The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Agency of Pseudo-Skepticism & Cultivated Ignorance

My Take on Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (2019)

Here is my set of positions on Covid-19:

Covid-19 is a real, highly communicable, and dangerous virus; deadly primarily to our beloved fellow citizens over the age of 65 and those bearing specific medical vulnerabilities. Covid is not a hoax. It is a grave societal/pandemic concern. All my analysis and commentary has reinforced this concern from the very start. This danger mandates action on all our parts.

If you are at high risk (Age 65+ or co-morbidity), you should get the vaccine. If you are healthy and younger in age, I cannot make that decision for you but I would err toward the vaccine, all things being equal. Just be warned that the vaccine bears its own set of adverse events, while as well – a waning in its efficacy is clearly showing in the data, especially as it regards the Delta variant. You will need the booster no doubt.

Beware of those who insist that there is no need to research or apply treatments for Covid, ‘because we have a vaccine’ or ‘because we control it through lockdown’. This is a human rights crime, and those who imply such logic should be dismissed from their medical or governmental position once the crisis is endemic. Treatment is the first duty of medicine, and an appeal to ignorance fallacy regarding its supposed absence merely serves to cause harm.1

I advocated for a limited sequestration when knowledge level was low, Covid was escalating very fast, hospitals were overfull, and iCFR was uncertain early on (reported as being ~3 to 4%). I advocate for the wearing of N95 masks (I am not and have never been ‘anti-mask’ as MIT lazily bucket-characterized my work here: MIT Data Visualizations Behind Covid Skepticism – my firm designs labs and clean rooms as part of its service base, I am a pro-mask designer and planner, and am a mask advocate for Covid as well), social distancing, hygiene/cleanliness, modified HVAC and sewage/manure exposures, limited large gatherings and other NPIs as would help limit a peak surge of Covid-19. These actions will have limited effect on its eventual seroprevalence however. Our best course of action short of a safe and effective vaccine, is a level of herd immunity inside the 20% of our population who are connectors (most mobile and transaction-bearing citizens). Beyond this I have not made and do not make forecasts on what Covid will do as a virus. It remains a threat to our public health.

Once knowledge-level grew (CDC agreed with my iCFR estimate of 0.26%, flu being 0.14%) and smarter actions on our part could be outlined, certain parties blocked and obfuscated preventions, treatments and other mitigating opportunities for months, or made similar hasty panic-fueled bad decisions on behalf of our most vulnerable citizens. Up to 100,000 of our citizens died solely because of this jackboot ignorance. Moreover, these parties felt they could exploit misinformation, flawed testing processes, case-rate exaggeration, timeframe of reporting, underlying cause of death logical confusion, media messaging, and social coercion to impart panic and despair around Covid-19 into our at-risk constituency. This to enact political/economic power and quickly-altered 2020 election processes in 40 US States, all to their non-transparent favor. Another 200,000 citizens then died from iatrogenic gain boost, despair, and disruption from this purposed societal over-reaction.

These no-income-risk parties used their new-found political power to harm their at-income-risk political enemies under the guise of virtue, and did so with abandon and glee. Irrational business lockdowns were mandated/promoted without scientific backing, and continued well after studies demonstrated clearly their inefficacy. Small to medium private businesses were decimated, while globalist, oligarch, offshore-asset, socialist businesses were favored. 36 million Americans were left unemployed, and half of American private and small to medium businesses were irrevocably harmed or bankrupted. Up to 500,000 additional citizens will be killed by these actions of malicious intent, causing the death toll from deception/coercion alone to approach 800,000 US citizens when all is said and done. This pales by far, those deaths actually from and with Covid itself.

This constituted a human rights crime of historically unprecedented method and magnitude. The parties harmed in this process should be awarded class action and oppression restitution from the perpetrators including media, universities, their foundations/syndicates and the involved misrepresenting agencies. These actions constituted high crimes of terror and oppression, under U.S. Code § Section 2331, Title 18 and 18 U.S. Code § 35, as well as Johnson vs. Monsanto CGC-16-550128.

The Ethical Skeptic, “My Take on Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (2019)”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 9 Aug 2020; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=44989

  1. Robert H. Schmerling, PhD; Harvard Health Blog: First, do no harm; June 22, 2020; https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/first-do-no-harm-201510138421

August 9, 2020 - Posted by | Ethical Skepticism |

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Veronica

Have been following you on Twitter since May ‘20 and appreciate this guide.
If you could expound on your December ‘20, February ‘21 tweets re flu vaccines, ALZ/dementia upswing, “something’s not right here”, Lewy Barr Philippine research, that would be helpful.
Also, any wisdom regarding the number of routine childhood vaccines (including flu when discharged from the hospital after birth, and soon, I fear, covid) would be also be appreciated. Thank you.

