ChrisWeigant.com

Cautious Pandemic Optimism

[ Posted Tuesday, October 12th, 2021 – 16:05 UTC ]

Is it time to start getting a little relieved about the state of the COVID-19 pandemic? I've been struck with a cautious case of optimism while doomscrolling over the past few weeks, and I now tend to think the country will likely return to the same sort of semi-normalcy we all experienced in July, probably right after the year-end holidays. I think January and February are going to be very good months, to put this another way.

I really have two reasons to be even cautiously optimistic that this will turn out to be the case. The first is the increasing level of both vaccinations and the (at least partial) natural immunity from those who have already contracted the coronavirus. To put it more plainly, I think we are within a few months of at least some degree of herd immunity.

The second reason is I don't expect any winter surge in new cases to be as large a spike as the Delta mutation was. Now, I fully admit I could be wrong about this one -- there could always be a new Greek-lettered variant that proves to be more virulent than even Delta. If one appears and spreads in the United States, then we could indeed see another sharp spike upwards, so I realize I'm on shaky ground here.

These two reasons are really intertwined. The more people there are who are vaccinated, the harder it will be for any variant to wreak havoc. And we're just as the start of the rollout of the booster shots, which weren't available during the Delta crisis.

There will be some important decisions made within the next week or so. The first will be approval for booster shots from both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. If both boosters are approved along the same lines as the Pfizer one, it will mean a large portion of the already-vaccinated will become even more resistant to "breakthrough" infections. That will help the overall picture. And the people who will be eligible before the holiday season will be those who were in the first few groups who got the initial vaccination -- groups who were eager to be vaccinated, to put it another way. These were the people who jumped at the chance to be vaccinated in the first place, so there won't be much in the way of "vaccine hesitancy" for the boosters, one would assume.

The second big decision will be approval of vaccines for children ages 5 to 11. This means approximately 30 million Americans will be newly-eligible. Just like with adults, there will be an initial wave of kids getting their "Fauci ouchie" shots, which will only serve to boost the overall numbers for the whole population. Indeed, this could be what does push us all above that herd immunity threshold. Which will be good news for everyone, obviously.

Let's look at some numbers (from the two Washington Post pandemic-tracking data pages). The rolling average of new cases reported each day has now dropped below 90,000. Delta peaked at the start of September at over 165,000 per day, so this has dropped by almost half (down to 53 percent of the crest). The slope downward from the fourth wave's peak has not been as steep as the one which followed the third wave, but it's pretty close (it's still dropping pretty fast, in other words). Hopefully this metric will be at a much more manageable level right before we hit Thanksgiving.

The percentage of adults who have gotten at least their first vaccine shot is now up to 78.5 percent (this was the metric President Joe Biden was shooting to hit 70 percent on by Independence Day, just to remind you). In raw numbers, 217.4 million Americans have gotten their first shot, and 187.7 million of them have been fully vaccinated. There are 280 million Americans eligible for vaccinations right now (age 12 and above), out of a total 332 million population. And the number of those who are eligible will increase to around 310 million when the vaccine is approved for kids age 5-11.

Using the whole population as a denominator, 65.5 percent of all Americans (including those who are not yet eligible) have gotten their first shot, while 56.5 percent have been fully vaccinated. That's fairly good, but not quite good enough for herd immunity. There have been over 45 million reported cases of COVID in this country, but it is impossible to know how many of these people have been vaccinated and how many are just relying on natural immunity. Either way, this has to add to the total at least in part, when attempting to figure out how close we are to herd immunity.

If two-thirds of newly-eligible schoolchildren get vaccinated fairly quickly (this is probably far too optimistic an estimate, I do realize), then the total numbers vaccinated would get boosted by an extra 20 million. That would certainly help get the population at large over the 70 percent mark. Also, vaccine mandates are becoming a reality for millions of workers, which so far has done a great job at getting people to get their shots (most companies report 90-plus-percent rates after instituting mandates). So very slowly, the non-vaccinated are becoming vaccinated. Perhaps everything together (non-vaccinated adults getting their shots, schoolchildren newly-eligible, and the people with some degree of natural immunity after surviving the virus) will push the whole American population as high as 75 percent immune. That's pretty good, and will at least be within the ballpark of herd immunity (it's impossible to know exactly what percentage will achieve this, I should mention).

