopped posting at Unz a while ago because so many of the main writers there were pro-Panic and just nonstop pushing CoronaPanic. This was getting really frustrating to deal with. It was as if the site had suffered a coup d’etat of its own and been re-oriented towards being “a Collection of Corona pro-Panic views, drumbeat daily, with some non-mainstream pro-Panic views also included.”
I’ve put a lot of time into commenting at that site over the past few years, and this was a sad decision to make, but I realized I was actually getting angry visiting. It was best to stop, and I did. I saw many other regulars doing the same, at least the getting angry part.
While the commenteriat ran strongly anti-Panic in most sections at Unz, the main writers all seemed to push the Panic and ignored or even trolled their own commenters. The site owner himself did this, of course, and the main place I spent time there, Mr. S, switched to All CoronaPanic, All The Time, which became unreadable. I understand they largely dropped the saturation coverage of this flu virus once the riots started (which the pro-Panic side itself caused, at least in the immediate sense).
“…Mr. S, switched to All CoronaPanic, All The Time, which became unreadable. I understand they largely dropped the saturation coverage of this flu virus once the riots started…”
Not only did Sailer drop the saturation coverage, he almost never mentions the Corona Cult at all now. To me, that’s almost just as bad. He should be intellectually honest and address the issue. If he realizes he was wrong, then man up and admit it. He’s quick to accuse others of memory-holing things. Well, he’s guilty of that. He also mocks others for their hypocrisy. By memory-holing his own coronavirus obsession, he’s quite the hypocrite himself.
Regarding the TV, I will need to make a post on PS about this, as angry as it made me: At the airport the damn TV was far enough away, but the speaker are widespread. Whatever channel (probably CNN) had a lady asking “but how many more lives would have been saved?” about something, probably more mask wearing. Does she not know that nearly 3 million Americans die a year? Does anyone ask the same about botched medical procedures, or new drugs being held up by the FDA, or all manner of other healthcare things that involve “lives being saved”? There is absolutely NO perspective to be seen.
They are going on and on about this stuff incessantly, but I normally would be far away from it. I deliberately left my mask off at the one place I’m required to wear it (for work reasons, not law), as I was so pissed to hear these people.
This is the New Order; some deaths are sacrosanct and to be publicly mourned and discussed daily while others can be metaphorically tossed in the ditch because they just don’t matter that much:
This post went to moderation HECK:
I’m glad to read some more comments on this thread. Mr. Hail, I think you should get back on unz threads with us. Steve Sailer has gone completely back to his forte and even had one post that has possibly an admission of his mistake with the mask business – you tell me though – here‘ s the short post, and here’s the sentence I mean:“Unfortunately but not surprisingly, when everybody (including me) came out in favor of wearing masks, massive looting broke out across America.”. I didn’t ask him because I see no need to antagonize him on this, but then one thread that was unrelated had a whole series of commenters noting how few (if any) people they knew got COVID or died from it. Mr. Sailer didn’t reply with anything to the effect of “you’re gonna get people killed.”
I could be wrong on his admission of error above, as his point (one I don’t agree with) is that it’s bad if facial recognition won’t work on people with masks. Personally, I think that’s a good thing, for our side – we are the ones under the anarcho-tyranny!
I got way off my point. I don’t think Ron Unz will ever apologize, just as with the Hispanic crime problem that he is completely wrong on. However, with props to the guy, he’s had quite a few more articles (some on top of the site for a few days) that are very much along the lines of our thinking. I’ll link you to them when I have more time later, if you want. A guy named C.J.Hopkins has written a few. I kinda wonder whether Ron Unz realizes he was full of IT before on the Kung Flu or not.
I thought it was all the time you’ve been spending on these great posts, but if you have time, the Sailer threads, at least, are back to their normal selves and have been for a month or so, Corona re-Panic notwithstanding.
“Mr. Hail, I think you should get back on unz threads with us.”
I agree. You guys with blogs especially should comment there if for no other reason than to expose your blogs to others.
As I just replied to Hail, Sailer really needs to address his presumably changed views on the CoronaPanic.
I did see Sailer’s “including me” line regarding pushing mask-wearing in his post about facial recognition. (I replied to your comment but it may not be posted yet). You’re probably right that this is an apology (of sorts). But for a while almost every post was full strength CoronaPanic, without even seriously addressing his many critics. Now, if I recall correctly, he hasn’t directly mentioned coronavirus or his views on the issue for quite some time.
I realized I had to get away from the Unz Review because I was no longer getting anything from being there. Sailer was why I was there in the first place, and as I think you wrote in a comment here back in April or so, his blog became “unreadable.”
At some point I realized I could keep banging head against the wall or walk. A free man always has the power to walk (maybe that is a functional definition of freedom). It was hard to do in that Unz/Sailer were a near-daily reading habit, but I did. Unlike some who do things like this, I didn’t make some kind of dramatic goodbye post or anything like that. I expect I will return in time.
A quick note on the auto-moderation: Your change to the phrase “full of it” successfully dodged the filter.
On a longer Steve Sailer-related moderation note: I have long observed that his moderation process ends up the same way. A list of red-flag terms take longer to approve because they are auto-moderated and he checks that folder not very frequently. This is a big secret to some of his “whim.” Some (not all) of the people over the years who have been sore about being heavily moderated with long delays in publishing have that to blame. Though he has never addressed this, I have observed it enough to confidently think it’s true.
