The High Tide and the Turn

It is likely that we are at the peak of the current pandemic and will soon begin the downward slope.  Don’t expect the media to be reporting this any time soon for two reasons:  Orange Man bad and the epidemiological models being relied upon are largely junk.  We could make better public policy by guess work or, better, by relying on our past experience with bad flu years.  The current madness was all unnecessary, a toxic product of politics, hysteria and junk science.  In seeking to avoid the equivalent of a bad flu year, we have done substantial damage to our economy.  Time to end this lunacy yesterday.

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  1. Let’s hope so. Tentatively, Spain and Italy seem to have rounded the hump. In the other occidental countries, the number of dead will pause for a few days, then pack on another 20%. In this country, the trouble appears to be diffiusing, though still concentrated in the commuter belts around New Orleans, New York, and Detroit. Atlanta got hit hard yesterday, as did Boston. OTOH, it appears to be subsiding in Seattle. California for some reason has escaped the worst of it.

  2. Agree 100% Covid-19 projection biased by Democrat political ambition and Trump hatred. The economy should never have been shut down. Hopefully, Trump will be able to bring the country back to reality from orchestrated Democrat hopelessness.

  3. I don’t know whether graph given in the featured image could ever be verified. It’s very much like computer modeling for AGW. i’ve been following in my own clumsy way statistics and the second difference in # confirmed cases and #deaths turned negative this weekend for the USA and for PA. There was a little spike upward Tuesday, but that can be attributed to statistical fluctuations (?).
    If you go to the global map (see here:
    and go to the lower right hand corner for the US, you’ll see the daily increase had its maximum about 3 days ago… so it is encouraging.
    The max in “daily increase” for Italy and Spain appears to have occurred about the 2nd week of March.

  4. The models were based on pure BS from the beginning. Even the numbers coming out of China did not justify a mortality model based on a 2-3 percent mortality rate for a virus that left the majority of its victims with little to no symptoms. So, from the start, it wasn’t relevant to calculate mortality based on the # of deaths and the # of those who tested positive. This is still what the media is doing, but it’s not how it’s done with the seasonal flu which has a mortality rate that is calculated based on the # of deaths and a projection/estimate of those who’ve been infected. Once we get a much truer picture of those who’ve been infected, which is always a projection/estimate, the true mortality rate will be much closer to the seasonal flu. Yes, we destroyed the economy for the reasons the post suggests. In its depravity, the Left is pretty predictable.

  5. Too many unknowns, still, I think. That was the problem all along. It’s becoming clearer daily.
    With that we may never be able to say how many would have and would have not died without the social distancing that shut down the economy, or whether the economy would have shut down anyway if many more people would have died.
    (The curve is not a normal Gaussian distribution as depicted above, it’s asymmetrical, skewed long tail.)

  6. In 12 months (April 2009 – April 2010) the Swine Flu pandemic had 60.8 million known cases in the U.S. and 12,469 died. I wonder how many unknown cases. I don’t recall any mitigation at all. In fact, our family was in Disney World the summer of 2009.

    In 39 days Covid-19 has killed more Americans than Swine Flu, and that is WITH mitigation. This thing is a real killer. Keep watching that death rate trend (%) as time goes on. A serious (but temporary) mitigation strategy is just basic common sense keeping in mind that only God and hindsight are 20/20

  7. The models were based on pure BS from the beginning. Even the numbers coming out of China did not justify a mortality model based on a 2-3 percent mortality rate for a virus that left the majority of its victims with little to no symptoms.

    Again, our single best guess (based on the Italian and Diamond Princess data) is that it kills about 4.5% of those over 60 who have a symptomatic illness, perhaps 0.4% of those between 50 and 60 with a symptomatic illness; and almost no one under 50 with a symptomatic illness (the Italian data indicate < 0.02%). If we could just get the supply chain back ups cleared, we might be able to have people under 50 resume everyday life while making routine use of precautions, especially if they have elderly relatives in residence.