Since the last time I wrote about the pandemic a few weeks back (which was also a cautiously optimistic column), things have improved greatly. The Delta surge did crest. The South ceased to be such a hotspot as their rates of infection fell (and the crisis of overflowing hospitals eased). There was no Labor Day surge (following all the holiday travel and gatherings). And the trend has continued downward ever since. This is all good news.

Because it is good news, however, it has all largely disappeared from the nightly news on television. They are much more geared towards: "Crisis! Calamity! Be very afraid!" then they are at informing everyone that things have actually gotten better. Perhaps when the decisions for boosters and younger schoolchildren are announced, they'll at least marginally cover the improving trends.

The bad news is how far Republican politicians have doubled down on aiding and abetting the viral pandemic. It's like being pro-COVID is now a major plank in the party's platform. But all of this dangerous nonsense is truly swimming against the tide, as the vaccination numbers prove.

If things continue as they have for the past month, we will all be in a much better place by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. Not as good a place as we were in July quite yet, but at least solidly heading in that direction. Then we'll have the two holidays to get through, which simply are not going to be anywhere near as bad as they were last year. Last year, the vaccine didn't even exist by Thanksgiving, and only a tiny amount of people had gotten it by New Year's Day. This time, the population should be over 70 percent vaccinated (perhaps even as high as 75 percent by January). This means even if there is a spike with holiday travel it should be far smaller than before. Hopefully, it will also be far smaller than the Delta spike as well.

By January, massive holiday travel won't be an issue anymore. And any holiday spikes should be burning out. With any luck, the country might get back to where we were last July by perhaps next February. To state it all another way: we could be a lot closer to the functional end of the pandemic than now seems possible. Which is why I am indeed cautiously optimistic, at this point.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

46 Comments on “Cautious Pandemic Optimism”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    The more people there are who are vaccinated, the harder it will be for any variant to wreak havoc.

    Any variant? Aren't you forgetting about the variants yet to emerge that could be resistent to current vaccines?

    What if we (and by 'we' I mean citizens of the world, heh) have to go through a whole other round of vaccinations to protect us from the new vaccine-resistant variant(s)?

    That's not at all far-fetched - on the contrary! What surprises me most about this pandemic and how the world has dealt with it, or not, is that more variants haven't taken hold that are far more infectious/vaccine-resistant than the ones we have seen so far.

    Viruses mutate. That's what they do. It's their own singular raison d'etre, in other words. And, considering the small percentage of the world's population that is currently fully vaxed, I'm afraid that we are ALL living on borrowed time unless we change the way we are dealing with this pandemic.

  2. [2] 
    andygaus wrote:

    Yes, perhaps by February, the crisis will have passed, and Republican governors will say, "See? There never was any problem. See how right I was to stand for freedom?"

  3. [3] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz-
    Good points.

    Vaccines alone are not going to alleviate all risks.

    Vaccines cannot be prepared in time to deal with vaccine resistant variants before they spread because we will only know about them after they have spread and new vaccines cannot be made or distributed in time to stop the initial spread from becoming a major spreading event.

    What we should do is work on the paper strip tests that show when a person is shedding the virus and put together a stand-by manufacturing and distribution system to make and distribute these tests when and where there is a new variant immediately.

    These tests can be modified faster than a vaccine and slow the spread while a new vaccine is made.

    They take about 15 minutes to get results and would cost about one dollar each. Right now people can be shedding and not know it.

    With these tests they could know when they are shedding and stay home.

  4. [4] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    We should hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Indeed.

    It is true that vaccines alone won't get us out of this pandemic, especially when we are so far away from equitable distribution of vaccines globally.

    And, I agree we need a much more efficient testing regime. But, will enough people take the test and stay home if they are sick? Doubtful.

    And, I do love your sense of urgency around testing.

    You know, fighting viruses ain't rocket science, even during a pandemic. All I can say is that I hope lessons have been learned and that everyone recognizes that there needs to be a massive investment in public health and the public health architecture that is required to test, isolate, quarantine contacts etc etc etc.