Ryan

TES, what’s your opinion on the the (mRNA) vaccines?
Even young people I know will be happy to get anything that is “approved” but I don’t see the cost-benefit being close to there for anyone who isn’t old or otherwise high risk. Especially I worry about young healthy people and potential long-term side-effects from such a new mechanism of vaccine.
P.S. Really appreciate this blog and your COVID work, both have shaped a lot of how I’ve thought this year.

Ryan

Would such studies be able to be done in an accelerated timeframe as the one we’re in?
My thinking is that they would have to take years if not decades to truly assess (e.g., auto-immune) impacts over time. So it goes to the practical question of should healthy young adults get a vaccine next year or not given all this uncertainty.

Tommy Schopenhauer

The language of this time is what worries me most – in fact, sometimes it is outright disturbing. It is hard to think rationally in this climate, with the constant feeling of (maybe?) being cheated on by some (false?) semblance of rationality …
Reality nowadays closely resembles an X-Files story arc, if you ask me – and that is just a popular culture reference …

Rocko

I like what you write. May I recommend a writing method to simplify, clarify, and improve your written content? Omit the unnecessary use of “in order” in all instances of “in order to…” to read just “to…” as writing best practice. For reference, see https://prowritingaid.com/grammar/1000097/When-can-you-omit-in-order-in-a-sentence
Enjoy!

[…] Here is an item from August that comes at the issue in a different way but has similar findings. That link goes to an anonymous […]

ray j wallin

I have read through this page a number of times over the past few weeks to better grasp your methods and my understanding of this COVID-19 debacle has increased substantially. Thank you especially for your quite readable graphs. I agree that, in too many ways, we have handled and continue to handle COVID incorrectly, but while most analysis focuses on what is being done incorrectly, little is said about a proper response to a virus. Briefly, how you think the USA (or any other country) should have responded to COVID in Feb/March of 2020? Keep everything open? Protect the elderly?… Read more »

David Grawrock

This is fantastic. Now i’m going to read your other posts. One comment, and hopefully you will take this as constructive criticism, why in the world don’t you use the Oxford comma? :)

Adrian Ward

I am having a bit of trouble understanding your figures. You have Died ‘Of’ numbers at 138,148 and Died ‘With at 57,034. Those 2 added together add up to 195,182 – which you list as CDC All-Causes Excess Total, but then you also have ‘Lockdown Fatalities at 50,094. Shouldn’t the All-Causes Total be the 195,182 + 50,094.

TrueSkeptic

I didn’t notice that ‘5 million famine deaths’ number among this list on my first read. Thinking about it, it is just crazy. The same people who went into a frenzy at Trump for ‘locking down too late'(Of course, they weren’t screaming at him to do it until he’d already cut off china travel but whatever), and at the tens of thousands of corona deaths, are pretty silent about literally MILLIONS of people now being dead…I’m reading that correctly, right? 5 million people worldwide already died of famine as a result of the lockdowns affecting world economies? Although I’m assuming… Read more »

TrueSkeptic

Great stuff, it really helped me learn! My favorites were the Great Repression term and Law of Large Numbers. My own little take on that Law of Large Numbers is that there is one key mistake which makes it all possible. People making these hysteria claims of doom should explain what threshold of death counts should occur for it to count as doom and use other examples of pandemics that are deadly. They need to have a clear set of standards rather than keeping all the criteria that make something a pandemic a mystery. That way they can be held… Read more »

Larry

The Gaussian Blindness definition is GOLD: “I’ve got my head in the oven, and my ass in the fridge, so I’m OK.” :-)

mark lavigueur

I hope this isn’t a trap to catch out folks trying to think without state supervision. Thanks for all the work you put in on this. You’ve corrected a few errors in my own thought. I’m grateful.

CovidCattle

The CDC database is still inaccessible, and the CDC site is wrong. We are not at “7.6% PIC”, but rather 4% Covid – 5 weeks now below the epidemic threshold of 5.8% for MMWR Week 42.

We are reducing unreported Covid Reserve again for the 3rd week straight – encouraging…

You wrote the above on twitter. How are you getting from 7.6% PIC to 4%. I am hoping to learn. I would very much like to believe we are out of pandemic/epidemic conditions.

CovidCattle

Completely makes sense.

I am hoping that we are below the level where this is a pandemic. Maybe the graph is complex. Can you do a graph that just shows two data points? The actual Covid deaths and the other?

CovidCattle

You do amazing work on this by the way. Sorry.

CovidCattle

Can you explain how the 5.8% floor number to qualify as a pandemic is arrived at?

CovidCattle

Teach me.

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