C.J. Hopkins is to be commended for never giving into the Corona-Panic at all (against lockdowns, economic self-destruction, and cultural hysteria even when he thought, based on media coverage, that it was a major threat), and then, when more information came out, for looking into it and concluding the anti-Panic position was correct, and embracing the anti-Panic side fully.
I must say, though this is not at all a novel observation in our back-and-forths in the past few months, but I’ll write it again anyway: Those on the Dissident Left look better in this thing than those on the Dissident Right, at least that is my impression.
Some thoughts in a stand-alone comment below on Steve Sailer’s
In response to a comment above by Peak Stupidity.
Steve Sailer wrote:
This is a typical Sailer irony; sometimes it’s hard to know what he means.
Obviously it wasn’t masks alone that did it, but the moths of hysteria-drumbeating mixed with the unprecedented lockdowns (a far larger response in fact than what we did for the 1918-19 influenza pandemic), unemployment, school closures, unprecedented social disruptions, a kind of huge experiment. A huge roll of the dice, and extremely reckless public policy once study after study started coming out showing it theh virus panic was a false alarm. (No one could control the ‘Panic’ by that time as it has been elevated to the Corona Civic Cult.)
The George Floyd Riot cycle began the very week that the strictest lockdowns were lifted. Students of social movements know that successful movements tend to occur specifically when authorities ease up and seldom when they are imposing strictest tyranny. The demonstration effect kicks in: Seeing first people to successfully protest inspires others and creates a feedback loop if conditions are right. That obviously happened in late May and early June — but it wasn’t because of outrage over some kind of plague of anti-black racism in policing which is just not true.
The George Floyd Riots were really anti-Lockdown riots in disguise.
This is inevitable if you pull on the string of the “demonstration effect” within the George Floyd Riots. What was being demonstrated? Ironically, the first few were demonstrating, to bored and locked-down millions especially youth shut out of schools and colleges, that they could turn out for a huge, endless street party with some mayhem on the side — and not only not be demonized for it, but be celebrated by the media! The George Floyd protesters were media heroes! A win-win. Have fun, see people, meet people, gather with friends, avoid demonization, get celebrated. The virtue-signaling doesn’t hurt, but even that is not strictly necessary in this interpretation.
Energy which would have been released in friend-group events, or sports, or music events, or nightclub-going, etc., depending on the person on social group and all of which was cancelled and locked down for so long. A good number of of the protesters/rioters were high school students. I observed some daytime protesters also of middle school age, and in the late phases even families with small children. Of course there were unable to attend school, see friends easily, or engage in normal social life for the previous 2.5 months. This was all predictable, in outline form.
All of the above would also be true with or without masks. Though the mask order did help conceal identities and thereby no doubt induced some marginals to come out and join the party, as I wrote in early June I witnessed some of the rioting and looting first-hand with my own two eyes. The core group doing the violence and looting were, at least in my observation, less masked than the general population. That is, those who had masks/scarves or some kind were not seeming to have the aim concealing their identities, and many/most were not masked at all.
James Howard Kunstler ccomes out attacking the Corona-Panic Second Wave in his latest blog entry (July 13):
Kunstler has tended to be neutral on Corona, sometimes lightly conceding to the narrative and sometimes (somewhat more often) skeptical, but never giving too much attention to it. I havne’t seen him directly attack it and plant his flag on the anti-Panic side until now (but maybe I missed it before).
Kunstler has a large following. I have followed him off and on for years after reading his Geography of Nowhere ca. 2004. He has a lot of the right instincts. You see he hits a version of the “Corona Coup d’Etat” hypothesis, and also correctly identifies the fundamental scams, hypes-of-the-moment, or sundry statistical-misinterpretations that the pro-Panic side continues to inflate its balloon on.
Kunstler is a lot of things, but one is cultural critic. His instincts are right and he has the confidence to say and print them. What I see his instincts as being here is that the Corona-Panic itself is probably a signal a pre-existing cultural malaise, the kind he has been talking about for decades (for many years on Peak Oil). This kind of Panic wouldn’t have happened in a self-confident, healthy society.
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Another update from James Howard Kunstler, who looks all-but fully on board with the anti-Panic side now (July 17 entry). Maybe the Second Wave of Panic convinced him. As is his wont, his commentary is interwoven with his other agendas.
The July 17 entry reads in part:
Went to my local franchise-type gym yesterday. I’ve been out of town and while vacationing have used this franchise’s facilities in MN, WI, and OH. None of those required masks, although the staffs were required to wear them. Every other machine was closed, but the showers were still open.
Here in Herr Charlie Baker’s Massachusetts, only FOUR of the thirty ellipticals were available, other machines were similarly blocked off- AND to use the weights one had to be masked- I shit you not. Oh, and no showers. Apparently, as one of the attendants related to me, they were set up in a similar fashion to their other clubs across the country, but some Karen came in with a ruler, and called the health department. Unfortunately the only elliptical that was available was right in front of a TV with CNN. They are deranged! Cases = illness; all deaths are Covid deaths, the Spike (TM) is going to kill us all. I renew my prediction that schools will not open in person in the fall, at least here in MA, because many staff, who are completely in thrall to the Great Corona Chan Cult, will not report. TWO HUNDRED QUATLOOS ON THE NEWCOMERS! If schools open I may have to come out of retirement.
