WANTED: Rational Coronavirus Analysis

It certainly is isn't it certain that certainity is certainly ratinally certain is certain global elites is or certain isn't it elites certainity if certain certainity it is certain that certainity while certainly certain is certain global elites is certain is it elites certainity certain certainty. It certainly sounds as if global elites rational is it not is it is it not it is for certain elites global certain or certainity cert certius certiquque certman the certicor. because certain global elites globalicum eliitcum certicum globi globi elititi rationally get it elites.
...yes, probably.


Fortran must die
Another way of saying we need to concern ourselves with known unknowns, but don't really know how or why.
Reading articles on uncertainty in statistics can be really strange. You know there could be a problem, but you don't what it will be. Simulations seem to make sense. See how much your answer will change if the variables change.

The more difficult question is when they will change and for how long.


Less is more. Stay pure. Stay poor.
I am pretty good with known unknowns or hypothetical unknowns these days. Everything translates into a missing data problem (model misspecification, confounding, selection bias, information bias and oh yeah missing data).
Another way of saying we need to concern ourselves with known unknowns, but don't really know how or why.
I am pretty good with known unknowns or hypothetical unknowns these days. Everything translates into a missing data problem (model misspecification, confounding, selection bias, information bias and oh yeah missing data).
On the unfathomable ‘unknowableness’ of our strange new world … Are You Ready for the “No One Could Have Known” Routine? (8/22)

Par for the course in 2020...
Unknowableness also applies to our political process. Luckily, we have proven-reliable avenues to mitigate unknowableness, even with the pandemic shutdown and coinciding social-justice unrest now roiling our world...

...In his mystical and divine way, Carnac the Magnificent will ascertain the answer to the question, without ever having seen the question…​

You can play this fun Carnac the Magnificent game at home ... here's the first envelope: Answer: "Seven"... (9/9). Now, here's the second envelope: Answer: “Two hundred million”… (9/20).

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Here's another topic that borders on unknowable ... please consider: Why Herd Immunity is a Distraction (9/11).

The intoxication of pandemic power: Fauci, Cuomo…and Jerome Powell (9/13). “A man’s gotta know his limitations…” [Dirty Harry].

Remember the imminent criticality of ventilators? These machines represent a turning point in medical history: keeping patients alive (9/14). But there are inevitably tradeoffs … “Futility is the most common ethical dilemma in the modern ICU. The question guiding care becomes not just how to save lives, but when to allow deaths.”

Expect more of this 'un-information' -- who really needs knowableness? -- as low COVID numbers trickle in, and government officials try to continue to rationalize their shutdown decisions: The Nashville mayor’s office avoids reporting the low incidence of COVID in the area’s bars and restaurant workforces and customers (9/16).

Considering what's known, let’s revisit the uncomfortable question of Cui bono? … or, who benefits from the pandemic-through-pandemonium: the China class, of course (9/15).

A study of COVID fatalities with (mild) ‘celebrity status’ -- as the control parameter -- has a similar median age of death as earlier studies: 83 years (9/23). Few passed away in the prime of their careers, nor conditioning (9/28). If only to give the COVID threat much needed public visibility, Tom Hanks and/or his wife would have been the perfect fatality ‘poster child’, but no such luck.

The “settled science” of Coronavirus is the new Marxism/Leninism … and if you question it, you can get a free one-way trip to the Gulag (9/28; the complex nuances of "settled science" are reviewed below). Another taboo topic for US media: China’s role in the pandemic (10/4).

The Church of COVID (9/30), with its “plague of caring … that sense of communal salvation is still very strong among the great and good … only through [you] suffering can we find salvation.”

What a surpriseNYT: Open Borders Spread the Pandemic (10/1)

SURPRISE..!!! Even as Trump and the First Lady suffer through COVID affliction, it seems that just the thought of him is still enough to destroy political norms and mainstream media’s standards (10/2, more here).

No surprise ... Although our Big Social Media overlords generally only allow thought in one pre-approved direction, fun ban-worthy conspiracy theorizing – like the #RoseGardenMassacre that seems to have infected President Trump and White House staff -- can still be considered in societal fringes (10/7).

