No matter what position you take on lockdowns, masks, Hydroxychloroquine, or any other COVID-related issue, there’s a doctor or expert out there whose opinion you can easily grab and use to bolster your case. Indeed, most people have formed their opinions on what should be done about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and consequently have decided which “experts” they want to listen to, follow on social media, and share material from. For better or worse, to a large degree, we’re firmly entrenched in our own echo chambers. So to a degree, appealing to authority is almost a moot point at this point in the game, whether your “authority” is the CDC and WHO, who have consistently been wrong more than they have been right, or that group of doctors who were censored and even dismissed from jobs last week for daring to express an unpopular yet sincerely held medical opinion.
What isn't a moot point, however, is observable patterns, which exist independently of what any of the “experts” have to say. Now I’m no doctor, and neither are most of you, but I am a functioning, thinking adult with at least half a brain (some of you may dispute this, and you’re certainly entitled to your opinion!). I’m also capable of analyzing statistics, reading charts, and noticing patterns. And the patterns I’m noticing have me scratching my head. As someone who doesn’t sit well with cognitive dissonance, media gaslighting, and especially governmental overreach, if I’m being told I shouldn’t or can’t go out and that I’m not allowed to breathe free air when I do, the evidence on the ground should damn-well comport with the “logic” they are giving us to justify their extreme measures. But they aren’t, not in any observable, logical way.
Let’s start with Sweden, that quasi-socialist winter wonderland of woke snowflakes that somehow decided to go against the grain on COVID and consequently went seemingly overnight from the world’s darling to the world’s next Khmer Rouge. Not only did Sweden NOT implement draconian lockdowns when this whole thing started, they never even mandated mask-wearing (oh, the horror!). According to nearly all the “experts,” Sweden was supposed to be something like a scene out of the Book of Revelation by now, complete with rivers of blood and bodies piled up to horses’ bridles. Hospitals were going to be overrun. People were going to be dying in the streets. There was going to be carnage unlike nothing anyone had ever seen...
Except, none of that happened. Not even close. Absent an early Cuomo-style failure to adequately protect nursing homes that hurt their numbers early on, that country’s strategy was a tremendous success. Sweden implemented a few sustainable, common-sense measures, bent toward the storm, and rode it through. And now, they are reaping the rewards. Last week, Bloomberg reported on the country’s “‘Promising’ Covid-19 Data as New Cases Plunge.” State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell and the Health Agency of Sweden report declining cases since a late June peak and a death rate that has plunged right along with it. “That Sweden has come down to these levels is very promising,” said Tegnell. “The curves are going down and the curves for the seriously ill are beginning to approach zero.”
Everyone from the lamestream media to President Trump himself disparaged Sweden’s approach, and they were all ridiculously, cartoonishly wrong. Now that Sweden has obtained some degree of herd immunity and is back to some sense of relative normalcy, where do they go to get their apology?
Other inconvenient patterns exist closer to home. Consider South Dakota, where its courageous leader and (hopefully) future presidential candidate, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, steadfastly refused to shut down her state nor require masks. Aside from a bad outbreak in a meat-packing plant early on, the infection and death rate in that admittedly less population-dense state has remained consistently low.
Want a more populous state? How about Georgia, where Brian Kemp was supposedly conducting an “experiment in human sacrifice” by reopening his state too soon and not mandating masks at the state level. Cases did rise (but haven’t spiked) nearly TWO MONTHS after their lockdown ended, but deaths are still below 4,000 statewide and are nowhere near any sort of drastic spike. Now, it even looks like hospitalizations have peaked and are trending down.
For those who insisted we needed New York-style lockdowns in the Sunbelt states of Arizona, Texas, and Florida to fight those surges, consider this data pattern from former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson: “AZ/FL/TX: 60 million people, no lockdowns (now), 23,000 peak hospitalizations, 500ish (hopefully) peak daily deaths. New York: 20 million people, hard lockdown, 18,000 peak hospitalizations, 1000 peak daily deaths. Let’s lockdown forever!” Indeed.
Other narrative-inconvenient data patterns exist in the places that supposedly did things “right.” Japan and even Hong Kong are seeing small case spikes - but big trend changes - despite militaresque adherence to universal masking the entire duration of the pandemic. And then there’s California, land of fruits and nuts, whose governor implemented a statewide mask mandate on June 18. Two weeks later, cases were three times what they were before the mandate and have continued to roll along at around the 10,000 mark every day since. (Have you noticed that leftists who criticize surging red states for not doing “enough” mysteriously leave California out?) Globally, Brazil, India, and Mexico have all experienced significant spikes in cases case and death rates lately despite early masking requirements on significant portions of their populations. So apparently, those who told us coronavirus would be pretty much eliminated if we would just wear masks for a few weeks were either ignorant or lying or both.
All of the above, along with plenty of other data patterns I didn’t have room to mention, raise the following questions: If lockdowns are the answer, why did Georgia cases rise two months after theirs ended? Why did Sweden never get overwhelmed? If they just work while they’re being implemented, what is to stop the virus when people do come out? If masks work, why is the virus surging in places that implement and strictly enforce their use? Why are places that never masked doing fine?
These data patterns don’t suggest that COVID-19 isn’t dangerous or deadly to some people, but they do suggest that viruses are pretty good at doing what they do and there’s not a lot that humans can do – especially through lockdowns or face coverings – to stop them. Like it or not, the likely only way out is going to be some form of herd immunity. Fortunately, especially with T cells and the fact that many more have had it than the actual case count, we could be much farther along than we think.
Follow Scott on Twitter @SKMorefield