Oh, and as an aside, the TV next to CNN had “the Five”- my observation is that if I were as stupid as Juan Williams (and I’m not that bright) I don’t think I’d advertise it on national TV.
Oh, and Mr. Hail, I think I posted here the other day, and it disappeared- although now that I’m a pensioner I post so often in so many places that I forget where I am writing. See your future, Danny.
I have seen signs (literal ones; posters on street poles) of a movement around here to demand school closure until No New Cases for Fourteen Days (consecutive). This would mean even ONE new case in (the county? the region?) triggers a fresh two-week extension of the across-the-board closure.
This is the kind of idea that if presented to people full-on back in March, even towards Peak-Panic in late March, they would have rejected as insane, a wild social experiment with obvious negative consequences, a fool’s crusade against a flu virus, a bad idea. The goalposts shifted very fast.
The mix of politics and people’s irrational fears is hard to disentangle. Ultimately the media is to blame for both. (By “the media” I really mean something like “the regime.” And I still think the entire Corona-Panic and Corona-Cult and Corona-Politics phenomena beautifully and gracefully reveal who is really at the driver’s seat in society, the true regime regardless of who you vote for.)
(I checked the spam folder and there are no lost comments from you. You can also check the most recent 100 comments on this site at https://hailtoyou.wordpress.com/)
See the excellent commentary by John Hayward on this:
The coronavirus debate as one of the fastest examples of an Overton window moving we’ve ever seen (July 13).
Thanks- perhaps I’m becoming Joe Biden…
I think you mentioned that you aren’t commenting at Steve Sailer’s blog now.
He finally did a post on Covid quality adjusted life years lost. There is a comment that “People also mention Sweden despite it having much higher per capita death and case numbers than it’s neighbours . . . ”
If you would care to comment on Sailer’s blog regarding Sweden, I would love to read it. If you choose not to, I understand.
I think most of the people who say/write/think things like that are mathematical-illiterates.
If an Unz commenter said it, I would imagine he is much more likely someone mathematically literate but emotionally committed to this thing (motivations vary), willfully ignoring the full relevant datasets.
It is fundamentally a question of mathematics, statistical analysis, and rational thinking (to repeat myself). It’s all a kind of giant mathematical problem, which is why you see people who favor thinking in math terms often so strongly critical of the Panic. Most personality-types do not, admittedly, think this way. (It doesn’t make them worse humans, if that disclaimer is needed for anyone who may read this.)
Tossing out single numbers without context means very little in solving a complex mathematical problem.
Everyone has taken some kind of math at some time and will recall that some problems take lots of steps to complete, sometimes a single problem might take ten, twenty minutes even if you know what you’re doing — and figuring out what to do to solve it will in practice be just as much of a challenge. Zooming-in on one variable and pointing to it is not solving the problem.
I wouldn’t think any of that is necessary to tell an Unz commenter, the average IQ around there being pretty high, but it’s at least worth a reminder.
Here is how it is: Sweden had a flu wave about equal to many it had had in the past few decades. A forty-year-old Swede has lived through, totally unbeknownst to him, flu waves of roughly the same magnitude already many times in his life (as measured by all-cause mortality, a subject I dealt with at length in Part Eleven). Depending on definitions we choose to use, it could be that ten or more of the forty seasons of a b.July-22-1980 Swede’s life so far were as bad as this. Several in the 1990s were worse, and with the epidemic-curve in Sweden now complete in the end of its tail-off phase, 2020 didn’t come close. Some seasons since 1980 were much milder. That’s the way it goes. The public policy question is: Should we shut down, knowing there are negative and easily foreseeable negative consequences of a shutdown? If Yes, why did they not shut down in those other peak-flu-wave seasons?
Here is a single graphic take from Part XI which puts Sweden, the “Corona natural experiment,” in context:
The data-based call I was able to make back in May, that the coronavirus flu wave would push full-year mortality to 0.93%, very slightly higher than the recent norm, still looks likely. The worst flu wave of recent years, 1993, bumped all-cause mortality up +0.04% above the 1990s average, but 2020 will struggle to definitely stay above the 2010s average. The best-bet now looks like a +0.01% measured on that scale; the chances of it going to +0.02% over the recent running average (to 0.94% total) is about equal to the chance it will stay at 0.92% (equal to the 2010s average). This is the picture we get from all-cause mortality data as of this writing, already guessable in the first half of May based on data then available.
(From Total Mortality in Sweden by Period (% of population dying by decade/year) section of Against the Corona-Panic Part XI [May 10].)
There are many other points that could be made. An easy one that Sweden is now finished with this virus, while other countries remain at risk because they failed to allow the herd-immunity mechanism to operate sufficiently, which is why we’ve seen both Denmark and Norway‘s governments apologize for panicking and ordering lockdowns, vowing never to lock down over this virus again and putting in place plans for a Swedish-style response if the virus comes back. (See sub-sections: “Norway’s lockdown is now regretted by the Prime Minister who admits she panicked in March, rules out future corona-lockdowns;” “The pro-Panic, pro-Lockdown Danish Prime Minister overruled her own health authorities.”)
(See also Sweden section of Part XIV the comprehensive overview of all-cause mortality for the past five years in 24 countries in Europe.)