    And, people just need to wash their damn hands and stop being sick in public, for God's sake!!! :)

  6. [6] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    If only 50% of people that take the test and test positive (which should at least be close to the same amount in that area taking the test that got vaccinated) that's a 50% reduction of transmission by those people.

    So if 80% are taking the test in an area of outbreak and 50% of those people stay home when testing positive for shedding that's a 40% reduction in transmission.

    The odds are that more than 50% that test positive will stay home. Otherwise why take the test?

    That's quite a reduction in contact tracing also.

    Not rocket science. Simple math.

  7. [7] 
    Kick wrote:

    Chris

    I think your outlook is likely accurate for a large number of areas/states in America, but I can tell you for a fact that they're expecting and ramping up for the holiday spikes in the South.

  8. [8] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    3

    These tests can be modified faster than a vaccine and slow the spread while a new vaccine is made.

    Testing for a virus doesn't exactly slow its spread.

    They take about 15 minutes to get results and would cost about one dollar each. Right now people can be shedding and not know it.

    You don't say! *laughs* Right now, people being notified they have COVID are walking out of hospitals AMA -- against medical advice -- and carrying on with their lives knowingly shedding the virus.

    With these tests they could know when they are shedding and stay home.

    Not bloody likely.

  9. [9] 
    Kick wrote:

    Elizabeth Miller
    5

    But, will enough people take the test and stay home if they are sick? Doubtful.

    This.

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kick,

    Testing for a virus doesn't exactly slow its spread.

    Actually, strategic testing for a virus, when done right, has quite a lot to do with slowing its spread.

  11. [11] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    hey kick, how ya been?

  12. [12] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    Previous and current testing doesn't do a good job of stopping the spread because the results take too long because the test tests for the presence of the virus.

    It is a different kind of test than the paper strips that test for only shedding which is why the results take 15 minutes instead of day or two or more.

    That's a day or two or more of less spreading than the virus test for those that stay home and makes the paper strip test a superior test in stopping the spread.

    Just because some people leave hospitals or would leave home knowing they are infected doesn't mean everyone will. And infected doesn't mean shedding.

    Why is it doubtful that people that have been vaccinated would take the test and stay home?

    It actually seems likely that they would take the paper strip test and stay home.

    Anyone here that is vaccinated want to claim they would not use the paper strips (if provided for free like the vaccines) and stay home if they tested positive for shedding?

  13. [13] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    For what it's worth, here in the UK lateral flow tests are widely available for free--our local environmental health agency sent cartons of them to places like churches and community centers, or they can be picked up from most pharmacies and some supermarkets. We're recommended to test twice a week. The result shows in about 15 minutes, although the recommendation is to report after 30. Mass self-reporting also adds to the national picture. A positive report means getting the slower but more accurate PCR test.

    It's not pleasant, especially if you have a strong gag reflex, but it's all simple enough. People who really can't do the back of their throat can swab both nostrils instead, which is also done for younger children. My younger daughter and son-in-law, both professional musicians, sometimes have to test before every rehearsal and concert, although both are vaccinated.

    That's not to say everyone does, and some only will if forced to, but anything that reduces the number of symptom-free carriers or people at the 'I think it's just a cold' stage being around other people is going to help.

    (We discovered, through a volunteer survey, that we both must have had Covid last spring as we both have disease antibodies and vaccine antibodies, although we didn't have enough symptoms--no fever--to be tested at the time, and wasn't unlike a really bad cold or flu. We were definitely ill, but nowhere near needing medical care and were only really ill for a few days each.)

  14. [14] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I'm not as optimistic as you, Chris. And I wouldn't be even if the Trumpanzies weren't so anti-vax, nor if I somehow knew that there weren't more variants on the way.

    I think the holidays will prove far worse than you expect because international travelers are more of the mix and its only folks in the developed world that have any kind of vax-or-otherwise-gained herd immunity. It will be worse in Trump country, and Covid is going to keep rattling around our country and across the world and back a for the rest of our lives.

  15. [15] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    Since you have now written two columns in the last few weeks about progress with this pandemic, isn't it time for you to weigh in on the pandemic that has been going on for decades?

