Another daily briefing, another load of semi-intelligible gibberish. Continued terrorization that we have more cases, although today they can’t exactly tell us how many because they moved information technology platforms and don’t have it all squared away yet. (And the platform appears to be down now because I was going to give you data on the actual number of cases over the last couple of weeks on a daily basis, but I can’t connect.) So the site is back up this morning. Let’s go back a week, to allow for testing reporting lags, here are the daily case totals, based on date of specimen collection, starting July 14 and going backward–636, 594, 322, 237, 693, 694, 750, 681, 752. Pretty scary, right, the way those numbers kept marching ever higher. The last week, based on typical completion rates, is going to be the same. The number isn’t particularly high. Let’s do a period in May, start with May 28, again going backward–576, 682, 795, 412, 358, 399, 789, 982, 767, 856, 973, 311, 344, 797, 794, 732. We aren’t at that overall level now and we are doing much more testing, so again, no reason for any concern about case levels. And for anyone who is paying attention, and I posted on this today, the hospitalization rate and death rate continues to steadily decline, so we are very fortunate to have a small number of cases and very mild cases.
A reporter asked a very good question, and every now and then someone traps these guys with their own flawed reasoning. The reporter noted that the state keeps saying all these new cases are coming from informal events and gatherings, so how is a mask mandate even going to be applicable or make a difference. The answer was Alice in Wonderland-speak. Here is a practically word for word quote from the commissioner. A mask mandate would “serve to reinforce the expectation that it is the norm” to wear one. Uhhh, why would it be the norm, just because you say it is? We should wear them because we should, regardless of whether they work. And it is a lie to say there is increasing “data” about mask effectiveness. There are modeling studies, poorly done and rarely adjusting for confounders, that purport to show an effect. I also posted earlier today on comparisons of a survey of which countries have the highest and lowest rates of mask use and what their case growth looks like. No correlation.
And tragically, a death of an infant was reported today in Minnesota. But after repeated questioning, you know there was something very odd about this death. Despite obviously being very ill, the child was not taken to the hospital. How does that happen? And after first saying there were no underlying conditions, we were later told that the infant had upper and lower respiratory infections and a positive nasal swab for CV. So we don’t know if the lower respiratory infection was coronavirus related or not. There is just something going on here.
I expect the state to continue pulling out all the stops to try to keep the level of fear up. They are going to have a difficult time with that because the Southern and Western state case surge appears to be over and on the decline, there were not a lot of hospitalizations as a percent of cases and the death rate appears to be quite low. I don’t know what the state will come up with to terrorize us next but I am sure they are working on it. Meanwhile, where is that model update they promised us by mid-July. Just so you know, by now, according to the model, we have thousands and thousands of deaths and over 2 million cases. Not sure I read about that in the paper. I am very curious how they will adjust the model framework and parameters to account for reality.