If You Like Statistics on Coronavirus…

This article by Aaron Ginn is for you:

Evidence over hysteria — COVID-19

If this link is dead, try this one.]

After worldwide statistical comparisons, including the effect of latitude, temperature and humidity on infection rates, here are some of the conclusions Ginn draws:

So what should we do?

The first rule of medicine is to do no harm.

“Local governments and politicians are inflicting massive harm and disruption with little evidence to support their draconian edicts.

“Every local government is in a mimetic race to one-up each other in authoritarian city ordinances to show us who has more ‘abundance of caution’.

“Politicians are competing, not on more evidence or more COVID-19 cures but more caution.

“As unemployment rises and families feel unbearably burdened already, they feel pressure to ‘fix’ the situation they created with even more radical and ‘creative’ policy solutions.

“This only creates more problems and an even larger snowball effect. The first place to start is to stop killing the patient and focus on what works.

Start with basic hygiene

“COVID-19 is a significant medical threat that needs to be tackled, both finding a cure and limiting spread; however, some would argue that a country’s authoritarian response to COVID-19 helped stop the spread.

“Probably not.

“In South Korea and Taiwan, I can go to the gym and eat at a restaurant which is more than I can say about San Francisco and New York, despite a significantly lower caseload on a per-capita basis.

None of the countries the global health authorities admire for their approach issued ‘shelter-in-place’ orders, rather they used data, measurement,and promoted common sense self-hygiene...

“Does stopping air travel have a greater impact than closing all restaurants? Does closing schools reduce the infection rate by 10%? Not one policymaker has offered evidence of any of these approaches.

“Typically, the argument given is ‘out of an abundance of caution’.

“I didn’t know there was such a law.

“Let’s be frank, these acts are emotionally driven by fear, not evidence-based thinking in the process of destroying people’s lives overnight.

“While all of these decisions are made by elites isolated in their castles of power and ego, the shock is utterly devastating Main Street.

= = = =

Take a look at the Table of Contents of this comprehensive article:

Table of Contents

  1. Total cases are the wrong metric
  2. Time lapsing new cases gives us perspective
  3. On a per-capita basis, we shouldn’t be panicking
  4. COVID-19 is spreading
  5. Watch the Bell Curve
  6. A low probability of catching COVID-19
  7. Common transmission modes
  8. COVID-19 is likely to burn off in the summer
  9. Children and Teens aren’t at risk
  10. Strong, but unknown viral effect
  11. What about asymptomatic spread?
  12. 93% of people who think they are positive aren’t
  13. 1% of cases will be severe
  14. Declining fatality rate
  15. So what should we do?
  16. Start with basic hygiene
  17. More data
  18. Open schools
  19. Open up public spaces
  20. Support business and productivity
  21. People fear what the government will do, not infection
  22. Expand medical capacity
  23. Don’t let them forget it and vote


If You Like Statistics on Coronavirus… — 28 Comments

  1. Finally, someone with half an ounce of brain cells left. Too bad they didn’t mention that it is all fake, to begin with. Not one ounce of this story makes any sense. Don’t forget that the ill Gates trial balloon called Event 201 happened in October of 2019 and the script for this farce follows that test exactly to the letter. Also, the movie from 2011 “Contagion” lays out the very same script. Something stinks to high heaven in all of this.

  2. Primary concern is the new paradigm we’ve entered where overreaction has been normalized.

    What happens next year or the year after when the next edition of flu/cold season comes around and more people get infected/seriously ill/die as a result.

    Which does happen, by the way.

    Every year!

    By the way, I agree with the articles approach that it appears that states/communities appear to be trying to outdo one-another to control citizens to higher and higher degrees.

    We’re not to California levels yet (SF, truly the “Zombie Apocalypse”).

    It is also painfully obvious the efforts Gov. JD went to in order to provide no help whatsoever to local businesses and the public at large.

    Like, temporarily rolling back the last tax, a 25% cut is sales taxes, etc.

    Like the song goes: “A spoonful of sugar…”.

    But now, it just kind of simmers and irritates.

  3. pretty irresponsible to post this type of crap, but you are a Trump person.

  4. If public sector paychecks are interrupted, or entitlements de- escalated, we might believe “we are all in it together”.

    Until then, they have no reason to worry, while the rest of us face existential threats.

    The best example to illustrate how dystopian our healthcare provision system is:
    Nurses total hourly compensation compared to teachers.