  8. With that we may never be able to say how many would have and would have not died without the social distancing that shut down the economy,

    We will have a rough idea since a few nations have not gone the lock down route. Compare and contrast, making allowances for the differences between the nations being compared.

  9. I agree with Ben Butera. If no mitigation had been done, then swine flue, H1N1, Sars, etc. would have been eclipsed. That said, there is a mortality rate associated with any economic downturn as those less fortunate are more severely impacts and have to chose to between vita medication, food and housing. Where does the mortality rate of a down turned economy and pandemics like COVID-19 balance? Lots of opinions here, but with all due respect to other commentators, it seems that only Ben and Dr. Kurland provided rational, scientific thought.

  10. Ben, I do remember mitigating strategies being discussed and even taken during Swine Flu. Nothing like this, but precautionary measures. As for this, most aren’t saying we should do nothing. But there’s an ‘all or nothing’ feel about this, a sort of ‘there is no birthright we won’t sell to stop this’ that doesn’t seem to square with the numbers. It is a killer, I”ll admit. Like many things in a given year. And doing what we can to mitigate this – within reason – is right and proper. The problem I have is that we have no way of measuring what is ‘within reason.’

  11. Even given the scary data about the virus, I do think things need to start opening back up on May 1; even small things in small areas. People need hope! Data can’t really measure the effect of Hope.

  12. I think the upper Midwest/Northern Plains is still on the upswing. The 6th doubling of cases in South Dakota took 7 days instead of the 6 days the 4th and 5th doublings took, so maybe it’s slowing. It took 3 weeks to go up by an order of magnitude, from 10 to 100 cases. We’re approximately 1/3rd of the way to 1000 cases after 8 days, Should have a guess by the end of next week.

  13. We will have a rough idea since a few nations have not gone the lock down route. Compare and contrast, making allowances for the differences between the nations being compared.

    grumbles We can have an indication based on behavior of what the talking heads are expecting those numbers to say, since we’ll-let-you-out-when-there’s-no-cases dude announced that Iowa’s restrictions are “functionally the same” as a lockdown.
    Other than, you know, folks being encouraged to go out as long as they’re not inside of 6 foot of each other, the stores not being told they can’t sell candy or seeds or such, the governor actively encouraging people to buy large amounts when shopping so they don’t have to go out often, the cops only having the authority to ask large groups to break it up….

  14. I’m beginning to distrust the data from the map with the big red circles. I expanded it to show Pennsylvania and picked out my home county, Montour: the Map said 37 confirmed cases; the PA dept. of Health (which is updated at 12 n) gave 27. Whence the difference?

  15. Just because I don’t like ’em doesn’t mean I can’t work with them Bob.

    I’m more Pascal/s espirit de finesse than his spirit de géométrie.

  16. “We will have a rough idea since a few nations have not gone the lock down route.”

    That number will still depend on the dynamics at the time and place when a lock down was not imposed. (Or when it was imposed; Countries that have had lock downs are not consistent. )
    Spain experienced 314 deaths/1M Population
    Italy 292 deaths/1M pop
    France 158 deaths /1M pop
    UK 105 deaths /1M pop
    US thus far is 43 deaths /1M pop

    If Spain or Italy had not imposed a lock down what would the numbers have been?

  17. Agree. It was unnecessary to totally shut down the U.S. and world economy over this when other precautions, far less drastic, were barely considered. And all based upon educated guesswork which is turning out more and more to be uneducated guesswork. There has been no accounting for any of the assumptions upon which projections were and are being based. No accountability whatsoever. Those doing the modeling are largely doing so anonymously, and not made available for public questioning. Why the virtual shield of anonymity? Does it make is easier for our rulers to foster panic and obeisance if the public is kept largely in the dark? Further there does not appear to be a scientifically based peer review process in place; certainly not before their projections are disseminated in the press and relied upon by policy makers.

    And where are the models and projections showing the cost in health and life, when thousands if not millions of businesses are shuttered for good, and tens if not hundreds of millions worldwide are thrown out of work? When working men and women lose their health insurance due to this massive lockdown, what then? How many illnesses, injuries, and/or diseases will be undiagnosed, and untreated, or not prevented altogether due to a lack of proper preventative care? Where are the projections which prove that anyone has even bothered to ask those questions?

