The Dictator’s panic machine was out in full force at yesterday’s coronavirus briefing. I have no idea why they are terrorizing the population. The charts make it clear that while cases are somewhat higher, and really, not greatly higher, in recent weeks, there is no change in hospitalizations and deaths have dwindled rapidly. (Thanks to C. Nelson for the chart.) There is literally no cause for concern and we should be thanking our lucky stars. The top chart shows basically the entire epidemic in Minnesota. You can see before that when cases were high, hospitalizations followed right along. Cases are just barely back to where they were in May, but this time hospitalizations haven’t budged and deaths are very low. We are identifying very low severity cases now, and having to do a mammoth amount of testing to find them. The lower chart just shows you July, and while daily cases have doubled from the very start of the month, there is no movement in hospitalizations or deaths. And even at the low level of deaths if you look at the chart you see the kind of weekly cycle that results from the state’s refusal to give us deaths by the date the person died, instead of when the state chooses to report it. The data on hospitalizations is equally frustrating, we should be given number of admissions on a specific day, number of discharges on a specific day, average length of stay and daily census. Otherwise trying to figure out trend is very difficult. (More text on the briefing below the posts.)
Here were the basic messages at the briefing yesterday: be guilty for not doing enough to keep cases from rising–whatever you are doing its not enough and you are letting down your fellow citizens; rat out your friends and neighbors if they do anything you don’t like; continue to be very frightened and terrified, don’t look at charts like the ones above and think you aren’t in danger; and we are threatening you that if you don’t do exactly what we say, we are going to turn those dials back down. All classic totalitarian, dictatorial techniques, so exactly what we should expect from our Dictator. When asked when we should expect to see the effect of the mask mandate, they said three weeks, which is a lie, if it makes that much difference it will show up in a week, since the average incubation period is around five days. They said the numbers are going in the wrong direction–but look at those charts. Cases are still not at the sustained level that they were in May. And we are doing two to three times more tests a day. Looks to me like hospitalizations and deaths, especially as a proportion of cases, are in a great place. Almost all the new cases are asymptomatic and mild. So what is the problem? My God, if the multi-million dollar Minnesota model had been right, we would have over 20,000 deaths and 4 million cases by now. You read that right, those are the projections for the last version of that model under this mitigation scenario.
I will tell you what the problem is. The Dictator has shot all his bullets. He has no clue what is actually happening with the epidemic or why. He wants people terrorized and thinking he still needs to have his emergency powers and be issuing mask mandates. But sooner or later he is screwed now. Either things completely cool off and people are going to get very frustrated with why we are still doing things that keep over 20% of Minnesotans unemployed and every week put more Minnesota businesses under for good, and how he can explain the deaths and worsening health that are resulting from his orders, or the dreadful state and local government financial condition. Or cases do begin to actually rise, after he has repeatedly told people that the lockdowns and now the mask mandate will make the whole problem disappear. So we can expect to see ever more desperate actions and words as the weeks wear on.