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(seen/jotted down July 22 late afternoon EDT but posting now)
A flash-update from those doing their patriotic duty to keep the Panic flowing:
This was today zapped to phones across the land via the Yahoo News app’s Special Coronavirus Alerts. This is their usual fare over the past few months; every single special alert is negative or alarmist. I kept the app and kept these notifications on to see what the latest the Panic-pushers are up, what the latest strategy is, to in a middle- to low-brow outlet like Yahoo News.
A commenter at Yahoo News says it well:
I don’t know what the median Yahoo News commenter is like, but I do expect that the hundreds of comments already left so soon after this was published suggest these are largely people who found the story via the Instant Corona Alert zapped to their phones and who clicked on it. I expect this would make this sample more pro-Panic than average. Most comments and the thumbs-up-thumbs-down ratio suggests committed pro-Panic people outnumber committed anti-Panic people maybe 60/40 or more.
There is a major thread on twitter, with tens of thousands of replies, in which people post the number of days since they either got sick with ‘COVID’ or got confirmed positive (80 days, 110 days, etc.) and they all claim to remain incapacitated and describe their symptoms. This story about the woman who recovered from Corona but now cannot sleep (“brain problems”) reminds me of that.
I would suggest the symptoms are psychosomatic in almost all these cases, reflective of the classic mass-hysteria (which, I confidently predict, will be obvious to people of the future looking back at this). In other words, people are imagining symptoms because of the weeks of media drumbeat on it, and/or they are attributing other-cause symptoms to a long-past infection with one particular flu virus.
There is no reason to believe anyone would struggle with this one coronavirus any differently than they would with any other coronavirus; months and months of pain and being bedridden and having “brain problems” (as the Corona-Prolefeed headline has it) seems to be not based firmly in reality. The commenter is right that the media could easily create a Panic about all vaccines using the exact same threshold of evidence they are using here.
From Rich Higgins (former member of the National Security Council under Trump, purged by elements during the H.R. McMaster tenure [ended April 2018]; the latter simultaneously empowered the dual-citizen Mr. Vindman and his clique while Higgins and others were forced out), forwarding a message “sent to me by a man who is the child of a Ukrainian terror famine survivor. His mother was the only child of 5 who survived Stalin’s purges. I’m not sure if it’s his work or someone else is the original author.”
[Begin] In 4 months, the U.S. transformed into an obedient socialist country. Government dictated what events are acceptable to attend. Violent protests that instill fear are OK but church services, family funerals and patriotic celebrations are dangerous….And you bought it without a fight.
Standing in graduation line is a “safety hazard”. Small businesses were forced to close but crowds to support the corporate money machine at WalMart, Lowes and Home Depot…OK.
Come on. It’s “just a mask” & “safety precautions”.
How about a little…hush money. Here’s $2,400 that we stole out of your pay check in the first place. Enjoy. Buy something with it. From a big corporation.
Cash is dirty. We can’t give change. There’s a coin shortage. Use your card In 4 months, they convinced you to use a traceable card for everything.
In less than 4 months, government closed public schools then “restructured” education under the guise of “public safety”. In less than 4 months, our government demonstrated how easily people assimilate to “guidelines” that have NO scientific premise whatsoever when you are fearful.
In less than 4 months, our government successfully instilled fear in a majority of the population in America that allows them to control every aspect of your life. Including what you eat, where you go, who you see and your toilet paper.
And the most dangerous and terrifying part? People are not afraid of the government who removed their freedom. They’re afraid of their neighbors, family and friends.
And they hate those who won’t comply.
It’s absolutely terrifying to me that so many people don’t question “authority”. They are willing to surrender their critical thinking skills and independence. They just… gave up without thinking. Without a fight.
Do you know what’s coming next?
“It’s just a vaccine. Come on. It’s for the greater good”.
Wait until you’re told that you can’t enter any store or business without proof of the Covid-19 vaccine. Wait until you can’t go to public events or get on a plane without proof of receiving the vaccine.
To everyone that doesn’t believe this is possible – DO YOU UNDERSTAND that government successfully dictated to people WHEN they were allowed to be outside, where they were allowed to go, and how their children would be educated in less than 4 months? And that a majority of the population followed blindly because they were told to do so.
You’re kidding yourself if you think this behavior won’t be repeated with a vaccine. Or whatever the next step is.
“I don’t follow politics.”
“Who cares about that stuff?”
“I don’t like to think about it.”
They got you. Without a thought. Without a fight. Just like France. Just like Russia. Just like China. Welcome, comrade. [End]
Book it- very few American colleges and universities will open in person this fall. Most have announced some kind of hybrid opening- all being currently re-evaluated. I’m well-connected to a pretty well branded northeastern liberal arts college- I’ll bet my pension it will not open with students on campus, probably for the entirety of 20-21. The Panickers are in complete control- not just the administrations of the colleges, but state and local governments, too. That may be different in Redder states, but look how people like Greg Abbott are folding like Dick Contino’s accordion. NO dissenting, anti-panic voices are uttered in the high level conversations that I overhear. There may be some anti-panickers in these administrations, but, knowing they’re severely outnumbered has a dampening effect on people’s willingness to speak. And, not to mention that the innumeracy of these highly educated people is stunning.
Here’s my prediction of what’s coming:
The ridiculous baseball season, the hockey and basketball bubbles will be either called off or never started due to “increases in cases”.
No pro, college, high school, or youth sports for the ENTIRE school year.
Most school districts will operate remotely for the entire year- there may be some sensible states out there that open, but I’m positive MA will not be among them.