  18. Today in Minnesota: 135 hospitalized from the Novel Coronavirus.
    Projection from IHME for hospitalizations today: 385.
    Lowest end of Confidence interval from IHME: 170
    And today, based largely on these models, the stay at home order has been extended for 2 weeks because of the threat of hospitals running out of beds.

  19. That being said, the numbers are largely irrelevant because the reaction is almost entirely emotional at this point. Once you get into the framework of “we need to keep these measures in place or people will die!” it’s not going to do much to change your emotional state if there are a hundred people dying rather than a hundred thousand. Human beings don’t really understand the differences between those scales on a visceral level; we can only understand the difference from a detached intellectual point of view, and very few people are in that frame of mind right now.

    What worries more is whether people will break out of this mindset when the Coronavirus passes, as it will eventually, or whether they will start applying it to old problems. For example, I have had quite a few conversations with others complaining about the cancellation of masses and suggesting ways to do at least something (such as having small scale outdoors stations of the cross, distributing the Eucharist on an individual basis similar to how we deliver the Holy Host to the homebound in normal times, etc.) I have frequently gotten responses along the lines of “religious services might be good but nothing can justify the risk of someone getting sick and dying because of them.” I understand that I am unlikely to change minds on this issue in regards to the current crisis. But I wonder, once all of this is over, will people say the same things in heavy flu seasons? Will there be a push to cancel masses on snowy days to avoid having people get into an accident on the way there?

  20. “Will there be a push to cancel masses on snowy days to avoid having people get into an accident on the way there?”
    That is already happening, actually, at least with my parish. I suspect other parishes in rural Michigan as well, partly due to priests having more than one parish.

  21. I have frequently gotten responses along the lines of “religious services might be good but nothing can justify the risk of someone getting sick and dying because of them.”

    Christians used to be made of sterner stuff.

  22. I have frequently gotten responses along the lines of “religious services might be good but nothing can justify the risk of someone getting sick and dying because of them.”

    Throughout much of Christian history attending a service often involved risk of arrest and execution.

  23. Here in Maryland we had drive through confessions until the lockdown tightened. The governor backed off and said that religious services could happen with social distancing maintained. Archdiocese of Washington is allowing drive through confessions and drive up adoration for example. Baltimore is keeping it shut down. Unfortunately, I live in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Frustrating to have bishops shutting down sacraments more aggressively than the government.

  24. I don’t have a problem with risking my life to attend a religious service. I can’t justify getting other people sick though. St. Aloysius Gonzaga took care of people during a plague, and he got sick and died. That’s saintly. If he negligently infected 10 other people, he’d be a jerk.

  25. I can’t justify getting other people sick though.

    That is a constant risk Pinky, as people realized before this overhyped uberflu caused people to lose their senses. Reasonable precautions, sure. Attempting to lockdown an entire nation for months is insanity on stilts.

  26. It’s a constant low-level risk. Now it’s a higher-level risk, and we should treat it as such.

    The week before they first cancelled Mass, I didn’t receive Communion, because I would never receive on the hand, and it would be irresponsible to risk the priest touching my tongue. No one shook hands that Sunday, or the one before IIRC. Maybe those were overreactions, but they weren’t failures in fortitude or piety.

    I think that’s what bothered me about Ernst’s and your last comments. Based on my age and health, I’ve got a better than 99% chance of full recovery if I got sick. The impetus to avoid the virus isn’t selfish, it’s selfless.

  27. The impetus to avoid the virus isn’t selfish, it’s selfless.

    Not if it throws one-third of the country out of work and tramples on precious civil liberties. The reaction to this uber flu has been insane.

  28. I’ll tell you why this bothers me. I hate that I’m not attending Mass on Holy Thursday. The one comfort is that I can tell myself I’m doing it for the good of others. It’s maddening to hear a Catholic voice saying I’m doing this out of cowardice.

