Monday Perspective

A couple of articles in today’s New York Times provides some useful perspective on a couple of things that the pandemic deniers have been hanging hats on.

The Santa Clara Study.

The Santa Clara study purported to find that the “true” rate of infection was 50 to 85 times greater than reported figures.  Home schooled amateur epidemiologists have used this study to calculate the true IFR (infection fatality rate) as roughly equivalent to the flu.  

As I was reading about the death of Paul Cary, a paramedic from Colorado who came to New York to help with the crisis, it occurred to me: when have you ever read about health care workers dying because they treated patients with the flu?  I don’t know the number of health care worker who have died from Covid-19, but I’ve seen reported that over 100 doctors in Italy have died from it.  Do you really need to know any more than this to know that Covid-19 is not like the flu?  

The Bakersfield Doctors.

For some reason, a couple of doctors in Bakersfield California who run a number of for profit “urgent care” clinic garnered a stupendously unwarranted amount of publicity by announcing that all social distancing restrictions should be lifted immediately. They base their conclusion on the results of coronavirus tests administered at their clinics.  Their web site, which lists “sprains and strains” and “nosebleeds” among the problems they address, should be enough to know that these guys are way out of their league.

An article in today’s Times on Italy’s experience with using serological tests for antibodies for guiding the reopening of their county shows just how complicated and vexing these issues are.  But as one Twitter genius recently noted, the Bakersfield doctors have treated a lot more patients than Dr. Fauci, so they would know better.  

It’s a free country folks, and one has every right in the world to hold stupid opinions. 

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