    (Remember teachers are contractually obligated to at most ~180 workdays at ~6-hour days; compare to nurses’ 50 40-hour weeks.

    Then factor in all the sick days, paid time off, and contractual entitlements as to other free paid time off for teachers).

    Now consider health insurance and the shocking amount nurses must pay compared to the tiny amounts teachers pay.

    (Additionally, teachers’ early “retirement” allows them 100% FREE platinum health insurance beginning at age 55 or 58.)

    Finally, pensions.

    Nurses pay 6.2% of salaries to social security.

    Teachers pay 0% to social security, and 0% or at most 2% of salaries for pension entitlements with values roughly 300% or more of social security. And teachers’ entitlements vest at a much younger age than nurses.

    And who pays for these luxurious entitlements for public sector teachers?
    Nurses(among others) who pay extraordinary property tax rates and lose home value annually.

    We could not be any LESS ‘in it together ‘.

  5. Susan is right on, as usual.

    Btw this article was removed by Big Brother.

    Was it deemed anti-semitic?

  6. Public pension people who do not contribute to social security don’t collect social security retirement.

  7. Ginn is a political operative, not a health professional.

    Why post propaganda instead of facts?

    Republicans used to be the responsible ones, now they’re just no-nothing name callers.

    America needs responsible leadership, not this rampant stupidity.

  8. Good comments by Susan. Teachers way, way overcompensated compared to nurses.

    Talk to an experienced ICU or operating room nurse and their contributions, stress, etc
    compared to teachers who have long vacations, small class sizes, not accountable for
    lowering overall student costs, etc.

    Need entire new paridigm for education and its funding. Maybe health care also.

    How about real estate taxes to pay for health care – doctors, nurses, hospitals
    and education NOT paid by real estate taxes but some other way.

    Education and teachers perhaps should compete in market place for jobs based on the best
    outcomes of students and paid accordingly. Parents should be like consumers seeking out
    and buying the best possible products and services. Make teachers directly accountable
    to consumer/parents. Get rid of unions or make them prove that their existence actually
    had a part in producing better student outcomes and at LOWER costs.

  9. Ok, so Ginn tried to dumb it down for ya.

    So try on Kahneman and Tversky’s Nobel Prize winning work on Prospect Theory, that concludes that human decision makers are crap at evaluating risks and are easily swayed by HOW THAT RISK IS FRAMED.

    Is that enough fact for ya Professor?

  10. For a condensed version of this article, go to YouTube and search Kim Iversen.

    Her latest vlog is “Fact vs. Fear “.

    I remember my mentor, the late Dr. Lou Marchi saying all problems can be solved with math.

    We need to compare percentages, not just numbers!

    Of course increasing sanitation is always a good thing.

    Singapore is a very polite, eclectic population that is handling this situation without draconian measures.

    We could do the same here.

  11. The Great American Healthcare Scam: How Kickbacks, Collusion and Propaganda Have Exploded Healthcare Costs in the United States

    Can now be purchased on Amazon for $14.95


    David Belk MD
    Internal Medicine

  12. You will recall I reported that half of Americans don’t change their underwear daily.

    Assuming an exponential distribution, 25% of you change your drawers once every 2 days.

    0.5% of you, once every 20 days.

  13. We don’t know yet how bad COVID-19 will be.

    As I’ve argued elsewhere, initial indications of the inputs to a SIRS epidemic model indicate the damage could be catastrophic.

    Offsetting this point is the fact that, as is always the case early in new epidemics, the initial evidence is often later proven wrong, and even small changes in initial parameters lead to drastically different projections because the models are exponential.

    It is my fervent hope that the initial indications of contagion and mortality turn out to be wrong, or that containment turns out to be effective.

    Having said that, Aaron Ginn’s COVID-19 post (“COVID-19 – Evidence Over Hysteria”), concluding that COVID-19 is likely not to be a serious health issue, is weakly reasoned and weakly evidenced.

    With regard to the first point, his “facts” are highly disputable.

    With regard to the second point, he rarely draws the logical connection between his “facts” and his ultimate conclusion that COVID-19 isn’t going to be a serious health issue.

    Allow me to explain.

    If Ginn wrote, “the sun comes up in the east, and that proves COVID-19 isn’t a problem”, everyone would immediately recognize that the first point, while true, doesn’t prove the conclusion.

    But when he says things such as “total cases are the wrong metric, and that proves COVID-19 isn’t a problem”, there is still no causal link, no chain of reasoning, but it’s a more subtle deception, more credible sounding, because the “fact” is about the same topic.