    That doesn’t mean we’re not overreacting. If you want to have a “This Is Insanity” parade, I’ll march right behind you on principle, even within 6 feet.

  29. We’re all living with the cognitive dissonance of our actions as Christians, and Catholic Christians at that, being out of accord with what we profess to believe.

    Seriously, is our faith in the Risen Christ, or is our faith in social distancing?

  30. Again, what needs to happen is to get personal protective equipment in the pipeline and (in places like New York) sharp policing of public transit. At that point, people under 50 (and people under 60 without bad weight problems) can return to work.

  31. Ernst, as Catholics we’re uniquely bound to apply our understanding of God’s universe to the aid of others. We’re the church of Albertus Magnus and Gregor Mendel. We’re not snake-handlers.

  32. During the polio epidemic in 1949 + people quarantined themselves, doing what was necessary to survive without being told by law. We did what people are doing now. The CDC is following the guidelines from the Spanish Flu epidemic. Both Jacinta and Francesco seers of Fatima died of the Spanish flu.
    Government has not ordered the National Guard to shoot anyone crossing state lines.
    Read John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath . That was about drug resistant tuberculosis.quarantined migrants into California. More serious though are the 900 murderers, rapist and monsters released from prison in New York to prey on the public. Couldn’t Cuomo send them to Alcatraz? Guantanamo? The Caribbean Princess for a couple of weeks? Released murderers have cost states tens of millions of dollars. SEE: Megan Kanka, Divina Genao,

  33. The expression “uber flu” really bothers me, Don. The Spanish flu was an uber flu and it was a catastrophe. My wife has stories told to her by her parents of coffins lined up along 5th avenue in Pittsburgh and of all the families decimated by that disease.
    I don’t trust the statistics handed out but I know in our rural counties, there are currently more deaths over the last two weeks attributed to covid-19 than there were last year from the flu.
    Now it is hard to balance deaths against economic hardship. But there is the possibility of recovery from economic hardship; the recovery from death we do believe occurs, and we celebrate it this Easter… But are those two recoveries equivalent? If they are, then perhaps the best practice, the most utilitarian, would be to let the covid-19 run its course. We could eliminate a great drain on the economy that way; medical and social security budgets would be lessened considerably.
    Perhaps the Chinese had this in mind by not taking measures to contain it at first. After all what are few hundred thousand deaths in a population over a billion? And if it spread to other countries, China would be much better off comparatively.
    Just a few thoughts… Even though my wife and I are in the high risk categories, I’m trying to look at this objectively.

  34. “The Spanish flu was an uber flu and it was a catastrophe.”

    Yep it was. It killed 500K Americans, the equivalent of 1.5 million Americans today. It attacked the young, with pregnant women being especially vulnerable. If they survived they would, almost invariably, lose the child. The present bug, the Black Sniffles as I like to call it, simply isn’t in that category. This has all been a huge overreaction, that my great-great grandchildren will be still paying on. Reasonable precautions are one thing, but a national lockdown is most assuredly far worse than this disease.

  35. I think that’s a complete mischaracterization of what I said, but I’ll go with it for argument’s sake.

    If and when we face a real pestilence, and folks are dying left and right, we’re going to wish the snake handlers are in charge. Because right now, it’s the liability lawyers and the insurance claims adjustors who are in the driver’s seat, not Albert Magnus and Gregor Mendel.

  36. I can see the arguments for quarantine interfering with the mass. It isn’t equivalent to celebrating the mass in spite of persecution, because with a disease we bring the threat. And after all the Mosaic law did call for those with dangerous and contagious diseases to be set apart from the community.

    What bothers me is how easily many people, even seemingly many bishops, are casting aside the sacraments. Dr. Feser recently posted something that touches on what is frustrating about all of this:

    When it comes to many real moral dangers, such as pornography, abortion, belief that “all religions are true for their believers”, lack of participation in the sacrament of confession, etc. etc. many of our leaders are either silent or give very short lip service to the issue. But in reality these things are more dangerous than the Coronavirus, even given the most dire predictions for it. The Coronavirus is dangerous mainly to the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, but the threat of hell is real for everyone at any moment. It’s frustrating to see bishops rush to halt all activity in response to the Coronavirus, with many cancelling masses almost immediately and for a longer period of time than the government lockdowns. It’s especially frustrating when there are so many other moral dangers that they turn a blind eye towards.

