Monday, March 22, 2021

Did the lockdowns/masks actually reduce Covid infections and deaths? WSJ and C2C suggest they didn't, not at all

The WSJ on March 6 editorialized about how Florida, which ended lockdowns very early, has done much better with Covid death rates than states with much more regulation.  It appears the masks, lockdowns, social distancing provided no discernable benefit.  Maybe they even increased cases and deaths.  C2C ran a similar piece 2 days ago.  In summary:

"Key conclusions: 

  1. The stay-at-home orders, which varied greatly in intensity and duration (and, anecdotally, in enforcement severity) seem to have made no observable tangible impact on the daily Covid-19 cases and deaths. Further, the most severe restrictions, such as a prolonged lockdown and nighttime curfew implemented in California in November, did not prevent the subsequent December-January spike in cases or fatalities.
  2. Following imposition of statewide mask mandates, there was no observable change in the daily infections or deaths in Minnesota, California or Wisconsin, nor in Florida, which never imposed this regulation statewide.
  3. In contrast to the three other states, Florida experienced two distinct Covid-19 waves, while its daily Covid-19 cases and deaths grew less sharply during its cooler season and were distributed more evenly throughout the year. But does this trajectory translate into greater infection and/or death rates in Florida than in California or the other states? A review of the general statistics on Covid-19 cases and deaths might help answer this question.

Here is the first half of the WSJ piece:

 In the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo imposed strict lockdown policies—many still in place—and became the media’s golden boy. “The governor of New York’s morning news conferences have become part of the country’s new daily rhythm,” the Washington Post’s Style section gushed in March 2020. “He’s the strongman who can admit he’s wrong. He speaks fluently about the facts. He worries about his mother, and by extension, yours, too.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis took a different approach and was pilloried. He was among the first to lift his state lockdown, adopting something resembling Sweden’s strategy of protecting the vulnerable while keeping businesses and schools open. “Florida Man Leads His State to the Morgue,” read a June headline in the New Republic. “Ron DeSantis is the latest in a long line of Republicans who made the state a plutocratic dystopia. Now he’s letting its residents die to save the plutocrats.”

A year after the virus hit the U.S., Mr. Cuomo’s luster has faded, and Mr. DeSantis can claim vindication. The Sunshine State appears to have weathered the pandemic better than others like New York and California, which stayed locked down harder and longer.

Mortality data bear out this conclusion. The Covid death risk increases enormously with each decade of age. More than 80% of Covid deaths in the U.S. have occurred among seniors over 65. They make up a larger share of Florida’s population than any other state except Maine. Based on demographics, Florida’s per-capita Covid death rate would be expected to be one of the highest in the country.

Nope. Florida’s death rate is in the middle of the pack and only slightly higher than in California, which has a much younger population. Florida’s death rate among seniors is about 20% lower than California’s and 50% lower than New York’s, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data...


John said...

22 March 2021
There are no new cases in the community to report today
in New Zealand

New Zealand Reports First Case of Community Spread in Months

New Zealand has managed to stamp out the spread of the virus, allowing people freedoms that remain the envy of many other nations.

But while that has helped restart the economy, it has also helped fuel the housing boom, as have record low interest rates.

The nation's median house price is 780,000 New Zealand dollars ($560,000), according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. In the Auckland, the largest city, the median price is NZ$1.1 million ($789,580).

Math defies expected logic irrational that requires explanation to make any sense of data

Locations with cases

Life After COVID: A Long Road to Recovery
Studies suggest it takes 13 years for people to feel like they're back on their feet after living through a major life shock, like a pandemic.
WebMD Health News, January 27, 2021

New Zealand Records 100 Days Without Domestic Virus Case but Warns Against Complacency
By Reuters Staff
August 11, 2020

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand marked 100 days without a domestic transmission of the coronavirus on Sunday, but warned against complacency as countries like Vietnam and Australia which once had the virus under control now battle a resurgence in infections.

New Zealand's successful fight against COVID-19 has made the Pacific island nation of 5 million one of the safest places in the world right now.

On March 17, 2021, Sweden registered 6,442 new coronavirus cases. The first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Sweden was confirmed on February 4, 2020. The number of cases in the country has since risen to a total of 738,537.

The worldwide number of confirmed cases of coronavirus was over 122 million as of March 19, 2021. For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.

Dr Chris King said...

New Zealand has essentially locked itself in its house. Good in the short-term (unless you own a business that depends upon international travel), not so good in the long-term. Australia is in a similar situation, with mass unemployment (or taxpayer-funded 'jobkeeper' allowances) and business closures in the tourism and entertainment industries.

It's just more fear-based thinking and decision-making. It's simply isolation (social distancing, staying home) on an international scale. It's a strategy that is entirely dependent on vaccination as the saviour. That's a big gamble...