A special edition that is just a few observations as we near the end of the year.
Minnesota’s per capita death rate is currently 923 per million. Well above Sweden’s. Florida’s is right at 1000. With a much older population. We will catch them. But, boy, we have just had a wonderful epidemic response, way better than our neighbors and any problems we have are actually our neighbors fault and we have the best data in the country, everyone says so and we are just following the data and science and keeping Minnesotans safe from this horrible danger, and also safe from having jobs, businesses, schools, a social life even with their families and from many other things that some people might consider very important. But we are the best, you betcha.
I have trouble keeping up with how stupid Minnesota’s rules are. While supposedly allowing youth sports to resume, apparently participants are required to wear masks at all times, including during games and practice. Not only is this insanely stupid (what else should we expect from these dunderheads), but it is contrary to the World Health Organization and other medical advice. (WHO Link) You may also recall a recent mask study I summarized finding that masks did impair oxygen levels during exercise. There are cases of serious harm from exercising while wearing a mask. Somehow professional and college sports manage to be played without them. Yet our very own special breed of knuckleheads think they need to mandate masks during these activities. What they really want is for there to be no youth sports.
The number of active cases, people who are infectious has dropped to a remarkably low level in Minnesota, at least according to DOH statistics. If you add the people no longer needing isolation and the total deaths, it is more than total confirmed PCR cases, suggesting there are no active cases in the state. The state I believe recognized this, so this week they started, without notice, including probable cases in their calculation, so there are a few thousand active cases by that method. That obviously doesn’t account for undetected cases, but the state’s own method of calculation would lead you to believe there are at most a few thousand infectious people in the state. Your odds of encountering one are negligible. This again has nothing to do with mitigation efforts and everything to do with pure seasonality; the demonstration once again that the virus has a narrow favorable environmental niche and can really do well in those conditions, but not when they end.
A further point of stupidity–we have now tested almost 3 million Minnesotans, over half the population, at least once, to what end? And we continue to test mindlessly with no ability to distinguish real, infectious persons from low positives and no functional contact tracing program to do anything with the test results. Just an abysmal joke.