    On the side of the laity, it’s frustrating to see people to say that everything is fine because we can watch Mass on youtube, or that it’s fine to not have access to the sacrament of confession, because God will probably forgive us anyway. If all that is true, what is the point of mass even outside of times of crisis? If all that is true, why have priests offer reconciliation at all?

    The biggest thing we will learn from all of this is not how to handle a health threat. The biggest thing we will learn is what things each person views as truly important. I understand for some people, and probably most people who visit this site, the sacraments are extremely important and it is a great loss to be separated from them for this prolonged period. But in the wider world, I don’t see the same attitude, even among our leadership.

  37. I try to avoid (not always successfully) arguments over Vatican 2. It’s before my time, and as a convert, it’s like trying to pick up a new spectator sport –fútbol say, I don’t know the players, the history of the rivalries, etc.

    That said, whatever one happens to think about Annibale Bugnini, the Novus Ordo and protestantizing the Mass, what we are all doing right now, at the behest of our bishops no less, is more protestantizing than any “dumbed down” liturgy.

    I don’t know. Maybe some good will come of it.

  38. Don, I believe “black sniffles” may be an understatement. There are four PA counties around where I live (I’m including 4 to make the numbers large enough for minimize statistical fluctuations), Columbia, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland. Here’s data from the PA Dept of Health for tests (not all cases) of flu, Oct 2019 to March 2020: total PA cases, 129912; total deaths, 102; total 4 county cases, 5038. The deaths by county weren’t reported, so I took the ratio 5038/129912 times 102 to get about 4 deaths in these 4 counties due to flu in the period Oct 2019 to March 2020. The reported deaths due to covid-19 in these 4 counties is 14, all occurring during the last two weeks.
    To give full information I should add that 12 of the deaths have occurred in Luzerne county, which contains two metropolitan areas, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton; moreover, there is a large hispanic population in Hazleton.
    So that’s a ratio of 14/4 or 3.5/1 in terms of fatality rate, even when not multiplying by a time factor. Had I looked at the Philadelphia metropolitan area counties, I’m sure the ratio between covid-19 deaths and flu deaths would have been even higher.

  39. As we have both noted Bob, the lethality of this virus is impossible to determine because we don’t know the number of infected. I think the number of infected is far greater than the tested cases. I found this story today possibly significant:

    Black Sniffles is of course in reference to the Black Death which had an estimated lethality rate of 30-60%. The Spanish Flu had a lethality rate of 6-8%. If we had anything close to the Spanish Flu lethality I would think we would be seeing a much higher body county, although, of course, medicine has made great strides over the past century.

  40. Don, you’re quite rate in saying we don’t know enough about the true incidence of covid-19 to get an accurate fatality rate. But that isn’t the point. Consider the following example. 10 million Tin Lizzies are on the road; there is a 0.01 % probability that the brake failure will result in death, yielding 1000 deaths. Now suppose that there are 100 Super volt luxury cars on the road; there is a 10% probability that the electric battery on this will electrocute the driver, yielding 10 deaths. If you look at the final death figure, which is what I have been comparing between flu and covid-19, then the fatality rates are not that relevant in terms of taking action. I did go PA Dept of Health and looked at the data for the Philadelphia metropolitan counties–Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia– and figured out the deaths (Oct 2019-March) from flu and used the data given for covid-19 deaths (essentially the last 3 weeks). Here’s the result:
    County: Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia
    Flu Deaths: 3,4,8,6 (Oct. 2019 to March 2020)
    Covid-19 Deaths: 23,26,37,86 (roughly, last 3 weeks)
    I won’t comment further on this. I have an online 12 Step meeting at 7 that I have to prepare to host.

