Here is a study in which the researchers compared two pairs of studies, one of which is our beloved Minnesota compared to Wisconsin and one is California compared to Florida. (LD Study) The researchers looked at various levels of suppression measures in the state and epidemic outcomes. Quite enlightening. We have discussed Minnesota and Wisconsin before. Wisconsin, partly because of a court order, has generally had lower levels of suppression effort. But astoundingly, and in defiance of all rational laws of the universe, it has actually had better outcomes, particularly a lower per capita death rate. When you compare California and Florida, you are comparing the state with perhaps the strictest suppression regime with the state with one the least restrictive. Nice table of comparative information about the pairs of states. Graphs of case and death curves, from which you can see very little difference in outcomes. The geographic effect of the pairs is also apparent, with the further south states of Florida and California having different timing on case surges than the northern states. No impact of mask mandate timing is apparent on either cases or deaths. As the authors conclude, there really appears to be no effect of suppression method differences on case levels or deaths.
A quick note on the coronavirus briefing yesterday. Mostly variant terrorism with an amazing display of basic ignorance of the evolving science. If I can keep up with the research, the whole DOH with all its extra funding ought to be able to. As far as I can tell from the current research, the primary variant of concern, B117, may be slightly more transmissibile, may result in higher viral loads, may result in slightly more hospitalizations, and does not impact mortality. But especially in the US, the research is highly confounded by both prior infection levels and the high level of vaccination, especially in the vulnerable groups. So drawing conclusions is very risky. In Minnesota it is beginning to be clear that vaccination has reduced cases, hospitalizations and deaths among the long-term care group and older Minnesotans. One interesting nugget, among fully vaccinated Minnesotans there have been 89 cases, suggesting that the vaccine are indeed not 100% effective. It appears those cases were not serious. And as always, the PCR tests could just be wrong.