Mask wearing mandates will continue, no end in sight.
Testing will be off the charts, as will cases, deaths will continue to drop, at least until next flu season. The press will continue its “ we’re all gonna die unless…” mantra. Also, it would seem that Bad Orange Man is drifting toward the panic side.
Food lines by next summer. Riots sporadically ongoing.
Many small colleges will not make it through the school year. I may have the timeline on this a bit too shot, but… Scott Galloway has divided higher ed into 4 categories, with the bottom being “toast”. (I quote from memory). Sad, really even though I don’t care much for the education that goes on there, many of these places, including the two midwestern schools my younger boys went to, ss many of these institutions have been around for more than 150 years, and have people who love them. What’s better than going to an Amherst-Williams, or Ohio Wesleyan- Denison lax game on a beautiful spring day? Williams and Amherst will survive, not so sure about Denison and OWU.
Unfortunately Galloway’s a panicker.
Some of this might go away If Slow Joe gets elected, but for those of us (Yeah, I know, OK boomer) who grew up in perhaps the best times ever- we need to realize those times are over.
the Corona-Panic offers what may be objectively the strongest proof ever that the media, as we know it in this era, really is the Enemy of the People. It’s not entirely their fault, but that is the state of things. Analyze it as you wish and ascribe this or that origin/cause, but the media today is a harmful influence on the nation, and I think demonstrably so.
I was making this point, the media’s critical role in Corona-Panic, more forcefully in April, but it seems most people are too deep into the Corona Civic Cult now to appreciate the point. (It can be effectively made again when this dark cloud passes, after Biden is elected.) I continue to be confident that people looking back from 2025, 2030, and beyond will see this so much more clearly than many now do.
And the point made many times by the anti-Panic side, give us the media of 1990 and there would be no Corona-Panic 2020. It would have been a minor flu spike no one would have known about and would have affected the economy and society not at all.
I’m seeing this idea from many, now, that if Biden is elected, Corona will all turn to optimism overnight.
I actually do believe is true, and possibly even very literally overnight, with headlines the day after Trump concedes the election turning positive. I can see this happening. If not literally the next day, then soon enough. The drumbeat will quiet down, because a part of the pro-Panic coalition will drop away, and the remaining components may not have the energy or power to keep it up on their own.
Of course, a turn to full-on Corona-Optimism by mid-November will be too late to have a full-return-to-normalcy for sports at all levels for Fall 2020 or Winter 2020-21 (not a big sports season, but the NBA and NHL are in regular season and it’s the NFL’s late season and playoffs). What about Spring 2021. When are the decisions to pull the trigger on cancelling Spring 2021 sports made? Before or after mid-November? The leftover pro-Panic energies could still be enough to pull the trigger even after mid-November, but I’d bet against it in the event that Biden wins.
In other words, I am going to make a sort-of opposite bet:
If Biden wins, YES sports in Spring 2021.
(By the way, youth baseball seems to be on, with games being played where I am. The parents, relatives, and hangers-on are obediently keeping their six foot distance while spectating, which looks ridiculous.)
Tucker Carlson on his July 24 show attacked Corona-Junta ringleader Doctor Fauci, a man to whom he once showed deference during the Peak-Panic period. Tucker attacks masks and makes one of his most open attacks on the Corona Coup d’Etat yet.
The attack went all the way up to the heresy against the current civic cult of saying mass mask wearing is bad science and they are ignoring science to push an agenda. (We needed this pushback in April, when Tucker was AWOL in fantasy-land, pushing virus-paranoia nightly.)
Video and my transcription (Fox’s auto-captions are terrible, filled with errors):
TUCKER CARLSON: Once Dr. Fauci thought he was off camera, the mask came off — literally. Here’s Dr. Fauci sitting within six feet of to other people within a mostly empty stadium, without wearing his mask.
TUCKER CARLSON: He was immediately called on this, but rather than copping to it and being honest, he acted like so many in power do, and scorned anyone criticizing him.
CORONA-JUNTA LEADER FAUCI [video clip]: I think this is sort of mischievous with this thing going around. I had my mask around my chin, I had taken it down. I was totally dehydrated and I was drinking water. […] I guess if people want to make a ‘thing’ of it, they can.
TUCKER CARLSON: Ohhh…! If people want to make a thing of it. [Alters voice as if to imitate Fauci:] “If people want to make a fetish of masks –! People are worried about COVID, Lighten up America!” Oh, wait, no, I’m sorry, you’re Dr. Anthony Fauci. You’re one of the reasons our economy is ground to a halt; you’re one of the reasons people are unhappy as they’ve ever been. Weren’t you just, four minutes ago, lecturing us about how we’re immoral if we don’t wear masks, but when you do it it’s totally cool! Because you’ve got good excuses. You were thirsty! No, you were laughing with your friends. We bet Dr. Fauci won’t have to pay the thousand dollar fine that the District of Columbia is now imposing on citizens who don’t wear masks in public. [….]
TUCKER CALSON: Until the day Joe Biden wins the presidential election, you, Mr. and Mrs. America, must wear masks. Unless, of course, you’re the people who wrote the mask ordinance in DC, the politicians, they exempted themselves. Ohh… Because they’ve suspended the rules of science because they’re in power, and you’re not, so Shut Up and Obey — until Biden wins. That’s the rule! Masks for thee, but not for me.