  41. The seasonal flu has been studied and it effects and reproductive potential are understood. This was and is not the flu.
    This virus is novel -not seen before and from what was eventually realized as it first spread to Europe (no thanks to the Chinese Communist Party) rampant in it’s transmission.
    Projections, based on the best information available at-the-time, were then 1-2 million dead in the US and our hospitals being overrun. The curve in Italy was steep and climbing.
    We know more and more each day, very soon the novel nature of this virus will pass.
    It will be understood. Social distancing, this magical means of distancing as a cure, makes this all seem surreal.

    I’m proud of this country. We did the right thing, we sacrificed to save others.
    Now let’s help others out of this economic sleep mode and…
    End abortion.

  42. Dr. Bob,
    Perhaps they are now “counting” differently.

    DR. DEBORAH BIRX: So, I think in this country we’ve taken a very liberal approach to mortality. And I think the reporting here has been pretty straightforward over the last five to six weeks. Prior to that when there wasn’t testing in January and February that’s a very different situation and unknown.

    There are other countries that if you had a preexisting condition and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU and then have a heart or kidney problem some countries are recording as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death. Right now we are still recording it and we will I mean the great thing about having forms that come in and a form that has the ability to market as COVID-19 infection the intent is right now that those if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that as a COVID-19 death.”

  43. best information

    Not at David WS’s comment, but at the idea that the doomsday predictions represented our best information.
    Policy makers got fed a line of B.S. by policy advisors in order to convince the policy makers to adopt the policy advisors’ preferred policies.

    And all because nobody had either the courage or the humility to just say “we don’t know how bad it’s going to get; we’re not in control.”

  44. Since Catholic Answers tells me Lent ended when Holy Thursday services began, and, also tells me that voluntarily offered penances can be voluntarily set aside (e.g. Sundays during Lent), and, since no one here (not that I’m assigning responsibility to anyone here) replied to my question, I decided for myself that Lent 2020 ended on Holy Thursday this year. So I cracked the bottle of Rye I’d been saving to have with the Canada Dry Bold (Brand New! I’m a Vernor’s fan myself, but in South Dakota, Vernor’s ginger ale costs more than a six pack of domestic beer).

    I’m pissed. I’m mad as hell about the situation we’re in. I’m in complete agreement with Pinky, above, but I don’t give a fig for trying to find a bright side here. We’ve rendered unto Caesar what’s not Caesar’s, at least as it seems to me. It would be one thing if secular authorities had threatened us with prison to get our bishops to close our doors, but that doesn’t seem to be what happened. We (meaning our leaders, such as they are) did it voluntarily, eagerly even –just to show what “good citizens” we were. (BTW Don –that’s the Americanism I’ve mentioned and you’ve scoffed at, no offense, but I was right and you were wrong). Bottom line for me: We. Are. Not. In. Control. ONLY GOD IS IN CONTROL. But we insist on maintaining the useless illusion of control by obediently obeying the stupid arse rules about social distancing because, as it seems to me, we’re afraid of death.
    And being afraid of death is contrary to the heart of the Gospel.

    WE ALL OWE GOD A DEATH. WHAT DOES IT MATTER THE HOW OR THE WHEN?!? I don’t know off the top of my head if that’s Shakespeare, or Howard Hawks (or whoever the heck wrote the screenplay to Only Angels Have Wings –not in the mood to look it up). And here we all are, will we or nil we, trying to CONTROL our lives –if we social distance, and use face masks, and gloves, and wash our hands with sanitizer and then soap, and then don’t leave our houses until BIG BROTHER says it’s okay, we won’t get sick, and we certainly won’t die.

    WELL SCREW THAT! Nobody gets out of here alive!

    Is our faith in the Risen Lord, or is it in whoever the heck Big Brother is taking his cues from?!? What the hey! People!

    Like the man said, “I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own” (okay, I looked that one up).