No surprise, again ... Funny how things always seem to bounce their way, even this crazy pandemic/pandemonium: The 50 Richest Americans Are Worth as Much as the Poorest 165 Million (10/8, Bloomberg paywall) … lots of opportunities for rational analysis with depressing lopsided ratios.

Don't be surprised ... “Second act will be worse than the first … lockdowns are not the answer” (10/8).

Will surprises ever cease...?
More surprises here (scroll down).

Unsurprisingly ... ‘Listen to scientists’, as a punchline (10/19).

Surprise, another new punchline! ... With work done on Zoom during COVID, place it in the #MeTooBin (10/19).

This should come as absolutely NO surprise: China’s Economy Is Bouncing Back—And Gaining Ground on the U.S. … Success in containing Covid-19 is bringing life back to normal and helping close the economic gap with a rival (10/23, WSJ paywall). This economic strength backs sabre-rattling and bellicose words of war.
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Fortran must die
Covid 19 is messing up everything (well my time series continue to work, I have no idea how). And our political process is collapsing. Essentially the distribution is changing.
Covid 19 is messing up everything (well my time series continue to work, I have no idea how). And our political process is collapsing. Essentially the distribution is changing.
Can’t argue there … even abstractions like public opinions are changing dramatically, as your time series continues to work.

Gallup recently polled Americans on their viewpoints on a wide range of industries in 2020 (9/8), tracking the percentages of favorable, neutral or unfavorable opinions. Gallup uses the metric of relative favorability (% very/somewhat positive) of twenty disparate industry, and compares 2020 to 2019 for the industries that are the most impacted by the COVID crisis:


Healthcare and farming had the biggest boost in favorability, due to their ongoing essentialness.

The discretionary industries of travel and sports fared the worst in their drop in public opinion. Travel probably sagged in support since it’s basically irrelevant until further notice. Perhaps sports industry favorability is eroding due to the kabuki-theater-with-no-audience nature of televised games and the social-justice campaigns of the various US professional leagues. The article notes that the biggest drops in sports viewer-favorability -- find detailed charts with demographic breakdown on previous link -- were Republicans (-46% drop, year-minus-year) and the mid-range age group (35 to 54, -44%).

Does trolling -- with no one noticing --
still constitute 'trolling'..???

The industry-favorability data developed and presented by Gallup is done on a percentage basis, and then those percentages are used in subsequent calculations, like with the above year-to-year changes by demographic. In an earlier TalkStats post (which actually spurred this thread), the following was proposed, in reference to percentage characterization used in calculations:

THEORY: Linear characterization of nonlinear functionality convolutes calculations, at best, and, at worst, corrupts capability and understanding, greatly increasing the probability of error and misprojection when utilizing that linear data in subsequent operations.

Instead of just subtracting same-basis numbers, like Gallup does, to show the linear magnitude of change, let’s look at their industry-favorability study from a nonlinear ratio standpoint for the five industries highlighted for their changes 2019 to 2020. The relevant metric here will be ratio of the positive- to the negative-impression percentages. (The neutral-impression percentages are assumed to be constant year-to-year, allowing for the calculation of the negative-impression percentages in 2019 for the industries.)

The chart below includes the favorability ratio for years 2020 and 2019, as well as the relative change in that metric from 2019 to 2020, for each industry. While the Positive/Negative-ratio data allows the same basic observations as the Gallup tables (above, and at link) of which industries are viewed favorably, this study also facilitates a better understanding of the system dynamics:


Embracing the nonlinear nature of phenomena -- in this case, public opinion -- and so describing them with rational numbers (i.e., ratios) allows for optimal analyses. It's safe to say that much of the Coronavirus analyses out there have been irrational and sub-optimal.
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The Wall Street Journal asks, probably rhetorically…

A: Because their message conflicts with the media’s Compelling Narrative, which is sacred.​

Not that academic and professional credentials are the answer, as some amateurs were recommending these prudent steps from the beginning. but the WSJ highlights the Great Barrington Declaration by leading health scientists and medical practitioners, which firmly notes that those “who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal, including attending schools, going to restaurants, participating in sports and even gathering at public events. Meanwhile attention should be focused on protecting those most at risk.”