    But the causal link is still missing.

    Basically, one could take all of Ginn’s arguments and apply them to the flu and the conclusion would be that the U.S. is unlikely to experience 30 million cases of the flu per year on average or experience 38,000 deaths per year on average.

    Except that, of course, we do.

    Hence, by reductio ad absurdum, the conclusion is inescapable that there is a flaw in his reasoning or his evidence.

    However, reductio ad absurdum is intellectually unsatisfying because it doesn’t tell us exactly where the flaws in reasoning or evidence are.

    I therefore encourage people to read Ginn’s posting and apply critical thinking, not simply to accept his arguments at face value.
    Specifically, ask yourself on each point two questions:

    (1) Is his evidence actually conclusive or merely speculative?

    (2) Does this point, even if true, prove COVID-19 won’t be a problem?

    Let’s look at his arguments one by one.

    “Total cases are the wrong metric.”

    There two basic flaws with this contention.

    First, his evidence simply doesn’t prove his conclusion.

    He has a number of charts and some verbiage, but none of it leads to the conclusion that total cases are the wrong metric.

    Second, even if his conclusion is true, how does that prove that COVID-19 won’t be a problem?

    The answer is that he simply doesn’t make the connection between his point and the conclusion that COVID-19 won’t be a problem.

    “Time lapsing new cases gives us perspective”

    His evidence actually shows the U.S. is tracking other countries and doesn’t support a conclusion that COVID-19 won’t be a problem.

    “On a per-capita basis, we shouldn’t be panicking”

    This argument is completely wrong-headed.

    Per capita is NOT the way to assess how diseases grow, only how many people may ultimately be affected.
    The relevant inputs to a SIRS epidemic model are not per capita.

    It’s obvious Ginn has never looked at a SIRS model and doesn’t know the basic inputs.

    “COVID-19 is spreading, but probably not accelerating”

    He’s probably right that the rate of infection is constant on a percentage basis, but his own chart shows a very consistent pattern of a 33% increase per day.

    This is not only a horrendous rate of increase, but a lack of acceleration does not prove COVID-19 isn’t going to be a problem.

    “Watch the Bell Curve”

    Again, an irrelevant point and he never ties his point to his conclusion in a logical fashion.

    To illustrate, the Spanish flu followed a bell shaped curve and 50 million people died.

    So, yes, epidemics tend to follow a bell shaped curve over time.

    That’s the point of the SIRS model.

    It has an exponential growth factor offset by an initially small but growing damping factor.

    The mathematical model works well, although very subject to the size of the inputs.

    But that the epidemic will ultimately end doesn’t prove COVID-19 isn’t going to be a problem.

    “A low probability of catching COVID-19”

    Again, true but irrelevant.

    The probability of contracting the flu from any individual contact is low. But multiple contacts over a short period of time, such as is likely in offices, factories, schools and restaurants, leads to large numbers of cases.

    “Common transmission modes”

    Again, true but irrelevant.

    Yes, transmission is probably largely via direct exposure to someone coughing or sneezing, and only a small percentage will come through door knobs.

    However, this simply doesn’t prove COVID-19 won’t become widespread any more than saying this proves the flu won’t be common next year.

    “COVID-19 is likely to burn off in the summer”

    We actually don’t know if this is true or not.

    Further, it says nothing about recurrence next winter.

    The flu is common in tropical countries, where it follows a different seasonal pattern than in temperate climates.

    Finally, if COVID-19 burns off in the summer, that doesn’t mean we won’t have numerous cases before then or that it won’t recur with a vengeance.
    Once again, a failure to go from “evidence” logically to the conclusion that we shouldn’t be concerned about COVID-19.

    “Strong, but unknown viral effect”

    His argument is that R0, a measure of contagion, is low and declining.
    In point of fact, the evidence for this is weak to nonexistent and his argument that epidemics all follow a bell shaped curve is not evidence that R0 is declining.

    Again, Ginn clearly doesn’t understand the most basic concepts of epidemiology.

    “What about asymptomatic spread?”

    He writes, “On true asymptomatic spread, the data is still unclear but increasingly unlikely.”

    The first part of this statement is true.

    The evidence for the conclusion is mixed and therefore not proven.

    “93% of people who think they are positive aren’t”

    True but irrelevant.

    How could people being wrong about having COVID-19 possibly change how many people really have it or are likely to contract it?

