More Coronavirus Miscellania

By June 12, 2020 Commentary

An article from Scotland reveals that a significant percent of all coronavirus cases were contacted in a hospital and over 200 patients died as a result.  (Scotland Story)

Data from Spain confirms that a number of deaths have occurred as a result of the lockdowns.  Excess deaths during the period of the epidemic are about 40% more than can be accounted for by coronavirus disease deaths and the country’s officials say most of the deaths may be related to people who avoided health care out of fear or lack of access.   (Spain Story)

The World Health Organization has stated that it finds little evidence around the world that asymptomatic transmission is occurring.  The head of WHO’s infectious disease group made the statements after reviewing the research.  (WHO Statement)

A new paper at the National Bureau of Economic Research supports the notion that ending Wisconsin’s lockdown made no difference in infections or deaths.  (NBER Paper)  The authors looked at trends before and after repeal and constructed a “synthetic Wisconsin” based on states that kept their lockdowns in place during the entire analysis period.   They found that social distancing did not greatly diminish after repeal, and found no effect, as stated before, on case and death trends, including among some counties that kept local shutdown orders in place.  According to other sources, however, including IMHE, Wisconsin’s social distancing diminished rapidly beginning on the day the order was vacated.  The authors ended their analysis a couple of weeks ago but I can assure you from looking at the data on a daily basis that there would no change in the conclusions at this point, and it is almost four weeks after the order was issued.    There can’t be a much stronger statement about the futility of the lockdown orders.

And here is one reason why the stay-at-home orders may have been just plain stupid.  The Wall Street Journal has a story about the virus hitting large families, with many people crowded into a residence.  (WSJ Story)  The authors found that infections disproportionately occurred in places with large households.  Other research has suggested that home transmission is the largest single source of getting infected.  So again, how brilliant is it to make people stay at home.

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