[The 'General Public' can sign the Declaration too, unless they're still riven with doubt about the uncertainty and unknowableness of this mystical disease that has shutdown and devastated the world.]

Not surprisingly, critics to the GBD project have quickly emerged (10/7), but…

…the critics’ position drastically underestimates the harm lockdowns inflict on a society.​
Oxfam recently published a report concluding that 130 million more people will probably die of starvation due to supply chain disruptions resulting from lockdowns around the world. As Time magazine explains, that is exponentially more people than will succumb to the virus itself. The CDC has estimated the probable occurrence of more than 93,000 “non-Covid ‘excess deaths’ this year, including 42,427 from cardiovascular conditions, 10,686 from diabetes and 3,646 from cancer. Many are due to government shutdowns of non-essential medical care.” That is in this country alone.​
Likewise, mental health is deteriorating; substance, child and domestic abuse are increasing; and children, especially those who come from families without means, are falling behind in school. Countless businesses have closed, many for good, spelling financial disaster for their owners and hardship for employees. All of this is due to lockdowns, despite the common misattributions in headlines to the “coronavirus” itself.​
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In a flip-flop, the WHO urges world leaders to stop using lockdowns to fight COVID contagion (10/12; more here):
“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.” [Heck, where was this wisdom seven months ago?]
UPDATE (10/14): China’s WHO buddy -- Director-General Tedros -- subsequently contradicts his one-time intra-WHO rival on the criticality of more lockdowns, but his motivation and track record can be questioned.​
And now we’re supposed to believe that masks are NOT the be-all/end-all of this pandemic..?!?
CDC study: 85% of COVID-19 cases in July were people who often or always wear masks (10/12, study here; more here).


Perhaps the good people that conscientiously wear masks also get COVID-tested more often than those asymptomatic Neanderthals with poor PPE skills, which might somewhat explain these numbers ... one would hate to think that masks actually increase the frequency of COVID affliction. Leaving one to wonder: will they soon debunk hand-washing?


Did you get the memo?
Perhaps internal communication within the CDC needs to be improved, beyond the new TPS coversheet. Paradoxically, just a month ago, the CDC Director Dr Robert Redfield (above) claimed that masks are more effective than vaccines (9/17), and also noted that early strict adherence to mask-wearing would have shut down this pandemic in a matter of months (9/28). Reacting to President Trump adding Dr Scott Atlas, a fresh perspective, to his Coronavirus Task Force, Redfield chastised Trump for “sharing incorrect information about the pandemic with the public”, regarding these and other preventative measures ... how projectingly ironic.

This could explain a few things … Brain Damage From Masks CANNOT BE REVERSED (10/9). Oxygen deprivation is especially damaging to children, the demographic least at risk from COVID-19.

And then there's this microbial nuance: Medical Doctor Warns that “Bacterial Pneumonias Are on the Rise” from Mask Wearing (10/6), and he also notes that “New research is showing that cloth masks may be increasing the aerosolization of the SARS-COV-2 virus into the environment causing an increased transmission of the disease…”.
Another memo misstep?
WHO (Accidentally) Confirms Covid is No More Dangerous Than Flu (10/8)

CDC ... WHO ...why not YOU?!? Everyone’s an Expert (10/16)

Conspiracy Alert / Follow-the-Money Category (10/18):
Q: Why the ongoing intensity of the ‘mask debate’ (despite their ineffectiveness) and widespread frantic reporting of new cases (often from false positives or too-sensitive tests)?​
A: Fear must be kept alive... until Big Pharma has a vax … oh, yeah, and then there’s that other messy 'unfinished business', right, Joe?​
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If only we’d preemptively adopted African administration and health-care systems…


Coronavirus in Africa: Five reasons why Covid-19 has been less deadly than elsewhere (10/8)...
  1. Quick action
  2. Public support
  3. Young population - and few old-age homes
  4. Favorable climate
  5. Good community health systems
Presumably, the main reason for the 'less deadliness' is Reason #3: Only 3% of the population in Africa is over 65 years old.