    I sent you an email about Ralph discussing One Demand.

    It is now in the public discourse.

    Perhaps you were waiting to see how it would play out in the comments. It was just more of the usual trolling, dodges and no rational feedback/discussion.

    While I don't remember who they were so they might not be here anymore, but there were some commenters that said things like if you get someone else to wrote/talk about One Demand (or VV as it may have been that long ago) then I will say CW should write about it.

    Anyone still here remember being one of those commenters?

    What do you think about what Ralph and Prof.Schwartz said? What do you think about my response?

    Stop behaving like Brave Sir Robin and show the commenters here how rational discussion can be done.

    Well, maybe not quite Brave Sir Robin.

    You have have to first at least show up before you can run away.

  16. [16] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Do you understand English?

    Do you even read these comments through before you fail to address what's in them?

    Are you too lazy to actually rebut anyone else's arguments? Or simply unwilling to try?

    Do you live in a world where calling names works to convince people and demonstrates your superior intellect?

    Tell ya what, you keep on pretending that who you are and what you're doing is making OD a game changing difference.

    Signed --

    Brave Sir Robin

    Great. Now I have the Monty Python "Sir Brave Robin" tune stuck in my head.

  17. [17] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    MtnCaddy-

    The Monty Python references are somewhat appropriate as Don is the rhetorical equivalent of the Black Knight...

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, everyone!

    I have an idea ...

    ... for a theme(s) at our Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party!

    Captain Kirk returns to space as William Shatner boldly goes where few others have.

    His Blue Origin space travel mission was a great success as he returned safely back to Mother Earth.

    Not bad for a ninety year old, eh?

    So, how about we highlight our favourite space songs this Sunday night?

    And, Rolling Stone released an updated list of the 500 Best Songs of All Time last month - so, lets also play our favourites from this list Sunday night!

    I know that we Weigantians are quite capable of doing both - can't wait for Sunday night!

  19. [19] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ...Space. The final frontier...

  20. [20] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [17]

    Day-yam. You nailed it.

  21. [21] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Liz,

    Are you sure you want to boldly go where no man was meant to go?

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You expect me to click on that?

  23. [23] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Coward (16)-
    I understand English, trolling, lying, projection when you do it. and that is all you do.

    I read and responded appropriately to each comment. You have not.

    You keep pretending instead of having the courage and integrity to act like an adult.

    Play ball or go away.

  24. [24] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi (17)-
    That is an insult because it is not true.

    And even if it were since you all are acting like Brave Sir Robin and not King Arthur it would not matter because you would just run away instead of engaging.

    The Brave Sir Robin references are not insults because they are true (your standard). They fit the facts in the comments and yours does not.

  25. [25] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW_ how about boldly going where no commenter has gone before to show them how it's done right? If you can.

  26. [26] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Liz,

    It's just an innocent youtube video totally on subject, but painfully so...

  27. [27] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Don,

    Back up your accusations! The word salad defense fools no one but yourself.

    You wrote in the Nader comments:

    Neither Trump or Bernie ran small donor campaigns. Both got more total money from big donors.

    According to government data, at least for Bernie, that is wrong for both 2016 and 2020. Can you back up your accusation? Do you have proof the government data is in error? Time to put up or shut up, your bluff has been called...

  28. [28] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi-
    All I could find that said anything about the percentage of small donors was an article saying that he got 54% of his 180 million collected in 2020 from small donors. This article on open secrets just makes the claim in one sentence but the 180 million number is different than the FEC website and other numbers provided in your link to open secrets.

    I have seen many such articles where the author confused the small contributions with small donors and this could be case here.

    CW himself did that.

    But since no real information is available I will concede the point that Bernie got more money form small donors. It seems to be information that the powers that be do not want people to find.

    I know I read articles that said he got around 45% in 2016 and got more from small donors in 2020, but
    searches only come up with unrelated articles.

    There is no such information availble on the FEC website. If you can find any let me know. Is that the source of your government data?

    Putting Bernie Sanders 2020 small donor percentage yeilded no relevant results on open secrets, FEC or google. Maybe I just don't know how to word the searches but that seems to me like it should have produced relevant information.