    My life is my own, with the caveat that I belong to the people that God gave me to: my parents, siblings, my wife, my children (meaning, my life isn’t really my own to do with whatever the heck I feel like doing with it), not the government. My life is to make of it what I am able. But ultimately, I, like everyone else, belong to God, and He and HE ALONE, decides when I’m done (even if He, in his wisdom works through my own idiocy —e.g. I hope I’m not dumb enough to drown in my own house during a flood, not when God send me a fire engine, a boat and a helicopter to save me, just because I insisted on a miracle). But when I’m done, I’m done. I’m not in control.

    So it seems to me, and maybe I’m wrong, I don’t claim to be a prophet, or even wise, that, if this is a test, we are failing that test, and failing it badly. I understand and fully support suspending the obligation to attend Mass, I think we should encourage everybody who has any doubt about their health or the threat they might present to others to stay home –it’s okay, God will understand. I also understand that that means there will be people at Mass who are sick without realizing it, who will, possibly, infect other people, some of whom, if infected, will die. Well, so be it. I’d for d*mn sure rather die of something I contracted at Mass than to die, possibly, (in my case probably) in a state of sin because of something the next Hillary Clinton to reach high office were to do made me so mad that I were to stroke out and keel over.

    I dunno. Maybe I’m being a snotty brat. I know my wife thinks so (something about trying to participate in the mass on YouTube really rubs me the wrong way and I don’t have the good grace to hide it). But as a convert from evangelicalism, this has really touched a nerve with me. I don’t know if cradle Catholics know it, but please believe me, what we are doing is privatizing the faith in the exact same way that evangelical protestants have. In fact, if I hear our bishop in a tv mass ask the faithful to send in money, I think my head will explode. (And let me warn you, the longer we’re away from mass, and the offertory, the more likely that is to happen, the Church is a business.)

    Anyway, my prediction: when the present crisis is past, we will see a resurgence in mass attendance like we haven’t seen in recent memory. Every Sunday will be like Christmas or Easter Sunday. For a couple, three months. After that, attendance will drop to below average levels prior to the present crisis.

    And on that downer of a note, good thing this is a buried thread at this point.

  45. @Ernst:
    Great rant. Really.
    I think you are correct about a lot of things, and especially about the likely surge in Mass attendance at first, when the Politburo allows us to return. But my bet is it won’t last more than a month. Hope I’m wrong.

  46. Bob-
    Check the flu deaths for last year to try to get a more accurate example, there’s been a known pattern for flu tests and stats where people are simply not getting tested this year, and those presenting with flu symptoms are coming back negative an unusually high amount. Comparing to last year’s stats might bypass any reporting tricks.

  47. Foxfier, by “last year” do you mean 2018-2019 flu season? And the case rate isn’t critical to my argument other than I’m using it to distinguish between different counties, i.e. use it as a weighting factor to figure out flu deaths/county. I’ve given up on taking reported cases as meaningful, when the big red map keeps reporting my county with 37 covid-19 cases for the last 3 days and the PA Dept. of Health gives 25.
    Some folks have been saying that a lot of the deaths are due to other causes, not covid-19. I think that’s faulty reasoning. If you go into the hospital with covid-19 and you have a prior condition–lung problems, immuno response deficiency,….–then it’s still covid-19 that’s much more likely to be the proximate cause of death.
    I’m working on a summary of three articles from the American Spectator that say it’s time for flyover country to get back to normal. This is supported by hospital usage statistics from my four county area.

  48. Bob-
    I mean the same weeks (I was about to say dates, but leap year screw that up) for the year prior. Although now I think on it, several years prior would work better, because last year’s weather was funky, at least here.

    Trying to figure out how to sort the noise out, and CDC guidance is that if you die with, say, pneumonia symptoms and could have been exposed, you’re to be reported as COVID-19.

    Which, besides the whole “people dying” thing, is a big problem because folks are avoiding hospitals– so normal causes pneumonia is more likely to be left untreated until it’s too late, and then since they went to the hospital they HAVE been “possibly exposed”, even though they never caught it and would have actually been fine if not for the hysteria.

    ARGH. This is why bearing false witness is so nasty– we know some people are lying, changing what they’d put as a cause of death because they want to make folks change their behavior, because they’ve bragged about it, so now we can’t trust bleep and… grumbles

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