Monday AM Panic Part II Update:
The college I’m most familiar with is discussing walking back their hybrid opening. A significant portion of the staff is threatening not to show up. I’m more convinced than ever that the vast majority of colleges and K- 12 schools will have no in person classes this fall.
The people morally empowered by the Panic were the knee-jerk worriers. Opportunists who see some benefit to joining that bandwagon are force multipliers for them. The opportunists are teachers who prefer to get paid to work from home, or whatever it is, and the people ultra morally empowered by saying “Save Lives!” form an unbreakable coalition. Many individuals may be part Ultra-Worrier and part Opportunist.
There is no clear ‘stop’ mechanism, no moral authority on which to stand. This was exactly the problem with empowering the pro-Panic side in March and April. A serious mistake.
Meanwhile, Stay-Open Sweden had 188 corona-positive deaths for July 1 to 21 (as of today, this is near final data for the period), <9/day. These deaths have long since stopped being even a blip on total deaths there, too small to cause any noticeable variation in total deaths. For July 14 to 21 it's <5/day. The tail-end of the tail. Soon there will start to be periods of 0 deaths several days in a row.
Sweden’s 2010s-era average deaths per year were 0.92% of population, and 2020 could reach 0.93%, from the looks of it, caused by the late March to mid-May bump. The same story will basically hold for the US.
Planet Fitness just announced as of August 1 all members must wear masks AT ALL TIMES in their clubs, including when using the aerobic equipment. August 1!!!!! Stupidity marches on .
That anon above is me, sorry
Small ray of hope- my local Globo Gym has backed off a bit on its mask policy- no masks on aerobic equipment.
Today’s non ray of hope. My northeastern latte college town has just mandated that all within the downtown area need to be masked. OUTSIDE!!! Fines will be assessed. I’ll rip my ticket up and send a piece to each of the town manager, president of the town council, and my representative on the town council.
Smith College and UMASS announced today and yesterday that they will be going 100% remote (No students on campus) for the fall. Expect every other college in New England to do the same?
I’m genuinely worried about the future- the panic has taken on a life of its own irrespective of Covid 19. It does not bode well for our society.
Does “no students ‘on’ campus” mean no students allowed on campus for any reason? Or does it mean just no in-person classes? Where will the students who would normally be in dormitories be living?
No students in dorms- no dining halls, no sports. Originally Smith had a hybrid system, with first years and seniors on campus, but now, not There are still some foreign students on campus , maybe 50-100. Dunno what will become of them.
The religious cult aspect, at this point, is the only explanation that makes any sense. The mask mania is particularly significant, I think. I believe I’ve pointed this out before- all of the officers of the college that I am most familiar with, including someone very close to me, are true believers. I also think that true of the overwhelming number of Ed institutions. They are sure that this virus is the Black Death. Some of relates to the notion that great many of the people who run the education establishment at all levels believe things that, for most of human history were thought to be insane. Was it Orwell who said that some things are so stupid you have to be an intellectual to believe them? Substitute professional educator for intellectual.
I’d like to think my “Corona as Religious Cult” article, written in mid-May, was prescient in identifying what was going on. By that time of writing, I well sensed the endless shutdowns and disruptions were coming — that Flatten the Curve was just a cover-story to flatten early opposition to the ascendant cult.
“Is Corona a Religious Cult?” was a full-form presentation of an idea many of us on the anti-Panic side had, in vague terms, by some time in April. (I doubt many saw it yet in March, more likely thinking it was a passing moral-panic that wouldn’t last past early April, even if some extremists held out their panic, the center would hold. Wrong).
Now Labor Day is almost in view and we are very long past the full receding of this flu wave, a flu wave with the exact same victim-profile as other flu waves. The “Corona as Religious Cult” argument (which was literal, not metaphorical) to me looks vindicated each day.
Assuming people are rational actors over the medium- and long-term, IOW that they have to justify their actions in some kind of logical consistency, I don’t see a better explanation for it than Corona as ‘masked’ Religious Cult (for why e.g. we see colleges pulling the trigger on endless shutdowns.
“Expect every other college in New England to do the same?“
Not supposed to be a question mark there.
Charlie Baker doubles down on restrictions today.
Re: your earlier “Expect every other college in New England to do the same [full shut down]”
On the Holyoke and Springfield discussion in the Robin DiAngelo biography comment section, I noticed this:
As of now, Mount Holyoke College looks like one of the brave ones. They are only requiring enormous, needless, Panic-promoting disruptions on grand scale, rather than full shutdowns. For one thing, every Holyoke student must be masked at all times.
Have we outsourced decision-making to paranoid hypochondriacs? Who is worried about a flu virus with a 0.000% chance (well under <100,000, it seems) of killing otherwise reasonably healthy people aged mostly 18-22? And a fairly low chance of even making them sick at all.
I wonder if anyone on the Corona Reopening planning committee at Mount Holyoke had the courage to speak out against the mandatory mask wearing policy, as either unnecessary or socially harmful? The big argument against masks, which seems obvious to me but I seldom hear it made, is that they perpetuate the Panic. Mandatory mask wearing is not a no-cost policy, it's a policy that creates big costs of its own.