    So Bernie got more money from small donors.

    Not a big deal. That was a garnish and not the main point of my comment.

    But since that point has been conceded by default due to a lack of corroborating evidence I could find on either side of the issue, let's see if you can address that Bernie and Trump still got a lot of money from big donors and the rest of the comment.

    That means that they did not run small donors campaigns.

    They ran small donor and big donor campaigns.

    So to say they ran small donor campaigns is still not accurate.

    That is only accurate if it is an all small donor campaign.

    Bernie did try to deceive people by talking about the size of contributions.

  29. [29] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    You keep pretending instead of having the courage and integrity to act like an adult.

    Play ball or go away.

    Before you 'cuse me,
    Take a look at yourself.

  30. [30] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Coward-
    Not a relevant quote.

    You are the pretender. You show no courage or integrity.

    If you behave like an adult and engage in the discussion that you spend so much effort avoiding, it will be reciprocated by me.

    When I have behaved like an adult an offered rational discussion it has been reciprocated with childish trolling by more than just you. Then you get upset when i give it back.

    Play ball or go away.

  31. [31] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Don,

    They ran small donor and big donor campaigns.

    No, they just ran campaigns.

    Most of your Nader reply is rationalizing why Bernie did not run a small donor campaign followed by your standard OD boiler plate. These are two heavy weights in the political game, one an Emeritus Professor of Law who probably knows more about this subject in his pinky finger than your entire existence and you are wrongly telling them how it is. Interesting strategy. Lucky for you, the reading of your comment was probably left to staff...

    Their point seems to be that small donations are not a particularly useful strategy as the Trump republicans are quite good with them as well.

    I would think for the gerrymandering angle you would have to demonstrate that as the the ratio of small donations increases, there is a less chance of wanting to tilt the advantage to their party. A tall order as one of the surprising politicians that are good with small donations is Gaetz who IMO is not known for non self serving thinking.

    And yes, I understand you are obsessed with small donor as the only solution. I think the rest of the world would prefer some proof that it would work before jumping on your bandwagon...

  32. [32] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi-
    They just ran campaigns?

    So they did not run small donor campaigns as Ralph and Prof.Schwartz said?

    Other than they both got more money from big donors, what part of the rationalizing and the boiler plate is a problem for you and why.

    I know what their point is.

    One of my points is that taking any big money corrupts politicians with divided loyalties. History has shown these politicians are more loyal to the big money interests.

    Another is point is that there is enough money available in small donations so that politicians do not have to take any big money. Bernie has shown that people are willing.

    Ralph has made the point that politicians want our votes more than big money. He has also said if you don't protest, don't make a demand you will be ignored.

    Bernie took a step in the right direction and created the opportunity for citizens to take the next step to demand small donor only campaigns and enforce that demand with their votes.

    The gerrymandering would be affected by the uncertainty (as explained in my comment the previous week that Ralph quoted from) that the small donor candidates and One Demand particiants could cause.

    With 10% of voters participating in 2022 there would be some districts above the 10% average at 15-20%. This would be enough to flip some districts from one CMP it is gerrynmandered for to the other party.

    Or even enough to have a small donor candidate win the primary which could also cause a district flip.

    Then more people would participate in 2024 making for more uncertainty and electing more small donor candidates including the possibility of third party or independent candidates making for more uncertainty as there would then be more than just a binary choice.

    Uncertainty is the enemy of gerrymandering and essential to a healthy democracy and to making politicians more responsive to voters instead of taking voters for granted because the voters are predictable and the politicians have not paid the price of losing votes when they are not responsive.

  33. [33] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    And an off year election without the distraction of and money going to a presdential race when traditionally there is lower turnout, 10% of the 2020 voters participating in One Deamnd in 2022 could be more than 10% of the 2022 vote.

    Doesn't it make sense to get 2020 voters that would not vote in 2022 to use their for this purpose instead of wasting it by not voting?

    That might inspire some 2020 non-voters to vote in 2024 or even 2022. They are not going to start voting for more of the same, but some do when they sense a possibility of change (Jesse Ventura, Ross Perot and even Obama and Trump).

