Saturday, June 27, 2020

Hank Williams, Jr. - Red, White & Pink Slip Blues

The Media tells us that the Wuhan Coronavirus is back.  Here in Sunny Florida, the bars are all shut, restaurants are down to 25% capacity, and you have to wear a facemask when you're indoors at a business.  It seems a surprising overreaction by the up-until-now sensible Governor.  I say "overreaction" because official figures from CDC show that it is a stunning overreaction.  While all you hear from the media is that cases are way up, here's what you have likely never seen reported - deaths across the USA are way, way down:

This isn't me saying that the latest lockdown is an overreaction, it's CDCThe nation's top medical experts.  Look at the far right hand side of that graph - and then think on the fact that better testing shows that the virus is way less lethal than we've been told:
Nearly all the studies find between 10 and 100 times the number of total infections as reported infections, with the average somewhere around 20 to 25 times.

In other words, while the CDC reports 2.34 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus, the actual number of infected and recovered people may be closer to 50 million. (CDC Director Robert Redfield told journalists Thursday that the number of cases may be 10 times higher than the earlier 2.34 million.)

Thus, the death rate, which would be 5.2 percent based on that 2.34 million figure, is actually more like one-20th as high — or 0.26 percent.
And the bulk of the cases are in nursing homes and prisons.  It's been made way, way worse by grotesquely incompetent government reaction (New York Governor Cuomo is personally responsible for tens of thousands of deaths because he ordered nursing homes to take in infected patients; he's not the only governor with blood on his hands for this).  It's a truism that there's no problem that government can't make worse.  

In other words, it's a bad flu season, made worse by wretched governance and a hysterical media that is intentionally trying to scare people to whip up ratings.  The Queen Of The World says that they're also trying to hurt Trump and help the Democrats by scaring people and tanking the economy.

What's not shown by the media is the cost of the lockdown.  Waiters and waitresses who had started to go back to work are now getting pink slips.  Tens of millions are still unemployed.  And for what?  A bad flu season.  These are our neighbors.  Their lives, hopes, and dreams have value, just like ours.

At this point if you don't have steam coming out of your ears, you have no heart.  Hank, Jr. has a heart, and sings about what the unemployed are going through.

Red, White, and Pink Slip Blues (Songwriters: Mark Stephen Jones, Bud Tower)
I used to love this town,
and this neighborhood,
the streets were safe,
the schools were good,
the mill was humming 24/7,
I was foreman on the line 3 to 11
but 18 months and 2 days ago
the mill closed down
and moved to Mexico

I paid my bills, I paid my dues
and I paid my share of taxes too
now I can't buy my baby shoes
I got these red, white, & pink slip blues

I hide the pickup truck in Ricky Brown's garage
(over on the next block)
cause there's a repo man to dodge
I slip out the back door
Lord I never thought I'd live to see this day
we're gonna need that truck
when they come to take the house away

I paid my bills, I paid my dues
I paid my share of taxes too
now I can't even buy my little baby shoes
I got these red, white, & damn pink slip blues

You know I love my country
and I'm not wandering away
but there's a lot of us
that feel like we've been stranded here out in the rain

I paid my bills, I paid my dues
I paid my share of taxes too
now I can't buy my kids no shoes
I got these red, white, pink slip blues

Is anybody listening
Hey politicians we're talking to you
(Is anybody listening)
Are you gonna help us pull on through
Yeah, I'm pretty steamed about all this.  Hey politicians, we're talking to you.

Hat tip to reader Richard in a comment to another song on the same subject.

UPDATE 28 June 2020 10:03: Al Fin weighs in on the subject, saying the same things (although less musically).  Cases don't count; deaths do.


Old NFO said...

Sadly, don't disagree at all. Covid IS killing this country, not in deaths, but in loss businesses... dammit Texas just closed all the bars again.

SiGraybeard said...

It's hard not see this is all political. The Florida media (Miami Herald, Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, etc.) has been anti-DeSantis from the start and have applied as much pressure as possible to get him to destroy the state.

This virus is especially dangerous to the metabolically ill - which, thanks to the USDA dietary guidelines, is almost 80% of the population. I heard an other doctor on TV saying that Cuomo's "let's kill off the old folks" platform was adopted by six states and that those nursing home deaths accounted for (IIRC) 75% of the deaths in the country. Might have been 80%.