It may be that someone is talking sense at Mt. Holyoke, but I doubt it. It is one of those schools that is in a very weak financial position, particularly compared to Amherst and Smith- as old man Potter said to George Bailey, “If you close your doors before six o’clock you’ll never reopen”. I could ask someone who’s in the know, but don’t have the enthusiasm for a fight this fine Sunday morning. She’s all in on panic.
We have something here called “the Five Colleges”; Amherst, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Hampshire (which was already on life support before Corona-Chan) 2 of the five have announced for remote classes, if Amherst goes remote the other two will follow suit. Particularly since the state, far from backing off restrictions, Is tightening them, and threatening the populace with law enforcement. K-12 schools are announcing their extremely limited openings, and those will only last until the first kid sneezes.
Fun fact- the characters in Scooby Doo are patterned after the Five Colleges, although Scopes says no Fred- Amherst; Velma- Smith; Daphne- Mt Holyoke; Shaggy- Hampshire; and Scooby is UMASS.
UMASS is the fifth college.
Corona-Classroom proposal already a reality in some places:
This month’s Atlantic has an article about how the US did not respond vigorously enough to the pandemic. Corona panic porn.
Atlantic writers, and readers, are all from well over onto the right-side of the bell curve. That they collectively decided to suspend their rational faculties still gives me an uneasy Twilight Zone-like feeling.
A flu wave which, at its worst, is 2.0x (often less, varying place to place) as bad as a totally ignored one from as recently as 2018 (and with the same victim profile, or possibly an ever older-and-feebler victim profile than the ‘classic,’ non-Panic 2018 wave and many others of our time) should not have triggered months of obsession, or if it did, one wouldn’t expect it from The Atlantic readers (on IQ alone).
The The Atlantic and all the rest became the National Enquirer, the pages of the latter lo these many decades have probably been filled with “Killer Virus!” panic stories that never panned out.
When it was clear that the pro-Panic side was wrong, it should have been the Atlantic and people like that, pushing the fact-based counter-narrative, not abandoning their theoretical duty as the media, seekers of and guardians of truth (sorry if that induces a laugh), not leaving the actual work to places like the Off-Guardian site, Steve Sailer commenters, the Peak Stupidity blog, and many other scattered dissidents, including me, scribbling away showing the madness with numbers.
Nor should the world-leading epidemiologists like Dr. Wittkowski have been silenced and censored, as if they were war-opponents in 1917. (Dr. Wittkowski has been life-banned from Youtube for what they think is giving false advice “against the CDC guidelines.” [I sensed it was coming and worked hard to preserve the thousands of words of Youtube comments he wrote to commenters on his interviews.] If his name has ever appeared in The Atlantic since he surfaced attacking the Panic head-on from April 3 onward, they no doubt denounced him as a conspiracy theorist — the many with several PhDs and decades of world-leading experience.)
In any case, here is my idea for a counter-article to the Atlantic’s to which you refer:
“How did the US media, including The Atlantic, not respond vigorously to the Panic, not question its premises, not ask questions, but cheerleaded it along. Why?“
Scott Galloway, who is sensible on a number of topics is all in on Panic Porn.
Two tidbits. Popped up on my feed: CDC says Covid immunity will only last 3 months. In other words permanent lockdowns.
Amherst College is having some students back starting tomorrow- they are going to be quarantined on campus. All fields and other facilities are closed to the outside, No idea how they’re going to run classes. Madness.
“Covid immunity will only last 3 months” — This is ridiculous.
Maybe a game-of-telephone effect is at work here, with that which is reported being distorted. The end-result is feeding into the fear by people who believe it’s a zombie virus that lingers to constantly attack anyone dumb enough to not wear a mask or practice extreme anti-social behaviors.
Tucker condemns Fauci;
I was very critical of Tucker Carlson during late March and April, at which time he had caved into the Panic and was pushing almost nonstop Corona-Panic on his show.
At some point he snapepd out of it. Not sure when that was. I think he was sympathetic to the anti-Lockdown protests, especially those being historionically condemned as terrorists by most of the media and Twitter-Commentariat.
After he snapped out of it, he still gave lip service to the Corona-Cult for a few more weeks, but then started attacking it head on. Here is a representative case, Tucker denouncing Fauci on August 14, a man he once lionized during Peak-Panic:
Thanks for the Tucker clip, Mr. Hail. I’ve been occasionally checking the comments here. Mr. Ganderson, thank you for the updates about the stupidity in Mass. The thing about that gym is the most asinine (is asinine OK here, wordpress?) thing I’ve heard about yet. Well, the picture of the kids in plexiglas cube is more depressingly sad than asinine, but I guess both.
A thought occurred today as I was talking to my brother about his son’s upcoming wedding in September. Many changes have had to be made because of the Panic (the wedding is in the Twin Cities), the guest list has shrunk, the bride’s family, most of whom live in India will not be attending – I dunno if they are evenallowed into the country. Anyway my brother is a pretty level-headed guy, and he’s hesitant about going to gatherings, bars, etc. I think the press and the governments of the various states have been very successful in scaring the crap out of people. There are way more ordinary folks who’ve had the bejesus frightened out of them, a lot more than folks like us want to believe. This is going to go on for a while.
When the Panic got going and I began to see it for what it was, I decided to cut off some normal news-sources because they became unreadable CoronaPanic-Prolefeed dispensaries. I checked back one today. Ten stories/headlines. Even at this late date, four of the ten were Corona stories.
The “ you can get Corona twice” meme is gathering steam. Since the aliens haven’t shown up, AGAIN, it’s time to set another date.