  34. [34] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    it's a fabulous story, but without something yummy to eat the system breaks down.

  35. [35] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet-
    Absolutely correct!

    When citizens demand that politicians stop eating the yummy big money, the system of big money controlling our political system will break down.

    Glad you're finally on board!

  36. [36] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    You've been eating money all this time? Well no wonder you're always so grumpy! Try pie instead!

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Heh.

  38. [38] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-6,12

    "Not rocket science. Simple math."

    There is nothing simple about the math.

    see the paper "Error rates in SARS-CoV-2 testing examined with Bayes' theorem", reference below:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8080131/

    The takeaway from this paper directly refutes your bright idea:

    "The analysis suggests that many of the people with mild symptoms and positive test results are unlikely to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 in some regions. It is concluded that current and foreseen alternative tests can not be used to “clear” people as being non-infected."

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I believe Don's point was that it is very important to have a reliable and timely testing regime. And, he is right about that.

  40. [40] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    TS-
    No it doesn't.

    At one point it says that testing can be useful in an emergency situation.

    An outbreak of a new variant in an area is an emergency situation.

    But I do not trust the conclusions.

    At one point it also makes the assumption that the paper strip tests have the same limitations as other tests.

    This is just a case of garbage in - garbage out.

    Looks like propaganda hiding behind a theorem.

  41. [41] 
    TheStig wrote:

    EM-39

    My point, and the point of the paper I cited, is:

    At this stage in the epidemic, mass testing for infection doesn't buy much benefit compared to mass vaccination.

    Inappropriate mass viral testing poses significant social, educational and economic risks to individuals that are not currently outweighed by trivial benefits to the population at large.

    A fully vaccinated individual is very unlikely to suffer death or hospitalization from COVID. A fully vaccinated individual is also very unlikely to infect an unvaccinated person..at home, school or the workplace. Determining who is at low risk is simple: just ask for their vaccination card (and make a phone call to determine if the card is valid or bogus).

    In contrast, testing individuals for COVID infection at work, school etc. is very inefficient. The tests are often wrong... especially in younger populations. Even if the test does correctly identify a COVID carrier, the virus has likely spread to others by the time you send the individual home. On the other hand, if the flagged individual is a false positive, this will become apparent in a short period of time. The flagged individual will be mad as hell about the mistake and let everybody know about it. The local news will only be too happy to spread the story. We don't need more gasoline on the existing social fire.

    Yes, direct testing for the virus can be useful in some circumstances...but mostly as early warning at the population level. We are well past the early warning phase of the epidemic. Late warning is at best pointless, at worst it is highly divisive.

    Harris - you constantly spout slogans you can't back up. When you try, you look foolish. Check out your converts to post ratio. Sad.

  42. [42] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Spouting slogans?

    Just because you cite someone that wrote an article that is propaganda does not mean that the propaganda is true.

    I took what it said in the article you cited and found fault with it.

    Check all the ratios you want from that article.

    It is garbage in- garbage out.

    That's not a slogan, it is a description.

    What ever is plugged in to the theorem determines what comes out of it.

    I pointed out an obvious flaw in what goes in.

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    TS,

    Mass viral testing is NEVER a good idea.

    Testing needs to be strategic and part of a larger package of public health measures (isolating cases, tracing all close contacts and quarantining those contacts and supporting them through their quarantine) if it is going to be effective.

  44. [44] 
    TheStig wrote:

    DH-42

    The definition of propaganda is pretty broad, but you seem seem to use the term in the sense of spreading disinformation, or more plainly, lies, for political purposes. What disinformation do you see in the paper? Be specific.

    The Bayesian Statistics applied in the paper are mainstream in the field of epidemiology. The paper was subjected to peer review. Are all the professionals wrong? What are your professional qualifications? You don't seem have any.

    If there is any propagandist in this little drama, it is you! Time for you to S.T.F.U.

  45. [45] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    It was in comment 40.

    It is not uncommon for someone with credentials to spout bullshit for many different reasons.

  46. [46] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Harris: have you been COVID vaccinated?

    Since you will ask if I have, the answer is yes.

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