Tammy Bruce pointed out that those are pretty reliable Republican voters so even better to have killed off before the elections. Is that too nasty a thing to say? What's beyond thinking they'd do nowadays?

Aesop said...

1) Natzsofast, Guido:
"To be sure, these estimates still have some uncertainty. The ­actual figure could be as low as 0.1 percent or as high as 0.4 to 0.5 percent, though treatment advances should mean it will trend lower over time. Even at 0.26 percent, the rate is still significantly higher than influenza most years,"

I'm sure that "estimates" with an uncertainty range swing of 500% are just the thing to base all our conclusions on.
Imagine, for example, if tomorrow's weather forecast where you live was for temperatures between 30°F. and 150°F.
I'll wait while you process that.

2) "In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ­esti­mated in May that the coronavirus kills about 0.26 percent of the people it infects, about 1 in 400 people."

Catch me up: are we believeing everything the CDC said two months ago, or disbelieving it? Or do we only believe their "estimates" now when they accord with our pre-conceived biases?
All I'm asking for is some editorial consistency.

3) "Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter,..."

I'll wait while you Google Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.

4) Quickly:
Name the last flu season where there were so many dead, so fast, that hospitals in NYFC had to stack bodies up in freezer vans because the hospital morgues and NYFC Coroner's Office was overwhelmed.

Once again, I'll wait.

With all this time on my hands while counter-arguments are summoned, and found to be AWOL, I'll note that the most glaringly obvious problem with the graph: It doesn't tell you about deaths 21 days in the future.

Infections up now don't lead to instant death.
Those crop up in 2-3 weeks or so.

So maybe, just hold your horses, and see if the death curve spikes back up again by the middle of July.

I'll ignore the crickets when that happens, with tedious predictability.

Meanwhile, we've been running at full capacity 24/7 for two weeks straight where I work, like we never did during the lockdown, precisely because they've been lifted, and people, with the wits of Gilligan, have gone out hither and yon as though COVID no longer existed.

The lockdowns weren't stupid, but they were certainly annoying.
And we could live with lesser measures, if only people had the common sense God gives to jackasses.

But current events prove that common sense is anything but.

You're raging against not the government, but with living in a sea of Gilligans.

Best wishes with that plan.

You're going to be dealing with COVID blowback all year, and probably until next spring, at minimum.

Hope your preps are up to that.

And I'm genuinely sorry (and disappointed like you cannot believe) that Reality is so disturbing to one end of the Narrative, but when the map doesn't accord with the terrain, it's not the terrain that's wrong, is it?

MacD said...

Aesop - please read the wmbriggs linked post. These are facts no matter how much you want to believe in DOOM VIRUS™.

Borepatch said...

Aesop, the estimates on death *rates* are Bravo Sierra, because they have no real idea on how many people have been infected. There's a lot of chatter that the disease has been in circulation in the USA since *October* and that maybe 50M people have caught it (and recovered). But since CDC is Gilligan Central and they're not doing statistically valid sampling of the entire population, CDC has no idea at all what the death *rate* is.

But they sure as shootin' publish the death *numbers*, and the graph in this post is straight from Gilligan Central, using their numbers. There's simply no way to interpret those numbers other than "we're pretty much past any crisis". Maybe we'll be dealing with deaths all year but at the rate they're running today you simply can't justify 30 Million unemployed. Full stop.

We can argue whether the situation was different in April. We can't today.

And quite frankly, the biggest Gilligans of all are the Governors of Blue States that sent infected people into the nursing homes. Maybe *half* of all the deaths were due to that. If that's the case then damn right this was just a bad flu put into overdrive by Democratic Party Gilligans and their damn Zyklon-B pandemic policies.

Ted said...

I focus on what is being called all the "asymptomatic victims". All the people who test positive but don't have any symptoms. Supposedly they are all going around infecting all the other people. Exactly how someone who supposedly has a mild case of Covid that is so mild it produces no symptoms and yet is at the same time strong enough to infect others is not clear. I'm not a Doctor, so I may be missing something.

But I am a Data Analyst by trade. I have another name for these asymptomatic patients.


….. and all the media talks about is the number of cases. Case count is a Meaningless number. It's only one axis on a curve. If you want to draw some conclusions look at things like moving 7 day average of hospitalizations. There is wide variation in reporting schedules. That's another reason the Case Count numbers are BS. Look at Daily Case counts over time and you will see a clear saw toothed line. Case counts always go up and down. It's clearly misleading to say OMG the case count is spiking...…… Yes, it spikes every week,..... and then collapses over the weekend.