Then again, as the Middle East is also significantly lower in caseload ... perhaps the lack of COVID cases in remote regions has something to do with the lack of testing for COVID in remote regions ... but we'll leave that for the health-care professionals and scientists to assess.
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This is a continuation of post(scroll down).

hysteria [noun]: a highly-communicable affliction, transmitted by the airwaves, when this metric explodes in the epicenter of American media … the (self-proclaimed) Greatest City on Earth.

Seen the lights go out on Broadwaytoo bad they couldn't manage African- and Middle Eastern-level COVID results (previous post).

Perhaps America needs to adjust its perspective and priorities, since ... The City is Killing America (10/21, refers to large metropolises in general, not just NYC) … “The cities are running out of money, but population growth made them political powerhouses.”

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Now, let's synergistically combine hysteria and rationality...
Groucho Marx famously said, "I would refuse to join any cult club that would have me as a member." But that was before the inclusive, worldwide career-protecting benevolence of ... The Covidian Cult (10/13). An interesting cult/cultural inversion has taken place, right before our eyes:

"It isn’t national totalitarianism, because we’re living in a global capitalist empire, which isn’t ruled by nation-states, but rather, by supranational entities and the global capitalist system itself. And thus, the cult/culture paradigm has been inverted. Instead of the cult existing as an island within the dominant culture, the cult has become the dominant culture, and those of us who have not joined the cult have become the isolated islands within it."
Then again, looking at this cynically, the Covidian Cult could be one of those cults where the members don’t even believe it, but play along and speak the cult’s language (10/13), assuming that this compliance will bring personal benefit, if only temporary:

"People—good people—can be pressured into denouncing a friend because they do the math in their head and decide that it’s justifiable in the long run to sacrifice one innocent person (or group) to save a cause."​
WANTED: Rational Coronavirus Analysis Scapegoats (10/17):

"The lockdown and the rule of the public health experts has become too big to fail … Lockdown culture needs patsies to take the fall for why it didn’t work … Like every leftist social and economic experiment, its defenders are left to argue that it was never properly tried … But what the system failed to accomplish in battling the virus, it made up for by providing the leadership that had enacted it with a wonderful opportunity to settle its political scores … The 'rule of the experts' isn’t fighting the virus. It has become the virus."​
UPDATE (10/20): Gov Cuomo’s pretzel illogic on the practices of Brooklyn Orthodox Jews trends Nazi-esque(10/20) ... which is a bad look, since Nazis are bad like the KKK, but with better haircuts. The Cuomo-illogic article morphs into a legal dissertation about tacit approval of mob violence by government authorities and the nuances of police protection or not.​
Strong authority figures are what New Yorkers crave.
Leadership (non-Superspreader Category): BIDEN-HARRIS 2020 rallies are ideal for COVID protocols (10/19, more here, and here).

While the media and his opponents state, matter-of-factly over and over and over, that President Trump is responsible for over 200,000 American deaths* ... perhaps the folks who’s ONLY BASIC RESPONSIBILITY is to protect the public against disease outbreaks – public health administrators, like the CDC and WHO -- should shoulder responsibility (10/22, more here).

* And it looks like there’s a coordinated effort by the Democratic challengers – Joe Biden and Kamala Harris -- to pump up that 200K+fatality figure a few orders of magnitude.​


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This is a continuation of post (scroll down)


Here’s a retrospective critique of Sweden’s casual response to the pandemic (10/6): ‘It’s been so, so surreal.’ Critics of Sweden’s lax pandemic policies face fierce backlash. In an inversion of the dynamics in most countries, Swedish skeptics of Sweden's Coronavirus-skeptical health administrators feel embattled ... stay strong, you brave Nordic contrarians.

People have suffered enough” … with a second COVID-case wave hitting Europe, Sweden refuses to impose lockdown measures on its public (10/23).

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Nature magazine throws together an in-depth word-and-number-salad study that projects US fatalities with from COVID-19 for various levels of personal-protection measures/mandates. A worst-case fatality scenario – with all mandates lifted – tops 1 MILLION deaths by February 2021! Fancy analysis has been applied to projections for each state, while the existing hard data from real-world experience of countries with different COVID-mandate strategies (see above) is completely ignored.

[Chart annotated for clarity]
Flashback (July 2020) … a sensible perspective, perhaps?
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