Our efforts to understand the epidemic in one state are clouded by the efforts of the authorities to sustain one-man rule and the panic on which it is based. They are also clouded by the faithful alliance of the press with the authorities.
Over the past two days in Minnesota the authorities have attributed four (8/4) and 9 (8/5) new deaths to COVID-19. Seventy-six percent of all deaths attributed to the epidemic have occurred among residents of long-term care facilities. Hospitalizations continue at a level that would be indetectable under sane conditions.
Stepping back to look at the big picture, Kevin Roche provides “A Brief Minnesota and National Status Report” that steps back to look at the big picture. Kevin also conveys the experience tuning in to the Minnesota Department of Health press briefings and even manages to work in the Minnesota authorities’ rendition of the Sturgis apocalypse. Here are Kevin’s comments in their entirety, slightly edited:
Nationally, the big news, extremely disappointing to the freak-out brigade, is that the case surge is clearly over in the big Southern and Southwestern states, hospitalizations are down dramatically there and deaths are following. And these states managed to deal with this case surge with far fewer deaths than occurred in the Northeastern states in the spring.
The media and basement cowerers are trying to gin up concerns about a Midwest state case surge but that isn’t actually happening. The calls for another lockdown just seem bewildering at this point. You didn’t do enough damage with the first one?
The other major national news is the attempt to generate fake research to limit school openings. All of this stuff is overtly political at this point, but the school stuff for sure will generate a significant backlash from parents and only one party can get the blame for that.
Look, here is what we really know. This is one mysterious virus; the pattern for why it suddenly emerges in more force in a particular location is really uncertain. Maybe weather factors contribute, but I am hesitant to ascribe it all to that.
Once it emerges, it doesn’t seem to matter what is done. It seems that it only takes a very small dose to cause an infection, so good luck with suppression efforts. Masks and mask mandates clearly aren’t a major inhibitor, nor is much else.
Going absurdly hard lockdown like New Zealand did and Australia is trying to do and Hawaii has basically done is simply suicidal and a bad bet that a vaccine will be a cure all. This virus is going to be around, just like all the other seasonal coronaviruses are, and even after a vaccine, if there is an effective one, some people are going to get sick and die from it, just like they do from the flu.
And we better hope that all our suppression efforts don’t lead to a really lethal version of this virus. I made the point earlier today that if you did an real apples to apples comparison of coronavirus and flu–if we tested everyone with symptoms or exposure for flu and if there were no vaccine, flu would be 5 to 10 times worse than what we have experienced with coronavirus.
We are going to have to accept living with this, just like we do other infectious agents. How sane does Sweden look right now?
In Minnesota, we are very fortunate that whatever factors make the virus upsurge are apparently absent here. Our incompetent leaders try to scare us anyway. Last Friday and yesterday the briefers brought up hospitalizations again, that is the best they have apparently. They fumbled around trying to keep the scare tactics up while acknowledging that deaths are way down. They use “lagging indicators” a lot.
My favorite part was warning people about coronavirus scamsters and when they started on that I thought for a moment they were going to admit that they had been scamming people with the data and messaging they present.
Yesterday we learned that those naughty, naughty people with the rodeo in northern Minnesota had not created one additional case beyond the one previously reported. Unfortunately if they don’t show up soon, they won’t show up at all.
Those extra hospitalizations and deaths we were promised several weeks ago haven’t shown up either. Oh, and a week out from the mask mandate and the clock is ticking on that big reduction in cases we are supposed to see.
And where is that darn version 4 of the [Minnesota] model? We seem to be missing a lot of things, especially some honesty and integrity. But never fear, they tell us that when Sturgis occurs, the apocalypse will return to Minnesota and we will all have to huddle in our homes for weeks to avoid bikers coming and going through Minnesota.
So the truth about Minnesota is that we don’t have an epidemic right now and we should be very grateful. I don’t know why cases are so low here and neither do the mush heads at the state. Unfortunately, I do think it could be back, and I wonder how that could happen when the Dictator [i.e., Governor Walz] has promised us that masks will save us all.
Maybe we need masks on the virus. Think he can order that?
The beat goes on in the MDH press briefings. I have embedded audio of yesterday’s briefing below. The Sturgis apocalypse is brought up at about 23:00. The whole thing is a matter of supreme disappointment to Commissioner Malcolm.