    “1% of cases will be severe”

    We don’t know if it’s 1% or 2.4%, but either way, that doesn’t prove the ultimate number of cases or deaths will be nominal.

    Saying 1% will be severe could still lead to a large number of deaths.

    “Declining fatality rate”

    Again, he divides the number of deaths to date by a rapidly increasing number of cases.

    This produces a low but wrong number.

    The death rate is not determined this way.

    It’s determined by taking a fixed number of cases and noting how many people in that fixed sample died.


    CONCLUSION: The proper method for modeling epidemic risk is a mathematical model known as a SIRS model, and the basic inputs to this type of model are

    (1) how many cases are there right now,

    (2) what is the initial immunity rate,

    (3) how (rapidly) contagious is the disease, and

    (4) what is the mortality rate.

    Ginn doesn’t even mention the SIRS model, makes numerous contentions about factors that are irrelevant in projecting the likely course of a disease, and where he does accidentally address the right factors, provides very limited and often contradictory evidence to dispute the best evidence we have to date.

  14. Who hit the internet kill switch on this linked article?

    What can’t we read now?

  15. looks like China is getting back to work, in Hubei Province and businesses in Wuhan are reopening, https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2020/0311/In-Wuhan-a-cautious-return-to-work-after-coronavirus-ebbs

    0 new internal cases in 3 days. (there are still cases coming in from outside China) Draconian efforts indeed as their economy is already ramping back up since 1st case known December 12th. Here 45 days after notice of the outbreak still getting ready to ramp up, states competing against each other for resources, evaluating travel restrictions, Doctors and Nurses and Hospitals lying that they can’t get PPE because millions are available according to the VP. People complaining on not being able to get tested but that can’t be true either, we found out Tom Hanks, some politicians and several NBA players had it right away.

    Dr. Brett Giroir, the federal health official tasked with overseeing testing, said at a White House briefing Saturday that so far about 195,000 people have been tested in the U.S. out of 328.2 million. But not to worry it looks like this will last into June for the U.S. so plenty of time to say sorry if you or someone you know gets sick or worse.

  16. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezo want “$5 billion in grants or loans to keep commercial space company employees on the job and launch facilities open.”

    They also want the IRS to give them cash for R&D tax credits.

  17. Owl? You are not allowed to read anything they don’t want you to know. You are only allowed to see what they are shoveling at you. It’s been that way for many years now. It is by design. Internet is all but dead. They are turning it completely into a hot streaming pile of bullshit. I warned of dissidents being silenced many years ago, but none wanted to believe. Do you believe now?

    On a side note: Paul is a complete lunatic moron that is working for the new world order by being a puppet of the regime. Nothing he says is based in ANY truth. He is completely following the script. Shun him and his fear porn. Go out and hug your neighbors. They need it now.

  18. Of note, index futures went limit down quickly after opening.

    Do the crazies around here use glass beads to buy things, or do they use federal reserve notes? 🤔

  19. Is there anyone left in the GOP who can even spell?

    What the hell happened to the party of grown-ups?

  20. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged Monday morning after the Federal Reserve took surprising action before the market opened to address dislocations that have been cropping up in financial markets amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has brought to a halt business activity across the globe.

    The Fed on Monday morning said it would buy assets “in the amounts needed” to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy.

    The Fed had previous set a $700 billion limit for asset purchases.

    Everybody gets a car *

  21. The internet is only still available because they need it. They are gathering data on your reaction to their “test”. All you fools are interning everyone with your mind-controlled fear. You are showing them they have won and can move to the next step – the complete lockdown and all your rights GONE! You are being watched and categorized just like China. You are ALL stepping firmly into the trap. You will know the trap has been sprung when they yank the internet away. Remember these words when that happens. It could be very soon. Your right to stand up against any of their lies ends at that point.

  22. Seriously, Cindy – how do you live like this?

    How do you live believing that EVERYTHING is a conspiracy?

    But, also seriously – the crap your spewing is dangerous, and I hope that ZERO people believe a word that comes out of your mouth.

  23. Looks like some of the posters are experiencing med shortages here.

    Data is power.

    The issue here is, we have historical data on all the other virus’ mentioned, not COVID19.

    I can see certain precautions like working from home when the option is available, and even shorter store hours for disinfecting.

    But trains and buses still run.

    Regional flights are still going.

    JB cares less because he has millions to hide behind.

    But decimating the working people is an atrocity.

    This can be controlled better with common sense and extra hygiene measures.

    The problem is finding common sense any more.

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