Glen Filthie said...

Well BP... the fact is that we deserve this. We voted for it. Up here in Canada, our lisping, pink socked prime minister is insisting on closing cross border trading with the US and opening up trade to China. Don’t ask me what is going through that whoreson’s mind, or those of the vibrant and diverse trained zippers in his cabinet...

Down there in the US, you’ve put people like Aesop, Greta Thunberg... and this guy in charge:

If you vote for ridiculous people, and insist on putting morons, degenerates and academic poseurs in charge... they are going to do what they are going to do and you will get what you voted for... good and hard.

In better times you went home, slammed 4 fingers on scotch and went to bed for a day or two. Today you ask mathematical illiterates if it’s safe to go outside. Or at least... that’s what the tards do. I don’t have it, nobody I know has it or knows anybody that has it... so for me it’s business as usual.

It’s just the flu.

Richard said...

What is lost in all of this is that this was what was supposed to happen. Anybody remember "Flatten the Curve". That wasn't designed to reduce the number of infections but to delay them. For once, the plan works and everyone panics. The Democrat governors are engaging in deliberate sabotage so that at least is logical but WTF is wrong with the Republicans.

McChuck said...

@Aesop -
"Meanwhile, we've been running at full capacity 24/7 for two weeks straight where I work, like we never did during the lockdown, precisely because they've been lifted, and people, with the wits of Gilligan, have gone out hither and yon as though COVID no longer existed."

Wow. I notice that you didn't say that you were up to your ears in flu patients. You mean people are finally going back to the hospital for everything else?

"You're going to be dealing with COVID blowback all year, and probably until next spring, at minimum."

The cold and flu are going to be with us forever. How long can you hold the economy's head under water before it stops kicking? And why would you want to?

Pachydermis2 said...

Honest people should all admit they don't know exactly what is going on. Cases are decidedly up. Deaths markedly down. The previous linkage between the two is on the fritz, earlier in the pandemic it was about a two week lag between peaks.

I'm retired but I guess I can say that I still AM a doctor, so here's some notions.

- more tests. certainly part of it.
- more sensitive tests. This could generate some false positives and find lots more non symptomatic cases
- more focused testing. Has every prison and packing plant in the nation started testing of late?
- less vulnerable patients. Sadly we may have lost the cadre of people who by virtue of age and unknown genetic factors were very prone to covid deaths. The remaining population might be inclined towards milder or non illness
- fudged numbers. Probably not enough to cause the discordant numbers. Dying with covid not of it could be balanced out by dying at home without any diagnosis.
- virus has mutated to be both more contagious and less deadly.

There are lots of questions out there and not enough data to make ideal decisions. But it does all come down to one question: Can you keep the country on close lockdown until a reliable vaccine is invented, tested and deployed. To which there is only one

Of course much is influenced by politics. If in a few months the wisdom of the electorate is that we put the nuclear arsenal in the hands of a man who might mistake the Red Button for the one that summons the nurse to bring him ice cream......

Well, if that happens the crisis will be declared over right away. And perhaps given the bigger problems we'll soon have, rightly so.


SiGraybeard said...

Story out on Reuters today saying that in Barcelona, Spain, they did routine testing of old sewage samples and found Covid-19 in one sample from March.

False positive? Or was it around a good seven months before indications in China?

Rick C said...

"I'm sure that "estimates" with an uncertainty range swing of 500% are just the thing to base all our conclusions on."

Yeah, like those estimates of meeelions of deaths some people were shrieking about to justify destroying the entire economy, right?

Richard said...


You have identified a big problem. There will be increased deaths from cancer, heart disease and everything else because of the intense focus on CV. I even ran across a case of someone who died of CV but not with it. Police shooting of a guy so crazy he was literally wearing a tin foil hat. Thing is, he knew he was crazy and tried to get treatment but was turned away because it was all CV/all the time.

Aesop said...


1) If you're going to argue against the death rates, based on quotes from what you posted, I'll sit back and let you attack your own posts while I watch.

2) "Chatter" is like Wikipedia: it's worth what you pay for it.

3) Trying to palm this off as existing and showing up here before it broke containment in China is laying it on a bit thick, regardless of who's trying it. This is on the level of "chemtrails conspiracy", "9/11 was an inside job", and "The Apollo moon landings were all faked" tinfoil millinery. (Cue the barking moonbats in 3,2,...)

4) That graph can (and was, by me) easily and flawlessly interpreted to mean "We have no data whatsoever on what the current spike is going to do for death numbers 21 days from now, because no omniscience".
If deaths spike up too, you're 21 days early, with the wrong end of this story, and you're letting the tail wag the dog.
If deaths stay flat, the case count (essentially a meaningless number anyways) just represents wider testing, not wider infection.

5) You will never find me arguing the wisdom of idiot governors on both coasts jamming infected patients into ill-prepared con-homes (who, by design and definition are incapable of handling such a contagion problem) alongside uninfected and vulnerable populations. The payback for that, and the resultant death tolls, in every instance should be drumhead impeachments, followed by a speedy trial, expedited sentencing, and fine public hanging.

6) We're at 2 1/2 times the death tally for a bad flu year, and we did that in less than three months, so even pulling out half the death toll to date to account for the care home death tally, this is far, far worse than "a bad flu", and we're probably still only in the first inning of play.

The Democommunists are making it worse because they hate people, and they'll happily kill people and tank the entire economy to make OrangeMan look bad.

The Republitards, both official and street-level, and making it worse because they think pandemic=unicorn, and they think wearing a goddam mask is the Mark of the Beast, and washing their hands is the same as getting on the boxcars to Auschwitz, because they have less brains than what blowing your nose puts on a handkerchief.

Both of them live on the far left end of the IQ bell curve, and being political opposites only means that while they can't both be right, they can (and are) both dreadfully wrong.

Aesop said...


We're not having any flu patients. Unless you meant Kung Flu.
We are up to our ears in COVID patients.
The ER isolation area is full.
The ICU isolation area is full.
All hospital isolation areas are full.
All with confirmed COVID-positive patients
The rest of the beds are full of the usual patients, except because of COVID isolation we have 35% fewer beds for them.

So yes, people are going to die from everything else in higher numbers, because of Kung Flu, exactly as I laid out for people back in February, if not earlier.

Hospital beds are a zero-sum; if we make XX beds COVID beds, we don't have those XX beds available for heart attacks, strokes, traumas, appendicitis, sepsis, and 50 other things.

So when 35% of the hospital is COVID, increased deaths from everything else that we can't see is exactly what you'd expect.

But the cold and flu don't whack people stone cold dead less than 24 hours after coming to the ER.
COVID does.
I've seen it first-hand. Multiple times.
Barking into the wind won't change the weather, and refusing to believe reality won't change it either.

The people who always wanted to disbelieve this are the ones driving the pandemic bus, whether catching it, spreading it, or just cheering it on. That's why I call them Gilligans. They're idiots.

A disease is what it is, and wishing it were other will not make it so. But acting like wishes are reality can kill people, and already has. Ask Nawlins about that early Mardi Gras, and people from NYFC about Chinese New year festivals and keeping the subways open 24/7 during their half-assed sort-of "lockdown".

I agreed over two months ago it was time to end the lockdowns as a rule.
That isn't the same thing as saying they accomplished nothing, nor went too far, nor that there's a smart way to end a lockdown, and myriad stupid ways.

America, via tens of millions of exemplars, seems to be spring-loaded to trying out all the stupidest ways first, and predictably, it isn't working out like they'd hoped. As governors in 15 states could tell you, and already have.

Whistling past the graveyard is always a poor way to deal with anything.

Richard said...

The only solution is to start rioting. Public Health experts assure us that this makes you immune from CV.

And which mask guidance from the CDC are we supposed to follow? By my count there have been 5 of them (some of which were duplicates from an earlier guidance). I go back to the first recommendation from before the emergence of the CV and the whole thing becoming a political issue. That is: Non-medical masks are useless. If we had a responsible media, someone would be investigating the investment portfolios of the fascist lunatics we call governors. If they had investments, it would not be fair to call them lunatics.

I do pay attention to Aesop as he is a medical professional and I am not. However, I have a larger sample size. By happenstance, it the two weeks before the political mask decree, I had occasion to visit 9 separate medical offices. Their rules were 5-4 against requiring masks though some staff and patients wore them when not required. I tend to think the infectious disease doc and PCP knew more than an ophthalmologist or a dermatologist. That score was 1-1. I am just not seeing a consensus here.
No treatment facilities for CV in my sample which is probably a special case.