The people who push “you can get infected twice” are basing their claim on statements that carry qualifications used by academics that aren’t translatable to the rush-rush atmosphere of Corona-Prolefeed news coverage.
Some health authority will publish something saying “one in a million not immune,” and the headline becomes “Health officials warn of danger of possible reinfection after recovery!”
The other confusion is with false-positives. In an early South Korean study, severla recovered corona-positives were apparently found, after weeks of monitoring, to have become reinfected. This I think may have been the report that sparked the initial wave of “get infected twice,” but real scientists or really anyone with a healthy grasp of statistics would urge great caution at such findings. Sure enough, more time passed and they reanalyzed those people/samples and found every single “reinfection” case was a false positive.
Excellent segment on Tucker Carlson on Corona-Panic. The best yet.
Whoever deprogrammed Tucker out of the Corona-Cult did a great service to us all. If he deprogrammed himself [“snapped out of it”], all the better. If only he had done it earlier. He should’ve had anti-Panic hardliner and world-leading epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski on as a repeat guest.
Watch 19:10 to 28:45 of the August 24 Tucker Carlson Tonight:
(I am sure this particular video will go down soon due to copyright. Anyone trying to find it again, the relevant segment starts right after the first commercial break.)
This is the best I have ever seen Tucker on the topic. He is now a hardline anti-Panicker. He goes further than anyone else on mainstream talk television (afaik). And yet he is the voice of reason.
There is a partisan angle, but the Panic vortex dilemma is not reducible to the old red-team-blue-team stuff, nor necessarily to elites-vs.-populists. That’s partly, maybe, why it’s been such a dilemma. Tucker steers clear of blaming “Democrats,” but does blame elites in general. They may not have engineered the Panic itself, but they do want to perpetuate it.
Virtually everyone in my world is all in on panic. I feel like it’s as if everyone now believes “the sky is yellow and the sun is blue”.
At least now you/we know how it feels to live through a witchcraft panic.
In a classic witchcraft panic “of Olde,” townspeople had all kinds of reactions but very few openly defy the consensus that the witchcraft problem is very real, and terrifying. No one wants to hear that the whole thing may be mass delusion.
There’s a website called Next Door which allows people in a particular neighborhood to communicate about things of common concern. Here’s what somebody posted yesterday:
“Post gathering pix on ND. I will begin to post pictures on ND of large gatherings in my neighborhood of people who are not wearing face masks. Will note address, time and dates. Invite neighbors to do the same!!”
There were a few comments of the “mind your own beeswax” variety, but most were either supportive, or of the “I agree with what you are trying to do, but this is not a good way to go about it” variety. Stalinism comes to. Sleepy New England college town.
Oh, and the local public school system has announced they are ditching the hybrid opening and going to all remote to start the year. Doomed!
Corona-Witchcraft-Panic headline today:
“From phone apps to police patrols, colleges try to track students to contain pandemic cases”
My town has set up a hotline to dime out mask violators and social distance criminals. I sent them this:
I walked through downtown today without a mask. I will walk though downtown tomorrow without a mask. i will walk through downtown on Saturday without a mask. Etc, etc, I will wear a mask when asked to by merchants I do business with so that they don’t get jammed up, but I refuse to wear one outside. And by the way, this virus is apparently so smart that it will attack me while Im strolling through town, but not while I’m sitting in a restaurant. That’s one clever bug! And, should I inform you when I see someone driving her car without a mask? You never know, she might exit the vehicle at anytime! And it’s good to introduce these totalitarian measures now, when death rates, which never came even remotely close to the projections, are falling off the table. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao would all be quite impressed with the work you are doing. Might I recommend that you add additional hotlines? I think I saw one of my neighbors idling his car too long, and another one put a recyclable can in with the trash, not to mention the guy at Wentworth pond that didn’t leash his dog. Lets keep this going until every small business in the town is boarded up!
Didn’t mean to include this:
I sent this to the Covid hotline and to my town councilman XXXXXX XXXX this morning.
Any chance it can be removed?
The boarding up can have one of three meanings, either boarded up due to closure from the disruptions, boarded up from the recession, boarded up from rioting, looting, arson, either post- or pre-. It can be temporary or permanent.
People tend to analyze these things separately, but they all have the same cause, which was the collective decision to embrace the Panic and stick with it for almost six months now.
The new meme, this time use with reference to the continued closure of the US- Canada border. US has 4% of the world’s population, but 24% of covid deaths.
A. Not true and/or
B. Conflation of deaths with and deaths from
C. Faulty stats.
Today’s “CNN Watched from the Gym” headline: “440 000 additional coronavirus deaths predicted nationwide by the End of the Year.” Are they that stupid, or liars? I’d prefer stupid, I think.
Today’s WSJ could be titles “Special Corona Panic Edition” Unbelievable
So much new information seeing the light lately. Now that we know the number of Americans who died of Covid-only is about 10,000, isn’t that right around what Ioannidis originally predicted?
Anyway, you’re due for a new post!
Determining exactly who died of exactly what causes is hard, but the number who died or will die of the direct effects of the virus (true “deaths from”) may be into the mid tens of thousands, against tens of millions whose bodies had contact with the virus according to what we now know.
The biggest antibody study to date suggests that as of this writing, probably over 20% of all US residents have gotten the virus. I deal with this here: